In this world that we live in, with all the media bombing us with news, I understand it’s indeed difficult to find some time and show some solidarity to the Catalan issue, taking into account we are not that bad, right? We live in a westernized consumer society, we have health care system, education, decent jobs (sometimes)… So, why are we Catalans demanding such attention and solidarity worldwide? Most people, and especially Europeans, are thinking: why is all that mess going on in Spain with Catalonia?
In fact, it does not even matter to them how many people like me will write relevant information in English so they understand what is really going on. But the critical point here is that no matter our cause may be just or our requests may be fair, yet if real international support and solidarity, from both governments and people, does not come out, we may be smashed, enslaved and exploited by the Spanish once more, as they have been doing so already for over 300 years.
The Hebrew people suffered a horrible genocide during the last century, this one is just the most recent one, because Hebrews have been killed or enslaved for their beliefs in several times during history and in several civilizations. And through literature, art and cinema we have all been so sensitized about their suffering, who dares denying it? Who is so insane to call the Jews fascists? Not even the Palestinian people would dare saying such a thing…
But Spanish who are against Catalonia’s independence, or really against anything Catalan, are exactly doing that, calling us fascists when we were and still are the victims of their repression. In Catalonia, my people have suffered at least two clear attempts of genocide in the last 3 centuries, as later Catalan territories were populated with Spanish people:
- After signing the Utrecth treaty of 1713 and the Nova Planta decree of 1714, under the rule of Philip V, the totalitarian Bourbon king imposed an absolutist regime and took away the Catalan institutions, government, prohibited our language and our culture (cultural and political genocide), punishing with death those who spoke Catalan or dared to complain. The Nova Planta decree was only invalidated in 1833, after the totalitarian Bourbon system collapsed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nueva_Planta_decrees), and during that time penalty of death existed to anybody speaking Catalan or defending anything Catalan. Only in the siege of Barcelona, all 6.700 regulars of the Catalan army and Coronela (the armed forced of Barcelona town) were killed and over 6000 civilians were killed as well, many even after the siege, which means over a 35% of the actual population of Barcelona at that time was killed (against an Bourbonic French/Spanish army of more than 40.000 soldiers). The same had happened in other Catalan cities like Girona, for example. So we can estimate that around 40 to 45% of the population of Catalonia was exterminated during and after the Spanish war of succession.
- During the civil war between 1936-1939, and aside of the 175.000 republicans killed in action, it is estimated over 200.000 civilians were executed, left to die in prison or tortured to death, a 3rd of them being Catalan. And during the 40 years of Franco’s dictatorship around 150.000 civilians were murdered for their political ideas, for speaking Catalan or just because they did not support Franco. This figure was only estimated last 2009, when judge Baltasar Garzón aimed to sue Franco’s generals for crimes to humanity and established a commission for investigating crimes during the dictatorship, which is still on hold; thus all war crimes and crimes against humanity done by Franco and his crew are still unpunished.
There were also other moments in the last 300 years that we can consider part of this genocide of the Catalan people, as the bombing of Barcelona during the XIX centry, or the people who were executed or murdered during Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship. The journalist Mr Jaume Clotet wrote in 2013 in his article for newspaper EL PUNT/AVUI “the invisible genocide”, that is not the Spanish tried several attempts to wipe out Catalans, but they have been implementing through the centuries a slow and inexorable genocide that took away our best women and men of each generation.
This explains a lot why our current voting population is so divided, because a lot of Catalan were murdered and replaced by Spanish people. So now around 40% of Catalan inhabitants are Spanish or come from 100% Spanish families. And though some have adapted and become Catalan, many did not. This also explains the anti-human rights attitude of the Spanish government and Law institutions towards the people of Catalonia who defend the right for self-determination. Just remember that the unified Spain of Franco became member of the UNO already in 1955, when the regime was in its golden years. And nobody asked Franco to stop killing people in Catalonia for speaking Catalan or to imprison and torture people for their political ideas, or to return Catalan, Basque institutions, in order to become a UNO member and allow them to sign the letter of Human rights, something they could not guarantee already at that time.
Yet, it does not explain why other Europeans citizens, or people from all over the world in general, do not provide explicit support to the Catalan issue, despite they may be democrats and defending human rights.
Except for a few, like Mr Mikko Kärnä, who from the Finnish parliament and in social media is helping our cause, we are not receiving the support we need, and we need a major worldwide support to our cause, because it’s a very human, universal and just cause. Because Catalan are both citizens of Europe and of the world and we deserve to have the same rights than any other country. Because if Catalan people do not see their human rights respected today, what guarantees your rights won’t be taken away tomorrow?
Do something! Help us stop the Spanish repression!
Ask your governments to do something about it!
Help us defend Human rights in Catalonia!
Help Catalonia to be free!