All peoples have the right to self-determination
By AnnA @annuskaodena
It is shocking that current Spanish politicians claim that the unity of Spain is permanently indivisible and indissoluble, but seem to ignore that other countries have become independent from the Kingdom of Castile / Kingdom of Spain over the last five centuries.
The term “colony” is very unclear, legally rather dubious. Why are some nations catalogued as colonies by the UN and others are not?
Catalonia a priori is not a colony, but the Kingdom’s denial of the right to self-determination and of a national Catalan reality is proof that Catalonia is part of Spain by force. Catalonia is a territory incorporated into Castile by force of arms in 1714.
If the people of a territory decide they no longer want to share their nation with the oppressor, should they continue to endure oppression because it breaks the legality of the oppressor?
On the 1st of Oct, the Spanish State violated UN’s Resolution 2625, according to which “every state has the duty to promote, through joint or individual action, the application of the principle of the equality of rights sovereignty and the self-determination of the peoples.
Both the right and the duty exist. The right of the Catalans to self-determination and the duty of the Spanish State to respect it, both simultaneously.
The “internal” route would mean the will of Spain to facilitate, in accordance with public international law, Catalonia’s self-determination, establishing a frank and clear bilateral negotiation. The exit, therefore, lies along the path of external self-determination.
In a scenario of equal rights, it is not admissible, in any case, to admit as normal the systematic denial from Spain of the right to self-determination of the Catalans.
The Spanish Constitutional Court cancelled 14 articles of the Catalan Statute voted in 2006 and reinterpreted 27, devaluing the definition of Catalonia as a nation and making reference to the “indissoluble unit of Spain” eight times.
More than 40 Catalan laws approved at Parliament have been suspended or cancelled by the Spanish Constitutional Court since the approval of the Statute of Autonomy of 2006.
De Zayas quotes:
- The right of self-determination is jus cogens, fundamental norm of superior hierarchical rank, recognized by the UN founding treaty, compulsory on national & international judicial & admin instances, and superior to any national law that may conflict with it.
- The right of self-determination refers to the peoples’ capacity to decide their political status. This includes the external exercise of deciding on secession or unification (external) as well as deciding on the degree of integration in a State (internal).
- The right of self-determination is a right recognized to peoples as right holders, and is not the prerogative of the State to grant or deny, not even on the basis of the principle of territorial integrity, unless there is external interference.
- In case of conflict between the principle of territorial integrity and the human right of self-determination, it is the latter which prevails.
- Creating obstacles to the exercise of the right of self-determination would amount to a serious violation of a fundamental human right and would result in the responsibility of the State.
- Spain has committed internationally to abide by the right of self-determination, without any reservation in that respect. CNU 1945, ICCPR 1966, ICESCR 1966.
- Like many other States, Spain has incorporated them through its ordinary mechanism of reception of international law, which in the case of Spain is Article 96 (1) of the Spanish Constitution.
- The right of self-determination is fully integrated and in force in the Spanish domestic legal system. It is not necessary to modify the Spanish Constitution in that respect.
- In accordance with the Spanish Constitution, the right of self-determination must be applied in Spain in line with the provisions of international law.
- According to articles 26 & 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (ratified and integrated into the Spanish legal system), Spain cannot invoke any domestic regulation to escape its international obligations.
- There is a “Catalan people” in Spain that holds the right of self-determination recognized by the UN and the Spanish Constitution. The guarantor of the peaceful and democratic exercise of this right is the Kingdom of Spain.
- The Spanish Government has violated the international law of articles 1, 7, 9, 10, 14, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and should be brought before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Every day there is more international support for Catalonia’s right to self-determination and we must continue raising our voices and internationalising the Catalan cause until our right is recognised. A right that has been violated by the Spanish State and which belongs to all peoples, Catalonia being no exception. We will continue until we achieve this, without giving up, until the end. Because this right belongs to us too.