December 3, 2023

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Home » Content » The true ‘false narrative’ about Catalonia
Santiago Cabanas, Washington. Spain's ambassador to the United States. Regarding Quim Torra’s May 6 Global Opinions essay, “The Catalan independence movement is not behind the rise of Spain’s far right”

Mr. Torra tried to spread disinformation in an effort to create confusion about the real situation in Catalonia. The radical independence movement he is part of has tried to internationalize its aspirations. Contrary to Mr. Torra’s own thesis, its very efforts are proof of the freedom of expression of Spanish citizens.

It’s ironic to read from Mr. Torra words such as “false narrative” and “fiction.” Spain does not discriminate against Catalonia. Catalonia enjoys the highest degree of autonomy in Spain and in Europe. The Catalan regional parliament is the legislative authority with powers that include public media, health, education, police, prisons and overseas trade delegations. That is the truth.

Radical separatists such as Mr. Torra are free to express their ideas, and they certainly do. A representative of his government recently used a tribute to the victims of Nazism in Mauthausen to seek support for what she called “political prisoners” in Spain. Mr. Torra has also compared the so-called struggle of the Catalan people with the civil rights movement in the United States. That is a false narrative.

There is one thing I do agree with Mr. Torra on: The best response to ultranationalism — which Mr. Torra himself embodies — will always be to promote peace, free information and the unity of democrats.

Santiago Cabanas, Washington

The writer is Spain’s ambassador to the United States.


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