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The visit of the Spanish prime minister to the White House, painstakingly prepared for months by the strategists of the Moncloa in search of Donad Trump’s disapproval of the referendum of 1st October in Catalonia, will be interpreted like a jug of cold water to the aspirations of Mariano Rajoy. The president of the United States let slip in his replies his prediction of what will happen on Sunday: "I think that president Rajoy would say they’re not going to have a vote, but I think that the people would be very much opposed to that." It is, without doubt, much more than the Catalan government could expect at a time when politicians are extremely careful in their declarations. It is true that he also added that Spain is a great country and that it should remain united, as well as some other similar phrase. But none of them enough to hide the most significant, journalistically: “The people [the Catalans] will be opposed" to Rajoy’s decision to prevent the referendum.

In the world of the diplomacy, an error is possible, two errors are unlikely, and when there are three in a very few days, it means what was said is exactly what was meant to be said. On 13th September, the spokeswoman of the States Department, Heather Nauert, said that the USA "will not interfere" in the referendum and that "we will work with the government that comes out of it". The Spanish government tried to erase those words immediately, blaming the lack of knowledge of Nauert about the situation in Catalonia. On Monday, the spokeswoman of the White House, Sarah Sanders, was also questioned about 1st October, in this case by the American press. One of the journalists asked: "If the referendum on 1st October approves a break with Spain, and if there is an independent country, will the United States recognise it?” The spokeswoman recalled the words of Nauert and that the United States would work with any government or entity that emerged. After these two declarations, that of Donald Trump came on Tuesday. Words that are undoubtedly already being cut out of the news, as if they had never been pronounced.

In any case, not only Maduro was "Madero" in the White House words of Rajoy, but from the few questions by the reporters that usually occur in this type of briefing between the presidents of governments, the fact that two of them made reference to the referendum in Catalonia shows the internationalisation of the Catalan conflict is a fact. As was seen hours before in Brussels, when the spokesman of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, was subjected to an arsenal of questions related to Catalonia, amidst the first criticism in the face of the silence from the EU. It already happened to Schinas last Thursday, when he also had to answer a dozen questions about Catalonia, without leaving the official script of the constitutional framework.

This is the political menu of Washington and Brussels, very far from the Spanish, focused on repression in face of polling day. With an ex-prime minister of the government like Felipe González saying that in the last 40 years what has worried him more is the situation in Catalonia - and those killed in the Basque Country? Did that not worry him more? - and subdelegates of the Spanish government cheering the Civil Guard that travel off to Catalonia as if they were heading off to war. We had seen the farewells in the barracks of the Civil Guard, but was it also necessary to see that of the Spanish government's subdelegation in Granada? The irresponsibility seems to have no limit.

 

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