Government suspects Spanish pressure behind US Embassy statement on Catalan independence
Barcelona (CNA).- The communiqué on Catalonia’s political aspirations published this Wednesday by the US Embassy in Madrid could have been a request of the Spanish Government, the Catalan executive believes. According to the Catalan Government, the success of Puigdemont’s recent meetings with US representatives, which included a private meeting with former US President, Jimmy Carter, may have led the Embassy to make its position clear and to define Catalonia’s political situation as “an internal matter of Spain”. Also this Wednesday, the Carter Center referred to the meeting between Carter and the Catalan President and assured that the Nobel Peace Laureate told Puigdemont that “neither he nor the Carter Center could be involved” in the negotiations for the referendum, reinforcing the idea that the meeting was only for both leaders to share their views and to comment on the current political situation.
Puigdemont’s official trip to the US, which included a meeting with Jimmy Carter in Atlanta, caused many reactions not only in Catalonia but also in the US and among the diplomatic corps. Sources in the Catalan Government told the CNA that the Catalan President “didn’t ask” for Carter to “get involved” in the Catalan political process but instead only aimed to explain the political situation and the Government’s will to call a referendum. This was confirmed this Wednesday by the Carter Center, which assured in a communiqué that “neither he nor The Carter Center could be involved” in the negotiations for the referendum. Both institutions point out that Puigdemont shared the Government’s plan to call a pro-independence referendum with Carter and that the Catalan President's visit to Atlanta was in response to an invitation made by Carter after he was awarded Catalonia’s International Prize in 2010.
It was probably the success of Puigdemont’s agenda in the US that led to the Spanish Government's request for the US Embassy in Madrid to clarify its position regarding Catalonia’s political aspirations, the Catalan Government believes. As evidence supporting this idea, they pointed to “previous experiences” in which the Spanish Government has exerted diplomatic pressure on other governments.
The short communiqué published only in Spanish this Wednesday by the US Embassy in Madrid states that Washington DC is “committed to a strong and united Spain” and emphasized that “Catalonia is an internal matter of Spain”. “Spain is a vital ally, partner and friend of the US and both countries share a common history and values,” says the text.