Honduran Resistance Goes It Alone

2 Sep 2009

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26 August 2009, marked 60 days of the Honduran resistance to the military coup, reports The Real News Network (TRNN). The date marked 60 days since the cancellation of the non-binding national survey on rewriting the constitution and the removal of President Manuel Zelaya.

While the coup government continues to receive military and economic support from the government in the US and Canada, not a single international government has officially recognized the coup regime. Nevertheless, in the two months since the coup, despite universal condemnation, the international community seems unable, unwilling or possibly complicit in supporting the coup regime, while the foreign media has turned the page, contends TRNN.

However, the coup resistance inside the country has continued to object and demonstrate their opposition through protests, which have taken place every day since the military coup d’état.

Honduran-based journalist and publisher of Narco News, Al Giordano, says, "Almost the whole story of the civil resistance and how it's been organized has been missed...The real story here is that in Honduras, amongst vast sectors of society and with the support of a majority of its population, people are organizing creatively to topple a coup d’état...Now they are sixty days in daily resistance and the goal of this thing is way beyond whether Zelaya returns to the presidency or not."

He continues, "The overriding goal remains -- and that is to remake the country. That is for a new constitution and what they call a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention in order to make that happen. That's, of course, what the (coup) regime is panicked about. What the oligarchs and the upper class and the multinational business interests fear is that people might elect delegates to a constitutional convention and make a better constitution for a more democratic and inclusive society."

The coup regime has been violently repressing peaceful protests. There are reports of arbitrary detention, political assassinations, torture and the use of excessive force. Women, in particular, are targeted. This TRNN clip features the harrowing account of a 25-year old woman who was gang raped by coup forces.

Media outlets and journalists are also exposed to consistent intimidation, mobility restrictions, forced closure and illegal detention.

The coup government says that it will not relinquish power until the general elections coming up in November 2009. But Giordano says that there is a great ambivalence about the elections because people know that "the game is fixed," as the coup government engages in acts of repressive intimidation that violates their fundamental human rights. 

"Nobody believes that a regime that can pull off a coup d’état, won't actually engage in electoral fraud as well," says Giordano.

Editors Note: US-based Centre for Economic and Policy Research reported last week that, "The US continues to provide the coup regime in Honduras with tens of millions of dollars in aid money through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), despite having cut off MCC assistance to Mauritania and Madagascar following coups d’état in those countries." CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot notes a double standard in this case.

Indeed, the hypocritical handling of the Honduran coup by Western governments and institutions, including NGOs and the media, has distressed many progressive activists.

A group numbering nearly a hundred, mostly US-based academics, recently wrote an open letter to executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenneth Roth, voicing their concern about "the absence of statements and reports from (HRW) over the serious and systematic human rights abuses that have been committed under the Honduran coup regime over the past six weeks."

"Why has Human Rights Watch fallen silent on Honduras?" they ask.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/166.19.

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