“Get your Txapote to vote” – Il Post

“Get your Txapote to vote” – Il Post

In the campaign for the political elections of July 23 in Spain, there is a very lively debate about a slogan promoted by right-wing parties that has become known and disputed in recent months. The slogan is “Que te vote Txapote”, which means “Get Txapote to vote”: it evokes the Basque terror of the past decades and aims to attack the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and accuse it of allying with nostalgic parties. Basque terrorist group ETA, although ETA has not been active for over a decade and was disbanded a few years ago.

Txapote (pronounce us Chabot) is the name of one of the most violent Basque terrorists, who was active in the 1990s and participated in numerous political assassinations and terrorist attacks: he is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of dozens of people and is serving a 152-year prison sentence.

For several months now, right-wing parties have taken advantage of the fact that Sanchez’s government in the current legislature has external support from the Basque nationalist party which had links to the political arm of ETA. The slogan has been spread widely on the Internet and in the media, and it also creates problems for the families of terror victims, who reluctantly find themselves embroiled in crude election controversy.

The slogan “Que te vote Txapote” began to circulate in Spain’s right-wing circles a few months ago: first among supporters of Vox, a far-right party nostalgic for Francisco Franco’s dictatorship (according to polls, it has 14 percent of the vote), and then in the Popular Party, The main party of the Spanish centre-right (People’s Party, with about 34 percent of the vote). It became famous last September when a Vox sympathizer displayed it in a poster at a Sanchez rally in Seville.

Since then, the slogan has begun to spread and has been used by many right-wing politicians, such as Isabel Diaz Ayuso, governor of the Autonomous Community of Madrid who is part of the more radical and extremist wing of the People’s Party. Some senators and politicians. It has also become very popular on social networks among right-wing voters.

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During their first and only election debate this week, Sanchez and PP leader Alberto Núñez Figo, his party’s candidate in the election, discussed the slogan very warmly, and Figo refused to explicitly condemn it.

The slogan stems from the fact that in recent years Pedro Sánchez’s government has received support from abroad by the Basque nationalist Bildó party, a coalition of small independent Basque left-wing parties with autonomy and autonomy founded in 2012 by Arnaldo Otegi, one of the most important figures in the country’s independence. Basque. Bildo was born after the end of the terrorist and military activity of ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, which in Basque means “Basque country and freedom”) and indeed many members of Batasuna, which was the political arm of ETA, merged into the party.

However, it was established some time ago beyond any reasonable doubt – even In court – That Bildo does not condone ETA terrorism, which is indeed a fully democratic party.

Despite this, controversies over Bildew periodically resurface, and they have done so in this campaign as well. Some believe that at least some of this controversy is actually justified. Otegi, the founder and leader of Bildu, was a member of ETA as a young man, went to jail several times, and although he never committed a bloody crime, was convicted of numerous kidnappings, robberies, and robberies (which the group did to fund itself). Otegi then contributed to ETA’s decision to stop its terrorist activity and dissolve the group, and he was an important figure in transferring cases of Basque independence in a democratic and peaceful system. In 2021, he apologized to victims of terrorism for the damages done by ETA, but never condemned the group’s activity and motives.

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Otegi remains an obscure figure and in some cases resents a large part of the Spanish electorate, and the fact that Sánchez’s government relied on his votes throughout the legislature is now seen as a major political weakness, one of which he takes right. feature.

However, the slogan referring to Txapote was seen by many as a somewhat crude method of political campaigning, particularly by the victims of his terrorist acts. The Victims of Terrorism Association, an independent association, accused the Spanish right of “minimizing terrorism”.

The head of the assembly is Consuelo Ordonez: her brother Gregorio was killed by Texapotl in 1995. In open letter“Memory, dignity and justice do not have a political ideology and should not be co-opted for political reasons,” the union wrote. In response to the open letter, Ordonez He said to Politician to receiving protests and threats from supporters of right-wing parties, who accused her of betraying the memory of her brother: “I spent years being attacked by Basque separatists and there is nothing compared to the level of aggression I am facing now,” he said.

The debate over the political use of the Memory of Terror ended up involving many relatives of ETA victims, who took one side and the other, and divided them. For example María del Mar Blanco, whose brother was killed by ETA in 1997 and is now a member of the Madrid Regional Parliament for the People’s Party, has defend The use of the motto on Txapotle because it would remind people of the closeness of Beldo, and thus of the Spanish government, to the ideas of Basque terror.

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