The military coup in Honduras of 28 June 2009 has been stripped of its democratic facade. The watchwords of the de facto regime that has emerged from the violence are: “God, Law and Order”.
The regime has openly adopted the methods of Stroessner, the late dictator of Paraguay, on declaring a State of Emergency—in reality a State of Siege–that aims to suppress all resistance and silence all opposition. It has closed down Radio Globo and CHOLUSAT SUR, the two principal media houses that have continuously and valiantly provided news on the real situation in Honduras.
The legitimate president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, together with his family and associates, have been subjected to physical and psychological torture; and for all practical purposes deprived of their liberty in the embassy of Brazil, in violation of international treaties.
International pressure has forced the de facto regime to dialogue with President Zelaya. But this is a solipsistic dialogue that is being prolonged cynically and interminably, with the aim of legitimising the forthcoming "elections" being conducted under their "democracy".
The country is divided between the coup forces and the anti-coup forces. The two sides have completely different and antagonistic philosophies, discourses, practices and methods.
The golpista (coup) philosophy assumes that it is the owner of reality by right and by inheritance. That reality is fixed and immutable, established and sanctified by the god of the powerful and the theology of armed and violent oppressors. A reality in which the gilded world of the rich is in confrontation with the oppressive world of the poor and with those who have no right to justice and to love.
The golpistas‟ conception of the world is based on an ahistorical, ontological, vision; one in which the social being has no place and the people do not exist. It is this frame of reference which justified the military coup that aborted the holding of a non-binding poll—the “Fourth Urn" in which the people were to be asked their opinion on the installation of a Constituent Assembly.
The golpista ideology holds that the "Constitution is God." Its advisors and practitioners are disciples of the Latin American School of the Americas and of the extreme right in the United States and Latin America.
The epistemology underlying the vision of the golpistas is one that totally ignores the potential of the people as a subject capable of understanding and changing social reality. Knowledge and education are a function of the market and of capital accumulation. The regime’s assumptions of its own validity and political legitimacy go along with a kind of legal formalism in which the law is completely separate from social life. This method is not only perverse but false, for it flagrantly distorts the truth. It denies that a military coup took place, falsifies records and ignores the systematic violations of human rights and corruption.
The concrete method of the golpistas is to promote a "syndrome of attrition and of physical, mental and political exhaustion". The strategy seeks to defeat the opposition by means of irregular warfare; media, religious and military terrorism; detentions, beatings and torture. It includes assassinations of leaders, teachers, artists, youth and women–femicide has increased by 60 percent. The economic cost of the military coup in the first three months has been over $800 million, implying a loss of nearly $30 million a day.
But in the face of all this pain and suffering a giant has awoken; a new hope has been born. The people has rediscovered itself. Moved by its dreams of freedom, it acts in defiance of those who have hitherto sought to shut it out from the making of history.
The myths of media power have been shattered. The powerful, with their technology of manipulation, have failed to deceive the people. The walls of silence have collapsed. Charcoal burners, the colours of the earth, have served as tools for the working people and artists in the making of their own history: in writing, painting, dancing, acting, singing the poetry of freedom; confronting tanks, shrapnel, toxic gases and treacherous daggers with shouts of pain and anger: "! Golpistas! Golpistas! ".
A people have been born, a new hope, in the form of the National Resistance Against the Military Coup. Its objectives are organized mobilization to struggle against injustice, to build political power through genuine participation of the citizenry in the National Constituent Assembly and to profoundly transform the Constitution of the Republic.
Its principles are based on “Non-Violence". It has sustained over one hundred days of heroic marches under the sun and the rain of bullets, beatings, stabbings and the terror of noxious gases. However, in a country under military occupation by the United States, where the cowardly armed forces and police spend huge amounts of money at the expense of hunger and disease of children and environmental destruction by multinational corporations; they will never extinguish the courage and the voices of nonviolence shouting in every corner of Honduras: Long Live the Resistance!
The martyrdom and heroism of the Honduran Resistance is a call to all peoples of the world for no more military coups and no more military bases in Latin America. It is a call for human and world peace; for respect for the dignity of our peoples and for their history; for social and environmental justice in the heart of Mother Earth.
The path of hope and liberation, in the face of crimes against humanity, is through full consolidation of the Resistance as a nonviolent political, cultural and spiritual force that builds and leads the taking of power.
No change that is genuinely democratic can occur if it excludes the Resistance Against the Military Coup as the largest and most significant political force in Honduras. It is the most indisputable historical fact of our present and of the future; a force with which the people dream and are constructing the dawn of a new day for our country. (Translation revised by Norman Girvan)
Tegucigalpa, October, 2009.
Note: Dr.Juan Almendares is an internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner. He is President of the Honduras Peace Committee and Executive Director of the Centre for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their families (CPTRT) in Tegucigalpa; and is the former Dean of the Medical School and Rector of the Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), past Secretary of the Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations and Founder of the Honduras Academy of Sciences. In 2001 he was recipient of the Barbara Chester Award for his groundbreaking efforts with prisoners, victims of torture, the poor, and indigenous populations.