Thursday, February 05, 2009

Spain's Political Apartheid

Although they somehow managed to hire Nadine Gordimer to take part in their anti-Basque campaign, Spain's political class indulges in the kind of behavior that she allegedly fought against back in her own country, South Africa

Judge Baltasar Garzon charged 13 members of two electoral lists, D3M and Askatasuna, who are planning to stand in upcoming regional elections, to do so, once again, Garzon alleged that the Basque politicians work for ETA.

Garzon, who is well-known in the world for his repressive campaign against Basque activists, said he will question the 13 at the National Audience, the country's top criminal court and a remnant of Franco's regime, on Friday.

He has said the two new parties are simply fronts for Batasuna, which was outlawed by Spain's Supreme Court in 2003 for its ties to ETA, something that has not been proved before a court of law yet.

Polls show the moderately nationalist Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), which has ruled the Basque region since 1980, largely in coalition with other parties, is at risk of losing power to the Socialists in the upcoming polls. This is why Juan Carlos Borbon and Zapatero ordered Garzon to violate the political rights of the Basque electorate.

In national elections last March, two other Basque political parties were prevented from running for the same reason.

The last major crackdown on Batasuna was in October 2007 when 20 of its alleged leaders were arrested, after two years they have not been charged, in clear violation of the law principles observed by democratic states.

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