Free Catalonia?

Should the Catalonia region be a new, independent European state?

There are five different legal ways within Spanish law that a referendum could be authorized. Canada granted Quebec the right to hold two separate referendums and has protections within Canada because of this. More recently, Britain gave Scotland the right to decide its future in an independence referendum next year. But despite all our efforts to seek this basic civil right Spain refuses.

I appealed to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for his assistance on the referendum in March 2013 with the support of 80 percent of the Catalan Parliament. The request was rebuffed. In July, I made a formal written request to hold a referendum. We are still waiting for a reply.

via A Referendum for Catalonia – NYTimes.com.

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5 thoughts on “Free Catalonia?

  1. clintkunz says:

    Yesterday the people of Catalonia showed tremendous unity and strength. Raphael Minder reported, in his article today, that the chain on Wednesday ran for 250 miles. A human chain that cannot be ignored. It seems that Spain has ignored them in the past, but they aren’t going away.
    What would the reaction of the United States government be if California decided they wanted to be their own sovereign state?
    In today’s article it stated that the mass gathering came to a peaceful end. What a rare occurrence. Collective calm intervention is cool.

  2. trawson7 says:

    I think this article is really interesting actually; I studied abroad in Spain this past winter and this issue came up a lot. I lived just outside of Madrid, and the issue was a hot one there (after all, Real Madrid & FC Barcelona are rivals, and the two cities just in general are rivals), but we also traveled to Barcelona and saw this issue upfront. The Catalan people really do want independence; most of the graffiti in the region has to do with this. However, we also talked to the people about the referendum, and a lot of people do not think it would even be successful. Joining the EU is not always an easy process, and some are skeptical that a separate Catalan state would even be best. Spain may have a broken economy right now, but Spain is still Spain, and there’s a certain power in that.

    My own opinions on this are mixed. There are nationalist movements like this all over the world, and I think there is something to be said about those countries that can resolve these kinds of problems without separating. However, the United States declared its independence from Great Britain, and I definitely am glad that that happened. In the same vein though, I am also glad that the Confederate States of America did NOT successfully secede from the United States, and I’m not entirely sure why I think there’s a difference between these two.

    I also wonder how many other nationalist movements would gain clout if Catalonia secedes from Spain. There is a certain beauty in a group of people setting aside all of their other differences in pursuit of the ideal of a “nation,” and perhaps that is the ideal that should be pursued here. But does Spain lose international standing if they give in to Catalonia? I’m not sure.

    So what is my opinion? I think Spain is such a neat place because it brings together so many different peoples and histories, and I would be sad if Catalonia actually broke off. However, I think it’s Spain’s responsibility to fix the situation, and if they refuse to do so, then the referendum should be allowed. Artur Mas is right; these people deserve a right to vote and a right to be heard, and if Spain claims to be a democracy, then I think they need to respect that.

  3. heartleeharman says:

    I love that Catalonia had decided to pursue their independence through non-violent methods. This could escalate very quickly into something much more tragic. Catalonia has not only shown Spain that they are capable of running their own country and becoming an effective “brother”, but they have shown the world that they deserve to be independent and they can handle their own affairs. Too often, a civil war or fight for independence causes too much damage and the international community feels like they have to intervene to stop the bloodshed, which more often than not, increases the violence.

    It will probably take a lot more time for the Catalonians to achieve independence, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  4. araujophm says:

    First of all, Visca Catalunya! What an incredible show of political participation by the catalonians. This must have been one of the largest pacific manifestations that have ever been done when it comes to a separatist movement. It is interesting to consider the many factors that might’ve influenced this event, and I think that social media was definitely a catalyst to this event. I served my mission in Barcelona and received several messages on Facebook and even on my phone with pictures of the independence flag and a text in Catalan. Parts of it said: “Vaig neixer on es mengen botifarra, allioli, pa amb tomaquet, on es beu Cava i Aigua de Ribes, on hi ha grans monuments i passegem gegants al so de la musica, on fem torres humanes que van directes al cel, on va neixer la Sardana, on a mes hi ha una llengua propia. Vaig neixer a CATALUNYA, soc catala fins la medul.la. Aquest missatge de disfusio val la pena, per tant si et sents orgullos de ser CATALA, copia, enganxa i passa’l!! Visca Catalunya!!” The translation would be something like: I was born where we eat botifarra sausage, allioli sauce, bread with tomato spread, where we drink cava(champagne) and Ribes water, where there are large monuments and structures livened by the sound of music, where we make human towers that go towards heaven, where the Sardana dance was born, where we have our own language. I was born in CATALONIA, I’m catalan even to my bone marrow. This is a message worth spreading, so if you are proud of being Catalan, copy, attach, and send this. Long live Catalonia!
    As this message shows, this is a people that has their own culture, language, music, architecture, and history. This is a people that don’t identify themselves with the rest of Spain and that feel the burden of supporting regions of Spain that don’t bring them enough benefit to justify not being an independent nation.

  5. john f. says:

    I’m all for it. In many ways, Catalunya has been independent for a very long time already. The European enlightenment found its way into Spain during a period of severe censorship largely via the edgy and underground Catalan press.

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