Peace At Hand in Spain

Rafa Díez Usabiaga

Rafa Díez Usabiaga

Rafa Díez Usabiaga

Remember that name, because he could and should be the Gerry Adams of the ETA Basque Paramilitary/Seperatist group. When you hear the name Gerry Adams, you should think: IRA, Sinn Fein, politician, peace negociations, unity, diffusion of tensions…. any one or all of those. My hope is very soon, when you hear the name Rafa Díez Usabiaga, you will think, ETA, Batasuna, trade unions, politician, peace negociation, etc… you get the idea?

But notice I said COULD and SHOULD… this because it is still unclear if it WILL happen. I remember only a few years ago under the conservative spanish government of Aznar, their specialty was refusing to negociate, using hardline tactics, and generally making the situation worse rather than better. Now there is Zapatero and his center-left government who have not made huge strides in the first part of their term when it comes to solving the bitter conflict with ETA. Until now.

My hope is that Zapatero will avoid any tough-guy antics that politicians always choose to adopt since appearing weak is such a taboo. I hope they will engage in conversation, negociation, and basically – communication with ETA, as the group has openly come out and said there will be a cease fire and they want to talk. I always compare it to the IRA and the UK, mostly because I see what has become of that conflict as a very positive example of how conflicts can be solved or AT LEAST, transferred into the political realm and out of the violence realm.

The ball is in his court now, the government of Spain will now show its true colors, and I hope they are open minded and communicative colors. If it works, it qualifies as another sign that there are far better ways to handle conflicts then bombing, invading, or outlawing, which seems like such a popular idea in this era.

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