Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Speech by Juanjo Puigcorbé

Companions, today we are celebrating. We are celebrating that we now have a date and a question for the referendum. We are celebrating that on November 9th we will be able to decide the future of our country.

It is TRUE that it is not exactly the question that the 2 million people who filled the roads of Catalonia on September 11th this year, in one of the largest demonstrations of all time, would have liked, but it is also TRUE that an independent state is included in its binary formulation.

It is TRUE that we would have liked an earlier date, but it is also true that the date responds to a political convenience and it also has great symbolic content, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

But most important of all is that we have a date and a question, and consensus from all parliamentary parties in favour of the right to decide and who represent the vast majority of the Catalan Parliament.

Voting is the Way: on November 9th, we the Catalan people can exercise our right to choose our future as a people, in the most peaceful and democratic way there is: voting.

If the Spanish State hinders us it will be portrayed across Europe and the world as the state it is, because no Constitution is above democracy. One cannot be a Democrat and be against the right of a people to decide.

We must take into account that, if in Catalonia those who deny the right to decide are a minority, which does not reach 35% of the MPs, in the Spanish Parliament this proportion is reversed and perhaps exceeds 80%, including the PSOE (the Spanish socialist party), which has already made it known that in a hypothetical federal reform it would never accept the inclusion of the right to self-determination of Catalonia.

Mr Zapatero, who was supposed to be the most “progressive” and pro Catalan of the PSOE, and that, according to him, he was insulted in Granada by people “Shouting “Catalan” at him” a few days ago, has said that the right to decide is UNNATURAL. (Unnatural perhaps even for the episcopal conference).

On the other hand perhaps we are facing the first and last opportunity to decide on our independence. Let’s not waste this opportunity.

The Spanish State has already said that it will do all it can so that the citizens of Catalonia cannot exercise their right to vote on their future. But we should not confuse the Spanish state with the Spanish people. The Spanish people, with whom we have many ties and much affection, has suffered are suffering like us in the stranglehold of an exacting, centralizing, retrograde oligarchy, which is progressively impoverishing us.

But we Catalans have an advantage. We are united by our own language and culture, which are permanently under threat. At the same time, we have an enviable, active, strong, dynamic civil society that will make possible a change in the social and political model. Perhaps this may also be the boost that our Spanish colleagues need to get going.

We Catalans want to design our future, we want to manage our resources, and we want to continue showing solidarity with the people of Spain, but in a much more effective way. And we are in a hurry, because the most disadvantaged people are suffering as never before.

The people of my generation lived through the Spanish transition. We were young and we had the privilege of participating in the democratic reconstruction of the country. Today we have the possibility to help our youth build a new State: a freer, more progressive and caring country and therefore fairer.

We have within reach an inspiring and exiting possibility. What more do we want?

As the poet said: Everything is to be done and nothing is impossible!

Onward Catalans!

Long live Catalonia!

Juanjo Puigcorbé, Actor

Italian Version

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