This article was translated by Iustrans

Today we have found a little gem while surfing the web: FBI files about their investigations and espionage activities directed towards the Basque Government Office in New York and their members, including Lehendakari Aguirre himself.

From left to right: Irala, Monsoon, Aznar and Sota; seated, Aldasoro, Nárdiz and Aguirre, members of the Basque Government in exile in the New York delegation. / FSA
From left to right: Irala, Monsoon, Aznar and Sota; seated, Aldasoro, Nárdiz and Aguirre, members of the Basque Government in exile in the New York delegation. / FSA

These files from the USA’s federal government office were declassified decades ago, thus serving as supportive documentation for many researchers. Some of these documents are now available online for anyone who wishes to consult them.

While reading these files, it is interesting to see the mistrust that many US officials and politicians had concerning the cause of the Basque people, since that lack of confidence contrasts with the high regard they had for the members of the delegation, including the Lehendakari, on a personal level.

This shows that, contrary to what it was thought by the representatives of the Basques in exile, for the allies in general and for the USA in particular, the status quo was what counted most. In other words, they preferred to support the powers that were most likely to be victorious (including Franco’s insurgents) than help a small country seeking freedom, despite the promises they made and the support the Basques received.

Basque nationalism has gone through this situation many times throughout its history. Many countries that are now independent had to fight for their freedom (the State of Israel or the Baltic States, for example) and sought the support of Basque national institutions and political parties, calling for solidarity among nations that seek freedom.  But, once these countries became independent and internationally recognized, they stopped considering the Basques as allies, and started seeing them as a “nuisance” that interfered and undermined their relations with the Kingdom of Spain or with the French Republic.

Nowadays, there are a number of stateless nations calling for the collaboration and support of the Basques. Unfortunately, we feel that their behavior would not be very different from that of the aforementioned cases: once they abandon the stateless nations club to join the club of nations with a seat at the UN, they’ll seem to reset their memories, thus forgetting who their old friends were.

We post the link to the FBI documents about the Basque Government Office in New York, as well as a link with the work of historian M * Angeles Ordaz Romay, ​​based on these documents, which offers some clues to understanding what happened and offers an extensive bibliography on the books written about these documents.

FBI –     – USA

Basque Intelligence Service

Documentos desclasificados del Federal Bureau of Investigation sobre su seguimiento y espionaje a las actividades de la Delegación de Gobierno Vasco en New York a partir de 1938

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M* Angeles Ordaz Romay.

LA DELEGACIÓN VASCA EN NUEVA YORK, UNA DÉCADA BAJO EL PUNTO DE MIRA DEL FBI (1938-1947). (PDF)

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