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Shameful day

L 2/10/2017

 

October 2nd. The secessionist plans have been accomplished. They wanted to show the world some images of police officers striking their people, and they got them. The so called “referendum” was only a a tool, and its outcome was already irrelevant and predictable. Rajoy’s Government acted late and improvisingly, sending police units to help an insurrect regional police. Decades of negligence ended in this major failure, shared by former administrations. Now Mr Puigdemont, the separatists leader is going to declare independence, and possibly legislate more rain for next Winter.

The postruths have been running free in media and social networks. Populism is at work again. Russian bots and RT have been doing their best to cause unrest in Europe, boosting pro-independence twits and Facebook fake news.

The Catalan citizens who decided to participate in the illegal referendum yerterday weren’t poor old ladies or opressed people, like some populist leaders said. They were normal people who knew what it was about and that Police would react, because it was announced for weeks, every single day. It was their decision to confront them and “peacefully” prevent them from executing the judge orders. What did they expect, then? To be warmly told to leave? To keep on acting illegally like they’ve been doing for months? What do other countries do when mobs decide to stop the police from complying with court’s orders?

Their “right to decide” is a free interpretation of human rights and democracy rules, conveniently phrased by Puigdemont and his regional government. In real-life democracies, one cannot vote for anything one wants, disregarding the legal frame, other people’s rights, etc, but this very simple idea was not understood or acknowledged by more than 2 million voters, absolutely convinced of their own parallel reality. The TV3 regional channel lives in a fantasy world where everything is possible, Law does not apply and nothing else matters except “freedom for Catalonia”. Hence the results. I’m sure that the international legality will help all these people to deal with the accusations they face in the next days for using public resources to break the Law and ignoring more than half of the Catalan population that decided to stay home and respect the Constitution.

 

The regional Governement in Catalonia derives from the 1978 Spanish Constitution (by the way, one that doesn’t contemplate secession or self-determination), and lacks any legitimacy out of it. They cannot disconnect themselves. Catalonia has never been a country, was never occupied by Spanish forces and pro independence attempts have always been enacted by small minorities. The Catalonian separatist Government, making an unlawful use of their competences in education, has been disseminating false versions of History, presenting Spain as a opressor and invader. This has caused a critical boost in pro-independence vote in young generations. But international media and commenters don’t consider this to be important but prefer to show images of police hitting citizens.


Their legal status has nothing to see with that of Scotland, Quebec and other self-determination cases around the world. Scotland has always been a country which is presenty united with England, Wales and so on, by means of an agreement. Their last referendum was agreed with London. But Catalonia has always been Spanish, and before that it was just a medieval county. There was never an agreement between equals. It was a matter of marriage between kingdoms and then the final unity of Spain. And this is not a colonial problem like Gibraltar. And yesterday referendum was never agreed. It was imposed by a minority and declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.

The images of proindependence voters hugging, crying and shouting with their fists up, singing their medieval anthem, fighting police officers, prove the emotional content in this conflict versus the logical and actual reasons for breaking up a country after 300 years. Emotion is the real ammunition in this information war and if independence was to be accomplished in a hypothetic world, Catalan people would probably find it hard to remember the reasons why they fought for. Their leaders are indicted in corruption processes and this invented conflict has become their best distraction manouvre.

The international information campaign led by the Puigdemont administration has been massive. Millions of euros have been spent in trips, international observers, meetings and lobbies while the Catalan region suffers serious financial problems in their day to day life. They have met every MP and mailed every single country and leader, trying to get a support that never arrived, and yet, they’ve been assuring they had it to their audience in TV3. Summing up, they lie all the time and that’s their fundamental strategy: never admit truth and repeat their imaginary version over and over. This is something the western public opinion cannot conceive: a public server lying on TV like there’s no tomorrow. We all tend to think that there must be something true in their discourse. But there’s not. That’s the tragedy.


El Blog de Juan Presa