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 Post subject: Viure Catalunya! Long live Catalonia!
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 02 Oct 2017 21:31 
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Viure Catalunya! - Long live Catalonia!

The Franco era revives in Catalonia.
The Spanish gendarmerie invaded government buildings arrested officials and seized ballots boxes for the independence referendum announced on 1st October 2017.

On the day of the referendum, the gendarmerie violently seized many polling stations and seized the polls. At the same time they used violent and plastic bullets to control the protesters. More than 800 reported to be the victims of repression.


"Guardia Civil", which the Rahoyi government has unleashed against the Catalans, is not a simple police force. It is actually a paramilitary body. It is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain and is historically associated with the protection of the throne and the monarchy. It is essentially a military force in charge of police duties under the authority of both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense.

During the Franco dictatorship, this body was distinguished as a symbol of the fascist regime's suppression. Barcelona and Catalonia generally enjoyed the actions of this body during Franco, where the fascist regime imposed bloody massive cleansing in order to suppress the democratic beliefs as well as the national feelings of the Catalans.

Following the so-called "transition to Democracy" in 1978, this body was reorganized and preserved as Praetorian's to the prime minister of the central government. It does not account for any other institution outside the government, nor it's controlled by anyone other than the Defense and Interior ministries. Their actions and also its constitution are secret even from the Spanish parliament.

The identity of this paramilitary body becomes evident when one remembers that on 23 February 1981, Antonio Tejero Molina, Colonel of Guardia Civil, led the failed coup of that time. Together with 200 members of Guardia Civil, he occupied the Cortes building (Spanish Parliament) in live broadcast on Spanish television. The coup is supposed to collapse within a few hours following a televised address by King Juan Carlos, who appeared to explicitly denounce the coup.

It was the pre-requisite for Spain to join the then EEC on 1 January 1986 along with Portugal. The EEC then became the 'Europe of the Twelve' and started preparing for EMU. The accession process of Portugal and Spain was longer and more difficult than that of Greece not only because of the important economic interests and the gravity of the Spanish economy but also of the social resistance. Thanks to the coup d'état by Guardia Civil, Spain was put on track to "protect democracy" within the EEC.

Since then, the political role of Guardia Civil has changed little in substance. Among its responsibilities is law enforcement across the Spanish territory, with the exception of cities of over 20,000 inhabitants. Now how does it work and intervene in Barcelona and other large urban centers in Catalonia, ask Mr. Rahoyi. At the same time, it has a high-risk and special mission unit (UEI), which undertakes special missions not only within Spain but also outside military missions under NATO's auspices, or without.

The Rahoyi government had warned the Catalans that they would not allow the referendum. In fact, the Constitutional Court of the country even declared it illegal under the 1978 Constitution and prepared the repression by the means and the way it was always applied in Spain. Especially when the central authority was facing the national claims of Catalonia, Basque, Galicia.

"Stop this escalation of radicalism and disobedience forever," Rahoy said in a televised statement on Wednesday 20/9/2017 as protesters in Catalonia were responding with massive protests in the gendarmerie. Radicalism and disobedience?

Rahoy spoke as a formal spokesman for the Catalan occupier.
He confirmed in his words and works that Catalonia is considered to be the possession of the Spanish crown and the Spanish state and treated as such.

Is Catalonia entitled to proceed with a referendum in order for its people to decide whether or not to be taken out of Spain?

According to the Constitution of Spain, No, which states that Spain is indivisible, even if it recognizes the status of "autonomy" in Catalonia, but also in other national regions of Spain.

In 1979, the Autonomous Community of Catalonia was established. In 2006, Catalonia was officially recognized as a "Nation" and assumed the same level of tax liability as the Spanish central government. Joyful gospel about Catalonia's political and economic elite, which thus gained special privileges over the population of Catalonia.

However, Spain's constitutional court restricted significant parts of this autonomy regime in 2010 in order to strengthen the central government's financial role in resolving banks and the Euro. How else could the central government enforce the Eurozone memorandum regime, without Catalonia being able to deny the application of fiscal austerity measures in favor of the banks?

So the constitutional court downgraded the Catalans from "Nation" to "Ethnicity" and therefore Catalonia did not constitute, by itself, a "Nation".

Do all above matter? Of course they do. First of all, the official Spanish state itself has recognized the Catalans as a constituent nation or nationality. He has recognized his right to "autonomy," but not to national self-determination, including the right to secession. Why; Because it considers that the Catalans are a conquered nation by the Spaniards and therefore have no right to national self-determination.

This is in fact the Rahoyi government. The historical right to conquer a constituted nation or ethnicity, dating from the time of the imposition of the absolute monarchy on the Iberian peninsula in the 12th century. That is why the throne and the king in Spain are still preserved today as the representative of the unity of the nation. The fact that this historical right has also acquired constitutional status with the 1978 Constitution does not change anything in substance.

So, if the government of Madrid is right, then why was the imperial government of the Austro-Hungarian Empire wrong when it denied the right of national self-determination to the nations under its sovereignty?
We are talking about Austro-Hungary, because it also recognized the "autonomy" status for the Ethnicities and Nations of its empire.

The same can be said of all the interwar empires, where even the League of Nations recognized the right of national self-determination to constituted nations and ethnicities in order to form their own states. The same applies to colonial empires after the Second World War. What led to the recognition of the right of national self-determination of nations, nations and peoples to the constitution of their own states, even if their metropolises had recognized "autonomy" or home rule?

First of all, we need to clarify certain concepts. What is this right of national self-determination, which, after World War II, has gained the status of jus cogens in international law as the starting point for all other human rights?

The self-determination of the peoples implies the unilateral right to change the status of a territory through an act of will of the population of the whole territory.

In this way, people's self-determination differs from the right of a population to co-determine the future of a part of the territory through a referendum noted above. This latter type of "self-determination" is subsidiary to a decision by states to make changes on the ground. A population rejects or ratified the decision of the States concerned. The self-determination of peoples, on the other hand, is an original, primary right which is enshrined in the "people." Whether the state concerned favors any kind of such territorial change is insignificant, it is completely secondary. The free exercise of the will of the "people" as it is defined is decisive and as a right inalienable.

Therefore, the right of self-determination is "... the right to decide on its political situation of people and their position in the international community in relation to other states, including the right to secede from the existing situation of which the group is a part and the creation a new independent state. "Thus UNESCO designated the right in 1998. (1)

At its core, self-determination simply means that people, individually and as a group, should control their own fortunes and that they themselves should freely decide the institutions of their own government. Self-determination has its roots and is still inextricably linked to the central concept of democracy, which means that every "people" has the right to choose who wants to rule and participate directly in decision-making. In this sense, the right of self-determination is both a right of choice and the right to participate. But self-determination can also involve choosing a people to be governed by leaders of their own community, whether within or outside an existing state (the right to segregate).

When is a "people" entitled to raise self-determination and independence? There is broad consensus in international law on the definition of this concept. "A people, as a group that can own the right of self-determination, only exists when living in a distinct territory, where it is the majority and where it is capable of speaking its language, developing its culture, cultivating its traditions, or to exercise his particular religion. "(2)

1. UNESCO in 1989 at a meeting of experts in Paris gave the following definition to the concept of "people" from the point of view of the right of national self-determination. A group can be called "people" with the right to self-determination when it has the following features:

a) a common historical tradition;
b) racial or ethnic identity;
c) cultural homogeneity;
d) linguistic unity;
e) religious or ideological affinity;
f) territorial connection;
g) common economic life;

2. The group must be of a certain number that does not need to be large (eg the people of small states) but must be more than just a union of individuals within a state .

3. The group as a whole must have the will to be recognized as a people or to be conscious of being a people - allowing groups or members of such upbringing, although sharing the abovementioned characteristics, not to have this will, conscience, or the ability.

4. The group must have institutions or other means to express its common characteristics and its will for identity. (3)

So if we would like to concentrate on the dominant common features of a population group that allows it to be defined as a "people" or a nation, we would say how it is:

1. Common Territorial Territory, where it represents the absolute majority.
2. Common language.
3. Common economic life.
4. Common national culture and identity.

These traits do not exclude the existence within the particular people or ethics, minorities, religious or other, but also ethnicities scattered in the territory. In the case of these minorities or ethnic minorities, the right of national self-determination is not respected, but the respect for their human rights regarding respect by the sovereign nation of minority languages ​​or dialects of their traditions, customs and morals.

So how can the official state deny a constituted nation - with the traits we have mentioned - the right of self-determination? Or do the Catalans lack the above features in their entirety? On the contrary. Indeed, the Catalans are among the first on the Iberian peninsula, who have taken care of their national feeling. Long before the Spaniards themselves.

To the Spaniards, national sentiment began to form and manifest in the wars against the Napoleonic conquest of Spain in the early 19th century. The Catalans, on the other hand, have been claiming their national independence at least since the early 17th century, with the persistent revolts of the peasants against the Spanish monarchy and feudalism.

The Spaniards have failed to unify their nation on their territory. And so to integrate with their own will the nations and ethnicities that the monarchy and the Catholic Church annexed as possessions. The last opportunity was given to the Spaniards with the prevalence of democracy in 1931 and the Spanish Civil War. The predominance of fascist Franco overthrew the course of integration of the Spanish nation. And so the nation was transformed from an affair of the people into an exclusive case of authoritarian power in the form of central government. It is called to preserve the "unity of Spain", which in essence is the unity of the possessions of the old Spanish monarchy.

When was it possible for the Catalans to express themselves freely for their national affair? The last time was with the victory of democracy in 1931 with the revival of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan National Assembly. Then the Catalans had decided for autonomy within a democratic Spain.

However, Franco crushed democracy in Spain with weapons. And what emerged as a "transition to democracy" after Franco's death in 1975 is nothing but a transition to a form of "parliamentary monarchy" - as the Constitution of 1978 stipulates - which, in name only, resembles essence with democracy of 1936.
It is therefore neither historically nor nationally nor politically nor constitutionally entitled to the Madrid government opposed to the inalienable right of the Catalans to decide freely whether they want or do not want to remain part of the existing Spanish state. And this right can by no means be treated in terms of suppression by the central authority.

And here is the essence of the whole claim of independence today from the point of view of the official local government of Catalonia. He is not interested in meeting the historical demand of the Catalans. Nor does it actually want the secession of Catalonia. It simply exploits the Catalan national demand to claim more privileges from the central government for itself and the financial interests it represents.

The right to self-determination of the Catalans can only be expressed by a truly democratic force, which will claim it to the end. Until the secession. Not only the formal but also the essential, which will allow Catalonia and its people to get rid of the bonds of enslavement to the banks, the euro and their redeemed or redeemable politicians.

Notes:
(1). The implementation of the right to self-determination as a contribution to conflict prevention, a report of the international conference of experts organized by the UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace and the UNESCO Center of Catalonia (21-27.11.1998, Barcelona) .
(2). Modern law and self-determination, edited by Christian Tomuschat, Springer, 1993, p. 27.
(3) International Meeting of Experts on Further Study of the Rights of Peoples, Unesco, Paris, 27-30 November 1989


Posted by DIMITRIS KAZAKIS on 2 October 2017 and translated by me.

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