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Freedom for Catalonia!

Hello Catalan Republic

Yes, at last! The Catalan parliament declared independence last Friday 27th at almost 3.30PM. And now we face repression by the Spanish government who are already dismatling all Catalan institutions and ceasing our elected government, while the world leaves us alone, without alliances to secure resources or to defend ourselves.

DEBATE DE LA LEY DEL REFERÉNDUM EN EL PARLAMENT

Most of world countries seem to have no interest in helping to defend human rights in Catalonia, not even when Spanish police hit people who were queuing for voting on the 1st October referendum for independence, not when Spanish judges, controlled by the Spanish government of PP, put in jail Mr Jordi Sánchez and Mr Jordi Curixart, presidents of ANC (Assossiació Nacional Catalana) and Onmium Cultural, two civilians that have always promoted peaceful demonstrations and now rest in prison falsely accused of sedition! Not even when they dismissed the head of Catalan police, Mr Trapero, for not supporting them in the violent attacks against civilians or not helping them to put in jail elected representatives from our government… llibertat jodis.png

We are in a situation where the Spanish government has taken two political prisoners, has intervened, without proper authorization, all accounts from Generalitat, blocking payments of all institutions in Catalonia, from MP’s salaries, to social institutions, public hospitals and schools, has as well closed over 400 websites and is also intending to intervene public media like our beloved TV3… We are living a regression to a tough past during dictatorship when Franco’s censorship was imposed at all levels, when our Catalan government had to operate in exile and where people who wanted democracy were hit, or worse, by Spanish Guardia Civil on the streets of Catalonia. It is a flare of what Catalan families had to go through during a fascist dictatorship, whose leaders are yet to be condemned by an international court of law.

The European Union is being manipulated by the Spanish government so their ill will is imposed above Human Rights basic principles. The UNO, instead of consistently and openly condemning the Spanish oppression to Catalan people, have named Spain member of their board…It seems the Spanish threats outside and inside the EU are so abhorrent that no country has dared to openly give support, either recognition,  to  the new Catalan Republic.

Catalans, and many democrats in the world, are awakening into a total disappointment about how those international organizations that we help to build and were supposed to defend people’s interests, are prioritizing their own party interests above the rights of people. Before all of this, we still had some hope, we really wanted to believe that the EU or the UNO would never allow the Spanish government to do what they’re doing to Catalan people.grises

But the worst, really, the hurts the most, is seeing many people who live in Catalonia absolutely indoctrinated by Spanish fascist mentalities and media, as they have been brain-washed about their point of view being the liberal and democratic one, some of them ignorant who disregard that the content of PP and Ciutadans discourses promote exactly the same ideas that Franco and his generals used to impose 40 years ago.

It seems Catalan independence is putting in evidence worldwide the actual poisoning policies of parties like PP, Ciutadans and even PSOE/PSC in Spain. They dare call us nazis when it’s their radical followers who hit people in the streets of Barcelona shouting Spain is only one, or even kill the independentists… Who are the fascists? Who are the one repressing and oppressing to impose a unique mentality?

And don’t let them fool you! All the lies and demagogy they use is the main reason of the breach within Catalan society, yet they accuse independence supporters to have done so. Their main strategy is to point to Catalan people to blame us for everything, even for the intervention they are executing in our institutions, it is them who are executing the so called 155 article of the Spanish constitution but we are to blame for that too, so they say.

It’s like somebody comes to stab you with a knife and tells you that you are to blame for his attach because you brought it into yourself, yet he is the one having the knife pointing at you…

Let’s hope some decent governments in this planet will soon defy Spanish threads and provide public support to the new Catalan Republic, let’s hope international institutions are not as rotten inside as they seem to be today,  let’s hope leaders of the world change their minds at some point and decide to defend and protect human rights also in Catalonia. Let’s hope for the best, though we’re ready to survive whatever. Because after over 300 years of bad times while belonging to Spain, now we have a chance to really truly be free and build a new free country. catind2015

 

 

 

 

 

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FREEDOM IS COMING

Next 1st October Catalan people will vote for independence in a long-time-due binding referendum. While corrupted Spanish government keeps on breaching democracy by saying it is anti democratic to vote, taking Catalan parliament representatives unfairly to trial, using justice for their own purpose, publishing fake news about Catalan politicians, and even carrying out degrading campaigns to disable members of the Catalan

http://www.elpuntavui.cat/politica/article/17-politica/1192838-omnium-cultural-projecta-el-documental-las-cloacas-de-interior-a-un-centenar-de-municipis.html
Documentary The Sewers of Spanish home office,

government; still the Catalan government is announced the binding referendum will take place anyways, they are preparing the country for complete independence of the Spanish state, creating our own Tax office, our own Education system, our own laws and police and public affairs office… Everything should be ready because the YES will win and we need to be ready for what is coming after!

FREEDOM

…And, of course, elections, to vote for the next President of  a free Catalonia. Many people have spend a lifetime wishing for it, others recently joined the cause, but it does not matter. What matters is that after more than 300 years of oppression, we have a real chance to be free. It’s not about trusting Catalan politicians, or Generalitat, it’s about understanding that if the people leading our government right now are there leading is because they were elected by a clear majority of voters who actually voted them to do what they are doing: organizing a final binding referendum and free our country from the corrupted Spanish chains.

puigdemontMr. Puigdemont, our current President de la Generalitat, at least seems to have very clear why his party was the most voted coalition in the parliament elections last year. His allies, ERC and CUP, are pushing him further so they all never forget their main purpose.

Nobody can tell who will finally win, when I am still both horrified and surprised Mr Trump was able to beat Mrs Clinton in the last USA presidential elections. Yet it is obvious there is around 53% of the population that have water clear they will mark YES in the ballot on Sunday 1st October 2017.

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In the consultation celebrated in November 2014, both in Catalonia and in the foreign delegations enabled for Catalans abroad to vote,  the spirit was impressive and taken almost as a celebration, an occasion to take a selfie wearing the “estelada” while putting the ballot in the box. I foresee this time it could even be bigger, I’ve heard people are preparing awesome stuff for celebrating we will actually vote for a binding referendum for independence the same day that we do it… I cannot imagine if we win, when we win the huge celebration that is going to move the whole country.

I am looking forward it…and I am hoping all the Catalans living abroad will not forget to do whatever they have to in order to make sure they will be able to put their ballot into the box!

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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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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?

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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

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Translation of Mr Lluís Companys’ (president of Generalitat) discourse to the people of Catalonia on the 30th March 1938

This discourse has been recently recovered by Generalitat from the general military archives in Ávila amongst other important documentation that was being kept in Spain. They were initially confiscated by the Gestapo in 1940 from the Paris office Generalitat had during the times of its exile. Gestapo later delivered these documents to Franco’s fascist police. After years of requests and demonstrations, lluiscompanysdocumentation containing this discourse was finally sent back to Catalonia on the 10th March 2015. Here the amazing words of Mr. Companys, some of them still make sense today, despite the discourse was written during Franco’s fascist invasion.

 

 

 

“For our freedom and for our independence

Get the guns against traitors, against invaders

People of Catalonia

I talk to you in these moments when I search more than ever within my weaknesses of my abilities and conditions, the best resources in order to be worthy of being the President of the Generalitat, with all the responsibility in these historical circumstances and to be worthy of my own obligation as a Catalan person and a man. I talk to you in these moments searching desperately for the words that could describe the intensity and complexity of my own feelings as a human being, but it’s hard to find those words.

On the 18th July our country, using the forces of Generalitat government and supported by civilians, was able to defeat, annihilate, undo and chase out of the Catalan borders the military fascist forces that dared taking arms against the Republic. Our territory was cleaned of these rebel factions. However, the war ignited by this betrayal has devastated Spain. Catalan soldiers were present in all fronts defending the Spanish republic government, giving the best of their energy and resources.

The military uprising, which was conceived abroad, has become a civil war for independence. The old monarchic flag, a symbol of oppression, is now blushing its colors due to the shame of being confused with foreign flags. This war of desolation and tragedy unleashed in the territory of the Republic, has become a glorious epopoeia for universal law and justice within Europe and the world.

During this time, Catalonia has been the place where the Spanish republican government has been operating from. And in our country we have also received thousands of civilians of other sister lands and heroes from other places of the Iberian Peninsula. The republic of Spain gained the support of the Catalan people by recognizing their Statue as a nation. It was the beginning of our freedom and historical reparation for the past oppression. Thus, the union of the Catalan and Spanish republican governments against those who want to dissolve the Republic, is strong and sealed with the blood and the fire of the men and women united in glorious sacrifice heroically defending Republic in all Spanish territories.

300px-Los_presos_políticos_en_el_patio_de_la_Cárcel_Modelo,_en_Mundo_Gráfico_12_de_noviembre_de_1930
In prinson, Lluís Companys,his son, Àngel Pestaña, Joan Lluhí i Vallescà and Emili Granier Barrera, November 1930.

But now it is me speaking, talking to you Catalan people, hoping my words are strong like a mass and sharp like a knife. I talk to the people in the countryside, where I preached propaganda when I was young. I talk to the workers, with who I shared prison many times. I talk to the middle class, to the intellectual groups; in fact, I talk to all the people of Catalonia, disregarding what they think and their social condition, because I speak in the name of our nation. I speak in the name of our beautiful and wonderful Catalonia, a magnificent country with fertile fields, a nation with an indelible trace through democracy along our history. Our people have a particular character: we believe in liberalism and democracy, we believe in peace, we love art but work hard. That is Catalonia! Our Catalonia, its name makes our hearts shake with emotion and touches all of the fibres of our soul. I talk to those of you who love the place you were born, and where your children were born too, who know well those spots of our country, full of poetry and charm in our beloved land, where the sea, the mountains and the sun align so that we can live and work well, where our love for our nation and fraternity within men can flourish. I speak to all of you in your language, the same you learned since you were born and reminds you to the first words you heard from your mother.

I talk to all Catalan people! I would like to pass on them all the patriotic love, all the civic obligation, all the bravery in front of History, all the interest towards the future, for only one thing. One word that we did not want to say, but we had to use it and hear it, and for the last two years we have given ourselves to it without measure. One word that has become absolutely necessary, obligatory and sacred to all citizens of the Republic; but now, if possible, this word should have more sublime and heroic vibrations. One only word: WAR! Everybody must go to war, we all have to give our lives, if necessary, to fight this war and win, for the honor and duty and life of Catalonia. For the independence of the Republic and for democracy in the universal concert of human civilization.

From the very first moment, Catalonia has been in the right place in all the active fronts. But now, foreign armies are at the door of our homes. They bring in their souls a particular interest in submitting and mocking our people, because they know our nation has always favored culture instead of violence, freedom instead of tyranny. Catalonia principles condense the meaning of their fight against the world. They have totalitarian conceptions of state, oppression systems, imperialistic ambitions, dominant classes against democracy and liberalism, whereas here our people’s legitimate concerns are canalized peacefully, searching for the most pure forms of justice and stability. They hate everything we represent, even our structure, environment, history, life rhythm, the invaluable core of our spirit. If they feet touch Catalan territory, it would shake Catalonia subsoil and our mountains would tremble in shame. Our language would be prosecuted, our institutions plundered, our people submitted and our habits mocked. “VOE VICTIS”, moors and other foreign soldiers trying to dominate our Catalan nation! This cannot happen, Catalan people, not in fact, not in name, it is not in favor of Catalonia past or future.

We must be aware of the depth and width of the majestic moment that we are living, a time in History clicking bells all over the world, a time that will penetrate in the depths of the future. Catalan people! Catalan people! We must work and we must fight. We must resist, because resistance means triumph. Multiple interests may connect themselves in the coming possibilities. The head of the Spanish republican government, Dr Negrín, he pointed out in his vigorous discourse the day before yesterday, what our approach must be: RESIST! All Catalan people must be an example. Both, a general mobilization to work in the fortifications and military mobilization to move men to the battlefront must happen. Our soldiers fight fiercely at the borders of our territory. Each of them is where they should be, everybody in the rearguard is following their duties strictly. Every soldier is a giant, and every Catalan is a soldier!

Being Catalan means being a heroic warrior in the dictionary of history. Let’s fight for victory, brothers! For the victory that we will celebrate just here, a decisive bastion and glorious definitive wall.

Air up the flag of the Republic! Let it blow in the wind, covered in glory in front of the world undaunted eyes. All Catalan people wear the Catalan four red bars printed on their chests and in their souls. And we shall execute a tenacious resistance, a terrible one so we can prepare the next action to push invaders out of the republican territories.

-Who are you?

-I am Catalan in the unbreakable and invincible wall of love and defense for my nation.

-What do you want? Why do you shoot your guns and spread blood?

-I fight against the invaders in my country. I fight in front of the whole world and the infinite space for the name and the existence of Catalonia. I want to win and deserve the peace that I love.

I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT FREEDOM

LONG LIVE CATALONIA!”

You can find the scanned originals in Catalan as well as Spanish translation in this link: http://www.memoria.cat/lluis-companys-avila/udiscurs-del-president-de-la-generalitat-al-poble-de-catalunya-contra-els-traidors-contra-els-invaso

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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.

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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

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Pseudo democracy in Cabrera de mar

Yesterday, in the middle of the process towards Catalan independence, I was denied my right to vote in the municipal elections at Cabrera de Mar, in Catalonia. The census for the elections was closed according to them 6 months ago and I registered in the town hall only 4 months ago. Actually, when I went last February to register upon arrival from the Netherlands, they confirmed I would be able to vote presenting my identification. I did at least 3 phone calls to the town-hall in the 3 and 4 previous weeks to elections to confirm that information because I had not received the vote notification over the post, and they told me it was only informative and I had right to vote presenting my identification and registration in the town-hall. Last week, when I was doing something else at the town-hall of Cabrera, I decided to reconfirm the issue and only then they informed me I would not be allowed to vote and it was too late to try to vote over the post. I consulted online the Spanish law for elections and I could check myself that the head of the table was obliged to accept my vote despite I would not appear on the list if I presented the necessary documentation. I asked about that at the town-hall, but they denied it. Before leaving I processed a claim against the misinformation of the town-hall jerks.

At last we got to the election day yesterday 24th may. I went to my correspondent school and table with my family to vote. Since I was not in the lists they told me I should go to the town-hall and there I would be allowed to vote. But when I went they did not let me vote, instead they were waiting for me with a complain form for the census office. I mentioned again that the law would oblige the head of the electoral table to accept my vote with my documentation, and they denied it again. I asked the general secretary of the town-hall would check it personally, but he did not dare to go out of this office saying he was too busy, when it was Sunday and the town-hall was deserted. The woman who attended me did not want to check that information with me either, despite it enabled me to vote.

I went out of the town-hall on a rush back to the voting place, where I also found the major, Mr.Mir. He coerced the head of the electoral table saying if he allowed me to vote all the votes of this table would be refuted, impugned. Somebody reminded the major that the correct procedure in this situation is that the head of the electoral table places that vote separately along with few others in similar circumstances being out of the list, so that the regional electoral board would approve it. But he fearful guy said he would not do anything that would cause him trouble, under the look of the major telling him he should not allow me to vote. I did not decay, though, and I asked the head of the electoral table to check the law if he had doubts. The major then intervened again and confirmed the general secretary would come down from the town-hall to check it personally in the polling place. They took my number but they never called.

5 hours later I went back to the polling place, to ask if they had checked the law and they would register my vote. But the general secretary had not come over in all day and nobody had done anything about it. I called to the town-hall and asked the head of the table to talk to the general secretary using my mobile. But he did not want to talk over the phone. The same woman who attended my claim in the morning talked to him and then she told me: you cannot vote, if you want anything else you can come to the town-hall again. At no moment no member of the electoral table showed any disposition to check the law for me, and they insisted they had no obligation to know that law. The town-hall representatives did not check that law with me despite it mentions in its first section, article 85 that:

1.-The right to vote is accredited in the electoral roll copies officially distributed or for a specific census certification, and in both cases, the voter must show proof of identity with an identity car, driving license or passport where a photo of the person appears, or in the case of foreigners the residence permit.

3.-When at the electoral table, despite showing any of the documents mentioned in section 1, there is doubt due to the complain of an auditor or voter, about the identity proof to vote, having presented all documentation certifying identity and inscription and taking into account the testimony of the present voters, decision should be agreed by the majority of the electoral table members.

All the people representing the town-hall or the members of the electoral table have the obligation, like all citizens of the Spanish state to know the electoral law. In fact, those representatives must learn it in order to implemented it properly. It is mentioned in section 2 article 139 of the mentioned law, that it is a crime to deny a vote or a complain to vote of a person who can show proof of identity and document with registration number to the electoral roll, like it shows the town-hall registration certification signed on 2nd February that I provided. It is also a crime to stop or hinder any complain about voting, coerce members of the electoral table, lie about what is lawful. It is also considered a crime that the members of the electoral table do not notify and give full testimony about any complain encountered the day of elections.

Today I write this article after loosing a battle, because I came back home yesterday with the ballot paper on my hand. After spending almost 6 years abroad, I come back to Catalonia to find my right to vote plundered due to misinformation, bad-management, ignorance, lies and personal interests. I even do not know if I will be able to vote on the plebiscite elections on the 27th September this year. This is no democracy. A basic principle of democracy is that citizens of a region/country/state can choose their representatives exercising the right to vote. However, I realize we live in a pseudo-democracy, since yesterday I was denied my right to vote, something unthinkable in the Europe of the XXI century. I am sad and indignant at the same time. I think of all those who don’t ever go to vote, because they do not care, while I was actively demanding to exercise my right to vote and they did not let me. I want to denounce here today about these facts and ask for your support so that it never happens again, so that the people that yesterday made such mistake against me become aware of how terrible is their wrongdoing by not letting me vote to choose precisely municipal representatives.

Here the link in Spanish to the actual organic law about the electoral regime in the Spanish state.

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If the process towards independence is dead, why are some people so terrified?

Author: Víctor Alexandre, original published in El Singular, March 2013

I don’t know if anybody has decided to count the times that the heralds of Spanish nationalism, both from the left and right wings, have announced the process of Catalonia towards independence is dead. The declarations are endless. Indeed in the last few months they have intensified their campaign about it and now they say it every day, though before last 11th September they did say the same and still there were almost 2 million people in the human V built in the streets of Barcelona.

Here few of those declarations, with Alicia Sánchez-Camacho as one of the main messengers:

  • José Apezarena, editor del Confidencial Digital, 26/1/2015: “The Catalan process is dead”
  • Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, 29/1/2015: “The Catalan process is deadly hurt”
  • Joan Tapia, 4/3/2015: “Catalan independence movement is fading away”
  • Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, 14/3/2015: “the Catalan process is dying”
  • Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, 14/3/2015: “The process towards independence is wiped-out”
  • Mariano Rajoy, 16/3/2015: “Now things have calm down compared to one year ago, and in one more year, they will still be even quieter”.
  • Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, 16/3/2015: “Catalans are tired of independence and want to move on”
  • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, 17/3/2015:“The movement for Catalan independence is badly affected; it has no room in the European project”.

As you can see, they do not realize what a flagrant contradiction it means to announce the death of something and later on say it is dying or getting worse. If the process is dead, how come it has gotten worse? If the process was already dead last year, why saying it is still dying? So that means it came alive again, but now it is about to die, again? And when being calm was ever a symptom of dying or fading away? Is it not a prelude of a storm, when things are too still? Is that why they are panicking so much? Nevertheless, these people invest a tremendous amount of effort, time and money in talking on all the media about something they apparently consider absolutely dead, thus it should not be a threat, if it’s dead, why are they still fighting it back? I wonder they must be feeling like living with a poltergeist, since such dead process is frightening them all so much. They must be truly scared about this dead process if it causes such reaction in the line of the Spanish democratic illiterate soldiers. Their fear explains it all: they are horrified not about dead processes, but about living people voting yes for independence next 27th September and finishing over 300 years of Spanish oppression.

Their message it’s just an expression of their own desire. A hilarious desire full of fatuity and precisely directed to the same people emitting it. Let’s explain it better: they are telling themselves the same all the time in order to desperately motivate themselves: “Don’t be scared”, they tell each other, “the people promoting independence are tired, their movement it’s over, gone, it’s dying, is dead…” And the more they tell themselves, the more they put in evidence the need to confuse their desires with reality and the more they show their weaknesses. Let them speak, let them say our cause is dead. Because next September elections are closer, and then they will see the strength, vitality, conviction and determination of Catalan people and our process towards independence.

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Returning to Catalonia

I know I have not written here for a while, but circumstances and the amazing amount of visitors we have received in the past years into this blog, even though I have not published anything for 2 years, have force me into writing here again. First of all I would like to thank everybody who has visited my blog ever. I am astonished of the amount of different countries from my audience despite not being active for such long period.

On the other hand, after more than 5 years of living in the Netherlands, I finally decided last winter to move back to Barcelona. Now I can speak to you from a totally different perspective, from the inside. I must admit at the beginning I was a bit disappointed to see that most people are doubting so much it is possible that Catalonia becomes an independent country. I found myself in front of fearful people easily manipulated by politicized media. People who cannot distinguish what is true, because they are ignorant, who don’t accept evidence because they have been brainwashed.

Furthermore, I find that I cannot speak openly about anything related to independence with anybody I don’t know shares the same opinion. So nobody speaks about it openly and when you do, if you do not share their opinion, they tell you they do not want to talk about it with you. There is no “we agree to disagree”. Just one “let’s not talk about politics if we want to be friends”.

Upon arrival, I was desolated with this landscape. So I did my best to fight negativity and joined a meeting from ANC (Associació Nacional Catalana per la independència), in Vilassar de Mar last March. The purpose of the meeting is that each participant would bring in a person doubting about if Catalonia should be independent from Spain. So altogether with the help of Carme Forcadell, president until then of ANC, could expose them the benefits of voting for YES, independence. However, when I turned around and I heard people talking just before the conference started, I realized everybody was a true supporter of our independence. Despite most of us tried to convince others to join us in that event to learn the benefits about separating from Spain, they all avoided to come or even to talk about it. Especially those who were more doubtful about it, they did not want such a headache… Yes, they realize things need to change but….they will not do anything about it.

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“If only the 2 million independents believers could convince 1 Catalan person that is doubtful into voting yes for independence on the plebiscite elections coming up the 27th September, we would have enough voters to support it.” That is what Carme Forcadell told us was our homework, to convince one other person, only 1, everyone of us and duplicate the numbers.

I myself have been trying desperately to convince, but I get the usual reaction of avoiding the topic and never get a real chance for a serious conversation about Catalonia’s independence except for the people who believe in it already.

Anyway, I do not give up,  I have supporting evidences which I refer to again and again. I am determined to open the eyes of anybody who is blinded by demagogy.

Because on the night of September 27th I want to see a 62% of Yes from Catalan voters. Because I want the Catalan parliament to declare independence with those figures the following day after elections. This is our moment. Our process has already started and we must be brave, we are prepared, we can do this together. We can be free and break the chains from the Spanish government once and for all, chains that slave Catalan people for over 300 years. Freedom for Catalonia!

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The viability of our country

(An adaptation of the article published in ElSingulardigital.cat and written by Carlen Toronjoy i Manyé from the association Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya)

[Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya is an independent non-profit transversal association composed by companies and free professionals that aim to become a reference in regards technology development in Catalonia and to improve negotiations between companies, institutions, technologists and scholars.]

 In economic terms, Catalonia is, indeed, a viable country. Well-known economy scholars and organizations have verified it in several reports. As for example the Wilson group (www.wilson.cat), a new organization that is developing an important pedagogic initiative, by providing clear and conclusive data in regards to the economic viability of our country.

col.lectiu-wilson

 

However, and aside of the economic data, there are other strong points for Catalonia. I am talking about the diverse and flexible composition of the business network, with both small and medium size companies, industry of all scopes, strong drive to export abroad (precisely, Catalan  exports have lately risen up to 50% of what is produced in the country), the good approach in international recruitment (ICREA program is a nice example), the will to develop our technological infrastructure (Marenostrum super-computer), important clusters in biotechnology, a fast-growing technology industry, hospitals and medicine professionals who become a worldwide reference in their fields, prestigious universities and business schools, presence of important multinationals (T-systems, BASF, Siemens, Alstom, Telefónica, Indra, Gas Natural, Microsoft, Seat, Nissan etc.), courageous entrepreneurs and qualified professionals, technology development centers, a very strong tourism industry, a relevant presence online… But what is most important is that Catalonia has millions of citizens that work hard every day and who generate richness. Above I have only mentioned a few examples which are evidence of the strength of Catalan economy. Therefore, now the question is, why are we living in such scarce circumstances? Why is there no money in the safe-box?

RH1471-8
Super computer Marenostrum at Torre Girona, Barcelona

better europe in crisis

The answer here is pretty obvious. We are going through a very tough crisis and we lack liquidity, plus the credit provided by banks has disappeared. But this is not the worst part. We can also blame the real state bubble.  And there are other issues worth to mention, and we must emphatically express them, we must not stop to firmly say what is wrong. Despite the global crisis, Catalonia keeps on generating money, but we do not administrate our wealth very well. This is our tragedy: we work hard, we do things quite good, but we are unable to manage our benefits properly. Why? Mainly, because we have a relevant flight of capital called Spain that jeopardizes the growth of our economy.

Nevertheless, the last elections have defined a specific roadmap. And now we must rise to the occasion, with sensibility and steadiness. Catalonia is a millenarian nation with enough social and economic drive to move forward into independence.

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A new state of Europe

Translation of the interview to Joan Canadell, General secretary of the business association “Cercle Català de Negocis” and co-author of the book “Catalonia, state of Europe” (Catalunya, Estat d’Europa).

(Written by Alèxia L.Ferret and published in ElSingulardigital.cat)

“When Catalonia becomes independent it will be the fourth country in Europe of GDP per capita”. Mr Canadell, states that Catalonia has an economy very similar to the one of Holland, Denmark or Belgium. He is convinced that if we would have a fiscal agreement with Spain it would not be sufficient to solve the problems our country has as of today. According to him, only independence can provide the frame to create the necessary policies to take the country into a better future, building, for example, the Mediterranean corridor project(1).

What scenario will we find in an independent Catalonia?

Our studies forecast that Catalonia would be in the top five countries of GDP per capita, and one of the three strongest exporters. It will be very similar to countries like Holland, Belgium or Denmark, which in this moment work very well.
How much unemployment will Catalonia have?

7%, approximately.

Is it true that an independent Catalonia would be out of the EU and would have a risk prime similar to Greece?

No, absolutely not. Catalonia is the third most dynamic region of Europe. Therefore, other countries of Europe are not interested in getting Catalonia out, but all the opposite. The EU trend is to adopt new countries, not to take them out. However, we should agree under which conditions will Catalonia be member of the European Union. As for example, with decisions like how many European representatives would the country be entitle to have in the EU parliament. Independence would neither mean being out of the Euro zone.

 What similarities are there between Holland and an independent Catalonia?

In economic terms, Holland is the second country in the EU of GDP per capita. Catalonia would be the fourth one. In 2008 Catalonia was at the same level of Holland. In regards to unemployment, Dutch have a 5% right now, and Catalonia will have only a 7% when independent. And if we talk about exports, Catalonia is the third EU country that exports more with a 59% of exports, while Holland is the fourth in the ranking with a 56% of exports.

Would the fiscal agreement with Spain fix the economic problem of Catalonia?

No. Maybe it would reduce the impact of the current problem, but the fiscal agreement with the Spanish state does not provide a mathematical operation with results, but it is only a political issue. Every time we have agreed on a new tax system with Spain, we were told it was very good, but with time we all could see it was so limited. In the last 25 years we have suffered a fiscal deficit of 10 to 7% of the Catalan GDP.

 

What are we missing?

Freedom. Freedom to create the necessary policies that help taking our country into a better future. A very clear example is the Mediterranean corridor project (1): Spain does not want to do it; the government in Madrid pushes for building a central “corridor”. It is obvious Catalan people cannot decide for themselves now, but only if we would be independent, we would be able to take our own decisions. In addition, a fiscal agreement would still mean to sustain one part of the fiscal deficit, between 8 and 10 million Euros. It is a lot of money that we cannot give away now the country needs it.

Why small countries grow more than big ones?

In one of our most recent studies, we have found out that small states grow a 40 and even 50% more than states with big territories. Small countries are more flexible and adaptable to maintain an economic model that works, that is very important.

Are there Catalan companies with a specific economic volume that do not support the secession of Catalonia from Spain?

This is changing. But obviously there is always some reluctance, since we have been many years believing that an independent Catalonia could not be economically viable. And now we know that is not true. It is all about lack of information.

Maybe banks are more reluctant?

No, no. I think that when the moment comes,  they will also support Independence. However, they are afraid of the Spanish boycott afterwards. But when the self-determination process is finally triggered, big companies will be the first ones interested in showing they support it. They will not likely leader the process, but they will support it for sure.

Company owners know what is best?

Catalonia is made of middle and small companies. And I can ensure you that there are more and more owners who have it quite clear. I would say that more 50% of Catalan companies think that an independent Catalonia will be better for them. And the big corporations will be changing soon, with a bit more effort, but they will also see it. All this is a process that requires time and information.

After the demonstration of the 11S and the declarations of President Mas at Madrid, is independence closer than ever?

Of course. Now the question is to have it all ready to make it happen. We must do it in a short time frame, but without missing any step. We are talking about some months or a couple of years the most. But not 5 or 10 years as others may say.

How can we declare independence?

There are several road-maps towards Independence. But, now, we cannot decide for any specific one, as it will also depend much on the international politics, how politic parties will play internationally, and Spain… So we will be seeing this coming soon. And we will decide when required.

 Do you think Catalonia can become independent in full agreement with Spain?

Yes. Catalonia has more influence on Spain that we think. In fact, they should be interested that we leave in agreement, so that Catalonia can take part of the Spanish debt towards Europe. If Catalonia leaves the Spanish state without an agreement, we would not have the obligation to assume any part of any debt from the Spanish state.

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How to declare independence?

 (An adaptation of the article written by H.López Bofill on September 19th at the newspaper El Punt-Avui).

“Secession from Spain will probably require a break-up action by declaring independence in the parliament with a wide democratic support.”

One of the symptoms that reflect our politicians, scholars and intellectuals do not see with such good eyes the idea of secession, is precisely the lack of a debate in regards to which procedures we should put in place to become a free estate democratically. Not only after the massive demonstration in Barcelona last September 11th, have Catalans not yet seen a clear and consistent road-map to independence, with a proper comparative analysis that contributes to reinforce the legitimacy of our ambition.

I beg the reader to forgive me for the vanity of  my complain, but I was one of the first authors to try to respond to the various uncertainties that are now appearing in regards to Catalonia’s independence, also from the legal perspective. I did talk about this topic extensively in my book Independence and reality (La independència i la realitat– Moll, Ciutat de Mallorca, 2004), as well as it was mentioned in my essay New states and the democratic principle (Nous estats i principi democratic– Angle CETC, Barcelona 2009), which has a more technical approach. Both of my contributions have been despised by academic scholars; however, if instead my texts would have been discussed, I believe they would have saved themselves the professional failure of investing decades into political science and public law, but still not having an opinion about the remarkable change of constitutional structure that our nation will be undertaking soon.

I will then try to summarize these bibliographic precedents mentioned above, only a small summary of the measures and procedures necessary to legitimate Catalonia’s Independence according to the current legislation.

First to mention is the procedure commented by the vice-president of the Spanish government, Mrs. Soraya Saénz de Santamaría: the Spanish constitution of 1978. Catalonia could only be independent under the Spanish constitutional regime, that is, with the correspondent reformation of the Spanish constitution. This one would require the support of a wide majority of the Spanish parliament and the senate (that is, two thirds of each chamber). Then elections should be celebrated, in order to guarantee the reform project is executed by the parliament and the senate, all new elected. And, finally, a referendum. So, in this situation, Catalonia could become independent only if the Spanish people and their government would allow so. This is the interpretation declared by the constitutional court of Spain in regards to the Basque country and the plebiscites organized by Ibarretxe, with a sentence dated September 11th 2008.

Under the frame of this constitutional system it would be almost impossible for Catalan people to express and execute the claim for self-determination. Thus, both the people and the politicians of Catalonia are aware that a new Catalan state can only be created after a constitutional break-up with Spain. Yet, most of the countries that have become independent have done so: they did not follow the constitutional rules of those states they wanted to separate from, in order to become sovereign entities (i.e. USA, which in the XVIII century broke up all the bonds with Great Britain, precisely the constitutional proto-state of those times).

The key to legitimate a constitutional break-up in a democratic context of the current panorama, and notwithstanding the current international legislation, involve two determinant actions: one to have a majority support from the political forces or from the Catalan population in an official referendum; the second, to meticulously respect the fundamental rights of the entire collective. However, since the Catalan government is not allowed at this moment to legally call for such a referendum, it is highly probable that it will require a declaration from the Catalan parliament to break-up with the Spanish government. Once we are out of the Spanish constitution we can create a new legal entity in which a referendum for secession can freely take place, of course with the support of the international community.

There would be though an intermediate solution that would consist of making the Spanish government to authorize the referendum in Catalonia. But achieving Catalan independence would still involve a constitutional break-up, even although all the Spanish constitutional principles would have been accomplished, since we already know that the creation of a new sovereign entity requires a constitutional reform.

In conclusion, and despite all independence processes have different milestones to accomplish within a frame of time in regards to those aspects derived from secession (division of actives and passives, building state structures, signature of international agreements, like European Community…) the current constitutional juncture must prove our political parties that a break-up action will be soon required. A legitimate break-up, democratically supported, but still a break-up, not a transition. The Catalan people representatives who will take the challenge to lead this project must be conscious that this must be the first step –not the last one, as some commented-  when they find direct opposition from the Spanish state, again rejecting the authorization of a referendum to take place in Catalonia. The more time it takes to materialize a declaration of independence, the more doubtful Catalan people will perceive the actions of our current parliament, or even their will to walk towards freedom.

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Catalans in the world to vote for independence!

In view of the coming elections for the parliament of Catalonia next November 25th, Catalan labor unions followed the general strike yesterday: more than 100.000 people in Barcelona city demonstrated last afternoon, as the massive strike was followed by all industries but also by transport and commerce.

The strike had also a massive participation to a European level, and many cities of the Mediterranean witnessed street battles break-outs. It has been declared the biggest coordinated EU strike ever, with the purpose of letting our governments know that workers in Europe are complaining about the current labor systems consistently.

However, in Catalonia, this general strike taking place few days before the parliament elections is also seen as a symptom that the Catalan society is close to independence declaration. It is not the first time in the past centuries that Catalan companies decide to go on general strike to complain to the Spanish government. But this time, the strike is embedded in a bigger European picture, but we are hoping this will contribute to the  intention of internationalizing our conflict.

Never before in the history of the last 300 years of repression, had Catalonia encountered more favorable international conditions that would support our self-determination. At this moment of human history, we live in a world where there are organizations like United Nations, European Community which promote democracy in the world and openly support the Declaration of Human Rights. Never before in the history of any human civilization there was such a letter supported and defended by so many nations around the globe.

In this new era we are starting, absolutism and imperialism must be eradicated. The Spanish government and some part of its society are adopting, unfortunately, an obsolete and yet damaging approach towards the possibility of seeing the Basque and Catalan nations become independent states in this early 21st century.

Next November 25th many Catalan people around the world will go to the Spanish consulates to vote, while abroad non-residents will be posting their votes before the 21st. In many countries we have experienced how the Spanish institutions both in and out of Spain and Catalonia would put as much obstacles as possible to Catalan citizens for being able to actually vote. It is pitiful to see  that the only way the Spanish try to stop this process is by cheating and corrupting the election procedures.

Nevertheless, I have had the pleasure to see that many Catalans in foreign countries have done whatever necessary to be able to exercise their right to vote this time. Therefore, we are expecting these elections will have a higher participation than forecasted. The motivation of Catalan people to make our parliamentary panorama change drastically will for sure be shown in the results.  Ideally, the new parliament would have major presence of pro-independent parties, making possible the organization of an official referendum for independence during the next two years.

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11th September 2012 at Barcelona, Catalonia. Dear International community…

Last week, I visited my hometown, Barcelona, to be able to attend to the demonstration that ANC (Assamblea Nacional Catalana- Catalan National Assembly) organized to claim for the independence of my country, Catalonia. By 6 o’clock, almost 2 million people populated the streets of Barcelona city center while tourist stopped taking pictures of Casa Batlló and La Pedrera to photograph the crowd wearing our dearest flag.

Don’t you realize now our country is crying for freedom? How come I find so many people over the world who are openly supporting Kosovo’s freedom or understand that Scottish are not British, but they keep asking me what is the difference between being Spanish and being Catalan?  And for those Europeans who are becoming concerned about the economic situation of the Spanish estate, would not you prefer that Catalonia would pay directly to Europe?

If you understood that imperialism and colonialism stopped long ago and nations like the United Stated of America, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and many others, could become free and independent to the eyes of the world, why not Catalonia? Why today I still hear, but Catalonia is Spain…?? IT IS NOT. We have been a nation for more than 1000 years and we want our independence back, especially now in a moment of history when the people of the world are more ready to understand, when even most of the Spanish people are seeing how their corrupted politicians miss-manage their country and the countries of others… Did you know that our education and healthcare system are also started to worsen due to the cut of governmental subventions, which were mostly directed to pay salaries? More than 3000 teachers were fired last month. More than 50 hospitals won’t be able to pay salaries from January 2013. Or did you know that before 1714 the Kingdom of Aragon and Catalonia was considered a country worldwide composed by Catalunya, Aragó, Roselló, Provença, València, Castelló, Andorra, Mallorca, Menorca, Eïvissa, Sardenya, Sicília…??

In the last century,  the international community agreed to sign the Declaration of Human Rights and founded organizations like United Nations and European Community. And Spain is member of both of them, despite their constitution contains clauses which are invalidated by important principles the members of those organizations needed to commit to. Like for example, as UNO members, Spain must recognize the right of every nation for self-determination. But no nation has ever become independent from Spain without war…Not until now, because we, Catalan people, want to be free through a democratic process.

For the last 300 years, this is the first time Catalonia can go to the streets shouting loud for independence without fear of the Spanish sending the army or the police against us. We have gone through several wars, various absolutist kings, a couple of dictators, and a tough cold war against our culture, values and language, while we have been economically plundered. This is enough! We want to decide for ourselves! We want to be free!

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11th September 2012 Demonstration for Catalonia’s independence

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Catalonia: the future is another country

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The moment to declare independence

 “We have suggested to the Catalan president that if Spain intervenes in our competences, we should found a united national alliance and declare independence”.

(An adaptation of the article published at Solidaritat Catalana.cat 16th July 2012.)

The general secretary of Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència (Catalan national party for  independence) declared in the parliament last 16th July, providing reply to the statements of the President de la Generalitat Mr Artur Mas, who suggested advancing elections in Catalonia as one of the possibilities to handle the threats from the Spanish state of intervening the Catalan government. Mr Bertran, as a parliament representative, claimed that “one must not hide in the difficult moments, we must be all in the battle front” and added that the proposal of the president is “a proof of weakness in front of Spain, showing an attitude of failure and indecision that our country cannot afford”.

Uriel Bertran believes that advancing the elections in Catalonia is a proof of the weakness of our government towards the Spanish state.

Further on, Uriel Bertran has announced that “in the case Spain would threaten to intervene our government, we suggest the president to found a united national alliance and declare independence”. This is the only scenario that the independent party supports in order to help the current government and to “immediately start negotiations with the international community to obtain recognition of a Catalan constitution within the frame of the European Union”.

Mr Bertan believes that the moment to has come to motivate the country and give our nation hope for a better future; he reminded president Artur Mas that the people of Catalonia expect our government to do a step forward for independence, in the case of intervention by the Spanish authorities.

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Defiance

Why don’t Catalans defy Spain once and for all? Sooner or later we will have to say NO to Spain…

(An adaptation of the opinion article written by Pilar Rahola in La Vanguardia 19th July 2012)

I would like to illustrate that the first campaign ever done for achieving a tax agreement with the Spanish kingdom happened already in 1898 under the rule of regent queen Maria Cristina; it was led by Sebastià Torres with the support of Lliga de la Defensa Industrial i Comercial de Barcelona (League for the defense of commercial and industrial activities from Barcelona). However, many people may not know this fact since they are completely ignorant of our own history and may think now it is the first time something like this happens and our current government is the first one to promote the idea just lately.

Queen regent Maria Cristina

The idea (maybe it rings some bells…) was to have an economical agreement with Spain like the Basque country got, with the main purpose to stop the abusive and arbitrary plundering of the Spanish government in Madrid upon Catalonia. But in the Basque country, the initiative was unanimous: all town-halls, councils and all civilians without exception supported it at that time. Unfortunately the Spanish government disregarded the request from the Catalan people; further on, they even increased the taxes instead, as they needed to overcome the crisis of 98 and once more Catalonia was going to pay for it.

So, after doing a useless effort to explain the situation and try to negotiate a way out of the Spanish systematic plundering, the business league decided to force Catalan companies to close down. That means Catalan companies stopped paying their council taxes and shut down business and factories; a very Catalan way indeed of not obeying the law without disobeying it. The result was that the Spanish press labeled Catalans as separatist and anti-Spanish, while the major of Barcelona city, the well-known doctor Robert, resigned from his position with the aim to avoid that Spanish police agents would break into the houses of the supposed tax offenders, even although he had previously received royal orders to send the agents anyway. All shops closed as a signal of protest against the Spanish decision, but Madrid government finally dissolved the business league and declared war state: authorities announced that the tax offenders would be considered guilty of promoting the serious crime of sedition. So they also put in prison many business men and dismantled offices and companies, keeping up with the repression until they suffocated the Catalan resistance, which eventually gave up the fight.

The business shut-down or “tancament de caixes” was a direct consequence of the colonial crisis of 1898. The Spanish minister Villaverde imposed restrictive budget and increased taxes to compensate the war deficit.

As you can see, this story comes from old…from very old actually. In fact what I explained above was just another episode of the Spanish oppression. The Catalan protest against the Spanish plundering is 300 years old and has persisted through time, surviving each repression that tried to stifle it. Nonetheless, Catalonia keeps on singing the same discourse in vain, again and again, that is why we all have this asphyxia sensation constantly, because we have been in the same place for too long. Precisely this passionate but useless initiative is what will eventually force Catalan politicians to put this to an end, though they still have not done anything yet.

Having said this, I do not really understand this public announcement of taking to the Constitutional Court those Spanish laws that are abusive towards Catalonia: cannot they understand the Spanish authorities will never accept their proposal? And they want to take this to the Constitutional Court while they are applying those laws upon us? Excuse me? Are we really in a moment when we must swallow hard and continue to apply laws that abuse and discriminate us every day, while we keep on beating around the bush in the Spanish courts to trim the already miserable autonomy that Catalonia enjoys today?

Solidaritat catalana per la independència (SI) will not support the tax agreement all the others political parties are promoting and discussing as of today.

Why don’t we defy the Spanish? Sooner or later we will have to say NO to Spain and put this to an end. We need to tell them that their oppressive laws will not be applied in our country any more, and let’s see what happens then. It is not only a question of dignity, but also of usefulness. Despite defiance may be a winding and difficult road to drive, we know perfectly that the other way is a dead-end. And so, what are we doing now but transiting this old dead-road back and forth? That is so foolish.

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The end of Catalan fear

(A translation of the article written by Victor Alexandre 19th July 2012)

Only 2 years left for 11th September 2014, the emblematical date that will mark the difference between before and after in the history of Catalonia. Right now it is highly probable that many Catalan people only perceive this date as a commemorative festivity; but it will be 300 years anniversary since 1714, when Catalonia lost its freedom and was invaded by the Spanish army. For many people it has been not more than a celebration. And if you come to think about it, I understand it because for many years the National Day of Catalonia has been more an official commemoration than a revolutionary day. Nonetheless, the change is coming, and this amazing change will come true in 2014. The evolution experienced nowadays by Catalan society into maturity is being so impressive: we can realize now dreams that seemed impossible in the past, what yesterday was unusual, today has become an obvious reality. We must only look a bit backwards, not much, just to see how much things have changed lately. Maybe things have not changed enough yet, but the situation is better than before, though there are some who wished for less.

We should all do a very useful exercise in order to become aware of this evolution: let’s start, for example, counting how many books have been written in regards the independence of Catalonia; this topic was a total taboo some years ago, even after Franco died. Let’s recall how many books have been published talking about the Catalan nation from all of its points of view, but mostly from cultural and linguistic perspectives. So many books! And those books can be categorized under a common genre. There were books like “Plantem-nos!” (Stand up!- Proa, 2000), written by Lluís M.Xirinacs and Lluís Busquets i Grabulosa; “Raons i topics” ( Reasons and clichés- La Campana-2001) by Josep Maria Terricabras; “Espanyols per força”(Forced to be Spanish-Proa 2002) of Mossèn Josep Dalmau; “La independència i la realitat” (Independence and reality- Moll -2004) written by Héctor López Bofill; “Catalunya sota Espanya”(Catalonia under Spain-Dèria, 2007) from Alfons López Tena; “Crònica de la independència” (Independence chronicles-Columna.-2009) of Patrícia Gabancho; or “Tenim pressa, molta pressa”(We are on a rush-Dèria-2012) written by Heribert Barrera.

In spite of this, there are still many Catalan people that are convinced we have not got very far, since we still do not have our own state. However, I disagree with them. Maybe we have not got far enough yet, and we won’t until we are an independent country. But the psychological evolution of our people in these regards is not only obvious but has advanced considerably. And to convince those doubtful people I will explain a personal anecdote that I have never shared with anybody: on the 11th September 1999 when I published the book “Jo no sóc espanyol” (I am not Spanish), 3 of the 20 people quoted in the book got very scared when they saw the final title, and they put their hands on their heads and told me “This is too much!”. They were suffering the most common Catalan fear: they were fearful to call things by its name and suffer a horrible punishment. One thing was to talk about independence in petit comité, but it was much different to say things publicly.  And saying something like “ I am not Spanish” loud and clear in the socio-political context we had in 1999, included to take a compromise to Catalonia that not everybody was ready for. However, I believe the three persons mentioned above should have widen their horizons and realize that political context was about to finish. They should have foreseen important things are about to happen to Catalonia. Like it happened when we promoted to have the un-official referendum for our independence in the past 3 years, which supposed a key sociologic effect in our people that we will be able to study in the coming years from a historical perspective.

Along these last years, though, I have met people who have asked me why I use a negative sentence in the title instead of an affirmative one. So to say, why I titled the book “I am not Spanish”, instead of “I am Catalan”, which seems apparently more logical, prejudiced-free and assertive, right? But the truth is that saying “I am Catalan” was not prejudiced-free or assertive nor in 1999 neither now, simply because nobody has ever denied we are Catalan. This is something everybody admitted, however, always within the frame of the Spanish state, like people with a “patria chica “–little homeland- and a madre patria -mother country- (Spain). Like a person from Extremadura would say: “I am from Extremadura, therefore I am Spanish”.

Consequently, on 1999 assertiveness and lack of inhibition consisted in not falling in the little homeland trap and denying the fact that being Catalan meant we were Spanish. Statistics explain very well the social impact that a simple sentence like “I am not Spanish” could cause then: during the first two months after being published, the average sales of my book was one copy every 10 minutes. Other writers and critics catalogued it as the most relevant work within the Catalan independence movement. I think it was more than a book; it was a declaration that took us to a road with no way back. So I am pretty convinced that if I would publish it now it would not have such an impact as it did then. Who says this country has not changed? Who says that Catalonia in 2012 is the same than in 1999?

And since we are deliberating, let’s ask ourselves how come in 1999 we were totally unable of saying “I don’t want to pay” in the highway toll? Who stopped us then of doing the same we are doing today? What were we afraid of? Nobody knows…but the point here is that we did not even dare thinking about doing such a thing then, and though we felt disgusted about it, we accepted the robbery docilely. We were all the portrait of the “good” Catalan people. There are some people left who still think that way, but a lot less than 13 years ago.  The awareness of the Spanish plundering has grown so significantly among our population and independence is a hot topic everywhere now. In summary, the desire for independence has spread within all Catalan speaking regions remarkably and it has become a more natural feeling, willing to decide for ourselves, be free and stop the plundering of our resources. It may be true the Catalan nation has been a “sleeping beauty” that needed to wake up from this 3-century-nightmare: now we are finally waking up.

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“The independence of Catalonia is closer than we think”.

 “We will be independent, I don’t know if it will happen in some months or in few years, but it will be soon”.

 “We need a well-prepared team of women and men that know how find allies in Europe while calming people down at home”.

Isabel-Clara Simó at her place in l’Ametlla del Vallès. Foto: O. DURAN.

Isabel-Clara Simó was born in 1943 in Alcoi. She is a writer and journalist  and has degrees in Philosophy and Journalism and a doctorate in Romance Languages Philology. As a journalist she was editor of the weekly review Canigó. In her stories and novels she has created complex characters with conflictive relationships, as may be seen in La Nati (1991), Raquel (1992), Històries perverses (1992) and T’imagines la vida sense ell? (Can You Imagine Life without Him? – 2000).

She has been awarded several times, and on April 23rd 1993 she received Sant Jordi’s literary award for her book La salvatge (The Wild Woman). She worked in the Department of Culture at Generalitat of Catalonia as Literary Representative. In 1999 she received “La creu de Sant Jordi” (Saint George Cross-is the utmost  award that a Catalan citizen can receive for a relevant contribution to the Catalan culture). The collection of stories entitled Dones (Women – 1997) has been made into a film (2000). And in 2010 she published the opposite story Homes (Men-2010).

She likes appearing as a tertullian on TV and the radio, and was teacher in the Pompeu Fabra University, where I actually met her as a teacher. I had the pleasure to receive lessons from her for Catalan discourse class during my second year degree for Translation and Interpretation. She used to have a very sweet accent from Alcoi, which hope she still preserves. In this interview, she declares convinced that Catalonia is just about to start a different chapter in our history as a nation: independence!

(A translation of the article published in El Punt-Avui  on July 14th  based on the interview done at Ametlla del Vallès, Catalonia, by David Marín)

DM

Last week in Lleida, Mr Joan Rocamora, who was arrested during Garzón’s operation on 1992, quoted Isabel Clara Simó as one of the few people who helped him out of prison when nobody gave a damn for those who suffered the consequences of the Spanish repression.

Do you remember?

IC

It’s true that I wrote some articles then. But they were the brave ones. It was a brutal action from the Spanish government, indeed. I was so indignant about it: the judge Baltasar Garzón has a very good public image, however, the purpose of the operation was clear: since peopled booed towards the Spanish anthem in the opening of a stadium in Spain – and that was considered offensive to the Spanish monarchy they decided to clean the streets out of Catalan independent people.

DM

Why?

IC

Look now, after 20 years of Garzon’s operation, Catalan people keep booing to the Royal Spanish family and their anthem in soccer matches, but Mr Garzon does not appear on TV anymore. That means we are winning! Though some Catalans were tortured for it…

DM

Are you optimistic?

IC

Absolutely. We will become independent in the next years. I don’t know if it will happen in some months or in few years, but this is going to happen in short-term. The issue is quite mature by now. More than we think. The last poll results show a 51% of Catalan population are truly convinced our country must be independent. It is a hot topic today and even Mrs Alícia Sáncez-Camacho or Mrs Rosa Díez talk about it on the media every day. The threatens we keep on receiving are another proof independence is closer. They say we won’t be in the European Union, that we depend on the trade commerce with Spain. Bullshit. It never happened in Europe that a new independent state would not join the EU. And the European Union has already welcome some of them lately. And in regards to commerce, we will keep on doing business, with everybody. So don’t come with silly stories now…

DM

Why do you think the independent movement has grown so much?

IC

I would say it all started when some Catalan economists, like Ramon Tremosa, Xavier Roig, and others, decided to write publicly about the fiscal plundering the Spanish government imposes to Catalonia. Because most people were not aware of it, and all of a sudden we all discovered the magnitude of the tragedy.

Ramon Tremosa Balcells is a Catalan macro-economist who is publicly supporting the Catalan independent movement.

DM

How do you think the process into self-determination will happen?

IC

It will be complicated. And unpleasant. They will insult us, they will call us “talibans”, but eventually they will say: if they want to leave, let them go. And if Catalan people are capable of standing all of this, we will be free at the end. We are so fainthearted that whatever they will tell us will cause us sadness and guiltiness, this is what losers do. I get upset saying this but, we do not need a leader, but a team of leaders. I mean, a group of people with a strong personality who are capable of finding allies in Europe, while calming down anxiety and fear of our own people at home.

DM

And what about the regions of Valencia and the Balearic Islands?

IC

If Catalonia becomes independent and they see it is cheaper to be part of Catalonia, they will say, why not joining the Catalans? In Valencia, where there has been the most corrupted government on earth for many years, people will finally wake up of the easy-money castle-in-the-air dream, and then impressive things will come to happen. I know less the Balearic Islands situation, but the anger caused among Balearic population by the last attacks against the Catalan language gives me hope to believe they will join us as well.

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Catalans are not Spanish

An adaptation of a fragment of the book “Despullant Espanya” (Undressing Spain) by Víctor Alexandre (pages 41.-45) published permanently at www.racocatala.com/cat1714

Catalan people are not Spanish, for the same reason that Spanish are not Catalans. It seems unbelievable that such a simple thing is so difficult to understand! It is truly exhausting to have to repeat always the same truths on an on. But hopefully this is not the result of a bad education, but just the social and political strategy of forked tongues, specifically designed to clean people’s brain.

Despite some are fully conscious of this perfidious strategy, most we have suffered brain-wash without our own awareness, by avoiding our own responsibilities to our nation, whether in the sphere of language, identity or institutional rights of the Catalan country. However, for those few who are aware, they consciously spread their hatred against Catalonia all around. Luckily, these twisted individuals are very easy to identify since they consider the idea of the unification of Catalan Countries as a stupid and outdated idea while they cannot stand any demonstration to support our independency, our language or our institutions.

We should understand them, though, since they are not Catalans they must be superior to us and are in power of the universal truth? These Spanish offenders look at Catalans as if we would be an “enfant terrible” in front of the fatigued tutors. Yet it is surprising that they are promoting modernity and universality now, but keep most people submissive to their “established order”, so devoted to the system divinities, so much suspiciously defending the values of a Spanish monarchy that was re-implemented by the fascists at the end of last century. It is honestly surprising so much genuflection and fervour to obtain the monarchic benediction.

No, Catalonia is not Spain. And if Catalonia is not Spain, Catalans are not Spanish. Catalans, as the noun indicates, are simply Catalans, nothing more. And if this obvious fact must be a reason for conflict, then let it be. But what we cannot do is to renounce to everything we are just to avoid confrontation, but they are the ones generating the conflict as they are compelling us to stop being what we are to become what they are, so that we forget our name, our language and our history. No thanks, we do not want to be Spanish then.

And it is not correct the interpretation of saying that one can be Spanish without stopping being Catalan. So to say, some people believe one can be both things at the same time, as an Extremaduran is also Spanish and a Berliner is also a German. No! It’s not correct because the root of such reasoning is based on the supposition of belonging to a nation: if Catalonia and Extremadura are both in the Spanish estate, why Extremadurians are Spanish and Catalans are not? It is very simple why, because Extremadura is not a nation inside the Spanish state. Extremadura IS Spain. However, Catalonia, it’s a different nation, though still under Spanish administration, but it’s a totally different country. Therefore it is childish to defend the concentric Spanish identity with the statement of “patria chica”: a Spanish-Extremadurian from Badajoz-de la Puebla del Prior. This retroactive reductionism can also be applied to Catalans: a Catalan from Empordà-Figueres at Sant Llatzer street; or to Germans: German of North-Westfalia at Bonn at Goethestrasse. None of the two latter examples contain any incongruence, as they involve one unique nationality and identity. Having been born at street Sant Llàtzer at Figueres, the capital of Alt Empordà, a Catalan region, are not identities on their own but elements configuring one concrete identity, that in this case, is a Catalan one. We cannot confuse one extremity with one identity, as we should not confuse reality with fiction.

[…] Thus, it is clear that you cannot be Extremadurian and Spanish at the same time then. But Spanish From Extremadura, Catalan from Figueres or German from Bonn. Otherwise we should ask those who say that being Catalan and Spanish is the same thing, why one person cannot be from Badajoz and from Figueres and from Bonn at the same time? No, you cannot be born in two different places at the same time. And further on, we should not confuse the enrichment that other cultures offer us, with the total annihilation of our personality as a nation.

And what about Europe? If one can be Catalan and European at the same time, why cannot you be Spanish and Catalan and European, or Catalan, Spanish and European? Here the equivalence is also wrong. What is Europe but a union of identities? Like the United States, for example they are a unique identity, But they are not the only identity in Northern America or the whole continent. In Europe it happens the same. Europe is a continent and we are inside it. Geographically, both Finnish and a Portuguese are Europeans, but they have different identities and nationalities, right? As it is different a person from Quebec from a person born at Uruguay, though they are both Americans. To this point most people would say: then being American is an identity. No, this means confusing the continent with its contents. To start with, what does it really mean to be American? What type of information is given when someone says “ I’m American”? If we do not dare asking anything else, we should look then at the persons physical features, the language and accent they speak. But getting into to the clichés could only lead us to further misunderstandings: nor all blondies with clear eyes are northern-Americans neither all south American look like Pancho Villa or Salma Hayek.

And the same happens with an Asian or a European, what brings us to the same point: we must not confuse the configurative element of an identity with the identity itself. In other words, Catalans do not have a triple identity (Catalan-Spanish-European), neither have Spanish a double identity: Spanish-Europeans. All of them and all of us, we have one unique identity: we are Catalans and they are Spanish. And since both Catalonia and Spain are IN Europe, therefore both nations ARE Europe.

Those who impose the Spanish identity, aside of unconsciously exhibiting reactionary ideas, are only projecting a totally outdated image of Spain. An image somebody introduced into their brains and now they cannot imagine it any other way. Like an act of injustice lasts among time only if it is hidden behind normality.

Mr. Salvador Cardús has described it with a lot of accuracy: “this is the drama of Spanish, that they cannot imagine a Spain without us. They can’t imagine there would be a “missing piece” because their identity image adds us, if not as Catalans, as mere individuals. If they could just imagine an identity on their own and have a name for their particular reality, like the British do. British perfectly imagine themselves without the Scottish or the Northern-Irish. Because being Scottish is not being British, but nothing happens, right? However, when a Spanish says, “we are Spanish”,  his mental representation of this political reality contains everything that person believe is a whole”.

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Hilarious punch to the Spanish president Mr. Rajoy

In view of general elections in the Spanish state, this week voters have witnessed impressive TV moments with Mr. Rajoy.

General Sáenz de Santamaría

Some weeks ago we already saw him in a TV interview showing relevant ignorance about Catalan citizens being entitled to request Spanish nationality in the case of an independence declaration. Maybe because of that he denied to be present in the national debate for Spanish presidency where candidates of all relevant parties where present. But Mr. Rajoy decided to send his vice-president Mrs. Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (who is actually the grand-daughter of one of Franco’s most cruel generals José Antonio Sáenz de Santamaría). The Spanish president, declared later he would only face a TV debate with one only candidate, Mr.Pedro Sánchez, from PSOE.

And so, it happened, few days ago, voters in the Spanish state watched on a live national debate how Mr.Rajoy decided to start insulting his opponent: “mean, despicable and ignominious” were the words he used time after time, creating a chaotic debate where both of them where shouting to one another, so discourses were totally unintelligible to the audience.

Face-to-Face 2015. Photo from “El Diario”

But the best happened yesterday. A teenager decided to punch Mr Rajoy in the face while he was walking around in Pontevedra, Galicia (his home town) due to the election campaign. The message implied was: shame on you! Here the video:

You will see Mr Rajoy decided to keep on with his walk, though visibly affected, both physically and psychologically. Obviously, somebody must teach some better behaviour to that furious teenager, who actually had reasons to be indignant as his family and himself are unemployed for long time and have no way out of poverty. On the other hand, this could be a sign of total defeat in next elections for Mr. Rajoy’s party. Let’s hope so…

The true story of a misdunderstood king: Ferdinand II of Aragon

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Aragon-Catalan kingdom territories in the times of Alfons the magnanimous (1416-1438).

Ferdinand II was the son of John II consort king of Navarre, who inherited the Catalan and Aragonese crown from his brother Alfons V the magnanimous in 1458, all of them from the house of Trastamara. Ferndiand’s father, disregarding the birth rights of his first son Charles of Viana, made him count of Ribagorça and lord of Balaguer, in Catalan territories, as well some Italian territories.

When his half brother, Charles prince of Viana died poisoned in Barcelona in 1461, Ferdinand became the heir of the kingdom of Aragon and Catalonia under the regency of Joana Enríquez (John II spouse), of who they said she had poisoned Charles to put Ferdinand as the heir of the throne while she could rule the country herself. He also inherited the county of Girona and some other titles in Sicily (Lord of Piazza Armerina and Caltagirone, duchy of Noto, among other titles). He married Isabel of Castile in reis catolics1469, a dynastic union pre-arranged by his mother (her intention was that he would rule the Castile kingdom under her rule but he respected Isabel’s birth rights and agreed to only become consort). Ferdinand became consort king of Castile establishing a highly effective sovereignty on equal terms: Their prenuptial agreement was worth of any modern one we can find today. They would finish the reconquest of the Peninsula to the Muslims, but each of them would rule their own kingdoms. Ferdinand, though, did not truly inherit the Catalan-Aragonese crown until 1479 when his mother died. Many take this moment as a the one when “Spain” was formed for the first time. However, this could not be further from the truth. When Ferdinand, who was a well educated prince, finally was in charge of the Kingdom of Aragon, the princedom of Catalonia, and the titles in Valencia, Sicily, Naples, Sardinia, he implemented new developed politics and was willing to modernize all REY_PEDRO_III--644x362institutions so they could be more efficient. He signed the treaty Constitution of observance in 1480 that defined Generalitat and the royal audience as the two organisms in charge of the accomplishment of institutional order in the Catalan countries. He restored all CatalanAyuntamiento_Barcelona_salo_cent_02institutions from Jaume I times, and he helped to constitute the famous “Consell de cent” in the city of Barcelona, a chamber where all the strata of society were to be represented.

Ferdinand loved and cared for the Catalan countries and so he issued laws to protect Catalan industry and agriculture. He worked to cut the deficit of public institutions, he made the country economy profitable and he never wanted the Castile, Aragon and Catalonia to become one only state, but he made everything in his reach for absolutely the opposite.

Some historians like to call him the diplomat, because he also operated with a savvy hand internationally. And proof of that is that he recovered the counties of machiavelliRosselló and Cerdanya who had been taken by the French not long ago: he convinced the french king Charles III to sign the treaty of Barcelona returning the north Catalan counties in exchange of Ferdinand not intervening in the Italian affairs related to France for as long as those would not jeopardize the interest of the Holy Church. Others even dare to suggest he inspired the work of Machiavelli “The prince”.

However, some may say he was hardly ever ruling in Barcelona, always busy with Castilian matters and the followers of the house of Barcelona dynasty. Furthermore, he had to accept, pushed by his wife, to introduce the Spanish inquisition in Catalan territories, forcing Hebrews & Muslims to convert, exile or die. Nonetheless, the gold taken from the Jews or from Muslim converted territories was not enough to pay for the ambitious international projects of the catholic kings. Thus Ferdinand agreed he would personally finance the quest of Cristòfol Columbus with money from the Catalan crown, that is why they departed initially from Barcelona.

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The Catholic kings, Ferdinand and Isabel, at a later age.

When Isabel died in 1504, knowing the mental disabilities of his daughter and heir Joana and not believing that any of his other children could really manage a totalitarian empire, he decided to marry again to get an heir for the Catalan-Aragonese crown. On 1505 he married Germana de Germaine_de_FoixFoix, daughter of John of Foix and Mary of Orleans, niece of king Louis XXI of France. Searching to strengthen the alliance with the French king, Ferdinand rushed to have a first child, who unfortunately died a baby. Ferdinand died the 23rd of January 1516 in Extremadura of an embolism, some say poisoned and betrayed by his young wife.

It is evident that Ferdinand did not believe on a totalitarian union of all the kingdoms of the Peninsula. He believed all the kingdoms and territories would be more profitable if ruled separately with dynastic alliances. And so did Isabel, that is what they stated in their prenuptial agreement, that is what they did why they were alive and what they instructed in their testaments. He was a modern man of his times, a great politician who saw in Catalonia an industrial and economic motor that transformed the country into one of the most solid, hegemonic and powerful catholic crowns of Europe.

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Ferdinand II code of arms

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