Fascist Madrid's Ultimatum to Catalonia
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Rogue regimes don't negotiate. They demand, offering no significant concessions.
Spain is no democracy. It's a political dictatorship, exploiting its people to benefit its privileged class - why Catalans want independence, freeing them from despotic rule.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy gave Catalan President Carles Puigdemont five days to clarify whether the region declared independence or not, another three days to "rectify" the current standoff - eight days to return to pre-referendum status quo conditions, demanding Catalans be denied their universally recognized right of self-determination.
Its modern concept dates from America's Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
It affirms that governments "deriv(e) their powers from the consent of the governed, (and) (t)hat whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government…"
After declaring Catalan independence on Tuesday, Puigdemont suspended it with majority parliamentary consent to "begin a dialogue without which it is impossible to arrive at an agreed solution."
At the same time, he said "the people have determined that Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic."
He called on Rajoy to agree to dialogue, urging EU involvement. His overture was rebuffed, Rajoy indicating that failure to abandon independence efforts will trigger Madrid invoking Article 155 of Spain's constitution, suspending Catalan autonomy, revoking its home rule.
In his Wednesday address to Spain's parliament, he said nothing about dialogue or mediation, effectively rejecting the ideas.
Puigdemont has two options:
— formally declare Catalan independence, triggering Article 155, risking arrest and prosecution for treason or other high charges; or
— submit to Rajoy, losing support from separatist coalition partners and most Catalans, weakening his leadership, likely forcing new elections, perhaps ending his political career.
Puigdemont counselor and spokesman for his government Jordi Turull said if Madrid invokes Article 155, Catalonia will press ahead for statehood.
"We have given up absolutely nothing...We have taken a time out...which doesn't mean a step backwards, or a renunciation or anything like that," he explained on Catalonia Radio.
Rajoy categorically rejects Catalan independence. If it's formally declared, crisis conditions will deepen.
Thousands of national police, civil guards, soldiers, and perhaps right-wing gangs will take control of the region, likely arresting Puigdemont and separatist MPs, imposing de facto military rule, causing a regional convulsion, likely more blood in the streets than on referendum day.
Rajoy has world community support, notably from EU nations and Washington. Catalan police can't protect a government under assault from Madrid if things play out this way.
Democracy in Spain is farcical. Madrid's wrath on Catalonia could be unleashed next week or sooner if Puigdemont formally declares independence as expected.
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