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Catalonia’s independence is a retaliation for the 1939 defeat

After 80 years, the civil war in Spain has found its conclusion in the current attempt of tearing away Catalonia, ruled by successors of the republicans, from Spain. The referendum and the secession is clearly a retaliation on the part of the left for the defeat suffered in the years 1936-39 and for General Franco’s long rule.

The violent independence referendum in Catalonia, in which the vast majority voiced their support for secession is a part of Catalan tradition of rebellion against the conservative rulers and monarchs in Madrid.

Some of the commentators are of the opinion that Catalans wanted to stop Madrid from redistributing the wealth produced in this province and assigning it to poorer parts of the country; some others look at the phenomenon from a political or ideological perspective. For a long time Spain has been the battlefield between adherents of the political right and left. In 1909 during the Tragic Week (la Setmana Tràgica) the anarchist, anti-militarist, and anti-colonialist rebellion in Barcelona was crushed with heavy-handed methods. General European condemnation in the press was immediate. During the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War Catalonia was a “republican” stronghold, supported by the Soviet Union and communist volunteers from across Europe. During that period a violent social revolution was raging in this anarchist-controlled province, in which the workers and peasants collectivized land and industry and set up more radical councils quite apart from the Spanish Republican government. In 1939 after the bloody civil war, the helm of power was taken by the right; since General Francisco Franco’s death the society has gradually been moving to the left, which resulted in the 2008 government of Jose Louis Rodriguez Zapatero, a grandson of a captain of republican troops from the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), shot by General Franco’s soldiers for refusing to obey the orders.1)Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Wikipedia. After the war Catalonia has remained of the predominantly leftist political persuasion.


The Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caídos), 8 miles north of El Escorial, built between 1940 and 1958 to commemorate all those who died on both sides during the Spanish Civil War.

This “red” province, rich in revolutionary and anarchic traditions (it was in Barcelona and whereabouts that George Orwell, who took part in the war in the ranks of the republicans, wrote “Homage to Catalonia”) has not forgotten its defeat at the hands of General Franco’s troops. The Republican Left of Catalonia has been active in the province since 1931, and precisely this party in concert with the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia is an ardent advocate of secession, which was voted for by 90% of the slightly above 42% Catalans who took part in the referendum.

References   [ + ]

1. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Wikipedia.

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