Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mel Zelaya Back in Honduras! Now Mass Action Needed to Overthrow the Coup!

Written by Jorge Martín Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Yesterday morning it was confirmed that Mel Zelaya was in the capital Tegucigalpa. He made an appeal to the people to come out to protect him. The masses responded by the tens of thousands. The next few hours will be decisive. The balance of forces is on the side of the masses. They can deal the last blow to the coup regime and start the building of a new political regime based on the organisation of the masses.

On Monday morning, September 21, at 11am it was confirmed that Mel Zelaya, the legitimate president of Honduras, was in the capital Tegucigalpa, hosted by the Brazilian embassy. President Zelaya made an appeal to the people to come out to protect him, and they responded by the tens of thousands. He had been overthrown by a military coup carried out by the oligarchy on June 28 and for 86 days the workers, peasants and youth, the people of Honduras, had maintained an heroic struggle against the coup facing repression, selective assassinations, mass arrests and a media blockade. It was only the resistance of the masses, led by the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup, which made possible Zelaya's return to the country on September 21. It was neither the diplomatic manoeuvres, nor the pressure of the different international bodies (which was at best very mild) on the regime.

Zelaya's return took the regime completely by surprise. First they denied reports that the president was back in the country. But pictures of him at the Brazilian embassy had already been published by the world's media. Thousands were already gathering outside the Brazilian embassy and Zelaya had addressed the crowd with the battle cry of "Motherland, Restitution or Death!" For more than five hours there was no official response from the Micheletti regime. At 5pm local time Micheletti came out in a press conference, surrounded by representatives from the capitalist class and demanded that Brazil hand over Zelaya to face trial. He had already announced that a curfew would be imposed from 4pm until 6am the following morning (which he then extended to 6pm Tuesday). This provoked panic as workers in the public and private sector left their jobs and rushed home.

The regime is clearly attempting to use repression to stop the movement. The Armed Forces in a separate statement announced that they would defend "constitutional order" (that is, the illegitimate coup), "even if it means the loss of life". Mobile phone networks were cut off, opposition radio stations had power cut off and had to be taken off the air, and the army took over the country's four airports and closed them down.

But the enthusiasm created by Zelaya's return after 86 days of mass resistance cannot be stopped by repression. We are likely to be witnessing the last days of the coup. By the end of the evening a massive crowd estimated at 50,000 people, defying the curfew, were already gathering around the Brazilian embassy and Zelaya was meeting with the leaders of the resistance. The mood was jubilant and the streets were full of laughter, joy and celebration. In the working class neighbourhood of Kennedy, three thousand people also defied the curfew, marching until midnight. Similar scenes were repeated all over the country.

However, a word of warning must be said. The struggle is not yet over. The coup plotters are still in power and control the state apparatus (including the Army and the Police). If the coup is overthrown by a popular insurrection they have a lot to lose and therefore they could resort to desperate measures to stay in power.

On the other hand, sections of the oligarchy and above all US imperialism will be keen to try to reach a negotiated settlement, to save whatever they can. Washington has already insisted that the way forward is the San José "Accord", which as we have already explained, would tie Zelaya hand and foot and give the oligarchy what they wanted to achieve through the coup. This must be rejected! There should be no amnesty for the coup plotters. The will of the people must be expressed democratically in free and democratic elections to a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly, not the rigged elections the coup plotters are preparing for November 29.

Already at the OAS emergency meeting called to discuss the events, a resolution was passed reaffirming the San José Accord. However both Nicaragua and Venezuela voted against and registered their protest. The Nicaraguan ambassador said that he had talked to Zelaya and that Zelaya was also rejecting the San José agreement, which he had previously accepted. This is correct and should be applauded. Other Latin American governments should be put under pressure to follow the same line (starting with Bolivia, El Salvador and Ecuador).

In the next few hours we can expect to see frantic negotiations to save capitalist legality and the heads of the most prominent coup plotters and their supporters in the capitalist class, combined by attempts to put the movement down with repression.

The masses have to deal the last blow to the regime. The National Front has made an appeal for a national march on the capital which could be even larger than the historic march in early July when Zelaya attempted to return by plane. This should be accompanied by a general strike with workplace occupations. The workers must become the masters of the situation. If the regime cuts off power from radio stations, the workers must reconnect them. If the regime cuts off mobile phone coverage, the telecommunication workers must restore it. The teachers unions have already called for an all out strike starting on Tuesday morning. The neighbourhood, local and regional committees of the Front should take control of the situation and coordinate their actions through democratically elected representatives, so that an alternative power can be set up to that of the illegitimate coup regime.

There should also be a clear appeal to the ranks of the Army and the police not to follow orders. Zelaya has already called them to turn their weapons against their officers. This must be backed up by the mass pressure on the streets and outside the military barracks. At the same time the movement must defend itself against provocations and repression. Barricades have already been erected outside the Brazilian embassy. Armed defence squads should be organised as well.

The next few hours will be decisive. The balance of forces is on the side of the masses. They can deal the last blow to the coup regime and start the building of a new political regime based on the organisation of the masses. A revolutionary constituent assembly called under the authority of the National Front of Resistance is the way forward that can satisfy the aspirations of the masses.

Down with the coup!
General strike, march on Tegucigalpa and peoples' insurrection!
For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!



Joseph Dubonnet said...

I agree that now is the time to topple the undemocratic regime in Honduras. What Honduras also need is a new constitution to replace the one instituted back in the 80s by Ronald Reagan's cronies.

Anonymous said...

Poor Mel. The people didn't come. Now the world knows that the interim government is Honduras LEGITIMATE government and that Mel was always an unpopular poseur.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry folks, we won't lack for entertainment. The Mel and Hugo Show before the UN will soon be in full swing. The international community MUST save Mel! It's his only hope, Obewan Kenobi...

SecondComingOfBast said...

Why the hell can't people let nations run their own affairs? Crap, this is absurd. Will somebody please stick a fork in this guy and feed him to a jaguar? Anybody that believes this guy cares about the "masses" is living in a dream world, only it would be a nightmare for most of us.

Heads up people, I got some bad news for you. Anytime you hear some jackass (and that by the way includes the political party here in the US that actually has the jackass as a symbol)going on about how much he cares about the "people", he's laughing at all of you.

That goes for most politicians, actually, of all parties and "ideologies". I put ideology in scare quotes for the simple fact their one true overriding ideology is money, power, and controlling your silly asses.


tony said...

Latest BBC Report

Anonymous said...

tick tock, tick tock...

...that's the sound of Mel Zelaya's political moment of destiny slipping away.

Anonymous said...

*ha ha ha ha*...

...that's the sound of Hugo Chavez laughing at Lula.

Memet Çagatay said...


You can’t simply say people, "wake up, open up your eyes to the reality." The true obstacle between us and reality is the fantasy that affects us when we are awake: "For Lacan, the ultimate ethical task is that of the true awakening: not only from sleep, but from the spell of fantasy which controls us even more when we are awake." (Zizek) Your cynical rejection of ideology as a whole, operating under the influence of exchange value is itself the perfect ideology in form of fantasy. You are preaching to Honduran people that since all the ideologies are specific tools for different appearances of elemental relationship of exploitation, you should be consent to be screwed by imperialists and their collaborators.

Anonymous said...

The true obstacle between us and reality is the fantasy that affects us when we are awake...

...like the fantasy that the socialists aren't going to screw the people just like the capitalists did. aka = the myth of the administrators of the commons:

"Indeed, the process has been so widely commented upon that one writer postulated a common life cycle for all of the attempts to develop regulatory policies. The life cycle is launched by an outcry so widespread and demanding that it generates enough political force to bring about establishment of a regulatory agency to insure the equitable, just, and rational distribution of the advantages among all holders of interest in the commons. This phase is followed by the symbolic reassurance of the offended as the agency goes into operation, developing a period of political quiescence among the great majority of those who hold a general but unorganized interest in the commons. Once this political quiescence has developed, the highly organized and specifically interested groups who wish to make incursions into the commons bring sufficient pressure to bear through other political processes to convert the agency to the protection and furthering of their interests. In the last phase even staffing of the regulating agency is accomplished by drawing the agency administrators from the ranks of the regulated..."

SecondComingOfBast said...

Mehmet Catagay-

"The true obstacle between us and reality is the fantasy that affects us when we are awake:"

When I say wake up, that's exactly what I'm talking about. You can't collectively entrust your destinies to a relative handful of elites based on ANY ideology. I'm not just picking on socialists when I say that. People need to take their destinies in their own hands and demand accountability.

Accountability-that is the last thing people like Zelaya have in mind. That is the value of a constitutional framework. It provides the basis for that accountability by law.

That's why so many politicians here in the US continually try to subvert our constitution, and that's exactly what Zelaya tried to do, only he was far more obvious about it. The people here that do that are just a little more subtle, but it's the same crap.

Frank Partisan said...

Steeltown: I agree.

Sentinel: I deleted the whole topic.

Tony: Lula is playing a big role. He is running for another term as president. He has opposition in his own party.

Pagan: All Zelaya wanted was a referendum, to have a referendum, to someday change the constitution. He only had a few months left in office. Zelaya isn't a socialist yet.

In a poor country, that capitalist class is threatened by both native workers, and big capitalists in other countries. They are too weak, even to grant Zelaya's modest program.

There isn't ideology involved.

Mehmet Catagay: Pagan is going into a direction as proclaiming power corrupts, so don't take power.

FJ: Lula is facing opposition in his own party for its endorsement. He is running for office soon.

Zelaya is not a socialist. His program is minimal. It's too much for the Honduran capitalists.

The Cuban Revolution wasn't a socialist revolution. Castro was hated by the Communist Party, which supported Batista. Castro took power with capitalists. When it came to implementing the program, the capitalists resisted. In colonial countries, capitalists are too weak, to give even minimal demands as land reform. Land reform isn't socialist, but antifeudalism. Honduran capitalists won't allow even the minimal program of Zelaya. Castro was an accidental socialist. Zelaya may end up as well.

Memet Çagatay said...


Thank you for clarifying for your point. I think you are giving so much credit to Zelaya's true intention which has little value at the current situation. He is becoming the symbol of anti-imperialist resistance whether he deserves it or not.

The Sentinel said...

This issue has not really received much media attention in the UK, for the reason I guess that it’s not in our backyard. The sketchy details I gleaned from the few reports was that that Zelaya was changing the constitution without mandate and was removed from power by the military as a result, but that the US appears to be backing Zelaya.

Obviously it will be a hell of a lot more complex then that as always; I spent time in the region on and off when I was in the army – we still have bases in Belize, formally known as British Honduras – and I traveled around a little, mainly just the bordering Guatemala and Mexico, but I was always struck by the abject poverty of the majority of the people in Central America; it was quite shocking poverty and seemed totally unnecessary given the vast amount of resources the area has.

The other thing that struck me was the endemic corruption of pretty much every official I encountered, especially the police. When corruption at the lower levels is so entrenched that it forms the norm, it goes without saying that corruption at the highest levels is endemic too.

I would say that whatever government they want in power, the people need to charge them with taking those two issue to the top of the agenda; I suspect if the corruption is dealt with then it will be easier to deal with the poverty.

But it is pretty hard to be moral and judgmental about other countries democracy and corruption when my own is headed by an unelected idiot who lies as often as he breaths and has another unelected idiot - who had been forced to resign from government twice (!!) in the recent past amidst scandal - as his deputy along with a cabinet peppered of unelected ‘ministers.’

“I deleted the whole topic.”

Yes of course, that’s fair enough I shouldn’t have posted that retort here really as it ruins debate, but he is somewhat difficult to ignore.

SecondComingOfBast said...


"Pagan is going into a direction as proclaiming power corrupts, so don't take power."

Well, actually somebody has to be able to exercise some degree of power, my point is that people need to educate themselves, and stay focused and involved on and with the issues. More importantly, the need to demand accountability.

The type of situation Sentinel describes as having seen first hand in Central America is the result of people as a whole being powerless to prevent that kind of abuse of power, the corruption, the general incompetence and outright indifference at best to the people's needs.

My hang-up on ideologies-all ideologies-is that it engenders a kind of cult-like atmosphere in which fealty to the ideals of the party takes precedence over everything else except for the wielding of power, which as I said is the true ultimate goal of the elitists who tend to run all parties.

There is no one party or ideology that has all the answers. If I might be so bold, I might go so far as to insist that there is no one party or ideology that has even so much as half of the god damn answers.

So how possibly can a mindless devotion to the dogmatic demands of an ideology produce anything but eventual and usually profound failure?

The Sentinel said...

I agree with you Pagan Temple: Pure ideology, any ideology is bad for governance. Of course, it always leads to dogma and will never allow for the possibility that it is not infallible and cannot overcame any or all obstacles and issues with the appliance of that dogma; the logic always flows that if the ideological solution isn’t working now, then it will in the future given time and the right alignment of circumstance and ‘re-education’ - or even with even more sinister overtones, that it is being sabotaged - and that just because a policy doesn’t work now doesn’t mean it should be changed. People must change, not the ideology.

Principled government is a good thing, if not an elusive thing, but ideological government is the road to tyranny.

Graeme said...

Pagan, you're so cynical...

SecondComingOfBast said...


Cynical? I don't know about that, I just think people and communities would do fine if it weren't for greedy, power-mongering party leaders coming along to fuck things up for everybody.

Mankind has a few basic needs-food, shelter, sleep, and mating, and a few others. Our existence is revolved around meeting those needs. Beyond that, securing and expanding on those needs and seeing to the welfare of our families, communities, etc.

All that is required of any "leader" or of any government is to provide the safety and security in order for people to go about meeting those needs within an established, orderly legal framework. This is necessary in order to keep society from degenerating into a dog-eat-dog free-for-all. But that is all that is necessary.

Once that security is established, then-and only then-do people have the luxury to concern themselves with thoughts of personal growth and philosophies, with higher education, with contributing to the betterment of society, scientific and medical advancement, with arts and entertainment,etc. It is only then, in fact, that they have the luxury to concern themselves with making sure they have the "freedom" to pursue such cherished goals and aspirations.

All government has to do, at this stage, is the exact same thing it did during the previous stage-provide security and stability, and otherwise stay the hell out of the way. For the simple fact that government, by its very nature is antithetical to freedom. It has to be, because by its nature, it exists to put a brake on excesses.

Once it becomes too big, too powerful, it becomes too repressive by reason of the fact that, hey-that's what it does. Nothing's going to change that. Even if you succeed for a brief time, it's eventually going to go back to being what it is, and acting accordingly.

Trusting your security and stability to the government is fine, up to a point, so long as you demand the proper oversight and accountability.

Trusting your freedom, prosperity, and your hopes and aspirations to the government-or to a political party of ideology-is like entrusting your thirteen year-old virgin daughter to the care of a child rapist just because he genuinely seems to like her.

In other words, it's courting disaster.

How is that cynical? If anything, it's cynical to suggest that man needs a big government, or any political party wielding a so-called "ideology" before they can govern themselves, or advance, or accomplish anything of benefit to society.

Bullshit. People can govern themselves fine if governments and political parties would just stay in their fucking places, do the jobs that is necessary for them and for society to function in safety and security, while not going beyond those basic responsibilities, and otherwise leaving us the fuck alone.

Frank Partisan said...

This discussion is flowing in a manner I can state my position, and not reply to people individually.

I heard on I believe NPR this week, that all governments have some degree of corruption.

Zelaya wanted a referendum on a future referendum to change the constitution. Nothing about him serving another term etc.

Ideology is not much of an issue here. Zelaya is from a bourgeoise party. That doesn't mean it can't change. He is an accident of history. If the oligarchy left him alone, he'd be gone when his term was done. People get thrust into the spotlight, like Mousavi in Iran, by accident.

This whole incident is an accident of history.

Anonymous said...

Mel is NO accident. He's Hugo's boy.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Well, it could be that Hugo is just seizing on an opportunity to expand his influence. He is surely an opportunist. Zelaya might well be Hugo's boy now, but maybe Ren has a point. Maybe he wasn't before this all blew up. Or maybe he was. It doesn't matter, what matters now is it would seem the whole world community is throwing it's weight behind a concerted effort to enforce it's collective will on a small, relatively defenseless nation. This is including the UN, the EU, the OAS, and it would seem the US. It's fucking shameful and despicable what's going on now.

Even the news media trumpets the line that the present government-you know, the legitimate one-is acting illegally, when in fact, Zelaya was removed by order of the country's Supreme Court, acting in accordance with it's laws and constitution. The military, far from arbitrarily conducting a coup on it's own accord, was simply doing it's job, enforcing a legally declared edict of the courts with the backing of the legislature.

This is what I mean by people need to open their eyes and pay attention to what's going on. When the mainstream media can not be trusted to report the facts as they happened, but instead simply trumpets the accepted political story of the day, then you have a problem, a serious one. It doesn't matter what your "ideology" is, because it can always come back to bite you on the ass one of these days.

How often, in the mainstream media, have you heard reports that the voting machines were fixed to decide the election in Zelays's favor. What was that all about?

Even if that story turns out to be false, or at least greatly exaggerated-isn't it a compelling enough charge that the media should at least report it as an allegation? Shouldn't they want to look into it? Shit, I heard that story first on some blog-probably this one. I haven't heard one god damn word about it from the mainstream media.

All you get from them is asshats like Brian WIlliams interviewing Obama and bowing at the end like he was standing before a fucking king or something.

And people wonder why I am so fucking cynical?

steven rix said...

Hello from Oslo Norway xD

Anonymous said...

Maybe he wasn't before this all blew up. Or maybe he was.

He joined ALBA. He was CERTAINLY Hugo's boy. But unfortunately for him, the gasses they're pumping into the Brazilian Embassy are laced with estrogen and turning him into a woman. He's appealing to the Red Cross to get the gas turned off, but I doubt he'll escape the CIA's mind-control lazers w/o a properly contructed tin-foil hat.

Frank Partisan said...

Steve: You're becoming another Carmen Sandiego.

FJ: Hugo Chavez is also an accident of history. He didn't start out as radical, as he became. Just like Mousavi in Iran, who for awhile was defacto protest leader.

Pagan: The Cuban Revolution wasn't a socialist revolution. Events forced Castro's hand.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Huh? I never mentioned Castro or Cuba. By the way, I think you're going to like the next music video I post. It's an oldie but goodie. I'll give you a hint.

Anonymous said...

He didn't start out as radical, as he became.

Maybe it's just me, but when you start your political career out as a coupster like Hugo did, I'd say you started out pretty radical...

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