Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Again on the Basque Peace Process... or whatever it is

The armed organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country And Freedom, ETA) has issued a new communication in which, according to Gara[es], they ratify their compromise with the Peace Process and declare their satisfaction for the partial electoral normalization and the results that it has brought along. They make an appeal to all agents to work for the solution and specially to the Basque Nationalist Left to continue working with the humility and generosity usual in them. 

ETA considers that the scenario we are in nowadays cannot be understood without the decades of struggle that preceded it and that there is no future for the Basque People within Spain or France, only independence making any sense. 

ETA criticizes those who have claimed that the change of strategy within the Basque Nationalist Left has been caused by weakness and resignation, as if it could be defeated by mere institutional violence. Instead, they think that this change of strategy has allowed the union of a wider bloc of Left Nationalists, that allows for a positive national construction.

They do not even bother making any appeal to the Spanish actors but it seems to be a communication of support of to the Basque Nationalist Left and the new path chosen of gathering political forces. 

Brian Currin: a peace process cannot be forever unilateral

South African lawyer Brian Currin, member of the international facilitator group, emphasized in a press conference (Gara[es])that a peace process cannot be only unilateral, that the Spanish government must assume their responsibility. 

He also criticized the obsession of the Spanish state for getting Arnaldo Otegi on trial once and again. Otegi has just exited a political trial to begin another, remaining in prison since years ago on these not yet judged opinion crimes.

Currin recommended the end of exceptional measures and the full legalization of the Basque Nationalist Left as key steps to be taken by Madrid if they want to make any advance. 

Currin's first point for a peaceful solution is that the parties must prefer a negotiated solution before a security scheme or confrontation. (This is probably not true for the Spanish side, which is way too comfortable in a confrontation that fails to really challenge its power).

Currin's second point is that leaders have the support of their respective factions. 

Another key point is for Currin a compromise of the parties with a shared vision of the future, developing mutual trust and accepting the need to make concessions (I doubt this can ever happen in our case, sincerely, unless Spain and specially its ruling class changes A LOT). 

He also considers that leaders' honesty is critical (again this is not something you can easily find in Spain).

Building guarantees and trust is something that international mediators can help with. 

Currin also emphasizes transparency (so far all negotiations have been extremely opaque and secret). In this aspect he also underlines the honesty of the mass media. 

Finally he thinks that any viable solution needs of popular participation or will be otherwise doomed.

Otegi on trial for comparing ETA member in jail with Nelson Mandela

Again[es]. He was already judged for these declarations a year ago. This is a repetition of the previous trial (formal error?) but it is a literal repetition, as judge and attorney insist in ignoring that Nelson Mandela was a guerrilla fighter as well as a politician.

In 2005 Arnaldo Otegi compared Basque prisoner Gatza with Mandela because they had been in prison about the same time (25 years) and because he hoped that this similitude would also come with a similarly democratic solution. 

For that reason he is being charged with the usual nonsense against anyone who disagrees with the Spanish official ideology: apology of terrorism.

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