Thursday, January 08, 2009

Spain Opposes Political Negotiation

Spain is considered a democratic state by many (just like Israel), but the truth is, Spain favors violence and repression over political negotiation.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Juan Carlos Borbón were not happy about the pro-active way Basque society reacted after the cease fire called by ETA. They were no happy about the hard work done by many Basque political and social actors in behalf of the peace process. So they did everything they could to derail the process, including the arrest of ETA's envoys to the peace process, which constitute's a violation of international law, but Spain can care less about the rule of law.

But again, they were not happy with derailing the peace process and they wanted to punish all of those involved in it, but they knew they had little room for their oscure manuvers so they resorted to a couple of extreme right groups thinly disguised as ONGs to do the dirty job. As a result, eight Basque politicians (including a couple that belong to pro-Spain PSOE) are now facing trial for meeting in the build up to a peace process that never took place.

Via Yahoo News we get a news note that covers the issue:

Basque leaders go on trial, weeks before regional elections

by Pierre Ausseill Pierre Ausseill Wed Jan 7, 11:24 pm ET

MADRID (AFP) – The head of the Basque government and his chief opponent go on trial Thursday over past contacts with the political wing of the armed separatist group ETA, as the two prepare to face off in regional elections in March.

Actually, Spain is yet to prove that Batasuna is the political wing of ETA, something a lot of people tends to forget in their effort to sanitize Spain's image.

Juan Jose Ibarretxe, head of the governing Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), and Patxi Lopez, regional leader of Spain's ruling Socialist Party, face possible prison terms and bans on political activity if found guilty.

But neither is expected to be convicted as prosecutors have recommended that the charges be dropped.

In ordering the trial in October 2007, Judge Roberto Saiz of the Basque superior court said he saw no reason to follow the prosecutors' recommendations, and that there were, "on the contrary, indications of a crime."

Ibarretxe and Lopez, along with another senior member of the Basque branch of the Socialist Party, Rodolfo Ares, are accused of having met several times with leaders of Batasuna, ETA's banned political wing, as the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was conducting tentative negotiations with the separatist group in 2006.

Batasuna has been outlawed since 2003 for refusing to condemn violence and cut its links to ETA, which has killed 825 people in a 40-year-old campaign for an independent Basque homeland.

Batasuna was been outlawed since 2003, meaning it has been eight years and Spain is yet to produce hard evidence let alone take the case to court, talk a bout an expedite trial like western law demands. And again, who is keeping tabks on the amount of people murdered by Spain's five hundred years of colonial occupation of the Basque Country?

Four senior members of Batasuna, including veteran Arnalso Otegi, will also go on trial for disobeying the court order to disband.

All three politicians have admitted contacts with Batasuna, but as part of moves to push forward the peace process.

At a preliminary hearing last year, Ibarretxe said he had promised Basque citizens he would "talk to everyone" to find a solution to the Basque problem.

Lopez, who is hoping to oust Ibarretxe as Basque prime minister in regional elections scheduled for March 1, said he was "absolutely convinced" that the trial would not lead to any convictions.

"No court will say that politics should not be used to move on the road to peace," he told reporters.

Opinion polls indicate Ibarretxe's PNV, which has governed the region since 1980, is at risk of defeat.

In his two previous terms, Ibarretxe has tried to organise regional referendums on self-determination for the Basques, but the plans were rejected by Madrid.

Among witnesses expected to make statements at the trial are Zapatero, who could be asked to respond to questions from the court in writing, and his two predecessors, Jose Maria Aznar and Felipe Gonzalez.

This is precious, the francoist minded Zapatero, Aznar and González will act as witnesses against Basque politicians, Franco must be gleening right at this moment.

Zapatero tried unsuccessfully to resolve the Basque problem in 2006. But he has taken a hard line against the separatists since ETA called off a 15-month-old ceasefire in June, 2007, and has repeatedly ruled out any new negotiations.

Zapatero, like his predecessors wanted nothing to do with solving the "Basque problem", like I said earlier, he did everything he could to bog down the peace process be cause as a Spaniard he is proud of his country's genocidal and colonialist past. He has not taken a hard line stance against ETA, he has taken a hard line stance against the whole of Basque society, against democracy and against the civil and political rights of an entire nation. But hey, this paragraph is a clear example of the sloppy reporting by the main stream media when it comes to the Basques.

Otegi called the trial, which is the result of complaints filed by two associations opposed to talks with ETA, the Forum Ermua and Dignity and Justice, a "farce".

"This will be the only case in Europe where the the participants in talks will be in the dock for having tried to find solutions," he said.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Forum Ermua is calling for prison terms of up to four years, as well as a ban on political activity, for the accused.

And I say that every single member of Forum Ermua should be tried and jailed for perpetuating Francisco Franco's reign of terror in the Basque Country.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment