On the threshold of the Socialist Government taking to Congress for ratification the decree-laws, with which the PSOE began its peculiar electoral campaign, we learned from Bildu's spokeswoman in the House that the government negotiators were insistently asking for her vote to ensure the validation of the decrees. The general coordinator of EH-Bildu, Arnaldo Otegui, did not conceal how flattered he was that the socialists recognized they needed him. Delighted to feel like an essential part of the 'Frankenstein majority', Otegui referred to his willingness to continue supporting Sanchez's PSOE in the future; and he went even further, because, once his alliance with Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña has been sealed, he defies the position of the PNV and is willing to dispute the ownership of the nationalist lobby in Madrid, which is preparing to capitalize on the unsuspected revenues that a socialist government could bring for him.
Arnaldo Otegui was an activist of the political-military ETA branch. When this ETA faction was dissolved in 1982, Otegui became a member of the ETA-military branch. He was sentenced to six years in jail for the kidnapping of businessman Luis Abaitua, for what he went on trial – and was acquitted due to lack of evidence-, and both for the kidnapping of Javier Rupérez and the attempted kidnapping and assassination of Gabriel Cisneros, both deputies of UCD. His criminal record includes an escape to France, explosions and charges for robbery. Amortized as a field terrorist, he decided to join the ETA political front and ends up becoming spokesman for the so-called National Table of Herri Batasuna and his successor organizations until its banning. He tells the story of how he was on the beach when he found out about the murder of Miguel Angel Blanco. He plays Gerry Adams, but what he really does, as a disciplined militant of the izquierda abertzale, is to defend and justify the terrorism of ETA during the worst years of the strategy of "socialization of suffering" and the murder of constitutionalist public positions. The political negotiation that Zapatero undertakes with ETA and Batasuna offers him the opportunity to clear his name and career and present himself, with the approval of the left and the nationalists, of course, as the great peacemaker. His return to prison for attempting to reconstitute ETA's political branch, dissolved under the Ley de Partidos, is considered by that same left that praised his alleged services to the cause of peace as unjust. The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, relies on some unfortunate demonstrations by the president of the court that had condemned him to declare that the trial was not fair enough, but this allows him to finish off the construction of his new image as the peacemaker who from within forces ETA to lay down its arms and on top of that has to suffer an unfair sentence by the Spanish courts.
Neither Bildu, nor Sortu, nor any other of the packages in which the same product is presented, in which Arnaldo Otegui has always been present, has condemned ETA's terrorism, nor apologized to the victims, nor acknowledged the injustice of the damage caused by the terrorist group. And the Socialists know this because they have demanded it from EH-Bildu in the report on memory and coexistence that is being debated in the Basque Parliament. It is worth repeating: in Basque and Spanish politics, at a national level, there is a party that still does not condemn ETA's crimes, that has not apologised to its victims, nor has it declared the injustice of the damage caused. This truth - unlike the words of the one who points it out- should scandalize people. And what should be of most concern is not these words but the moral bewilderment in the face of those who still today, with a scandalous normality, act as executors of the perverse legacy of terrorism.
Translated by Carmen Amado Paredes