The Parliament of Catalonia approved this afternoon the independence of Catalonia (full text of the declaration, in Catalan). The voting was secret and the results were as follows: 70 yes, 10 against and 2 blank votes and 52 absentees (hardcore Spanish nationalists who don't recognize the right of Catalonia to self-determination). There seems to be one missing vote in the account, nobody seems to care.
|People celebrate Catalan Independence near Parliament|
With this action Catalonia ends all procrastination in favor of negotiation, which has not been listened to by Spain at all. On the contrary, the Spanish government, which is weak electorally but, thanks to the many tricks of the Neo-Francoist constitution still has absolute majority in the Senate*, and has managed anyhow to muster the support of the so-called "Spanish Socialst Worker Party" to approve also today the suspension of Catalan autonomy, activating article 155 or the Spanish Constitution, the kind of constitutional provision that Hitler was fond of resorting to in order to consolidate his power some 70 years ago.
Today a conflict between two sovereign states begins: one enjoys international recognition and has 95.000 police agents (plus the military, which won't surely be used because there's no war), the other is unrecognized (yet) and will fight only with the power of NONVIOLENT POPULAR RESISTANCE. Who will win?
I forecast that Catalonia will prevail. Why? Because they have already demonstrated their willpower, discipline and nonviolent firmness, in previous confrontations such as the referendum of October 1st, the General Strike of October 3rd and many other episodes of popular struggle in the last many years.
Against that determination Spain can only exert force. Its appeals to Catalan unionists to walk out have failed (sure: they brought many buses from Spain proper but rallied very few people from Catalonia itself) so they only have the farce of Spanish laws and courts that are, since today, not legal in Catalonia anymore. And they have 95.000 ill-paid and overworked police agents who will soon be shown as useless to implement Spanish law against millions and millions of disobeying Catalans.
Catalonia is Kosova on steroids: it is much larger, richer and visible than poor little Kosova was when it had to confront, in the pre-Internet era, a similar situation. Back then it was obvious that any solution not implying the independence of Kosova would fail. It took eight years of very brutal Serbian occupation but they eventually succeeded, not without a blitz war.
The situation is nevertheless different in Catalonia: Kosova did not matter, it was a mere humanitarian issue, but Serbia/Yugoslavia did not matter much either. Spain however has major geostrategical relevance because of the Strait of Gibraltar (plus French historical backyard geostrategy), so its NATO allies won't betray her. But Catalonia also has major strategical relevance, being one of two main knots linking the Iberian Peninsula to Europe (the other is the Basque Country) and this is a trump card the Catalans can play: sabotaging via strikes and blockades the commercial routes will no doubt have a demolishing impact in Spain's economy and its international reputation.
Additionally Spain is effectively bankrupt: only the European Central Bank buys Spanish bonds these days, the pensions' reserve fund has been exhausted and Spain is financially unable to pay for almost anything. This is going to lead to a major crisis in Spain but a crisis that will shatter Europe and the World. Because so far the bankruptcy crisis had been delayed in Europe so far but now it will become absolutely unavoidable.
That's the bargaining chip of the brave Catalan People: that's how a People determined to fight (noviolently) can bring the World to a halt.
Catalonia will be free. The whole World Order (itself in deep crisis) cannot impede it. How could it? Catalonia is (together with the Basque Country) the motherland of Insubmissió: some three decades ago we gloriously defeated the Spanish Army with NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE, and Catalan society has learned that lesson well, probably better than us Basques. They cannot be defeated, they will prevail and teach the World a lesson.
* Every Spanish province, regardless of population or ethnicity, gets 4 senators, three of which go to the most voted party and the fourth to the second one. Most Spanish provinces are rural, nearly empty provinces of Castilian or assimilated ethnicity.