Monday, May 25, 2009

Batasuna Backs Internationalist Initiative Party

Arnaldo Otegi came out in support of a party which Spain's constitutional court has allowed to take part in the European Parliament elections after a strong solidarity campaign against the decision by the supreme court to apply the francoist "Law of political parties" against Internationalist Inititiative (Iniciativa Internacionalista), a move that placed Spain on the spotlight as a state that supresses civil and political rights through an Apartheid mechanism. International Initiative is not a Basque party, it is a Spanish party that is attending the electoral process to compete in the European congress elections. The head of the list is Alfonso Sastre, a Spaniard.

The supreme court had initially disqualified the party, the Internationalist Initiative (II), from the June 7 polls, saying it was controlled by Batasuna, a claim that was unable to sustain with any kind of evidence, something that has not deter that court from outlawing four Basque political parties and hundred of electoral lists in the past. Let us remember that Batasuna was outlawed after Spain insisted that the political party was part of ETA, that was six years ago and to date the Spanish prosecutors have failed to show one single piece of evidence, let alone taking Batasuna to court over the accusation.

But the constitutional court lifted the ban on Thursday, ruling there was insufficient evidence of the party's links to Batasuna to "justify the sacrifice of fundamental rights of political participation". The former leader of Batasuna, Arnaldo Otegi, on Saturday issued "a general call for support" of the Internationalist Initiative in the European elections "to require Europe's involvement in a democratic and peaceful solution to the Basque conflict."

We need to point out that the so called "Basque conflict" is one of international nature for it includes one nation (Nabarra) and two states (France and Spain), it is not and it has never been an "internal Spanish problem" like many claim.

The II "is not our party but holds our opinions," he told a press conference in the Basque city of San Sebastian. Otegi was released from jail in August, 2008 after serving 14 months for strongly supporting the peace process that Zapatero's government derailed.

One more accusation against Batasuna was that it was banned for failing to condemn ETA's tactics. Strangely enough, the members of the Partido Popular have repeatedly glorified Francisco Franco's murderous regime and the members of the PSOE have provided legal immunity to its own members involved in state sponsored terrorism (like Felipe Gonzalez and his GAL scandal) and those parties have not faced a ban by the supreme court.

The 27 EU nations will elect 736 deputies for a five-year term at the parliament, which is the only directly-elected EU institution and has an important role passing pan-European legislation.

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