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Important update on the negotiations for Catalan president

While the pro-independence block “Junts pel sí” (Together-for-yes, composed by parties ERC(1), Presentacion-de-la-lista-unita_54434027707_53699622600_601_341CDC(2), and ANC(3)) are staying true to their promise of making Artur Mas president of Catalonia once more, CUP (4) also stays faithful not to invest him, as they included in their program for the 27S elections. It is obvious Mr. Mas party represent a corrupted capitalism that CUP is ideologically against.

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Nonetheless, after 2 months of the plebiscite, even after a declaration of sovereignty from our parliament, we Catalan people have no president that can take us to full independence from Spain. Most journalists and experts that usually support independence are blaming all this chaos on CUP. Though others believe Mr Mas should sacrifice for the process and allow others to lead us further.

On one side, let’s not forget that many Catalan people, Catholics and capitalists, they see Mr. Mas as a hero that has sacrificed already so much. I must admit even I admire some of Mr. Mas actions defending our country, but still not getting why oh! why he is so stubborn thinking only himself can lead this process. That is absolutely wrong. As you will remember Mr Mas actually did not join “the process” until he was compelled by his own voters.

Anna-Gabriel-CUP-Gava-ACN_ARAIMA20150920_0141_1On the other, Miss Anna Gabriel (leader of Endavant(5) and CUP) confirmed recently to a Catalan radio just after the last extraordinary assembly of her party, “Junts pel sí” are putting other “red flags” in ideological issues as stopping privatizations. Is this the moment of forcing ideological convergence in those topics? No, because now we must be united in one main matter: independence. But, what are the options now? In the morning TV program “Els matins de Tv3”, experts pointed out 3 possible solutions:

  1. Mr. Mas agrees to be vice-president and Mr. Romeva is invested president (or Mr. Junqueres, but it would not be fair, let’s be honest, ERC voters were never enough to make him president).
  2. Mr. Mas calls for elections again next March, which would mean loosing another battle, this time due to our own differences. Experts believe this is a very probable scenario.
  3. The non-independence parties ally to form a government that follows in with the Spanish state, something Mr. Rajoy and the leaders of those parties (PSC-Iceta(6), Ciutadans-Rivera(7), PPC-Mayol(8)) are for sure plotting about these days. This could mean the dissolution (at least for some time) of our beloved process for self-determination.
  4. Another possibility is that some of the deputies of CUP in the parliament do vote in favor of Mr. Mas to unblock the situation. Let’s point out there was a 22% of CUP members that agreed to invest Mas during the national assembly of CUP held last weekend. So there could be 2 or 3 seats of CUP in the parliament in favor of Artur Mas being president.

In my opinion we should go for option 4. This would reinforce the process towards independence. And yes, let’s divide the presidency into 3 powers: Mr. Mas as manager of the government, Mr. Romeva as head of international affairs and diplomacy and Mr. Junqueres as head of internal affairs and division from Spain.

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE DEMOCRACY? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CATALAN ISSUE? PLEASE  GIVE US YOUR OPINION, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. THANK YOU.

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ARE YOU A CATALAN ABROAD?                                       ETS CATALÀ I VIUS A L’ESTRANGER?
YOU CAN ALSO LEAVE A COMMENT                               SI US PLAU, DÓNA’NS LA TEVA OPINIÓ
AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS                             I COMPARTEIX-HO AMB ELS TEUS
AND COLLEAGUES. WE MUST LET                                   COLEGUES I AMICS ALLÀ ON SIGUIS.
THEM KNOW WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING.                CAL QUE EXPLIQUEM LA REALITAT
LET’S PUT SOME TRUTH OUT THERE!                             DEL QUE ESTÀ PASSANT A CATALUNYA!
 

Legend:

1-ERC: Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. Left-wing republican party of Catalonia, defending self-determination since before the civil war, leaded by Mr. Oriol Junqueres.

2-CDC: Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya. Right-wing capitalist Catholic party, leaded by Mr. Artur Mas.

3-ANC:Assamblea Nacional Catalana. Catalan National Assembly composed by Catalan citizens as a non-political organization.

4-CUP:Candidatura d’Unitat Popular. Left-wing socialist feminist radical party supporting independence and sustainable growth.

5-Endavant: (means moving forward), a sub-section of CUP known as OSAN: Socialist organization for the Catalan freedom.

6-PSC: Partit Socilista de Catalunya: Left-wing socialist party supporting federalism and leaded by Mr Miquel Iceta. They are the Catalan branch of PSOE (Partido Socilista Obrero Español= Socialist workers party)

7-Ciutadans: a center-oriented young party with totalitarian ideas supporting Catalonia as a region of Spain and leaded by Mr.Rivera, who actually has presented himself for presidency of the Spanish government in next elections coming up in 2 weeks.

8-PPC: Partit Popular de Catalunya, the Catalan branch of the Spanish PP (conservative Catholic monarchic party) controlling the central government at this moment and for the past 8 years. It is recently leaded by Mr Mayol, ex-mayor of Badalona.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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REPORTING DICTATORSHIP METHODS FROM THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT

Since plebiscite elections took place last 27th September in Catalonia, still we do  not have either a president of Generalitat or declared independence, despite a majority was reached in the parliament.

Artur-convocatoria-Palau-Generalitat-TV3_EDIIMA20140927_0120_13
Artur Mas signing the decree to celebrate consultation about independence last year.

For the last weeks we have witnessed Artur Mas being summoned to declare in front of the constitutional tribunal for having allowed and supported the consultation of 9th November last year. Our president in functions, along with the vice-president and other people summoned as responsible (including some of the volunteers who helped put the ballot boxes in some appointed schools) for supporting the “disguised” referendum of last year.

mas-dio-orden-de-no-negociar-su-investidura-hasta-despues-de-declarar-ante-el-juez
Artur Mas, still president of Generalitat in functions, applauded by thousands of independence supporters, around him majors of hundreds of towns rising symbolic wooden stick.

Some people did go above and beyond to be able to vote last year. I actually drove all the way down from Utrecht to Brussels and queued for 4 hours to be able to put my vote in the box! The Spanish government is trying to unfairly disqualify the government in functions and impose a chosen administrator until elections are hold again some day… Just before we may be able to declare independence. And they are putting all the judicial powers into play to the point of producing more than one dismission in the Office of the State Prosecutor.

How is this not a dictatorship? When a constitutional court publishes official press releases complaining about the pressure they receive from seeing the thousands of Catalan supporters call for independence when the still president goes to declare in front of the judge!

BRU010 BRUSELAS (BÉLGICA) 15/10/2015.- El presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, atiende a los medios de comunicación a su llegada a la reunión de líderes del Partido Popular Europeo (PPE) previa a la cumbre de jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la UE, en Bruselas (Bélgica), hoy 15 de octubre de 2015. Los líderes de la UE celebraron hoy su cuarta cumbre sobre la crisis de los refugiados para agilizar la respuesta comunitaria a este reto. EFE/Stephanie Lecocq
BRUSSELS 15/10/2015.- The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy attending the media before entering the meeting of European Popular Party (EPP) , and just before UE summit in Brussels. UE leaders hold the 4th summit on the refugees crisis to speed up their response to this challenge. EFE/Stephanie Lecocq

And the worst is listening to the Spanish president saying that their imposed law is a basic principle of democracy and that allowing the Catalan people to vote for their independence is illegal. Mr Rajoy’s declarations during the last meeting of the UE due to the refugees issue go directly against true democracy, while some people of his party dare to criticize him for being too soft with the Catalan issue.

Let the UNO know that they must ask the Spanish government to at least agree to negotiate a separation with the Catalan nation. We won the consultation last year despite their boycott. We also won last plebiscite. Now let us be free.

11S2015 demonstration for independence, Barcelona. Over 2 million people crying independence.
11S2015 demonstration for independence, Barcelona. Over 2 million people crying independence.
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