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.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Honduran Resistance Will Continue

In the weeks since the November election, the English language press has gone silent about the Honduran resistance. But that does not mean the Honduran resistance has disappeared. During a march in Tegucigalpa at the beginning of this month, Tiempo reported, some speakers called for the Frente to form a political movement or alternate political party. But this is not the main goal of the Resistance movement.

Inside Costa Rica reports that the National Resistance Front has called for marches on January 27 to protest the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, whose projected administration is characterized as "the continuation of the dictatorship of the oligarchy." Anyone who was hoping that the inauguration of Lobo Sosa would end Honduran dissent will obviously find themselves disappointed.

The Frente stated that the goal of demonstrations is to "insist on the demand of a national constituent assembly, popular and democratic, to restore Honduras." This demand will not go away.

As in previous demonstrations in Tegucigalpa, the beginning point for the planned march there January 27 will be the Universidad Nacional Pedagogica. Marchers will apparently face increased security according to reports in pro-coup El Heraldo:
Álvarez affirmed that there will be strong security measures, with police and military agents, in ten cities of Honduras.
This presumably includes San Pedro Sula, the second-largest city in Honduras, site of a second march called for by the Resistance. Another report published by Heraldo, after describing security at the stadium where the inauguration will take place, commented that

It is planned to develop operations in the barrios and colonias of the capital, as well as in all the cities of the country. The Armed Forces have placed at the disposal more than 2700 members just for the capital. An equal number is that of the police.

Special operations will be developed beginning in the next hours on all the frontiers of the country.

In respect to the demonstrations, such as that programmed by the zelayists for the 27th of January, the police authorities reminded that, based on the Law of Co-existence, they should be notified with 24 hours of advance notice of the realization of the same and their trajectory.

(The Law referred to, for those who do not remember, was passed by the de facto regime in late October to restrict freedom of assembly that is guaranteed in the Honduran Constitution.)

What kinds of operations are planned for the barrios and colonias of Tegucigalpa-- far from the site of the ceremonial transfer of power, but the heart of the resistance that continued after the de facto regime imposed repeated curfews? what makes it necessary to deploy soldiers and anti-riot police in ten Honduran cities? If the new government were really so universally appreciated, what would be the need for continued repressive militarization?

Needless to say, confrontations with peaceful protestors by military and riot police would mar the attempt to portray the government of Lobo Sosa as the solution to the destruction of civil liberties by the de facto regime.

The decision on continued strategy, starting with the planned marches, was taken by the leaders of the Resistance last weekend. While El Heraldo would like to dismiss the Resistance marches as the work of "zelayistas", the National Resistance Front cannot be reduced to the supporters of any current political party or faction within one.

As reported by Prensa Latina, more than 80 leaders of the resistance, including
Juan Barahona, Carlos H. Reyes, Rafael Alegría, Bertha Cáceres, and Carlos Eduardo Reina, conferred in Siguatepeque, a small city located on the main highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. They reaffirmed the need to resist division along traditional lines of party loyalty, which have dominated Honduran politics.

While much of the English-language press has remained focused on the drama of negotiating a dignified exit for President Zelaya, and on the attempts to distance Lobo Sosa from Micheletti, it is arguable that what will ultimately be most significant for the possibility of effective political transformation in Honduras will be what happens with the Resistance.

On January 27, we will see whether the Resistance mobilizes a sufficiently visible presence to ensure that international media have to take note.

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