9/22/2017

The five biggest lies of the non-campaign

(version in english from the original) Versión en español

In the debate on the referendum and the process towards independence, unionism has spread some statements that are lies, easy lies to contrast. We offer you the five thickest and the links that will be used to prove to anyone that they are false.

1. The referendum is a crime and is illegal 
That is a lie. Leaving aside the fact that the referendum is protected by the Law of the Referendum on Self-determination of the Parliament of Catalonia, even with the penal code and the Spanish legal system making a referendum can not be considered a crime.

Here you will find the first article of the preliminary title of the Spanish penal code. It says: 'No action or omission shall be punished unless it is foreseen as a crime by law prior to its perpetration.'

The call for a referendum has not only been defined as a criminal offense but has been evident - both in the Spanish Congress and the Spanish Constitutional Court - that it is not. The PP changed the criminal code through the arbitration law, in 2003, to try to entice the Basque president. This reform of the penal code was annulled by the Constitutional Court and also by the congress on the initiative of the then Prime Minister, Rodríguez Zapatero.

2. The right of self-determination does not exist anywhere in the world 
That is a lie. The right of self-determination is contained in the first article of the Charter of the

United Nations:

To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace
but above all in the two conventions of the UN formulated in 1966 and known as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These rules, which states are obliged to respect, include the same text in the first article:

All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

An habitual lie of former Minister García-Margallo is that there are only three constitutions in the world that speak of the right of self-determination. This is utterly false. There are thirty-eight constitutions which refer to the right of self-determination and invoke it as a source of legitimacy. Examples include the nine states of the twenty-eight of the European Union: Germany, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal. Here you can find all the references.

3. Spain can not accept the referendum on self-determination because it is prohibited by the constitution. 
Lie. The Spanish constitution, in article 10.2, says:

The rules regarding the fundamental rights and the freedoms that the Constitution recognizes will be interpreted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and the international agreements on these matters ratified by Spain.

and in article 96 adds:

The valid international treaties will be part of the internal regulations once they have been officially published in Spain. Its provisions may only be repealed, modified or suspended in the manner provided for in the treaties themselves or in accordance with the general rules of international law.


On September 28, 1976 the Spanish government ratified the two UN conventions mentioned earlier. Let's remember what they say in the first article:

All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right they freely determine their political status and also seek for their economic, social, and cultural development. 

The ratification (you will find it here), signed by Juan Carlos, says:

I approve and ratify everything that is available, and I promise to comply, observe and enforce and observe in all its parts in a timely manner. 

Consequently, Spain is forced to comply and observe the right of self-determination of the people, since it can not repeal the obligation imposed by the UN and accepted by the signing of the conventions.

4. Catalonia has never been independent. It is autonomy because it was decided by the Spanish constitution and, therefore, it has no historical rights that can be invoked 

That is a lie. The historical rights of Catalonia are indisputable. Until 1714, Catalonia was not part of any entity that could relate to what is today Spain. The Catalan-Aragonese crown was a federal state that included territories of the Iberian and Italic peninsulas, the islands of the Mediterranean and the continent itself. In 1714 Catalonia was incorporated into force within the Spanish monarchy. But since then independence has been proclaimed four times:

- Between 1810 and 1812, the Principality was a completely independent state, which had a close relationship with the French Empire.

-On March 1873, the Diputació de Barcelona proclaimed the Catalan state, which included the four provinces of the Principality and the four Balearic and Pitiüses islands. This state was integrated into the borning first Spanish republic.

-In 1931 and 1934 the Republican Generalitat proclaimed the Catalan Republic. Francesc Macià did it on April 14, 1931, a few hours before Madrid was proclaimed the Spanish republic. Three days later, Macià accepted that the Catalan Republic was part of the Spanish. Lluís Companys also proclaimed the Catalan Republic on October 6, a proclamation that was aborted militarily by the Spanish republic.

But the most important argument is that it is impossible for the source of legitimacy of the Generalitat de Catalunya to be the Spanish constitution, taking into account that the Generalitat was restored by Spain before the constitution existed.

The restoration of the Generalitat is made by Royal Decree Law 41/1977 of October 5 (you will find it here), which recognizes the legitimacy of President Josep Tarradellas, the president elected by the institutions of the republic. The Spanish constitution was not approved until December 29, 1978, which is when published in the BOE: the Generalitat of Catalonia has been operating for more than a year.

5. Independence can not be achieved through a unilateral referendum and without agreement with Spain 
Another lie. Between 1905 and 1991, 52 substantive entities such as Catalonia made referendums of independence. And since 1991, 53 more have been done. Therefore, in just over a century there have been 105 referendums of independence. Of these 53 referendums made since 1991, 26 have been unilateral. Since 1991, 27 states have become independent in the world, the vast majority with unilateral referendums. 7 of these states today form part of the European Union: Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. (Here you will find a list of independence referendums.)

Finally, following the unilateral independence of Kossove, a historic ruling from the International Court of Justice (which you can find here) made it clear that international law did not contain any prohibition that could be used to stop a unilateral declaration of independence.

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