ALICANTE-ELCHE airport’s title is to be expanded to include the name of the famous Orihuela poet, Miguel Hernandez.

The announcement was made by Spain’s Transport Minister, Jose Luis Abalos, yesterday(October 30) on the 110th anniversary of Hernandez’s birth.

In a video message sent to a special ceremony in Valencia attended by Hernandez’s grand-daughter and daughter-in-law, Abalos praised the poet’s achievements.

Hernandez had his first book published when he was aged 23.

He became a Communist Party member and opposed the fascist General Franco during the Spanish Civil War in the late thirties.

He was sentenced to death over his stance but Franco commuted it to a 30-year jail term to stop him becoming a martyr.

Hernandez died of tuberculosis in an Alicante prison in March 1942.

Jose Luis Abalos said: “No country worth its salt can condemn one of its most important poets to death and be morally unscathed.”

“As Spain we owe him a tribute and we’ve started the procedure to incorporate his name within the title of Alicante-Elche airport to repay part of what is owed,” he added.

Daughter-in-law, Lucia Izquierdo said: “Our family is very pleased with this news which is well deserved.”

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