Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What the curfew means...

The Micheletti regime is, as Adrienne Pine notes, engaged in a fairly major effort to try to contain the resistance, by imposing the curfew and then extending it to 6 PM tomorrow (a full 26 hours).

Many commentators have been wondering what Zelaya can achieve by returning to Honduras as he has.

But perhaps we are asking the wrong question. What can Micheletti hope to do now?

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle notes that
perhaps equally important is that people are not obeying the curfew, the are on the streets and in the highways... if by tomorrow at this time we are all still there, the battle is won...
My initial response was to doubt that the demonstrators hanging on for a day would make so much difference.

But the reports from around the Embassy are of undiminished crowds, ignoring the attempt, as another Honduran friend says, to turn "the entire country into a large prison".

And what more can Micheletti really do? The eyes of the world are on the crowds in Tegucigalpa. Ordering the security forces to remove the crowd runs the risk of exposing the fiction of a peaceful, constitutional government in a way never so clear in the past months. And there is always the possibility that the security forces might decide not to follow orders.

Micheletti cannot violate the embassy; to do so would provide a basis for international reaction. And he can no longer maintain the illusion that there is no support for Zelaya's restoral.

As announcers on Radio Globo are saying as I write this, there are not enough jails to contain all the people gathered to support the restoral of the constitutional President. Radio announcers have suggested the crowds run into the tens of thousands.

The lawyers for the Resistance, meanwhile, have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the curfew, which was imposed, yet again, without proper processes.

At some point, the people supporting the de facto regime will have to decide to cut their losses and start negotiating. Micheletti, who has rejected every potential overture, and now has added a demand that Oscar Arias no longer be a mediator, will have to be ignored and someone else step forward to speak for the coup factions.

Update:Voselsoberano has published a call from the Resistance Front time-stamped 10:25 PM. In it, they call for members of the resistance from across the country to come to Tegucigalpa. And their goal is not merely to start negotiation on the San Jose Accord: restoring the President is only a first step to the reformation of the country, through constitutional reform:
Therefore, the National Front Against the Coup d'Etat summons all the members of the resistance on the national level to mobilize toward the capital of the Republic, specifically the Embassy of Brazil, to support President Zelaya, guarantee the process of refounding of the country and demand in a peaceful manner the establishment of the National Constituent Assembly.

Por ello, el Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado convoca a todos los miembros de la resistencia a nivel a nacional para que se movilicen hacia la capital de la república, específicamente a la Embajada de Brasil, para apoyar al presidente Zelaya, garantizar el proceso de refundación del país y exigir de manera pacífica el establecimiento de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.
The Cuarta Urna would have been a lot slower; in retrospect, the coup regime may wonder why they took their foolish steps on such a mild and measured approach to what now can be demanded as the cost of restored civic order.


boz said...

Micheletti cannot violate the embassy; to do so would provide a basis for international reaction.

I'm afraid that you might be wrong on that one. I don't think Micheletti is particularly concerned about offending international sensibilities at the moment. If he gets backed into a corner, this may be the most "logical" option for him to take, which is a scary thought.

RAJ said...

"Cannot" was the wrong word: clearly, there is nothing Micheletti seems unprepared to do.

But I continued to hope that even he would see that attacking an embassy would bring home to everyone in the world community the violence of the regime.

It is thus of interest to me that finally, Hillary Clinton is hitting a real firm note: and it is about the inviolability of the embassy.

So maybe I should have written, "Micheletti dare not violate the embassy (if he knows what is good for him)".