After his meeting with Members of the United States Congress, the President of the Catalan Government affirmed on Wednesday that in the U.S. the right to self-determination also seems “like a perfectly suitable way, in case the ‘Yes’ wins the referendum, to recognise the independence of Catalonia”.
The President met with Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo in the Capitol Building and was joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva and the Catalan Government’s Delegate in the United States, Andrew Davis.
From Washington DC, Carles Puigdemont described the meeting as “very positive” in terms of explaining the Catalan political process and highlighted the “keen interest to comprehend what is happening in Catalonia” as well as the “good understanding” there is about the facts. “The aim was to explain our position, the right to decide, which is a right no one here has put into question”, the President assured. In this regard, he noted that the right to self-determination was not considered in the manner it is in Madrid, which “made the task of explaining ourselves very straightforward”.
In his comments to the press, Puigdemont contrasted the “interest” seen among the American representatives with the attitude shown by the Rajoy administration: “We would like to see the Spanish government with the same interest and straightforwardness that we have experienced here” and to see, on the other side of the negotiation table “interlocutors who will listen without prejudice and are interested in finding solutions”.
The head of Catalan Government also stressed the importance of making the Catalan reality known to the rest of the world, especially in “the legislative chambers of the largest democracy in the Western world” but at the same time he insisted that “we are not looking to establish contacts with the U.S. administration”. “It is not the time nor are we looking for shortcuts; when the time comes to call on other countries, including the United States, we will”, he assured.
According, to the President this week’s official visit has “helped to improve the understanding of what is happening in Catalonia and maintain the interest that already exists in the USA”. “An interest”, he continued “that dismantles the theories that say no one is receiving us, that no one is interested in the Catalan process or that this is a strictly Spanish issue”.
Prior to the meeting with the U.S. Members of Congress, the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency also met with Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most important public policy think tanks in Washington DC.