Hondurans demonstrating what the Honduran oligarchy consider to be rubber bullets. They were found in the area surrounding the death of Isis Obed who was killed on Sunday at the airport during a peaceful protest.
Today was going to be a key day in the struggle I thought. I had the feeling that the cards would be on the table after the meeting between President Zelaya and Micheletti, the dictator installed by the coup. I didn’t think that an agreement would be reached because the two sides have made statements about things they are inflexible on, principally on whether the president will return to Honduras or not. So as it stands we continue to wait and see what will be the next actions from the four key players in this struggle which include, President Zelaya, the social movements calling for Zelaya’s return and a new constitution, the oligarchy which includes Micheletti, most of congress, private media and most of the armed forces and lastly the role of the international community from which the United States have the greatest role to play.
It seems to me that the tactic of the right is to maintain an image of legitimacy through the call for dialogue and peace and relatively mild repression which serve to stall the actions of those in the international community and Honduras who would be compelled to act more decisively if "dialogue" was no longer presented as an option. Some of the statements coming from the press following the meeting in Costa Rica include those of Oscar Arias, "dialogue can create me miracles, but unfortunately not instantly" and that patience is required. Micheletti’s belief in the dialogue is clearer after it was revealed that he didn’t go into face to face discussion with Zelaya and with his statement "I agree with the return of Zelaya but only to be detained and trialed." The OEA, which has also softened its condemnation of the coup after strong criticism from Congress and US media in the country which provides 60% of its budget, also agreed that the process would take time.
The ball is back in the court of Zelaya and the social movements. Do they wait for the next opportunity to discuss the situation or for the international community to take more concrete measures or do they reject dialogue as a strategy of the oligarchy to maintain power for long enough to shift public and international opinion?
My opinion is that the need for concrete actions is immediate and that every day which passes under this dictatorship is a day lost by the Honduran people. The advances of the ALBA (Allianza Bolivariana Para Los Pueblos de America Latina, Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of America) and its many programs have been stolen from the Honduran people. President Zelaya decided to join the ALBA after the oligarchy refused to support his plans to create a more just Honduras. Today it was announced that in the face of the aggressions of the coup government around 80 of the 120 Cuban staff providing services to the Honduran people have left the country.
Programs which have been delivered over the last year as a result of the ALBA which are no under threat include "Yes I can" (Yo si puedo) the Cuban literacy program which has helped more than 150 000 Honduran’s become literate, support for food sovereignty and agricultural development which includes 100 tractors provided by Venezuela, 70 scholarships for Honduran students to go and study in Venezuelan Universities, Mission Miracle (mission Milagro) which has restored the site of around 5000 in Venezuela with the help of Cuban medical staff. Cuba has also supported, the construction and staffing of medical clinics in regions previously denied the right to health services and sports coaches. These are the actions that the Honduran oligarchy is rebelling against. The possibility of an educated population which is guaranteed its basic rights rather than having them determined by their place in the capitalist hierarchy is not acceptable to those who want low wages and a controllable society desperate to buy.
In the next two or three days I think we will know the path of the struggle in Honduras. Either the social movements and Zelaya will take strong action and risk the violence that could be brought upon them by the oligarchy or they will continue with passive actions and the process of a drawn out "dialogue" which will leave the oligarchy in power leading up to the November elections. Neither path is ideal nor do they have definite outcomes but a choice will soon be made.
"No one can be above the law", I repeat "My law."