Sunday’s Catalonia Independence Referendum


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Rajoy—a man who upholds most of Franco’s authoritarian and reactionary outlook behind the mantle of democracy. Washington, as expected, supports him.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s regime is going all-out to block it. 

He governs like a tinpot despot, waging class war, enforcing police state repression, arresting Catalan officials, threatening others with criminal prosecution for supporting the autonomous region’s self-determination right, affirmed under the UN Charter and other international law.

He’s no democrat. A modern-day Francisco Franco defines his policies. Spaniards nationwide should revolt against his right-wing extremism. [He supports the most reactionary and brutal aspects of the culture, including bullfighting and other animal-related cruelties.] Spain’s Gag Law enacted on his watch lets police be judge, jury and collector of spurious fines, including for photographing an illegally-parked police car.

Anti-austerity demonstrations are severely repressed, regime critics arrested. Heavy-handed police tactics continue terrorizing Catalan officials and referendum supporters. Rajoy falsely claims Sunday’s vote is illegal. During his White House visit this week, Trump called for a “united Spain,” expressing opposition to Sunday’s vote. It’s a Catalonia issue, not his.

Rajoy threatened to close down polling booths, disenfranchise Catalans, perhaps terrorize people showing up to vote. Things look sure to be disruptive on Sunday. Violence could lead to bloodshed. The harsher the Rajoy regime cracks down, the more determined Catalans are likely to want independence, free from Madrid oppression.

Police shut down an independence referendum web site. Individuals involved were arrested on charges of “disseminating a website for people to participate in a referendum declared illegal by the constitutional court, (and) for making) it easy for people to get documents…to organize” Sunday’s vote.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont tweeted links to web sites, telling people where to vote on Sunday, his information removed after posting. The pro-indendence Catalan National Assembly’s web site was taken down. It went up an hour later, an ANC spokesman saying Madrid “cares more about stopping people from voting than they do about preserving freedoms in Spain.” A Catalan government spokesman said a letter was sent to the European Commission protesting Spain’s repressive actions, calling them “unlawful,” asking the EC to support the rights of the Catalan people, including assuring an “open and free internet.”

The response was negative. Europe backs Madrid, not the right of Catalans to vote up or down on independence.

On Wednesday, Spain’s national court said it’s investigating whether to bring sedition charges against organizers of a large-scale demonstration in Barcelona last week, protesting against the arrests of Catalan officials.

Spain was a military dictatorship for nearly 40 years under Francisco Franco (1936 – 1975). Now it’s a political one.

If Sunday’s referendum is blocked, will Catalan officials declare independence anyway? Will blood in the streets follow?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.00 AMSTEPHEN LENDMAN was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient. His new site is at http://stephenlendman.org



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uza2-zombienationSTEPHEN LENDMAN—RAJOY governs like a tinpot despot, waging class war, enforcing police state repression, arresting Catalan officials, threatening others with criminal prosecution for supporting the autonomous region’s self-determination right, affirmed under the UN Charter and other international law.

 

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