Juan José Ibarretxe, former president of the Basque Country in Northern Spain is famous for his eyebrows. They are dark-colored and diagonal, just like Spock from the original Star Trek. Ibarretxe was president (called the Lehendakari ) of Euskal Herria (the Basque Country) between 1999-2009.
Ibarretxe is most well known for his pro-independence stance on the question of Basque autonomy. His political party, the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV) would like the País Vasco, Euskal Herria, to separate from Spanish control. They want the Basque people to have the freedom to decide their own political and economic future.
In a funny stunt at Carnaval in 2009, PNV members dressed as Vulcans complete with pointy ears and Starfleet uniforms and gave their leader the Vulcan salute. You can see a video here. He gave a satirical speech in Spanish (see transcript below the photo). Here is the translation:
…there is a very serious attempt by other galaxies to control the Basque Galaxy. My compatriots (he laughs looking at their costumes), we have a mission. We must protect the Basque Galaxy. We will protect the Basque Galaxy. They want to interfere. They want to decide from the capital of another galaxy. That, we cannot permit. We cannot permit the Basque Galaxy to be controlled by remote control from other galaxies.”
The audience was laughing really hard. I’m wondering how many world leaders have as good a sense of humor as that. Any contenders?
Two presidents have served since Ibarretxe left office, the first was against independence and the current Lehendakari is pro-independence.
What will the future hold for the Basque Country? As Ibarretxe says, “En esta vida, hay que creer” In this life, one must believe. Last year, 175,000 Basque protesters formed a 125-mile (202 km) human chain through Euskal Herria to make the case for a referendum vote. None is scheduled, but stay tuned. Olé!
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. –Rebecca
“… hay un intento muy serio por otras galaxias de controlar la galaxia vasca. Tenemos (risa) compañeros y compañeras una misión. Hay que defender la galaxia vasca. Vamos a defender la galaxia vasca. Quieren interferir. Quieren decidir desde la capital de otra galaxia. No lo podemos permitir. No podemos permitir que la galaxia vasca sea controlada a traves de un sistema de control remoto por otras galaxias.” (Transcript by Rebecca Cuningham)