Listen up, Spain!

Listen up, Spain!

No people deserves the treatment that we have received from you. And for that reason, and in cases like ours, the international community recognizes the right to self-determination. It’s up to us to exercise it. And it is for that reason that we are meeting here today. Our people witnessed the birth of most of the countries in the modern world while you usurped our sovereignty and dissolved our constitutions. We saw how you created artificial identities while you insisted on denying ours. And what is more. No one can deny the fact that we have been as decisive as we have been constructive, as patient as we have been pragmatic.

Listen up, Spain!

Our ancesotrs created parliamentarism as well as one of the first confederations of Europe, a confederation borne of our tradition and idiosyncracies and thus, founded in the equality and respect between the peoples that formed it. We established the foundations of international, mercantile, martime, and consular law. We spurred the modernization of your economy, from the medieval guilds up to the most recent industrial revolutions.

We gave you the technology and the resources that permitted your maritime expansion. We gave you the peseta, four hundred years of our literature, and even the colors of your flag and the name that so proudly identifies you to the world.

In the 19th century, we forged your cultural and intelectual modernization, via a regeneration that made you into a cosmopolitan, European nation. It was our own aim to position you among the nations of a civilized world. During the First Republic, we took the reins while your children were lost in internal battles that consumed you. Our people contributed like no other to make you what you are today, even when no one believed in you, when your own children prostituted your symbols and corrupted your values in the name of fascism.

Our nation watched the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War while we facilitated—powerless, hungry, dirty, straggling—the suppression of our own liberties during 40 years of tyranny. Spain, can’t you hear the cry of my people?

We embraced your children at the same time as you disowned us, we were decisive during the democratic transition and your reconciliation with Europe, and finally, we committed ourselves like no other to guarantee your governability and to assure your wellbeing and economic viability. But one thing is solidarity and another thing altogether is having to pay your excesses while you feed the animosity of your people against Catalonia.

Listen, Spain, you still have not understood that the negotiation, rationality, and good faith that should have established our relationship are not a symptom of weakness but rather of political and intellectual maturity, and in the same way, domination and constant abuse and irrational animosity are not a symptom of power but a clear manifestation of your final decadence.

For the first time in generations, the Catalan nation walks decidedly, harmoniously, and in step toward a new future.

This is the cry of my people. Goodbye, Spain!