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9 d’ag. 2017


This is the text addressed by the Catalan National Council, in exile, to the United Nations Conference in San Francisco, April 1945. We still await a suitable reply.

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See also: http://estudiscatalans.blogspot.com/2015/10/un.html

To the USA, UK, USSR, and the Republic of China, sponsors of the UN Conference on International Organization at San Francisco. 
   Inasmuch as Catalonia (in spite of her present subjugation under Spain) is a well-defined nation as proven by her history, her ethnological characteristics, her particular language, her own literature and culture, her specific laws, her customs and traditions and, above all, her permanent and manifested will and her desire to regain national sovereignty; 
   Inasmuch as Catalonia (because of her unrecognized status of nation) cannot adhere to the UN Declaration nor declare war on any Axis power and so gain admission to the San Francisco Conference; 
   Inasmuch as Catalonia, being occupied by the Fascist armies of General Franco, cannot proclaim her the facto state of belligerency against the Axis nor gain official recognition for her many sons fighting now in the UN Armies; 
   Inasmuch as Catalonia cannot, in justice, be classified as a neutral nor legally as an Ally, although she is a friendly nation still occupied by Nazi Fascism; 
   Inasmuch as, on the other hand, the legal institutions representative of Catalonia no longer exist (her President Lluis Companys having been executed by Franco and her democratic Government disbanded and nullified): 
   We, therefore, in our own name, as members of the Catalan National Council (US Delegation), in the name of 75,000 organized Catalans residing on the American Hemisphere and in the name of the people of Catalonia whose voice is now suppressed request from the Sponsors of the San Francisco Conference: 
   That, in view of these special circumstance and the unique position of Catalonia; in view that Catalonia is one of the few remaining nations in Europe whose national rights have not yet been recognized, Catalonia be considered a special case and since she cannot be legally represented nor actually participate in the proceeding of the Conference, be allowed to present and file the following appeal to the UN before their representatives at San Francisco.

(New York, 14 April 1945, signed by J. Carner Ribalta, J.M. Fontanals, J. Ventura Sureda, members of the US Delegation of the Catalan National Council in London, registered with the State Department, 28 March 1942)

  The special situation of Catalonia as a nation prevents her from having legal representatives and from being present at this Conference to participate with the United Nations in the charting of an international organization for peace and security. But it is precisely in view of Catalonia's unique situation that we have decided to present her case to your attention so that the national rights of 3,000,000 Catalans may be known to all the United Nations and may be justly considered in the charter for a new world. We are not presenting a problem of frontiers or political reconstruction, economical recovery or any such matters which are not to be attended to until after the security situation has been set up. We present a case for national liberty which requires solution or at least consideration precisely while the security negotiations are taking place.
  Catalonia existed as a free nation until 1714, when she was finally incorporated into the Spanish State and is one of the few remaining nations in Europe whose national rights have not yet been recognized. This makes the case of Catalonia almost an obsolete problem, mainly because most of the problems of the European nationalities were supposedly solved at Versailles. But Catalonia was not, her liberties were not restored at the end of World War I like those of the other nationalities. It is for this reason that we present here her problem as a special case and as a matter which demands consideration and solution so that the Charter which is to be written for the new Europe does not become once more an injustice against Catalonia.
   In a way, Catalonia's over-prolonged captivity and retarded liberation is due, more than to several military defeats, to repeated diplomatic misfortunes suffered by Catalonia. ln 1713, by the Treaty of Utrecht, after a long war against her Spanish oppressor, Catalonia's rights were disowned by her own allies and sacrificed to power politics and matters of expediency. In 1919, at Versailles, in spite of the 18,000 volunteers Catalonia contributed to the Allied armies, the rights of the rights of that unfortunate nation were once more overlooked. In 1924, at Geneva, due to the defective clauses of the League's Covenant, and to the presence of Spain in the League of Nations, which made impossible the required vote of unanimity on such matters, the League of Nations could not even consider Catalonia's demands for liberty. In 1937, at the Nyon Conference, Catalonia's rights were disregarded but, on the other hand, the claim of Italy about “the right to intervene in Spain to prevent the setting up of an independent Catalan Republic” was considered valid.
   This traditional diplomatic indifference towards Catalonia's claims should not lead anyone to believe that the Catalan case has no bearing in the maintenance of permanent peace and security in Europe. The “Catalan Question” has been at the bottom of much of the unrest and political turmoil in the Iberian Peninsula during the last three centuries, and there has never been any aggressive power or force in Europe which has not tried, at some moment, to speculate on the Catalan discontent to enhance or secure success of their plans. As an example, we will mention that during the period of the French Revolution, Robespierre in person, with the aim of persuading Catalonia to join his cause, visited Barcelona with the written «Constitution of Catalonia» in his briefcase. Scarcely a quarter of a century later, Napoleon Bonaparte, in order to gain a foothold on the Peninsula, actually created a “Catalan State” and tried to establish a Catalan government separate from that of the kingdom of Spain. In recent times, in the geopolitics of Germany for the Mediterranean area, Greater Catalonia (that is to say the old Catalan Kingdom or the present territories of Catalan language - Catalonia, València, French Catalonia, and the Balearic Islands - ) was scheduled to play a big role against France and her African empire, although Catalonia did not accept the “New Order” or Nazism. As a final proof of the importance of Catalonia in the stability of Europe, any well-informed and clear-sighted statesman will admit that lest the national problem of Catalonia is satisfactorily solved, there will never be real peace and order in the Iberian Peninsula.
   Now that a charter of the nations of the world is going to be definitively written for a durable peace, Catalonia cannot let this opportunity pass without appealing to the justice of the United Nations for her due recognition, lest new and irreparable mistakes are committed at the moment of the charting, and her national freedom be postponed indefinitely.


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