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Spain Tag

Just when you think we may have seen peak "social justice insanity," there is a news item showing that we have clearly not yet topped out! Despite having 15th largest economy in the world and being the third most populous country in the Americas, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has demanded that the Spanish government apologize for the conquistadors.

Earlier this week, Mary wrote about the chaos in Venezuela as Juan Guaido Proclaims Himself Interim President, [and the] Military Backs Maduro.  At that point, the U.S. and Canada recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader. Since then, Britain, Germany, France, and Spain said that Venezuela must agree to hold elections or they will recognize Guaido as the country's leader.  These countries have given Venezuela eight days to call the elections.

The authorities in Spain have dismantled a secret network belonging to the Islamic State spanning across 17 prisons. According to the police sources, ISIS operatives had formed a 'prison front' to recruit and indoctrinate potential jihadists inside the country's prison system. Police identified some 25 inmates suspected of running the ring, many of whom are due to be released in near future. "The very existence of the group is viewed as a potential security risk, even more so given the upcoming release of several of the inmates who were targeted by the investigation," a spokesperson for the Spain's Interior Ministry said.

Italy’s new government has declared victory in a standoff over a German-owned rescue boat that brought hundreds of migrants to its shores. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused MS Aquarius, which carried 629 migrants on board, to dock over the weekend. Spain’s newly elected Socialist government accepted the boat, which ended the impasse. "Saving lives at sea is a duty, but transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not," Minister Salvini wrote on Facebook. "Italy is done bowing its head and obeying. This time there's someone saying no."

Despite Spain's attempts to stop the Catalonia Independence Referendum, Catalans voted for independence.  Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy moved to impose direct rule. Catalan's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont has been living in exile in Belgium since October. 2017 and was thought likely to run for regional president.  Puigdemont, however, has announced that he will not be running for president and has instead endorsed Jordi Sànchez.  Sànchez is currently in jail in Madrid.

In a largely symbolic vote, the Catalonian parliament voted for independence from Spain on Friday, which caused the Spanish Senate to allow Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy direct rule over the region. From The Wall Street Journal:
The separatist legislators said Catalan voters gave them a mandate for the declaration in an Oct. 1 referendum on independence. Catalan authorities say around two million voters cast ballots and that the vast majority voted in favor of secession. However, opposition parties boycotted the vote and the Spanish government declared it illegal. The vote was also marred by clashes with the police.

Since their successful independence referendum, Catalonia has been under pressure, including reported violence against and arrests of pro-independence Catalans.  With no support from the EU or the U. S., Catalonia stands alone as the Spanish Prime Minister announced that he will be removing Catalan government officials and imposing direct rule. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that he is invoking Article 155 of the constitution to “restore the rule of law, coexistence and the economic recovery and to ensure that elections could be held in normal circumstances."  Direct rule will reportedly be in place next weekend.

A series of strikes and protests have disrupted the economic life in Catalonia, Spain's wealthiest and most industrialized region. The protests come after Spanish police cracked down on Sunday's independence referendum held in Catalonia region, which Madrid declared as illegal. Catalan authorities say around 900 people were injured after police raided polling stations, carrying away ballot boxes, beating up voters and shooting rubber bullets. The EU and the European media, usually vocal about any perceived human rights violation in the farthest corner of the world, was uncharacteristically quiet over Spain's crack down of the Catalonia vote in its own backyard. "It is telling that these shocking images didn't even make the lead item on the BBC news and voters were described as protesters," wrote the Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins.

After their successful parliamentary elections in 2015, Catalonia votes Sunday on independence from Spain. Madrid is decidedly not happy and has sent police to seize voting boxes and to arrest pro-independence officials. There are also reports of clashes between police sent to stop the "illegal" Catalonia Independence referendum and Catalans eager for independence. The Washington Post reports:
When Catalans go to the polls on Sunday, they'll find just one question on the ballot: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”

On Monday morning, the Catalan police identified 22-year-old Moroccan Younes Abouyaaquoub as the terrorist who plowed a truck through a crowd in Barcelona on Thursday. The attack killed 13 people and injured over 100. He escaped, but went on to stab "another driver and mowed down a policewoman." Hours after the press conference, reports emerged that the authorities shot him dead as he wore a suicide belt.

Spanish authorities killed several in Cambrils in an anti-terror operation to stop a second deadly attack only hours after terrorists killed 13 people in Barcelona. From Fox News:
State-owned broadcaster RTVE reported police killed four people and injured another, after police suspected they were planning a second terror attack.