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.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"My Vote for No One"

Carlos Rodriguez on mimalapalabra describes his political history as a disillusioned young man in Honduras, and reflects on his understanding of the electoral exercise scheduled for the end of the current month, now clearly to take place under the leadership of the de facto regime that seized power June 28. I will not try to translate it in full here, but think it is worth considering in light of existing social science research showing Hondurans the most disillusioned in the hemisphere with the prospects for democracy, and as an indication of what the coup and its aftermath are accomplishing.

Rodriguez writes that when he turned 18
the time to exercise my right to vote arrived. Without ample knowledge-- although even now I have lots of gaps-- about the political history of Honduras, I decided not to vote for any candidate: Neither Carlos Roberto Reina, and even less, Oswaldo Ramos Soto. Then Carlos Roberto Flores, Ricardo Maduro, and Manuel Zelaya ascended the presidential throne. None woke my interest and I joined the thousands of Hondurans who now don't swallow the exhausted discourse of combatting poverty, supporting education, combatting corruption or government for the poor.

llegó el tiempo para ejercer el sufragio. Sin conocimientos amplios -aunque aún ahora tengo muchos vacíos- acerca de la historia política de Honduras, decidí no votar por ningún candidato: Ni Carlos Roberto Reina, y menos Oswaldo Ramos Soto. Luego subieron al trono presidencial Carlos Roberto Flores, Ricardo Maduro y Manuel Zelaya. Ninguno despertó mi interés y me sumé a los miles de hondureños que ya no se tragan el gastado discurso de combate a la pobreza, apoyo a la educación, combate a la corrupción o gobierno para los pobres.
Then he argues that participating in elections is nothing more than giving legitimacy, blessing those pre-selected by the powerful. After explicitly rejecting the labels of Zelayista or communist, he ends with the following:
Solo un lector con algo de sentido común y apatía por marcar bajo un rostro hipócrita y mancharme el dedo por "amor y respeto a la democracia". ¿Serán éstas las elecciones más votadas? Si los organizadores del teatro electoral quieren sí, aunque la gran mayoría nos quedemos viendo la tv o durmiento el próximo 29 de noviembre. ¿Votar para salvar a Honduras? Otra falacia. El futuro de estas Honduras es sombrío. Los tentáculos de las vacas sagradas que heredan el poder a sus becerros asfixian cualquier intento por encaminar por nuevos caminos a esta patria. Su prioridad no es Honduras, sino mantener su status y defender sus haciendas (entiéndase intereses). ¿Que si no creo en la democracia? -¿Y existe, pues?

I am just a reader with some common sense and apathy for marking under a hypocritical face and staining my finger for "love and respect for democracy". Will these be the highest turnout elections? Yes if the organizers of the electoral theater qant it so, although the greatest majority of us will stay watching TV or sleeping next 29 of November. Vote to save Honduras? Another fallacy. The future of Honduras is gloomy. The tentacles of the sacred cows that pass on power to their calves asphyxiates any attempt to put this country on new roads. Their priority is not Honduras, but to maintain their status and defend their haciendas (understanding these as interests). What if I do not believe in democracy? Does it exist, then?
There is no better illustration of the corrosive power of the pragmatic politics that is taking place. And that should concern US policy makers.

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