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If Catalonia Declares Independence from Spain, Invasion?

[All links lead to Spanish-language websites unless otherwise noted]

It is well known that Catalan independence is a delicate issue in Spain, with many vehemently in favor as well as against. But the issue has taken a surreal turn with some speaking of a possible military intervention in Catalonia if the region attempts to secede. Among them, the Colonel Francisco Alamán in the online newspaper Alerta Digital, the minority  Association of Spanish Soldiers on its website, and the euro-parliamentarian Alejo Vidal-Quadras on the program Intereconomía, all media with a conservative bias.

Just when it seemed the issue could not be stoked any further, four Catalan euro-parliamentarians directed a letter to Viviane Redding, vice president of the European Commission, expressing their fears in light of supposed military action:

Alejo Vidal Quadras, vicepresidente del Parlamento Europeo y eurodiputado del PP. Foto del blog NoticieroDC

Alejo Vidal Quadras, vice president of the European Parliament and Popular Party euro-parliamentarian. Photo from blog NoticieroDC.

Nos dirigimos a usted a fin de transmitirle nuestra alta preocupación por una serie de amenazas sobre el uso de la fuerza militar contra la población catalana.(…)

Este tipo de amenazas limitan (…) derechos de libertad de expresión y manifestación de las personas que viven en Cataluña. En estas circunstancias, es la Unión Europea quien debe intervenir de forma preventiva para garantizar que la resolución del conflicto catalán sea pacífica y democrática.(…)

Le pedimos así que evalúe los riesgos reales de una posible intervención militar en Cataluña y el tono que están utilizando miembros del Partido Popular Español y del Gobierno de España.(…)

We are writing to you to convey our strong concern over a series of threats to use military force against the Catalan population. (…)

These types of threats limit (…) freedom of speech and protest for the people that live in Catalonia. Under these circumstances, it is the European Union who should take preventative action to guarantee that the resolution of the Catalan conflict is peaceful and democratic. (…)

We ask you to evaluate the real risks of a possible military intervention in Catalonia and the tone that members of the Spanish Popular Party and the Government of Spain are using. (…)

María Badía, eurodiputada del PSC y ex secretaria de la delegación socialista. Foto de su página en la web del Parlamento Europeo.

María Badía, Socialists’ Party of Catalonia euro-parliamentarian and ex-secretary of the socialist delegation. Photo from her European Parliament webpage.

As a consequence of this letter, one of the signers, Socialists Party of Catalonia euro-parliamentarian María Badía, has already resigned her post as secretary general of the socialist delegation for the European Parliament, though she retains her seat in the parliament.

The conflict has not only earned commentary from members of the military and politicians, but it has also sparked an avalanche of commentary from netizens, who have approached the matter with a strong sense of humor and, in a way, have diffused the tension surrounding the issue.

Brandon Monguer III opted for a practical perspective:

@brandonmonguer: EH. Que yo no pienso pagar una invasión de Cataluña. Que allí no hay petróleo ni nada.

@brandonmonguer: HEY. I don't intend on paying for an invasion of Catalonia. There isn't even oil there or anything.

Meanwhile, Salvador Ruiz Huete had his own version of the supposed invasion, making reference to dreadful creatures from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien:

@salvigranada: Parece que un grupo de Orcos está apostado en Aragón [comunidad limítrofe] esperando ordenes de Saruman para invadir Cataluña.

@salvigranada: It appears that a group of Orcs are mobilizing in Aragon [a neighboring region] awaiting orders from Saruman to invade Catalonia.

Pedru asked:

@pedrovillapalos: Por lo visto el ejército español quiere invadir Cataluña ¿nueva versión del Call of Duty?

@pedrovillapalos: Apparently, the Spanish army wants to invade Catalonia. New version of Call of Duty?

Isabel Pérez doesn't want to miss out:

@isabel_ecogest: Oye, ya os vale… La próxima vez que hagáis planes, avisad. Vais a invadir Cataluña y no contáis conmigo, perros.

@isabel_ecogest: Hey, way to go… The next time that you all make plans, careful. You all are going to invade Catalonia and not count me in, scoundrels.

You can also count Domingo Molina and Aigor in, but they have a slight scheduling problem:

@domingo_molina: Sr. Presidente si vamos a invadir Cataluña que sea a partir del lunes que este finde tengo cena con los amigotes. Gracias.

@domingo_molina: Mr. President, if we are going to invade Catalonia, I hope it happens on Monday or later because this weekend I have a dinner with my friends. Thanks.

@MipWik: me voy a sacar la licencia de armas por si mi patria me pide ir a invadir cataluña y tal pero que no sea en puente eh !

@MipWik: I'm going to get out the gun permit if my country asks me to go invade Catalonia and such, but it better not be on a holiday!

arquitecnico78 already has experience with this:

@Arquitecnico78: Yo también intente invadir Cataluña el año pasado, y acabé de sangrías por el barrio Gótico de Barcelona.

@Arquitecnico78: I also tried to invade Catalonia last year, and I ended with sangría around the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona [sangría is a Spanish wine punch, but also means "blood-letting"].

Luis A. Calleja saw insurmountable challenges:

@DrLuisco: @moedetriana@elboletinmadrid Si no hay ni gasoil para los desfiles!!, invadir Cataluña está por encima de nuestras posibilidades

@DrLuisco@moedetriana@elboletinmadrid If there isn't even gasoline for parades!!, invading Catalonia is above our means.

But M. S. had the solution:

@msanlorenzo@Tonicanto1 Nuevos vehículos con lanzamisiles para invadir Cataluña lanzamisiles.3

@msanlorenzo@Tonicanto1 New vehicles with missile launchers for the invasion of Catalonia.

Taladreker brainstormed how to organize the troops:

@Taladreker: En la invasión de Cataluña, el ejército deberá invadir y defender a la vez. Los soldados de la A a la J atacan, de la K a la Z defienden.

@Taladreker: During the invasion of Catalonia, the army should invade and defend at the same time. Soldiers with names from A to J attack, and those from K to Z defend.

Y jimmi romeu ||*|| was on the lookout for more soldiers:

@jimmiromeu: Oferta de feina [trabajo]: Se necesitan soldados para invadir Cataluña, imprescindible nivel C de castellano y siempre garaje. http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4048194/20121017/catedratic-complutense-calcula-quants-soldats-calen-ocupar-catalunya.html …

@jimmiromeu: Job offer: Soldiers are needed to invade Catalonia, essential C-level in Spanish and always garage.  http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4048194/20121017/catedratic-complutense-calcula-quants-soldats-calen-ocupar-catalunya.html …

One of the signers of the letter, Raül Romeva, stated in an interview for the radio channel Onda Cero that:

los vuelos que ha habido estas últimas semanas por parte de aviones militares [le hacen pensar] que estas cuestiones pueden pasar de anécdota a hechos preocupantes (…)

Usted está infravalorando una situación que la población catalana, le guste o no, vive con una sensación de gran preocupación. Cuando a uno le pasan los cazas por encima de la cabeza, y no se lo espera, eso en el momento actual genera incertidumbre.

The flights that have happened these last few weeks by military planes make one think that these matters can go from anecdote to concerning fact (…)

You are underestimating the situation that the Catalan population, like it or not, lives with great worry. When fighter jets pass overhead unexpectedly, it generates uncertainty in that moment.

This provoked another stream of tweets, many of which explained that the military planes fly over the whole country, so no one should worry. Elena Martín knows more dangerous planes than those of the military:

@HellenMDV: Lo peligroso no es que pasen cazas por el cielo de Cataluña. Lo peligroso es que pasen los aviones de Ryanair….

@HellenMDV: The dangerous ones aren't the fighter jets that fly in the sky over Catalonia. The dangerous ones are the Ryanair planes that go by….

anestesia local paraphrased a famous movie:

@fazuku59: España de pandereta: ¿Teléfono rojo? Volamos hacia Barcelona -

@fazuku59: Spain stuck in the past: Red telephone? We fly to Barcelona -

Elrichal sees things through the lens of science fiction:

@Er_Richal: Atención: Inminente invasión de extraterrestres en Cataluña, la población debe ponerse gorros de papel de aluminio para protegerse. GENCAT

@Er_Richal: Attention: Imminent invasion in Catalonia of extraterrestrials, the population should put on tinfoil hats to protect themselves.

Paula Cervilla and miguel bermudez have some suspicions:

@pauliscervilla: Vamos a invadir cataluña por tierra, mar y aire… Di que si.. Alli en cataluña que fumais? Droga de la mala no?

@pauliscervilla: We are going to invade Catalonia by land, sea and air…Of course.. There in Catalonia what do you all smoke? Bad drugs, no?

@telemako777: el alcade del pueblo catalán que denuncia vuelos de cazas, se ve que le gustan los cigarritos de la risa

@telemako777: The mayor of the Catalan people denouncing fighter jet flights, it's clear that he likes joints.


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