On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:00:05 GMT
NewsBeanie <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Title: ¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to silence Catalan independence vote sites
Author: Kieren McCarthy
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2017 04:06:06 -0400
Dot-cat referendum webpages censored amid brazen internet crackdown
As a controversial referendum on the independence of Catalonia draws near, the
Spanish government has expanded efforts to shut it down, even blocking access
to some websites.…
The result — 90 percent of voters unsurprisingly favored independence —
is pretty much meaningless in the circumstances. The secessionist
referendum was a sham. It ignored the silent half of Catalonia. That
hasn’t stopped Puigdemont intimating the possibility of a declaration
of Catalan independence (an invitation to open conflict) before saying
he does not plan a traumatic split.
The 7.5 million inhabitants of Catalonia have legitimate political,
economic and historical grievances. The harsh crackdown from Madrid has
inevitably raised dark specters in a Europe where they are stirring on
many fronts: Franco suppressed the Catalan language and culture
throughout his rule. But Puigdemont is a reckless opportunist
determined to destroy the middle ground where any answers will lie.
“Those of us who have always wanted a decentralized Spain that is
multilingual, multicultural and diverse have been placed in an
impossible position,” Manuel Muñiz, the dean of the IE School of
International Relations in Madrid, told me. “I am very uncomfortable
with the images of violence I saw on TV. But what’s just happened in
Catalonia is so openly anti-Constitutional, anti-European and such an
outrageous abuse of norms that we are all being dragged into a
The Catalan lurch is of its time. Yes, it’s about Catalan
self-determination. But it’s also of a piece with the
anti-establishment, anti-elitist, disruption-at-any-cost upheavals that
have been buffeting and undermining the postwar liberal order in Europe.
Of course, it’s precisely that order — embodied in the European Union
and by the presence of the United States as an offsetting power in
Europe — that over the past four decades has ushered Spain, and
Catalonia within it, to a degree of prosperity and democratic stability
unimaginable at Franco’s death. Spain is a poster child for European
integration. So, of course, is Catalonia.
But we have entered the Age of Amnesia.
Nationalist trumpets are blaring. President Trump marches under the
banner of “America First.” He has no time for the European Union, or
multilateralism; and no capacity to represent the American idea to the
world. So, rudderless, the liberal order frays. It is not true of Trump
that he’s harmless because he’s so inept. He does harm daily.
In his terrible speech to the United Nations last month, Trump barely
discussed Europe. His is a valueless foreign policy. It’s hard to gauge
the precise impact of America going AWOL in a European continent used
to its ordering presence, but suffice it to say that recklessness is
It’s obvious that the middle ground needs to be re-created in Spain,
that Rajoy (if he survives) must drop his high-handedness and
Puigdemont his destructive hubris, and that a dialogue is essential. A
creative road to a federal Spain could, with time, be imagined.
But the cacophonous modern world is not good at the middle ground. This
could end badly. A Catalan declaration of independence on the basis of
this referendum would lead directly to violence. It must be avoided.
I hope that Catalans — and indeed all Spaniards — have digested the
recent words of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, in his inspiring
speech last week on the need for a reinvigorated European Union:
“Only Europe, in a word, can assure real sovereignty, that’s to say our
capacity to exist in the modern world to defend our values and our
interests. There is a European sovereignty to build, and there is the
necessity to build it.”
In European sovereignty, not in more national flags, lies the bright
future of every European of good will.