CATALAN leader Carles Puigdemont has called for a ‘democratic opposition’ to the imposition of direct rule from Madrid after the Spanish government terminated his government, closed down the assembly, and announced that it will be holding ‘elections’ in Catalonia to elect the government of its choice.
Puigdemont condemned the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy and promised to continue to ‘work to build a free country’. He made the call in a pre-recorded TV address to Catalans broadcast on Saturday afternoon.
Matters are expected to come to a head this morning when the Catalan leader and other ministers seek entrance to their closed offices to continue with their elected government. If they do this, they will be arrested by the national police, taken to Madrid and charged with rebellion and treason before a Franco-type regime court that will put them away for up to 30 years.
Such an action will see the Catalan police and civil service take strike action along with the Catalan trade unions, while the national police force and army take on the occupation of Catalonia, from where Franco left off.
The senior Catalan police officials have already been sacked and control of Catalonia has been handed over to Spain’s deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria who has already dissolved the regional parliament, and ordered new regional elections to be supervised by the national police to select a new government in December.
In his TV address, Puigdemont said the central government’s actions were ‘premeditated aggression’ that ran ‘contrary to the expressed will of the citizens of our country, who know perfectly well that in a democracy it is parliaments that choose, or remove, presidents.
He added: ‘We continue persevering in the only attitude that can make us winners. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions, and also respecting the protests of the Catalans who do not agree with what the parliamentary majority has decided.’
Meanwhile, the Spanish government has said it would welcome the participation of Puigdemont in new elections in the region in December. An agreement by him to do this and to become a creature of Madrid is highly unlikely.
The alternative is that he will be arrested and face trial for treason, and an election campaign by Madrid collaborators will be launched that will be fought by the Catalan masses every inch of the way. Such an election and campaign can only be held under the guns of the Spanish police and military, and in the teeth of a hostile majority who will battle against it every inch of the way, and who will appeal to the whole of the Spanish working class, and workers throughout Europe to come to their aid and not permit the revival of the tactics and practices associated with General Franco.
Already, the struggle of the Catalan masses has succeeded in ‘doing the impossible’ uniting the EU bureaucracy with the British government, including the Brexit wing of the Tory party, and Nigel Farage in opposing the independence struggle of the Catalan masses.
In the UK, both the pro- and anti-Brexit wings of the Labour Party and the Tories are united in their opposition to Catalan independence. They fear the worse – that is that the Catalan struggle is a continuation of the UK workers Brexit vote and the massive movement throughout Europe against the EU ruling classes.
In fact the Brexit vote, and the massive movements of the Catalan, French and EU working classes are the beginnings of the socialist revolution throughout Europe. The masses of Catalonia know that their friends and allies are the Spanish workers and the workers throughout Europe.
They will appreciate that they can only win their struggle alongside the European working class, in the struggle for a Soviet Socialist Spain that unites all of the Republics of the Spanish peninsula, alongside the struggle to smash the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.
This is the struggle that is now well underway throughout the whole of Europe. All the more reason in this centenary year of the 1917 Russian Revolution to continue it by building sections of the Fourth International in every European country!