Arnaldo Otegi in “La Directa”: “The state tries to play chess with boxing gloves and it is simply impossible”

This interview was carried out by Gemma Garcia for La Directa, which published it on the 8th October 2015, instead of a face to face interview, Arnaldo Otegi’s inprisonment conditions forced him to respond to a previously set questionnary.

Criminal law of the enemy: The sentence that condemns you doesn’t cite what you have done, but who you are and what you haven’t done. But, why do you think you are a prisoner?

Our sentence only obeys to considerations of a political nature. Our sentence was elaborated from backwards to forwards. First, they made it clear at the end (the sentence) and later they tried to make it clear legally. Our most serious “crime” was to propose and achieve that the armed violence from ETA would disappear definitively from the Basque political equation. Or, to say it differently, our crime consisted in transferring the conflict with the state from the boxing ring to a chess table. And taking into account that some operations of the Guardia Civil have been baptised with chess similes it’s clear that the State wants to play chess with a boxing glove and that is simply impossible.

A campaign of international signatures from people as respected as Angela Davis or Noam Chomsky ask for your freedom. But also politicians like Jesus Eguiguren. Why does the Spanish state insist on keeping you as a prisoner?

Our being in prison until the last moment has a double meaning: on the one hand it means the correctness of the commitment that we proposed (Jesus Eguiguren has said that if we had stayed committed to continuity of the armed struggle we wouldn’t be in prison, a very revealing posture in my opinion). On the other hand, the international support has provoked our cause to be able to confirm the erosion of the positions of the Spanish state in wide international sectors apart from putting on the table the existence of hundreds of Basque pro-independence prisoners and the resulting necessity of giving a solution to this reality.

In “Poems from Prison”, Sarrionaindia examines the panoptic structure and how to resist it. How do you keep yourself afloat?

At the end of this sentence I will have spent practically 14 years of my life in prison. And believe me if I say that certain very powerful sectors of the Spanish state will take advantage of the most minimal excuse to keep imprison us again. So that together the with strength of our convictions, we must always have present the prudence of our actions. In any case, those who keep us going are our families (that is why they punish them with dispersion), our friends and the solidarity of tens of thousands of people in the world. But beyond all of that what sustains a political prisoner is their profound conviction of defending a just cause. Ghandi put it perfectly when he said “Under an unjust government, everyone should be in prison”.

In what situation are you and how is a day in prison?

The official prison I would resume in three words: noise, routine and arbitrarily conditions. But there also exists in prison what the prisoners build everyday in the case of political prisoners. Our life goes through books (reading or studying), sports and a constant political debate. In Logroño we spend officially and regularly 15 hours in our cells (10 square metres) which in our case are more because we voluntarily refuse some hours in the patio so we can read or study.

What is it that you miss the most?

About the things you miss in prison, I’ll tell you in a very illustrative anecdote: all of the prisoners who read in their day the “Millennium” trilogy agree that when the story took place in house in the country, snowing and the main protagonist prepared a hot coffee, some toast… and finished smoking a cigarette… That description was for us the closest to earthly paradise. Happily, the majority of us have given up cigarettes from our paradise and now when freedom gets closer for many this paradise is resumed in: family, the mountains, the sea, good conversation, friends. And as a second curious anecdote: immense desires to drive and cook. And to be clear, I don’t find any convincing reason for driving, cooking, being Basque, I completely understand.

What has been the hardest moment of these years spent in prison? And outside of it?

In these past years I have lost my mother-in-law, friends, but without a doubt the hardest moments were when my father suffered a heart attack (from which he recovered) and more than all the death of my mother. I expressed it in a farewell letter that I wrote publicly with the motive of her death: when my mother was barely 6-years-old she met her brother in the prison of El Dueso where the fascists held him prisoner (and today where my companion in the cause, Rafa Diez, continues in prison) and 80 years later my mother has died without seeing me free and without seeing something that she desired all of her life: the freedom of all the prisoners. This could be a good summary of the democratic history of the Spanish state. Outside of prison there have been painful personal moments for me (the death of friends, companions); and in the political for me, together with the days following the attacks in Madrid on 11M, every rupture in the negotiation processes and the following consequences of death, frustration, suffering and pain in all of the sectors of Basque or Spanish society.

Facing the new Basque scenario, the Spanish state has responded with immobility, in a repressive logic and without modifying their positions – with the exception of accepting the legalization of EH Bildu -. In spite of having always repeating that in the absence of violence “everything is possible”. What do you think are the political sublayers and determinants that maintain this position?

First a precision: The legalization of EH Bildu wasn’t any concession, simply the relations of forces that we had built with the change of strategy made it impossible for the state to adopt any other decision. But with that said I am aware that the banning of Bildu formed a part of the agenda of the PP if this party reached the government but, among other things, the declaration of the definitive cessation of the armed struggle on the part of ETA and the “suggestions” of the international community frustrated those plans. The sublayer of these attitudes on the part of the state is something that they carry in their own political and cultural DNA: the lack of a democratic culture leaves only threats and force. But threats and force as a position is perfect for a boxing ring, in chess gloves are worthless, and if you put them on your antidemocratic nature is on display. So that cliché of “everything is possible without violence” has been exposed for what it was: an authentic lie, a fallacy.

The imprisonments for political motives, such as that of the young Basques for belonging politically to SEGI, the closing of the Herrikos, or the penitentiary dispersion continue. Why doesn’t the Spanish government make a move?

The government with all of these initiatives of a repressive character tries to turn over the chess board and recreate in an artificial way a boxing ring. They need to extend to the maximum the shadow and the logic of the previous scenario, because in the antiterrorist logic (boxing ring) they think they have an alternative, whereas in he current scenario (chess) they don’t. For this, when they don’t now have a “boxer” in front of them they create one artificially arresting, imprisoning, manipulating information, simply because they don’t have arguments, nor talent to play in the new scenario, simply because they don’t have an alternative. For that they try to gain time because what they fear and what occupies the first of their worries is that the Basque Country initiates the path begun by Catalonia.

The Spanish state deployed since 1998 an authentic antiterrorist laboratory with “everything is ETA”. What returns has the state obtained and still obtain with that strategy?

That was the ideal context and over that they built a global strategy that allowed the criminalization of the pro-independence movement and the permanent attempt to reduce the political conflict to a mere antiterrorist question, apart from guaranteeing them facing the international community important levels of impunity with respect to the repressive escalation that they carried out.

And what was the main reason that they they sustained that repressive global strategy? The existence of armed violence by ETA, that was the big alibi. And what did we do? Leave them without an alibi. Is there still any doubt about the real reason for our imprisonment?

In your recent prologue to the biography of Pepe Mujica, you appeal to revolutionary ethics and suffering. What lessons can come from the conflict lived in the Basque Country?

For me there is a principle of revolutionary ethics in which we the revolutionaries must always act our position: a revolutionary must choose, if there exists a minimal possibility, the path that generates the fewest costs in human terms on their own side as well as those of the adversary.

So many years of conflict, how has that marked Basque society politically, socially and culturally? How to repair the ties?

The social and political life of our country has gone through violence and confrontation. In our country there isn’t a single generation in the last two centuries which hasn’t known and suffered the brunt of armed confrontation. I don’t know if facing this bloody reality the Basque-Navarre society has developed a type of antibodies of self-defence which has allowed it to build models of social coexistence not completely fractured (except for very specific periods). Also now my perception is that social coexistence has reached important levels of normality in our country. This is an important activating feature for our future. But with that said, this apparent normality mustn’t make lose sight of that their still subsists in our social fabric serious wounds in all of the sectors. The healing of them must make us question everyone, including the state dead set on maintaining their structural violence (arrests, imprisonments).

When you observe something such as the ex-General of the Guardia Civil Rodriguez Galindo spending only 4 years out of a sentence of 75, or that those condemned for the GAL have spent an average of 10% of their sentences and you have spent 6 years in prison for defending a political commitment for peace, what do you think?

It seems to me the evident proof that the persons that you mention never had a personal character but that they formed a part of the strategy of the state. To us, however, they consider us their enemies and they are right because we won’t rest until we reach from the left our own state for the Basques.

The official discourse only refers to one violence…

The discourses aren’t neutral, they are ideological constructions. The discourse of only one violence has as its objective to discredit one (ETA in this case) and to legitimate another, evidently that of the state. So that following this reasoning, what they are trying to project is simply and plainly that there doesn’t exist any political conflict at all and therefore you can reduce the armed struggle of ETA to a criminal problem or at the most antiterrorist. In short, there doesn’t exist any political motivation at all in the case of ETA activists, in their own organization and also employing repression would be completely justified in the measure in that being a problem of public order the response must be articulated from the police and legal repression and not in political or democratic terms.

What is the version of the Abertzale Left?

The version is right now of a fundamental ideological battle for the state and also for the parties of the castes (Spanish or Basque) who have sustained the regime of 78. This battle wants to change its clothes in ethical clothing but for me it has a clear political objective: that the Abertzale Left recognizes publicly (submitted to an inquisitorial trial) that all of their trajectory and historical journey has been a serious mistake because this would delegitimize it in the eyes of the Basque-Navarre society as an alternative for the future. More than seeking a confession of our guilt what they seek is to certify their innocence and not their responsibility in numerous and serious violations of human rights (from the dirty war to torture passing for all of the violations of civil and political rights that they have practised). And they do it now, precisely in the moment and historical context in which part of Catalonia and even a part of the Spanish left is that the diagnosis of the Abertzale Left about the Transition and the Constitution of 1978 was correct (another thing is that the strategy that was promoted which seems to me perfectly debatable). As to the version that we would defend I would refer to Antonio Machado when he said “the truth is a split window in which no one has all of it. My truth? No. Your truth? Neither. Let’s put both together and we’ll have the biggest portion of the truth”. We, in this spirit, defend a plural vision and inclusive, and not excluding any portions of reality. Or even better, knowing that all the version are from one side, we defend the plurality always when the versions don’t deny those of the rest, it means not to have an exclusive and totalitarian character, or that they don’t do it with the intention or objective of aggravating or delve into the pain of the other.

Recently the parish of San Carlos Barromeo in Entrevias (Madrid) held an encounter among victims of ETA and police violence or state terrorism. Was empathy lacking among them?

This encounter was going to be held in Congress and was suspended by the Board of Congress (PP-PSOE). One more proof that the ethical that the ethical worry isn’t present in the attitude of the political caste. In any case, these encounters are absolutely necessary and positive because they break the logic of only one version and they set the bases for a more promising future.

Have you ever met with a victim of ETA?

Yes, with some Catalans and some Basques. And I have said it on one occasion, and I repeat it because it think it is important to speak less of the victims and to speak more with them. This frank and honest dialogue should have begun with those sectors who have shown a very generous and constructive disposition in the search for horizons of agreements, about memory, reparation and no repetition.

Memory, recognition, reparation, no repetition, is it possible to repair the damage caused?

We have to be very honest at the time of dealing with sensible questions like these: there doesn’t exist a sufficient reparation for those who lost their lives in a long confrontation. What is possible is to recognize the damage caused and to avoid that it ever happens again. And to that I would like to add a last reflection: about our responsibility in a part of the damage caused there isn’t, nor will there be in the future, a more severe judge than our own conscience.

In the previous negotiating and resolution processes, what failed?

Independently of the mistakes we made (some of organization, at least in the last two processes where I had some protagonism), the perspective that time gives has allowed me to reach the following conclusion: for the State a solution agreed upon that recognizes the national identity of the Basque Country or Catalan and their right to decide is, in strategic terms, as inadmissible as independence itself in our respective nations. For the state, the loss would mean the recognition of an intermediate stage, which is only the prelude of another intermediate stage: its just the prelude to another national tragedy. The secession of another part of which they consider their territory. For that they need the ring, because with the rules of the democratic secession of Catalonia, the Basque Country or Galicia is just a question of time and they know it.

What do you think are the differences between the PSOE and the PP in managing the conflict?

Comparing the previous responses it is evident that neither of them had the will (and if they would have they wouldn’t have had the room to work in any case of moving) in any case of achieving a a case of democratic means. Combining that with a reflection of a person of a very powerful Spanish media outlet who said that “the party who openly defends in Spain the right to self-determination will commit political and electoral suicide”. Now that some are speaking to us of constituent processes in the state, I keep that in mind too and I am sure that they do too.

Does there exist a negotiating framework at this time?

It doesn’t exist and I don’t think it will exist. The state doesn’t have any interest in closing a cycle but in maintaining it open because there is a lot in play in this game.

What future perspectives and possible scenarios of unblocking it does Arnaldo Otegi make out at this time?

You know, I’ve come to the conviction that we must worry ourselves more about putting in march a dynamic that brings us to the creation of our own state which tries to elaborate distilled strategies to try to move the positions of the state. If our strategies for liberation necessarily pass for agreements with the state, there won’t agreements, nor liberation. Does that mean that we reject type of agreement? Not at all. What it means is that we plan our roadmap independently than of there are or not.

Mandela said that to achieve peace “we must make friends with our enemies”. Has their been advancement in that terrain?

Imagine me with a wide smile as I respond: if the good Nelson Mandela would have had as enemies the Spanish elite he never would have harboured any hope in that sense. So let me make a free interpretation and at the same time adjusted to our reality of that phrase: to achieve peace in the Basque Country we have to achieve that our enemies become our neighbours, each one in their own state.

And the hardest negotiations, wrote Gerry Adams, are always with your own. Does resistance exist on the part of certain sectors of the Abertzale Left?

That there was resistance wasn’t just normal but desirable because that made that the change that was produced in a more solid manner.

The armed struggle of ETA could have continued with a certain social support?

Without a doubt the armed struggle could have continued with a minority and decreasing social support.

Is there a partial risk of a return of expressions of political violence?

From my point of view there doesn’t exist a real risk of a reappearance of the armed struggle by ETA in our country. But, that said, I’ll make an affirmation that I have been making or suggestion for a few years: The state continues putting candles to the Virgin every day so that a low-intensity scenario of armed confrontation comes back. A scenario that without a doubt they desire. And for now I leave it at that. With that said, I’ll make a consideration: I am convinced that with the definitive cessation of violence decided by ETA forms a part (without hyping) of the main reasons in which we are assisting in getting the death certificate of the Regime of 78 and to their process of degeneration and decadency. For that those who seek not our constructive contribution to the political scenario but our political and ideological surrender (which will never happen) what they really seek is a return to the previous scenario (boxing ring); some even unconsciously and in good faith (some victim), others in a self-interested way from my point of view with interest in their political party (PNV) and others in a planned way and conscious as is the case of the states.

Rajoy considers that it is ETA who most harms the process of reinsertion of the prisoners. How would you respond?

Einstein said once that the difference between talent and stupidity is that talent has limits.

Follow the law and bring home the prisoners would restart the peace process?

In the Basque Country a peace process doesn’t exist because for a peace process to exist of this nature an indispensable condition that the two part have the will and interest to develop it; and I repeat: the state has only one interest and that is for the previous cycle to stay open although it’s in an artificial way. I repeat it once again: that is the reason for our imprisonment.

The question of the prisoners continues current. Is amnesty possible and desirable when there is so much pain?

Let’s make a previous consideration: today the Basque prisoners are more than ever hostages to the state which through our exploitation they fundamentally seek three objectives: perpetuate the previous scenario (ETA and their prisoners); generate frustration and disillusion in our country (with our being kept in prison without any modifications in the penitentiary policy); and, finally, the state understands that while it doesn’t resolve this question (and the state has us in their hands) the Basque Country will not initiate a unilateral sovereigntist project. With this being the situation the independentists have set a clear position with respect to this question: all of the Basque independentists prisoners and the refugees must recover our freedom, to return to our homes and our country. This can’t be an objective of political trade, which doesn’t mean that we aren’t talking about a gradual process. In my opinion the strategy destined to give satisfaction to the prisoners must begin by generating the conditions that allow the putting in march of a unilateral sovereigntist process. It tries to send a clear message to the state: the “hostages” won’t impede that we put in march a sovereigntist process. In the second place and connecting with this process of a popular sovereigntist offensive they must put into operation the agreements with the international community and Basque agents fostering the popular pressure in favour of our freedom. And to finalize, making use of unilateralism we must make use of their own legality to weaken the state’s own position. There is no bigger damage to a state than to show that they don’t comply with their own legal system.

ETA must announce their dissolution? When?

I don’t harbour any doubt about the desire of ETA to disappear from the Basque political scenario with the overcoming of the consequences of the conflict. That said, let’s go over what has been the attitude of the state in this respect: when ETA made their first gesture of disarming they cited the International Mediators to the Spanish National Court; two months ago they carried out a police operation in which according to their own words they detained “those responsible” for disarming (and when we presented the change in strategy they detained us and imprisoned us). Believe me if I say the state doesn’t have any interest in disarming nor in the end of ETA and they will do everything possible to stop it.

In other peace processes, the political articulation has been weakened in the post-conflict phase. Has that happened in the Basque Country? Has that troubled the Abertzale Left?

We have listened with attention to some criticisms that have been sent to us in some visits that some sectors in light of the political evolution of the past years have decoded the change of strategy in the following manner: the new strategy has consisted exclusively in the disappearance of the armed struggle and its substitution for a dynamic fundamentally institutional and institutionalized which has simulated a lot to conventional politics. And I assure you that there hasn’t been nor is there nothing more distant from conventional politics than the commitment that we’ve made.

The Abertzale Left, for their support and strength, has been a singular experience in the European left. How would you define it?

The Abertzale Left has been and is an enriching experience of popular self-organization which with its great decisions and mistakes has situated our country to reach complete national freedom. Nothing more, nothing less.

Beyond the cessation of the armed struggle and the commitment to the peace process – an enormous political agenda – since the crisis broke out, the policy of cuts has asphyxiated the popular and middle classes. What should the response be?

To begin to build an efficient alternative to neoliberalism we need to begin by never abandoning the principle of reality: although we don’t like it we have to recognize that the ideological battle has decades of advantages on us (principles and values in current Western societies). It’s also true that the current crisis hits in a cruel way wide sectors of the population which has experimented their levels of indignation but not political radicalization, but I think its exaggerated that there is a thirst in them for a true transforming and anti-capitalist conscience (at least for the moment). In this context, what is the hope of neoliberalism? That when a minimal recovery is reached (which will never happen for the popular classes) things will return to normal. However, we know that in spite of the official discourse the seeds of a new crisis have already begun to make themselves visible in the world economy. Our fundamental battle must be in to make known the ideas, the response to capitalism demands a new economy, a new ethics and a new policy.

The Abertzale Left speaks of independence and socialism. What kind of socio-economic model does it defend?

In the decade of the 80’s Herri Batasuna planted the necessity of a Basque Public Bank; defined the European Union as the Europe of merchants; defended the nationalization of strategic sectors of the economy and we were called authentic outdated socialists. Today it’s Jeremy Corbyn who makes these proposals as the Secretary General of the Labour Party. So, we begin by defending the recuperation of all the social and economic conquests which the great alibi of the economic crisis had been reduced to ashes. We defend the universality and the free use of all essential public services; the basic national minimum income for every human being; we will build a strong and transparent public sector and under democratic control; we will make clear that private property has to carry out a social function and be submitted to the general interest. And we will recover POLITICS so that it submits and controls the forces of the market, making it at the same time to evolve to representative democracy their combinations with ever more growing levels of participative democracy and direct democracy.

Today what does independence mean in the 21st century in the middle of southern Europe? Independence is a means for …

We defend independence for many reasons but among the fundamental reasons is that the recuperation of our political and economic sovereignty is indispensable for overcoming the necessary political and economic transformation to guarantee the welfare of our country.

What does social liberation mean today?

An agenda (national or planetary) for social change that for me must necessarily incorporate the following points: the struggle for the survival of the human race (and of the planet) confronting climate change. The struggle for nuclear disarmament and peace; the struggle for self-determination of countries; the struggle for an equal distribution of wealth; and the struggle for overcoming the patriarchal model. These struggles are necessarily anti-capitalist and they must find and build a space of coordination and encounter on a planetary scale through a new International of the People.

The most radical governing until now, Syriza, has been taken down by the Euro-Group. Independence passes for political and economic sovereignty?

We need to recover political and economic sovereignty and put all of them through a relation of an alliance (political, economical, ethical and ecological) on a world-wide scale.

Is it possible in a European Union of the Troika?

In the current European Union it is simply not possible. The subsequent question is can we modify/reform this structure that is conceived as an authentic project of domination the oligarchic elites with the Germans at the top? The Greek experience makes the result clear.

How do you see the current geopolitical reality today? Where are we coming from?

We are currently living in a world context characterized fundamentally by the progressive loss of hegemony of the US and the birth of one new and powerful… Like China. To the difference of other historical cycles, on this occasion the US can lose their economic hegemony but continue mainlining their military hegemony (and financial in one sense). For that we mustn’t lose sight of some very worrisome events that are taking place in this context, for example the change in the Constitution of Japan or the shift in the military priorities of the US from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. These facts are very worrisome because we could be witnessing a Third World War by steps (Syria…).

What should be the role of trade unions at this time?

Trade unions from my point of view need to put in march a profound reflection about their role and contribution to the construction of a new policy, a new economy and a new ethics (way of life, relation with nature…). The classic dynamic of demanding a more equal distribution of wealth (through a fiscal or salary policy) is without a doubt a necessity, but without losing sight of that the myth of unlimited growth and wasteful consumption brings us to disaster once and again and it will bring us to a final disaster if we don’t come up with an urgent remedy.

Self-criticism and criticism, what organizing formulas, for the left, of popular participation, does Arnaldo Otegi desire? What kind of left for the Basque Country?

What is it worth to plant a new politics, a new economy, a new ethics if we continue building old organizations and old forms of functioning? What is it worth to plant new/old forms of principles and values if in our daily life they don’t have a necessary and coherent reflection? Our organizations and our life (activist and personal) must be a faithful reflection of the alternative that we defend and represent. Because there is not alternative that doesn’t begin in ourselves.

Will the Spanish state allow Arnaldo Otegi to be a candidate for Lehendakari?

If we made a list of the problems and priorities of Basque independentism the last of these problems and priorities would be to know if Arnaldo Otegi is going to be a candidate for Lehendakari or not. And I assure you of one thing: I understand that those who have been Lehendakari can and must be proud of having been so (qualifying in the case of Patxi Lopez, who came to the position with the mutilation of an important part of the electorate). And I assure you that my maximum satisfaction and pride that I would be the candidate for Lehendakari who causes the most rejection in the state. To know that would adopt all these measures for an independentist is a true honour (and with this honour I feel sufficiently recompensed).

Do we have motives to smile because we are going to win, as you always say?

I’ve heard Artur Mas speak about the Revolution of the Smiles, and Pablo Iglesias cite Kortatu, and on the 27th there is going to be an absolute majority for Catalan independence. Without a doubt we have reasons to smile, because we are going to fight and we are going to win, and above all for sadness they are there.


The Regime of 78 is in crisis, and the Basque Country already said no to that transition. What do you think the Regime will do to close the crisis by and from above? Is there a risk of a second transition? What role does the PNV play in this scenario?

Historically in our country, the PNV as well as the Abertzale Left (in different ways and in different contexts) have fed the possibility of reaching democratic scenarios of recognition of our national identity and our right to decide through an agreement with the state. Today the PNV (like Unio) continues insisting in that that possibility for which they consider that the Catalan process will force the state to a Constitutional reform “that this time yes” will recognize our national rights. I think that such a scenario will simply not exist, simply because there won’t be a reform that recognizes the multinational character of the state and the right to decide of our nations. Those who defend this notion are selling smoke, and as soon as we are conscious of that, the better.

The end of bipartisanship or the entrance of new emerging actors could substantially modify this scenario? How do you evaluate the eruption and commitment of Podemos?

I sincerely believe that with the end of bipartisanship forms more a part of reality. Bipartisanship came out weakened by the coming Spanish elections but not with the intensity that some wanted. The eruption of Podemos I defined at the moment as a breath of fresh air to the politics in the state but I don’t hide that their evolution in some aspects is beginning to give me a respectful expectation to a very respectful and ever more profound intellectual precaution.

Do you agree with Podemos in that there has to be a break in the padlock of 78 and disagree with how it was done?

We have already affirmed that the Constitution was a padlock when it was born and that this padlock was broken by Catalonia (for example) supporting independence. And I don’t see them there unfortunately. I know what they will say to me, and I respect it, but I don’t share it, that the right to decide with a constituent process in the whole of the Spanish state and that recognizes for them. But they know very well that in the state there is no correlation of forces to reach that objective. And then, what do they propose to us? That we wait? I tell them with all respect that the plan is on the contrary: there are constitutive processes and for independence in all of the nations of the state, which in any case could make necessary a constitutive process of these characteristics in all of the state.

How to avoid “as leftists”, what evaluation does it mean to you?

Nothing further from my political thought than to be a political Commissary or to be a guardian of the essences. I imagine that behind the decision to not use that adjective has carried more reasons of a sociological-political character than ideological clarifications. It’s probable that Podemos understands that in consonance with profile of Spanish sociology is more feasible to reach a higher grade of electoral penetration in this way. In any case, I would say that a dynamic of aggiorinamiento of their political programme in function of the sociological-electoral programme can be very serious. As Errejon has said well in GARA, in the end it leads you to seem as much as the “others” that, in the end, if you reach the government, you do it with “their” programme, and what does that mean?

To the root of the so-called “new politics” there has been a commitment to enter the institutions to recover them. What has been the dialectic institution-street, party-movement, management-social change? Is there something inside that isn’t outside?

What is inside that isn’t outside is if what you plant as a conventional political dynamic, or said in another way, if what you want to install yourself in a comfort system. The institutions, in a strategy of social transformation, can’t and mustn’t be the vanguard of the changes but in any case, their rearguard. The true motor of change must be managed in the social and popular fabric as a firm, tenacious and patient ideological struggle that changes the values of the people. The changes that are produced as a consequence of an electoral majority are always reversible by an alternative majority of a distinctive sign. The changes that are produced in the scale of social values can be reversed can be postponed, repressed, contained, but they will always end up being imposed.

[In two seconds]

An historical fact

The defence of the Basque state of Navarre in Amaiur in 1522 (and will soon be 500 years-old, a beautiful anniversary)

A political reference

Gerry Adams/Antonio Gramsci

A policy reference

Rosa Luxemburg/Rosa Parks

A book

“Moroak gara behelaino artean” Sarrionandia. “El hombre que amaba los perros” (by Leonardo Padura (very recommendable)

A film


A song

“The Partisan” (Leonard Cohen)/ “Hotel Monbar” (Kortatu)

A recurring phrase

“Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed”(G.K.Chesterson)