A Dangerous Time for Hondurans: Making the Coup “Stick” by Forcing a Vote
The Honduran armed forces are comprised of 12,000 men and 14,000 police in this impoverished Central American nation of 7.5 million people, and the military has called up reservists for deployment during the election. — AFP
Now that the US government has largely finished its “business” in Honduras, it looks like the most dangerous times for Hondurans who oppose the coup and the election are still ahead. Between now and election day, the Michelettis have to figure a way to make this US-elite Honduran coup “stick” and produce an election that looks legitimate even though it is fraudulent at best. With a majority of Hondurans opposing the coup regime and rejecting elections, the coup must repress the population, to a level likely to surpass the carnage of the previous 140 plus days.
When the US stated that it would recognize the result of the November 29 election, it simultaneously bought off on whatever repression the coup regime deems appropriate to make the election appear “free and fair.” The US will be looking the other way as the repression ramps up which means much of mainstream media will as well. You say, “but they can’t repress all the people for opposing the coup and the election” and you are right. But it can and will ‘criminalize” enough of those in the Resistance movement to provide cover for brutal repression of Hondurans across the board. And that campaign has already started.
Over the last week, two things have taken place to introduce the specter of a “criminal” element in the Resistance movement. First, the de facto regime’s Attorney General was supposedly shot at while in his car and coup authorities are saying it was an assassination attempt. The second was an article about a grenade that was launched in Tegucigalpa at a building which houses ballots for the election. Deeper in the article , it said the grenade landed 500 yards from the building. What, this was someone with bad intentions and an insanely poor shot? The coup regime is beginning to weave a scenario that the Resistance, not having succeeded in ousting it, will try to destroy it by targeting the election. By alleging that the grenade was aimed at destroying the ballots, the coup regime is building the case in the right wing press that the Resistance is trying to destroy the right of Hondurans to a “free and fair election.” And, of course, the use of a grenade completes the profile that there are a lot of angry, violent people roaming around on the streets. Enter, the US-funded and -trained Honduran military and I fear the previous 140 days will look like a cakewalk.
With the low voter participation rate expected if the Resistance accomplishes an extensive boycott, the legitimacy of the election should be in immediate doubt. Or, maybe not. This past Spring, in Haiti, the people boycotted elections because the most prominent party in the country, and the one to which President Aristide belongs, was BANNED from the ballot. At the end of voting day, it appeared than no more than 3% of the electorate voted. The next day, the US ambassador congratulated Haiti for a successful election and recommended that the Haitian government jail all the leaders of the boycott because they were trying to disrupt a “free election.” With the US’ delaration that it will recognize whatever result comes from the Honduran election, they care not how Micheletti gets there. And, the irony is that the millions of Hondurans who have marched daily since June 28 for re-establishment of democratic order may be framed for trying to destroy it.