Monday, September 24, 2012
Open letter to Barack Obama
Barack H. Obama
United States of America
as the TIME magazine cover of September 10th put it: What Obama knows now, reaching the end of your term as president of your great country, you may have been acquainted with the Catalonia growing cry for independence in these recent years.
An ancient country with a long and glorious history, with a vast cultural background and a rich language, Catalonia has been striving to find a place in the concert of the free nations of the world.
The struggle to emerge as a single entity, as a country, has not always been a peaceful one. Lost our ancient rights and laws in fierce battles some 300 years ago, and lost again more recently during the Spanish Civil war that led to a very long 38 years of Franco's dictatorship, had cost us dearly in blood and suffering.
The advent of democracy and the writing of a new constitution for the Spanish State in the 1970's opened a new era of peace and development and growth to Spain and also to Catalonia. Spain is now a modern state of law-abiding citizens integrated in the European Union and cooperating with a wide variety of international endeavors for peace and wellbeing around the world.
This however, and for the past thirty years, has come about to an unfair cost to the people who live and toils in Catalonia up to a point to make it unbearable.
Not only our economic situation has been set back, worsened further by the worldwide economic crisis of these past few years, but some of our widely accepted initiatives within our community to modernize and put forward a better way of managing it, such as the 2006 Statute of Autonomy originally granted by the Spanish state, have been trampled, despised and utterly rejected by the Spanish central government.
For years, through effort, hard work and entrepreneurship, Catalonia has been the powerhouse for the Spanish state economy. But the unfair taxation system is strangled us and tampered our efforts so no longer we see our future as prosperous as we should allow to dream.
As you well know, the American colonies went into the path for independence initially for a matter of taxes. To us is not just the tea, but rather a sizable chunk of our resources that go to Spain and are not fairly returned as services and investments. Catalonia understands that the contribution in terms of solidarity to other parts of Spain is right, but not to the point to render us poorer than the regions we are helping. And worst, with no end in sight to this lopsided drainage.
All this has brought us to the point of considering that a future not dependent of the decisions and policies, made 400 miles away in Madrid that do not respect our reasoned wishes in terms of administering our lives, is a desirable endeavor.
On September 11th, a date of dire remembrances to both your country and ours, 1 and a half million of us took the streets of Barcelona to show our will for a change in our relation with the Spanish State. That rally was organized by the civil society, political parties and politicians joining in afterwards.
From there on, our collective will is to pursue the constitution of an independent state that suits our needs and dreams for the future. And to do so in a peaceful and reasoned way within the concert of all the nations of the world and the European Union as well.
This is what we want to bring to your attention and, as the head of the most powerful nation in the world, ask for your support to the will of a people that strives for its own laws, its rights and its independent free will in the path of liberty and peace.
With our best wishes for your renewal in office, should that be the wish of the American people in the incoming elections,
Citizen of Catalonia