divendres, 31 d’agost de 2012

Spanish Army Colonel Threatens Catalonia with Military Intervention

Spanish army colonel Francisco Alamán said in an interview to Alerta Digital that Catalonia would only be independent “over my dead body and that of many other soldiers,” arguing that the Spanish army has solemnly sworn to defend “the non-negotiable principle of Spain's unity,” and that they will defend it “even with our lives.” In the interview he made clear his extreme Spanish nationalistic views by emphasizing concepts like fatherland, Spanish nation, and Spain's unity as the sovereignty principles which the Spanish army has an obligation to address. He also said that "the armed forces are not here to serve the politicians, but the fatherland." He accused Catalan secessionists of being like "scavenging vultures," and made derogatory comments about Belgium and former Yugoslavia, adding that Spain “is not just any nation, but one of the most important ones in the history of the world." He also threatened Catalans saying that “even though the lion might seem asleep, let them not arouse him, because he's given ample prove of its ferocity in the past”—a fact that we at Help Catalonia have repeatedly denounced.a

At the time of this writing, two Catalan political parties, ERC and SI have demanded that the Spanish government take some action. ERC has requested immediate action by Spain's Defense Minister and demands that the government ”discharge the colonel from the army immediately and that an investigation be made'. SI demands that the colonel be immediately detained and discharged, and notes that military coups are not possible any more within the European Union, and that in 2006 general Mena Aguado had already been discharged for saying similar things.

The Spanish army underwent a process of modernization right after Franco's dictatorial regime, during Spain's transition to democracy, under the supervision of the Defense Minister at the time, the Catalan Narcís Serra. In spite of this process, nowadays there are still many pro-Franco military personnel in the Spanish army. They usually hold fascist, radical Spanish nationalistic ideals, have ties with right-wing extremists, and are radically anti-Catalan.

The Spanish colonel words come a few days after Armando Robles, the founder of right-wing extremist digital magazine Alerta Digital, wrote an article titled “Catalonia's military intervention is necessary”, where he defends that Catalonia's autonomy be suspended. Additionally, in it he insults Catalans and blames them for everything that's wrong in Spain. He concludes that “military intervention and the suspension of Catalan autonomic laws and institutions” is necessary, based on article number 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which talks about subjection by force of any autonomy in “Spain's general interest.” The writer uses blatant lies as arguments, saying that Catalans “have exhausted all public resources”, “have impoverished everybody”, “have squandered hundreds of millions of euros in private funding”, or that they have “burned all natural resources.” Finally, the writer goes even further when he accuses Catalan secessionists of being “subversive and violent.”

We at Help Catalonia believe that nothing good can ever come out of lies and insults. No nation can seek freedom and peace from lies and insults, as some people in Spain do. It is precisely because we Catalans hope to live in freedom that we know that it can only be built on truth and respect towards diversity. We are hoping to expose Spain's lies and illegitimate interests for all to see.

On the other hand, Spanish nationalists usually resort to their Constitution as the ultimate, unmodifiable truth, an absolute truth which sometimes would seem derived from divine inspiration, and not from the efforts of real men and women at a specific point in history. This fact reveals an important weakness in their reasoning. If their constitution was created by people, then we (the people) should be able to modify it according to historical circumstances, according to the wishes of our nation. (For more on this, read this post on the blog Beyond the Pale).

The Spanish nationalists' inflexible stance towards the Spanish Constitution reflects their legal weakness as well. For a country to become independent within the European Union, what matters most is not the internal laws of the originating country, but the various international treaties, as European Commission President Durao Barroso recently clarified, and as journalist Vicent Partal argues brilliantly in his recent editorial:
“If Catalonia declares itself independent according to the international laws, and if Spain has no legal way to stop it, the new country would inherit all international treaties signed when the former territory was part of Spain. Therefore, the citizens of Catalonia would still be European citizens."

3 comentaris:

  • Arnau Estanyol says:
    2 de setembre de 2012 a les 2:48

    The most worrying of the matter is the absolute absence of the any response by the supposed Spanish democrats. Where are they? Why nobody complaint of that kind of fascist expressions?. The true is that Spain never has been an authentic democratic country. Nowadays still is chasing other languages as the Catalan, although in their constitution it says protect them, the reality is completely different.
    Those kind of threats aren't new. By one side they are stealing our money through an unfair deficit fiscal and for the other side they always are dumping all his anger towards us.
    We need urgently our own state out of Spain.

  • Eduard Roca says:
    3 de setembre de 2012 a les 3:42

    21 iderpopFreedom for Catalonia!!

  • Jared Baglietto says:
    4 de setembre de 2012 a les 4:54

    Highly disturbing words from that Fascist colonel. If Catalonia is such a burden to Spain, let them go!

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