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Extra! Catalonia Independence Set For New Test

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La Vanguardia, August 4, 2015

Catalonia is set to go to the polls next month, as regional President Artur Mas called early elections for Sept. 27, intending to use the vote as a fresh bid for independence. He announced the election as "an exceptional measure," says Tuesday's front page of La Vanguardia.

In a televised event Monday night from Barcelona, Mas signed the voting order, blaming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's central government for refusing to engage in talks over the future of Catalonia — which accounts for 20% of Spain's GDP.

Mas' ruling Convergence party and the region's second party, the Republican Left of Catalonia, are running joint candidates, and say they will unilaterally leave Spain if they obtain a majority, reports the Associated Press. Meanwhile, anti-austerity party Podemos have said Catalans have the right to decide, but the party wants the region to stay as part of Spain. Recent opinion polls have shown that a slim majority oppose secession.

Barcelona-based La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading newspaper, printed in both Spanish and Catalan.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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