Published at: 17th April 2011

Title: L’Espanya dels catalanistes

We should deeply thank Patrícia Gabancho for deciding to publish some of her political life experiences as a Catalan independence activist during 1976-1978 at Catalonia, after  two years of arriving from an Argentina on the verge of chaos. Proceso de Reoganización Nacional (National Reorganization Process), so they called it the dictators of that country. The Spanish transitional process to democracy was also, somehow, a true reorganizational process. They told us Franco had died, but it was not true. The day of his funeral, Franco himself was there, in between all the people moaning him, looking at that sham called the end of Franco regime. And the real truth is that those who were moaning him had already tied all the knots with those who called themselves “opposition”, while Catalonia, defended at Madrid by Catalans with no national dignity, was getting ready to legitimize the “reorganization”. Almost 40 years have gone by since then. But the mess we find in ourselves today is the consequence of those human miseries and those political resignations, and how sad it is that the main perpetrators of those injustices, some already died and others are still alive, keep on being venerated as wise common sense respected people.

The book from Patrícia Gabancho, A la intempèrie. Una memòria cruel de la Transició catalana (1976-1978)– In the open air. A cruel memory of the Catalan transition -, focuses, as the title indicates, in the resignation process that took place at Catalonia those days and portraits with no funnels the ploys, schemes and stratagems played by the political parties, in special those in the left wing, as they granted “transition” as a natural process from the Spanish state and totally annihilated the national rights of Catalan people. Let’s review some extracts of the book here…

  •  “That restrictive constitution, the prelude of a fiction Estatut, was being generated at the parliament (…) The strategy was then to create a backdrop to disguise the agreements done behind the scene: they were calling for all the people to move and get what members of the parliament and senators were not willing to do. In fact, the same strategy was also considered for other topics and had to fatally culminate in active propaganda supporting the new Constitution”.
  •  “It is worth to remember that the majority of Basque people voted NO to the Spanish constitution. They well managed to set up two valuable exceptions: one concession was made in regards to the taxes, and another one to allow them to create, if they would be willing to do so, an autonomic Basque federation together with Navarra. Then a clause that  explicitly prohibits the federation of two or more autonomous communities was included in the Constitution in order to avoid the unification of the Catalan Countries. However, Catalan people did not open their mouths then to complain about this, and even today the cultural Catalan scope keeps being attacked and smashed continuously”.
  • “When the Basque people had closed the deal for the taxes contribution to the Spanish administration, they called the Catalan minority (represented then by Mr. Miquel Roca) and they told him: We just made it! Now it’s your turn. But Mr. Roca thought that those conditions were not convenient, as Mr.Ernest Lluch had defended so enthusiastically. The only person during those years that was spreading the idea of the fiscal deficit between Spain and Catalonia was Mr Ramon Trias Fargas.
Ernest Lluch and his PSUC colleagues at Banyoles, 1979
  • When the idea of self-determination was put to vote, an instruction that was in all the electoral programs of all the Catalan political parties, both PSC and CIU parliament members left the room. And then they went to explain themselves to the Basques: look, as for us… Meanwhile, Mr. Jordi Solé Tura voted against self-determination, loyal to those words that not long ago he had himself pronounced in the club Siglo XXI at Madrid: “The PSUC will do everything necessary for Catalonia to accept the Spanish flag and publicly defeat the aversion that still causes among  Catalan population.” O when he declared that “the Spanish state is just an euphemism, we will order was is to be said: Spain”.
  • “Therefore, the Estatut was being written aside (…) “We cannot impose Catalan to those who speak Spanish in Catalonia”, say nowadays the same people that had voted yes to support the imposition of Spanish to the Catalan native speakers, in the clause number 3 of the Spanish constitution: “Spanish is the only obligatory language; the spanish first, and all the other languages are not even mentioned””.

  •  “What the people who wrote the Estatut proved is that the Catalan political parties felt compromised with the Spanish project. They had to lift up Spain from poverty, and that meant to do an effort for consolidating democracy and be generous so that the country would normalize. In other words: they needed money, they needed to keep the transfer of economical resources. They knew very well that system would be in detrimental of Catalonia, but they thought Catalonia would be able to afford it. However, that was not the problem. The problem was that they never said anything. They did not speak clearly. It was in that precise moment of the transitional process when all the political parties, all of them, developed a kind of hidden agenda: we assume compromises that we do not confess. We embrace projects we do not publish. We build Spain and talk about Catalonia. The political Catalanism was then born within democracy”.

These small extracts from the book of Patrícia Gabancho- should be an obligatory book for every Catalan person who cries for independence – clearly shows that everything that today is missing in Catalonia is a direct consequence of everything our nation resigned to. What is most pathetic is that it was not only the Spanish fortress trying to plunder Catalonia rights, but worse, it was mainly due to those weak-willed political representatives that lacked a total sense of national dignity. Those representatives are still there earning their livings even better than before, and now they are defining  themselves as “catalanists” or “federalists”, but all of them are against the independence of Catalonia.