Readers React: How the Catalan attempt at secession was illegal and undemocratic

People, some with Catalonia independence flags, protest Spain's Cabinet holding a meeting in Barcelona on Dec. 21, 2018.
People, some with Catalonia independence flags, protest Spain’s Cabinet holding a meeting in Barcelona on Dec. 21, 2018.
(Manu Fernandez / AP)

To the editor: I was troubled to read the Jan. 21 article, “12 Catalan leaders face trial on charges of sedition and rebellion against Spain.”

I have tremendous respect for journalists’ work under difficult circumstances, but I find the article extremely biased on the secessionist side. Most people in Catalonia do not support independence from Spain, and their point of view should also be heard. The secessionist electoral support stood at a peak of 47.5%.

When the Catalan parliament declared independence on Oct. 27, 2017, not only was the chamber half empty, but the declaration was made illegally. No sovereign country in the world recognized this declaration, which went against the Spanish Constitution. Furthermore, there was no democratic mandate.


The Spanish Constitution does not recognize a right to self-determination or secession for any of its regions, just as the U.S. does not recognize such a right for any of its states. What would Americans think if the Texas House of Representatives declared independence, contravening the U.S. Constitution and disregarding warnings from the U.S. Supreme Court?

The keys are dialogue among Catalans and consensus within Catalan society to seek common ground, all while respecting Spain’s constitutional framework.

Gabriel Colomé, Barcelona

The writer is a political science professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

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