Castro on Catalonia

Indispensable interview with writer Liz Castro on Catalonia’s historic independence referendum. Good primer on background to the movement and the conflict …




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Comments (7)

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  1. Interpolar says:

    And now Catalonia is on the verge of seizing what Scotland the Brave was too feart to be given.

    1. Airconditioned says:

      Hopefully this result will mobilize and unify Scots into achieving what was unattainable in 2014.

      It might also allow others to wake from their stupor and throw off the shackles of unionism for good.

    2. Kieran Blyth says:

      I have a real problem with people holding Catalonia up as an example of how to do it (with the suggestion that Scotland failed and should have done it the way the Catalans did). Let’s be clear here, the way Spain acted is appalling and there should have been a legitimate referendum called the minute it became obvious that’s what the people wanted. But Catalonia can’t become independent on the basis of this referendum. It was boycotted by one side, we had ballot papers confiscated, we had conditions that were so far from free and fair that it’s almost ridiculous. That was all Spain’s fault, but it doesn’t change the conclusion that you can’t use this vote under these conditions to justify independence.

      And ultimately Catalonia is still further from the endpoint than Scotland is because you need international recognition, if not the consent of the state you’re leaving, and they have no prospect of either.

      1. Redguantlet says:

        Exactly, Kieran.

        Neither Catalonia nor Spain should be seriously thinking about UDI or the shocking and violent crackdown we saw yesterday. It is a complete disaster, and it is a matter of time before there is loss of human life surely.

        And when Puigdemont declares UDI today or tomorrow or the next day, then Rajoy will suspend Catalan autonomy, and the tanks will be on the Ramblas by the end of the week…. it beggars belief. The whole thing is like something from the 19th century…

        Spain, including Catalonia, is an example of precisely how NOT to do things…

        ….the Scots were patient. The Scots could have done what the Catalans did in 1979 with the rigged referendum, but decided to make a civic campaign which lasted 30 years. It’s a legacy to be proud of.

        As for Liz’s video, I stopped after about one minute when Liz says that Catalonia has formed part of Spain for about 300 years. This is just nonsense.

        Catalonia has formed part of Spain since 1492. It had its own parliament until the 1715 siege of Barcelona, but that was the end of the Spanish War of Succession. The Catalans picked the losing side in a dynastic struggle for the Spanish throne, another international power struggle which took place in Spain…

        It wasn’t a war by Madrid against Barcelona as it is made to look like in the video. I stopped watching then, sorry Liz.

        You know what the first truly Spanish national Institution was, Liz? The Inquisition, which was set up in 1492, and was the first institution which covered the whole of Spain….

        Puigdemont and Catalan nationalism are running a completely biased Catalan media in favour of independence which is promoting the kind of disinformation Liz indulges in.

        In Madrid, Rajoy’s government are doing exactly the same thing with the Madrid media in favour of Spanish nationalism. The kind of outrageous disinformation which wouldn’t look out of place in a dictatorship.

        Rajoy is a Galician, by the way, just like Franco. Not from Madrid…

        Spain is a mad house. Half the country has gone mad….

        Get me out of here.. I can’t take the place any more….

      2. Phantom Power says:

        There is lots to learn from Catalonia’s experience and parallels with Scotland but also huge differences. At no point does Liz advocate UDI for Scotland.

  2. Phantom Power says:

    ‘It wasn’t a war by Madrid against Barcelona’ and Liz never said that – 1715/16 Catalonia had its own political autonomy then came under direct rule from Madrid. If you go back far enough there was a time the Spanish state didn’t exist.

    1. Redguantlet says:


      Spain came into existence when the kingdom of Aragon and the kingdom of Castile and Leon were united by the marriage of Fernando and Isabel in 1492. You know as well as I do I’m sure, that countries come into existence AGAINST some other culture, power or force.

      What Castile and Aragon had been doing, for centuries, Aragon down the eastern flank, Castile down the centre of the peninsula, was driving out the moors from Spain, who had been there since the 8th century.

      When Castile and Aragon became Spain in 1492, they expelled the Jews, set up the Inquisition, and waged a long and brutal war against heresy. They expelled the “moriscos” – converts from Islam – a century later, hundreds and thousands of them.

      Did you know that Inquisition only officially ended in the 19th century? Girona in Catalonia, if I recall correctly, has a Jewish quarter from where the Jews were expelled en masse, just like they were from Toledo.

      Anyway, this was the glue which held Spain together for centuries: ultra catholicism. Spain was “the defender of the faith”….”more papist than the Pope”…. Cervantes was wounded and lost his arm at the Battle of Lepanto against the invading Turk…

      Nobody can doubt the Catalans are a distinct European people who deserve their own legitimate and democratic referendum. Only problem is, what happened yesterday wasn’t it. And you can-t declare UDI with not even 50% of the vote. It is just madness.

      If it’s a tactic and a ploy, well I understand it, though I think it is somewhat reckless. But if they are actually for real – as they’ve said they are – then Puigdemont and Junqueras are half crazy.

      As for the propaganda machines of Madrid and Barcelona, there is so much shit coming out from both sides that it drives you crazy. Remember, the Catalans, unlike the Scots, have a TV channel which reports to the Generalitat. And they basically run the editorial line of a number of Catalan newspapers by subsidizing them with State advertising.

      Some people in Catalonia are now under the delusion that the Civil War was a war by Franco against Catalonia. It doesn’t matter that Franco killed every single Republican official he came across on the road up from the south of Spain to the capital, and that Madrid was the last city to fall to the fascists…

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