jueves, 20 de octubre de 2011

ETA ceasefire


ETA has shaped the political character of many Spaniards for generations. I was born in a democratic Spain that lived under fear of what it was reminded from time to time with an explosion in the streets of Madrid, a shooting in Seville, a mass murder in Barcelona or a kidnapping in the Basque Country. Nowhere was safe nor the political environment was normal in a time when politicians had to share their lives with a body guard. In some villages, the air was, and still is, unbreathable for those who dare to challenge ETA or, at a wider extent, nationalism.

That is the reason why this ceasefire relieves us, that's why we face this news with very deep emotions that brings us to our childhood, when some days where turned grey for a sad act of terrorism. Contradictory emotions that leave us doubts... because we have seen these ceasefires before. Who can trust these "people"? How do we know that this is really the end of a dreadful episode in Spanish history? We simply don't know. But I can say what many people, including myself, may be concern about. How are we handling this end, in case that, hopefully, it is the end. Are we giving up to all that we stood by before now that terrorism may be gone? Are we letting some political parties to benefit from this? Do we really have a choice? I just cannot imagine how hard this must be for the victims. Those brave victims that fought their cause under the rule of law, never asking for revenge.

It's soon to say but I can assume that BILDU, ETA's closest political party, will very likely benefit from this in the general elections taking place in just one month. And this is one of the reasons I'm so suspicious about this ceasefire. Because they did this before in 1998 and 2006: a ceasefire, an elections and return to murder. I hope that those ones that say that this time is different are right. My best regards to the victims and my demand to Spanish politicians to stand by democracy and freedom: two principles that, hopefully, have already brought peace to Spain in a very long time.