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Tema: A Threat to Spanish Democracy

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    A Threat to Spanish Democracy

    A Threat to Spanish Democracy

    By CAYETANA ÁLVAREZ DE TOLEDO, NÚRIA AMAT and MARIO VARGAS LLOSANOV. 7, 2014



    On Sunday, in defiance of an order from the Spanish Constitutional Court, a farcical referendum on Catalan separatism will take place. It is not clear who is holding it, as there are neither official voters’ rolls nor auditors, only a semiofficial cabal of volunteers.
    All this in the name of “democracy” and the right to decide, but without respect for the rule of law or the true will of the people, and without acknowledging the gravity of the consequences that the secession of Catalonia would occasion.
    This supposed referendum — now rebranded a “nonbinding consultation” — and the cynical victim posture that has accompanied it represent yet another stratagem on the part of the Catalan government and its allies to drum up support for the separatist cause, complete with such slogans as “Spain doesn’t love us,” “Spain is robbing us” and, now, “Spain will not let us vote.”


    It’s true that Catalonia was a particularly fierce battleground during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), with brutal atrocities committed on both sides, and that the region faced some of the most severe reprisals under Franco’s regime. For many, the wounds still have not healed, and they fuel the fires of the separatist movement.
    But the advent of democracy brought official recognition to Spain’s distinctive cultures, and set the foundations for the autonomy the Catalans enjoy today. Catalonia has its own official language, its own government, its own police force. Catalans endorsed the Constitution overwhelmingly: 90 percent of them voted yes in the referendum of Dec. 6, 1978. The millions of tourists who flock to Barcelona every year, drawn by the beguiling blend of Gothic and Gaudí, attest to the vigor of Catalonia’s culture. The claim that Catalonia’s personality is being stifled and its freedoms oppressed is simply untrue.
    Curiously enough, the governing party in Catalonia, which has been in power for 30 years, has stepped up its talk of secession at the precise moment when its head office is under indictment for campaign finance violations. Its storied leader, Jordi Pujol, president of Catalonia from 1980 to 2003, is being investigated, along with members of his family, for tax evasion, influence peddling and laundering tens of millions of euros.

    Catalan separatists offer a deceptive vision of the future. They paint an idyllic portrait of an emancipated Catalonia and hide the painful consequences of secession. Despite opposition from Madrid and words of warning from Brussels, the Catalan media has shown itself remarkably pro-separatist. Exiled from the European Union, economically impoverished and socially divided, the 7.6 million Catalans would be subjected to an extreme form of nationalism we Europeans remember all too well. Millions of lives were lost in the nationalist frenzy that tore Europe apart during the 20th century.
    Are we to sit back and watch the European Union relapse, fall prey to ethnic prejudices and become a fragile cluster of chauvinistic nations rather than a vigorous union of democratic states? Are we to relinquish individual rights and the rule of law to the new nationalists and populists?
    Nationalism effaces the individual, fuels imaginary grievances and rejects solidarity. It divides and discriminates. And it defies the essence of democracy: respect for diversity. Complex identities are a key feature of modern society. Spain is no exception.
    Catalonia is not the uniform community that nationalists wish it were, and claim it is. Polls consistently show that most Catalans feel, in varying proportions, both Catalan and Spanish. Why should they be forced to choose? Modern Spain, like the European Union and like the United States before both of them, stands for integration, solidarity, individual freedom and equality before the law. Spain is not an aggregation of tribes, but a union of citizens, and must continue to be so.
    Contrary to what they claim, Catalonia’s separatists are not defending the right of Catalans to decide their future. They are instead dividing Catalan society in two and denying other Spaniards their right to decide a future that belongs to the nation as a whole. Despite what one might naïvely presume, the nationalists will not be satisfied by further concessions from the Spanish state, improved fiscal arrangements or an even deeper recognition of Catalonia’s cultural or linguistic singularities. Like the title character of Molière’s “The Misanthrope,” what they want is to be “distinguished from the rest.” It is not more autonomy or a federal system they yearn for, but inequality, plain and simple: for Catalans to have more rights than Andalusians, Valencians or Basques.
    Democracy is at stake, and with it the principle that all Spanish citizens, regardless of their origin, sex, race or creed, should be equal before the law. This idea was hard won in Spain, and it should not be surrendered in a futile attempt to appease the separatists.


    Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo is a journalist, historian and member of the Spanish Parliament from Madrid. Núria Amat is a novelist in Barcelona and the author of many books, including “Queen Cocaine.” Mario Vargas Llosa, a writer from Peru and a Spanish citizen, won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/op...racy.html?_r=2

  2. #2
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    Re: A Threat to Spanish Democracy

    Mr.Vargas Llosa is a crook that only lived here during 5 years during the francoist dictatorship. He does love that time, he said it. After an uproar regarding those declarations he was forced to retire them.

    He has said that there are languages superior to others.

    He hates the indigenous natives of his own country.

    He is a member of UPYD.

    He is, therefore, one of that sons of the ultra-centralist, jacobinist, Spanish state that started in 1714 at the height and last year of the war of succession.

    Are you yearning for the Fueros and for our old kingdoms and you post an article of that idiot?

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    Re: A Threat to Spanish Democracy

    Libros antiguos y de colección en IberLibro
    I never liked the guy. I know he is a liberal, and very fickle about in his opinions sometimes. Sometimes he speaks highly of the "Madre Patria" and other times he falls back into the Black Legend rhetoric. And yes, he despises the indians and cholos. I don't know how much of the article was written by him and how much by the two other ladies. There a some points in the article I don't agree with, and one will hardly find an article that he can agree 100% with. In fact, I recognize now that I posted an article rather hastily, and afterwards I have found and posted much better stuff from Dolça Catalunya.

    But I beg to differ about there not being languages superior to others. I don't know if Vargas Llosa knows Quechua (probably he doesn't) but is a very poor language compared to Spanish, or even to other Amerindian languages. And I don't think I'm being a chauvinist if I say that Spanish is superior to English, for we have a language that, by far, is much richer in vocabulary and resources (I know there is a myth that says the opposite, which I'll explode God willing in a future thread--and I know what I'm talking about after three decades of translating). Also, you cannot compare a Western Indoeuropean language, rich in vocabulary and literature, with any tongue spoken by a tribe that lives deep in the jungles of Brazil o the African savannah, though the latter no doubt has some interesting features. Lasty, and I beg your pardon knowing your sympathies for Hebrew, the Greek in which the New Testament was written is much more precise than the Hebrew of the Old Testament, which was very poor as far as grammar and vocabulary and didn't even have vowels.

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