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There will probably be deaths in Catalonia

Prof. Dr. Axel Schönberger

Apr 25, 2019 — 

There will probably be deaths — conflict between Spain and Catalonia threatens to escalate after election on 28 April

The Catalans are still playing the game of Spain as far as possible and are being led around like lambs. They are protesting against the Madrid show trial, which is clearly politically and not criminally motivated, against some of their leaders and representatives of Catalan civil society in an exclusively peaceful manner. They are taking part in the next Spanish elections and are implementing relatively few acts of civil disobedience, given the extent of the injustice to which they have now been subjected for years. The very spectacle of the Madrid trial, which is disconcerting for any decent person, highly politicised and unfairly treating political prisoners, is a disgrace not only to Spain, but to the European Union as a whole, which seems to silently endorse the actions of the Spanish injustice judiciary.

After April 28, 2019, a coalition of the currently extremely right-wing Partido Popular and the illiberal Ciudadanos party, some of which is inclining towards right-wing extremist positions, could open up to further and, above all, permanent violations of the human rights of the Catalan people, tolerated by the Vox party, which is in recognizable proximity to Francoism. Among the issues under discussion are a suspension of the Catalan government for at least two legislative periods for several years, with Catalonia to be governed directly by Madrid, the suppression of Catalan radio and television stations, a far-reaching reduction of mother-tongue teaching to Catalan, the de facto abolition of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, which in turn has constitutional status as an organic law of the Spanish state, the censorship of websites and printed publications, and the persecution of other Catalan politicians under abuse of criminal law. It is the will of the leading forces of these Spanish parties that this will and should follow an election victory of the Spanish right.

It is obviously a matter of oppressing and torturing the Catalan people to such an extent that the Catalans will finally defend themselves by force against the constant violence and oppression by the Spaniards, which will then lead to the possibility of a military operation in Catalonia, which the Spanish side apparently wishes to see, and which should have been prepared before 1 October 2017. However, since the Catalans have not yet done the Spaniards this favour, but have reacted very peacefully to all forms of Spanish oppression, sooner or later there will be riots from the Spanish side, to which human lives of Catalans will fall victim. Anyone who follows the Spanish press and the comments of private individuals on the Internet will feel oppressively reminded of the mood in Germany before the Jewish pogroms. The anger towards the Catalans is great on the Spanish side, and the willingness to bomb and militarily occupy Catalonia once again seems to be present among a considerable part of the Spanish population. The hatred that comes to light is so hurtful that it further enlarges the ranks of Catalan proponents of statehood. It is no longer a question of whether Catalonia will separate from Spain, but of when and how this will happen. The European Union's current policy seems to be to promote and tolerate the violent and, if necessary, military oppression of the Catalan people. The current leaders of the European Union will one day have to answer to history for this.

There'll probably be casualties. It is still time to prevent the loss of human life. But Europe is silent, watching and as an accomplice in all that Spain is currently doing to the Catalan people. The moral foundation of the European Union, respect for and observance of human rights, is breaking down in the Catalan conflict at a speed that one would hardly have thought possible just two or three years ago. It is not the brexit, but the foolish behaviour of the highest representatives of Europe and of the leading politicians of the European nation states which is capable of destroying the European unification process to the core and of sullying the previous ideals and values of the European Union. The peoples and nations of Europe do not need a European Union that endorses the massive violation of human rights in one of its Member States. Europe's tolerated support for the massive human rights violations in Spain will not stop the Catalan revolution in the long term, but it will irreparably damage the European Union and its former ideals. And just as the Habsburg Dual Monarchy disintegrated, the European Union will one day probably also disintegrate again if it does not reflect on something better at the last minute.

The European Union's message to the peoples of the world could not be clearer:

«Do not believe in the universality of human rights! If you demand them peacefully, we will laugh at you and tolerate that you are even more oppressed! Only violent conflicts in which blood is shed are taken seriously by the European Union. That is why we supported Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, but we will not only not support peaceful attempts at independence, as in the case of Catalonia, but, on the contrary, tolerate their oppression. Moreover, we Europeans have the right to criticise human rights violations outside Europe, but to tolerate them silently within Europe. For the citizens of the European Union, important human rights should not apply because, as we all know, they live in "democracies".»

The collective human right to self-determination of peoples was conceived by the United Nations as a conflict prevention mechanism. The countries of Europe have recognised it on paper, but in practice disregard it in their own areas of competence.

Soon the Catalan people will have to mourn their first martyrs. How long will the Catalan nation allow itself to be provoked without consequences? Will there ultimately be another civil war started by Spain, which will shake the whole of Europe? The international community should have intervened long ago and put Spain in its place. However, many still do not seem to realise the scale of human rights violations in Spain.

There is still time to react to the dark clouds of new barbarism that are coming up in Spain and to prevent Spain from ever further leaving the circle of civilized peoples. But Europe is silent and watching!

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