Monday, May 5, 2014

Catalonia is beting for Freedom and Democracy


All human beings and nations deserve freedom and must be free in to be considered as such. Everybody, including Catalans, of course, knows that. But most Catalans, if not all of us, are also fully aware that our current drive for freedom and democracy is not in the least aimed against the Spanish people in general nor against the Spanish language, culture or way of being. That would be a tremendously unfair mistake. We, Catalans, know this as well. So let us insist, once more, on this matter—a worthy enterprise. Let us explain the true reasons for why we, as a people, are betting on self determination. Why so many Catalans today want to have an independent state? Why should we be as independent and free as all the other nations in the world today?

Well, the reasons have to do first of all with the traditionally unfair treatment that we Catalans get from the Spanish state, and it also has to do with our own dignity as an old, distinct nation. They have to do especially with an obviously obsolete centric vision of the state developed by the political and economic Spanish elites, which have always managed to control it and are, therefore, absolutely opposed to the linguistic, cultural and national diversity which is still present within Spain. And they have everything to do, finally, with the prolonged fatigue and profound deception caused by countless decades of constant political, economic, linguistic, and cultural conflicts between Spain and Catalonia. These are the true motivations that really explain why so many want to recover their own sovereignty.

Yes, that is why a large majority of Catalans—even among those whose parents came from other parts in Spain—are now completely convinced that there is no need for Catalonia to maintain a political bond and relationship which is so unsatisfactory, humiliating and deeply frustrating. All the more when the political maturity and educational development of the Catalan society make it possible to have an independent state in which Catalonia’s national and cultural personality will be allowed and preserved, as well as its economic and social welfare.

But the “Catalan problem,” as they call this in Madrid, does also unveil and underline the malfunctioning of the Spanish state, whose serious symptoms (stiff constitution, degraded monarchy, conditioned judiciary power, including the Constitutional Court, main political parties undermined by corruption scandals, politically biased media, and outrageously high unemployment rate) have recently become much more evident. Surprisingly enough, though, only a few signs of support from Spain have come so far to show us some understanding from those who are still supposed to be our fellow citizens. It is especially significant the deafening silence we hear from Spanish thinkers and intellectuals. Where on Earth are they? Do they not have anything to say? The debate is only taking place seriously in Catalonia, and the only thoughts we can hear coming from Madrid are most arrogant disqualifications or just some kind of repetitive legalist litany. Not even one single argument, not a single calm reasonable thought at all. The unionist flimsiness is really quite alarming.


Despite all this, we are not alone. We must thank, for instance, all deputies of Izquierda Unida, because they have never voted in Congress against our right to self determination. Furthermore, the majority of the delegates present at the last IU conference, held in Madrid last January, voted against submitting the Catalan referendum for the Spanish government approval. There have been also several honorable individuals, such as filmmaker David Trueba, and famous journalist Iñaki Gabilondo, who certainly did show some love for us Catalans in public. Even some notorious constitutionalists and law experts did so. To all of them, among other Spanish friends, we kindly say thank you so much.


Joan Torres Nalda

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