Sir, As someone who visited both Catalonia and Yugoslavia in the 1970s to study the social and economic conditions, I have a small point to make regarding the crisis in Spain.
While I saw significant repression in Catalonia in the 1970s by the central government, I did not see the same in Yugoslavia. The crisis in Yugoslavia was not the result of government violence but the egos of men like Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Croatia’s FranjoTudjman and the opportunism of actors in several European nations who encouraged nationalist sentiment. I did see and speak to several nationalist Croats and Serbs from Chicago and Australia at the time, but the “sports clubs” they were setting up to propagandise did not have the powerful effect as the intervention of European governments. As Professor Raju G C Thomas notes inYugoslavia Unraveled, the Yugoslav state was not destroyed “because of domestic struggles and militant Milosevic-led Serbian nationalism”, but due to a western ad hoc recognition policy which violated the 1975 Helsinki Accords Final Act guaranteeing territorial integrity of European state frontiers, as Branislav Radeljic has stated in Europe and the Collapse of Yugoslavia.
It is best, given this history, for Europe not to intervene, but to offer commentary.
Dr Niccolo Caldararo
Dept of Anthropology, San Francisco State University, CA, US
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