Since Donald Trump became the president of the United States, one of the main challenges for the American press has been to keep pace with his contradictory, and frequently outlandish, statements.
With Trump, the news cycle has become smaller and smaller. And the press has had troubles trying to verify, corroborate and even publish Trump’s statements in a timely manner.
Many in North America believe it is a deliberate strategy by Trump to create chaos, since he thrives in that environment.
In Spain, former Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont seems to have adopted a similar strategy.
Chaos and contradictions have dominated the “procés” — the name given to the political process taken by the now deposed Catalonian government to unilaterally declare the independence.
As with Trump’s administration approach to critical decisions, Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence has been marred by deliberate confusion and obfuscation. Not even members of Puigdemont’s government were able to explain if there was or was not a declaration of independence, a mere political statement of intentions or none of the above.
Like Trump, Puigdemont uses Twitter every day to advance his agenda using a selection of quotes from friendly media. And like Trump, Puigdemont is having a loud Twitter ally in Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder.
And that confusion continues today with contradictory declarations from the “procés” leaders.
Now more than ever, Catalonia’s former president still applies the Trump doctrine.
Like Trump, Puigdemont loves Twitter and the media. Every day he uses Twitter to advance his agenda using a selection of quotes from friendly media. And like Trump, Puigdemont has a vocal Twitter ally in Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder.
Every day, Puigdemont creates headlines nationally and internationally with outrageous comments. And before the news cycle is over, Puigdemont is back to Twitter and the front pages with a new wave of statements.
In the last few days, Puigdemont has accused the Spanish government of planning a massacre in Catalonia; has insinuated that Spain’s intelligence service allowed the horrendous summer terrorist attack in Barcelona; has accused the European Union of being a club of decadent countries; and has threatened a Catexit, Catalonia’s withdrawal from the EU. All of this without offering any evidence.
And after the pushback is sufficiently intense, Puigdemont simply contradicts his original statement as with his eurosceptic message, which has been criticized and refuted even by his political partners.
Also, like Trump, Puigdemont suffers from acute insecurity.
After complex negotiations to avoid the intervention of the Catalonian government, and after Puigdemont agreed to call elections as the solution to the crisis, the former president unexpectedly reversed his decision and proceeded with the unilateral declaration of independence.
Puigdemont cringed when some of the most radical factions in the independent movement called him “traitor”. He immediately canceled the elections and in so doing, deepened the political and social crisis —and the division— in Catalonia.
Just like Trump.
Over the last 30 years, Julio Cesar Rivas has worked as a foreign correspondent, photographer, and videographer in South America, Central America, North America and Europe, covering the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Zapatista uprising in Mexico, the coup d’Etat against Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti or Fidel Castro’s death in Cuba. Julio Cesar has also covered several presidential elections in United States. Currently, Julio Cesar works as Agencia EFE’s correspondent in Canada and lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. His articles in Lattin Magazine reflect his own point of view.
Julio César Rivas es un periodista que ha trabajado durante los últimos 30 años como corresponsal en el extranjero, fotógrafo y videógrafo en Centroamérica, Norteamérica y Europa. Durante su carrera, ha cubierto eventos como el fin de los conflictos armados en Guatemala y El Salvador, el levantamiento zapatista en México, el golpe de Estado contra Jean-Bertrand Aristide en Haití o la muerte de Fidel Castro en Cuba. También ha cubierto varias de las últimas elecciones presidenciales en Estados Unidos, incluida la histórica elección de Barack Obama. Julio César es el corresponsal de la Agencia EFE en Canadá desde hace 20 años y vive en Toronto junto con su esposa y dos hijos. Los artículos de Julio César en Lattin Magazine representan su punto de vista personal.