The speech Torra couldn't make at UfM: 'We are committed to continuing this non-violent struggle for self-determination'
Catalan president planned to urge the "immediate release and return" of leaders in prison and exile but his presence at the summit was vetoed by Spanish authorities
Catalan president Quim Torra wasn't able to attend the Union for the Mediterranean summit in Barcelona on Monday. The Spanish Foreign Affairs minister, Josep Borrell, said that he decided not to invite him so that the Catalan leader woulen't be able to use the "opportunity" to "vilify Spain's good name."
However, Torra did make public the speech that he wanted to make at the summit, in which he was planning to discuss the need for cooperation in the Mediterranean on issues such as commerce, infrastructure or the refugee crisis, but without forgetting about independence. In fact, he was planning to denounce the "repression" in Spain and defend Catalonia's struggle for independence.
"Several members of the former Catalan government and social leaders have been in pre-trial detention or in exile facing false charges of violence, rebellion and sedition for almost a year. We demand their immediate release and return," Torra planned to say.
"Our government is committed to continue this non-violent struggle for self-determination and fulfill it according to the democratic will of Catalan citizens," he wanted to add, asking for "a common search for justice and peace in the face of adversity."
The Catalan leader wanted to urge Mediterranean leaders to engage in "dialogue and cooperation" as "means to reach solutions."
One of the issues that the Catalan president was also prepared to address in front of the delegation of Mediterranean representatives was the refugee crisis. "This is the right forum to seek common policies that help put an end to the deaths of so many innocent lives who drown in the middle of the Sea. We must face this Mediterranean reality," Torra planned to say.
"Every death in the Mediterranean should make us ashamed by our lack of action. We need to find a coordinated and urgent solution," he did want to explain, in comments that have been sent to all those attending the summit. Torra also planned on reminding the audience about the large demonstration in Barcelona in favor of welcoming refugees and would have presented the country as a "reliable partner" in the Mediterranean.