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SPAIN: Catalonia

From Barcelona, Lluis Bosch writes: "Catalan independence movement is not the result of a drug overdose of irresponsible Catalans. Hank Levin testifies to this fact. You are free to keep on thinking about the "nice" Spain you knew in 1932. This was the time in which the majority of Catalans -and Basques- still believed that some type of long lasting agreement could be reached.

Nowadays, however, after hundreds of thousands of deaths and thousands of prison terms (fruit not only of the Civil War, but especially of the fascist repression which lasted 40 years), many of us believe there is no other way out but independence. An independence which, as you say, Spain will never grant us and we must therefore win with blood, sweat and tears. This price --set by Spain, not by us-- is what still deters a majority of Catalans. We are sick of wars and deaths. We just want to be ourselves, free and in peace.

If Spain decides to start killing people to maintain its "sacred" unity, then there is little we Catalans can do about it, except perhaps die in the process. Spain has the army, we only have democratic will. Spain has the budget, we only have democratic will. Spain has the international forum to use, we only have the sympathy of the people of the world, and our democratic will.

Bullets and bullying against free, pacific, democratic will. On who's side are you on, Ronald? If this soils your happy memories of 1932, I am indeed sorry. But you must realize that the main object of our lives is not making you happy with the fulfillment of your nostalgia. It is making ourselves happy".

My reply: It does not sound as though you are making yourself happy. I look forward, not backward, and I wish you would too. The Madrid government of today is totally different from those that caused the misery tou describe. It is true that lurking in Spain there are fascist elements whom it would be unwise to provoke. Catalans boast of their common sense (seny). This is a good time to show it.

Ronald Hilton - 7/27/02