Torra in Washington pledges to work until Republic is “internationally recognized”
“We have political prisoners and victims of repression again,” says president during Catalonia America Council inauguration
The Catalan president will do his utmost to find support for the independence of his country. At least, that's what he said from Washington, during his first major official trip since taking office. Quim Torra said that his cabinet “won’t stop working” until the Catalan Republic is “internationally recognized.” He intends to also gain sympathy across the globe for “freedom and democracy” in Catalonia.
Torra is in the US this week, and he made these remarks in his first public event, the inauguration of the Catalonia America Council. This is a private organization fostering the “bilateral relationship” between Catalonia and the US led by the former Catalan delegate in this country, Andrew Davis.
Only some hours after the Catalan government reopened six of its delegations abroad, Quim Torra said from the American capital that last October 1, citizens “exercised the right to self-determination.” “And now, we have to make effective this democratic mandate,” he added. For Torra, this mandate has to be “effective with all its implications.”
"Regression of rights"
During his speech, he also referred to Spain’s reaction after the October events. “We now have political prisoners, exiles, and victims of repression again,” he claimed.
"Soon Catalonia will join the rest of the free nations of the world”
Quim Torra · Catalan president
According to him, as a result of Madrid’s measures, Catalonia is living in a state of emergency, with victims “such as President Puigdemont, who is now living in forced exile.” “The situation of regression of democratic rights in Spain is intolerable for any democracy,” he also said.
Torra also referred to the country he is visiting this week and quoted the third president of the US, Thomas Jefferson. According to him, in America “freedom and dignity of people are valued”, and from there he claimed that “soon Catalonia will join the rest of the free nations of the world.”
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The Catalan president is in the US not only for the Catalonia America Council inauguration, but also because the country has been invited to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which starts on Thursday.
The Culture minister, Laura Borràs, who has joined the official trip, said that the event will be a “magnificent opportunity” to “explain to the world” the “exceptional” situation that the country is going through.
She also said that culture in Catalonia will benefit from the festival. “Our traditional culture is very rich and diverse, and it is projected with several fronts, and here people will be able to see all of them,” said Borràs.