Jordi Cuixart, the jailed head of the Òmnium Cultural pro-independence organisation, has asked acting Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, for a meeting, and for his group to be part of the talks the Socialist (PSOE) leader will hold in his bid to be elected head of a new government.
Cuixart sent his request in a letter from Lledoners prison, where he is being held in custody awaiting a verdict in the trial of Catalan politicians and activists accused of rebellion for staging the independence bid in October 2017.
In his letter, Cuixart reminds Sánchez that Òmnium is Spain’s ‘largest cultural civic organisation’, with 175,000 members, and says he wants to talk to the Socialist leader to explain his closing comments in court in which he said he would do the same thing again.
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According to Cuixart, his statement, ‘We will do it again,’ was meant as ‘a reaffirmation of the defence of fundamental rights and the right to defend the right to self-determination on the part of the public.’
Also in the letter, the activist leader says he is ‘convinced’ that ‘the democratic resolution to the conflict [between Catalonia and Spain] lies in empathy and to thus defeat fear with dialogue,’ adding: ‘We have the responsibility to talk with everyone.’
While Sánchez has yet to respond to Cuixart’s letter, the unionist Ciudadanos (Cs) party wasted no time in expressing its opposition to such a meeting, with Cs politician Nacho Martín Blanco accusing Cuixart of having a ‘non-inclusive vision’ of Catalonia.
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Talking on Catalan radio on Tuesday, Blanco blamed Cuixart and his group for the ‘undemocratic behaviour’ represented by the unilateral referendum in October 2017 and the declaration of independence in the Catalan Parliament that followed.
The spokesman said his party is against the meeting, while acknowledging that the decision lay with Sánchez, who he said had ‘a project for Spain that is not consistent with the idea of a country of free and equal citizens,’ meaning Cs cannot support his bid to be prime minister.