05 de juliol 2007

Zapatero's pre-democratic Spain

"Equality is our identity”. This is President Zapatero’s answer to the interpellation of a Catalan secessionist deputy in the Spanish Congress. Zapatero added also that “this equality can only be achieved in a democratic system”. He said that there are no differences between Spaniards and Catalans: “some are not so different although they think they are” and appealed to the “historical tradition of living together”. Thus, Zapatero denies the national Catalan reality and agrees with the old pre-democratic Castilian centralist vision of Spain. It doesn’t matter who leads the state, right wing or left wing parties. In Spain the Catalan nation does not exist, therefore the right of self-determination is unnecessary. President Zapatero tells us that “there has never been a self-determination process in a democratic system. These kinds of processes have always happened during dictatorial systems or at the end of a dictatorship”.

It is necessary to make several considerations. If the Spanish identity is just equality, why are Spaniards different from Portuguese, French, Italian or Dutch? Does not the Declaration of Human Rights say that all men are equal? According to Zapatero, if we are all equal and the same, why don’t the states that make us different disappear immediately?

I suppose that Mr. Zapatero is able to differentiate a Frenchman from a Spaniard. But which are those differences? Both are dressed more or less the same, they enjoy the same globalized leisure and food, they are democrats, they use the same tools and maybe share the same religion… Tell me, Mr. Zapatero, which are the differences?

Language? History? Culture? National feelings? National anthems? Then, Mr. Zapatero, the differences between a Spaniard and a Frenchman are the same between a Spaniard and a Catalan (it is strange that Catalans have a national anthem with lyrics, but those who deny our existence as a nation have not. The national anthem of Spain has no lyrics. Why? Because it is not a national anthem but the Borbonic Royal March. Mabye it is the Spanish nation that does not exist. Think about it). But of course, Catalans and Spaniards have a "historical tradition of living together" that means armed oppression, the abolition of the Catalan laws and independent institutions in 1716 and its substitution by the foreign laws and institutions of Castile which obviously will never propitiate a self-determination process of Catalonia.

Spanish and Catalan are two different languages (even though some Spaniards say that Catalan language does not exist -no language, no culture, no nation: Catalans are a big NO in Spain- or that it is a dialect that comes from the Spanish language -see? The world itself will be one day an oddity of the Spanish way of life. First it was anthropocentric, then heliocentric, now it is Spaniardcentric. Darwin was wrong, humans do not come from apes but from Spaniards). Spain and Catalonia have a very different history (Catalonia has a thousand-year-old documented history and the Spanish state was created after the Catalan defeat of 1714, in spite of what Spaniards say with their historical lies about it. Since the XVth century Catalonia shared the same monarchy with Castile, but sharing a monarch does not mean being the same nation –if it was true, Australians and English should be the same nation because they recognize the same monarchy).

But as usual what is valid for the rest of the world, it is not for Catalans. We are always the exception, the last political and national apartheid in Europe, where "democracy" reduces us to a simple Spanish distorted rarity.

Zapatero says that countries get their independence during dictatorships or at the end of a dictatorship. So he is telling us that Spain is still a dictatorial state since Franco’s death in 1975 because a possible process of self-determination of Catalonia, Galiza or the Basque Country was not considered under any circumstances with the arrival of “democracy”. We all know that even the pathetic Catalan Statute of Autonomy provoked Tejero’s coup d'état in 1981. Since then, any effort to strengthen the Catalan sovereignity has been blocked.

It seems to me, Mr. Zapatero, that your demagogic words try to justify what cannot be justified. And although you want to disguise Spain with words of open democracy and tolerance, the speech continues being as negationist as the one during Franco’s fascist dictatorship. Trying to justify the negation of a universal right to all Catalan people, you just show that in the Spanish democracy we have no place, we will never be treated as a normal nation, and you are telling us that you keep the same conqueror’s mind Spaniards had in 1714 when Catalans were defeated and the Castilian boots of the occupation forces echoed in the streets of Barcelona.

But if Catalans do not exist, why do they talk about “the Catalan problem” in Spain, Mr. Zapatero? If the Catalan nation does not exist, how can Catalans be a problem? Spain has a problem with Catalonia and Catalonia with Spain. And as long as the existence and the rights that every nation deserves are denied to us, the problem will not end. The Catalan nation does not exist. You can close your eyes. But we are still a problem for your Spain, Mr. Zapatero. I wonder if your arguments are just a compilation of the old pre-democratic wish of erasing any sign of the Catalan nation. In that case, you are right, the self-determination process is forbidden by the “democratic dictatorship” we are trapped in since 1978 and the Spanish Constitution is our jailer.
Wouldn’t it be easier to understand that Catalonia is not Spain?