The Basque National Day, is always celebrated on Easter Sunday.
Sunday, March 31, 2002
The Basque National Day, is always celebrated on Easter Sunday.
Saturday, March 30, 2002
European press review
Friday, 29 March, 2002, 05:25 GMT
Aznar is a 'pocket Sharon'
The leader of the Basque National Party, Xabier Arzalluz, has called Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a "pocket Sharon" and compared his policies in the Basque Country to those of President George W Bush in Afghanistan, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Speaking at the party's celebration of Basque National Day, Aberri Eguna, in Bilbao, he said he wanted the Basque Country to have "its own place in Europe, not as a sublet of Spain or France".
He accused Mr Aznar of "trying to do to the Basque Country by means of the Law-based State what (dictator Francisco) Franco did by other means".
He accused the armed separatist group ETA of being "Aznar's front organization" in obscuring debate of serious issues by its attacks.
He poured scorn on ETA's recent announcement that it would continue the armed struggle as "such an immense contribution", but criticized the government's proposal to ban the political wing of ETA, Batasuna, as "providing an oxygen cylinder to ETA and moving us further away from peace".
If ETA put away its guns, Basque constitutional nationalists would have an absolute majority, Mr Arzalluz said, adding "Euskadi is the homeland of the Basques and we are the masters of our own destiny".
His comparison of Aznar to other genocidal murderers like Sharon, Franco and Bush a hit, more than a hit, a home run with loaded bases.
His miss? To oversimplify the political outcome if ETA were to give up its armed struggle. Would Sharon stop murdering Palestinians if the PLO were to call off its armed defense of Palestine?
We all know the answer.
Thursday, March 28, 2002
I found a neat story that relates to my last name (Eguia, or Egia in Euskara) here.
Looks like the page master for the link I provided you experiences some difficulties with the bandwidth, so I copied the little part that refers to my last name for you, here it is:
"The Basques worshipped Djaun-Giokkoak (Janicot), the All-Father All-Mother who created the three forms of light: Egia (truth), the light of the soul, Begia (eye), the light of the body and Etchia (sun), the light of the earthly day."
Sunday, March 24, 2002
Political Furor Erupts From Idaho
Mon Mar 18, 2:43 PM ET
By DAN GALLAGHER, Associated Press Writer
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The last thing anyone in Idaho expected was an international incident.
When the Idaho House took up a nonbinding resolution last week urging peaceful self-determination for Spain's Basque minority, it hardly raised an eyebrow. There are 15,000 Basques in Idaho, the biggest such community in the United States, and Basque issues occasionally come up.
State Rep. David Bieter — whose mother was Basque — introduced the measure, and 84-year-old Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, a Basque, spoke glowingly of his heritage and praised the resolution.
"Today in the Basque country there is great joy," he said before the measure passed on a unanimous vote.
What happened next rippled all the way to the White House and beyond that to Spain.
Javier Ruperez, the Spanish ambassador to the United States, complained that the resolution was a "gratuitously unfriendly gesture" and said Spain gives a high level of autonomy to the Basque region.
He also said that failing to specifically condemn the violent Basque separatist group ETA — blamed for hundreds of deaths over the past 30 years — was like discussing Sept. 11 without mentioning al-Qaida. Ruperez was kidnapped by the ETA in 1979 and held for a month.
At the White House's request, the resolution was held up before it got to the Idaho Senate. The Bush administration set up a meeting between Idaho Basque leaders and State Department officials about possible U.S. involvement in resolving the Basque-Spain conflict.
In exchange, Idaho lawmakers changed the resolution to have it condemn the ETA, and approved the measure unanimously.
Bieter later told his colleagues: "I, like you, had no idea that we would get the world's attention."
The talk has not stopped in Idaho's Basque community, which includes a Basque Block in downtown Boise, a group of restaurants, bars and a museum built around what was once a boarding house for sheepherders.
The Basques, a people of unknown origin speaking a language that appears to be unlike any other, settled thousands of years ago on both sides of the Pyrenees, the mountains that divide present-day France and Spain. Although the Basque country has never existed as a political entity, its people have always had a sharp sense of their uniqueness and fierce pride in their language and culture. Even the Romans were content to let the Basques alone while part of the empire.
Most Idaho Basques are descendants of immigrants from the Spanish province of Viscaya, a forested region on the Bay of Biscay. Many sailed with the Spanish conquistadors to South America or fished off Labrador long before the French or English arrived.
By the late 19th century, they began migrating to America to escape war and poverty, and the men took jobs as sheepherders in the remote, high deserts of the West's Great Basin. Thousands ended up settling in Idaho and other nearby states, their descendants becoming merchants, teachers, bankers and politicians.
A second wave fled Spain when dictator Francisco Franco crushed an attempt to form a Basque nation in the 1930s. Basque Homeland and Freedom, or ETA, evolved in the late 1960s as a militant response to Franco, who banned the Basque language and other displays of their culture.
Joe Goicoechea's family was among those who fled war in Spain, coming to the West during the second Carlist War in 1873.
"My grandfather said, 'I'm not going to lose my boys in this senseless war,'" Goicoechea recalled. The ended up in Idaho's arid Jordan Valley.
Goicoechea, an 81-year-old retired iron worker, counts himself among the "Amerikanuak," or American Basques who want peaceful self-determination for relatives in the old country. "I'm anti-ETA. I'm anti-anything that takes people's lives from them," he said.
Basque community leaders said their talks with the Bush administration in the past week generated a commitment for further discussions in the next month or two about the possibility of the U.S. government getting involved in brokering the Basque conflict.
The State Department has declined comment on further talks, and the experts seem split on what they could mean. "If what comes out of it might be an opening for some kind of dialogue, then the political impact would be far greater than they thought it would be," said Carolyn Patty Blum, who specializes in human rights law at the University of California at Berkeley.
Jorge Ramirez, an international affairs expert at Texas Tech University, said he believes any kind of communication has value. But he said: "Will anything come of it? I seriously doubt it."
Is funny how easily people are fooled by the red herring placed by Spain regarding this matter, they speak of violence and they all think of ETA, yet, no one talks about the several crimes committed by Spain during 500 years of their genocidal occupation of Euskal Herria (the Basque Country).
Oh, and by the way, Navarre (the Basque kingdom) was a sovereign and independent political entity for 800 years, maybe Dan Gallagher should get his facts right instead of parroting whatever the fascist Ruperez has to say about the Basque Country.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Through pacific ways, the Basque American community brought more attention to the Basque yearn for self determination than years of violence, ironically, after the war, when the Basques were one more ally against the Fascists, they had the option of going to war (they had the weapons and they had volunteers to come and help from all over Europe, and without Hitler, Spain was weak) or negotiate (option offered by the Allies, since they have promised to clean Europe from every fascist dictator, and Franco was one of them).
What Idaho did is creating a new awareness among the Basque communities around the world, it was like a voice that awakened a concert of echoes. Many wrong doings were committed against our people, maybe is the time to make it right.
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Well, what you are about to read is a letter sent by the Spanish Ambassador Javier Ruperez to the state of Idaho's congressmen:
I have just received a copy of the proposed House Joint Memorial #14 with which the House of Representatives and the Senate of the State of Idaho aim to speak out on violence in the Basque region.
Nothing is more deserving of respect than the daily work carried out in democratic countries by the legislative chambers as they deal with matters of interest to the citizens who elect them--I myself was a member of such a legislature for many years.
Nonetheless, one of the most difficult tasks of the legislative process is to obtain adequate information, and not just that which has been manipulated by self-interested parties.
It is not my purpose in this letter to provide the information lacking in the proposed House Joint Memorial, which I invite you to obtain through the means you see fit, but I would like to briefly underscore a few important facts:
The Basque region is granted by the Spanish Constitution and by its Statutes of Autonomy the greatest level of self-government of any region of Europe.
The Basques, like the rest of the Spanish people, have been determining their own future in each and every one of the successive democratic elections held since the restoration of democracy to Spain in 1977, and each time those who favor terror receive less and less popular support.
It is true, as the proposed Joint Memorial states in one of its rare instances of accuracy, that aside from a marginalized fraction of the population, the vast majority of the Basque people reject violence. It is therefore astounding, but very revealing, that a document which purports to contribute to ending that violence is not at all directed at those who practice it, those who with their lies and distortions promote it, those who through their silence support it. Esteemed Congressman, to not even mention ETA in a document concerning violence in the Basque region, is like speaking of September 11th without even referring to Al-Qaeda.
Esteemed Congressman, the terrible tragedy of September 11th and the subsequent war against terrorism have unmasked those who try to distinguish between "bad" terrorism and "good" terrorism, terrorism that hits you at home and terrorism that is far removed from your experience. Today we have all learned to call things by their rightful names and to distinguish only between terrorists and their victims.
Honorable Congressman, the position of the Government of the United States has always been very clear with regard to the situation in the Basque region. And the Basque people and all Spaniards are very much aware of President Bush's recent expressions of solidarity.
Therefore, no one in the Basque region or throughout Spain would understand such a gratuitously unfriendly gesture on the part of the legislature of Idaho and the misinformation which has given life to the measure does not excuse it.
Honorable Congressman, I respectfully invite you to reject the proposed Joint Memorial. If you truly want to contribute to peace in the Basque region, I urge you to direct yourselves to ETA and its accomplices and ask them to stop killing and to comply with the oft-repeated will of the by-far vast majority of the Basque people and of the rest of Spain
Ambassador of Spain
Embajada de España en Washington
2375 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20327
The Basques are not Spaniars just like they are not French, the Basques have been inhabitating their land sinche long before Spain and France became states. The right to the self determination of a nation without statehood is protected by a UN resolution, it is therefore not up to Spain nor France to decide the future of Euskal Herria, that future can only be decided by the Basques.
Regarding the violence I would like to remind Mr. Ruperez that Spain has murdered thousands of Basques throughout history. Spain conquered Navarra (the Basque Kingdom) after a long war and there has been several attempts by the Basque people to regain their sovereignty and independence. Is good to remember now that the Basques sided with the Allies during WWII while Franco volunteer his soldiers to fight along Hitler.
Now you can see to which extent the Spaniards can go when it comes to their campaign of lies and misconceptions against Euskal Herria and the Basque people.
Monday, March 11, 2002
Here is the note that the Idaho Statesman published today about Pete Cenarrusa's efforts to push a Memorial throgh Idaho's legislature, a Memorial that would recognize the right of Euskal Herria to its independence.
Here you have the note:
Cenarrusa not taking the quiet road to retirement
Statesman 11-03-2002 Idaho
Instead of quietly accepting good wishes for his retirement, Pete Cenarrusa is spending his last days in office fighting for Basque nationalism and taking a barrage of criticism from the Spanish government.
Cenarrusa, 84, the son of immigrant parents, learned Basque as his first tongue. He is the longest-serving state elected official ever, with 17 years in the Idaho House and 35 years as secretary of state. Beloved by his Republican Party, he is respected by Democrats for his fairness.
Last month, Cenarrusa was treated to standing ovations by Republicans across the state at 15 Lincoln Day events. Now, he is employing a lifetime of good will to push a measure through the Legislature that's drawing howls from
and opposition from the White House because it conflicts with anti-terrorism policy. Madrid
Cenarrusa, working with Rep. David Bieter, D-Boise, is advancing a non-binding measure of the sort that lawmakers often pass to make themselves feel good.
House Joint Memorial 14 is different. Cenarrusa has maddened the hornets by calling on President Bush, Congress and
to hear Idaho's plea: End the violence in the Basque region, begin negotiations and allow a vote on independence. Spain
It is the call for peace talks and a referendum that conflicts with
Madridand , who refuse to deal with the ETA terrorist organization that has killed 900 people over 30 years. Washington
The memorial passed the House 64-0 last week, after Cenarrusa urged its approval in an unprecedented return to the speaker´s chair he held for three terms in the 1960s.
"Today, in the Basque country, there is a great deal of joy," he said. "There is a body in North America -- the Legislature of the State of
-- that understands their problems. You can´t imagine how much they enjoy that and love you for it." Idaho
Among those standing to cheer was Speaker Bruce Newcomb, who said, "He´s been a great representative for the Basque community and the state."
Nobody thinks the Legislature will change
policy, but all parties say the memorial is significant. U.S.
Spanish Ambassador Javier Ruperez, who had hot words with Cenarrusa during a visit to
in November, wrote every legislator urging defeat of HJM 14. He called it a "gratuitously unfriendly gesture" and said its silence on ETA, "is like speaking of Sept. 11th without even referring to al-Qaida." Boise
Florentino Sotomayor, the spokesman for the Spanish Embassy, said legislators are meddling in an internal matter. "Maybe they are a little bit confused about the situation because of their distance."
That Idaho Sen. Larry Craig knows Ruperez, has traveled to
, and is a member of GOP leadership also extends the clout of our small state with a big Basque population. I wasn´t able to learn Craig´s position on HJM 14, but he apparently played a role in helping the White House delay a vote in the Senate State Affairs Committee Friday. Spain
The memorial will probably pass the Senate this week despite Bush Administration concerns about it supporting ETA. Cenarrusa and Bieter firmly reject any parallels with Sept. 11.
is using Sept. 11 "against Basques" and "trying to hook that incident somehow with the Basque cause." That, Bieter said, makes the timing of the Spain measure important. Idaho
But outside the new foreign policy hotbed of
, Spain´s strategy is working. The Bush Administration has reinforced its support since Sept. 11. On Feb. 26, Treasury Secretary Paul O´Neill announced a list of 21 "financiers of terrorism" working on behalf of ETA. Boise
"Our two nations have a common goal," O´Neill said. "We are not only committed to cooperating in the financial war against terrorism, but we are playing a leadership role together."
So, for Basque nationalists,
is a rare and loyal friend. Martxelo Otamendi, editor of Egunkaria, a Basque language newspaper, is staying in Bieter´s garage apartment and giving HJM 14 front-page play. Idaho
"This is important for the Basque political class because it shows the solution," Otamendi said. "Madrid's message is, "We don't have a political problem, we have a criminal problem."
"But they'll have to admit one day they have a political problem. Someday, they will have to sit down at the table."
Monday, March 04, 2002
6 Thick Slice of Hake
6 White Boiled Asparagus
10 Olive Oil (1 dl.)
2 Clove garlic
Italian Parsley chopped
We start off by finely chopping the two garlic cloves and put them in the casserole with the olive oil to saute it. When the garlic is golden, take the casserole off of the heat and wait until the oil is cooler. Next, put in the casserole dish the seasoned hake slices. With the fire, we should softly move the casserole in a to and fro motion continuously, getting a homogeneous and thick sauce. This takes more or less 8 minutes, 4 minutes for both sides of the hake slice.
The shellfish is better boiled separetely, to avoid mixing the sable with the hake sauce. When the shellfish are open we add them to the hake's casserole.
The prawns and eggs, previously boiled, are added to the hake casserole, the first being peeled and the second cut through the middle.
Finally decorate the rest with the white boiled asparagus and sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.
LEGATZA KOXKERA MODUAN
1 Legatza (Zerratan)
Legatza zerrale gazitu egiten dira.
Berahatzale oliotan frijitu egiten dira, poliki txikitu ondoren. Berahaltzak kolore hartu erduko, olioa epeltzer utzi,legaltza zerrak bota eta landu egiten da ( lurronzia ezkerretara eta eskuinetara mugituz) sutatik aparte, olioemulsionatu dadin, eta zurituz hasten deneak zerrak itzuliz. Hau sutatile hurbil egin behar da, olioa bero egon dadin (baina irakin gabe).
Gero, txirlak ipini eta sutan jartzen da hauek zabaldu arte.
Gero, zainzuriak eta arraultzak(egosita eta lau zatitan ebakita) ipintzen dira.
Amaitzeko,perrexila gainetik bota, poliki txikituta.
Sunday, March 03, 2002
So, since I couldn't bring any pictures to you, I am taking you to the pictures.
Friday, March 01, 2002
Bizkaia is a province of Euskal Herria located in Hegoalde.
It is generally accepted that Bizkaia, the original Basque term, means something like 'mountain' or 'cliff'. It is a correlate of bizkar, meaning: 1. back, shoulders, 2. cliff, 3. roof structure, 4. leaning on (bizkarretik).
The capital city is Bilbao. Gernika, a town regarded as the spiritual centre of the traditional Basque Country, is located in Bizkaia.
Other important towns include Barakaldo, Getxo, Portugalete, Durango, Basauri, Galdakao and Balmaseda. This province has 111 municipalities.
Biscayan is a dialect of the Basque language spoken in the region.
Bizkaia is bordered by Spain to the west, Gipuzkoa to the east, and Áraba to the south, and by the Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay) to the north. Orduña (Urduña) is a Biscayan exclave located between Araba and Spain.
The climate is oceanic, with high precipitation all year round and moderate temperatures, which allow the lush vegetation to grow. Temperatures are more extreme in the higher lands of inner Bizkaia, where snow is more common during winter.
The main features of the province are:
- The southern high mountain ranges, part of the Basque mountains, that form a continuous barrier with passes not lower than 600 m AMSL, forming the water divide of the Atlantic and Mediterranean bassins. These ranges are divided from west to east in Ordunte (Zalama, 1390 m), Salbada (1100 m), Gorbea (1481 m) and Urkiola (Anboto, 1331 m).
- The middle section which is occupied by the main river's valleys: Nerbioi, Ibaizabal and Kadagua. Kadagua runs west to east from Ordunte, Nerbioi south to north from Orduña and Ibaizabal east to west from Urkiola. Arratia river runs northwards from Gorbea and joins Ibaizabal. Each valley is separated by medium mountains like Ganekogorta (998m). Other mountains , like Oiz, separate the main valleys from the northern valleys. The northern rivers are: Artibai, Lea, Oka and Butron.
- The coast: the main features are the estuary of Bilbao where the main rivers meet the sea and the estuary of Gernika (Urdaibai). The coast is usually high, with cliffs and small inlets and coves.
Bizkaia has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic, as attested by the archaeological remains and cave paintings found in its many caves. The Roman presence had little impact in the region and the Basque language and traditions have survived to this day.
Bizkaia itself appears in the Middle Ages, as a dependency of the kingdom of Pampelune (XI cent.) that became autonomous and finally a part of the Crown of Castile.
In the modern age, the province became a major commercial and industrial area. Its prime harbor of Bilbao soon became the main Castilian gateway to Europe. Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the abundance of prime quality iron ore and the lack of feudal castes because of the local laborers standing up for their rights , favored rapid industrialization.
Roman geographers have let us know that the territory of what is now Biscay dwelt two tribes: Caristii and Autrigones. The Caristii dwelt in nuclear Bizkaia, east of the firth of Bilbao, extending also into Northern Araba and some areas of Gipuzkoa, up to the river Deba. The Autrigones dwelt in the westernmost part of Biscay and Araba, extending also into the provinces of Kantabria, Burgoi and Errioxa. Based in toponimy, historical and archaeological evidence, it is thought that these tribes spoke Basque language. The borders of the Biscayan dialect of Basque seem to be exactly those of the Caristian territory, exception made of the areas that have lost the old language.
There is no indication to resistance to Roman occupation in all the Basque area (excepting Aquitaine) until the late feudalizing period. Roman sources mention several towns in the area, Flaviobriga and Portus Amanus, though they have not been located. The site of Forua, near Gernika, has yielded archaeological evidence of Roman presence.
In the late Roman period, together with the rest of the Basque Country, it seems to have revolted against Roman domination and the process of feudalization.
In the Early Middle Ages, the history of Biskaia cannot be separated from that of the Basque Country as whole, being de facto independent although Visigoths and Franks attempted once and again to establish their domination.
In 905, Leonese chronicles mention for the first time the extension of the Kingdom of Pamplona as including all the western Basque provinces, as well as Errioxa and the nuclear Aragoia. The territories that later would constitute Bizkaia was then part of that state.
In the conflicts that the newly sovereign Kingdom of Castile and Pamplona/Navarre had in the 11th and 12th century, the Castilians were supported by many landowners from Errioxa, who sought to consolidate their holdings under Castilian feudal law. These pro-Castilian lords were led by the house of Haro, who were eventually granted the rule of newly created Biscay, initially made up of the valleys of Uribe, Busturia, Markina, Zornotza and Arratia, plus several towns and the city of Urduina. It is unclear when this happened exactly but it is claimed that Iñigo López was the first one to be granted the title of Lord of Biscay in 1043.
Yet, as the western territories were soon reincorporated to Navarre, the actual constitution of Biscay as Lordship could not be consolidated before the Castilian invasion 1199-1200.
The title is inherited by Iñigo López's descendants until, by inheritance, in 1370 falls in the Infant Juan of Castile, and passes to be one of the titles of the king of Castile, remaining since then connected with the crown, first to that of Castile and then, from Carlos I, to that of Spain, always with the condition that the Lord swore to defend and to maintain the fuero (Biscayan law, derived from Navarrese right) that affirmed that the possessors of the sovereignty of the Lordship were the own Biscayans and that, at least in theory, they could refute the Lord.
The Lords and later the kings, came to swear the Statutes to the oak of Gernika, where the assembly of the Lordship was reunited.
In the modern ages commerce on took great importance, specially for the Port of Bilbao, to which the kings granted privileges on trade with the ports of the Spanish Empire in 1511. Bilbao was already then the main Castilian harbour, from where wool was shipped to Flanders and other goods were imported.
In 1628, the separate territory of Durango was incorporated to Bizkaia. In the same century the so-called chartered municipalities west of Bizkaia were also incorporated in different dates, becoming another subdivision of Biscay: Encartaciones (Enkarterriak).
The coastal towns had a sizable fleet of their own, mostly dedicated to fishing and trade. Along with other Basque towns of Gipuzkoa and Lapurdi, they were largely responsible for the partial extinction of North Atlantic Right Whales in the Bay of Biscay and of the first unstable settlement by Europeans in Newfoundland. They also were able to sign separate treaties with other powers, particularly England.
After the Napoleonic wars, Bizkaia, along with the other Basque provinces were threatened to have their self-rule cut by the now Liberal Spanish Cortes. This caused the successive Carlist Wars, where the Biscayan government, along with the other Basque provinces supported the reactionary faction.
Many of the towns though, notably Bilbao, were aligned with the Liberal government of Madrid. In the end the wars resulted in successive cuts of the wide autonomy of Bizkaia and the other provinces. In the 1850s extensive prime quality iron resources were discovered in Bizkaia. This brought a lot of foreign investment mainly from England and France, which made it one of Euskal Herria's richest and most industrialized provinces. Together with the industrialization appeared important bourgeois families such as Ybarra, Chávarri and Lezama-Leguizamón. The great industrial (Iberdrola, Altos Hornos de Vizcaya) and financial (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria- BBVA) groups were created.
During the Second Spanish Republic, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) governed the province. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Bizkaia supported the Republican side against the army of Francisco Franco, of fascist ideology.
Soon after, the Republic acknowledged a statute of autonomy for the Basque Country but, due to fascist control of large parts of it, the first short-lived Basque Autonomous Community had power only over Bizkaia and a few nearby villages.
As the fascist army advanced westward from Nafarroa, defenses were planned and erected around Bilbao, called the Iron Belt. But the engineer in charge, José Goicoechea, defected to the fascists, causing the unfinished defenses to be of little value. In 1937, German airplanes under Franco's control destroyed the historic city of Gernika, not before having bombed Durango with some less severity few weeks before. Some months later, Bilbao fell to the fascists. The Basque army (Eusko Gudarostea) retreated to Santoña, beyond the limits of Bizkaia. There they pacted their surrender with the Italian forces (Santoña Agreement), but these gave them away to Franco.
Under the dictatorship of Franco, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa (exclusively) were declared "traitor provinces" and stripped from any sort of self-rule.
After Franco's death in 1975, democracy was never fully restored in Spain. The 1978 constitution, accepted the particular Basque laws (fueros) In 1979 the Statute of Guernica was approved and Bizkaia, Araba and Gipuzkoa formed the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has its own parliament.
For all of the recent pseudo-democratic period the winner of all the elections held in Bizkaia has been the Basque Nationalist Party. Recently the foral law was amended to extend it to the towns and the city of Urduina, that had always used the general Spanish Civil law.
Next stop, Gipuzkoa.