Editorial, 6 February 2022
One of the strategic axes consisted of presenting Spain as the country in the world that has managed the covid-19 crisis the worst.
The Guardia Civil intercepted in the computer of Jaume Cabaní, Carles Puigdemont’s accountant in Waterloo, the secret plans of Òmnium Cultural for the following years. This confiscation took place in the autumn of 2020, when the so-called Volhov operation was carried out, led by the magistrate Joaquín Aguirre, head of Barcelona’s investigating court number 1. At that time, the president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, was serving time in prison after being sentenced to 9 years for sedition.
Cabaní, who, according to the indictment, was in charge of raising funds for Puigdemont and the Council for the Republic, combined this work with regular collaborations with Òmnium Cultural. His degree of involvement was high, to the point that emails were sent to him with sensitive issues, such as the future roadmap.
“The work he is doing for Òmnium Cultural was confirmed in the email of 14 April 2020, in which Ferran Mazaira attached a Power Point document for Cabaní to review. It talks about the technological transformation of Òmnium and shows the objectives to be worked on, specifying examples of data problems and technological demands, launching campaigns of social response to covid-19, specifying the role of the data manager, defining the organisation of Òmnium, defining the work proposal for the scorecard and creating a preliminary approach to the strategic plan”, says one of the reports drawn up by the agents for the magistrate investigating the matter, to which EL TRIANGLE has had access.
Their work, therefore, was substantial for the work of Òmnium , since it also involved the organisation’s computer security and the effectiveness of its international operations. At that time, Òmnium had set up its European branch in Belgium, to operate in unison with the structure controlled by Puigdemont. This machinery was concentrated in the entity Òmnium Cultural Rights Europe ABSL (OCRE), which functioned as a subsidiary of the Barcelona institution, although based in Brussels.
However, the most important documents were five sheets which, under the title “Plan de captación y comunicación: idea global para los próximos dos años”, detailed Òmnium’s roadmap. These were the strategic secrets of one of the organisations that had managed to mobilise millions of people on the Catalan streets for a decade, which now laid bare the guts of Cuixart’s strategy and the mechanisms for confronting the state. Its points also reveal what could be considered the pro-independence movement’s dirty war against the Spanish state, as it details in no uncertain terms the campaigns to be followed and the slogans that would have to be developed over the following years. This roadmap was to be implemented in 2020, after being approved by the entity’s board, which means that it would come into force in 2022.
Offensive against the emeritus
The first point of the strategic plan, entitled “Achieving tangible milestones that bring us closer to independence”, has a powerful objective: “Denouncing Juan Carlos I in Switzerland”. At the time, the emeritus’s suspicious movements of money in tax havens were becoming known, and this was very tempting for the pro-independence movement, which hoped to profit from the affair. This is where Òmnium’s dirty war in the political battle comes into play, since its intention was to use the Juan Carlos I issue to fire on Spanish political parties.
Thus, the two main thrusts of this campaign were that “Spanish parties protect the monarchy” and that “PP, PSOE, Ciudadanos and Vox block the truth”.
As “proactive actions for a solution” it proposed a “campaign to pay for the legal offensive against the King” and foresaw, on the other hand, “reactive actions of protest”. Among these actions, it cites the document “videos against the regime of 78 and corruption” and other actions such as “pots and pans”, etc. (a success already achieved!). (a success already achieved!)”.
“The worst country in the world”.
The second major axis of the roadmap focuses on the “Management of covid-19”. This major theme also included the slogans that had to be extended and disseminated among pro-sovereignty activists: “Spain is the country with the worst management in the world as a result of having centralised operations in Madrid, not having isolated the main focus, having lied and concealed information (e.g.: on 2 March it had the EU’s recommendation not to allow mass demonstrations)”. In addition, Spain was to be accused of “militarisation of the response”. These points were in line with the slogans also embraced by the government, then presided over by Quim Torra.
This was another dirty war launched by the pro-independence movement on the basis of false claims, since Spain was not the country that managed the worst covid, nor was the response militarised, but rather the army was used as support, but always under the command and supervision of the health authorities, whether state or regional. In Catalonia, for example, the Generalitat refused the help of the army, which limited itself to assisting in the few cases in which its help was required by the central administration to set up a field hospital.
To carry out this task of disinformation and dirty war, Òmnium would make use of various actions such as project funding (in the document it is taken for granted and with success) and the Dame la mano campaign, which at the time of writing the roadmap was already underway. It also envisaged “further promoting the app and articulating how to exercise the republic, to exercise citizenship with a horizontal and face-to-face, decentralised, digital, modern relationship with the administration”. In this way, it opposed the management carried out by the government of Pedro Sánchez in the style of the Catalan Republic: it is not a question of good or bad management, but of always going against the grain, a strategy used by the extreme right of Vox, the PP and even the Generalitat, consisting of asking for more restrictions when the government was more permissive and asking for more freedom or denouncing these restrictions when they were dictated.
Another possible action was to hand out masks (at that time very scarce) at the headquarters of Òmnium and even send them “to the most vulnerable members”. As protest actions, it was planned to “denounce via videos on social networks, or with other campaigns, all the lies and deaths caused by the lousy management (worst country in the world, PEOR (sic))”. This negative item about Spain is the main slogan that had to be injected into the memory of citizens through repetition in all actions, in a strategy known as the principle of orchestration.
Campaign in the international press
The third point to be considered was to “Overturn the request”, i.e. to carry out an intense international campaign so that the European Parliament would not withdraw the immunity of Carles Puigdemont and his fellow expatriates. In the context of this point, it was noted that there was a “strong loss of prestige for Spain in Europe as a result of covid”. It also pointed to the fact that the solution to the request for the exiles was expected in two or three months.
In view of this, Òmnium was planning to carry out a campaign “to provide European MEPs with explanatory material on what has happened in Catalonia and why they should vote no to the request”. In this section, it included the note “Counter of how many MEPs will receive the information linked to the money collected”. The second line of action against the request was to carry out “a campaign to advertise in favour of the right to self-determination / rights of the Catalans in the main European newspapers”. He pointed out that, in this section, the partner would choose the medium.
But there was still a third axis: “The sponsorship of talks in the European Parliament, dinners with human rights organisations (it is key to establish links with them and to make the link indepes-self-determination-rights-modernity and progress, versus caverna. In the reactive actions of protest, the aim was to use social networks again to denounce the deaths and lies of the Spanish state, and to place it before the citizens and world public opinion as the “worst country in the world”.
Assault on the institutions
The fourth block of the strategy is entitled “Transversal Organisations”. This block deals with the institutional battle and the assault on professional, economic and trade union organisations to use them as tools against Spain. “The state controls key organisations via the transfer of rents (Sánchez Llibre, Coscubiela…),” the document says by way of justification. Therefore, the reaction is logical: “Wherever we can, because there is a democratic path (e.g. trade union elections, chambers of commerce, universities, professional associations) we must promote and support pro-independence initiatives (clear example: Eines de País) and work in coordinated actions with those that already exist”.
At that time, the pro-independence movement had already won control of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce (despite the fact that two recent rulings speak of vote-rigging in the vote count), and in the following months, pro-independence candidates gradually took over both professional associations and university rectors’ offices, in an action coordinated by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), which is the promoter of the Eines de País candidacy.
As proactive actions, the main points to be developed in this field were still to be discussed, although the document already indicated the direction in which they would go, presenting proposals with questions, which means that they would have to be taken into account and discussed. These proposals include “helping the Intersyndical to set up sections in companies with our partners” and “advertising independent employers’ organisations among employer members”. With this, they hoped to fill a vacuum, the trade union and the employers’ one, where independentism had never been able to enter. All attempts to create a large pro-sovereignty trade union or a large pro-sovereignty employers’ association were a failure, except for a few niches in the civil service, where, in exchange for favouritism and the ceding of political and administrative power, certain very minority unions were able to enter.
The second line of action in this field was to “promote parallel social bargaining tables, for example, between Chambers of Commerce and independent trade unions”. The slogan on this point is very simple: “Separate bargaining!
This roadmap was followed from start to finish by Òmnium Cultural, which succeeded in the assaults on some of the institutions it targeted, but failed in the objective of fracturing the labour sector, as it did not manage to materialise parallel bargaining tables. “As can be seen, the objectives set out […] are to denounce the King emeritus before the Swiss authorities, to manage the Covid-19 crisis from the point of view of a campaign of denunciation and stigmatisation of Spain, to overturn the supplication and transversal organisations”, explains the report carried out by the Guardia Civil.
There was, however, a fifth page with a plan with the suggestive title “Free Jordi Cuixart”, who was serving a sentence. The intention was that in the next two years Jordi Cuixart’s case would have to bring Spain before international courts. In fact, despite the pardon granted to Cuixart last summer, the activist filed a lawsuit against Spain before international bodies, an initiative whose outcome is uncertain due to its legal weakness.
In the roadmap, Òmnium reveals its most arcane strategy: “It will accuse the state of having unjustly imprisoned him for defending fundamental rights, as the UN and Amnesty International have already denounced, and of having held him hostage for years”. At the same time, a campaign in his defence was to be prepared: “We want to support him, we want to be 500,000 people who, in the name of Òmnium Cultural, join in his denunciation”.
This strategy has undergone a change. Cuixart will leave the presidency of the organisation this February and it remains to be seen what the orientation of the new leadership of the organisation will be.