Thursday, April 22, 2021

ETA's terrorism led to hundreds of Spaniards dead, the price Francisco Franco and Spain paid for his friendship with Fidel Castro

"A scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him. The frog refused because the scorpion would sting him. That would not be logical, explained the scorpion, because if he stung the frog they would both drown. So the frog agreed to carry the scorpion. Half way across, the frog felt a terrible pain - the scorpion had stung him. There is no logic in this, exclaimed the frog. I know, replied the scorpion, but I cannot help it - it is my nature." - Orson Welles, Confidential Report (1955)  

Fidel Castro and Francisco Franco were "friends".

The challenge of the Castro regime in the Spanish speaking world is often, and justifiably concentrated, in Latin America, and Spain is left out of the discussion of the communist dictatorship's attacks on democratic countries. This is a mistake.

The ties between Cuba and Spain stretch back to Christopher Columbus, and both Francisco Franco's father and Fidel and Raul Castro's father had been soldiers who fought in Cuba to preserve the Spanish empire in the island. Castros' father, Angel, according to a 2016 documentary, had a photo of Generalissimo Franco on his nightstand.

In 2016 Catalonia region, TV3 produced a documentary "Franco and Fidel: A Strange Friendship" that explored this relationship between the two dictators and is available online.


Che Guevara, and Cuban delegation attending a bull fight in Spain.

In the documentary it reveals how pro-Castro Cuban exiles were able to celebrate Fidel Castro's triumph in 1959 with a mass protest in Retiro Park in Spain. This was at a time when Spaniards could not do that. Latin American Herald Tribune reports on this and more regarding the TV3 production.

Also revealing are accounts by Castro revolutionaries who said that during their struggle against dictator Fulgencio Batista their lives were saved thanks to the help of the Spanish Embassy, as well as images of Ernesto "Che" Guevara walking in Madrid and attending a bullfight with members of Franco's secret police.

Following the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the US pushed for tight economic sanctions on the Castro regime, the rest of Latin America, France and the United Kingdom all went along with the Americans, but Franco's Spain continued trading with Havana.

On Franco's death in 1975, Fidel Castro decreed three days of mourning in Cuba, although he made sure that it went unnoticed by the press, it was an official decree signed by Cuban president Oswaldo Dorticós.

However, the so-called “special relationship” between Castro and Franco, was not so special on the Cuban side. 

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna ("Basque Homeland and Liberty"), according to the public radio program The World, "began in 1958 as an effort to preserve Basque language and culture. A decade later, it became a terrorist organization. Over the next few decades, its violent tactics claimed [over] 850 lives." What was a key factor in the transformation of this group? 

ETA terrorists plotting their next moves.

It was the Castro regime, not only its violent ideology, but a commitment to train, arm, and provide refuge to  the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) to carry out its war against the Franco regime.

In their 2017 book,  History of a challenge five decades of relentless struggle of the Civil Guard against ETA (Historia de un desafío: Cinco décadas de lucha sin cuartel de la Guardia Civil contra ETA), Manuel Sánchez and Manuela Simón reveal that, “In the spring of 1964, ETA militants received training in Cuba with lessons on kidnappings, subversion and sabotage. Thus began the ideological and terrorist training that would later be a constant in the history of the terrorist band.” 

ETA in 1973 killed Franco's right hand man in central Madrid.

A cursory look at a list of ETA terror attacks on Wikipedia shows one failed attack in 1961, followed by a string of successful and escalating attacks beginning in 1965.  

Cuba also provided a great networking opportunity for global terrorists at the Tricontinental Conference held in Havana from January 3 – 16, 1966. This was an effort to coordinate and support revolutionary and terrorist groups in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, hence the term "tri-continental."

ETA: 60 years of terrorism against Spain

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the President of the RAND Corporation, wrote a chapter on the "The New Age of Terrorism"

"Many terrorists have seen their struggles as global. Marxist revolutionaries are an example. In the late twentieth century, for instance, Marxist leaders considered themselves beyond borders and united in revolution. In 1966, the Tri-Continental Conference in Havana was intended to bring together the world’s guerrilla movements. No coordinated revolutionary movement emerged, but some interesting alliances eventually evolved, such as that between the Japanese Red Army—rebels looking for a cause—and the PopularFront for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was both Palestinian and Marxist and cultivated foreign recruits and relation-ships. The brief coalescence of Europe’s left-wing terrorist groups led to concerns about ‘‘Euroterrorism,’’ and the Irish Republican Army(IRA) and Spain’s Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) exchanged technical know-how."

 According to distinguished fellow Dr. Steven J. Allen and Ana Almeida of the Capital Research Center, in their August 22, 2015 column "Cuba, implacable enemy of the Free World"the terrorist training of ETA by Havana continued into the 1970s.

"In the mid-1970s in Libya, Cuban instructors taught Spanish Basques from Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) guerrilla warfare techniques. Libyan dictator Qaddafi supported the Basque terrorist group and had sheltered around 150 Cuban guerrilla instructors in Libya by 1980."

The reward for Franco siding with the Castro regime in the 1960s, against the rest of Latin America, France and the United Kingdom and the United States, was the murder of hundreds of Spaniards by a terrorist group nurtured, trained, and protected by Havana and 60 years of violence.

Madrid-Barajas airport T-4 in 2006 killed 2 Ecuadorians.

This is a recurring pattern with governments that engage with the Castro dictatorship and seek to normalize it, without conditioning it to a change in behavior.


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