Expectations that Monday would be a “normal working day” in independent Catalonia after Friday’s declaration of independence appear to have been overly optimistic, as Spanish officials moved to arrest the government’s leadership for “sedition” and “rebellion.”
Spain has been unable to arrest anyone so far, however, as President Carles Puigdemont and a number of members of the cabinet have fled to Brussels, Belgium and are said to be in a “discreet and secure location.”
Spain appears to be in the process of imposing a de facto takeover of Catalonia, but without the mass arrests of the leadership, government attempts to impose a new election that installs a pro-unionist regional government will be tricky.
Lawyers for President Puigdemont say he is undecided on how to proceed as yet, and it appears there are considerations to either form a government-in-exile operating out of Brussels (French Catalonia has also offered to play host), or simply apply for political asylum within Belgium.
How well Spain can impose its rule in Catalonia with or without the arrests remains to be seen, as Catalan voters overwhelmingly supported independence, and Spain’s response is simply that the votes didn’t count.
16 thoughts on “Catalan President, Cabinet Flee to Belgium Amid Spanish Arrest Threats”
Forget the state. Catalans need to take to the streets and shut the occupied territory down with a general strike. Make Barcelona ’17 the new Paris ’68.
Paris ’68 failed and was crushed.
Tell that to the French. It may have been crushed but, much like Stonewall, it’s shadow looms long. Sometimes failing honorably is it’s own kind of victory.
A ragtag army of students and workers nearly toppled one of the most powerful nations on earth. Maybe this time around they’ll win but not without the broken shoulders of May ’68 to stand upon.
So much for putting your money where your mouth is and manning the barricades. When the heat is on, the leadership runs away? What sort of story is that going to tell the people you’ve whipped into secession frenzy? If you are too scared to stay and face down the Spanish forces, maybe you shouldn’t have started this adventure in the first place. Coquina, much?
He’s not suicidal. Don’t forget he was invited to Madrid to argue his case before the legislature. Martin Luther was invited to Rome to argue his case too, but he didn’t quite feel like kindling at that time.
One suspects that Belgium has a problem what if the EU court rules that Belgium must hand over the seditious Catalans. We have seen the Precedent in the Assange case.
The difference is Russia has some new fighter planes a lot of nuclear weapons that make a significantly different precedent . The law is not exactly the same for every one .
Of course if this is allowed to go ahead with French and Belgian help there is the problem it weakens the US case of Crimea.
There is no U.S. case of Crimea . Crimea has been part of Russia for hundreds years and only part of Ukraine for maybe about 10 years . The people speak Russian . When Ukraine decided to go Nazi . Crimea decided to leave and return to Russia .Russia accepted Crimea back . Crimea is now part of Russia again and has a important Russian military base that can control the Black sea .
it was declared part of the Ukraine under Khrushchev since it was part of a squabble between 2 Soviet water boards (everyone is a good soviet, right?). When the USSR collapsed, it stayed Ukrainian since everyone was still on good terms and the Russians signed a lease for the Naval Base.
There is also a new bridge joining Crimea to the rest of Russia.
The US doesn’t have a case in Crimea – none of our business.
If the central government does not make some peace offers soon this will fester forever.
“Catalan voters overwhelmingly supported independence”
You have missed a vital point in this whole saga, pro-unionists with Spain largely did not take part in the independence vote as it was deemed illegal by the Spanish supreme court.
….and that Spanish supreme court was so independent of the Spanish government. How ridiculous. The Serbian Supreme Court said the provinces were illegal in attempting separation and independence too. How did that one work?
This independence movement has been a joke from the get go. Now it’s supposed leaders flee to Brussels at the first whiff of trouble. Do they expect the people they left behind to risk anything at all for this faux movement?
Meanwhile in Donbas the people and their leaders man the front lines, have bled and died for a real cause. THOSE are the people that are worthy of success and admiration!
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