Spain Ratchets Up Threats as Catalonia Refuses to Respond

Top Catalan Secessionists Held Without Bail for 'Sedition'

Spain’s demands for Catalonia to “clarify” whether they’ve seceded or not continue, but with a first ultimatum deadline having passed, Catalan officials say they don’t have any intention of responding to Spain’s orders at all.

Catalan secessionist leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart

This comes amid Spain’s threats to not only arrest top Catalan political figures, but also to seize the autonomous region outright, revoke all of its autonomy, and govern it directly under national control to punish them for the October 1 referendum, in which the vast majority of voters supported declaring independence.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is still pushing for direct talks with Spain’s leader, Prime Minister Rajoy, Spain has ruled out talks, however, unless Catalonia agrees to abandon secession. Puigdemont says his goal for the next two months is to try to start talks.

Two major Catalan secessionist leaders, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who head two NGOs responsible for organizing the referendum, are already being held in a Spanish prison pending charges. The two are being held without bail, with Spanish officials threatening to charge them with sedition for their involvement in the vote.

That the two haven’t been charged yet reflects the Spanish government’s interest in using the threat of charges to convince Catalonia to back down, though the two remained defiant at their most recent court hearing regarding their detention, saluting a small crowd of supporters.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.