Catalonia on Brink of Military Takeover by Madrid

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October 27, 2017

Catalonia on Brink of Military Takeover by Madrid

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Catalan President Puigdemont broke his pledge, failing to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of the October 1 referendum results – overwhelmingly favoring separation.

On Thursday, Catalan parliamentarians began debating a possible declaration of independence, still uncertain so far.

Debate continues on Friday, the day Madrid’s parliament is virtually certain to impose Rajoy regime control over Catalonia, suspending its autonomy, effectively ending it, sacking President Puigdemont, perhaps other regional officials as well, likely enforcing its rule militarily if things play out as expected.

This is how fascist dictatorships operate, mocking democratic rights, ignoring rule of law principles, forcing their will on people ruthlessly.

Police state violence on referendum day may have been prelude of much more ahead. Things will likely come to a head on Friday.

Madrid’s Senate and Catalan MPs are meeting. What they decide should be known later in the day.

Puigdemont’s 11th hour attempt to cut a deal with Madrid failed, an effort to defuse the crisis. He proposed holding snap elections if Rajoy agreed not to impose regime rule over the region.

Madrid rejected guarantees, likely assuring an affirmative Friday Article 155 vote, suspending Catalan autonomy, imposing Rajoy regime rule over the region.

Spain’s Deputy PM Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Spanish senators will approve Article 155 control on Friday. Catalonia’s delegate in Madrid was denied the right to address the chamber, explaining his government’s position.

Puigdemont called off snap elections, letting Catalan MPs decide up or down on independence. Debate began Thursday, continuing on Friday.

Tensions are high. Things remain uncertain, waiting for how Catalonia’s parliament will act.

Spokeswoman for the pro-independence CUP party Anna Gabriel warned Puigdemont and MPs that “a tsunami of dismissals, interventions, suppression, and who knows what else” is coming.

Pro-independence Together for Yes coalition member Lluis Corominas said its MPs demand a resolution to “fulfill the mandate” of referendum results.

“We are winning,” he stressed. “We should materialize the effects of the Oct. 1 referendum and implement them.”

He called invoking Article 155 Madrid “aggression” against Catalans. Anti-independence MPs had their say. Resolution up or down awaits.

Spain’s worst constitutional crisis is rapidly coming to a head. Pro-independence activists called for forming a human shield around government buildings to challenge Madrid’s takeover efforts.

Yesterday, they called Puigdemont a “traitor.” Pro-independence MP Gabriel Rufian tweeted: “Anyone who has doubts, should go out into the streets and look into the eyes of the people,” adding the hastag “RepublicNow” in Catalonia.

Rajoy regime hardliners demand Catalans be brought to heel. London-based analyst Florian Hense said nothing can be ruled out “except that independence is actually going to happen.”

It won’t be known until Catalan MPs decide one way or the other, followed by Madrid’s response, looking ugly so far.

Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras said Rajoy left Catalonia “no other option” but to proclaim a new republic.

Perhaps on Friday we’ll see if he’s right.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.