Spain’s vibrant democracy
Re “Calming the Catalonia crisis,” editorial, Oct. 31
Your editorial is shocking, lacks objectivity and shows disrespect for Spain, a democracy under the rule of law. Your use of the
words “Franco-style” to describe my government’s response to the secessionists’ attempts to break Spain’s sovereignty is offensive and absolutely out of tune.
Article 155 of our Constitution is an extraordinary control mechanism not unique to Spain. Both President Eisenhower in 1957 and President Kennedy in 1963 evoked a similar principle in order to enforce the rule of law in the United States. By using it, the government seeks to protect all Spanish citizens, especially those in Catalonia.
After a long period of dictatorship and many struggles, Spain has over the last 40-plus years become a thriving progressive democracy, open to the world and respectful of human rights. We have learned the lesson so well that we lack far-right parliamentary representation, something that not every country can say. Still, your editorial emphasizes a long-gone past.
Finally, your refusal to use the word “terrorist” when mentioning the group ETA is unfortunate and alarming. Both the U.S. Department of State and the European Union have long labeled it a terrorist organization. Referring to ETA merely as “Basque separatists” and to its despicable actions as “armed struggle” is inaccurate and insensitive to the more than 800 people it has killed. Pedro Morenés
Washington The writer is Spain’s ambassador to the United States.