The left-wing in Catalonia has lost the election. Their unwillingness to provide a clear socialist alternative during and after the Catalan declaration of independence, has alienated many voters. Now these voters have moved to the bourgeois parties. Not only the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) lost voters, the coalition of Podemos and United and Alternative Left also lost. Winners are the right-wing Spanish unionists of the Party of the Citizenry, even the pseudo-Socialists Party of Catalonia (Spanish unionist) was able to increase its share of the votes. This elections is a setback for the left-wing and shows why is its fundamental to provide a socialist alternative. Since both CUP and Podemos did not joined forces for a socialist Catalonia, the pro-capitalist separatists led by Carles Puigdemont have won the independence vote!
The turnout was much higher then before. 81% of all voters participated in this election which was to be a test for Madrid. After the Spanish state disbanded the Catalan Republic they called for new elections. The pro-Spanish neoliberals of the Party of the Citizenry are now Madrid’s biggest supporters in Catalonia. They are the largest party in the new parliament. However the Spanish unionist camp does not have a clear majority as Madrid had hoped. Despite police brutality, arrests of separatist leaders and the enforcement of article 155, the supporters of the Catalan Republic have not been defeated. Because JuntsxCat (pro-capitalist separatists) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (social democratic separatists) have won 43,04% of the vote and 66 seats in the new parliament. For a new pro-separatist government to be created, the radical anti-capitalist CUP maybe still needed.
This is were Revolutionary Socialist Media says no. The CUP must not support a capitalist Catalan Republic as this will not be a alternative to Catalonia as part of the Kingdom of Spain. Yet it has supported the previous separatist-capitalist government led by Carles Puigdemont. Now they were punished for this by losing 100.000 voters. The radical anti-capitalists need to understand that supporting any capitalist government is betrayal. They need to remind themselves, the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the United and Alternative Left (EUiA), that socialism is the alternative. The sad reality is that ERC and EUiA are not putting class struggle forward. We know that the ERC is more social democratic then actual socialist and the EUiA may claim to be Marxist, but they have not called for a socialist republic. The bourgeois separatists needed the CUP support however. It allowed Catalonia to declared itself independent of Spain. Madrid enforced article 155 and disbanded the Catalan government. Puigdemont fled to Belgium and the ERC surrendered win out a fight!
Now the elections have shown that there is a majority for independence. 70 members out of 135 are supportive of the Catalan Republic. CUP needs to push for a republic under socialism and nothing else. Also the United and Alternative Left and Podemos should support CUP in building a united front for socialism. Unfortunate these leftists seem not to care about the injustice that has happened. Alberto Garzon, leader of United Left (led by the Spanish Communist Party) went so far to claim that there are no political prisoners and that Puigdemont knew what he was getting into. This is no position for any so-called Marxist or communist. As Che Guevara said, the first duty of any revolutionary is to combat repression wherever it arises. But the Spanish Communist Party is a moderate party and Spanish unionist. It does not call for a socialist Spain, instead it wishes to restore the bourgeois: Republic of Spain (1931-1939). Podemos has maintained that Puigdemont needs to negotiate with Spanish overlord: Mariano Rajoy. The very tyrant who has jailed pro-independence activists and used police brutality to crush the independence referendum!
Madrid has a problem. Because their forces have not won a majority. The Party of the Citizenry is the biggest party in Catalonia, but the party of Rajoy has lost bitterly. Catalan conservatives of the People’s Party are also among the losers. This is bitter for Rajoy who had hoped that a Spanish unionist government could be formed. Despite the small gains for the pseudo-Socialists Party of Catalonia the unionist camp has no majority, unless Podemos is willing to support Rajoy which would be a massive betrayal. If Puigdemont is able to get CUP back on board then he has a parliamentary majority. Madrid would be in the same position as before. It could reuse article 155 and disband the Catalan government again, if they dare to declare themselves independent again. For us it only proofs the undemocratic nature of the People’s Party and tyrant Mariano Rajoy. Spanish social democrats also play a dirty game. The Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the Socialists Party of Catalonia have supported Mariano Rajoy and his use of article 155 to disband a democratic government. It is clear that the Spanish social democrats are reactionary and need to be opposed!
The victory of the neoliberals led by Inés Arrimadas (Party of the Citizenry) is not a positive thing. Had the Popular Unity Candidacy been fighting for a socialist republic since 2015, it would have been the front runner for independence. Instead it choose to support a weak and ineffective leader like Carles Puigdemont, who is a supporter of capitalism and austerity. After the declaration of independence, he and his ”separatist” allies all agreed with Madrid on new elections. What will Puigdemont do now? Run to the hills after Spain rejects his Catalan Republic for a second time? Will he capitulate again? Revolutionary socialists call on workers, youth and poor to take the initiative. They cannot trust bourgeois-nationalist parties like JuntsxCat and ERC. Despite that the Republican Left of Catalonia claims to be leftist, it is clear they do not support a fundamental break with capitalism. True leftists are those who reject the rotten market system and any government based on it!
Revolutionary Socialist Media agrees with the demands of the Revolutionary Left in Catalonia. Their demands are:
• Down with article 155! Freedom for all political prisoners! Withdraw the Spanish national and military police from Catalonia!
• Repeal all reactionary labour reforms and pension reforms! Retirement at 60 with 100% salary and equal conditions for young workers!
• A minimum wage of €1,100 and a 35-hour working week with no loss of pay
• Ban evictions! Expropriate empty homes held by the banks to create social housing!
• Re-nationalise all privatised public services, maintaining and increasing the workforce and respecting workers’ rights.
• Repeal the reactionary education laws! Public, quality, free and universal education from infancy to university!
• For the right to public, free and universal healthcare!
• Solidarity with refugees! Repeal the racist migration laws and close down the prison camps for migrants!
• For democratic rights to speech, meetings and organisation! Repeal the repressive laws!
• Nationalize the banks and strategic industries to bail out working class people and guarantee decent living standards.