By: Carlos Aznárez / Source: Resumne Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / December 2, 2017
Since that tragic day in June 2009 when the army and the police, following orders from Washington, captured President Mel Zelaya and took over the government, any semblance of democracy ceased to exist in Honduras. One after another, the Presidents who succeeded Zelaya (Micheletti, Lobo and the current Hernandez) can be considered legitimate heirs of that violent and illegal action against a government that the people had voted for. That is why it is not surprising what is taking place at this time. Their intentions are to carry out an electoral coup to impose the re-election of current President Juan Orlando Hernández, to which the vast majority of Hondurans have derogatorily named him JOH.
Honduras is not just one more country in Central America. It has since the bleak times of the United Fruit Company to those years when it served as training bases for the Nicaraguan paramilitary “contras”, been the territory that has always been a subservient country of support for the most violent militaristic policies of the United States in the region. Palmerola and Mosquitia are the names of two powerful bases of the U.S. military sitting in the geography of Honduras. From there, the US not only directs interventions on local politics but also pushes its influence over all of Central America. The other U.S. base of aggression is in its own Embassy, which currently is a hive of consultations between pro-Government leaders and local chiefs of the CIA. Endorsing that history of intrusion, the current Government returns not only to show it most ugly face but also its most violent. Anything goes to defend a re-election that is rejected by large majorities of the people of Honduras and the people throughout all of Latin America.
There were many whom in the middle of the campaign of the Alliance of Opposition against the Dictatorship candidate, Salvador Nasralla, began to see glimpsed that what was coming was going to be more than difficult. The coming elections smelled of fraud from every possible angle, since the ruling apparatus not only had sufficient economic resources to put out their deceitful slogans but that many of the leaders of the opposition were criminalized, persecuted and threatened.
Supported by the Partido Libre, which surely would not be able to win by itself, journalist Nasralla had to radicalize his speech and tone with the campaign in which he had embarked. From the outside of the opposition coalition, the wisdom of the men and women of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), the militant organization to which Berta Cáceres led until she was killed, denounced that voting under these circumstances did not guarantee anything good for the popular sectors of Honduran society. And there were right.
Without doubt Nasralla won this election, but the regime manipulated the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to paralyze the recount of votes, and now over one week since the election, they are using the lack of final results to shout “victory” for the incumbent President. This way they get to consolidate the fraud in the bright light of the day and with the presence of a number international observers. Some of them of course are in complicity with the theft, like those representing the Organization of American States (OAS) headed by the right-wing Bolivian coup supporter Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, and others, a little more “professional” in the task for which they have been convened. Feebly they have protested the long delay in the vote count but are run over by the wave of the hegemonic media and the silence of the Governments of the region.
In these circumstances the Honduran people, the true victim of these repeated violations, do not have any other choice but to fight back against this criminal power, not only for the dead which are already adding up, according to the government account in these last hours, but for all those killed under the time and leadership of JOH, when social leaders, students, peasants, journalists fell under the murderous bullets of the militarized police forces. The same thing happened on Friday night to the young Kimberly Dayana Fonseca who was executed while she protested the fraud along with her neighbors.
Hondurans are are not just another people, they are the same ones that for almost a year – after the overthrow of Zelaya – did not stop mobilizing a single day, blocking roads and generating huge protests that shocked the world. A people who knew how to unite into a Front of Resistance that only began to lose strength when the illusion of the electoral road appeared on the horizon. Now they have returned to insist on that path and again, the Empire – authentic manager of what puppet JOH does and think – showed it is not even willing to accept even a moderate change of opposition. It considers Honduras its colony and if they need to massacre people again as they did at the time of United Fruit, they will not hesitate to do so.
That is why today all of those who are fighting in the streets against the national arrogance – all of them, the Partido Libre, the followers of Nasralla, the COPINH and even up to the Liberal Party of Luis Zelaya–know that they no longer have anything to lose and that they are putting their lives out there in the attempt. But also, they are showing to the continent that now is not the time for another setback or hesitation against a right-wing onslaught that wants to recolonize the region.
The United States, it’s Southern Command, it’s multinationals, and it paramilitaries are coming on strong. They are trying to array a scene that seeks to make Honduras an example for the continent. That they will succeed or not, will depend on the resistance they face on their way. The Honduran people are marking , in that sense, an example of what needs to be done. The streets are its best scenario for the fraud not to pass unnoticed, to make visible at the international level what the ‘democracy’ of JOH and his mafia is all about. It also offers a light to rethink what happened in Sunday’s elections, and what kind of project of power are needed so that the Homeland of Morazan can be reborn. As it was in 2009, in the neighborhoods and at the roads blocked by thousands of protesters the slogan that became a hymn can be heard again; “They are afraid because we are not afraid,” followed by another more current chant; “JOH Out”. What we need to do is to create the warmth of people to people solidarity to be felt before it is too late.