Now that over a year has passed since the International Conference of Aiete and ETA’s announcement of the end of armed armed struggle, ETA, the socialist revolutionary organisation for national liberation, wants to share its reflections and proposals with the Basque Country:
First of all, ETA wants to denounce the involution that has taken place after ETA’s decision. Those that untill then said they were ready to start the peace process, through dialogue and agreement, if armed struggle was definitively ended, are withdrawing by the day, since ETA’s decision:
– Spanish and French governments, have not only closed the door to the resolution, but they go on the oppositte direction, in an agenda to spoil the opportunity for peace. Their attitude towards Basque political exiles and prisoners or the last weeks repression and threats and the declarations of both interior ministers are very clarifying.
– Some political parties have not yet have the constructive attitudes that may have been expected. Often partisan interests have overcome the interest of society. And so, either for electoral calculations or for a willingness to mantain the current situation of imposition, there have been several attempts to slow and distort the process.
ETA wants to note that in the past those same attitudes have distanced us from the resolution and have only brought us the lengthening of suffering and conflict. And that there is, also now, a great risk to leave the process with no way out.
ETA wants to stress the uselessness of repression. The states could spoil the opportunity for peace, but then they will never be able to file the confict as resolved. When the only offer is closeness and raw repression, when there is no democratic ways to overcome the political conflict, the conflict is fuelled.
That is what there is at stake: Giving a firm and permanent resolution to this historical conflict. That is building the future of the Basque Country in peace and freedom.
The blockade has to be broken from the Basque Country
Despite all, ETA believes that there is enough strength in the Basque Coutry to break the blockade and go forward on the resolution. But to avoid that the blockade and the despair settle, steps have to be taken before long. Therefore it is time to multiply efforts.
In ETA’s opinion, Basque society, Basque agents and citizens, must be the principal actors of this process.
The International Community should not despair in face of the blockade. The fact that one of the parts responded positively to the Aiete declaration and the support of the majority of Basque society, are strong reasons to keep on the effort.
Regarding political parties, ETA hopes that from now on they woud act responsibly and in a construtive way, once the long electoral cicle in the whole Basque Country is over.
ETA, from its side, wants to declare its willingness to work with all those that agree with the resolution, with the objective of breaking the blockade and finding efective ways to develop the process.
An Agenda for peace is needed
Over the attacks, obstacles and negative attitudes of the states, ETA believes that an agenda to build peace, based upon the road-map of Aiete, must be set up. Starting from personal commitment, until reaching the common action of all the pro-resolution forces.
The objective of this agenda should be to atract the states to the resolution and structurate the peace process.
The Agenda for Peace shoud be based upon three axis:
– Responding to the emergency situation: repression, vulneration of rights and specially the urgent situation of Basque political prisoners.
– Make the claim for resolution be heard, that from every corner of the Basque Country the will for peace of our people reaches Madrid and Paris.
– Open dialogue tracks and create fields to reach agreements
During this year ETA has made its best to start dialogue with the French and Spanish Governments. Therefore, the governments have an accurate knowledge of ETA’s commitment and willingness to open a dialogue.
To depthen on the same line, ETA wants to present its proposal, with the full convicement that there are reasonable ways to move forward.
This proposal is based upon the need to put a stable and ordered end to the armed confrontation, with the aim to set a strong pilar for peace and for it to be complementary to the democratic process that has to take place in the Basque Country.
In ETA’s opinion the process to overcome the consequences of the conflict should include two objectives:
– Give a way out to the situation of all the people that as a consequence of the conflit is in prison or had the lo leave the Country.
– To adapt the forces that took part in the armed confrontation to new situation of the Basque Country, as a step for democratic normalisaion and for the democratic process that has to take place in the Basque Country, to be carried out freely and with no threats.
ETA proposes the following dialogue agenda to attain the above mentioned objectives:
– The formulas and timing to bring home all Basque political prisoners and exiles.
– The formulas and timing of disarmament, dissolution of armed structures and demobilization of ETA’s activists.
– The steps and deadlines for the demilitarization of the Basque Country, adjusting at the end of the armed conflict, the armed forces stablished in the Basque Country.
Three notes should be added over this agenda:
– As it is well known, there is no prisoners for the violence and the crimes carried out by the states in the confrontation (torture, dirty war, executions of ETA’s activists…) as security forces have acted with full impunity. However ETA does not refuse to claim the need for the states to recognise the truth and their responsabilities.
– Regarding the people who decided to leave the Basque Country for ETA’s struggle, ETA believes that this issue is resolved after ETA’s decision.
– Confrontation has provoqued victims and affected. Those are one of the consequences that have to be unavoidably tackled on the Peace Process. As it is an issue that needs to be treated from different fields and requests diverse actions, we understand that it overcomes this agenda. However, ETA is ready to introduce this topic in the agenda, in the way for recognising truth and every sides responsabilities.
Being this ETA’s proposal, we want to show our willingness to hear and study the proposals of the Spanish and French governments.
Would we reach a full agreement on the above mentioned topics, we would start its implementation. The implementation of that agreement would mean overcoming the consequences of the conflict and would therefore bring the definitive end of the armed confrontation.
On such a context, and over the steps taken as results of the agreement, ETA will take the decisions to adapt to the new situation, according to what our political objectives, the peace process and the political situation request.
With all the above, ETA reaffirms its willingness to move forward in the process and wants to express that it holds fast to the opportunity for resolution.