Monday, September 29, 2008

To Basque Amerika

The North American Basque Organizations, Inc. (NABO), the federation of Basque institutions for the promotion of Basque culture in North America (38 organizations in the U.S. and 1 in Canada), passed a declaration in favor of the homeland-October 25th plebiscite (see related post) during its last convention (Chino, California; August 29-September 1, 2008). The declaration had previously been approved by NABO’s counterpart in Argentina, the Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities (FEVA).

The Ant’s Meat team would like to congratulate NABO for its increasing awareness of homeland (political) affairs. We believe that it’s a step forward in the normalization of our relationship with the Basque Country and its public institutions. However, we are extremely concerned about NABO’s political participation in this particular campaign supporting the right for a plebiscite. NABO should know by now the difference between political activities and legislative activities. Since the 1990s, NABO has become extremely closed to the political postulates of the main governing party of the Basque Autonomous Community, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV-EAJ).

Representatives of the Basque government as well as of the PNV participated in NABO’s meeting where the declaration was (though not unanimously) passed, which by all means coerced the freedom of expression of some of the delegates. Miren Artiach and Gloria Totoricag├╝ena, the delegates of the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture (Boise, Idaho), fiercely defended the declaration. Two years ago, Totoricag├╝ena shared her "disgust" with NABO’s delegates for their lack of political commitment towards the homeland and their ignorance on homeland affairs. Sadly, on the hands of self-proclaimed experts on the Basque diaspora, the Cenarrusa Foundation has become a pro-PNV group, a lobby group within NABO, which is not looking after NABO’s interests whatsoever. Pete Cenarrusa, former Secretary of State of Idaho, must regain control of his own foundation before it is too late.

As soon as we get rid of people whose maximum goal is self-preservation and self-promotion the better for all of us who still believe in NABO as the federation of all for all. We cannot afford to have a self-interest group within NABO.

If NABO’s role if going to be political from now on, we cannot reduce our perspective to only one side of the spectrum. So, when is NABO going to sign a declaration in favor of the repatriation of Basque political prisoners and exiles? When is NABO going to sign a declaration against banning Basque political parties? When is NABO going to sign a declaration against the practice of torture in Spain?

As usual, we would love to hear your voices on the matter.


Aleksu said...

I agree with you completely.

And what about the map they posted, isn't it missing a huge chunk of Euskal Herria?

Jon said...

It is up to us, those who love our culture to do something about the way that NABO is being utilized by some member clubs and by particular individuals whose personal interests don’t go beyond their own selfish agendas.

NABO has fallen into the wrong hands. We all love NABO’s facilitator but he is not facilitating too much…besides obviously introducing FEVA’s declaration in support of the plebiscite. Did I forget to mention that he is in the payroll of the Basque government? Did I forget to mention that Gloria Totorika is also in the payroll of the Basque government?

NABO is becoming too dependent on the Basque government and its main political party, the PNV. You can see the result of the increasing involvement of the Basque government in the development of our sister federation in Argentina. Unfortunately, FEVA has become a branch of the Basque government’s foreign department. Is this where NABO is heading to? I’m afraid it is.

Aleksu said...


Who is the facilitator? John Yzurza?

I knew about Gloria being on Lakua's payroll, she got upset with me a few weeks ago when I accused the Basque government of inaction when it came to the defense of the political rights of the Basque people.

By the way, you can count Mexico's Centro Vasco as being a branch of Lakua's foreign ministry too.

Jon said...

Sorry for nor being able to response to you earlier….too many debates to watch, too much information to process…

Yes, John Y is the so-called facilitator of NABO. Well, he sends a weekly email, so I guess that’s what is called facilitating.
What can we do to prevent NABO for becoming a department of the Basque government? The answer is simple. We need to get rid of people like Gloria whose only goal is herself. She doesn’t care about NABO or the Cenarrusa Foundation or the future of the Basque Country…As you could evidence with your unfortunate encounter with her, she is pretty ignorant of Basque politics. However, she is able to drag NABO and our Basque Amerika to a PNV agenda, which is sad.

I hope NABO will have enough courage to introduce a declaration in favor of the independence of the Basque Country. That’s all what we ask for.

Aleksu said...

The way things are going I knew John Y had to be involved.

His approach to any issue is that of a conservative US citizen more than an average member of the Basque diaspora.

But there is hope, there is some members of the Basque community in the USA who still want things to evolve in behalf of the political and human rights in Euskal Herria.

Jon said...

I couldn't agree more with your assesment of "The Facilitator."
Yes, there is always hope. That's why I believe that NABO can become a true advocate of the problems that are sofocating the rights of the Basque people in Europe. There are still many things to do. I believe that NABO needs to educate herself with the whole current reality of the Basque Country; not just with one side of the problem or with one view of the situation--that being the PNV's or Totorikas or Ysursa's alike...