The President of the Catalan Government concluded his official visit to the United States today with a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial in New York in honour of those who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks of 2011 at World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
The Chief Executive noted that his visit was “an act of tribute to honour the victims and their families” as well as a way of “remembering the long tradition of peace and fraternity that Catalonia has during these critical times of upheaval”, referring to the various acts of terrorism being witnessed in different parts of the world.
Upon exiting the museum, the Chief Executive explained to the press that “Catalonia also has its own September 11th”, it was “300 years ago when we suffered an obliteration of our freedoms, our laws, our institutions and even our language”. Through this symbolism, the President underlined that “our willingness to engage in dialogue and to do things with as much discourse as possible has always inspired the Catalan people’s way of being”.
In the same declarations to members of the press, the President expressed his satisfaction when asked about the various contacts made during his official visit. Artur Mas admitted to be “reasonably satisfied” regarding the feedback received when explaining the Catalan process in the United States. In this regard, the President underlined that there is “interest” from investors, intellectuals, think tanks and the press to learn more about Catalonia’s civic and political movement. Furthermore, the Chief Executive stressed that “in moments of interest, we must use every opportunity to inform those who want to learn more, because we have a lot to explain”.
Artur Mas highlighted that if the Catalan cause was to be recognized across the world it must be won on a day-by-day basis, through “civic demonstrations” and “great mobilizations”, “with the people of Catalonia’s positive attitude”, with a majority support from town and city councils, and, finally, “with elections” because “this is where the people take the real decisions”. “It is they who decide”, added the President.
Regarding the upcoming elections on September 27, Artur Mas announced that they should be used “to make it clear at home, in Spain, in Europe and across the world, that there is a sufficient majority of Catalans in favour of creating a new state of Catalonia”. “This is the first step, without it there are no other steps in this respect”, declared the President.
The President visited Ground Zero joined by Lynn Rasic, Executive Vice President of External Affairs & Strategy for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum; Roger Albinyana, Foreign and EU Affairs Secretary for the Catalan Government, and Andrew Davis, the head of Generalitat’s Delegation in the United States. After a tour of the memorial site, the President left his personal remembrance message ‘Pau i fraternitat a totes les persones de bona voluntat’ (Peace and fraternity to all people of good will) on the museum’s interactive touchscreens.