The presence of the General Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has provided strong backing to the official strategy of Juan Orlando Hernandez for a national dialogue which was itself a response to the phenomena of the torchlight marches. *
It is worthwhile to remember that the grand national dialogue would never have been called by Juan Orlando HernÃ¡ndez without the phenomena of the indignant** which mobilized thousands of people every week to rub the government’s nose in its own direct responsibility for the scandalous acts of corruption in the Social Security Institute and other State entities.
Juan Orlando Hernandez called for his grand national dialogue because of this pressure, but without taking into account the indignant opposition. Furthermore, the grand national dialogue is proposed as a strategy in the face of the indignant avalanche in the same way that officialism drives and finances the parallel "blue marches"** and in the same way it pushes the crusade to receive the international communityâs recognition, that is to say, recognition by the United States government, the European governments and the multilateral organisms such as the UN and OAS.
In this sense, the government called for the grand national dialogue not to resolve nor to respond to the demands of an indignant society but rather as part of a strategy to defend itself from it, to weaken it, and to recuperate strength to continue its authoritarian, self-interested and radical neoliberal project.
The government of Juan Orlando Hernandez pursues its grand national dialogue but its attitude and its options continue to be intact as always. Even though it has recognized that other forces exist besides those which it has convened and that it is willing to dialogue on other proposals distinct from its plan, in its actions it continues to open doors for indiscriminate mining exploitation, approving privatization laws such as that for Social Security, and it continues to offer territory for the Charter (Model) Cities.
As we have already said: no one can negate dialogue in a human, political and institutional society so deteriorated as is the Honduran society. But this dialogue cannot be led by the current government because it is an actor with the highest levels of distrust within the present conjuncture of indignation. If the multilateral entities such as the OAS and UN come to legitimize a dialogue that is only a political strategy for the government to defend itself from the indignant population, they contribute to putting patches on problems without finding a solution and it postpones finding the true path for coming out of the Honduran crisis.
Dialogue, yes, but with the CICI*** and the resignation of the Attorney General and his assistant as part of it. Dialogue, yes, but one in which the government does not control the process. Dialogue, yes, but with equality in its conditions for the diverse actors in the conflict. Dialogue, yes, but with agreements that are implemented and verified by an entity that is completely independent of the current government.
** the name given to the massive protests held after dark with torches, Las Antorchas*
*** Blue Marches, marches convened by the government, blue is the color of the ruling National Party*
****the name used by the protest movement against corruption and impunity, los indignados*
*****International Commission Against Impunity, Spanish acronym *
Translation: Vicki Cervantes