It is with great sadness that the Socialist International has received the news of the passing of José María Banegas, on Tuesday 25 August, in Madrid.
Until his death, Txiki served as a member of parliament, a post that he held since the Constituent Parliament of 1977, with a short change in the 1980s when he assumed responsibilities in the Basque Parliament, from where he gave a significant contribution to Spanish democracy.
Txiki Banegas was born in Caracas, the son of exiled parents after the Spanish Civil War, but the family returned to the Basque country when Txiki was aged 7. In 1971 he joined the Euskadi Socialist Party and later on he joined the UGT and the PSOE. In the Basque Socialist Party he served as general secretary from 1977 until 1988, after which he took the role of party president until 2002. At the national level, between 1984 and 1994 he was the PSOE organisation secretary, and from 1994 and 1997 he worked as secretary for political relations.
Those who had the opportunity of knowing and working with Txiki Banegas, will remember him for his commitment to the development and implementation of socialism in Spain, and to the consolidation of its democracy, as well as for his support to the struggles for the restoration of South American democracies, one of the causes on which he collaborated with the Socialist International. For the members of our political family, Txiki’s commitment and work for his party will serve as a lesson for us all.
The Socialist International expresses its condolences and solidarity to Txiki’s family and to its member party PSOE at this sad loss.