The convictions are extremely disproportionate: the actions that have been judged were mere political proclamations without institutional impact. The prosecution of the political events, known in Catalonia and Spain as "procés", should never have occurred.
The Communist Party of Spain wants to express its full disagreement with the ruling issued by the Spanish Supreme Court in the sentence of the “procés”. The fact that the Supreme Court has imposed prison sentences seems extremely disproportionate, as the actions carried out by the convicts had no institutional impact whatsoever and were mere political declarations. We believe that these sentences, which are also really harsh, don’t help finding a political solution to the conflict in Catalonia. Instead, they rather exacerbate the political tension in our country, as they give arguments to people and organizations whose only interest is perpetuating and intensifying the conflict for short-term political gain, especially in the next November elections.
The judicialisation of such a political conflict should have never happened. It is yet another example of the inability of the Regime of 78 to get around its own contradictions. It also shows the weakness of the government forces involved, which have been unable to address a strictly political problem (that is, not of public or judicial order), with dialogue. Forty years after the 1978 Constitution was approved, the current constitutional model is challenged: the parliamentary monarchy and the regional territorial organization, among other issues. It is necessary to adapt our constitutional framework to the new needs and demands of our people.
The Communist Party has always maintained that during the 'procés' there wasn’t any crime of rebellion or sedition: no uprising, neither violent nor tumultuous, attacked the judicial, executive or legislative powers of Spain, and no alterations of the public order were committed that prevented institutional functioning. In Catalonia there was no coup d'etat. Instead, a mass citizen mobilization took place, claiming a republican state for that territory. It is not acceptable, neither politically nor legally, that a popular and non-violent mobilization is equated with a rebellion or a sedition –even if it has claimed political objectives which are not contemplated in our constitution.
Mass popular mobilizations cannot be considered violent because they demand claims not contemplated in the constitutional framework. That is what we call freedom of expression and demonstration. We find it inappropriate for a democratic state that social leaders that don’t belong to any government are sentenced to 9 years in prison for leading popular mobilizations that were also not violent.
This sentence is also issued in a general context of reprisals to social movements. The Communist Party is committed to facing the repressive measures taken against social and popular movements, once again in solidarity with all the people charged or condemned for fighting for rights or a more just society.
As it has always done, the PCE advocates for a republican and federal model for Spain, where all the peoples and nationalities coexist in solidarity and take part the same country project. This can only be done respecting our plurinational realities, as well as the national sentiments of everyone living in Spain, while putting the material problems of its citizens before any other issue and guaranteeing that everyone is entitled to civil, social, environmental, cultural and gender rights.
Likewise, the PCE defends the right to decide of the people of Catalonia, through an agreed-upon referendum which compels all political forces to do their job: finding a political solution to the conflict. It will not be settled by judicial means or by letting time pass by without taking any sort of action. At this very moment, it is absolutely essential to resume the political dialogue between the State institutions, the Catalan institutions, the civil society and the rest of political forces in Spain and in Catalonia, in order to look for a mutual understanding that will allow us all to unlock this political crisis.
Our political response should be the construction of a broad agreement over a constitutional model that guarantees a peaceful coexistence in Catalonia, as well as a federal and republican state in Spain where everyone can feel included in a common project for the country.
We will work towards achieving this political solution that will make possible a new territorial model that reflects the plurinational character of Spain. This means that the freedom of the pro-independence leaders and the free return of those who were forced to leave Catalonia or Spain is essential. In both cases, their only crime was standing for or implementing pro-independence policies, as well as defending democratically any other political view.