Catalonia’s Uncertain Future
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
In Brussels with seven of his ministers, illegally deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont affirmed the legitimacy of his leadership – democratically elected, ousted by Madrid’s fascist coup!
He said he wasn’t seeking asylum in Belgium. Asked if he’ll return and face (bogus) criminal charges in Catalonia, he said once he had “legal guarantees,” able to act “with freedom and without threats.”
Without them, he and seven ministers went to Brussels. As EU citizens, they can reside wherever they wish in the union. They chose Brussels because it’s “the capital of Europe.”
If Madrid uses “violence” and its “military” to enforce its will, it means “finishing with the idea of Europe,” said Puigdemont.
Minister Joaquim Forn said Madrid wants to try them “like terrorists” – the way fascist dictatorships operate, Spain, like America, a fantasy democracy, one in name only.
How long Puigdemont and his ministers intend staying in Brussels depends on circumstances, Forn said.
Puidgemont addressed other EU leaders, saying “I ask you to act. A republic for all cannot be built from violence.”
Between a rock and a hard place, he called December 21 snap elections a “democratic challenge” – an unfair one if Madrid rigs things to install puppet governance, if it prohibits a pro-independence party or coalition from gaining power.
Puigdemont maintained that he and other members of his government remain legitimate. “Nobody has abandoned their post,” he said.
He urged support for individuals “fighting with maximum creativity to keep Catalan institutions alive.” He rejects imposition of Article 155, suspending Catalan autonomy, denying its new republic, putting Madrid in charge of policymaking.
What happens going forward is uncertain. Clearly, Spain has the military might to force its will over any part of the country, including against a new republic.
Things remain tense. Millions of Catalans want self-determination. It’s unclear whether they’re committed to fight for it through sustained nonviolent resistance – including work stoppages, taking to the streets en masse, no longer recognizing Spanish rule, and civil disobedience.
Snap elections in December aren’t likely to reduce tensions or resolve things. The heart of the problem lies in Madrid, a political dictatorship, exclusively serving privileged interests, force-feeding austerity on most others, cracking down hard on nonbelievers.
As long as conditions remain harsh, Catalonia and other regions will yearn to be free – whether willing to fight for it another matter entirely.
What’s ahead remains unknown.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”