3 CU Students Hope To Return Home To An Independent Catalonia

By Rick Sallinger

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Barcelona Sunday wanting to remain part of Spain. But in Boulder, the Catalan flag was rolled out in the name of independence.

Catalonia a region distinctive with its own language, history and economy now proclaiming separation from Spain.

“For me, I want my country to be represented by my people and not by other people who don’t share my language my culture,” said Marc Crullas, a student at the University of Colorado Boulder.

flag 3 CU Students Hope To Return Home To An Independent Catalonia

(credit: CBS)

On Friday the Catalan parliament voted for independence. It prompted massive celebrations in the streets of Barcelona. But it was accompanied by a political crackdown by the Spanish government.

Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont was removed from office and the regional parliament was dissolved.

Alex Cortiella, a CU student from Catalonia, says he has nothing against Spain, but his hope is that the declaration of independence for his region will hold.

“I want it to be recognized as a nation but right now Spain doesn’t allow that,” he said.

The CU students interviewed by CBS4 wear yellow ribbons for jailed separatist leaders.

ribbon 3 CU Students Hope To Return Home To An Independent Catalonia

(credit: CBS)

The referendum Oct. 1 was met with violent repression by the Spanish police, but since then incidents have been minor.

Roger Huerta, another CU student, is mindful that the situation could turn ugly.

“We people don’t want anything bad to happen, everybody’s worried,” Huerta said.

He said it is difficult watching what is happening from so far away. He and his friends stay up late due to an eight hour time difference to watch the news reports. He said he is looking forward to returning to Barcelona at Christmas saying, “The best gift we will ever have is to return to an independent Catalonia.”

With two sides so far apart no one knows what will come next.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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