Translator’s note: On the original Basque statement “Konponbidea” (Resolution) is used by ETA meaning both the process of resolution and resolution of the conflict, we have decided to respect the original wording and keep it as resolution every time.
ETA, the Basque socialist revolutionary organization for national liberation, wants to convey to Euskal Herria, through this statement, its opinion about the major developments of the last months and the current situation of the process.
In October 2011 two events of great reach took place in Euskal Herria. On the one hand, well known international personalities presented, in the Aiete Declaration, a concrete proposal to resolve the conflict Euskal Herria is going through. On the other hand, ETA gave a positive response to the request held on the first point of the declaration and announced the definitive cessation of its armed activity.
We said at that time that both were historical milestones. When we were blocked on the parameters of armed confrontation, the Aiete Declaration offered a way out of the blockade and towards a lasting solution, with a broad agreement of Basque society and the support of important international agents. ETA’s following decision was a first step in the path that has to be walked to overcome the emergency situation, and through dialogue and agreement, strengthen the opportunity to resolve the conflict.
Eight months later ETA makes the following analysis:
Euskal Herria wants a solution
The Conference of Aiete gathered agents from the whole Basque territory and from the different ideological and social areas, as a clear example of the well rooted desire for resolution. Apart from PP and UPN, every other political force was present.
Since then, Basque society has responded with illusion and has shown its desires as a flood, claiming for the respects of Basque Political Prisoner’ rights, for the end of emergency measures and, on general terms, claiming that steps have to be taken for the resolution.
Together with the rationality of the proposal for resolution, the desire of Euskal Herria and the commitment of the international community are strong bases of the process.
The states are handling an agenda against peace
Unfortunately, we have seen over the last months that the opportunities for resolution are in the enemy’s hands. The governments of France and Spain haven’t given any positive response. On the contrary, not only have they rejeced dialogue; they have tried to stop and hinder the process from its very beginning.
Besides the damaging attitude of the Spanish and French governments, there is a whole group that is intentionally trying to frustrate the peace opportunity. The intelligence services, French and Spanish armies, a number of judges, revengeful associations and some media are orchestrating a coordinated attack to avoid the resolution going further on.
The states have carried out a long list of attacks. Among others:
• The ratification of life-long sentences for Basque political prisoners.
• Court decisions that have punished the political activity of Abertzale Left’s members.
• Cruelty and blackmailing on Basque political prisoners, dispersion and keeping in prison ill prisoners and those who have served their sentences.
• Police raids against political exiles.
• Violation of civil and political rights.
• Arrests of Basque citizens, two citizens having suffered tortures.
• Attacks against the international agents that have shown their commitment for resolution.
• Violent conduct and unstopped threat of Army and police.
• Threats to maintain the illegalisation of the Abertzale Left.
The barrage of messages against the resolution process and the continued lies to generate doubts about ETA’s commitment, are also worrying.
As they have done many times before, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity for resolution, the states keep on their effort to sow the seed of a new confrontation cycle by the use of violence and imposition.
We also want to point out that the police forces of Spain and France are taking advantage of ETA’s commitment to further the process to deepen their repressive strategies. They are using the decisions taken by ETA to avoid situations that may harm the process and to prevent fortuitous confrontations to increase their repression, creating situations of high risk. In the same sense, the effort being made to gather material in safe and stable conditions is being used to organise police operations. Those activities are not compatible with a resolution process.
Partisan attitudes harm the process
In that state of affairs, the attitude of some political parties is worrying. For partisan interests, PNV, PSOE, UPN and PP are taking common initiatives to wear down the pro-independence left. Their negative messages in front of each initiative of the Abertzale Left to promote the process and their defence of the Spanish and Gasteiz Governments’ pretended steps have wicked objectives. They want to make the Abertzale Left appear as responsible for everything and socialize that the responsibility to give further steps is theirs. They are mudding and making the process immovable, imposing an endless list of conditions and excuses.
We want to stress specially PSOE’s and PNV’s attitudes. PSOE announced that the Gasteiz Government would have an active attitude for the resolution. However, while the PSOE was in Government in Spain, the Gasteiz Government didn’t take a single step. On the contrary, they decided to defend the obstructionist attitude of the Government and backed off the resolution, on Rubalcaba’s orders. Afterwards, and with some exceptions, it has kept trying to blur the keys for resolution, mainly about Basque prisoners and the need for dialogue with ETA.
Referring to PNV, it is having a changing and contradictory attitude. It has gone from clapping the Aiete Declaration to having a discourse and course of action against its points. It is very meaningful that while they appear to be sensitive towards the government that acts against resolution of the conflict, they direct their most severe critics against the Abertzale Left, even when it claims for dialogue. They speak about the Abertzale Left playing the victim, while they flee all the demonstrations to denounce the attacks and violation of rights. It is incomprehensible.
This way, PNV is supporting the most intransigent attitudes, elevating the volume of the Governments official message, to make the whistles of the citizens asking for resolution, go unheard.
If it is against every move the Abertzale Left proposes to move further on the process, which is PNV’s proposal? Does it have any constructive proposal? Apart from telling other what they should do, is it ready to take any specific commitment?
They want to tie down the process in prisons
The situation of the Basque political prisoners has been in the centre of the debate over these last months. Even if the popular request has been clear, there have been no positive steps regarding the respect of prisoners’ rights, not even to overcome the crudest situations. Maintaining the dispersion policy, not releasing ill prisoners and lengthening sentences, for example, are more and more incomprehensible in everyone’s eyes.
Instead of ending with this harming situation, Spanish government has presented a blackmailing plan. They have simulated changes, so that nothing will change, in order to legitimize the extreme situation of Basque political prisoners. It is not a proposal for resolution, as the Spanish government itself has recognized. They want to block every opportunity for advances, setting impossible conditions, thinking that this way they will drive the process into a long stand still.
French rulers have also spoken about the prisoners’ conditions. But even if they have spoken for the repatriation of prisoners, prisoners are still dispersed all over the territory of the French state and their basic rights are still denied.
In general terms, we want to denounce the deception made by those who state that the emergency laws applied on war time to divide and destroy the EPPK, Collective of Basque Political Prisoners, should be the rule for the resolution. Euskal Herria needs strong and rational solutions and such attitudes are only excuses to block the situation as long as possible.
We believe that EPPK’s attitude in front of this is praiseworthy. Basque political prisoners have reaffirmed their collective commitment, launched an appeal for dialogue and shown their willingness to give steps for agreement. All this opens a wide opportunity for resolution, would the governments have the political will.
Euskal Herria needs a solution
Emergency measures, suffering and violence have characterized until now the political scenario in Euskal Herria. The crudest situations have to be resolved yet and new attacks have been added over the last months.
Sortu’s legalisation has been an important step to overcome the emergency situation and should be a precedent for other urgent positive steps. However, Sortu’s case has shown the effectiveness social pressure that would be needed for the challenges ahead.
On the other hand, together with the need to overcome the emergency situation and the consequences of the conflict, we shouldn’t forget the other side of the blockade: Euskal Herria is still under the control of France and Spain, with its right to decide denied and without enough means to respond to its citizens’ needs. On the current political and economical scenario and while Madrid’s and Paris’ measures against citizens are constantly being imposed, the need for Euskal Herria to decide its own future is ever clearer.
1.- The blocking attitudes want to drive Basque society to despair, make them believe that another future is impossible. In front of that, ETA claims that a future of peace and freedom is possible for Euskal Herria. Without violence, without prisoners and exiles, without the intimidation of armed forces, were no one is threatened. It is possible and necessary to overcome the conflict through dialogue and agreement, for Basque citizens to have word and decision over their future without any kind of barriers. We have everything to win, everyone has something to win.
2.- The opportunity is historical and everyone should act with historical responsibility, for a people who has gone through centuries of conflict to take the path of definitive peace and freedom. The path ahead will be tiring and complicated and it will ask everyone’s efforts. It is no time to take middle ways, neither to set for half hearted solutions that may become the root for future conflict. The resolution for the conflict has to be dealt with integrally and in its whole depth, seriously and with common sense. For that reason, ETA calls all and every agent to act responsibly and in a constructive way, to avoid letting rot an opportunity that could be good for all of us.
3.- ETA wants to share a reflection with the PNV, with its leaders, activists and its social base, is it worth damaging the resolution process for mere partisan interest? Is it positive to align once and again wit those that want to hinder the process, just to wear down the pro-independence left? ETA believes not and we think it is time that all of us should push for the interest of Basque citizens.
4.- Even if the participation of all the agents is fundamental, Euskal Herria can’t we waiting for the political leaders. The people has the key to overcome the barriers and close-minded attitudes. The pressure and strength gathering of Basque population is essential to move those who are castled. As in definitive, it is the people’s hearth beating which has to keep the process alive.
5.- ETA wants to announce that during this months it has followed with the activity to promote and structure the resolution process. We do not only ratify our October 20 decision, we are also multiplying our efforts to open dialogue channels, strengthening the relations with international agents and undertaking the internal adaptations that the process request, conforming ETA’s representation for dialogue, among others. We want to show our willingness to keep the same commitment, to take to the end a process for peace and freedom.
GORA EUSKAL HERRIA ASKATUTA! GORA EUSKAL HERRIA SOZIALISTA!
JO TA KE INDEPENDENTZI ETA SOZIALISMOA LORTU ARTE!
In Euskal Herria, 27th June 2012
Euskadi Ta Askatasuna