Bayona's Pact: Basque Resistance to Franco's Regime

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The Bayona's Pact was a document drafted in 1945 by the Basque government and other Basque political forces in exile following the end of World War II. It outlined their commitment to cooperate in restoring democracy to the Basque Country.

Basque Autonomy and the Spanish Civil War

Prior to the Civil War, the Basque Country had sought autonomy, which was granted by the Popular Front government. However, the outbreak of war divided the Basque territories, with Araba and Navarre supporting Franco's uprising while Gipuzkoa and Viscay opposed it.

Despite receiving their statute, Gipuzkoa and Viscay continued fighting until their defeat. Franco subsequently labeled them"traitor province" for their opposition.

Basque Government in Exile

Basque supporters of the Republic established a government in exile, led by Lehendakari Agirre. They sought international support for the Basque cause and to restore democracy.

Bayona's Pact

The Bayona's Pact was drafted at a meeting held in Bayona, France, where Basque forces in exile gathered to organize their resistance against Franco.

The pact emphasized their support for the Basque government and their willingness to cooperate with other anti-Franco forces in exile.

International Context

The pact was drafted at a time when the world was divided into two opposing blocs during the Cold War. The United States, fearing the spread of communism, began to support Franco's regime.

This international context made it difficult for democratic movements in Europe to gain support, including the Basque resistance.


Despite the challenges, the Bayona's Pact remained a symbol of Basque resistance to Franco's regime. It also highlighted the importance of international cooperation in the struggle for democracy.

The opposition to Franco's regime grew over time, eventually leading to its collapse in 1975.

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