sábado, 14 de octubre de 2017
There's a psy-op going on
According to former Russian spy Daniel Estulin in an interview on Catalan radio, the independence of Catalunya is a done deal, because the CIA and Israel are behind it. I would like to add that both Spain's national government and the Catalan Generalitat are most likely in cahoots. All this is a very new realization, I must admit, but it's attractive in that it puts a lot of recent, oftentimes incomprehensible, developments in perspective. So here follows an overview of events, leading inevitably to the secession of Catalunya from Spain because larger powers want it to happen.
We need to start some twenty years ago, when José María Aznar, leader of the Partido Popular, became his party's first Spanish prime-minister. Aznar focused on undermining the constitutional order of post-Franco Spain with its system of autonomous regions, set up to cater to feelings of unease in the so-called historic regions of Galicia, Euskadi and Catalunya, and then immediately diluted by splitting up all of Spain into separate communities, many of which were not economically viable and would always need guidance from Madrid, thus maintaining in a clever way a stronghold over most of the country, yet missing out for the moment on a handful of large cities, Barcelona the foremost adversary as it was almost similar in size and income in those days. Without changing many laws, Aznar began concentrating all the wealth and authoritative power in the centre. Investments outside of the capital were only deemed necessary if they benefitted Madrid. This perspective has among numerous other projects led to the creation of a very expensive and strictly radial system of high speed railways, connecting the smallest of provincial towns with a straight train to Madrid. Of all the AVE lines only Madrid-Barcelona is viable, the rest need continuous funding because the trains run mostly empty. Meanwhile, if you want to go from Barcelona to Valencia by train, you are led over partially single track in an old beast of an admittedly once comfortable wagon. What also started under Aznar, whose political mentor was former Franco minister Manuel Fraga, was a concerted effort by the nation's media to paint Catalunya black. The established Catalan education system, with its focus on re-establishing the almost lost Catalan language, came under constant attack, while Catalans were depicted as greedy and dishonest, in one word: dangerous.
When I moved to Barcelona in 2005, people here were wary of Madrid's tactics, yet any sense of creating their own nation was very low profile. The idea that the whole of Spain, not just them, had escaped Franco's dictatorial rule was still fresh on people's minds. Besides, the economy was doing fine. Barcelona was becoming a popular tourist destination and foreign investment was on the rise. Necessary infrastructure was paid for by local banks and companies in public private partnerships with the regional government. The situation would soon change, though. First, there was the new Catalan Statute, approved by its people, which stated that Catalunya was a nation, therefore allowing it to strive for independence if deemed necessary in the future. Understandably, this preamble was immediately scrapped by the national parliament in Madrid, though one went some long steps further by repudiating almost half of the law's articles in a clear attempt at raising neck hairs over in Catalunya. And successfully so, as within a week the first massive outpour of hurt Catalan pride filled the streets of Barcelona. The new president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, an internationally orientated conservative politician with influential friends in the US and Israel, channelled emotions towards a movement for the independence of Catalunya. Ever since, once a year between one and two million people gather in their capital to call for secession.
Then Mariano Rajoy became the second prime-minister from the ranks of Partido Popular, on a promise of restoring an economy which was recently hit by the debt bomb of Wall Street's making. Of course, he wouldn't do such a thing, as he was unable to. Spain was to pay for its bubble economy (another gift from Aznar) and the bill was presented to the regions. Soon, Catalunya was insolvent and the Generalitat was placed under receivership. Although Catalans remained relatively wealthy, the Generalitat was suddenly dead poor and Madrid refused to invest one penny in the region. While the capital was growing and growing, Barcelona felt it was missing out on a chance to cash in on its worldwide popularity. Meanwhile, the idea that Madrid's total focus on its own affairs was hurtful to the country as a whole, was quickly winning adepts. In other words, Rajoy's cabinet was not only being unfair, it was acting stupidly, and also among Catalans who rejected independence, whether because they feared the consequences or felt it lacked a sense of solidarity with the rest of the country, a desire was growing to simply run away from the madness of Partido Popular rule. People were joking about petitioning Paris to adopt Catalunya as a new French region.
With the streets of Barcelona full of people and a mock referendum polling the support for independence in 2014, Rajoy kept refusing to take the Catalans' claims seriously. When in 2013 Catalans held hands to form a continuous line from the French border all the way south to Castellón province, a manifestation which attracted close to three million people out of a population of 7.5, Rajoy famously remarked that the silent majority had stayed home so there was no need for him to address the grievances. During all these years, the Spanish government could have easily found a solution or at least eased tensions. Yet all they did was rake up the fire. At the same time, people started realising that gaining independence in a democratic way would prove difficult because of demographic realities. Catalunya is a country of immigrants and most of them are not in favour of secession. Simply put, many Spaniards living here feel that voting for independence would constitute a betrayal of their roots, while many foreigners have families back home who live of their incomes, which makes them fearful of speaking out as they can't afford to lose their jobs. The Catalans, with their strong and growing sense of togetherness, feel frustrated by these realities. Now this is true for tribal communities all over the western world, but in a decent democracy such feelings are properly attended to. The right of the majority to rule comes with the obligation to keep minorities happy. Not so in Spain, not under Popular rule at least. They prefer to set the people of Catalunya up against each other. From an outsider perspective, by the way, one might think this is not very helpful to the cause of break-up.
I haven't yet mentioned the corruption, which apparently is rife in Partido Popular, as in Artur Mas' old party. Whether true or not, most leading party members are involved in a corruption case one way or another. Of course, most of them will walk scot free. Mr Rajoy himself should have been in jail for destroying evidence in an ongoing judicial investigation, but surely nobody dares to touch him. Another reason to feel your blood boiling, when you think of it.
And now we are in 2017. When the Catalan ruling parties used their slight majority to push through another referendum, as was their campaign promise, if won leading to a declaration of independence, Madrid for an answer effectively suspended the Generalitat’s powers, making autonomous rule totally virtual. Both sides were at loggerheads, with all forms of contact officially broken, and there seemed no other outcome possible than a full-blown crisis. And it came, with the ruthless yet totally ineffective police actions of October first, a media show more than anything else. Though wiser heads are finally calling for mediation, there seems to be no way back. Many Catalans, and especially its youths, are forever lost to Spain. My 18-year old son has been on the barricades all week, protecting polling stations, going to demos and texting his friends about the latest rumours, in short, having the time of his life. The genie is definitively out of the bottle. From Madrid's current perspective, the only possible solution would be to instate military rule. One would hope even Brussels should by then feel the need to interfere.
I strongly believe all this is no coincidence. As hard-headed a fool as Mr Rajoy may be, even he must understand he is on a dead end. With his ostrich policy he has effectively driven Catalunya out of Spain. The ruling families cannot simply let this happen if they feel it is against their interests. So it must have been the plan all along. And the Catalan leadership were likely in on the scheme, because in all silence preparations for the new state have been ongoing. They knew they had to be ready by the time of the referendum and according to many whispering voices they are. But why would Spain accept getting rid of a region which is often described as its goose with the golden eggs? Even if they believe they can drain the Catalan economy by quickly moving as many operations as possible to Madrid and Valencia, they will still take a serious beating.
Perhaps it's part of the deal. Still, you would think that giving the Catalans the Basque solution, real autonomy and their own tax office, would have been more favourable to all. Even today, it might still be the best outcome. So yes, I fear ulterior motives are at play here, and Estulin's words suggest America is behind it all. I understand the official line of thinking here is that a fractured Europe would be easier to control through its linchpin, the European Commission. Concerning a possible Israeli involvement, are they perhaps looking for a European refuge for compatriots who want to flee the troubles at home? It would certainly be an irony of history if the people who are often accused of being Jews by their countrymen, though the Jewish community here is actually very small, would come to take up Jewish refugees. Only time, little time most likely, will tell.