Spanish solidarity - Jamaica says no to independent Catalonia
The Jamaican Government has announced that it supports a united Spain and does not recognise the declaration of independence of the Spanish region of Catalonia.
This comes almost two months after a referendum in Catalonia, rejected as illegal by the Spanish government, in which 90 per cent backed independence, but opponents boycotted it. Turnout was just 43 per cent, and there were claims of irregularities.
The dispute escalated yesterday as thousands of protesters took to the streets of Catalan towns to protest the jailing of nine former members of the regional government, following an appearance at Spain's National Court, for questioning in a probe over Catalonia's push for independence.
Eight of the nine were jailed without possibility of bail while they are being investigated on possible charges of sedition, rebellion, and embezzlement following the regional parliament's declaration of secession from Spain last week. Bail of €50,000 was set for the ninth.
The ousted president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, reacted to the jailing of the members of his former Cabinet, posting on Twitter that "the legitimate government of Catalonia has been jailed for its ideas".
But as the crisis deepened, Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a release in which it said: "Jamaica values greatly the enduring partnership it has maintained with Spain over the many years. It hopes, therefore, that dialogue, based on the rule of law will lead to a peaceful, democratic, and constitutional resolution of the crisis."
Catalonia is one of Spain's richest and most highly industrialised regions, and one of the most independent-minded, with many residents identifying more with southern France, which it borders.
With a distinct history stretching back to the early Middle Ages, many Catalans think of themselves as a separate nation from the rest of Spain.