This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Pedro Javier Arriaga Aguirre has a blog, Jazoera, which was created as a tool to share the news at the Eusko Etxea in Caracas. It it, we can see the activity of the Basque community in Caracas and the surrounding area in Venezuela.  It’s a great blog that works to share the past and current activity of this Basque community which has contributed so much to the history and development of their new homeland.

An important part of the Basque descendants who live in Venezuela keep their feeling as a part of the Basque community alive.  They are those, especially, who arrived in that country as a consequence of the Spanish Civil War that desolated the Lower Basque Country.

Pedro Javier is doing an amazing job collecting stories and biographies of the people of that generation who arrived in Venezuela, a country that welcomed them with open arms, leaving everything behind.  Organized and aided by a Basque Government in exile that was able to set up a support network that allowed millions of Basque families to take refuge first at different places in Europe, and then Latin America, where they could start a new life.

Fishing boats ‘Donibane’ and ?Bigarrena’ in Bayonne, about to set sail on their epic journey across the Atlantic to Venezuela, via Dakar.
Fishing boats ‘Donibane’ and ?Bigarrena’ in Bayonne, about to set sail on their epic journey across the Atlantic to Venezuela, via Dakar.

All the stories of those men and women, and what they went through to get there, are worthy of a book or even a movie.  Such is the case of the fishing boats Donibane and Bigarrena, which left from Bayonne for Dakar, and from there across to the Caribbean and to Venezuela, their final destination.  We could say the same about those who were exiled in Cuba or in Flanders on their way to exile.  All of this and much more can be found on that blog, where those people and their stories are the protagonists.

The 82 Basques who arrived at Venezuela in 1939 aboard the ‘Cuba’
The 82 Basques who arrived at Venezuela in 1939 aboard the ‘Cuba’

We have a lot of pending debts with that generation: telling their history, the stories, big or small, is part of that.  That’s why the work at Jazoera is so important and so necessary.

We encourage you to visit the blog and to get to know who those people were and what they lived through eighty years ago, these people who had to leave behind everything that had been the foundation of their lives until then to journey to another continent to start a new life.  They didn’t do it voluntarily, but rather forced to by the circumstances, but the countries that took them in, including Venezuela, know well how much they contributed and how these Basques became model citizens in those nations, integrating and contributing to those societies.

Good Venezuelans who never stopped being Basque.


Discover all these stories at

Jazoera

A blog for the Basque community in Venezuela


Inauguration, in March 1950, of the Basque Center in Caracas, with Lehedakari Aguirre in attendance (photo from Iñaki Anasagasti’s blog)
Inauguration, in March 1950, of the Basque Center in Caracas, with Lehedakari Aguirre in attendance (photo from Iñaki Anasagasti’s blog)

 

 

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