After hearing the judgments of the Court of Justice of Catalonia which disqualified from office the former president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, and two former ministers of his government, Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau, voices have been raised to request that they become the new ambassadors for Catalan Independence. In fact, the disqualifications, however unjust they are, have become a cry, a voice that transcends borders, which results in an opposite direction to what the judges may want.
The vice-president of the current government of Catalonia, Neus Munté, said: “disqualification facilitates (the convicted) as the best ambassadors to explain, in first person how fragile Spanish democracy is”, of what nature this “phobia and panic Spain has toward democracy.” And, in turn, the ban pushes them to “educate more about what happens in Spain as it is a matter of concern in certain instances Europe” and about the reasons why so many Catalans want independence. “The experience, witness and courage” of the convicted, “can help you understand better what we want in Catalonia. The Catalan government wants them on board. ”
These are the first people convicted for having supported the Catalan process towards the realization of the right to self-determination. Therefore, they have become pioneers for so many Catalans who, symbolically, have been convicted for the same reasons. These are the almost two and a half million Catalans who over two years, voted for independence in an unofficial referendum.
The Generalitat’s response to the Government will, according to Neus Munté, “(a push for) more democracy and more enthusiasm to carry it out” with the celebration of an upcoming referendum. “No member of the government is afraid to exercise the democratic mandate” of the Parliament of Catalonia, representing the sovereignty of the Catalan people, “despite warnings and threats” of the Spanish government and the parties that sustain it.
Moreover, MEPs Ramon Catalan Threose (Partit Democràtic Europeu Català) Josep M. Terricabras and Jordi Solé (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya), have sent a letter to their colleagues in the European Parliament in which they write “the ruling will not stop the will of the Catalan people to express themselves at the polls.” They remind them that there has been a constant demand from the Catalan government to dialogue with the Spanish government regarding the terms of the referendum; a petition has received a negative response always, even to initiate a dialogue.
The president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, said: “we all feel we have been convicted, including the people who voted no, in the 9-N independence referendum.” But “the Catalan people will pardon the judgment of 9-N by voting in the new referendum.” Everyone should know that the sentence encourages the government to “find the answer at the polls.”
President emeritus of CIEMEN
President of Plataforma pel Dret de Decidir (PDD)