Internationalist declaration in view of the events in Honduras

NO to dialogue with the coup participants

July 21, 2009

For the mobilization and general strike until Micheletti’s de facto government falls

1 After the failure of the first meetings on July 9 and 10 between the coup plotters of Roberto Micheletti’s de facto government and overthrown President Manuel Zelaya’s delegation, a new round, called by the mediator Oscar Arias, President of Costa Rica, is being prepared for next Saturday, July 18.

It is clear that the policy of negotiation dreamed up by US imperialism is allowing the coup plotters’ government of Micheletti, who has already spent almost three weeks as the de facto President, to remain, by granting it legitimacy in actions, in spite of the statements rejecting the coup, from all the governments of the region.

2 As was to be expected, the aim of the negotiations promoted by the United States, supported by the OAS, and accepted by Manuel Zelaya in the meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was to deflate the popular mobilization against the coup, that had its most critical point last July 5, when tens of thousands of Hondurans went to Toncontín Airport to welcome President Zelaya. The repudiation of the repression by the coup participants, which left a balance of two demonstrators dead and hundreds wounded, was threatening to unleash a process the de facto government would be unable to control.

With the negotiations creating false expectations among the people, those who had repressed the movement of the masses, at the same time saw international pressure alleviated and came out favored. This allowed maintaining the unity of the front of coup participants, which, after the increasing mobilizations during the first days after the coup, had begun to show signs of splitting. In view of the danger that the mobilization would make a leap in its confrontation against all the reactionary institutions that had lined up behind the military coup, the choice of negotiation appeared as the most adequate for all parties. The fact is that not only the Obama administration, but Manuel Zelaya himself, wanted to avoid this scenario, which is why he ended up yielding to the US plan.

3 In this way, Zelaya’s participation in the negotiations and his calls for peaceful mobilization only favored the US policy of supporting the coup participants, from whom the US had never withdrawn concrete support. Beyond the fact that Obama declared himself for the "return of President Zelaya," it is clear that US imperialism shared with the coup participants the objective of preventing the consolidation of Honduras’ alignment with the ALBA bloc, which included Zelaya’s removal from office. This was shown when Hugo Llorens himself (former Director of Andean Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington, when the 2002 coup against Chávez took place, and US Ambassador in Honduras) admitted having participated in secret meetings where the plans for the military coup were discussed, before the kidnapping of Zelaya. Along the same lines, a big group of US legislators were lobbying for welcoming the coup participants in Washington. In the same way, as charged by no less than the imperialist mouthpiece The New York Times, the representatives of the de facto government of Honduras, led by Roberto Micheletti, received direct US advice on the positions they presented within the mediation process in Costa Rica.

The governments of Latin America followed the US line in the OAS and, after Zelaya’s failed attempt to return, they considered their mission concluded, leaving the United States to be the one to direct the negotiated solution of the conflict.

4 Oscar Arias, who has the trust of the United States, because of the role he played in the negotiations that allowed the disarming of the Central American guerrilla forces and "reconciling" them with the genocide governments, played his role as outlined by the US Department of State that, on meeting him in Costa Rica itself, recognized him in actions as a legitimate power beyond his statements against the coup. In that way, the international isolation in which the de facto government had remained, was broken. Thus, Micheletti won points in his favor, something that he could not impose by crushing the massive mobilizations in the cities of Honduras itself. It was beginning to be obtained in the dialogue committees in another country, beyond the fact that there no agreement was reached in the first rounds.

The aim of the negotiations is to achieve a possible agreement between the parties and, in the best case, the eventual return of Zelaya without any real power, having been conditioned to the interests of the coup participants, to serve only to "pacify" the country and organize next November’s elections.

5 With this move, the United States was pursuing two immediate objectives, on one hand, to discipline Manuel Zelaya, and, on the other, to impose limits on the ALBA bloc led by Chávez, that, from the first day of the coup, kept the diplomatic initiative with its meeting in Managua.

Zelaya’s July 5 return operation having failed, and seeing that the situation could get out of control, Zelaya submitted to the United States’ diplomatic solution, and the ALBA bloc moved to a second level in the regional agreement to put Zelaya in the government again. The problem is that in Honduras, from the geopolitical point of view, not only a coup d’état is at stake, but also the continental alignments that had been expressed in recent years, where the Obama administration was being tested, after Bush’s disastrous policy for the region. The governments united in the ALBA bloc, led by Chávez, are trying to position themselves as an important player and thus establish a better correlation of forces, in a regional context where the US administration has already revealed the fact that its very finest ally in Latin America is Lula’s Brazil.

6 -The Coup in Honduras expresses a growing regional polarization and the strengthening of the right, over the last few years, throughout the continent, which represents powerful industrial and agricultural economical interests as was seen in the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002, in the Santa Cruz oligarchy’s confrontation with the Evo Morales government, and in less clear circumstances like in the case of Guatemala. In Venezuela, the international realignment is expressed within the country, where a rightwing that finds itself on the defensive that went into the attack leading a movement that saw new hope for the continent in the coup in Honduras. In countries like Peru, there’s a tendency that’s more rightwing then the Alan Garcia government and at the same time there’s a mass movement that is becoming more and more resistant. In this Andean country there are internal imbalances; there’s a president who has a clear loss in popularity, and actions taken by the masses, which could result in a change to a nationalist bourgeois leadership, as is visible in the strengthening of Ollanata Humala’s candidature for the upcoming elections.

This polarization is also seen in the crisis of coalition government in Paraguay, between president, Fernando Lugo and the Liberal Party as well as in Argentina, in the strengthening of the Agricultural sector and the rightwing political opposition. In light of the structural economic capitalist crisis, this polarization could create a chain of unpredictable events; this is what the North American administration fears.

7 While writing this declaration, Manuel Zelaya, in view of the next negotiations meeting in Costa Rica, presented his ultimatum: “We’re giving an ultimatum to the coup regimen that in the next meeting in San José, Costa Rica, that they comply with the demands of the international organizations and the Honduran Constitution†. And in response to coup’s possible intransigence he again calls out to the people to exercise their “right to a peaceful insurrection†against the Micheletti government.

Meanwhile Micheletti reiterates his proposal to move the elections forward to November with the agreement to grant amnesty to Zelaya as a possible “way out of the crisis†. The Spokesman for the North American State Department, Ian Kelly, declared that, “All of the different parts of the conversations should be given their due time. Don’t set a fixed amount of time. Don’t say if such and such doesn’t happen by a certain time the dialogue is considered dead†.

The people of Honduras can’t have any kind of expectations of this farce, they can’t even believe in Zelaya’s false exclamations for an “insurrection†while he is just using the mobilization as a means to pressure the coup into negotiations.

Even though Zelaya has support from worker and rural worker’s movements, who have raised the expectations in the dialogue, he, along with the coup and North American Imperialism, also worries about preserving the capitalists’ private property and State Institutions.

Beyond the contradictions that have been developing since joining the ALBA, Zelaya is part of the cattle farmers’ oligarchy in Honduras with ties to important economic sectors in the country. This explains why he prefers the negotiation table; Zelaya is fearful that the exploited Hondurans will take a general offensive causing the political regimen to explode and that the very movement could advance towards an independent path.

8 The organizations that make up the Fourth International Trotskyist Fraction have been promoting and participating in all of the solidarity mobilizations and actions against the Coup d’état. We are accompanying the people of Honduras in their struggle in defeating the coup and for the return of Zelaya without any negotiations. In the current circumstances we condemn the negotiations between Zelaya and the coup, backed by the North American imperialism. It’s nothing more than a trap to break down the resistance movement ending in the acceptance of the reactionary politics of a sector of the bourgeois and their political staff, while they resort to coup attempts on the Sate or Institutions when their interests are, even just the least bit, threatened. It’s key to step up an offensive demonstrated by the workers, poor farmers, teachers, women’s organizations and Honduran youth during the first week and that peaked on July 5th as well as to organize an indefinite general strike until the coup falls. In order to give an appearance of “normality†the de facto government announced that they had lifted the curfew that had been enforced since June 28th. However, according to reports there have been persecutions and arrests of activists and leaders of organizations that oppose the coup. Contrary to the “pacifism†that Zelaya had called for, in order to confront this repression it’s necessary to organize the self-defense of the workers and the masses.

Both the Coup and Zelaya talk of a possible “amnesty†for both sides, as a potential solution. The soldiers who took part in the coup and the repressors, must not be left unpunished. Only through mobilizing will these soldiers and their accomplices be tried and punished, and the detainees freed.

Some organizations that play a leading role in the resistance against the coup, like the National Front of Resistance against the Coup D’état, hold as one of their demands the call for a Constitute Assembly. Not only do the Honduran bourgeois political parties deny the masses the democratic right to participate in political decisions, they also, along with the State Institutions-the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Armed Forces- are committed to the coup and the preservation of the reactionary 1982 Constitution, written by the bourgeois parties in accordance with the imperialists. That’s why the only progressive answer is forming a Revolutionary Constitute Assembly, based on the revolutionary fall of the coup, for a provisional government made up of workers’ organizations, farmers and the masses that confront the coup. This way, putting the country’s structural problems like the submission to imperialism or the land problem, and the necessity to implement resolutions based on the decisions of the mobilized people, would be a step forward in the experience of the masses, workers, poor rural workers and other exploited and oppressed sectors to advance in the struggle for a government of workers and the masses based on an organism of the masses’ self-determination.

9 It’s necessary to organize the broadest mobilization in Latin America, made up of workers, rural workers, students, human rights organizations, and all of the forces that claim to be anti-imperialists and democratic, in solidarity with the Honduran people, for the defeat of the coup and against negotiations with the coup. The powerful response of the Honduran people isn’t just about crushing the coup in Honduras; it’s also about eventually deterring other similar attempts in the region.

June 15th 2009