“If the struggle for independence was progressive, the Spanish left would support it”

The Spanish left has a decent record on international solidarity and in defence of national minorities. Its support for popular movements in Latin America and its mobilisations against wars in the Middle East are good examples of this. But sadly, with a few worthy exceptions, it does not apply the same criteria to the Catalan case.

This is not a new or isolated problem. Much of the French left turned its back on the Algerian independence movement, and most of the British left never supported the Irish Republican movement.

It is clear that the parties of the Spanish left find it harder for to give support to a national struggle close to home, which directly affects the state in which they live and where they aim to win votes, than to a struggle far away. They have difficulties when the very conception of the country they live in is put in doubt. The struggle for the Catalan Republic poses the question: “what is Spain?”

However, sooner or later they will have to recognise that the Spanish government’s all out assault on the Catalan people’s democratic right to self-determination will harm the interests of all progressive forces in Spain.

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