Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to you in regards to the distressingly bad situation in Spain regarding Catalonia. I find it very upsetting to see the oppression and sheer terrorism this country’s government is placing on its own Catalan people. It is unacceptable for a government to repeatedly deny the right of people to self-determination while decrying any attempt to express this right as ‘illegal’, barring those who pursue independence from running for public office and locking them up for 15-30 years. Think if this were happening in the United States! Would we jail people in California seeking #Calexit? Jail their rulers for sedition?
The people of Catalonia held a non-binding referendum in 2014 (which passed with over 80%, although also labeled ‘illegal’ and with lower participation), then voted in a parliament with a majority of independence advocates in 2015, and voted again for independence in this latest referendum, with over 90% in favor of independence. Yes, the turnout was 43%, but what threshold would make everyone happy and the referendum ‘legitimate’? 50%? 60%? 70%? The Brexit referendum had registered turnout of 72%. Even if the registered turnout of the Catalan referendum had been 75%, and every single one of the extra votes had been valid and against independence, that would have brought the result to 51% for independence and 47% against, roughly the same result of the Brexit referendum. And the Catalan referendum result is despite violence and intimidating policing tactics trying to prevent the vote, which some suggest prevented anywhere from 5-15% of eligible voters from casting votes in favor of independence.
Remember your own election and how the left has opposed your Presidency to the point of violence? This is no different except it is the government doing this to its own people. Simply put, Spain has become fascist and very much resembles pre-Nazi Germany when Hitler had the brown coats imprison and murder political opposition. Our own declaration of independence was taken by sheer violence, yet the Catalan people have tried to do this in a peaceful legal matter.
In regards to Venezuela, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently denounced Venezuela’s prohibition of public gatherings and suppression of journalism, calling on the State to adhere to its international human rights obligations. However, the same thing is happening in Spain as we speak. They are limiting internet access and any media regarding Catalonia is being censored. How can we, as a free country and a defender of democracy allow this to continue? Simply put we cannot.
Madrid should have followed David Cameron’s example in allowing referendums and particularly in how the Scottish referendum was carried out (although I disagree with the determination of the eligible electorate). However, Madrid has repeatedly refused to grant the Catalans their universal right of self-determination which is enshrined in international law. The refusal to grant a referendum is itself illegal and in violation of multiple international conventions, including the United Nations Charter; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of which were ratified decades ago.
On October 1st, the people of Catalonia voted on the referendum to free themselves of the tyrannical government of Spain. Spain in return sent policia to try to stop the vote. They seized ballots and committed violence against the people. Dressed in riot gear, nearly 900 people were hurt who just wanted to vote. Please see the following links that include picture and videos of this violence. First set of pictures
A direct quote from a Catalan person I recently interviewed:
“Europe closed its eyes to the brutality exerted by the Spanish government and its police against the Catalans. Europe today closes them again before the judicial resolutions that have taken the government of the Generalitat to prison. Europe does not want to know anything about its Catalan citizens, nor about its government, nor about its rights. While Europe closes its eyes, in Spain the police allow the violence of the neo-Nazis in the streets of Barcelona. The Catalan people lost their freedoms and their rights in 1714 because Austria, England, and the Netherlands abandoned it in the war of succession and France supported Spain. Europe continues to be silent about the excesses of Spanish politics, the corruption of its government and politicized justice.”
“The European Union asked us to dialogue with the Spanish government. The government threatened us to intervene the Generalitat and the public media. Europe was silent. The president Puigdemont wanted to dialogue, retiring and calling new elections, but the Spanish government did not accept it and continues to threaten Catalonia. There are two sole responsible for this situation: Europe, which shows that it sees nothing and Spain, which moves the hatred towards the Catalans.”
Please, I beg you as a concerned US citizen, help right this situation in Catalonia. Speak with President Rajoy and stop the oppression of these wonderful, peaceful people who only want freedom.
Thank you a concerned citizen