Honduras after the Coup: the Awakening of the People

Honduras, known as Higueras in Nahuatl language, is located in the heart of America, hence its geopolitical importance, since it is the transition point between the Northern and the Southern continent.

The country gained its independence, on September 15, 1821, the same day as the rest of Central America, eleven years after the independence of the other countries in the continent. Later, it formed part of the Central American federation, known as the "United Provinces of Central America".

This federation was proclaimed by General José Francisco Morazán Quezada, who, like Bolivar, envisioned the creation of a single nation, strong and powerful.

During the course of its history, Honduras has been a corporate enclave of mining and banana companies, with a two-party political system, where two political parties (liberals and conservatives) alternate in power, both instruments of the oligarchy.

Both were right-wing parties and they have been historically controlled by the U.S. governments, in order to repel the great social movements of our region and combat the guerrillas of the sister countries such as the Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberación Nacional in El Salvador and the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional in Nicaragua during the 80's of last century.

In the late nineties, the labor and popular movement started to reorganize after a decade of implementation of the neoliberal model, marked by increased prices of goods and public services, privatizations, attacks to trade unions and the dismantling of the popular and trade union movement.

It was in this revival of the union movement, when José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was elected President. He began making changes in the economy of our country such as increasing the minimum wage, negotiating collective agreements, respect for the statutes of teachers and doctors, as well as joining the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, Petrocaribe, support for small business, change of the formula for import of fuel, etc.

This was enough for the Pentagon, with the help of the media, the army and, above all, the Honduran oligarchy to perpetrate the first coup of the 21st century. All these that came together would be unable to carry out a coup, without the involvement of Washington and its imperialist policies of the Pentagon, as a way to stop the winds of change, which run through our continent from South to North.

That's why they expelled the president and established a military and political dictatorship that now is repressing social movements, trade unions and anyone who peacefully protest against the regime.

Under these circumstances, the National Front of Popular Resistance was created, as a public response to the oligarchy, the military and the Pentagon, in order to protect ourselves from attacks and fight for the restoration of democracy and the respect for social gains. It is the largest popular organization that unites people from various sectors of our society: workers, teachers, students, nurses, farmers, artists...

That is, a broad popular movement that can access to power, in order to install a national constituent assembly and redefine the state of Honduras. The Front, as it is called, has the task of leading our people in this long road to better social levels, while acknowledging the great challenges it's facing, such as the prosecution and punishment of those responsible for more than 140 murders and tortures and the violation of human rights, the return of political exiles and the guaranteed and unconditional return of citizen José Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Every time, we make our own the words of Dr. Salvador Allende, when he said that they may have the weapons and forces, but they will not overwhelm the social changes, they cannot stop them nor with the thunder of cannons, nor the crackle of machine guns.

Walter Manrique Juarez is the International Relations Secretary of the  FUTH, (United Federation of the Workers of Honduras) His article first appeared in WFTU "Reflects."

October 31, 2010

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