Jul 20 2018

CATALONIA: A NATION THROWN FORWARD

Murdo Ritchie reviews Catalonia Reborn. How Catalonia Took on the Corrupt Spanish State and the Legacy of Franco, Chris Bambery & George Kerevan, Luath Press, 2018.

 

CATALONIA – A NATION THROWN FORWARD

When exiled Catalan minister Clara Ponsati spoke recently in Edinburgh she had to explain why the Spanish Constitution was not a mechanism of popular protection, but a way of ordering the transition from the Franco dictatorship to a world acceptable to the Spanish elite and international imperialism. The Spanish state promoted the illusion that the referendum and the declaration of independence were against the law and a popularly agreed constitution. Regrettably, the way the so-called democratic transition was manipulated into existence is badly understood outside of Spain. Continue reading “CATALONIA: A NATION THROWN FORWARD”

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Nov 12 2012

WHEN WILL WE SEE TANKS IN BARCELONA?

The following article first appeared in International Viewpoint, the journal of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International.

The Unionists’ Better Together campaign has invoked the Spanish state in its opposition to Scottish independence. Esther Vivas, an activist in Barcelona, highlights that the reason for the Spanish state’s attitude can be found in the unreformed Francoist elements still remaining in the Castilian Spanish state, leading to their their virulent opposition to Catalan independence.

Francisco Alaman Castro, retired lieutanant-colonel, invokes Spain’s Francoist legacy to violently oppose Catalonian self-determination

“Independent Catalonia? Over my dead body and those of many other soldiers”. It was with these words that on August 31, retired infantry lieutenant-colonel Francisco Alaman Castro referred to the possibility of an independent Catalonia. And he added: “We will not make it easy. Although the lion seems to be sleeping, they have no interest in provoking it too much, because it has already given enough proof of its ferocity over the centuries. These plebs are not up to much, if we know how to confront them”.

In the current verbiage that some politicians have adopted, these statements are not the only ones that we might call “undemocratic”, “putschist” and “anti-system”. After the demonstration on September 11 [1], the UPyD spokesperson [2], Rosa Díez, called on the government to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia if the region used money from central government aid “to finance its secession”. Not to be outdone, the MEP (representing the Popular Party, in power in Madrid) and vice-president of the European Parliament , Alejo Vidal Quadras, requested that a brigadier-general, preferably from the Civil Guard, take charge of the “Mossos de Esquadra” [3] to curb the independence process.

The El Mundo newspaper, in its editorial of September 27, demanded from the government “a penal response to the challenge launched by Artur Mas” who has called for a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia. El Mundo urged the government to amend the Criminal Code to “punish by imprisonment any call for an illegal referendum”. And for good measure, the extremist “Reconversion”, platform, whose leaders are Alejo Vidal Quadras and José Antonio Ortega Lara, demanded that if such a referendum were to be held the government place Catalonia under tutelage, on the basis of articles 161.2 and 155.1 and 2 of the Constitution.

Continue reading “WHEN WILL WE SEE TANKS IN BARCELONA?”

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