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.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"The White Frog in a Negligee": Rodolfo Pastor discusses Roberto Micheletti

I will confess to a bias against dwelling in serious terms on any of the golpistas individually. These are not great politicians, subtle thinkers, or even particularly effective power-seekers. The executive appointments they made have brought to international attention a racist clown and a rabid anti-intellectual, and those are just the people whose actions have been visible enough that we know about them.

The maximum leader of the coup faction himself seems to have no plan for getting out of the mess he created, and is given to false claims of recognition of his government by countries that then have to disclaim him. His rhetoric of defiance ("Honduras does not need the world community") would be laughable if it were not clear he actually means it.

But: there remains the opportunity for those with exceptional political knowledge to create clarity even in contemplating such unlikely subjects. Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, on Vos el Soberano, has accomplished this unexpected feat, in an editorial called White Frog in a Negligee: Or, Why Roberto Micheletti Doesn't need God, the People, Nor the World.

"White Frog", Pastor Fasquelle explains, is a name given Micheletti in his hometown (El Progreso, Yoro, better known to most people interested in the resistance to the coup for the Jesuit-run Radio Progreso). Dr. Pastor writes that "He has been trying to run away, by means of the unexpected resignation and they say, and I don't know this for certain, that a few days ago he tried to escape without saying adios, and that Romeo [Vasquez Velasquez] was sent to detain him." Definitely not a heroic figure.

And yet, Pastor Fasquelle notes, citing "an anonymous cybernaut", that Micheletti has inadvertently accomplished a very great deal, most of it against his own interests:
1) He got to be President, even though it is "de facto"

2) He took a crap in the Cuarta Urna and now it is not necessary

3) He guaranteed that there will be the Constituent Assembly he sought to avoid.

4) He woke up and made increase the left in Honduras

5) He augmented the leadership of Mel and created that of Xiomara de Zelaya

6) He crapped on Elvin, revenging himself for his defeat in the primary.

7) He unmasked all Honduras, for having tolerated him all his life.

8) He united the whole world on one objective.

9) He crapped on the prestige that had cost the military so much to recover.

10) He gave political options to Carlos H. Reyes.

11) He crapped on the economy of the country.

12) He managed to un-visa a bunch of people.

13) He has shown us as a country of savages and fakes.

14) He succeeded in making scandals finally last more than 8 days, and

15) He created new martyrs in Honduras.
Quite a lot to get done in just over two months.

On a more somber note, Pastor Fasquelle writes:
The Hondurans of my generation treasured the idea that, for the past thirty years we were building a democratic institutionality and we lived painfully with its defects and limitations. Today, nothing remains of that fiction.
Democracy-building of the last thirty years was a fiction. This is a bitter pill to swallow.

But there are those unintended consequences Micheletti put in action: a renewed left, accomplishing the popular participation that the cuarta urna campaign envisaged, and ensuring that there is more support for constitutional reform, not less; so maybe what this harsh episode will be seen as accomplishing from the perspective of history is unmasking the reality of the unsatisfactory "democracy" of the past thirty years, and promoting the emergence of something more real in its place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the best part.

Micheletti as a penco.

Unless one has some familiarity with actual livestock, this probably has little resonance. But for shepherds, pencos are a serious bane. One has to ensure that the ewe bonds with the lamb within 30-60 minutes after birth, or the lamb becomes a penco scorned by the ewe. Which means that the shepherd has to spend all of his time feeding and tending to the penco.

Now, Micheletti is the penco. Who is the ewe and who is the shepherd? I would guess that the oligarchy is the ewe and the shepherd is the US.

It's a brilliant metaphor.