The news of Arnaldo Otegi’s liberation after 15 months of imprisonment under ridiculous charges is welcomed with satisfaction by the many Greek friends of the Basque Patriotic Left. His case underlines the impasse of the Spanish State’s policy, which is enforcing a brutal repression on a mass popular movement that expresses the legitimate aspirations of hundreds of thousands of Basque citizens. This policy, apart from being openly antidemocratic and unjust, constitutes a direct attack against any effort for a political resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country. The illegalization of parties and associations, the persecution of their leaders and militants, the successive waves of barbaric repression against the Basque youth, never were and will never be able to give a permanent, just and democratic solution to the Basque issue. The only real and lasting solution will come only through dialogue and negotiation.

 

We confirm once more our support to a process that will allow the Basque People to discuss and decide freely and democratically about their own future. We support the Basque Patriotic Left in its efforts to pave the way towards such a process, whose results must be respected by all sides, and especially by the Spanish and French States. We call upon the Spanish government to release all Basque political prisoners, and to cancel the illegalization and repressive policy against Batasuna, Segi, EHAK, Udalbiltza, Askatasuna and all the other mass organizations. Furthermore, we strongly condemn the new wave of persecution against more than 20 Basque citizens who worked for EHAK (Communist Party of the Basque Lands), which received more than 150.000 votes (12,5%, 9 seats) in the last elections for the Basque Parliament.

The Spanish State must realize that the policy of brutal repression has failed. The aspirations and the will of the Basque People cannot be illegalized nor imprisoned!

 

Athens, 9/9/2008
Communist Organization of Greece
International Relations Department