Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Gran Wyoming: “Really, Catalonia is not Spain”

Originally published in Vilaweb, 24 October 2012

The popular Spanish presenter defends the right of Catalans to vote on independence in a binding referendum

TV presenter José Miguel Monzón Navarro, known as the "Gran Wyoming" [Great Wyoming], spoke out definitively on the independence of Catalonia. In an interview with the digital magazine Jot Down, he said, "If the Catalan people want self-determination, then I don't give a wit about the Constitution. They're not demanding independence unilaterally, they're asking to have a referendum to see what people think. Who is afraid of the truth? Because in that case, we'd have to talk about a country that is with us or one that is captive."

And he adds: "Because if we say the army should go in, as La Razón says, for example, we couldn't say that they're happy to be here. And so, the fact that they're holding a binding referendum... damn, that's not something you can ask in a democracy? It should be required, just to know what they think. Because if "No" wins, then that's the end of this whole mess. But it just seems ridiculous to me. You can do that in any country in the world. Except Spain.

In addition, he cites the case of Slovakia as "a case of secession without any trouble". "One group asks for independence and we give it to them, the others ask for it, and we send in the tanks. And they don't welcome them into the European Community, but instead say that they'll make it so they never get in. If we're talking logic and justice, we're talking about one thing, and if we're talking politics, we're talking quite another."

Catalonia is not Spain

In the interview, the Gran Wyoming talks about a program he was readying for Spanish TV Channel 2, called "The Week's Worst Program" and they canceled it because he wanted to invite Quim Monzó. The reason given was that Monzó had participated in the "Persones Humanes" program on [Catalan] TV3, in which there had been satire directed at the monarchy.

And he continues: “They give Quim Monzó the Catalan Letters Prize, he works on a TV show, he works on a radio show, and he writes in two major papers. And he is a public phenomenon while the right, the CiU, is in power. This is a guy who can say whatever he feels like. I bring him on one time, the first time in his life that he's ever been on Spanish TV, to a program on Channel 2, we're not even talking about prime time Channel 1, and they cancel the program. It's just that when we talk about Catalonia, we lie all the time. Really, Catalonia is not Spain.

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