Honduras: Coups or fraud, it’s all the same

[Translation of an article from Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for November 28, 2013. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The scandalous theft of the November 24 election in Honduras confirms the high degree of coordination and planning in the offensive being conducted by the United States and the oligarchies against the popular forces and governments of our region. Who knows what Secretary Kerry had been smoking when he proclaimed to the OAS the end of the Monroe Doctrine.

The offensive works in several directions. On the one hand, incessant media and economic assault and destabilization plans against the progressive forces that have come to govern, as can be seen in Venezuela in a very aggressive way in the past few months, but which also occur with different degrees of intensity in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil.

The strategy is very clear. What is sought as a fundamental and final objective is to bring down those governments as soon as the opportunity arises, by means of coups d’état which almost never fit the conventional molds. This is what happened in Venezuela (2002), Bolivia (2008) and Ecuador (2010), although they failed, and in Honduras itself (2009) and Paraguay (2012), where they succeeded.

Who in his right mind could deny that the agricultural bosses’ lockout in Argentina (2008) was moving in that direction before it was stopped. So, including the coup d’état against President Aristide in Haiti (2004), seven serious attempts to disrupt constitutional order, failed or successful, have been carried out in our region in the past nine years. And this when we are in the period of transition to democracy!

Electoral fraud is another important component of the oligarchic and imperialistic offensive, since it seeks not only to topple  governments that are struggling for a second independence, for unity and for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, but also to prevent forces and efforts moving in that direction from winning elections and governing. It is hard to imagine that the United States would not be involved in the controversial election results seen in Mexico, especially in 2006 and 2012.

But the case of Honduras is that much more eloquent since it was there that Washington sponsored the first successful coup d’état of the Obama era four years ago. At the time of his ouster, President Manuel Zelaya was leading nothing like a revolution but rather a moderate attempt at social reform of the ancestral oligarchic order and the reaffirmation of national independence and sovereignty, but even that was much more than the Power of the North was willing to tolerate. All the more so in the case of Honduras, with its position of enormous value in the strategic plans of the Southern Command of the Yankee armed forces.

With this precedent, what occurred was to be expected. The United States ambassador leading the orchestra of fraud, with the complicity of major sectors of the uncouth local oligarchy. Not to mention all the institutions of the state, which are, in the end, of golpista origins. The elections have been stolen from the Partido Libre, among other reasons because its platform demanded the same policies applied or planned by Zelaya before the coup.

But although this is important, it is not the most significant part. What is extraordinary and most transcendent in Honduras is that this party is the political instrument of one of the most formidable and combative mass movements in the history of Honduras and Central America. A movement born fighting against the coup that has managed as well to bring together very diverse forces and unprecedented popular energies.

United beneath the banner of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP), it has been waging a genuinely epic battle against the golpistas. The FNRP has arisen and organized in a country with a prevailing climate of state terror in which its militants, social activists and journalists are frequently assassinated or subjected to violent intimidation, as happened again before and during the elections. Yesterday a student march against the coup was attacked and gassed.

If the enormous popular support it enjoys led the FNRP to overestimate its possibilities in the face of the enemy, it will surely analyze this and reach its conclusions.

What is beyond doubt is that there is no other organization in Honduras as capable of representing popular aspirations or bringing the entire country to its feet against fraud, for justice and national independence.

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