Is Catalonia running a bit too fast?
My ancestors came to Cuba from Spain. On my father's side, it was in the 1840s. On my mother's side, it was the 1920s. So we've always called Spain literally the land of our grandparents.
As I told my Spanish friends, I'm not taking sides on this Catalonia conflict. It's nice to stand on the sidelines for a change!
Nevertheless, I think Catalonia may be rushing to independence, as we see in news reports:
Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain following its banned referendum as the European Union nation nears a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy.
Mireia Boya, a Catalan lawmaker from the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party, said on Twitter that a declaration of independence would follow a parliamentary session on Monday to evaluate the results of the Oct. 1 vote to break away.
"We know that there may be disbarments, arrests... But we are prepared, and in no case will it be stopped," she said.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said earlier he would ask the region's parliament to declare independence following the poll, which Spain's government and constitutional court say was illegal and in which only a minority of Catalans voted.
"This will probably finish once we get all the votes in from abroad at the end of the week and therefore we shall probably act over the weekend or early next week," he told the BBC in remarks published on Wednesday.
In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Puigdemont said he already felt like "a president of a free country where millions of people have made an important decision."
The story goes on to say the markets are rattled, but that was expected.
Catalonia and the federal government are making two mistakes here:
1) The polls showed the vote too close to call. Madrid, or the federals, should have let the vote go through. It would have been very close, giving independence no mandate to break away. Madrid also overreacted, and the net result was bloody images all over the world. Fair or unfair, people with bloody faces usually get sympathy.
2) Catalonia claims that the voters supported secession. In fact, it was not a total election. Many people went home when they saw the police close precincts. Catalonia's election results will probably be challenged and end up in Spanish courts.
No one ever said secession would be easy, unless you are the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Most separations end up with street fighting, and the struggle between Barcelona and Madrid will not have a happy ending.
No matter who wins or loses, both sides had better start having babies, or no one in the future will remember what they were fighting about. The birth rate: Spain 1.3!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.