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Spain and Latin America

Ignacio Palacio-Huerta reports from Bilbao that the consensus there among people who follow the Guernica argument is that the Germans were indeed responsible for the bombing. The argument now is how much the Republicans destroyed when they retreated. It is amazing how much attention Guernica (or Guernika) has received recently. Kurt Vonnegut (mispronouncing it) even discussed it a few days ago in a talk he gave at the University of South Florida. Ignacio will be spending next year at Hoover, and Tom Henriksen plans to invite him to give a talk on the Basque problem. I get my news from the anti-ETA, anti-Herri Batasuna side; I am now trying to get their version of events. The U.S. should note the threat posed by minorities promoting violence in their ancestral lands, at no danger to themselves. Basque colonies in many countries, notably Uruguay and Mexico, have been funding ETA (cf the IRA) . In the Dominican Republic they have staged protests against the extradition of four ETA terrorists to Spain.

Spain, encouraged by the EC, has been successful in its attempts to build relations with Ibero-America (I use this term because it includes Brazil, where Spain has made a special push). When King Juan Carlos came to the Spanish throne, even my conservative Spanish friends thought he would fail. In fact, he and Queen Sofia have been remarkably successful. In Latin America a recent poll showed that they are more popular than President Clinton. The best known "president" in Latin America is Fidel Castro, and nearly half of the population favors him. Che Guevara is now a symbol of Latin American anti-imperialists, not just among the extreme left. The two institutions most trusted are the Catholic Church and the banks (!!??). The only country where no institution is trusted is Mexico, a sign of possible trouble there.