dimarts, 4 de novembre de 2014

The British and the Catalans, 300 years later.


"[..] and the Honour of the British Nation, always renowned for the Love of Liberty, and for giving Protection to the Assertors of it, was most basely prostituted and a free and generous People, the faithful and useful Allies of this Kingdom, were betrayed, in the most unparalleled Manner, into irrevocable Slavery..."
—Journal of the House of Lords, vol 19, 20 (1715) with reference to Britain's shameful failure to fulfill its agreement with the Catalans.

Letter I sent to British press but no one has published (yet):-

Three hundred years ago Britain signed the Treaty of Utrecht with Spain, thus pulling out of the War of the Spanish Succession and abandoning their allies, the Catalans, to their fate. A notorious act of betrayal reflected in writings and parliamentary debates at that time which led to the Catalan people, and their institutions and laws coming under Spain’s yoke. Many years later in the twentieth century, Britain’s refusal to intervene in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the democratically elected governments allowed Franco’s coup d’état to go ahead, representing the loss of freedoms and democracy for Catalans and Spaniards alike. Now, at the third time of asking, will Britain make amends to Catalonia? Their struggle for the simple right to hold a vote on their own future has come up against a Spanish state which has still to overcome the attitudes and mindsets of the Franco era and refuses to even consider a referendum. Given this impasse, Catalans propose to go ahead with a non-binding vote within the current legal frameworks and it is now looking increasingly likely that the next Catalan elections will lead to a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence. I hope that, when this moment arrives, Britain will stand firm for democracy this time and support their old Mediterranean allies.

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