The decisive week (and a man I met in Mexico)

This is the decisive week. The Parliament will vote and approve the Referendum Law and the Transition Law on wednesday and thursday respectively. Catalonia will be provisionally independent until the day of the referendum.

If the result of the referendum is Yes then the Transition Law will come into effect and that means the automatic birth of the Catalan Republic. Mostly everything will continue to be the same though so as to guarantee a smooth transition. But that will trigger the start of the making of the Constitution, which will be voted at some point in 2018.

I decided to become an activist for independence in September 2009, soon after the events that took place in Arenys de Munt. Until then I had wanted independence for Catalonia ever since I developed my own political ideas but I had limited myself to voting.

2009 feels like a long time but I am aware that I’m very lucky to witness Catalonia recovering its sovereignty after more than 300 years.

Whenever I was close to losing my determination I always remembered this man I met in Mexico in 2010. He was 84 at the time, I hope he’s still alive. I was making a speech about Catalonia’s independence and several people from the Catalan expat community of Guadalajara showed up at my friend’s restaurant where it was taking place.

Halfway through my speech this man, who arrived to Mexico from Catalonia as a kid fleeing from Franco’s dictatorship and who spoke perfect Catalan in spite of living almost his entire life in Mexico, stood up, slowly walked up to me and gave me a handshake with tears in his eyes and with a trembling voice thanked me for working for Catalonia’s independence. Later I understood he was relieved to see that there was still hope. That we are carrying the flame of the cause that so many generations had carried their entire lives without ever seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

And here we are, hours before the Catalan Parliament takes back the sovereignty lost in 1714. At least temporarily, until we know the result of the referendum. Whatever happens from now on the Catalan institutions will have the full support of the Catalan people.

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