Friday, July 31, 2009


Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció.

Translated from Catalan into English by
Christian Andreu
and Jackie Morrow


Chapter I

A leadership crisis

How do are rulers fare?

The first stage of science and politics
is to prepare our leaders as well as possible.
Antonio Gramsci*

* A. Gramsci (1891-1937). Italian politician

Past and present leadership

Day after day, one of the predictions that I often heard from the creator of psychoaesthetics, Professor Carles M. Espinalt, is coming true. It basically states that: “The main problem our society will have to face will be the mediocrity of the men representing us”. Is this an exaggeration? An attempt to provoke the establishment?

These were my thoughts after I discovered certain information published in November 2003 in the Expansión & Empleo (Expansion & Work) Supplement of the El Mundo newspaper, which read literally as follows: Bosses are arrogant, disrespectful and deaf. The article goes on to explain this in great detail: The lack of respect leads to inconsiderate behavioural patterns; shouting, insulting, arguing in public and permanently disagreeable behaviour. Furthermore, Otto Walter Consultants, the firm who prepared the article, confirms that the most common behaviour among bosses today is authoritarianism, unfulfilled commitments, insincerity or ‘medal stealing’.

At a time when so much is being said about justice, respect, freedom and democracy, it is certainly surprising to see our working relations being completely overrun by totalitarianism attitudes. In fact, it is a shame that when analysing this fact, the consultants did not look into the world of politics, because the negative behavioural patterns predominant among political leaders are exactly the same as those described above. In other words, deteriorating working relations is now a rule in politics. So what is happening here?

Concern over this problem is not new. In fact, throughout its history, Catalonia has always proved to be an advanced nation; respectful and prudent, with the capacity to govern. In the 14th century Francesc Eiximenis recommended that “Princes, in particular, should be diligent and correct bad habits, so that the public and the princes themselves do not die” . This interpretation of the art of political leadership was maintained until quite recently. In 1927, the attorney and politician Lluís Ventura i Ventosa also warned about man’s superiority when representing society: “In the life of nations, there have been fewer men with the necessary characteristics to govern, than ideal systems of government” . The same cannot be said today, but everything is assessed as it was two hundred years ago during the French Restoration. Just a Left or a Right wing party, and nothing else.

According to that old assembly, those on the President’s right were the defenders of established order and against any change. On the left sat those who wanted the popular class to have more power. In the Spanish State, this is now an archaic classification because when discussing peninsular nations, the Left wing party behaves just like el Conde Duque de Olivares (Advisor to Felipe III, who planned reforms to strengthen royal power and unify Spain). In fact, it is an insult to use the term “Liberals” to describe those who want to maintain the same imperial structure that existed 500 years ago.

But let’s move on from Spanish palaeontology to analyse our past so that we can correct our present and therefore have a prosperous future, which is usually the case when Catalans use their common sense.

Psychoaesthetics explains that a leader often behaves as if he were living at the time of the industrial revolution. He thinks his subordinates are illiterate workers living at the beginning of the 19th century. Such a leader believes he can apply the same coercive methods that were successful when subordinates had a “soldier’s” mentality. In those times, these methods may have been effective because subordinates did not have a very high intellect – and were even illiterate – and so they practically ignored the ideas of freedom discussed exclusively among the most learned. Their world was limited to the factory and their home. These historical leaders simply had to apply “brut force”, shall we say, and the instinct to preserve the governed state did the rest. No dialectic or persuasive practice was necessary for leadership. However, are today’s leaders tarred with the same brush? Honestly, this thought alone makes me laugh. We are well aware that social, intellectual and economical differences between people – leaders and people – have been reduced gradually. And furthermore, in a society such as ours, where it is pretty ridiculous to talk about social classes, anyone with good abilities and a determined attitude can obtain maximum goals without having a high-ranking family name. That appeals to everyone, doesn’t it? And that is why today’s governors are facing a public whose spirit is completely different from the resigned, antiquated reasoning that was typical of 19th century employees. On the contrary, today everybody wants to be a general, and nobody or very few accept always being a soldier. In this context, how should a leader act?

Obviously, a new concept of modern leadership must be devised. A leader must motivate people to try and obtain a very high standard of efficiency in their work, and have a good knowledge of human attitudes so as to dominate the behavioural patterns of a group of people. In other words, he must know how to distinguish the psychological background both on an individual and on a collective level. Such a leader must have three main characteristics: the capacity to express ideas, the capacity to transmit other’s sentiments and the capacity to inspire self confidence. Do the current Catalan leaders have these characteristics?

Two different rhythms

Today, thanks to technological advances, everything is faster than ever. We travel at supersonic speed and communicate instantly with one another. Everything is solved with high speed. We buy things from all over the world on the Internet and we do business from home via video-conferencing. Everything is usually solved in record time. This new lifestyle has set a new social beat, and has introduced new concepts. Consequently, slowness is frustrating and anyone who is slow is considered inept. Although this may seem extreme, it is how today’s society works.

This is precisely one of the reasons why current politicians are out of favour. We are frustrated by their lack of action, even though we may not normally consider this to be one of the causes of their discredit. They have a completely different concept of time to us. When talking about certain problems, they talk about legislatures, not years. One of our years is equal to four of theirs. Even Mr. Duran i Ventosa, quoted above, realised 80 years ago that “today speed is a normal part of all aspects of our life” , and he went on to clarify the problem now plaguing our society: “generations of people who have been educated according to an intense lifestyle, are unable to accept the slowness, and often artificialness, of modern parliamentarian practice” . Now do you begin to see why our problems are never ending?

Nobody is surprised to hear that citizens and politicians are divorced because they dance to different rhythms. While we try to solve problems diligently, politicians are the ultimate slowpokes. And it is evident that their tortoise-slow pace ties in fairly well with the secular sluggishness that is typical of State structures. May be this is why nobody wants to separate us from Spain!

Whatever the reason, in Catalonia we urgently need leaders who understand what solving problems quickly actually means, and who abandon the slow, civil service beat once and for all: As you can see, it is essential that our new male and female political leaders have had no link with the political scenario over the last 30 years of Bourbon folly, and that they have a certain degree of professional solvency. The vitality of their actions will recover the public’s confidence in public affairs.

Failed ideas

They say man is the only animal who trips over the same stone twice. May be. But some people spend their whole life tripping over the same stone again and again because they have stronger animal instincts than others. Their faces are scarred, but they behave as if they were innocent maidens. Have they looked at themselves in the mirror?

Of course, I mean those Catalans who prefer a policy of “coinciding” with Spain, including those who behave like a dog beside its master, and others who advocate State stability. In fact, all they are doing is following in the footsteps of the regionalist, conservative politician, Mr. Francesc Cambó. Their idea, and Mr. Cambó’s, is for a Big Spain. Whether we like it or not, their politics always try to make things appear as they want them to be. This is useless because, even the founder of this idea acknowledges, in his memoirs, that: “Whenever it seemed that my efforts to find a solution to the Catalan problem were going to be successful, either by standing up to issues, or by motivating the people or entities influenced by them, the wave of anti-Catalan feeling that always persists, albeit camouflaged to a greater or lesser degree, in the Castilian spirit, raised its head once more, creating an insurmountable obstacle” .

No further evidence is needed. If a politician like Cambó – in spite of his regionalist orientation – realised that it was impossible to solve our conflict within the Spanish boundaries, it seems rather irrational to try again now.

His political descendents, from communists to the most conservative thinkers, are people who are not interested in learning anything from history. They think the best approach is to continually repeat some of the ideas that time has proved to be fairly unsuccessful. They are happy to continue making mistakes. Naturally, they are paid to do so. Now can you see why nobody ever resigns?

It seems as if time has stood still. The main political parties are still aiming for a second political transition and affirm that “the rest of Spain needs to be enlightened”. In view of these attitudes, we can only draw one conclusion: either they think the people are stupid or the politicians themselves are stupid.

Whatever the answer, the consequences will always be the same. The politicians will continue trying to maintain their official salary ad infinitum, while we all pay the consequences of their nonsense. May be we should start asking ourselves why we pay them such fantastic salaries if all they do is repeat the same phrases year after year. Obviously, these are the politicians who have created a defeatist policy in all departments, and this has jeopardised Catalonia in matters such as farming and even our language. They are responsible for our people’s unfavourable opinion of public affairs, and under their leadership, Catalonia is seen as a frugal nation, without any creative spirit. In short, their politics have reduced the Catalan spirit to nothing.

However, the most dramatic result is seeing that our collective morale is completely run down, and now nobody believes that we can climb out of this confusion founded on promises of transitions and enlightening. These words are obsolete now, and their sole purpose is to maintain our politician’s positions, jobs and salaries. What would they do if we threw them out?

Let’s take a close look at their image and listen carefully to their speeches. What do we see? Any original ideas? Any new concepts, albeit small ones? A desire for change which goes far beyond their respective careers? We are not asking them to be particularly talented, just dignified. After listening to their speeches, we always have a sense of infinite mediocrity, and it is precisely this which can crush any possible efficient leadership.

Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció

Santiago Espot, Independentista catalan, separatista i secesionista!

Santiago Espot, el Berlusconi catalán, celebrará en la Supercopa poder pitar gratis al Rey Juan Carlos


"el discurso público ha de ser audaz, vibrante y transmisor de moral de victoria"

Empresario, mediático, trajeado, populista... encarna el independentismo más radical

(jueves, 30 de julio de 2009, 16:49)

Barcelona.- Se llama Santiago Espot. Es empresario como Berlusconi. Es mediático como Berlusconi. Le gusta el fútbol como a Berlusconi. No cree en los partidos políticos, como Berlusconi. Es populista como Berluconi. Creó Força Catalunya, como Berluconi creó Forza Italia. Y como Berlusconi cree en el magnetismo de su imagen. De 41 años de edad, invierte una gran cantidad de sus recursos en campañas independentistas en las que su persona aparece como centro de su movimiento.

Ahora, anuncia que su asociación Catalunya Acción festejará junto a los vascos de Esait, ambos instigadores de la pitada al Rey en la final de Copa en Mestalla, la "victoria" de poder silbar sin castigo a Don Juan Carlos. Y lo celebrarán en los partidos de la Supercopa, que enfrentarán, de nuevo, el 16 y el 30 de agosto a Barça y Athletic de Bilbao. Ambas asociaciones lograron que la Audiencia Nacional rechazara la querella de Denaes contra los independentistas.

Según informa el diario 'Avui', aunque descartan silbar, afirman que es posible que las fiestas sean diferentes en cada estadio. “No silbaremos porque no habrá nada que silbar”, declaró Santiago Espot. Ambas organizaciones han evitado concretar cómo van a celebrarlo, ya que todavía están definiéndolo de forma conjunta, pero han afirmado que ambos acontecimientos serán “netamente independentistas”. "La fiesta nos la guardamos para el día que seamos independientes”, remata Espot.

Espot creó en 2005 Catalunya Acció, un movimiento populista con el que "recuperar la dignidad y la coherencia perdida en los pasillos parlamentarios de Barcelona y de Madrid", según su proclamación fundacional. Reclamaba para su movimiento la superación de las estructuras y el funcionamiento interno de los partidos, auspiciando la misma "frialdad de una multinacional, pero el discurso público ha de ser audaz, vibrante y transmisor de moral de victoria".

El 17 de abril de 2009, Santiago Espot dio un paso más en su afán por aspirar a presentarse a futuras contiendas electorales. En la presentación de su partido 'Força Catalunya', con su ideario 'De Catalunya Acció a Força Catalunya', surgió la vieja retórica nacionalista de la 'voluntad de ser' y del 'ser nacional' del pueblo catalán. El discurso tenía enormes coincidencias con los mensajes ultranacionalistas que se proclamaban desde 'La Nación Catalana', una publicación de los años 30, cercana a la ideología nazi.

Espot, en su discurso, proclamó que Força Catalunya era un instrumento para "utilizar la fuerza parlamentaria como un revulsivo del actual 'status quo'". "Pondrá en evidencia que lo que falla en Cataluña es la voluntad de la actual clase política para restablecer la libertad y la plenitud de la nación catalana. Por eso, digo, hay que hacer una profunda regeneración nacional y política que ponga al frente de la nación a hombres y mujeres de carácter que tengan como objetivo innegociable la independencia del país". Mencionó también varias veces que "Força Catalunya extiende la mano a todos los patriotas para que se sumen al proyecto". Dijo que nacía como "crisol de todos los patriotas".

Espot marca en sus mensajes publicitarios, distribuidos especialmente por portales de internet cercanos al nacionalismo y al actual gobierno de la Generalitat, el año 2014 como fecha de la proclamación de la independencia de Cataluña.

En entrevistas recientes, Espot se queja de que Cataluña "pierde competitividad, no ya con Holanda y Dinamarca, sino con Extremadura. ¡Y eso con nuestro dinero!". En algunos aspectos se manifiesta antieuropeo, en coincidencia con la ultraderecha joven y trajeada que encarnaba el difunto Jörg Haider, con el que guarda algunos parecidos físicos y de estilo. Força Catalunya coincide en su ideario, igualmente, con los ultranacionalistas flamencos de Bélgica.

Santiago Espot es el principal impulsor de la pitada al himno nacional en el estadio de Mestalla con motivo de la final de la Copa del Rey entre el Barcelona y el Athletic de Bilbao. Se repartieron silbatos entre la afición en coordinación con la plataforma pro selecciones vascas Esait. Como Berlusconi, Espot cree que a través del fútbol puede alcanzar sus fines políticos. El manejo de las masas enardecidas siempre fue una herramienta de los fascistas en el siglo pasado.


Santiago Espot, el Berlusconi catalán, celebrará en la Supercopa poder pitar gratis al Rey Juan Carlos
Empresario, mediático, trajeado, populista... encarna el independentismo más radical.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"An immediate European domino effect following Scotland's elections is extremely unlikely."


El 29 d'abril del 2007, Ian Bremmer, president de la consultora de risc polític Eurasia Group, escrivia un article arran la victòria de l'Scottish National Party (SNP), i de la seva voluntat de convocar un referèndum per la Independència d'Escòcia des del govern. Hi destacava les conseqüències d'aquesta victòria a escala europea, i deia,

"The implications of a nationalist-led Scottish parliament, with or without an independence referendum, could extend well beyond the borders of the UK. An SNP victory and talk of the break-up of the United Kingdom could embolden separatists among the Catalans and Basques of Spain, Flemish-speakers in Belgium, and even those in northern Italy who favor a break from that country's less prosperous south. These movements have developed over many years under different historical circumstances. But progress toward Scottish independence could help generate separatist momentum within any of these states.

El text continuava, i acabava, afegint que,

"An immediate European domino effect following Scotland's elections is extremely unlikely. But large-scale political movements -- toward democratization, decolonization, socialism, free-market capitalism or nationalism, for example -- tend to develop in waves. Break-up of the United Kingdom, a prosperous liberal democracy, would send shockwaves across European borders -- and might one day create new ones."

És a dir, segons Bremmer, la possible independència d'Escòcia podria generar una onada de processos independentistes a mig termini, atès que els moviments polítics de gran escala tendeixen a desenvolupar-se en onades (envers la democratització, la descolonitzacó, el capitalisme de lliure mercat o el nacionalisme).

Bremmer no és un indocumentat. I per això fóra intel.ligent tenir en compte les seves paraules. És per això que he decidit començar amb aquest post una nova sèrie sobre la preparació del referèndum per la independència que el govern de l'SNP ha anunciat que celebrarà al llarg del proper any 2010. Els escocesos són gent seriosa, i si s'han compromès a fer-lo, no tinc cap dubte que el faran. Això vol dir que la independència d'Escòcia, i per descomptat, els efectes que això tindrà en la resta de moviments independentistes europeus, planaran clarament en la dinàmica política de l'any que ve. Un any, a Catalunya, no cal oblidar-ho, electoral. Fins i tot gosaria dir que la dinàmica escocesa pot condicionar el calendari català. La perspectiva de la presentació d'una opció electoral, que espero que comenci a prendre forma el proper 3 d'octubre, que clarament fixa una estratègia d'accessió immediata a la Independència de Catalunya, es veurà clarament afavorida si els independentistes escocesos se'n surten.

I entenc per ensortir-se'n, en primer lloc, ser capaços de tirar endavant el referèndum, és a dir, de portar-lo a terme. El Parlament d'Escòcia no té legalment, segons l'Scotland Act, competència per modificar l'status constitucional del país. La veritat és que a hores d'ara, no sembla donar-se a la resta del Regne Unit cap mena d'oposició a la celebració d'aquest referèndum. No hi ha atacs mediàtics d'histèria ni militars troglodites, que amenacin els escocesos amb els pitjors dels escenaris. Els únics que han badat boca al respecte són sectors minoritaris. De manera que, veig molt difícil, per no dir impossible, que el govern de Londres n'impedeixi la seva celebració. Entre d'altres raons, perquè el seu resultat no tindria cap mena de validesa legal. És a dir, que el govern del Regne Unit, podria ignorar-lo olímpicament.

Ara bé, en el cas que el govern escocès obtingués una victòria en el referèndum, i decidís declarar unilateralment la independència de forma immediata, el govern de Londres, llavors, i seguint el precedent de l'opinió emesa per la Cort Suprema del Canadà el 1998, només estaria obligat a negociar si la pregunta referendària fos clara -en el sentit que un vot per la independència pressuposa una separació a tots els efectes- i obtingués un suport igualment clar de la ciutadania -si bé l'alt tribunal canadenc no va quantificar-lo.

Per superar aquest obstacle, és evident que de seguida ve a la memòria el precedent del referèndum d'autodeterminació de Montenegro del 2007 -i que ja va ser seguit estretament en aquest mateix bloc en una sèrie de posts-. Només recordar que la Unió Europea va donar el vist-i-plau al referèndum si en aquest votava el 50% del cens i el vot favorable a la independència assolia el 55% dels vots vàlidament emesos -una condició, dit sigui de passada, democràticament de difícil justificació.

Tanmateix, els independentistes escocesos, fins i tot podrien qüestionar tots aquests requisits, argumentant que el govern britànic, com la major part de governs de la Unió Europea, han reconegut la declaració unilateral d'independència de Kosova, sense referèndum previ, feta pel Parlament kosovar, el 2008, i que també va merèixer l'atenció d'aquest modest i humil bloc.

En definitiva, doncs, em proposo seguir de molt aprop tots els esdeveniments preparatoris del referèndum que tindran lloc en els propers mesos i donar-hi la meva visió, naturalment, personal i intransferible. D'aquesta manera penso que contribuiré -o ho intentaré- a que els pacients lectors del bloc tinguin una informació adient, i sobretot, trobin aquells elements que tot sovint els mèdia del règim intenten amagar.

Quebec i Arenys de Munt
Abans m'he referit al cas del Quebec. Hi torno perquè avui he rebut una invitació al Facebook per tal que m'adhereixi a un esdeveniment que tindrà lloc el proper 13 de setembre, La Grande Marche vers l'Indépendance du Québec. Llegeixo la seva convocatòria, on diu,

Marchons pour la liberté du Québec !

Par notre histoire, notre langue, notre culture, le territoire que nous occupons, les institutions que nous avons créées au fil des siècles, les liens que nous avons tissés avec le monde, nous, Québécoises et Québécois, formons une nation.
Et comme toutes les nations de la Terre, nous avons le droit inaliénable de décider librement de notre avenir. Nous avons le droit lé
gitime de proclamer notre indépendance politique.
Depuis 250 ans, par notre détermination, par notre persévérance, par nos luttes, nous avons combattu toutes les tentatives :
· de nous assimiler et de nous soumettre ;
· de supprimer notre volonté de vivre, de travailler et de créer en français ;
· de briser nos espoirs de liberté et d’indépendance perpétués par des générations de résistants.
Il est temps, aujourd’hui, que le peuple québécois se lève pour réaliser ses espoirs de liberté et d’indépendance. Il est temps d’arrêter d’en rêver de ce Québec français, de ce Québec libre en Amérique du Nord. Il est temps que le peuple québécois passe à l’action pour le faire naître !
C’est en nous gouvernant nous-mêmes que nous pourrons nous réaliser pleinement en tant que nation.
C’est en possédant l’entière capacité de faire nos lois et de gérer nos ressources financières que nous pourrons vraiment développer notre potentiel économique et social.
C’est en disposant des moyens d’un État souverain que nous pourrons défendre et promouvoir avec succès notre langue et notre identité culturelle en Amérique du Nord.
C’est en parlant de notre propre voix dans les grandes institutions internationales que nous pourrons faire avancer nos valeurs de paix, de respect de l’environnement, de justice, de solidarité, d’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes, de laïcité, de liberté et de démocratie dans le monde.
Nous avons tous les atouts pour réussir :
· Avec ses 7,7 millions d’habitants, le Québec est plus populeux que 120 pays qui siègent aujourd’hui à l’ONU.
· Avec sa superficie de 1,6 millions de km2, le Québec est trois fois plus grand que la France. Seuls 18 pays sur les 200 pays reconnu
s disposent d’un territoire plus étendu.
· Nos ressources naturelles, notamment notre capacité à produire en abondance une énergie hydro-électrique et éolienne propre, comptent parmi les plus importantes au monde.
· Notre population est parmi les plus scolarisées de la planète : 12% de nos concitoyens possèdent un diplôme universitaire, comparativement, par exemple, à 10% en Finlande et 7% en Belgique et en Australie.
· Notre économie est parmi les plus modernes et les plus compétitives. Elle se compare à celles de plusieurs pays européens prospères de taille équivalente tels la Finlande, la Norvège, le Danemark, la Suisse, l'Autriche et la Suède.
· Nos instruments de solidarité sociale sont parmi les plus équitables qu’on puisse aujourd’hui trouver sur la Terre.
· Bien vivante et dynamique, notre culture apporte une contribution originale de plus en plus reconnue au patrimoine de l’humanité.
Il est temps, aujourd’hui :
· de cesser d’avoir peur ;
· de mettre fin à nos divisions ;
· de nous unir et de nous mobiliser ;
· d’affirmer haut et fort notre souveraineté ;
· de conquérir enfin notre liberté.
Le 13 septembre 2009, marchons tous ensemble pour l’indépendance du Québec !

Fixeu-vos que el o els redactors del manifest equiparen sistemàticament el Quebec amb altres estats sobirans, i no pas amb la resta de províncies del Canadà. Estic una mica fart ja de les comparacions entre Catalunya -de fet la CAC- i Andalusia, Madrid, Sabta o Mililla. Cony que aspirem a la primera divisió, no a tercera regional!

Naturalment m'he fet amic de la convocatòria i l'únic que lamento és que, molt probablement, no podré assistir a aquesta grande marche -que els quebequesos, quan s'hi posen, no es queden curts, no.

Paradoxalment, el mateix 13 de setembre, i a casa, hi haurà un altre esdeveniment important: per primera vegada, se celebrarà una Consulta per la Independència de Catalunya. Ep! Poca conya! Els votants seran els ciutadans censats a Arenys de Munt (Maresme) i, per bé, que es tracti d'una iniciativa modesta, qualitativament és d'una importància cabdal. Així ja ho han comprès els ecspanyols, que disfressats de falangistes -naturalment per provocar terror, però estic segur que són sociates- ja han començat a amenaçar i a crear merder.

La pregunta que plantegen, penso que no deixa lloc a cap dubte:

Estàs d'acord que Catalunya esdevingui un estat de dret, independent, democràtic i social, integrat a la Unió Europea?

Més clar, l'aigua!

Enviat per Josep a josepsort el 7/30/2009 06:49:00 PM

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"before this decade is out" !!!


"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out" (Santiago Espot)

"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out"


"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out" (Santiago Espot)


Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció.

Translated from Catalan into English by
Christian Andreu
and Jackie Morrow


Our Downfall

When we talk about Catalonia’s downfall, we normally think exclusively in monetary terms, since we are all aware of the current economic looting. However for colonized countries such as Catalonia, there is something even worse to consider: a spiritual defeat. Because of this very fact, while watching, in exile, as the Catalan soul was squashed by the fascist tyranny, the famous doctor Josep Trueta decided to write his very well known book L’esprit de Catalunya (The spirit of Catalonia). This work was very significant and one of the most illustrious Catalans in history, Pau Casals, wrote about it: “His book represents the most respectable of protests because he explains to the nations in question, in their own language, about the Catalan people and their spirit. That touches me, as it touches or should touch all Catalans who are still sensitive to patriotic issues”.

In these pages we are going to talk about the collective looting Catalonia is currently suffering, and its drastic consequences. However, it is worth considering that we will only be able to recover from economic impoverishment if, first, we maintain Catalonia’s spiritual richness. A nation does not die just because its pockets are empty, but because its national genius ceases to exist. Do you not agree?

Our elite, theoretical leaders deliberately ignore this fact. They will not and cannot understand it, since they are only interested in their own position and party. So, now, more than ever, we can see the urgency of new approaches and ideas. Naturally, there are those who do not want to put into practice what in Catalan we call the “new flame”; in other words, new leaders who have no connection to the last 30 years of Bourbon rule, the transition or our autonomy.

In fact, looting taxes from Catalonia is not a new issue. Eminent economist and politician, Mr. Ramon Trias Fargas, inter alia, reported it years ago. Then it was a secondary issue, because at the time it was more important to recover our culture and language. That is fair enough, but now, years later, neither our culture nor our language has been saved and in economic terms, our country is sinking. Our society’s current advantages are simply the result of a modern society. Similarly, today’s Morocco is not the same country it was thirty years ago and no one thinks everything is fantastic there. We need only read what Trias Fargas wrote 30 years ago: “The shortage of public expenses in the region has a very direct and decisive consequence: the lack of sufficient infrastructure inside Catalonia is creating a deep-rooted problem for our economical development” .

In fact, we are still suffering from the economic strangulation that is the consequence of our colonial condition. Mind you, we can build roads and high-speed trains. However, what we will not be able to build anymore if we abandon our national spirit, is a Catalonia rich and full, as quoted in our national anthem. Yet some people are still trying to crush our spirit. So, on the threshold of this unbearable situation, there is a very clear message ringing out: Let’s go for our independence!

Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció

1961 Kennedy's speech about landing on the moon

Finally, if we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take. Since early in my term, our efforts in space have been under review. With the advice of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the National Space Council, we have examined where we are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. Now it is time to take longer strides--time for a great new American enterprise--time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.

I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshalled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment.

Recognizing the head start obtained by the Soviets with their large rocket engines, which gives them many months of leadtime, and recognizing the likelihood that they will exploit this lead for some time to come in still more impressive successes, we nevertheless are required to make new efforts on our own. For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but as shown by the feat of astronaut Shepard, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.

I therefore ask the Congress, above and beyond the increases I have earlier requested for space activities, to provide the funds which are needed to meet the following national goals:

First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations--explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.

Secondly, an additional 23 million dollars, together with 7 million dollars already available, will accelerate development of the Rover nuclear rocket. This gives promise of some day providing a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself.

Third, an additional 50 million dollars will make the most of our present leadership, by accelerating the use of space satellites for world-wide communications.

Fourth, an additional 75 million dollars--of which 53 million dollars is for the Weather Bureau--will help give us at the earliest possible time a satellite system for world-wide weather observation.

Let it be clear--and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make--let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62--an estimated seven to nine billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.

Now this is a choice which this country must make, and I am confident that under the leadership of the Space Committees of the Congress, and the Appropriating Committees, that you will consider the matter carefully.

It is a most important decision that we make as a nation. But all of you have lived through the last four years and have seen the significance of space and the adventures in space, and no one can predict with certainty what the ultimate meaning will be of mastery of space.

I believe we should go to the moon. But I think every citizen of this country as well as the Members of the Congress should consider the matter carefully in making their judgment, to which we have given attention over many weeks and months, because it is a heavy burden, and there is no sense in agreeing or desiring that the United States take an affirmative position in outer space, unless we are prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful. If we are not, we should decide today and this year.

This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel.

New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further--unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space.

Les Catalans manifestent pour l'indépendance

Les Catalans manifestent pour l'indépendance
Subirats | diumenge, 8 de març de 2009 | 10:12h

Bruxelles - manifestation
Les Catalans manifestent pour l'indépendance


Mis en ligne le 07/03/2009
Près de 2.300 Catalans et sympathisants se sont rassemblés samedi matin à la Gare du Nord de Bruxelles pour manifester en faveur de l'indépendance de la Catalogne, région espagnole.
Parmi eux se trouvait également une délégation de la N-VA et du Vlaamse Beweging (Mouvement flamand). Les manifestants ont marché de la Gare du Nord à la Gare du Midi. Cette manifestation est une initiative de la plate-forme "Dix mille à Bruxelles pour l'autodétermination", plate-forme qui explique être ouverte tant aux citoyens catalans qu'aux associations de la société catalane. Le but de cette manifestation est d'attirer l'attention sur la situation de la Catalogne afin de mettre à l'agenda international la question du droit du peuple catalan à l'autodétermination. "Nous sommes sur une voie de garage depuis que les récentes réformes institutionnelles ont été en quelque sorte mises sur le côté. Réformes qui sont maintenant aux mains de la cour constitutionnelle espagnole qui veut aller encore un peu plus loin dans la mise sur le côté de ces réformes", selon la plate-forme. Les organisateurs expliquent que la Catalogne connaît une période difficile et trouble de son histoire maintenant que la globalisation la rattrape. "Les 300 années d'oppression de la nation catalane par l'Etat espagnol sont le principal frein à notre développement. Cela met nos chances de survie en danger en tant que nation dans une Europe qui ne reconnaît que les Etats". Parmi les très nombreux drapeaux catalans et européens ont apercevait également quelques drapeaux flamands. "Nous sommes ici pour apporter notre soutien aux Catalans et à toutes les régions qui militent pour leur propre Etat", a expliqué Eric Defoort, président du Vlaamse Beweging. "Tout comme nous ils plaident pour une Europe des régions. De par leur autonomie fiscale ils sont déjà un pas plus loin que la Flandre". La manifestation s'est déroulée sans réel incident et dans le calme, perturbant quelque peu la circulation.


Blog Archive