Federal Spain, Plural Spain

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cultural, linguistic, territorial, geographic diversity... is Spain’s greatest wealth. The different Autonomous Communities united by common democratic principles is our strength. Imposing union by force weakens and threatens to divide us all.

If you don’t want a divided Spain, then you must accept a plural one. The age of unitary domination, in which a few were in power while the rest remained resigned and obedient has passed.

The Constitution must be respected. But it must also be brought up to date. It was the result of a wise compromise in which some demonstrated much generosity. It shouldn’t be defended now at all costs... precisely by those who then showed so little enthusiasm for the autonomous system adopted for a stronger political union and other things that had to be accepted. The goal was to bring an end to a unitary State united by force, rather than by the will of its peoples.

For this reason, education for citizenship is so necessary. For this reason it is important to have an education that enables each person to “live his own life”. And not to remain silent.

If I could have, I would have participated in the demonstrations on Saturday, July 10th, in Catalunya. And in any case, my spirit was with the hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrated to say “no” to those who seek to impose the worst type of nationalism, which is repressive and stifling centralism.

In federal countries, a nation may be composed of many states. A state may have many nations, territories... In the United States, as its very name implies, 50 states make up the American nation. Why can’t the Spanish state be made up of different Autonomous Communities such as the Basque Country, the Kingdom of Navarre or the Catalan Nation (without having to disguise it in the Preamble)? Their intention is to equate state with nation.

If there is “no other nation but Spain”, can there be no other “fatherland” but Spain? Must the Asturianos cease to sing their world famous hymn “Asturias, Dear Fatherland”? And will Navarre cease to be a “kingdom” because there is no other kingdom but Spain?

After four long years with the Estatut in force to show that Spain hasn’t broken apart or become divided, with great difficulty that reflects its aberrant and dubious composition, the Constitutional Court has rendered a judgment with interpretations that likewise allow for different interpretations.

The first is that many of the things that it prohibits or restricts may be achieved legally through other means.

The second is that the Constitutional Court should never again render an opinion after a law has been sanctioned (having strictly following the established procedures) by the Spanish Parliament and by the people.

The third is that the Constitution should be brought up to date, perhaps rendering the Constitutional Court unnecessary.

The fourth is that a political party’s recourse to the Constitutional Court, seeking to “win” what it has already “lost” democratically, should be limited to exceptional cases.

The fifth is that what probably warrants reforming is not the Estatut, but rather the Constitution.

Yes: I was present in spirit at the demonstration in Catalunya. To demonstrate my support for a plural state, a diverse Spain, a federal Spain. And let me underscore that I do not support those who now, taking advantage of the present confusion, have delusions of sovereignty. Precisely now, when the unity of cultures is most important and urgent for the radical changes in government that the world requires. Now, when the well-rooted local citizenry must likewise be active global citizens.

I will never support those who against the tide and against world solidarity seek to glean votes for sovereignty in Catalunya among those who are logically in disagreement with the judgment and demand solutions rather than additional problems.

Nor will I support those who are now, as always, looking the other way, but who appealed the Estatut and collected 4 million signatures against the “fatherland of my heart”. They have always opposed the nationalists, but they are currently flirting with them, as they did in the past whenever it was to their advantage. These are the politics that the people reject, the politics of “anything goes”.

Those who now demand from us a “sense of country” are those who demonstrated that they lack one by instigating this conflict.

Both groups must take off their blinders and look forward. Toward what is really in the interest of Catalunya, Spain, Europe and the world. They are all obsessed with the upcoming elections. Both groups, those who favor independence and those who have made so may affronts to Catalunya, are in my opinion irresponsible and unable to build the different future that we desire.

Please, don’t invent an “enemy” now. Don’t provoke attitudes that are later unduly judged with severity. Those who should be judged are those who incited this conflict, who seek to continue to control the future of counties with the authoritarian and dominating rules of the past.

We have to go to the heart of these questions and, at the dawning of this century and millennium, promote the necessary radical changes through authentic democracies in which power truly “emanates from the people”.

Distance participation is now possible, thanks to modern communications technology.

Profound transformations are possible if we are capable of expressing ourselves and of listening. Of dialoging, allowing everyone to express their points of view, including ones which are diametrically opposed to ours. Without imposition, violence or threats.

A large percent of Catalonians have spoken. Let’s listen to them!

I will never tire of repeating that the great transition will be from force to the word.

Spain, a plural state. Spain, a nation of nations. Federal Spain.