Friday, April 16, 2004

Time Magazine and Navarre

A couple of weeks ago I sent this letter to TIME Magazine:

Navarre, the Basque Kingdom

Dear Editor,

On your current issue you cover the story about the bombings in Madrid last week in which hundreds of innocent people were killed or wounded. I am guessing that since the Spanish government decided to use Basque nationalism as a escapegoat to their arrogance and disdain for the will of their own people you decided to print a map of Western Europe where you illustrate where the Basque Country is. The problem is, from the seven provinces that conform the Basque Country you willfully removed Navarre from the map. It is a real shame that you decided to legitimize what the murderous dictator Francisco Franco claimed throughout his reign of terror in Spain. Navarre was for hundred of years the kingdom of the Basques, if this ancient people ever claimed a state that was the Navarrese kingdom that at its height encompassed not only all the seven provinces but parts of Gascony. Today the Basque Country is divided in two states (Spain and France) and three political entities: The Foral Community of Navarre (Navarre) and the Autonomous Basque Community (Alava, Viscaya and Guipuzcoa) in Spain and within the Atlantic Pyrenees Department the provinces of Labourd, Basse-Navarre and Soule in France. In order to provide accurate information to your readers it would be good if you print a map of the Basque Country that is not missing a piece. In the Basque Country we say, Zazpiak Bat, the seven are one, and their Basque names of our provinces are Nafarroa, Araba, Gipuzkoa, Zuberoa, Bizkaia, Lapurdi and Behe-Nafarroa.

I was hoping they would publish it on the magazine as part of our ongoing campaign to get the media to be accurate when it comes to the Basques, well, not such luck. But today I got this letter from Time Magazine:

Thank you for writing prompted by the section labeled "Basque areas," on the map of Spain and part of Southwestern France that was included with the March 15 report "A Deadly Morning." We have made note of your charge that Navarra is missing from the Basque areas, and we agree that the area taken up by the province--between the Ebro River and the West Pyrenees, and bordering France--was not fully represented. But, with our apologies for the skimpiness, we ask that you consider the fact that the map was drawn only in outline, as it was intended to give a general idea of the geographical context of the Basque Country, not to identify its seven provinces.

Again, our thanks for letting us hear from you, and best wishes.

Gloria Hammond
TIME Letters

Ask and you shall receive...

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