At the same time as Amnesty International was demanding the immediate release of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, both sentenced to nine years in prison for sedition due to the criminalisation of protest acts which the pro-human rights organisation considers legitimate, the upper echelons of the Andalusia government, in the hands of PSOE for several decades in a monopoly regime, were being sentenced to 72 years in prison in the largest corruption scandal in the history of Spain in which up to 855 million euros were defrauded. The comparison between one set of sentences and the other clearly does harm and is enormously unjust and cruel, but there's likely no better way to explain what political prisoners are and what imprisoned politicians are: the first are hit with a disproportionate sentence, the result of the persecution of the Catalan independence movement, which will some day be corrected in Europe, whilst the latter, after a decade-long investigation, will find no possible defence for emptying the public coffers. The first carried out a referendum and the second directly used public office to steal.
After the statements from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in May and, now, from Amnesty International, the Spanish government and justice system should be embarrassed since it doesn't tend to happen in neighbouring countries. I take for granted the pressure the PSOE government allegedly brought to bear to avoid such a hard-hitting statement on the Jordis. With time, we'll learn about it, since minister Borrell tends to leave sufficient traces every time he travels about the world trying to avoid public stances which could be interpreted as remotely favourable to the independence movement's postulates. There will be no course-correction on the part of the Supreme Court, nor will the Spanish government introduce any initiative to correct the excesses of the court which has tried the Catalan pro-independence leaders. We're far from all that, which could come through the path of an amnesty. On the contrary, the punishment consists precisely of the situation currently being endured by the political prisoners in Lledoners, Mas d'Enric and Puig de les Basses.
The limited impact, logically intentional, in the media uncomfortable with the growth of the Catalan independence movement has been trying to downplay Amnesty's status and, this Wednesday, we'll see it again in the print editions. If the blows to the deep state can be minor, that's much better. The ERE sentence will be the tussle between the right and left in the coming days in the middle of an investiture process. Pedro Sánchez is hounded by his remarks when he presented the confidence motion against the PP and Mariano Rajoy for the Gürtel case. The public works minister, José Luis Ábalos, PSOE's man to fight all fires, has already looked to open up a way out for them, indicating that the case affects the Andalusian government, not PSOE. It's a trick that won't work, since if something is identified with PSOE's power in the Spain it's been the Andalusian government.
Two of those convicted, José Antonio Griñán (six years in prison) and Manuel Chaves (banned from public office for nine years), as well as being presidents of Andalusia between 1990 and 2013, were presidents of PSOE between the years 2000 and 2014. And, with them, numerous Andalusian ministers and senior officials were found guilty this Tuesday. Others, with better fortune, are sitting in Sánchez's cabinet, although they were also in Chaves' cabinets, as is the case with the current deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo (Andalusian culture minister 1996-2004), and the treasury minister, María Jesús Montero Cuadrado (Andalusian treasury and public administrations minister 2013-2018). And, all of this, with the investiture ahead and whilst treating the independence movement like a pariah which is necessary but which nobody wants anything to do with.