The Minister of Transport, José Luis Ábalos, compared the situation of the independence leader of ERC Oriol Junqueras with that of Nelson Mandela, South African leader imprisoned against Apartheid, in an interview on TVE, in which he refused to “stigmatize” the possible presence of Junqueras at the dialogue table on the Catalan conflict.
“If we stigmatize criminal record issues based on politically motivated facts, which does not mean that they are not criminally relevant, the Constitution would not have been possible, the arrival of democracy would not have been possible, and Nelson Mandela, who was in jail for a long time, because of his stigma could not have later participated in political life“said Ábalos.
The comparison has brought a tail on social networks, where it has been harshly criticized, among others by the deputy mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís. On his Twitter, Villacís underlined the “nuance” that, unlike Mandela, “Junqueras defends precisely ethnic segregation, he does not fight it.”
With the small nuance that, unlike Mandela, Junqueras defends precisely ethnic segregation, he does not fight it, and that the prisoners of the procés did not “fight for freedom” nor are they “political prisoners” as in the Franco regime, Mr. Ábalos .https://t.co/nhYp0FcnQe
– Begoña Villacís (@begonavillacis) June 2, 2021
In the background is the possible participation of the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, in the dialogue table between the Generalitat.
A week after the inauguration of Pere Aragonès as president of the Generalitat, the ERC spokesperson, Marta Vilalta, has urged the Government of Pedro Sánchez to resume “as soon as possible” the dialogue table on Catalonia, which met only once, in February 2020, before being parked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the composition of the Catalan delegation has yet to be configured at this dialogue table, Vilalta has acknowledged that ERC would like to include Oriol Junqueras, one of the nine imprisoned pro-independence leaders who could benefit from a pardon.
Ábalos justifies the presence of Junqueras at the dialogue table alluding to Nelson Mándela and the Transition.
“We stigmatize for reasons of criminal record …” pic.twitter.com/bYBkIb6X5r
– Toni Cantó (@ Tonicanto1) June 2, 2021