King Felipe Stresses International Unity Amid Catalan Separatism

King Felipe highlighted Spain’s role in the international arena and called for unity amid strong divisions at home, particularly from Catalan separatism.

Don Felipe, speaking at the United Nations last week, noted the soon to be celebrated 40-year anniversary of the Spanish transition.

The King said the transition “allowed us to pass from a dictatorship to a politics of freedom and human rights, marked by a commitment to historic reconciliation and a spirit of coexistence.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe, marking the first address to the General Assembly of his young reign, said Spain had a “profound sense of equality, and rejects fanaticism, violence, intolerance and loves piece.”

Even though the King’s speech as international in nature, it’s hard for observers not to attempt ties to the current controversy in Spain.

The Spanish government either helps write or approves His Majesty’s messages. It’s the same government calling for unity amid separatism, and rejecting the Catalan Government’s planned referendum on statehood or independence.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Queen Letizia sits with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is originally from Argentina. The two have seemed to have developed a friendship. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Noting a version of Pablo Picasso’s famous painting Guernica, which shows the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, which was particularly harsh on Catalonia and is seen as the true beginning on World War II, King Felipe called for “more unity against fanaticism, intolerance and barbarism.”

He called for “more unity to fight poverty, misery and marginalization. More unity for education and health care for all. And more unity to defend with resolve the dignity of all human beings.”

King Felipe and Queen Letizia give U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a dedicated picture from their proclamation. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
King Felipe and Queen Letizia give U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a dedicated picture from their proclamation.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Their Majesties have several more trips planned, including to Catalonia and abroad to countries including Mexico.

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