I like Spain. Not only because I’ve visited several times and quite like it there, but also because I favour unity over separatism, which goes for Spain as for any other country, as well as my beloved homeland, Europe.
However, we should remember that the late generalissimo Francisco Franco remains in high esteem among many a Spaniard. Also his Guardia Civil‘s conduct during the Catalan referendum weeks ago, immediately woke my sympathy for the Catalan separatists – and their demand for independence.
With that said, I find separatism a bad idea, just as I find unity a good one, which includes Catalonia and Spain. Nevertheless, there are a couple of factors that we need to take into account.
What ever the outcome, the international community needs to ensure that democracy prevails. Today we hear claims that the Catalan referendum was illegal, rendering, therefore, the declaration of independence equally illegal, but is that actually the case?
- We need to remember that the declaration was made, not by the referendum, illegal or not, but by the legally elected Catalan parliament. Whether or not that decision was based on the referendum, it was indeed made by the Catalan people’s legally elected representatives. As the case always is, when ever democracy is at work.
- We’ve heard claims that a new referendum would have to be held throughout Spain, in order to secure the referendum’s legitimacy. To which I should perhaps remark that:
- The minute you assign an overwhelming majority the task of deciding a minority’s future, how could you possibly expect an outcome favouring anyone but the majority?
- Said majority is an occupant, insofar that Spain invaded, occupied and annexed Catalonia in 1714, rendering Spain a de facto occupying force. Since when did international law condone an occupying country’s right to decide the fate of the occupied?
These are all facts that we need to keep in mind, whether we favour Catalan separatism or not. Personally I do not, but if we are to discuss these matters, I think it’s only fair that we do so on the basis of facts.
Illustration: The Estelada blava. The Catalan flag. Blogger’s own drawing.