Sunday, September 16, 2012

'The Age of Light' - Otegi's book from prison

In a quite impressive feat because communications from prison are tightly restricted, Basque political leader and prisoner of consciousness Arnaldo Otegi has managed to author a book in the shape of an interview by journalist Fermin Munarriz, interview that was patiently made in written form along months and even years.

In the book Otegi explains why and how the leadership of the Nationalist Basque Left decided in 2006-07 to radically change the shape of the struggle for Basque freedom from one centered around armed struggle to one centered on political action. 

Whether you agree or not, this is without doubt an important document to understand the recent history of the Basque Country. 

Even if the book is prefaced by Gerry Adams, for some reason it is not yet available in English, only in Spanish and Basque. It will be available in newspaper shops and libraries on September 28th but can be bought online since now at NAIZ INFO. The first chapter can also be read online at that same address.

Similarly excerpts are also today in the Basque and Spanish media (for example at Gara[es]). I will abstain myself from commenting extensively but I must obviously disagree with much of what I have read. One of the most cheered sentences is:

We were about to shipwreck and now Independentism can be hegemonic.

Hmmm... really? Is not that the discourse of shipwreck the one that the Spanish imperialist forces have been waving time and again? 

Also, how does an analysis made in 2006-07, before the Great Capitalist Crisis, applies to 2012, when the circumstances have changed so much, when the class war, specially from top to bottom but also vice versa has become central for every kind of politics, specially alleged Socialist politics?

Finally, what do you, Arnaldo, mean by "Independentism"? Is maybe the Basque Nationalist Party independentist or rather a mere regionalist reactionary force with a farce discourse of independence once or twice a year? What about your new centrist allies of Eusko Alkartasuna: a force that was collapsing and that has now revived unnecessarily under the wing of the Nationalist Left, placing even a member of that  ultra-capitalist brainwashing cult that is the Opus Dei (R. Larreina) in the Spanish Parliament with our votes? Is that what you understand by "Independentism": is all valid?

The so-called Otegist strategy is under growing criticism in the grassroots, clearly so. Of course many will vote EH Bildu this election because it's about time to get a semi-representative Western Basque Parliament and there are no other realistic options for the Basque socialists and secessionists but then, as the romantic song went: "every move you do... I'll be watching you". 

Specially undesirable for many is to make signs of reconciliation when the Spanish camp is not yet even respecting their own laws. In this sense asking for pardon unilaterally is totally unwelcome. His choice, of course, but a shameful and undeserved one.

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