Members of the U.S. Congress support Catalan self-determination

Catalan government delegation meets with US representatives on the separatist question

Toni Strubell
09.09.2015 - 23:12
Actualització: 13.06.2022 - 09:53

Members of the U.S. Congress Wednesday received a Catalan government delegation to obtain first-hand information on the separatist process in Catalonia. Catalan government representatives met with members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to brief them about the independence process and the upcoming parliamentary elections in Catalonia on 27 September. Catalan Government’s Secretary for Foreign and European Union Affairs, Roger Albinyana, and Head of the Foreign Action Committee of the Catalan Parliament, Jordi Solé, met with U.S. Representatives Mario Díaz Balart(R-FL), Ileana Ros Lethinen (R-FL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) at the historic Rayburn House Office Building just steps from the U.S. Capitol.

Secretary Albinyana and Mr. Solé explained how recent events in Spain and Catalonia have led the Catalan Government to call plebiscitary elections for September 27, discussed future scenarios for an independent Catalonia, and responded to questions from the members of the U.S. legislature.

After the meeting, several representatives expressed their support for Catalonia’s right to self-determination.

Republican Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe, defended Catalonia’s right to decide its political future. ‘I see no reason why the Catalan people should not be allowed to decide whether to be a part of Spain; like any other people, they have the right to decide’, Rohrabacher told reporters.

Rohrabacher said that his congressional subcommittee, which is responsible for European and Eurasian affairs, has studied ‘the question of self-determination’ as it applies to several countries. He said that Catalonia has the same rights ‘as any other people’.

Congressman Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, added that ‘in the long term’, it would be better to allow a Scottish-style referendum. ‘It’s better to let people decide and for them to choose to remain in the country, instead of making them feel they are being forced to stay, because this creates resentment and bad feelings and weakens the sense of unity that a country needs’ he said when asked what he would say to the Spanish government regarding the Catalan question.

Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart supported Rohrabacher’s view, saying that the right to decide and to express political aspirations as a society must prevail. Another conservative, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, likewise supported the views expressed by his peers, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.

So far, five legislative chambers of sovereign states have taken up the Catalan question. The Danish parliament passed a resolution on 19 May urging dialogue between Catalonia and Spain; the resolution was approved with 64 votes in favour, none against it, and 41 abstentions. On 7 July, the Irish parliament debated Catalonia’s separatist process. The Catalan government’s foreign secretary, Roger Albinyana, and the secretary general of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia, Albert Royo, took part in the session. On 26 August, Albinyana and Royo briefed the Uruguayan parliament on the independence process and later met with the president of the House of Representatives, Alejandro Sánchez. Finally, on 2 September, Francesca Guardiola, the Catalan government’s director general of foreign affairs, gave a briefing before the Paraguayan senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on the political context in Catalonia.

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