Carlos Reyes interviewed by Rel-UITA
HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 28 (Rel-UITA) – The day Porfirio Lobo Soda’s government was installed on Wednesday will be remembered in different ways according to the interpretation one wishes to make of this date.
For the coup supporters and their international allies, it will be the date of reconciliation and the return to normality by the country. For the Resistance, however, it will mark the continuity of a coup-supporting dictatorial régime controlled by the military and factions that are attempting to absolve themselves of their crimes and to deepen the neoliberal economic model.
On one hand, there was the pantomime of an inauguration in a national stadium packed with thousands of military troops and police, where the new president tried to sell to the world the image of a country that has been normalized and whose economic resources can now flow.
On the other, there was a gigantic march by the Resistance, which renewed its demonstrations by marching on Toncontin Airport to show the other face of a wounded but non-surrendering Honduras. They bid farewell to President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, finally able to end his confinement in the Brazilian embassy.
To analyze the Honduran situation a few hours before these events and to examine how the Resistance is preparing for the coming challenges, Rel-UITA spoke with Carlos H. Reyes, a member of the leadership of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) and president of the Union of Workers of the Beverage and Affiliated Industries (STIBYS).
What is changing in the country with the installation of a new government?
It doesn’t change anything. We are before a well-orchestrated plan to tell to the world that everything is now resolved in Honduras, and that with the new president the problems are over, because we have now reconciled.
Those who paint this picture are the same ones who planned and executed the coup, along with the media that supported it. They’re trying to convince the international community of this.
A few days ago we meet with a delegation from the German parliament, which told us that there was now reconciliation in Honduras and that the fact that leaders of the Democratic Unification Party (UD) are included in the incoming government was a sign that the Resistance was participating in this effort – which is a big lie.
Here, there have been nothing but lies since the beginning of the coup d’état, and they continue to lie.
Do you think the international community has certain interests, and that’s why it wants to believe the situation has been normalized?
It depends on what you understand by the “international community.” If we speak of the United States, there’s no doubt that it has directed this whole plan and that now it is trying to cover up one of the last stages of the coup to make people believe that everything will normalize.
There was not a coup against the Honduran people or against President Zelaya, but against a country and a continent that wants to change, to transform itself and to be guided along the paths of change and integration.
In this way the United States is the one most interested in creating this image, and certainly CNN will be the first to support this strategy, involving the rest of the international media. The message is to forget Honduras and to take advantage of the drama in Haiti to achieve that.
A well thought out and executed plan…
They even had a timetable, which they adhered to faithfully. I haven’t the slightest doubt that Porfirio Lobo’s signing of an agreement with the president of the Dominican Republic is also part of it; it is an attempt to give the image reconciliation to the world by allowing President Zelaya to leave the country.
What else could President Zelaya do? He could leave practically in exile or they could throw him in prison. I respect his decision.
However, the unwritten message of this agreement is “wipe the slate clean and start anew,” but the Resistance cannot support this in any way.
Everything is now ready for a general amnesty, and the Army’s high command was definitively dismissed by the Supreme Court of Justice…
These are the same coup forces who speak of amnesty and self-acquittal. They are reconciling with themselves, because the Resistance has not been taken into account. There can only be true reconciliation in Honduras through a national constituent assembly that restructures this country.
Will the Resistance recognize the new government?
From the beginning we said that we wanted the restoration of constitutional order through the reinstatement of President Zelaya; and that if that were not achieved, only a constituent assembly would be acceptable [to draft a new constitution].
The coup backers presented themselves in the elections, but we didn’t recognize that process, just as we didn’t recognize its results. Therefore, nor can we recognize a government that calls itself “new.” For us it’s the continuation of the previous government.
What’s happening in practice? STIBYS, for example, has just lost five labor disputes, among them two mediations for serious violations of the collective bargaining agreement with Pepsi Cola-CAB Corp and Coca-Cola-SABMiller. The new de facto minister annulled these negotiations.
In the another case, the new Social Insurance director ratified an agreement for a company medical system in the Honduran Brewery, which was illegal and one that the former director was not going to renew.
Faced with these situations, we will not legitimize the new government, nor will we stop defending ourselves. We will appeal to the appropriate authorities.
The Resistance is following a plan of defense, but also one of action against the attempt to deepen the neoliberal model.
In what way will you take action?
It is not about becoming a political party, because that would be a serious error. What we have to do is strengthen the Resistance, because it’s necessary to give it a head, a body, claws and wings, but with the wings to fly in the electoral arena once we have the strength.
We meet in Siguatepeque to clarify matters. What is essential is that we define strategies and tactics to move us closer to a definitive concretization.
Never in the past have we been in a situation like the current one. You could see the wealth of discussion and the deep analysis of what is occurring at the national and international levels.
This government is so weak that it’s possible it will fall soon. We will struggle against everything that aims to deepen the neoliberal model, moving toward the goal of a constituent assembly. If that doesn’t happen, and even though they [the government] continue with repression and murder, we’ll be ready for the 2013 elections.