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The people of Honduras have continued their resistance against the military coup d’etat in their country for more than 115 days. Their battle has broadened as actions and organizing goes into the many barrios of the country. The people have defied the brutality of the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti, which has openly imposed a decree suspending constitutional rights and repeatedly attacked protesters. All sectors of the people are united in defending rights and pursuing their demonstrations. Media outlets have been shutdown, only to re-emerge on the internet. Despite assassinations of leaders, mass detentions, teargas and more, the people have persisted in their demands: to restore elected President Zelaya to power and to have a constituent assembly where the people together write a constitution that favors the people.
Negotiations between Zelaya and the coup regime have been on-going for weeks and are now once again exhausted. The coup regime, as it has done from the start, refuses to accept restoring Zelaya to power and insists that it be recognized as the legitimate government. It is banking on the support of the U.S. to carry forward with November elections, which the resistance, the UN and governments worldwide have denounced as illegitimate as long as the coup regime remains in power. The resistance has also made clear that whether Zelaya is restored and whether elections are held in November, “Our unbreakable will to install a democratic and popular National Constitutional Assembly with which we will refound the country and rescue it from a minority economic class that exploits the working class.”
Voice of Revolution salutes the determined struggle of the Honduran people and their stand to put democracy that favors the people center stage. A modern constitution that empowers the people and defends the country from foreign interference is a vital step forward in the fight for democracy, in Honduras and elsewhere. It is precisely to block this demand that the oligarchs in Honduras, backed by the U.S. military, carried out the coup and are using violent repression against the people.
We again call on President Barack Obama to break his silence on Honduras. If, as he states, he wishes to contribute to democracy in the world, then publicly denouncing the repression of the coup regime, cutting all U.S. aid, and removing U.S. troops is required. The U.S. military continues to back the coup and has long used Honduras as a launching pad for U.S. aggression in the region. It is the most reactionary forces in Honduras backed by the most reactionary forces in the U.S. that supported the coup and are now maneuvering to keep Zelaya out of power and block democracy. Obama’s refusal to take a public stand and act to end U.S. support for the coup regime means the attack on democracy continues.
In addition, since Zelaya’s return September 21, Obama has made no statements concerning returning Zelaya to power and the documented violence and attacks on rights by the Micheletti coup regime. This includes attacks on the Brazilian Embassy where Zelaya is staying, which represent a significant increase in violence against a sovereign embassy and international law. Still Obama remains silent.
At the same time, State Department spokespeople have indicated that the U.S. will shift its position and recognize November elections in Honduras organized by the illegal coup regime, if the coup regime changes the “environment” on the ground. Undersecretary Philip Crowley said “We are going to clearly tell the de facto regime the very specific things that they have to do that change the conditions on the ground that would lead us to adjust our view of the upcoming election.” U.S. designated mediator Oscar Arias has reported that coup leader Roberto Micheletti said he was willing to lift the decree imposing a state of siege against the people of Honduras so the electoral process could advance. “He agreed with me that without individual rights and with constitutional guarantees suspended no electoral campaign can take place,” said Arias. He emphasized, “The worst that can happen to Honduras is that a majority of countries do not recognize the winner of elections scheduled for November 29.”
The people of Honduras and those worldwide have said such elections, organized by an illegal regime that came to power through a military coup d’etat would not be legitimate. Restoring President Zelaya to power and elimination of the broad repression, of which the decree is only one part, are necessary. It appears that the U.S. thinks it can now salvage the situation by restraining Micheletti to some extent for another month, while blocking Zelaya’s return or greatly limiting his power. This is a stand that favors the coup and the Honduran oligarchs.
The resistance in Honduras has continued to defend and support Zelaya and his return to power as president. They have also emphasized that whether he is restored as president and whether there are elections, the movement will continue the fight for a constituent assembly where representatives of the people together write a new Constitution. This is the stand for democracy in Honduras and one that contributes to the struggle for democracy worldwide.
Voice of Revolution salutes the struggle of the people of Honduras and demands that the U.S. cut all aid, remove U.S. troops and denounce the coup regime. Support the Honduran Resistance! Support the Constituent Assembly!
The National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras communicates to the Honduran population and the international community:
1. We denounce the manipulative acts and delay tactics with which the de facto regime tries to buy time and get to the electoral farce of November 29th without having re-established the institutional order and without having returned to his post the legitimate President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
2. We reiterate that the Honduran people will not recognize the campaign and the results of the electoral process of the 29th of November while the dictatorial regime that the oligarchy sustains through armed force continues.
3. We condemn the disinformation campaign carried out by the media in service of the oligarchy through which they attempt to present the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d'Etat as a violent organization. We reiterate that the methods of peaceful struggle are the only ones that we have used throughout 115 days of resistance.
4. We denounce the economic crisis through which the de facto regime is taking us and which is provoking an increase in the levels of poverty of the population.
5. We express our indignation at the continuation of the repression by the police and military bodies of the State, which is expressed in assassinations of militants of the Resistance, actions of intimidation and surrounding the marches and rallies, the illegal and immoral juridical processes which persecute and jail our sisters and brothers and, more recently, the actions of harassment and intimidation against teachers throughout the country.
6. We reiterate our unbreakable will to install a democratic and popular National Constitutional Assembly with which we will refound the country and rescue it from a minority economic class that exploits the working class.
“At 115 Days of Struggle, Nobody is Giving Up”
Activists reporting from Honduras have brought to the fore the determined demand of the resistance to organize a constituent assembly of representatives of the peoples to write a new constitution for Honduras. As Al Giordano, representing many, writes, “Reporting throughout Honduras over the past 118 days of resistance to the coup d’etat, we heard the same thing from the people on the ground wherever we went: That whether or not President Manuel Zelaya returns to the post he was elected to serve, that whether or not “elections” happen on November 29, that whether or not the world views them as legitimate, all of that is secondary to the people’s primary demand: for a new Constitution and a constituent assembly (“constituente”) of elected representatives from every sector of society to write it democratically.
“We heard the demand for constituente from the northeastern cities of Trujillo, Tocoa, and Saba and the nearby farms of Guadalupe Tepayac. We heard it throughout our reporting from coastal La Ceiba and from the Afro-Honduran and Garifuna communities throughout that coast. From the popular barrios of San Pedro Sula and the highway blockades of Comayagua the same central demand was on everyone’s lips: ¡Constituente! From the colonias in resistance throughout greater Tegucigalpa, ¡Constituente! From the western mountains of Santa Rosa de Copán to the fields and jungle outposts of Olancho, the same demand: ¡Constituente! That is what a majority of the Honduran people seek and that is precisely what the coup d’etat – supported by only 17 percent of the public, according to the COIMER & OP poll – was executed to try to stop.
“It was this yearning for a new Constitution – and President Zelaya’s endorsement of the people’s desire to vote on it – that provoked the coup d’etat on June 28. That was the date that Hondurans were scheduled to vote on a non-binding referendum – a “consulta” – about whether they would like to cast ballots on November 29 into a “fourth ballot box” (“cuarta urna”) for or against such a constituent assembly to democratically remake the Constitution and the nation.
“The coup on that date not only illegally removed the President from the country, it not only shut down the two most trusted TV and radio news networks in the land, but it also unleashed a wave of violent military and police attacks on the referendum ballots and boxes throughout every municipality in the country to prevent that non-binding consulta from happening. Why did they attack cardboard boxes? Because the oligarchs and the minority 17 percent of Hondurans that are with them knew full well that the results of that referendum would have demonstrated that an overwhelming of majority of Hondurans want to vote to construct a new Constitution. And that national expression of popular will would have created unstoppable momentum toward that goal.
“And since the current Constitution – drafted in 1982 by those in power, including current coup dictator Roberto Micheletti – allows for a fixed playing field in which the few control the resources and freedoms of the many, the one thing the coup regime cannot tolerate is that the Constitution be rewritten to become one that is of, by and for the people. That small group in power knows very well that the majority of the people no longer want the few to decide everything for them. [Whatever the election results], on November 30, the center of the national agenda will remain, and more strongly become, the public demand for a new constitution — and a constituent assembly to make it democratically so.”
The military coup in Honduras of 28 June 2009 has been stripped of its democratic facade. The watchwords of the de facto regime that have emerged from the violence are: "God, Law and Order."
The regime has openly adopted the methods of Stroessner, the late dictator of Paraguay, on declaring a State of Emergency — in reality a State of Siege — that aims to suppress all resistance and silence all opposition. It has closed down Radio Globo and CHOLUSAT SUR, the two principal media houses that have continuously and valiantly provided news on the real situation in Honduras.
The legitimate president of the Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, together with his family and associates, have been subjected to physical and psychological intimidation; and to all intents and purposes have been deprived of their liberty in the embassy of Brazil, in violation of international treaties.
International pressure has forced the de facto regime to dialogue with President Zelaya. But this is a solipsistic dialogue that is being prolonged cynically and interminably, with the aim of legitimizing the forthcoming “elections” being conducted under the “democracy” of the coupists.
The country is deeply divided between those supporting the coup and those who are against it. The two sides have completely different and antagonistic philosophies, discourses, practices and methods.
The golpista (coup) philosophy assumes that it is the owner of reality by right and by inheritance. That reality is fixed and immutable, established and sanctified by the god of the powerful and the theology of armed and violent oppressors. A reality in which the gilded world of the rich is in confrontation with the oppressive world of the poor and with those who have no right to justice and to love.
The golpistas’ conception of the world is based on an historical, ontological, vision; one in which the social being has no place and the people do not exist. It is this frame of reference that justified the military coup that aborted the holding of a non-binding poll of the "Fourth Urn" in which the people were to be asked their opinion on the installation of a Constituent Assembly. The golpista ideology holds that the existing "Constitution is God." Its advisors and practitioners are disciples of the Latin American School of the Americas and of the extreme right in the United States and Latin America.
The epistemology underlying the vision of the golpistas is one that totally ignores the potential of the people as a subject capable of understanding and changing social reality. Knowledge and education are a function of the market and of capital accumulation. The regime’s assumptions of its own validity and political legitimacy go along with a kind of legal formalism in which the law is completely separate from social life. This method is not only perverse but false, for it flagrantly distorts the truth. It denies that a military coup took place, falsifies records and ignores the systematic violations of human rights and corruption.
The concrete method of the golpistas is to promote a "syndrome of attrition and of physical, mental and political exhaustion." The strategy seeks to defeat the opposition by means of irregular warfare; media, religious and military terrorism; detentions, beatings and torture. It includes assassinations of leaders, teachers, artists, youth and women — femicide has increased by 60 percent. The economic cost of the military coup in the first three months has been over $800 million, implying a loss of nearly $30 million a day.
But in the face of all this pain and suffering a giant has awoken; a new hope has been born. The people have rediscovered themselves. Moved by their dreams of freedom, they act in defiance of those who have hitherto sought to shut the people out of the making of history.
The myths of media power have been shattered. The powerful, with their technology of manipulation, have failed to deceive the people. The walls of silence have collapsed. Charcoal burners, the colors of the earth, have served as tools for the working people and artists in the making of their own history: in writing, painting, dancing, acting, singing the poetry of freedom; confronting tanks, shrapnel, toxic gases and treacherous daggers with shouts of pain and anger: "Golpistas! Golpistas!"
A people have been born, a new hope, in the form of the National Resistance Front Against the Military Coup. Its objectives are organized mobilization to struggle against injustice, to build political power through genuine participation of the citizenry in the National Constituent Assembly and to profoundly transform the Constitution of the Republic.
Its principles are based on "Non-Violence." It has sustained over one hundred days of heroic marches under the sun and the rain of bullets, beatings, stabbings and the terror of noxious gases. However, in a country under military occupation by the United States, where the cowardly armed forces and police spend huge amounts of money at the expense of hunger and disease of children and environmental destruction by multinational corporations — they will never extinguish the courage and the voices of nonviolence shouting in every corner of Honduras: Long Live the Resistance!
The martyrdom and heroism of the Honduran Resistance is a call to all peoples of the world for no more military coups and no more military bases in Latin America. It is a call for harmony amongst all people and peace among all nations; for respect for the dignity of our peoples and for their history; for social and environmental justice in the heart of Mother Earth.
The path of hope and liberation, in the face of crimes against humanity, is through full consolidation of the Resistance as a nonviolent political, cultural and spiritual force that builds and leads the taking of power.
No change that is genuinely democratic can occur without the participation of the Resistance Against the Military Coup, the largest and most significant political force in Honduras. The Resistance is the most indisputable historical fact of our present and of the future — a force with which the people dream and are constructing the dawn of a new day for our country.
(Juan Almendares is an internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner. He is President of the Honduras Peace Committee and Executive Director of the Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their families (CPTRT) in Tegucigalpa. Reprinted from www.normangirvan.info).
"Putschists Out!" The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH, on the occasion of the commemoration of the date that our peoples and territories began to be the subject of genocide, exploitation, extraction and destruction; transmits the following statement:
1. We condemn once more the assassinations, tortures and all type of attacks suffered by the indigenous peoples by the colonialist powers and their criminal institutions throughout theses 517 años.
2. We denounce the execution of a plan of world domination against the peoples of the world, which is executed through the implementation of the neoliberal system and the imperialist wars of invasion, with the goal of taking power over all the natural resources of the planet and subjecting humanity to extreme exploitation.
3. We call the peoples of the world to resist and defeat the order of exploitation advanced by the fascists and construct in its place a society of fraternity and solidarity living in harmony between humans and nature.
4. We condemn the political-military dictatorship that with armed force took power in Honduras through a cruel coup d'etat which has left in its wake various killed Hondurans and a huge quantity of beaten, tortured and politically persecuted women and men. This coup d'etat is part of the plan of world domination with the objective of taking power over the natural resources of Honduras and stopping in Honduras the processes of emancipation of the Latin American peoples.
5. We make a call to the Honduran people to deepen the resistance against the dictatorship until we defeat them and achieve the punishment of Roberto Micheletti, the coup-plotting Supreme Court magistrates and congresspeople, the attorney general of the state, the leadership of the Catholic and Evangelical church, the commissioner of human rights who today is supporting the violation of human rights of the Honduran people by the entire police and military leadership. We also call for the convening of a national Constitutional Assembly with representatives who emit a new constitution of the republic that allows a new juridical framework and a new set of institutions in the name of participatory democracy.
6. We call on the peoples of the world to support the Honduran people not just to be in solidarity but as a means of self-defense since if this coup d'etat wins all the processes of emancipation of the peoples of the world will be more at risk.
With the ancestral force of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices of life, justice, liberty, dignity and peace.
After 517 years of struggle nobody is giving up here!
Intibucà, Honduras - October 12th, 2009
(Translated by Honduras Resists)
U.S. Indicates It Will Recognize Elections in Honduras Organized by Coup Regime
While President Barack Obama has chosen to remain silent concerning recent developments in Honduras, the State Department has made several statements. They indicate that the U.S. will recognize elections in Honduras organized by the coup regime if the decree eliminating constitutional rights is lifted and possibly without the return to power of elected president Manuel Zelaya. Below are recent statements made by State Department spokesman Ian Kelly, Assistance Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
October 20, 2009: Ian Kelly, State Department Daily Press Briefing
MR. KELLY: Just to update you that the negotiations [in Honduras] continue, that – between the two teams with the help of OAS officials. They’ve reached agreement on most aspects of the Guaymuras version of the San Jose Accords. There’s just one – there’s one article that remains a point of contention, and that’s Article 6, which deals with the restoration of individuals to positions that they had before June 28 – right? Yeah, that’s – most importantly, President Zelaya.
And we just urge the two sides to stick to it, and we urge the de facto regime in particular to help open a pathway for international support of the election by concluding the agreement. We believe that an agreement is – could lead to elections that are internationally recognized, and is ultimately the way out of this crisis.
October 7, 2009, Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Public Affairs, Foreign Press Center
Today, you have a very important mission by the Organization of American States (OAS) to Honduras. The United States has been very supportive of this mission, and it is appropriate that the United States should be a part of this mission. It’s led by OAS Secretary General Insulza. They are on the ground and they will be meeting with a range of parties – the de facto regime, President Zelaya, but also the candidates who have declared for – to be the next president of Honduras, and the business community.
And the message is the same – that this crisis has to be resolved. It’s gone on now for too long. Honduras is facing an important election on November 29th. As the United States and other countries of the region have said, you do not have the conditions in Honduras today that lend themselves to a free and fair election. Those conditions will have to change if we are to have a new government in Honduras that will have the support not only of the people of Honduras, but also the international community.
There are very specific things that Honduras will have to do going forward to change those conditions to give us confidence that the election result is something that we can support. So the United States, being a part of this OAS process, we thought it was very important for the United States to be represented in this delegation, and Tom Shannon is there. […]
I think our position has been very clearly stated, which is, under current circumstances, we will not support the result – we will not recognize the result of an election under the current conditions. I mean, think of it this way. Until earlier this week, the de facto regime had issued a decree that imposed serious restrictions on civil rights, on media reporting on the ground in Honduras. Under those conditions, you can’t have a free, fair, and legitimate election.
Now, the regime has rescinded the decree, but you still have the constrained environment on the ground in Tegucigalpa. So ultimately, what you’re going to have – what we are going to clearly tell the de facto regime in the meetings over the next day is the very specific things that they have to do that change the conditions on the ground that would lead us to adjust our view of the upcoming election.
Now, the best way to do that is for the de facto regime and President Zelaya to sign the San Jose Accords, as we have made clear. Now – or come to some other mutually agreed solution. Now, within the San Jose Accords, you have many of the ingredients that can lead Honduras out of this crisis – having an environment that allows a free and fair election, making sure that the election is properly administered and monitored by international officials, having a reconciliation process that deals with the current fissure that precipitated this crisis in the first place.
So there are a lot of steps that we’ll have to see in Honduras if we are going to change our view of the current situation, but obviously, the clock is ticking. It is – the election is scheduled for November 29. You can’t just snap your fingers overnight and produce a free and fair election. We’ve seen that clearly in Afghanistan, that this takes an awful lot of work to put together under a difficult environment. So this is – the reason why we continue – we’re there today and the reason why we continue this effort through the OAS is because we recognize that the time is now and the situation is urgent.
October 5, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, George Washington University
Hillary Clinton: [In Latin America] there has been a pulling away from democracy, from human rights, from the kind of partnership that we would want with our neighbors. So in Honduras, we are standing for the principle of democratic and constitutional order. And we have done that, I think, much to the amazement of many of the very leaders you are talking about who have become increasingly anti-American in their actions and their messages.
So I think it is important that the United States do everything we can to prevent either the hijacking of democracy by people who get elected once and then decide there never should be a real election again, or by the return to military coups, where people are elected and even if you disagree with them, they should finish out their term in an orderly way. So we’re working very hard to reach a conclusion in Honduras that will permit the elections to go forward, that will follow what President Arias of Costa Rica did in the San Jose Accords to try to get Honduras back on the path to a more sustainable democracy.
The people in Honduras deserve that. They really have struggled hard to get to where they were before there was the disruption and the exiling of President Zelaya. And we hope that we can help them get back on the right path.
Senator DeMint Calls for U.S.
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is reportedly ready to release his holds against two top administration Latin America appointees. the South Carolina senator told The Cable, and he predicts the State Department will soon recognize the upcoming Honduran elections as legitimate.
In an interview with The Cable, reported on October 20, DeMint said he was seeing signs of movement from the State Department related to U.S. policy in Honduras and that he had come close to an agreement over his hold on the appointments in meetings with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon.
DeMint has been blocking votes in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the nominations of Shannon for ambassador to Brazil and Arturo Valenzuela to take Shannon's post. Shannon has been part of the OAS negotiations in Honduras and met with coup regime leader Roberto Micheletti. DeMint is a supporter of Micheletti and his coup government.
Speaking of discussions with Shannon on planned November elections in Honduras, DeMint said, "We got a lot of agreement in the area of coming to terms with recognizing the upcoming elections there." He added, "That's what I'm waiting for from our government, signals that we're going to recognize those elections and move forward." He said, "I'm anxious to release both of the holds, but I'm not going to do that until I see some positive movements from the administration."
Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias called on the international community to collaborate with November presidential elections in Honduras. Arias was designated by the U.S. to mediate dialogue between elected President Manuel Zelaya and the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti. The dialogue has come to a standstill as the Micheletti government refuses to restore Zelaya to power, the firm demand of the Honduran people and peoples and governments worldwide. Without Zelaya’s return and without an end to the coup’s violent repression against the resistance, government’s worldwide have also said they would not recognize the results of the November Honduran elections. Arias, now is putting forward a different view, one that echoes those from the U.S. State Department.
Arias said, “The worst that can happen is to isolate Honduras.” He insisted the international community must do its utmost to ensure the electoral process takes place. Arias called on both sides of the conflict to sign and abide by his proposal, which includes the reinstatement of Zelaya and an amnesty for the military involved in his ousting.
Arias also reported that coup leader Roberto Micheletti said he was willing to lift the decree imposing a state of siege against the people of Honduras so the electoral process could advance. “He agreed with me that without individual rights and with constitutional guarantees suspended no electoral campaign can take place,” said Arias. He emphasized, “The worst that can happen to Honduras is that a majority of countries do not recognize the winner of elections scheduled for November 29.” Arias is thus putting forward that the elections can take place without restoring Zelaya to power and that they should be recognized.