Catalonia in Limbo
Things are in unchartered waters, crisis conditions a long way from resolved in Catalonia.
Both sides have polar opposite values. Pro-independence Catalans want their democratic rights upheld.
Madrid wants them denied, forcefully if separatists resist. UK-based lecturer in politics and Spanish Caroline Gray accused pro-independence activists of living in a “parallel universe of the new republic…(t)he situation…unpredictable if Spain moves in to take control.”
Catalan separatists still consider Pugdement president despite removal from office by Madrid. He urged peaceful resistance.
Lawlessly jailed activist Jordi Sanchez called for “Gandhi-style resistance.”
Most Catalans celebrated the new republic. Spanish PM Rajoy says it doesn’t exist. A constitutional crisis threatens to become much more serious.
Puigdemont and other Catalan officials face possible arrest on sedition charges. A Rajoy regime tweet said his call for peaceful resistance is “very serious.” His “irresponsibility…has no limit.”
Separatists wanting libertad won’t accept losing what they’ve long been struggling for.
Pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia party member Josep-Maria Terricabras blasted Brussels, saying:
“The European Union is not exactly a union…It’s a club of states and they protect each other.”
“They’ve done this again and again over history when in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, they said ‘no, you are not new countries. We are not going tor recognize you.’ “
“Then, some weeks later, they recognized them, and accepted them as a member of the union.”
“When our leaders in Europe say ‘yes, perhaps tomorrow’, they will say no. I’m not afraid about that and I am not surprised at all.”
Senior lecturer in Hispanic and Catalan Studies Sally-Ann Kitts said “substantial European pressure” is needed to get Rajoy to negotiate.
Brussels may be forced to intervene, she believes, calling its failure to condemn referendum day violence “a really big mistake and quite shameful.”
The current situation won’t be easily resolved as long as Madrid remains hardline. The international community calling the crisis an internal affair is unacceptable.
At some point, Madrid will “have to face up to” reality that negotiation is the only way to resolve things, said Kitts. Millions of Catalans wanting separation from Spain can’t be ignored.
Both sides need to talk. Otherwise protracted crisis conditions will continue, likely violent street clashes and bloodshed.
European Council president Donald Tusk dismissively saying “nothing change(d)” after Catalonia formally declared independence is unacceptable.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker admitted “more cracks” in the fragile union.
On Sunday, deposed Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras said “(w)e cannot recognize the coup d’etat against Catalonia, nor any of the anti-democratic decisions that (Rajoy’s regime) adopt(ed) by remote control from Madrid,” adding he remains “vice president of the government of Catalonia.”
Belgian minister for asylum and migration Theo Francken said Puigdemont and other Catalans “who feel politically threatened can apply for asylum in Belgium. This includes the minister-president Puigdemont. It’s completely legal.”
On Saturday, Madrid’s orders against Catalonia and its officials became effective, usurping control over the new republic.
If separatist politicians boycott the December snap election, they’ll cede power to Madrid, able to assure puppet governance representing its interests.
On Saturday, veteran activist Marti Olivella began teaching Catalans passive resistance techniques, saying:
“I think it’s an illusion to think that people who have led us this far and declared independence are going to just walk away because a law is published.”
If deposed Catalan officials remain united in parliament and other government buildings, and pro-independence activists protect them by forming a human shield, “it will be complicated for” Madrid, he said, adding:
“(T)wo million people put their physical safety on the line to go out and vote in the referendum” – accomplishing what they set out to do, despite police state viciousness.
One activist likely spoke for many others, saying “(t)oday we are a republic.” Madrid “want(s) our territory and our wealth.”
Most Catalans reject its rule. Will they continue struggling for liberty no matter how tough the going gets?
Will Madrid unleash police state violence against them? Will the international community continue supporting Rajoy or demand resolving things through dialogue?
Answers to these questions will explain the course of future events, very much unknown so far.
Madrid Usurps Control Over Catalonia
After Catalan MPs declared independence from Spain, Madrid imposed control over the region.
The action was illegal, breaching international law, affirming the right of self-determination for all people. Constitutional law is overridden by a higher power.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy is modern-day Francisco Franco, a tinpot despot supported by EU nations and Washington.
On Friday, he lawlessly and maliciously sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, Vice President Oriol Junqueras, other regional ministers, and Mossos (police) chief Pere Soler, along with dissolving Catalonia’s parliament.
He announced snap regional elections for December 21, compounding his ruthlessness against Catalonia’s people, celebrating their independence, their struggle just beginning to keep it.
Rajoy ordered closure of all Catalan embassies in other countries. Saying “we never wanted to reach this situation,” he disgracefully accused Catalan officials of “contempt” for democracy.
Spain is a fascist police state, repressing and exploiting its people, Rajoy indeed a modern-day Francisco Franco, ruthlessly targeting anyone challenging his corrupt rule.
Democracy in America, Spain and other Western countries is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. Monied interests rule the West, the rights and welfare of ordinary people increasingly marginalized and harmed.
Rajoy and complicit parliamentarians stripped off Spain’s phony democratic veneer by their virtual declaration of war against and likely militarized takeover of Catalonia.
Battle lines are drawn. Millions of Catalans demand their rights. Madrid intends denying them.
Spain’s top prosecutor intends charging Catalan officials involved in declaring independence with sedition, possibly targeting regional parliament governing board members and other MPs as soon as next week.
Leading Catalan separatists called on civil servants to disobey orders by Madrid, urging them to respond with nonviolent resistance.
Puigdemont urged supporters to “keep to our values of pacifism and dignity,” adding “(i)t’s in our, in your hands to build the republic.”
Rajoy will appoint a regime administrator (viceroy) to run Catalan affairs, its people certain to reject his or her suzerainty over their new republic.
Madrid’s decree will be published in Spain’s official bulletin, likely on Saturday. Once posted, Puigdemont, his government and parliament will be illegally stripped of their power – obliged to quit or be forcibly removed, attempting the latter most likely.
Millions of pro-independence Catalans aren’t likely to go quietly into the good night. Generations in the region yearned for separation from Spain.
Now it’s official. Libertat won’t be handed to them. It’s their responsibility to resist Madrid tyranny or face continued subjugation by its iron fist.
Eurasia political analyst Federico Santi sees “sustained unrest” ahead, “possibly including strikes, as well as more serious clashes between national police and pro-independence activists,” adding:
“Parts of the regional administration will probably refuse to comply with orders from Madrid. The main signpost over the weekend will be whether the regional government refuses to willingly and peacefully step down.”
Brinksmanship has a long way to go, extended state-sponsored violence and chaos likely ahead, the outcome in Catalonia far from certain.
Catalans Vow Resistance Against Fascist Spain
On Friday, Spanish-language elPeriodico said “(t)he Intersindical CSC union has confirmed that it has called a general strike from next Monday, October 30, until Thursday, November 9, and during the weekend will decide whether to keep the call and for how many days.”
“Sources from the union explained…that they will carry out the strike if they find that the application of article 155 of the Constitution affects labor rights and threatens workers when carrying out their work ‘normally.’ “
In a Saturday address, sacked Catalan President Puigdemont said “(l)et’s move forward with the only winning attitude without violence, insults, in a very inclusive way, respecting opinions and symbols and protests by other people who are against what the parliamentary majority decided.”
“It’s very clear that the best form of defending the gains made up until now is democratic opposition to Article 155.” He vowed to “continue working to build a free country,” adding:
Madrid’s actions were “contrary to the will expressed in the ballot box. In a democratic society, parliaments are the ones to appoint and dismiss presidents.”
On Friday, Spanish PM Rajoy said “(w)e have decided to sack the Catalan government. (Madrid) will assume the powers of the (regional) administration.”
National police, civil guards and soldiers remain in Catalonia, ready to enforce Madrid rule over the region. Resistance is likely, maybe state-sponsored violence and bloodshed.
Hispanic and Catalan Studies senior lecturer Sally-Ann Kitts expects referendum day violence to be repeated. “I really will be amazed if we don’t see more of that,” she said.
Activists volunteered to form human shields around government buildings to protect officials. Unknown numbers of civil servants said they won’t take orders from Madrid.
Sacked Mossos d’Esquadra police chief Josep Lluis Trapero shamefully accepted a demotion to commissar, betraying his people.
Madrid disbanded a Catalan tribunal established to investigate referendum day police state violence.
Washington and EU states expressed support for Madrid. State Department Heather Nauert said “Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united.”
Theresa May’s office said Britain “does not and will not” recognize Catalan independence.”
Scotland’s pro-independence Scottish National Party leader Nocola Sturgeon criticized Madrid’s refusal to hold direct talks with Catalan officials.
The imposition of direct rule “cannot be the solution,” she added. “People of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future.”
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed full support for Rajoy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said her “government does not recognize such an independence declaration. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Spain are and always will be inviolable.”
European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani all expressed support for Madrid.
So did Canada’s Justin Trudeau, “recogniz(ing) one united Spain.”
Catalans continue their liberating struggle with little outside support. They face a tough road ahead to be free from fascist Spain.