A car loaded with 66 pounds of explo-sives was detonated Wednesday morning (9am, February 9th) in the Plaza de Borbón, near the business section in the Capitol City of Madrid. Local media identified ETA, the Basque separatist group, as those responsible for the bombing. A survey by the Madrid Emergency Service indicated, that the majority of those near the blast, that no deaths were caused. There were many who suffered wounds from exploding windows, bruises and damaged eardrums from the explosions.
We, who were born or migrated to the U.S. of Spanish, Mestizo blood find it difficult to understand why the Basque people and the Spanish have had so much difficulty in settling their political problems. The Basque Nationalists want their independence from Spain and want to establish their own government. Here in our own country, Basque and Spaniards live in tranquility, alongside with the Mexican Americans, Latinos, and the other mixed bloods. How long will it be before the searing flames of hatred and discontent spreads throughout the Americas and destabilizes our society?
The Spanish Citizens who reside in Spain appear to not understand why the Basque people want to have control over their own lives and not be under the rule of the Spanish political system. Evidently, the contemporary Spaniard has forgotten the history of Spain, beginning with the Spanish Civil War, which brought Franco, El Caudillo, to power. Many in Spain must have forgotten that he came to power with help of Italy’s Mussolini and Germany’s Hitler. Franco allied himself with the Axis, including France, after the Germans took over the country. Franco betrayed and sacrificed the Basque people in his eagerness to become part of the Nazi regime. He allowed and approved the Nazi Luftwaff to practice live bombing raids on Basque towns in preparation for attacks on the Allies!
Trapped between Vichy France and Franco’s Nazi haven, the Basque people became a homeless nation without a place to call home. They have no confidence that they will ever be included as part of Spain. This leaves them with no other alternative but to revolt.
Spain should do the right thing and give them freedom to become a nation. The Basque might just become good neighbors and the bombings and killings will end.