The history of Catalonia and Portugal is linked by shared events that marked the destiny of both peoples forever.
The occupation of Portugal by Spain in 1580 deprived our country of its sovereignty and had disastrous consequences for the colonial empire.
It would take 60 years for Portugal to recover its independence and to become a free nation again .
If we want to place ourselves in the atmosphere of the period that preceded Portugal regaining its freedom from Spanish rule , it would be sufficient to page trough Alexander Dumas classic romance “D’Artagnan and Three Musketeers “.
This was the time of “30 Years War “, between France and Spain ,when the French king and his Prime Minister , the famous cardinal Richelieu ,wanted to weaken Spanish dominance in Europe and to take-over Spanish territories in the Pyrenees of northern region .
The result was that Spain was facing the scenario fighting two major wars of secession, in Portugal and Catalonia, in addition to a great international conflict caused by the burden of the Thirty Years’ War.
The first option for Spain was mobilize Portuguese noblemen and troops to send them to suppress the revolt of Catalonia, a strategy that would also keep Portuguese army unable to support any separatist movement.
This move provoked the Portuguese nobility to take decisive action to end Spanish domination, proclaiming the restoration of Portuguese independence on 1st December 1640.
Faced with revolt in two fronts Spain decided to suppress the Catalonia revolt first, which it did with extreme cruelty.
The campaign to suppress Catalonian revolt would take four years, a period during which with the support of France and England Portugal had time to organise and put together a strong army that made it impossible for Spain to regain control.
It was Catalonian sacrifice of freedom that gave Portugal the chance to become a free nation.
The roads of history lead us to Catalonia of present times, still fighting for a chance of freedom that did not have 377 years ago when Portugal gained control of its destiny.