M. Telesforo de Monzon, president of the Basque organisation ANAI ARTEA, yesterday (Thursday, December 31)?
M. Telesforo de Monzon, president of the Basque organisation ANAI ARTEA, yesterday (Thursday, December 31) welcomed the reprieve by President Franco of six Basque guerrillas who had been under sentence of death in Spain. But he warned that the fight for Basque independence would go on.
M. de Monzon was speaking out side his three-storey house in the French town of St. Jean de Luz, near the Spanish border. The Basque leader and his organisation, whose name means "Aid among Brothers", have played a leading role in developments since the Burgos trial of the nationalists guerrillas. It was M. de Monzon who, on Christmas Day, announced the liberation of the West German Consul, Herr Eugen Beihl, who had been held as hostage by Basque extremists.
When M. de Monzon made his statement yesterday, he spoke in Basque. He said all Basques had been happy that thanks to the efforts of the whole world the six Basque patriots would be able to live. He thanked foreign governments, Churches, labour organisations and, in particular, journalists, all of whose efforts had drawn the attention of the public to the plight of the condemned men and to the Basque cause. "Our happiness is great but our fight goes on".
M. de Monzon spoke in Basque because, he said, "tomorrow it will be the official language of our Basque nation".