Vicenç Villatoro’s Diary

Spain and the Spanish

This is the sheer underlying manipulation: confusing the Spanish state with the Spanish people

Led by Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and his deputy, Irene Lozano, Marca España [Global Spain] is tasked with fighting Catalonia’s pro-independence movement. That is why it has been spreading a dogma: Catalan separatists hate Spain and, therefore, they hate each and every one of the Spanish people. This dogma needs to work at home —“they hate your country, they hate you”— as well as abroad: “Catalan separatists are supremacist bigots”.

But this is a perverse proposition. It is based on a deliberate confusion between Spain and the Spanish. Spain as a state, as a political concept, is clearly not the same as the Spanish, the sum of all the people from Spain. Passing off one thing as the other is cheating. Most independence supporters in Catalonia are critical of Spain as a state, but they admire and love the Spaniards whom they find worthy of admiration (and there are many of them).

It is a fraud to put a spin on the commendable deeds of a particular Spaniard —whether in the past or the present— to prop up a state that —more often than not— has nothing to do with them and sometimes even opposed them. A case in point is the exiled Spaniards and Catalans who fought in the liberation of Paris in 1945.

This is the sheer underlying manipulation: confusing the Spanish state with the Spanish people. Using actions by the people to prop up the State.

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