Spain summons Venezuela ambassador over Catalonia comments | News | DW | 18.10.2017
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Spain summons Venezuela ambassador over Catalonia comments

Madrid has asked Venezuela's ambassador to explain President Nicolas Maduro's comments on the tensions in Catalonia. Maduro accused Spain of holding political prisoners after the arrest of two separatist leaders.

Spain's foreign ministry said Wednesday it had asked the Venezuelan ambassador, Mario Isea, to convey Madrid's "absolute rejection" of Maduro's statements on Catalonia.

On Tuesday Maduro, whose country is embroiled in a long-running political and economic crisis which has included deadly protests and food shortages, said Spain had "no morality" to comment on the situation in Venezuela.

Maduro accused Madrid of persecuting the people of Catalonia and holding political prisoners.

Watch video 04:19

Catalonia - stay or go now?

His statement followed the Madrid-based National Court's ruling to keep Jordi Cuixart, head of the Catalan National Assembly, and Jordi Sanchez, leader of pro-independence organization Omnium, in jail pending investigation into sedition charges.

They are accused of organizing protests on September 20-21 to impede police who were trying to stop the October 1 independence referendum from going ahead.

The two Spanish-speaking countries have a history of diplomatic spats. At a summit in 2007, then King of Spain Juan Carlos shouted "Why don't you shut up?" to Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president at the time, after Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist.

se/rc (Reuters, EFE)

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