Catalans Vote Today
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Catalonia is occupied Madrid territory, its self-governance suspended, eight of its ministers lawlessly imprisoned.
Six were released on December 4, four remain behind bars, including vice president Oriol Junqueras and Home Affairs minister Joaquim Forn, along with civil society leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez.
President Puigdemont and others self-exiled in Brussels. All Catalan officials and civil society leaders were targeted for wanting to live free from fascist Spain.
Released ministers were treated harshly during confinement, confined to tiny cells 16 hours a day – together with murderers, rapists, and other hard criminals.
On arrival at the prison facility, they were told “the time for your stupidity is over.”
Minister Josep Rull replied “(o)ur stupidity is not over and never will be.” The response was “you’ll be left to rot in jail. You’ll spend so many years here that you’ll end up knowing it by heart.”
After a month of incarceration, all but four were freed, yet remain marked for further state terror if resume their independence struggle.
On Thursday, Catalans will elect 135 parliamentarians, 68 seats needed for a majority. After the 2015 election, pro-independence parties gained legislative control.
Candidates from seven parties are contesting for seats on Thursday – three pro-independence ones, three unionists, and one independent of either bloc, against independence while opposing Madrid’s efforts to block it.
Polls suggest a close race between candidates for Catalan self-determination v. remaining part of Spain.
If Thursday’s outcome is similar to 2015 results with pro-independence candidates winning majority control of parliament will it matter?
Madrid cracked down hard once, undermining Catalan democracy, surely again if another attempt is made to separate from Spain, perhaps harsher next time than earlier.
Another concern is whether elections will be open, free and fair with Madrid controlling the process, wanting Calalan independence quashed, perhaps rigging Thursday’s vote to assure it.
Given the way things turned out before, only a sustained pro-independence regional convulsion might have a chance of achieving what was lost before.
Even with it, succeeding would be a long shot at best, the odds heavily stacked against it – despite the right of self-determination affirmed in international law, including the UN Charter.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”