Thursday, 26 October 2017

PRINCIPALITY OF PONTINHA, THE PORTUGUESE CATALONIA

If someone tells you that there is a little Principality to the coast, the first thing it will appear on your mind is Monaco or perhaps Seborga. But, today we are going to talk about another principality, the Principality of Pontinha.

Where is that?

A portuguese citizen bought an islet which is a fort, located in the Port of Funchal, in the coast of the Madeira island. This citizen was ana artist, his name is Renato Barros, but when he bought this famous fort in the coast of Madeira, he self-ploclaimed Prince Renato II of Pontinha delcaring the independence of his fort, the Fort of Sao José. He is an excentric, but he has all the necessary requirements exigible for creating a state. The fort was a private property of the King of Portugal, but he sold it. Prince Renato says if a King solds a part of its territory, he is selling also the sovereignty. And this is why Pontinha is an independent state. But Renato II is a special Prince, he created a country from cero. He created state structures. He redacted a consitution and some petitions for claiming independence from Portugal. Renato lives in his fort, so his principality reaches the principles that the Montevideo Convention requires to an independent state: a government, a population, a territory and the capacity of stablishing diplomatic relations with other states.
Prince Renato II
Renato II appointed a Prime Minister for his country, Joby Weeks. Joby is a very famous person in Internet because of his knowledge about cryptocurrencies, in specific, about bitcoin. When Renato II appointed this Prime Minister for his country, the portuguese and international media become to explain the peculiarities of this little principality. From that moment, the Principality of Pontinha began to have thousands of followers through social media and social networks.
Renato II also offered political assylum for a portuguese politician, who was a candidate for portuguese election. In that moment, Pontinha became very famous in Portugal. Some said that a supposed independence of this islet will damage the image of Madeira's claims for independence.
Is he the most famous libertarian portuguese?
I think so. Portugal had not a big libertarian tradition and Renato II is a very famous person in Portugal because of his claims of Pontinha's independence. He is a libertarian because he appointed to Joby Weeks as a Prime Minister, a libertarian american, also very popular in Internet. Renato II is more than a Prince, he deffeated the Portuguese state claiming independence from his own islet. He is the only one in Portugal which defeated to the state in seceding a part of Portuguese territory with this popularity and success.

TWO PRINCIPALITIES, TWO DREAMS

These last month, everybody is talking about Catalonia. For those who don't know about it, Catalonia is a Spanish Region, it is a Principality located in the North-East of Spain. Some catalans are asking for independence of Catalonia. I won't enter in this discussion. The fact is that the media is always talking about Catalonia but it is not talking about Sealand, about Pontinha, about Seborga...
Media is not talking about micronations like the Principality of Pontinha.
So, Portugal has also its own ''Catalonia''. In Portugal there is a Principality which also wants to secede, it is called the Principality of Pontinha. We can say that Renato II of Pontinha is the portuguese ''Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia''. 
Prince Renato II of Pontinha (left) and the President of Catalonia (right)
But, why Media is not talking about the Principality of Pontinha?

We should understand that Catalonia has seven and a half million inhabitants and it represents an important part of spanish GDP. Catalonia is located in a strategic position, it is near the Mediterranean, it borders on France and Andorra. It is one of the most visited regions in Europe for turists. This is not the case of Pontinha, which is a very little Principality on the coast of Madeira. Pontinha receives also a lot of visits but not milions of visits. It has thousands of followers in Internet, but not milions. But the people of Pontinha are asking the same as the catalans. So, I arrive to the conclution that media will always support those projects which can affedct their own interest. Pontinha'n citizens are asking for independence. The polls says, that almost 100% of Pontinha's inhabitants have the desire of being an independent state. It is unfair that international media hide those projects which are not ''politically correct'' or those projects that simply are not accepted by the ''principles of XXI Century''. Medias are not talking about Pontinha because they consider irrelevant, but on the other side, they consider the Catalan issue as very important and interesting.
Catalans and Pontinhans are asking for the same. The Sealanders, the Seborgans and some more micronations are claiming the same, but the media doesn't treat them by the same way.
Document made by
Renato II
Besides, the catalan government should represent all the catalans (those who want independence and those who not). In Catalonia a lot of families are not agree with independende. On the other hand, Prince Renato II of Pontinha is representing all the Pontinhans and in Pontinh's Principality, 100% of the population is claiming for independence. Pontinha is a private islet, so if its head of State, the Prince Renato II makes something that damage its country, he will suffer the consequences, not the people, while if the Catalan government makes a bad desision, seven and a half citizens will suffer the consequences. Renato II is the owner, he can makes whatever he wants he is the one who will decide the future of his fort, the one of the San José.
The King of Portugal sold the territory to the Blandy family, and then this family sold the islet to Renato Barros, the now Prince Renato II.
Renato II alleges that if a sovereign sells a territory, he sells the property and the sovereignty of that territory. And this is the real reason why Pontinha has the right of becoming an independent state. Catalonia has not this right, the region has multiple owners and the president is just a bureaucrat.
Renato II can apply the principles of self-determination and the libertarian principles of self- ownership. He can decide to be the sovereign of his own property. 

RELATIONS WITH PORTUGAL

If Catalonia has bad relations with the Spanish state, Pontinha also has bad relations with the Portuguese state. The only difference is that the Islet that Renato II owns is his private country while Catalonia is not a private property owned by just one person.
The mass media don't see this or perhaps ''they don't see this''. The truth is that we live in the XXI Century and libertarians points of view are conquering the Internet and are spreading each time faster.
There are some powerful organizations that want to defeat governments, the Seasteading Institute, which is an organization that wants to build floating cities in International Waters with the aim of creating autonomous goverments. The objective of this kind of organizations is to scape from strong government regulations and of course, avoid taxes. In the XXI Century, it has no sense to pay te amount of taxes that we pay. Our governments should not need all this money, we have the enough technology to develop enterprises and industries that allow everyone to have a work ant to save money each month.
Seasteading Institute is supported by very well-known economists and businessmen, like Patri Friedman or Peter Thiel. In Spain, Instituto Elcano is a libertarian institute that support little governments. Jesús Huerta de Soto is a brilliant spanish economics professor, he is a libertarian very well-known in Spain for his explanations of economy and for his desires in supporting little countries. So Libertarianism lives a good moment and is still growing and growing, because people are fed up of governments. Renato II of Pontinha appointed a libertarian american as its Prime Minister. He is Joby Weeks, an entrepreneur who works in bitcoin businesses. Renato II also says that Google recognizes his territory as an independent state. This is good news for him, to know that technology developers, economists and logical people are with him.
Renato II of Pontinha is a peace man, who wants to dialogue with the government of Portugal, he tries to stablish diplomatic relations with the Portuguese Republic. He is making a lot of effort. But Portugal says no to its claiming situation. Renato II is annoyed with this situation.

Petitions made by Renato II and translated to catalan (left) and spanish (right) languages
Renato says he is suffering a lot of tensions by the Portuguese State. He tries to get independence of his nation and he wants to reach a treaty with Portugal that allows him to make a referendum of self-determination. Portuguese authorities are refusing his proposals. Renato II ensures that the EU will accept his right of self-determination and he ensures they want to help Pontinha, but on the other hand Portugal is closing any help to Pontinha.
In this article I won't enter in politic and juridic issues, but I will just give my opinion about those medias who hide the desires of Pontinha of becoming an independent state.
Pontinha has at least, the same right of appearing in the international medias, as Catalonia does. The same for Sealand, the same for Tavolara and Seborga, and many other countries which have the same desire.

VERBUM VOLAT, SCRIPTUM MANET