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Echoes of History

Echoes of history.

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Echoes of History

Mark Twain is attributed phrase "history is not repeated, but rhymes". The most recent episodes of relationship between Government of Generalitat and that of state would have confirmed it in his opinion. Even one who, like one who writes, knows very little history, does not cease to surprise him how much y look like each or when relations between two governments have reached ir lowest point.

Take as an example best known, site and taking of Barcelona by troops in command of Duke of Berwick in 1714, considered by many as a landmark in struggle of Catalonia for its independence. As with all events considered transcendental, re are many versions of this; I take mine from excellent booklet of Henry Kamen, Spain and Catalonia (2014), and I limit myself to last days of a site that lasted more than a year.

The army commanded by Berwick was far superior to forces with which Barcelona could count for its defence. For this reason, Berwick offered an honorable surrender. The offer was rejected, and site lasted until September 1714, when situation became desperate for besieged, and on 11th day Conseller in Cap, Rafael de Casanovas, faced a cruel dilemma: if he capitulated, he frustrated all those citizens who had resisted hirto; If I brought m toger for a new round, I'd send m to slaughterhouse. The solution adopted can be compared with those relating to Declaration of independence by President Puigdemont: He published a side in which resistant ones were given an hour to gar to "gloriously shed ir blood and life for ir king ( (Charles III), for his honor, for farland and for freedom of all Spain; If that deadline didn't answer call, I'd give up city, as it happened. But for months Barcelona had maintained a senseless resistance. The story, as you see, rhymes, at least so far.

It leaves us a lesson: in every dispute re can be a point where something stronger-hatred, anger, pride often disguised as dignity-is imposed on reason. It is possible that, for a part of Catalan society, that point has arrived.

The resemblance doesn't end here. In his memoirs, Berwick wrote: "If ministers and generals of King of Spain (Philip V) had been more demure in ir language, Barcelona would have capitulated immediately (...);" "But as in public y spoke of nothing but looting and executions, people ended up furious and desperate." For those of us who live in Catalonia, description of Berwick fits very well with attitude of state Government over past five years.

We are in what may be afternoon of September 11th, 1714. Please, us all in not repeating story.


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