Special from Rel-UITA
HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 27 – (Rel UITA) – Two days short of the Honduran “elections,” it appears these will be recognized as legitimate by only four countries around the world: the United States, Peru, Panama and Colombia.
While the de facto government has deployed more than 30,000 troops of the army and police across the entire country, as well as calling up thousands of army reservists to safeguard the electoral process, the National Front Against the Coup d’état continues with its call to the public to boycott the vote. In addition, that opposition organization persists in its condemnation of systematic violations of human rights and is preparing for a new stage of struggle.
“Over the last few days we have witnessed an increase in repression on the part of the de facto government, as well as the veritable militarization of the country,” alerted Porfirio Ponce, the vice-president of the Union of Workers of the Beverage and Affiliated Industries (STIBYS) and a member of the National Front Against the Coup d’état.
“They have prepared a contingency plan for hospitals that entails the release of patients who are not fully recovered so as to free up beds. What’s more, along the nation’s main highways they’ve set up numerous military check points; for example, along the 4-5 hour drive from San Pedro Sula to the capital there are 14 such posts.
“There have been incursions by the army and the police in neighborhoods of the capital, especially in those where the resistance is the most organized, and they continue with arrests. Leaders of the resistance have received direct threats, as has a good part the population that refuses to recognize this process.”
“However,” Ponce continued, “we will continue with our actions until Saturday, November 28, and of course following the political circus.”
Partial Defeat & New Phase of Struggle
For the union leader, this coming Sunday will be an electoral farce played out within the framework set up by those who executed the coup d’état, which unfortunately has proved impossible to reverse. That day, however, will mark the beginning of a new phase of the struggle of the Honduran people; it will be a partial defeat that opens the door to a new and necessary stage of political struggle.
“We will begin a new organizational phase and, necessarily, we will have to change our strategy, because after the elections we will enter to a new scenario, a different conjuncture.
“As organizations that make up the resistance,” Ponce explained, “it will be necessary to analyze this new situation and decide on new measures and actions, and at the proper time -after a broad meeting that we are organizing- we will announce these to the people.”
These five months under the coup have left the blood of our murdered comrades and the undoing of all progress made over the last few years, but it’s also resulted in a process in which the different union and mass organizations have joined together. Now we have to become unified for this new stage of the struggle,” she asserted.
The Coup Could Not Be Reversed
Likewise, for political analyst Gustavo Irias, “These will be atypical elections, with a constitutional President practically imprisoned and with no possibility of this being a free and transparent contest.”
“In addition, without the participation of the National Front Against the Coup d’état, these elections cannot constitute a truly sustainable way out of the crisis. We are faced with two very different directions for Honduran society: one that seeks to defend a traditional form of democracy that has not meant great benefits for most of the population, and another one that seeks to deepen participative democracy,” said Irias.
“In this sense,” he added,” it’s necessary to recognize that the coup d’état could not reversed, and that we are faced with an electoral process that has been set up by the de facto government to consolidate that very same coup.”
“This is something the resistance has to take into account in proposing a new phase of the struggle to build a broad political front that can advance a program that points to the reestablishment of democracy in the country, one that raises the major social demands and that can assure Honduras is reinserted in a real way into the world democratic system.
“It’s obvious,” the political analyst concluded, “that it will be necessary for a period of transition in which the resistance avails itself of all the political and social experience accumulated from this struggle, which undoubtedly is a historical landmark and milestone for the country.”
While the few accredited observers of the election begin arriving, mainly members of organizations of the extreme international right wing, and President Manuel Zelaya is continuing with his appeal to the international community to refuse to recognize the outcome of this farce, the ambiguous role of the Obama administration becomes increasingly obscure with each passing day, which has triggered adverse reactions from governments in the region.
On November 25, the foreign policy adviser of Brazilian president Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva openly stated that the United States “risks straining relations with a large part of Latin America if the presidential election in Honduras is recognized.”