Catalonia Financial Resistance: Second Spanish Civil War
Twenty years ago I wrote in one of Tom Clancy’s Op Center books called “Balance of Power” how the government of Spain , headquartered in Madrid , would eventually fall apart because of the indomitable resistance of the formidable Catalonians and their incessant cry for independence. Today, as the Spanish Central Government is in trouble once again for the umpteenth time , the bureaucrats of Madrid are demanding that Barcelona, the epicenter of the Catalonian Independence Movement, pay up. But Catalonia refuses to pay close to forty per cent of the GDP for the inexcusable bail out of the financially precarious state called, “Spain”. If one wonders where the Spanish money disappeared , one only has to look at all the flight capital that escaped to Latin America and the United States, especially Florida [ City National Bank Of Florida and TotalBank].
However my personal and professional interest in Spain and the Spanish Civil War started many decades ago when I lived and worked in a wholesale store in Toulouse, France, located on the border of Spain, right next to Barcelona where I would vacation on weekends. In that beautiful Medieval town where scores of Spanish refugees, particularly Catalonians fleeing from Franco’s brutal repression: 1939-1975. Without having to go into the particulars of the Spanish Civil War, precipitated by Franco’s North African Spanish Troops, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards died on all sides—Catholic Priests, nuns, Republicans, Abraham Lincoln Brigade , Soviets, and many more parties. It was in that war where the Nazis developed their Blitzkreig and Stuka Diving techniques, to be used later in World War II, decimating innocent civilians in Guernica , Madrid, and Barcelona.
Under Franco , who by the way was never condemned for war crimes and continued to reign well into the 20th century, the Catalonians were placed, in effect, under Martial Law. In Barcelona as well as other regions of Catalonia, Franco eliminated the ‘statute of autonomy’ , banned the Catalonian institutions of language, culture and free press. In short, against their own wishes, Catalonians were forced after passed failures of historical hegemony to be incorporated into an entity called “Spain”. Thousands of Catalonians were killed and tortured , among them the former president of the Generalitat Lluis Company’s i Jover.
Why do I call “Spain” an illegitimate state? Because historically as I had pointed out in my novel “Balance Of Power”, Spain was historically amalgamated by former miscreants, taking areas of land adjacent land to France like the Basque region where like Catalonia [Barcelona] , Spanish is not their primary language or culture. So in effect, if the Basque region which has fought previously for it’s independence and Barcelona secede from Madrid, there is de facto ‘no spain’. The regions south of Madrid are nothing more than extensions of North Africa, desert wasteland, conquered by the Moors, which were and are are extremely impoverished. So between the hypertrophied vital economy of Barcelona as well as the hardworking, ingenious Basques, Madrid cannot legitimately exist without their respective monetary donations. And in my opinion, I think that neither Barcelona nor the Basque s should pay the debts of wastrel Madrid.
I write this blog at this particular time in history because I feel it’s propitious for the Spanish government to come to terms with it’s perfidious history of having been complicit in silencing the truth about the Spanish War and how the consequences of that war still scar the citizens of Spain and those who were involved with it, like me and my family. Also in a recent trip to Spain , I saw how spoiled and lazy the Spanish citizenry especially in Madrid, encouraged by a government to engaged in corrupt, wasteful activities where there was literally fifty per cent unemployment in the youth because the state did and would not create sufficient jobs. A government that defaults on both it’s fiduciary and psychological responsibilities has committed it’s own vivisection through lies, betrayals, distortions , cronyism, and worst of all an inability to integrate the pains of the past into the present culture. It’s a pity that I finally found a movie illustrating Spain’s recent history tucked away in the Museum of Modern Art. The only place to see the famous film on Franco’s atrocities in a city where no one wants to talk about the past.
So on this day, when Catalonians in Barcelona and elsewhere refuse to pay for Madrid’s ineptness , I say to them what our brave New Hampshire ‘terrorist', General John Stark, proclaimed in act of a similar defiance to the oppressive demands of the English King , “Live Free or Die: Death is not the worst of evils! !”