CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Sunday to answer for his handling of the banned secessionist referendum in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia.
“Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy must answer to the world for what he has done today to the Catalan people ... brutal repression appeared ... Rajoy opted for the most vulgar way, severe repression against innocent people,” Maduro said during his weekly television program.
The referendum was ruled illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court, the highest rung of the judiciary in the land, and police units have been deployed to shut down voting mechanisms, including the regional government’s data management centers.
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria called Sunday on Catalan regional authorities to desist from trying to establish an independent state, saying the goal was unattainable.
Saenz de Santamaria told Catalonia’s regional government that the referendum it had tried to hold was a farce because it had been ruled illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court.
Catalan regional government spokesman Jordi Turull, meanwhile, said some 337 people had been “injured or bruised” as a result of what he described as police violence during the banned referendum.
Turull said “some have been seriously injured,” and added that the regional parliament of Catalonia had banned the use of rubber bullets, but that National Police officers appeared to have used them against civilians in Barcelona on Sunday.