As Catalonia prepares to head to the polls on October 1 for a referendum on independence that the Spanish government says is in breach of the country’s constitution, ‘yes’ voters tell Euronews their reasons for wanting to go it alone.
For many years Catalonia has been mistreated by the Spanish government. Not only economically (Catalonia contributes much more than it receives), but also at the political and social level. After many years of unfulfilled promises, the population of Catalonia has said “it’s enough”. It is not a confrontation between Spanish and Catalan population. We are friends. It’s about democracy.
We do not feel part of a monarchical state. We are Republicans, we have our own language and culture, a vital economy.
We have tried to agree on hundreds of occasions to hold a referendum, but the answer has always been NO. The current government acts in an anti-democratic and repressive way, with actions reminiscent of the Franco regime.
We are a peaceful society. Which is the society that year after year has taken more than a million people to the street to ask for the independence of Catalonia? This movement is unstoppable.
We firmly believe that an independent Catalonia will be better. It will be Republican, European, more just and egalitarian. More open to the world. Innovative and leading in many aspects, with its own capacity and own resources.
I am an independentist because I am not Spanish and I don’t feel Spanish. I am ashamed of the recent history of Spain, the involution of this and its retrograde mentality. Spain is in an eternal baroque period.
When I arrived to Barcelona in 2002, I came as a newborn politically and socially speaking: I didn’t know much about real life and social issues here. The only thing I had in my mind was that I was going to discover my roots; my grandfather was, as many other thousands, one of those Spanish citizens who went to Mexico looking for a new life, far away from a country that was soon to turn into a dictatorship.
I wanted to visit the now peaceful and democratic country that my grandfather once dreamed of returning to; little I knew about the statues to the dictator, Francisco Franco, still standing in many places around the country, and it was for me a big surprise to realize that the Post-Franco era was still an ongoing process: thousands of bodies in hidden common pits not very hard to find, but politically impossible to deal with; thousands of crimes never judged thanks to an amnesty agreement among the political parties that are now-days strongly responsible of what many call The Catalan Issue.
Through the years I had the chance to hear both parties: the red ones, and the blue ones; the pro-Franco, and the republicans; the Catalans who wanted independence, and those who didn’t; and had enough of the media from Madrid that manipulates the information to perpetuate the terrible prejudice many Spanish citizens have against the Catalans.
After living in Catalonia for 15 years, I learned their language, learned their history and got to know their traditions; I learned to love it as my own country and felt the warm welcome of a people who are grateful when a foreigner respects and wants to learn about their culture and language.
On October 1st I’m going to vote YES to the independence of Catalonia for the sake of historical and social justice; because they deserve dignity and respect as a culture; they deserve better international political representation; because the right to freedom is a natural right, but mostly as a way to say: “Thank you for sharing your wonderful country with me.”