Saturday, November 8, 2014

Catalan referendum, without fear!


As many people know, Catalans have been requesting a referendum about Catalonia's independence from Spain now almost for 3 years. The date was finally fixed for the 9th November this year, but as of today, the Catalan government cannot guarantee the results of the consultation we are to do next month will be legally binding. Thus, it will not be a real referendum, but a consultation to ask people's opinion again, so the result will not give us the chance to declare independence unilaterally, even if YES wins.

Most Catalans inside and outside Catalonia are absolutely disappointed about this fact. I am myself desolated after having attended several demonstrations in Barcelona and having helped to organize two more in the Netherlands (one in the Hague, in front of the International court of justice, and another one in Utrecht this last September), with the only purpose of supporting a referendum happening this year.

The Catalan president Mr Artur Mas declared this week, that despite all the efforts of the Spanish government to cancel the votation, it will be done, though he reminds that it was never a definitive referendum to obtain Catalonia's independence. Therefore, he suggest after having the opinon of the people after Nov/9th, to call for advanced elections joining all political forces supporting the right to vote into one single list, combined from all parties....

According to Mas, this is the only way towards the road for independence. Personally, I am not sure this is the solution. I still believe the consultation should be a legally binding referendum. Because at the end of the day, all political parties supporting the right to vote in Catalonia, and a potential independence, they do defend very different values and policies in most other areas. Some of them are for example working against political corruption... Others are precisely the corrupted politicians.

I believe this could be complicating the situation and confusing the voters, for those who do not feel identified with capitalist corrupted approaches will not like having to vote for a list with people who can be easily corrupted. Please, Mr Mas, do not forget that we Catalans want to vote for a specific topic now, that is our right to self-determination. And once we have achieved that, we should vote for a new parliament and a new president. Not the other way around. 

Nevertheless, we all new this process would not be an easy one. However, it is very hard to understand why countries like USA, United Kingdom, Brasil, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finnland, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Austria or Switzerland still do not openly support this process, forcing the Spanish government to recognize a legally binding referendum in Catalonia. 

Furthermore, it is also difficult to comprehend why UNO has not properly intervene, or the European Community, alledging this is an internal problem from the Spanish state. Because nobody has died for this in the last 3 years? Because all Catalan people do are pacific organized demonstrations with almost 2 million people each time? They already forgot all the lives of all the people who died in the last 300 years to defend Catalonia from the Spanish plundering and genocide intent? When will the victims of Franco's dictatorship get justice and put in prison facist assassins? When will the world recognize and support the right of Catalan people to vote for their self-determination?

For all these reasons and more, we Catalans must keep working hard helping to internationalize the conflict, until the whole world recognizes Catalonia as a nation. To do that, we need to make our referendum first, no more consultantions, but a binding votation, and if YES wins, then declare independence, without fear!


Deborah Jusmet, Netherlands

More by this author:

When you go out of Catalonia to travel around the world, it is easy to realize that most of the people you find in your way have not the slightest idea of the name of your country. Well, thankfully the ignorance of some people justifies many things, some do not either know about Croatia, Kosovo or Lithuania... For Catalans when we travel and somebody asks us “where do you come from?”, we found ourselves in front of several options, unfortunately. One of the options is to say you come from Barcelona, it does not matter you live in Tortosa or Manresa, even if you live in the Pyrenees, it does not matter, the brand of Barcelona sells. Not sure it is for FC Barça, for Gaudí or for the city itself... And indeed it sometimes turns out to be the best option to help your ignorant audience identify Barcelona citizens as different than the Spanish to start with. Read more....




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