This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We just discovered, thanks to the CiberCuba website, that Basque author Joseba Sarrionandia is going to take over as the new reader of the Basque Language and Culture program that the Etxepare Basque Institute is inaugurating at the University of Havana.  

Basque author Joseba Sarrionandia
Basque author Joseba Sarrionandia

Joseba Sarrionandia has been renown for years as a writer, and as the translator of the works of T.S. Elliot.

However, he will always be known for his 1985 escape from Martutene prison.  He was there because in 1980, at the age of 22, he was sentenced to 27 years for belonging to and working with the ETA.  Since then, he’s been in hiding, though he has published regularly.

in 2011, the Basque government, then ruled by the Spanish Socialist Party (which was in power thanks to the support of the People’s Party), awarded him the Basque Prize for Literature.  Not even then did he appear to claim his prize despite, as the Basque government itself explained, he could as he had no outstanding issues with justice.

We found out about his nomination thanks to the CiberCuba website, which introduced the the information in a way that leaves little room to indifference:

“Un escritor ex-etarra impartirá clases en La Universidad de La Habana”

“A former ETA member and author will give classes at Havana University”

The headline really grabbed our attention; how could it not?  So, we dug a little further.  The news hasn’t had time to spread far and wide yet, but already, some “trends” are popping up.

We have to point out the existence of two very different headline styles, despite both coming from the same source, the EFE agency.

In the state media, the style of headline that could be called the “winner” is the one that says:

“Sarrionandia reaparecerá tras 31 años para encargarse de un lectorado en Cuba”

“Sarrionandia will resurface after 31 years to lead a readership in Cuba”

or, in its more “political” format:

“El escritor y exmiembro de ETA Sarrionaindia reaparecerá en la Universidad de La Habana para dar clase de Lengua vasca”

“Author and ex-ETA member Sarrionandia will resurface at the University of Havana to give Basque language classes.”

On the other hand, terra.es, which has a presence all over South America thanks to its local editions, also used the EFE report, but with a very different headline:

“Etarra fugado de España dará clases de lengua vasca en Cuba”

“ETA fugitive from Spain will give Basque language classes in Cuba”

Just like that, without blinking, without flinching, without any sort of nuancing, without even having the thoughtfulness to use the “ex-” prefix in front of “ETA”.  Although, we must admit that there’s been some advancement, as this news is in the “Society and Culture” section; years ago, in July of 2014, that same website posted information about this same Basque author under the title “La Universidad de Mondragón invita a un curso al exetarra huido Sarrionandia” (Mondragon University invites ex-ETA fugitive Sarrionandia to a course), which was published in the Events section.

We could think that the use of these different headlines for the same report both from within and without Spain is just coincidence.  But it must be a big one, because the presence of a specific headline for those outside the peninsula is everywhere.  Obviously, all the different South American editions of terra.es use it; it’s also to be found on several Cuba-focused news sites, and in other South American media that use the EFE as their news source.

What we have to wonder is if there are media that are looking to transmit a certain negative image of everything Basque internationally.

We’ll continue following this story across the world’s media.  Perhaps we’ll be able to reach a conclusion at the end of this search.

Meanwhile, along with the news from the Etxepare Basque Institute on his nomination, we’ll leave you with a few of the examples we’ve found so far, all of them with EFE information (the last one, also signed by the EFE, appears in a Spanish newspaper).

Instituto Vasco Etxepare – 2/11/2016 – Euskadi

EL INSTITUTO VASCO ETXEPARE INAUGURA UN NUEVO LECTORADO DE LENGUA Y CULTURA VASCA EN LA UNIVERSIDAD DE LA HABANA, CUBA

Fruto del convenio de colaboración firmado en 2015 entre el Instituto Vasco Etxepare y la Universidad de La Habana, en noviembre de 2016 se inaugurará en dicha universidad un nuevo lectorado de Lengua y Cultura Vasca. El escritor vasco  Joseba Sarrionandia será el encargado de ocupar el puesto de lector; es decir, se responsabilizará del contenido académico y de impartir las clases, así como del resto de las actividades que impulse el lectorado.

(Sigue) (Euskera) (Inglés)

Terra Colombia – 2/11/2016 – Colombia

Etarra fugado de España dará clases de lengua vasca en Cuba

El escritor y exmiembro de la banda terrorista ETA Joseba Sarrionandia, en paradero desconocido desde su fuga de la prisión donostiarra de Martutene en 1985, se hará cargo del nuevo lectorado en lengua y cultura vascas que el Instituto Vasco Etxepare inaugurará en la Universidad de La Habana este mes.

(Sigue) (Traducción automática)

W Radio – 2/11/2016 – Colombia

Etarra fugado de España dará clases de lengua vasca en Cuba

El escritor y exmiembro de la banda terrorista ETA Joseba Sarrionandia, en paradero desconocido desde su fuga de la prisión donostiarra de Martutene en 1985, se hará cargo del nuevo lectorado en lengua y cultura vascas que el Instituto Vasco Etxepare inaugurará en la Universidad de La Habana este mes.

(Continue) (Automatic Translation)

Diario de Cuba – 2/11/2016 –

Etarra fugado de España dará clases de lengua vasca en Cuba

El escritor y exmiembro de la banda terrorista ETA Joseba Sarrionandia, en paradero desconocido desde su fuga de la prisión donostiarra de Martutene en 1985, se hará cargo del nuevo lectorado en lengua y cultura vascas que el Instituto Vasco Etxepare inaugurará en la Universidad de La Habana este mes, reporta EFE.

(Continue) (Automatic Translation)

CiberCuba – 2711/2016 –

Un escritor ex-etarra impartirá clases en La Universidad de La Habana

Joseba Sarrionandia, escritor y exmiembro de ETA que se encuentra en paradero desconocido desde su fuga de la prisión donostiarra de Martutene, en 1985, se hará cargo del nuevo lectorado en lengua y cultura vascas que el Instituto Vasco Etxepare inaugurará en la Universidad de La Habana este mes.

(Continue) (Automatic Translation)

La Vanguardia – 2/11/2016 – Cataluña

El escritor y exmiembro de ETA Sarrionaindia reaparecerá en la Universidad de La Habana para dar clase de Lengua vasca

El escritor y exmiembro de ETA Joseba Sarrionaindia, en paradero desconocido desde 1985 tras fugarse de la cárcel donostiarra de Martutene, reaparecerá de forma pública en la Universidad de La Habana, en la que impartirá clases de Lengua y Cultura Vasca, dentro de un nuevo lectorado de esas materias que inaugurará este mismo mes.

(Continue) (Automatic Translation)
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