Tuesday, September 27, 2011

'At dawn'. 36th anniversary of the last fascist executions in Spain. Homage of the victims remains a crime today.

36 years lasted the fascist dictatorship in Spain since Madrid, and then Valencia and Barcelona, fell to the military terrorists in 1939. 36 years have passed since the macabre leader of that treason against the people died in bed (not without losing his right hand and dauphin to the rage of ETA). In spite of all that time the fascists remain not just untouchable for their many crimes but even scrutiny of these crimes or homage to the brave guerrillas who fought against tyranny for decades remain out of the normal social and political discourse and might even be punishable.

That is the case of the memory of Juan Paredes Manot "Txiki" and Anjel Otaegi, two of the last five executed by fascism. If any municipality names a street or plaza on them or raises a monument, is brought to the courts for apology of terrorism. Instead mayors who name their streets for fascists or keep monuments to Franco enjoy full impunity.

As the tyrant said: I leave all tied and well tied.

But can those oppressive ropes survive the test of time? For how long will the ghost of Franco dominate Spanish politics?

Whatever the case, today 36 years ago, at dawn, five people were executed in Burgos and Barcelona. Three of them were members of the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) and of the Patriotic and Antifascist Revolutionary Front (FRAP), a short-lived Spanish urban guerrilla. Their names were Xosé Humberto Baena Alonso, José Luis Sánchez Bravo y Ramón García Sanz. The other two, Txiki and Otaegi, are still remembered through a Basque Country that was always a step aside (and often ahead as well) of whatever was happening in Spain proper.

Back in the day, still under fascism, Spanish singer Rosa León composed this song for the five guerrillas. Like everything under fascism, it's full of ambiguity and can only be understood knowing the sociological and political clues of the time but this song, that still has the power to squeeze tears, was a true hymn back in the late 70s and early 80s: a song of love, sadness and defiance.

Al Alba (At Dawn):

Lyrics (my hurried translation):
If I told you my love that I fear the dawn.
I do not know which stars are those ones that hurt like threats,
nor I know what the Moon bleeds at the edge of her sickle.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

The children we did not have hide in the sewers.
They eat the last flowers, they seem to be foreseeing
that the day that comes, comes with delayed hunger.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

Thousands of silent vultures are extending their wings.
Doesn't it break you down, my love, this silent dance?
Damned dance of the death, gunpowder of the morning.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

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