‘Independence’: Catalonia, Kurdistan, North Korea
and Latin America
By Andre Vltchek and Alessandro Bianchi
with Andre Vltchek by Alessandro
Biancchi, Chief Editor of the Italian
Political Magazine Anti-Diplomatico
1) Alessandro Bianchi:
Self-determination of peoples and respect for the
borders and sovereignty of a country. This is of the
most complicated issue for international law. How
can it be articulated for the case of Catalonia?
Personally, I’m not very enthusiastic about smaller
nations forming their own states, particularly those
in the West, where they would, after gaining
‘independence’, remain in the alliances that are
oppressing and plundering the entire world: like
NATO or the European Union.
the breaking of the great country of Yugoslavia into
small pieces was a hostile, evil design bythe West,
and particularly of Germany and Austria. The
dissolution of Czechoslovakia after the so-called
“Velvet Revolution” was a total idiocy.
Catalonia (or Basque Country), if it became
independent, would become one of the richest parts
of Europe. I don’t think it would have any great
positive or negative impact on the rest of the
world. As an internationalist, I don’t really care
if they are separate from Spain or not, or whether
they are even richer than they already are, as I
care much more about what is happening in places
such as Afghanistan, Venezuela or North Korea.
other hand, the way Spain has now behaved in
Catalonia, after the referendum, is a total
disgrace. They decided to treat the Catalan people
in the same way as Indonesians have beentreating
Papuans for decades. If this continues, it will all
reach the point of no return: reconciliation will
become impossible. You cannot start sexually
harassing women and then break their fingers, one by
one, just because they want to have their own state.
You cannot injure hundreds of innocent people, who
simply don’t want to be governed from Madrid. That’s
absurd and thoroughly sick! Of course Spain used to
commit holocausts all over what is now called Latin
America, so it is ‘in their blood’. But I don’t
think Catalans will allow this to be done to them.
the constitution of Spain? Look, there should be
nothing sacred about constitutions. In the West,
they were written to protect the interests of the
ruling classes. When they get outdated, they should
be moderated, or totally rewritten. If Catalans or
Basques want their independence, if they really want
it, if it is so important for them, then why not –
they should have it. Spain is not a ‘people’s
country’. It is an oppressive Western bully. I would
have a totally different position if some part of
Bolivia or China were to try to secede.
Different situation and different reality. Another
issue of fundamental international concern in this
period is the referendum of Iraqi Kurdistan, which
is likely to become the new fuse ready to explode in
that area. Would it be the new Israel in the Middle
East as someone has affirmed?
Well, that is really a very serious issue. I have
worked in the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq
already twice, even on the ‘border’ with Mosul, and
what I saw there I did not like at all!
clearly a ‘client’ state of the West, of Turkey and
to some extent, Israel. It is shamelessly
capitalist, taking land from its own people,
cheating them, just in order to pump and refine huge
quantities of oil. It treats Syrian refugees like
animals, forcing them to make anti-Assad statements.
It is turning ancient Erbil into some bizarre
shopping mall with nothing public in sight. Its
military top brass is mainly US/UK-trained and
indoctrinated. And it provokes Baghdad, day and
strongly disliked what I saw there. If Iraqi Kurds
were allowed to have their ‘independence’, the
impact on the region would be huge and certainly
negative. Baghdad should not allow it, even at the
cost of an armed confrontation.
Coming to the question of the moment: the nuclear
escalation in North Korean and a possible escalation
of war on the Korean peninsula. What is your opinion
about Kim’s strategy and what are the real risks?
There is only one real ‘risk’ and danger: that the
world is quickly accepting as inevitable the fact
that the Western thuggish regimes can get away with
absolutely anything. I see no other serious problem
that the world today is facing.
Kim’s strategy? To defend his people by all means,
against the brutal force that has already murdered
millions of men, women and children of Korea. That
brutal force is the West and its allies. It is all
very simple, but only if one is willing to turn off
the BBC and to use his or her own brain, it becomes
According to many, for Pyongyang the nuclear bomb is
becoming more and more vital because it is
increasingly feared that the country will end up
like Iraq and Libya. Do you not believe that the
sanctions of the United Nations are therefore
totally ineffective and counterproductive because
they fuel this escalation?
course, but they [sanctions] are still imposed on
the victim! It is because almost no one dares to
laugh straight in the faces of Western demagogues
and dictators. The world resembles the areas
occupied by the Nazi Germany and Italy and Japan
during the WWII. There, nobody would dare to vote
independently, defending victims of fascism.
AB: The US Federation of Science (FAS)
estimates that in 2017 North Korea has “fissile
material to potentially produce 10 to 20 nuclear
warheads” even if it is strongly suspected that none
can be considered ready for launch. The US possesses
6,800 nuclearheads. The French and British
(respectively 300 and 215 respectively)included,
NATO’s nuclear forces have 7,315 nuclear warheads,
of which 2,200 are ready to launch, compared to
7,000 held by the Russians, of which 1,950 are ready
to launch. With Chinese (270), Pakistani (120-130),
Indian (110-120) and Israeli (80), the total number
of nuclear warheads is estimated to be around 15,000
by default. The West is a nuclear oligopoly that can
only create an escalation with those who feel
threatened, and so the threatened search to procure
them. Is North Korea the only source of nuclear
threat to the world, as it seems in the mainstream
course, North Korea is no threat at all. I have
already spoken about it during countless televised
interviews. I visited North Korea and mingled with
its people. There, nobody wants war. The North
Korean people paid a terrible price for their
independence. Its civilians were murdered
mercilessly in tunnels by Western forces; its women
were brutally raped, entire villages and towns
leveled to the ground, or burned to ashes. All this
is never discussed in the West, but is remembered in
absolutely shameless British propaganda is
‘preparing’ the world public for the ‘inevitability’
of the war. You know, if someone in this day and age
still believes that the United States is the only
culprit, he or she is perhaps living in some deep
isolated trench or a cave. Indoctrination and
brainwashing is mainly designed,‘Made in Europe’,
most evidently in the UK, where most of the people
have already lost all their ability to think
rationally. The British colonialist propaganda
apparatus is terribly sinister, but strategically it
is simply brilliant! It was utilized for centuries,
and it even succeeded in ‘programming’ the brains of
the victims in the sub-Continent, Africa and
your numbers are correct and all that is happening
is thoroughly absurd! But day and night people are
told that North Korea represents a true danger to
the world. The same was said about the Soviet Union,
China, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other
countries. Most of these countries havealready been
Korea’s sin is that it refuses to surrender, to fall
on its knees, to sacrifice its people. It refuses to
become a slave. For centuries, European and later US
colonialism punished such defiance in the most
brutal ways. Western culture is, after all, based
and built on slavery. It demands absolute
compliance, unconditional submission.
Korea is attacked, it should fight back! And it
AB: The United Nations adopted the
important Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear
Weapons in July. The United Nations is often used
(in alternate ways and countries): this Treaty is
ignored by all nuclear powers, including by members
of NATO with US nuclear weapons (including Italy).
NATO has banned member states from ratifying it. Can
the West have a moralist attitude to those who
pursue a deterrent in order not to not end up like
Saddam and Gaddafi?
The West is like an army of brigands that has
managed to overrun some city, to rape everything
that moves, burn the center, loot houses and shops
and then execute all leading thinkers and defenders.
A few days later they see someone stealing a bunch
of bananas from a fruit stall. And they catch him,
and judge him, and feel totally morally righteous.
It is all so comical! But that is not how you are
supposed to see it!
Russia and China (with Iran, Venezuela and many
other countries) are intensifying de-dollarization
in their mutual exchanges. Does it envisage a
gradual weakening of the dollar capable of affecting
international finance and what geopolitical
Yes, definitely! And you should talk about it to my
Koenig, a true dissident, a former
economist at the World Bank, who is now actually
advising many countries on de-dollarization.
should not be used anymore. Western institutions
should be ignored. Totally new structures should be,
and are being erected. China and Russia are, of
course, in the lead. All this is extremely important
and can change the world, in the near future.
Venezuela, with the convening of the Constituent
Assembly, turned off the coup attempts of the
opposition. In Brazil Lula is favored in polls,
while in Argentina the former
Fernandez is back in the Senate with strong
popular support. So it was not the end of the
progressive cycle, as the mainstream has for years
course it was not the end! The desire of Lain
Americans to live in just and egalitarian societies
is too strong; it cannot be destroyed overnight.
some serious setbacks – in Argentina and Brazil. And
Venezuela is suffering immensely, battered by its
own shameless elites sponsored from abroad. But the
country is still standing.
Temer is immensely unpopular. His ‘constitutional
coup’ will soon backfire. PT will be back, in its
old form or in a new one. And it will be much
stronger than before. The same goes for Argentina.
You see, despite all the media manipulation,
propaganda and shameless lies, people are already
realizing that they were fooled. They want some
decency back, they want socialism and pride and
hope! They want true independence.
weeks from now I’m going back to South America. My
book of essays is being published by LOM, soon, and
LOM is a very important left-wing publishing house
in Chile. These days I go back to South America
often. It is one of the frontlines, battlegrounds,
where people struggle against Western imperialism
and its lackeys!
are very important, fascinating times! I have just
published my latest book, about
“The Great October Socialist Revolution”
of 1917, in Russia. Its legacy is now relevant, more
than ever before in history. It gave birth to
internationalism, and internationalism is the only
movement, which can still save the world, and which
can defeat Western nihilism and its barefaced,
cynical pillage of the planet!
Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and
investigative journalist. He has covered wars and
conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his
latest books are revolutionary novel
and two bestselling works of political non-fiction:
Lies Of The Empire”
Against Western Imperialism”.
View his other books
Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen.
his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and
DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa
and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia
and the Middle East, and continues to work around
the world. He can be reached through his website