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Honduran, Ricardo Salgado: “The Struggle Must Be More Intense”

November 2, 2009

The following article by a Honduran sociologist, Ricardo Salgado, was translated and forwarded by Diana Barahona who comments:

This is an excellent commentary by a Honduran sociologist that puts the “deal” cut between Zelaya and the class enemies in perspective. I did the translation. I would like to see this republished in as many places as possible–I’m sure that Mr. Salgado wouldn’t mind. On the contrary, I believe that was his intention since it was published on a non-commercial Web site called Cubadebate. So if you have a Web site or your own blog, please publish this!

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Honduras: The struggle must be more intense than ever

Honduras: A people’s victory; the struggle must be more intense than ever

by Ricardo Salgado, Honduran sociologist

Oct. 30, 2009 Cubadebate



Those who claimed several weeks ago that the president would be restored at the beginning of November, though bound by his hands and feet, in order to legitimate the elections, managed to describe the end that we are witnessing now. But let the record show that it is not the end of the coup; this continues in effect, its purposes prevail; the conditions that brought it about continue just as they were on June 28.

The political agreement made under pressure from gringo diplomacy does not cover critical issues, but rather tries to ignore critical matters and highlights the preeminence of oligarchic interests. President Zelaya signed with his restoration what can only be interpreted as the victory of the coup and the putschists. The details continue to be thorny: there is as yet no firm schedule of the actions that will take Zelaya back to the presidential palace. Technically the agreement may keep the constitutional president imprisoned for several more days in the Brazilian embassy, since it is the National Congress that must decide the fate of the country.

This same congress, which committed the crime of forging the president’s signature and which decreed his removal. Just a small agreement where the thief decides what kind of justice his victim will receive. The Supreme Court, which ordered the arrest and deportation of Manuel Zelaya Rosales, will have to give its legal opinion in order to guide the congress. Brilliant solution.

There are several commissions to be formed: follow-up, truth and who-knows-what else. Within the framework of this mess the oligarchy wins the recognition of the fraudulent elections [for Nov. 29]; now Zelaya will lend his efforts to achieve that the gates of international aid are reopened to the now wrecked Honduran economy. In the end there are no guarantees of what is going to happen, neither how nor when. As has happened over all of these tragic months, uncertainty dominates the landscape. We continue to depend on the tricks of the assassins who invent decrees that they don’t even respect.

Yesterday, contrasting with the negotiating table, the resistance was brutally repressed. In spite of having the required permits, the police and military decided to give the popular movement a new dose of gas, blows and bullets, as a reminder that the agreements don’t eliminate the repression; they don’t eliminate the human rights violations.

It would be very ingenuous to think that we have managed to solve something. The military maintain a very autonomous position with respect to the politicians and obey their business masters, who continue with the idea that their interests will be maintained by beating up the people. The repressive decrees signed by Micheletti also remain in effect. The machine of human rights violations is still alive, well oiled and above all, active against the Honduran people.

It seems that the negotiation, at least up until now that I am writing these lines, has forgotten the huge jail that the de facto regime has created. It is worth asking ourselves what will happen now with President Zelaya; will he have the same honor guard? What will be his relationship to the armed forces? And his relationship to Micheletti’s Congress?

On the other hand the matter of the crimes against humanity committed by the military with the complicity of the de facto regime and the criminal oligarchy remains pending. Fortunately for the Honduran people, through arrogance or clumsiness, the putschists obviated the issue of the amnesty that Oscar Arias had given them in his original plan.

Very important questions for the Honduran popular movement will come. The coup was precipitated by the just demands of the Honduran people, which continue without an answer from the ruling classes. Perhaps the latter gained time in order to delay the process of change in Honduras.

What is going to happen with the electoral process? There is a fraud that is also not included in the negotiation. Nevertheless, there now will be a lot of pressure so that the progressive candidacies participate in this process. This delicate issue requires a very on-the-mark analysis. Nevertheless, participation in this electoral process, independently of the results, may allow the popular mobilization to continue.

Now our vision must be long-term; we must choose very wisely the actions that we are going to take, without renouncing our principles or our demands. The political situation presents new challenges, and now UNITY is a critical matter; not for electioneering ends; the conjuncture obliges us to give answers to the people; answers that include giving our people their political space. It is worth recalling here the many arguments that were made, through all of the comrades’ contributions, which have generated opinion. It is worth recalling that the action of the resistance has been key to forcing the dark forces of the right to negotiate positions. Without the popular movement this conclusion would not have been necessary.

The protagonism that the people of this country have earned has been a central element for an unusual phenomenon in the history of Latin America to have arisen: an overthrown president is restored to his position. I fervently hope that President Zelaya never forgets that it has been the actions of the people that have won his restitution; that he does not forget his moral debt to the refounding of Honduras.

This is a people’s victory, but it is only a triumph on the road of much suffering and despair that will surely come in the search for a new country, where we can all live in peace. The oligarchy and the empire have shown that they will give us nothing. If we want to conquer our freedom we must struggle for it. In this way, the slogans remain. Today we celebrate, but we stay alert. The struggle is perhaps more intense today than ever. Today many traitors will emerge once again from the shadows; today we must remember our martyrs with more intensity than ever, to whom we owe the conquering of a dream: the independence of Honduras.

Let us remember: the struggle begins here. Let us not make the mistake of mistaking this for our aspirations.

For the assassins, neither forgetfulness nor pardon.

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