Search

Freedom for Catalonia!

Category

Opinion

40 years of Franco’s death

Spanish head of state General Francisco Franco (L) and prince Juan Carlos salute the crowd in Madrid in October 1975.
Spanish head of state General Francisco Franco (L) and prince Juan Carlos salute the crowd in Madrid in October 1975.

Today is the anniversary of Franco’s death. People in the Spanish state celebrate this date in many ways: some still mourn the dictator, others celebrate they took power, like the Spanish king… And many are just happy to have gotten free from such a dictatorship. In a day where we still mourning for the victims of terrorism in Paris, Catalan people will celebrate the fall of a dictator and will remember all the victims of a dictatorship that lasted also 40 years.

francohamort

Since 2000 the association for the recuperation of the historical memory, has promoted the opening of trenches used to deposit those who were executed during Franco’s dictatorship. No public institution has ever carried out any investigation about these victims. During the 90s, only a few families dared to claim for the localization and exhumation of the corpses of relatives and friends.

Fotografias-desaparecidos-franquismo-Efe_EDIIMA20130924_0683_4

genocidio-2

 

 

 

 

In the last 15 years, the above mentioned association promoted the opening of common graves recovering over 2 million corpses. Right now, the Spanish government has frozen all activities.

quimtorra_0Mr. Quim Torrà, president of Omnium Cultural (a cultural organization that aims to preserve Catalan language and culture in the world) emailed me in a newsletter a few days ago saying:

On 20th November is the 40th anniversary of Franco’s death. In a democratic Europe, the Spanish state is the only one that has never condemned the dictatorship. Franco and the members of his government were never judged in an international court. Furthermore, the few trials against Franco’s dictatorship are still unfinished.”

Due to these shameful facts, several Catalan social organizations, like Omnium Cultural, are celebrating today a special joint event, with testimonies and witnesses of the horror of the Spanish dictatorship, calling for justice for the victims of fascism. There will be protest songs, artistic performances and live music to honor those who suffered and died at the hands of Franco’s government.

For many years, the 20th November was a date when the heirs of Spanish fascism would celebrate an event full of melancholy for the loss of the dictator. Today, and for the first time, we want to truly celebrate democracy.” adds, Mr Torrà in his invitation.

grisesNeedles to say, I am also celebrating that we are free from a dictatorship, I was actually lucky I was born 2 years after Franco died. So I lived all this time in this pseudo-democracy that Franco’s descendants have allowed to happen for the last 40 years. I grew up listening to the stories on how many times my grandpa was put in jail for “speaking against the general” or how my father was beaten at school by the teacher because he could not speak Spanish.

How much has fascism conditioned the different mentalities of several generations here in Catalonia! Some joined the enemy, others are afraid of thinking on their own and only a couple of million people have the nuts to go out to the streets every year and claim for the freedom that was ripped away from us. Help us to restore freedom and dignify all of those who gave their lives and blood to defend it! Condemn the crimes of Spanish fascism!

640_1364422752republica_botiga_imatgedins

Featured post

This will end well (or not)

An adaptation of the article written in Catalan by Toni Aira for the newspaper “elMón”.

These days there is some kind of collective uncertainty which is natural to the political challenge that we Catalan people have in front of us. With the current scenario, the poor suffering voters believing in independence ask among themselves how all this will end. The question is uttered full of anxiety: This will end well, won’t it? The most generous reply you can hear lately is “we have made it up to now, right?” or “ Mr. Mas has always a plan”. However, nothing of that give us any guarantee.

BARCELONA 10/11/2015 ANTONIO BAÑOS Y ARTUR MAS EN EL PARLAMENT DISCURS DE INVESTIDURA FOTO de JULIO CARBO
BARCELONA 10/11/2015 ANTONIO BAÑOS and ARTUR MAS in the Catalan parliamant for the investure discourse for President de la Generalitat. FOTO from JULIO CARBO

We are absorbed all by the dynamics of the last few years of “process towards independence, so far we have made it” idea; so we will now. This soothes only those who are in desperate need of believing it so. But we all know that it may not be this way, not necessarily, unfortunately. There is no actual certainty that we will make it, but the will of our people. Now CUP (Candidatura d’Unitat Popular- in English. Popular Unity Candidacy, which is extremist left-wing) is in the political equation having strong influence in the parliament and some power of decision, all is possible, but right now it is already jeopardizing the unity of pro-independence block in the Catalan parliament. In addition, the rest of players defending self-determination have shown clear symptoms of depletion in their discourses.La-CUP-exige-romper-con-el-Estado-y-reitera-su-rechazo-a-que-Artur-Mas-sea-president

Certainly, this is an epic and prestigious process: seeing how such a fragile self-determination process like the Catalan one is able to keep moving forward despite the pressure of such a lordly authoritarian state like the Spanish one, a David vs Goliat situation in the XXI century, of course, this is an extra motivation to resist. It does add up that Mr Rajoy and his party are overacting and confusing public opinion in view of general elections coming up next 20th December: “Catalonia will not disconnect from anything”, says the Spanish president like threatening but without mentioning the “how”. He is ridiculing himself and his government and his party, and this adds up to our cause. They say that all this movement is all trickery from Mr Mas and few more people…Anyway, the Spanish president must be doing all of that to help the Catalan process.davidvsfoliat
Until now there has been a immense disproportion between Catalan people demonstrations in the streets and the ballot boxes results. Yet, it has also summed up to the independence cause. Nonetheless, a potential lack of proportion between what people want to achieve and the political management done by pro-independence parties could indeed menace not only our cause, but also all the country. The Catalan parliament and its principals actors have now the last word, at least until we find ourselves in front of the ballot boxes again.

Featured post

INDEPENDENCE AT LAST?

Yesterday I received a memorandum as a member of the National Catalan Assembly declaring absolute agreement with the proposal of resolution presented by the new elected Catalan parliament members defending independence (integrated by people from 3 different parties, 1 more than the 2 conforming the coalition called Junts pel Sí) in regards that in the 27th September elections Catalan citizens voted unambiguously supporting secession from Spain.

cmfllvldm2015In a moment when my dear Carme Forcadell has been voted to be the new president of the Catalan parliament, the Spanish government yet dares to deny any type of reasonable dialogue with our representatives. Instead, they are putting all the judicial system in service of prosecuting both the president in functions and the new elected parliament, while threatening with disqualifying all Catalan institutions and banning elected people to assume public office.

This morning in Els Matins de TV3 (the morning news program in Catalan TV) I heard a tertullian say that if the Spanish government finally decides to ban Catalan representatives to assume their public office, this should be taken to the Strasbourg court of justice. The radicals call for total disobedience, while the new president of the parliament has declared yesterday the institution is not obliged to follow any Spanish law anymore since this is the beginning of the constituent process of the new Catalan Republic. She presented herself within Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party and was voted even by people of over 4 different parties.

Declaracion-institucional-Rajoy-Junts-CUP_MDSVID20151027_0073_17Despite I felt some glory in my heart when hearing Mrs Forcadell’s words about this moment being the constitution of our new republic, I cannot dare yet to let myself go in the joy of those words, until independence is real. I cannot forget we are still under the rule of a dictatorial Spanish government that is not willing to sit down and negotiate secession, as they should be doing now in this 21st century. Hopefully, elections for the Spanish parliament next December could change the political panorama in Moncloa, providing a government willing to negotiate for a final referendum and able to accept whatever result as legally binding.

uoc-votacions-referendum

I personally believe that in the best case scenario we could get up to a 52% Yes for independence in a final referendum next year, counting not only that the movement is growing in front of the worthless efforts of the current Spanish government and the comments their representatives dare to do in front of the media, but also that there are 2 parties in Catalonia which are not totally defined in the matter yet. That is true, in the left wing parties there are people who could decide to support independence in a legal referendum negotiated with Spain and recognized worldwide. People from the socialist party, from the green party, are also indignant by the actuation of the Spanish government and see as positive the opportunity of creating a new state with better social policies, less corruption, improved healthcare and education…

In the coming days we will also finally know who will be invested as the new president of Catalonia, a president that will be taking over the responsibility of founding the new Catalan Republic, a process that may take a couple of years in splitting from Spain. This person will be in charge for transforming Catalonia from a region of Spain into a brand new state. The only name now on the table is president in function Mr Artur Mas, though he is being prosecuted both by the 9th November consultation and corruption from his party CDC (Convergència democràtica de Catalunya). Furthermore, he is not finding support in the radicals who want a “clean” president, neither he would get the votes of all the 3 parties that support Spain.

Let’s see what other surprises are coming up in the following days, but I dare to forecast that maybe we will find a woman president that will take us to independence, just a feminist speaking…

catind2015

Featured post

THE ONLY WAY OUT

I call on to all the people in the world who truly believe and stand up for democracy: please support the right for self-determination from the Catalan people. I know many of you come to our country as tourists and think nothing is going on here, but we are in the borderline of a revolution. Because if we cannot get our independence democratically, we are not willing to stay here to suffer whatever the Spanish government will punish us with. We are like that slave that has been beaten all her life and cannot take it anymore: finally she revolts for freedom.

Next 27th September, Catalan people we will vote for our parliament, but we will also vote for independence from the Spanish state, again. Yes, we voted in 2012 democratically, and we obtained majority of pro-independence parties in the parliament, but our politicians did not come to an agreement to declare independence then. And yes, we voted again last year for the same matter in an official referendum, where over 2 million people voted yes, where a majority of Catalan citizens and Catalans all over the world voted that we chose for Catalan self-determination. But our government and parliament, frightened by the Spanish government threats, did not declare independence last year. split

Hopefully, as an old Catalan saying confirms, the third time is when we win…. well when we make it happen, better said, because we already won elections and referendum in the last 4 years. However, this time we are not voting with normal parties, but important people from our society and politics scope have joined in a common list with the promise that if they get elected our current president will declare independence in 6 months after the elections.

Wonder why 6 months? Why? If election results proof that the majority of Catalan people want our country to be an independent state from Spain, why waiting 6 months for declaring it? Actually it will take us at least 2 years from the moment of independence declaration until we are really divorced from the Spanish state, so the sooner we declare it, the better, right? But no, politicians and company owners are so terrified of the consequences that they rather take some more time, maybe so the Spanish corrupted law system obliges our representatives to give up or until the army can summit our cities and institutions by force? I honestly don’t know what makes me feel more indignant of this situation, whether the stupid undemocratic attitude of the Spanish representatives or the ineffectiveness of our own representatives to execute what the majority of Catalan people have already voted democratically several times.

And the worst, but must it be mentioned, is the attitude of those who do not support independence: not because they will vote no, which is perfectly licit, but because they have surrendered to the brainwash of Spanish media to the point of believing that voting is actually anti-democratic, or that the Spanish government will ever stop plundering Catalonia. Come on! They live from it! How do you think they pay for their limos and luxury hotels? It does not come from the 24% GDP Catalonia provides to the Spanish state (that goes to pay the bills of Madrid and Andalusia), but from the over 15 millions of Euros they steal from Catalan people every year for the last 40 years, counting only since Franco died. If only we could count all the resources and money taken away from Dictators Franco and HitlerCatalonia to satisfy Spanish aristocracy pockets or cover government luxury expenses for the last 300 years! Or if we truly quantify all the peopled killed for defending Catalonia, or killed just for being Catalan, I believe many other countries would found the number horrifying, such genocide suffered here for such a long time, counting loss of lives over the Nazi holocaust.

But it is also indignant, and sad, that some people who recently supported independence precisely for economic issues, are telling me they are tired of this process, a process that is lasting barely 4 years and that could have taken 2 or 3. I agree it is unnecessary to make it longer. But thinking alike them, what would be the economical benefit of staying in the Spanish state? Shouldn’t you be eager to get your salaries higher?

what-you-need-to-know-about-todays-catalonia-independence-vote-in-spain

Anyhow, so far we are one month ahead of the election day and no party supporting Spain, has made their case for Catalan people to vote for them. What are their promises? To stay as we are? What future will we have if we stay? It is actually more uncertain from an economical perspective to stay in the Spanish state than starting-up alone. Even if we have to vote for a single list now, which does not fit in my good understanding of what could have been such a list, but if this is the only way out, let’s go for it. However, if we win again next month and we wait 6 months and the Catalan government does not make a declaration of independence, for whatever the reason, I am positive people’s indignation will indeed grow to dangerous level, taking us closer to a revolution that could generate more economical instability in Europe, something the EU and Mrs Merkel are obviously not interested to promote.

Therefore, in any case, support Catalonia’s right for self-determination!

We have given too much and too many lives to defend our culture and our freedom!

Let us be free! Freedom for Catalonia

demo NY 2014

Featured post

Why should you support the independence of Catalonia?

In the last 200 years, the world has seen lots of new countries being born. Most of them became independent after a civil war, others as a result of WW1 or WW2. Very few, like Iceland, can be proud to have achieved independence through a democratic process. Thus, if we preserve a bit of historical perspective, we must admit we have been experiencing an adjustment of the frontiers to cultural and regional borders for over 200 years. Just remember that as a result of WW1 Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Estonia were formed, and Poland had been previously a kingdom on its own before being part of the German Prussian empire.

A map of Europe after the Congress of Vienna, 1815. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Decolonization and civil wars also produced countries like Canada and USA, South Africa, Brazil or Mexico. But after WW2 the list of countries gaining independence became even bigger: over 25 countries, including China, Tunisia, Iceland, Philippines or Ireland. And during the last part of the XX century we saw Czech Republic and Slovakia becoming two separate countries, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and even the island of Palau became independent from the USA in 1994. Therefore, we must comprehend that this is an ongoing tendency, being Kosovo the last one in 2008.

However there is one state in the European Union with a government unwilling to free up their last colonies: Spain. I am not going to explain again how Catalonia or the Basque country became part of the Spanish empire hundreds of years ago. Let me just remind you it was against the will of the people. Now Catalans we found ourselves looking at history and not understanding why some educated people from Brazil may not understand why Catalan people want their independence, did they not get it themselves? Why the Dutch people do not support Catalonia efforts, when their nation was submitted to the Spanish kings once and they were freed, supported by the British, as they were freed from Nazis just last century? Why a French person, whose family fought for freedom, equality and fraternity, are obtuse to see the reasons why we Catalans are doing what we are doing lately to get out of the Spanish false democracy and form a new true democratic state within the European Union?

As explained through this blog, there are several reasons, some cultural, some historical, and others socioeconomic. But there is a very important reason I would like to point out here: we Catalans do not live in a democratic state. Our rights as citizens in this world are diminished every day, our historical memory is silenced, our taxes used for corrupted politicians to spend their vacations in Fiji, our cultural heritage damaged and insulted, our freedom to choose our political representatives is diminished through censorship and demagogy, our rights as workers and employers plundered, favoring nepotism and corruption to all levels. Spanish politicians have tried to slander our process towards independence by saying we are doing apology of fascism, while they are precisely Franco’s heirs, the ones willing to forbid again Catalan in schools or overruling our right to vote, like they did for 40 years of dictatorship last century.

Corruption in Spain
Map of corruption cases within the Spanish state 2013/2015

 

We would like to become a free new state with improved laws and tax system. With the 22,000 millions of Euros the Spanish government never returns to Catalan people, though they should according to their own laws, we could get so many people out of poverty. So many families would have their present and future improved in all areas: public health, education, social care…

So, it does not matter where you live or where you are from, if you are out there in the world and believe in democracy, please give support to the Catalan process. If you believe in the principles described in the letter of human rights, if you believe all nations have their right to self-determination and all people should be free and have right to vote to decide; if you believe in freedom of thought and expression and if you believe your country improved after gaining independence, please support Catalonia’s right to independence.

BxRFBOhIAAEr4nC

 

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SIGN A SUPPORT REQUEST FOR THE UNITED NATIONS AND EUROPEAN COMMUNITY:

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/92952-request-international-support-for-catalonias-independence

Featured post

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: