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Sunday, April 4, 2010

And yet another ETA communication

It seems that the previous communication was outdated before being published because of the shooting at Paris that left one policeman dead. So we have another one today at Gara (in Basque). A Spanish-language synthesis can be read here.

Today is also the Aberri Eguna (Day of the Fatherland), which may also explain the timing.


Paris shooting

They argue that the shooting at Paris was caused by the French police, who "kidnapped" four ETA members at a forest at Dammarie-lès-Lys and who shoot against one of these "neutralized" militants. Even if seemingly the policeman who shot did it aiming to the floor and not the arrested person, this, in the opinion of ETA, triggered the shooting that caused one victim among the French forces.

They say that at that moment, the other three members of the commando, who were around, approached the place with intention of avoiding confrontation, issuing a clear warning to the French policemen for them to drop their weapons and leave the spot. According to ETA, while two policement proceeded to retreat, the other two attempted to confront them with their weapons, what caused the ill-fated shooting.

They put all the blame on the French police, declaring that the attitude of no-confrontation (except in self-defense) with French forces is a well known policy of ETA

Warning to France

ETA suggests that the French government and people should meditate about where do they want to allow themselves to get carried by the "repressive high" of the Spanish authorities. They say that, beyond the hypocrite expressions of solidarity and "false condemnations", the Spanish authorities "could not hide their happiness at the belief that these events would cause further repressive steps by the French government".

Call for negotiation

ETA makes also a call to the Spanish and French governments to "abandon the useless path of repression" and to embrace dialogue and negotiation, "in favor of a democratic solution based on the respect to the will of Basque citizens".

Two camps

In relation to the National Basque holiday, today, they mention that, since last year, the political picture has been clarified, with only two projects: "the project of negation, that forces us to remain chained to France and Spain" and the project of "independence, which opens the gate to social, political, cultural and economical development in the Basque Country".

[Opinion note: it's quite obvious that ETA is capitalizing on the artificiality of the mutilated "democracy" allowed to Basques these days]

International peace drive

ETA welcomes the international initiative in favor of a negotiated solution but warns that this cannot be only achieved by a mere ETA leaving armed struggle ("the deactivation of armed response does not solve the political conflict"), demanding guarantees and compromises by all parties.

They also announce that in a future communication they will address this matter in greater depth.

Update: a Spanish language full version of the communication is available at La Haine.

Update (Apr 5): Reactions:

French Police denies ETA's version but does not offer one of its own. They say that the claim of an officer shooting towards a prisoner on the floor is false and that "contradicts the elements of the investigation". However it does not offer any alternative version with the detail ETA does.

French police unions have also protested the communication as "repulsive" and denying it "any credibility".

This side of the border reactions have a more political tinge, even with little variation of what is usually said. Ruling Socialist Party's Councilor of Interior (chief of the Basque Autonomous Police corps), R. Ares, declared that the communication is a good opportunity for "those radical Basque nationalists who bet for doing politics and just politics to ask terrorists to vanish or to distance themselves definitively from ETA".

Conservative (PP) speaker, L. Barreda, called the communication "the highest expression of cynicism". Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) president, I. Urkullu, ratified their intsitutional loyalty with the sentence "we don't want noting to do with ETA".

Basque Solidarity's (EA) secretary general, P. Urizar, declared that "we expected more, although maybe it is our fault for expecting more". For United Left-The Green's coordinator general, M. Arana, suggested that ETA was in this communication ratifying its primacy over the political movement.

By the Nationalist Left, Miren Legorburu made a positive evaluation, declaring that now it is Spain and France who have to take a clear stand in favor of "a democratic solution based on the respect to the will of the Basque people".

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