domingo, octubre 22, 2017

Catalonia is ( a part of) Spain !

Probably you are following with confusion the Catalonia situation. You are reading many things from different sources with distant opinions, and you are wondering what is going on over there (over here). I would like to give you my opinion. It is from my point of view, but, I hope it clears up the situation. I ll try to be the most objective possible.
I m sorry for the length, but it is difficult to synthesize.
I am, we are, very tired about all that is happening in Catalonia. It is a subject that is a monotheme in all conversations with its supporters and the refractors. It is creating tension within Catalonia and within Spain.
I support all my Catalonian friends, pro-independence or not, in the pursue of their identity and differences. I don’t have that inner national identity, but I may understand it. I even agree that it could be a poll for voting for the independence. This is a difficult issue because the pro-independence parties got only 47% of the votes in the last elections (how will work in a country that half of the population wants to be in a half out, and within a state which wants to keep united?), but, as I said, I´m for freedom of speech, and I think the Catalonian people could vote their future under the constitutional regulation, no in the charade of October 1st without ballot boxes, registrations, and where people voted several times in different places.
Anyhow, now, I think I have taken enough with all this bullshit about selling outside our borders how bad Spain treats Catalonia. There is a video going around with the title of “Help Catalonia. Saved Europe”. Enough!!!! This video is trying to show that Catalonia is under a dictatorial state that represses the Catalonian people. Please don’t get affected by the ridiculous propaganda.
Spain is a democracy with the same freedom of all European countries. I tell you, I don’t have the government I would like to have. Rajoy´s government is doing a lot of mistakes and corruption is rampant, but he was elected by simple majority in last elections. So let’s change him in some years (asap), but in anyway Catalonia is under repression. Catalonia is one of the 17 states of Spain and has an own federal government with absolute competences in health care, culture, police, education, among other areas… more own control that many provinces or states in other democratic countries.
The truth is that the video has gotten on my nerves. Even our central government is a joke, it has been elected in clean and transparent elections. In the same way the Catalan government has been elected and governs in a fragile coalition between right, left and antisystem parties (strange mix). The bottom line is that the Catalonian rulers are using nationalism to cover up their mess. This thing of asking for HELP to the international opinion is as ridiculous as if Scotland, Flanders, Skåne will demand international mediation because the UK, Belgium or Sweden are suppressing them by dictatorial ways. Can you see Sweden politically repressing Skåne??
Something that scares me is the ghost of nationalism. Nationalism is dangerous state of mind. It means “we are different than you”. It implies “we are better than you”. Nationalism started two world wars. Nationalism has left 1.000 death in the Basque Country conflict, almost 4.000 in The Ulster… and much more in the Ex Yugoslavia… I don’t think borders are any good, no walls either.
I have had the fortune to live in several countries and travel to many other (not as many as I would like, but still on), and Spain is the place I choose to live with no doubt. From Barcelona to Tarifa, from Santiago to Granada, from Bilbao to Ibiza. Great country with all the differences that make it richer. A free land where social policies were implanted before many other places, like gay marriage; a place where we try to enjoy daily the gift of being alive, where we meet at 13.00 for lunch, eat, talk to 21.00 start preparing dinner and continue talking and dancing until 4.00; where we absolutely master fiesta and siesta (and we don’t feel bad about it); where you ski in the morning and swing in the sea after lunch. A country with different languages, cultures, cuisines, and identities; the land where I feel a little Catalonian, and a little Basque, Andalusian, and Madrileño.
Everything under the sun. That’s the pride.
We live in this surrealistic post-truth era, where you cannot know the truth of any source you read. Don’t believe the manipulative propaganda. Mistakes, problems, hopeless politicians… yes, but under a democratic division of powers. It is true that during October 1st the police force went too far. Wrong, but there is not a police state.
There are no freedom fighters in Catalonia. The people who have been imprisoned have broken laws (and they knew it). I would like that corrupts like Rodrigo Rato, ex vicepresident of the government with the infamous Aznar, and Mr Undangarin, ex royal family, will be already in prison. Law has different speeds… but I don’t doubt they will be.
Please, don’t let them fool you. The politicians who govern in Catalonia have chosen a way that splits a nation. Elections should be called to decide their future, but there is no any oppression in Catalonia.
Texas, California, the Länd of Freistaat Bayern, Lombardy, Flanders, Skåne, Corsica, Scotland, Wales, Quebec, Galicia… how many identities with pro-independence feelings can we count?? These are not different from Catalonia, but the Catalonian government thinks they can impose their rule by braking the coexistence in their land.
Elections yes. No more manipulative propaganda to influence in the international opinion, please.
If you have read this far I will invite you a beer next time we meet. Hopefully in fantastic Barcelona.

Catalonia’s dreams of secession were incubated in a media cocoon

The most pro-independence areas have depended for years on Catalan-language TV and radio that does not reflect the complex reality of Barcelona
We know what happens first when coup leaders strike. They take control of the state TV and radio station. We know what the SNP would have done if they’d won their referendum. Set up a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation on the grave of the BBC. So here’s one additional factor to note after Spain’s tumultuous week.Catalonia has had its own television and radio services since 1983, delivering Catalan-only language programmes and – guess what? – paid for by the same government that declared quasi independence a few days ago.
Bias comes naturally, perhaps inevitably, in the reporting of poor anti-separatist demonstrations, in the constant flashbacks to civil guard police wielding batons and throughout the hours of political discussion. Two regular participants in those discussions – voices against independence, hired in the supposed name of fairness and balance – wrote href="" title="" data-link-name="in body link" class="u-underline">
an article for El País the other day, explaining why they wouldn’t be appearing any longer.
“The official thesis in Catalonia is that this is a natural, essentially good nation that for at least three centuries has been living in a situation of unsustainable colonial oppression within an artificial, perfidious href=""auto-linked-tagdata-component="auto-linked-tagclass="u-underline">
Spain, from which we must escape,” Joan López Alegre and Nacho Martín Blanco declared.
“But when reality is reduced to a single theme, secession… then the presence of a single voice opposed to the thesis of the talk – facing three or four participants plus to the moderator … only serves to project the idea that it is a minority position, even a marginal one in Catalan society. Goodbye. We’ve been ‘useful fools’ too long.”
Their argument can be pursued in two ways. One, filled with the emotion that surrounds the independence vote; the other more reflectively. Let’s take the high road.

Language is a wild card when you try to define nationhood. The areas of inland Catalonia most committed to independence are also the likeliest to use Catalan as their first, and sometimes only language. They depend on TV3 and its four sister channels for their news, soaps and drama series, and rely on Catalan radio round the clock. The algorithms of their social media follow the same route. And the picture they’ve drawn for all of this is often at odds with the complexities you find in Barcelona.They have lived in a media cocoon of settled opinion, convinced that the EU will welcome their new nation into its midst, that the economic outlook is untroubled, that “taking control” will solve all problems. Passion becomes ingrained. No need to draw parallel conclusions closer to home, but this mingling of fact and conviction crosses many borders. If you can make the rest of the world go away, then doubt becomes a stranger.

No one watching Spanish TV through this crisis should pretend that it’s not had its own biases. Nor should anyone believe that the BBC, charting its lugubrious, legally mandated way through the thickets of bias, can ever achieve consensual calm.
The more open the windows, the easier it is to breathe. Scotland’s own cocoon of devolution has weakened because SNP and now Tory success – as represented in parliament – make the national picture more relevant again. Brexit, too, is gradually opening eyes and horizons. But the language factor comes with an added twist. How did Catalonia wander so close to the edge of a cliff? Because – on screen, on the airwaves, in cosseted print – there was no real debate. Because (think Fox News) the semblance of real debate was quite enough, thank you. Think of the little boxes of diversity; then think adversity.


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