The Catalan independence movement is sometimes portrayed as a nationalistic, excluding political project supported only by the Catalan-born and Catalan-speaking, ignoring the fact that Catalonia, with Barcelona at the foreground, has been historically a diverse country, with a centuries-old culture which has incorporated newcomers from other parts of Spain and all over the country.
Proof of this is the fact that many Catalans whose mother tongue is other than Catalan have also long supported the independence cause. Under this light, Eduardo Reyes, president of the association of pro-independence Spanish-speakers Súmate [Join!, in Spanish] analyses the political process currently taking place in Catalonia:
Catalan Views | Catalonia: the conflict is democratic, not nationalistic
“Pro-independence demands have an undeniably nationalistic or identity-related component in their origin, but this is by no means the most important aspect today. You just need to dig a little deeper to observe that, if pro-independence movement is currently spread out among Catalan society, it is precisely because it has ceased to be ‘nationalistic’. The Spanish language, which is not threatened in Catalonia, is the usual language for 55% of Catalans; more than 60% feel Spanish in some way; the majority of surnames in Catalonia are Spanish, and 70% of Catalans were born or at least one of their parents was born in the rest of Spain, as Catalonia has always been a blending and welcoming land. And, despite all these elements, the majority of Catalans are now pro-independence. So, what’s happening?”