Dmitry Litvinovich: ETA – The terrorists with Karl Marx’s views

A car exploded in the center of Madrid today. It was reported that three people were seriously injured as a result of the blast, a woman and her nine-year-old daughter were among them.

The incident happened on Corason-De-Maria street, near houses in which military men live. The buildings were seriously damaged. The police arrested two people not far from the site of the explosion; the men were armed with 9 millimeter caliber guns. These guns are usually used by the terrorists from a ETA separatist group. We should say more about this group.

The Basques are a unique nationality, living on the territory of Europe. Nobody knows the origin of the Basque or their history. This nation is considered to be a relic that has remained from the Indo-European era in Europe. Their language does not have any other related language in the whole world. There were attempts in the linguistic science to connect the Basque language with the Georgian, Greek, Japanese, Korean languages, and so on. The Basques live in the northeast of Spain and the southwest of France. The position of the socialist, radical, and terrorist organization ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) are rather firm within the nation. This organization struggles for the independence of the Basque state. The struggle usually takes the shape of acts of terrorism, which are aimed against the Spanish authorities and Basques who do not wish to collaborate with the ETA. Sometimes, the ETA organizes street fights and pogroms. The separatists from the ETA have not been considered to be terrorists for long, for the Basques from the ETA were struggling with Franco’s regime and got away with their terrorism. The ETA follows Karl Marx’s theories, but it is a nationalistic organization. Political scientists have sometimes been confused by such a blend of leftist and rightist sentiments within their movement. The ETA was founded back in 1959 to struggle for national self-determination. However, the ETA’s roots go down to the civil war years, when Francisco Franco liquidated the autonomy of the Basque State in 1937. The separatists have been using terrorist tactics since 1968; they have been responsible for the deadly sin of murder over 800 times. Franco’s official successor and the premier of his government, Louis Carreo Blanko, politicians, administrators of different ranks, the military and police officials, special services attendants, and former companions are among their victims. Sixteen people were killed in 1998. The Spanish people were really indignant about the rumors of the conspiracy against King Juan Carlos. Over six million people came out in the streets to protest the ETA’s activity after the assassination of young municipal advisor Miguel Angel Blanco in June of 1997.

No other region of Spain has such autonomy as the Basques have. They have a parliament of their own, their own police, their own education system, and their own taxes. However, the ETA wants to separate their motherland from Spain. There was a certain time period when the radical Basques thought they would get their independence by means of negotiations, so in 1998, they announced the truce and the terrorism was temporarily stopped. However, in the middle of the year 2000, Aznar’s Spanish government (the ETA was trying to kill him too) refused to discuss anything on the score. So, the ETA announced the time of terror again. It was a real shock for the Spanish people, who got used to a calm life for over 2 years.

Nowadays, the Spanish people go to demonstrations, asking for a stop to the explosions, but at the same time, they do not actually understand who they ask the peace from: from the terrorists or from the weak authorities. The authorities around Jose Aznar claim that they will continue the struggle with terror. The ETA is getting ready for new attacks. These people have been living for 30 years already, despite those numerous statements, predicting a quick end. Everything is starting over again after two years.

ETA: a chronology

Main events in the history of Basque separatist group the ETA in its 31-year campaign for independence from Spain which has cost more than 800 lives

1959: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), or Basque Homeland and Freedom, founded by opponents of conservative leadership of Basque Nationalist Party exiled during dictatorship of Francisco Franco. The ETA vows to fight for Basque self-determination.

1968: ETA carries out first planned killing: victim is Meliton Manzanas, chief of secret police in Basque city of San Sebastian.

1973: Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco, Franco's designated successor, killed by car bomb in Madrid.

1978: ETA political wing Herri Batasuna founded.

1980: The ETA's bloodiest year: 118 killed in numerous incidents.

1983: Members of Spanish security forces set up Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups (GAL) to fight covert war against the ETA. GAL kills 28 people from 1983-1987, a third of them by mistake.

1987, June: The ETA's bloodiest attack. 21 shoppers die after bomb hits Barcelona supermarket. ETA apologises for "mistake."

1989, January: The ETA declares a unilateral 15-day truce, extended twice amid secret talks in Algeria with Spanish government.

1991, May: Nine killed, 45 injured by bomb at Barcelona barracks.

1995, April: Popular Party opposition leader Jose Maria Aznar target of an ETA car bomb. Saved by vehicle's armour plating.

August: Police foil an ETA plot to kill King Juan Carlos in Majorca.

1996, June: The ETA declares a one-week truce in a bid to start talks with new government led by Aznar. Truce ends without breakthrough. 1997, July: Basque town councillor Miguel Angel Blanco kidnapped then killed two days later after the ETA's demands for convicted members to be transferred to the Basque country jails are not met. Six million people demonstrate against the ETA.

1998, June: The ETA kills town councillor Manuel Zamareno in Basque Country, the last death before the new ceasefire.

September: The ETA announces a truce.

November: The ETA signals that it is considering definitive ceasefire. The government announces talks with the ETA's political wing. 1999, June: The Government says that it held the first direct talks with the ETA since 1989.

August: The ETA says that talks with the government suspended but reaffirms ceasefire. Aznar accuses the ETA of being "afraid of peace."

September: First anniversary of ceasefire; France seizes three ETA suspects and haul of dynamite.

October: The ETA sets out new terms for talks, including key demand of a referendum on self-rule in the Basque region; government dismisses the move as "propaganda."

November 28: The ETA announces it will end its ceasefire from December 3.

December 20: Police stop a van carrying nearly one tonne of explosives heading for Madrid; a second similar load found in another van three days later.

3 January: Police in Bilbao say they foil an attempted car bomb attack on civil guard convoy.

21 January: Car bombs explode in Madrid, killing army official, less than two months before general election.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Reuters photo: Police investigators stand beside damaged cars after a car bomb exploded in a street in central Madrid Nov. 6, 2001

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