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Massive int’ solidarity crucial as

Hondurans resist right-wing coup

Published Oct 1, 2009 10:32 PM

Sept. 29—As we go to press, aggression by right-wing forces that can accurately be described as acts of war continues in Honduras.

A vicious fascist coup may be in the making as the de facto illegal government of Roberto Micheletti carries out a reign of terror against the people and Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected president. The coup plotters—golpistas in Spanish—have denied rights guaranteed in the Constitution and banned gatherings.

These latest assaults took place after President Zelaya quietly returned to his country on Sept. 20 after being deposed in a right-wing coup on June 28.

Zelaya took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy on Sept. 21. He is accompanied there by his spouse, First Lady Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, and many supporters, including members of the Honduran resistance.

At stake in Honduras today is the survival of leaders and a movement that orient in the direction of alleviating the problems of the poor and the working class. The danger is that reactionary class forces oriented to Washington and Wall Street at the expense of the poor and the working class could prevail through military might.

When it became clear that President Zelaya was oriented to goals similar to those of left-leaning leaders in Latin America like Presidents Hugo Chávez and Raúl Castro, the super-rich and pro-U.S. oligarchy of Honduras took action. They kidnapped him in the middle of the night and flew him out of the country.

Upon President Zelaya’s return, the illegitimate Micheletti government gave ominous orders to the Honduran police and military: surround the Brazilian Embassy where Zelaya was staying.

Reports confirm that the coup leaders, described as fascist by the resistance, dropped chemical gas on the embassy on Sept. 25 after cutting off water, electricity and food for several days. The gas is known to cause severe respiratory damage.

It was also confirmed that the Micheletti fascists used Long-Range Acoustic Devices on the embassy. LRADs are manufactured in the U.S. and can cause permanent hearing damage.

A photographer captured the use of LRADs, which emit an acoustic beam so painful that it can cause serious damage to hearing. At full capacity, an LRAD emits a 150-decibel sound wave—equivalent to the roar of a jet plane taking off.

This weapon has frequently been used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Zelaya reports from the Brazilian Embassy that the people there have been subjected to “bombardments with chemical products and ultrasound waves that provoke illness and make people very nervous.”

The aggression by the fraudulent Micheletti golpistas against the Brazilian Embassy is a blatant violation of international law and conventions. The aggression demonstrates that the fascists will stop at nothing to keep the status quo in Honduras.

All indications are that the Micheletti regime aims to kill President Zelaya. Anticipating that they might attempt to make his death look like suicide, he has warned, “I am telling the people, Manuel Zelaya will not commit suicide.”

The Honduran people continue to resist. They have valiantly earned the title Los Incansables (the tireless ones) with non-stop actions for more than three months.

On Sept. 27, a delegation from the Organization of American States was denied entry into the country. On the same day, Micheletti issued a decree suspending individual liberties and rights guaranteed by the Constitution, dropping all pretenses of legality.

A curfew was strengthened prohibiting mass gatherings. The next day, Micheletti announced he would lift the emergency decree curtailing constitutional rights such as freedom of expression, travel and gathering in public. But not immediately—only after a “legal review.”

Early the next morning, soldiers forced their way into Radio Globo, which reports on the resistance, and destroyed every piece of equipment. Journalists from the radio station and from Channel 36 were arrested. Nevertheless, Radio Globo managed to get back online very quickly.

Repression against the movement is heavy. People are being rounded up and beaten, especially youth. A journalist from El Libertador was captured, beaten and burned with cigarettes. Jessica Sanchez of Feminists in Resistance sent an eyewitness account that police are raiding hospitals every two hours to pick up wounded demonstrators. (Americas Report)

Juan Almendares of the Honduran Center for Torture Prevention told Americas Report that Honduras has become “the largest prison in the world.” He said, “There is a permanent state of siege here. Human rights organizations and medics are not even allowed to attend to the tortured and wounded. The office of the Committee for Families of the Disappeared was bombed with tear gas. ... Children and the sick in the hospitals are undernourished since, with the curfew, which is a death warrant, they do not receive food and are dying of hypoglycemia.”

A well-known and beloved youth leader, Wendy Elizabeth Ávila, died after a heavy chemical gas attack. The gas triggered her asthma and led to her death.

At her funeral, Juan Barahona, on behalf of the National Front of Resistance against the Coup, told Ávila’s family and friends, “Monday, Sept. 28, marks three months of resistance in the streets. This is our month to defeat the golpistas. We have the capacity to solve this political crisis. The OAS has not intervened because they follow the orders of the Yankees, who are always against any people’s liberation struggle and that is what is happening here.”

Another National Front leader, Israel Salinas, said at the funeral, “We should paralyze this country from Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, El Progreso, Tela, Tocoa, etc. We are convinced of our firm positions. Without Mel, we say no to any elections. Restore our constitutional rights—on to the Constitutional National Assembly and to a new Constitution.”

Referring to the wealthy Honduran families, Father Fausto Milla stated: “Wendy’s death should become a big example in our country, but we should also not forget the 40,000 hungry children who die because of the Handals, the Facussés of the country. They just handed me some bad news for the golpistas. Micheletti’s daughter was deported by the U.S. back into Honduras. We are not going to deport the golpistas, we want them in prison forever. We are with and we collaborate with the Resistance.”

Bertha Cáceres of COPINH, an Indigenous group that is part of the resistance, stated: “In the name of the Indigenous and of the brave Garifunas who are in resistance and on behalf of women we solidarize ourselves with Wendy’s family. We say these crimes will not go unpunished. Our people must understand that only we can determine our destiny. We need to break our yoke, so that our natural riches belong to us.”

The will of the Honduran people is clear: Resistance and victory are the only option. As Comrade Fidel Castro of Cuba wrote last week, “A revolution is brewing in Honduras.”

As with the people of Venezuela who have tasted freedom, imperialism can never erase that no matter how hard they try.

On Sept. 28, the OAS held a day-long emergency meeting on Honduras. Finally.

U.S. delegate Lewis Amselem was caught making snarly remarks, unaware microphones were still live. “We are looking increasingly foolish,” he said. “What is the purpose of this declaration? It should’ve been a simple, short 15-minute project. Should’ve been to reject the treatment of the OAS officials, the treatment they received over the weekend,” Amselem said, referring to the incident where five OAS representatives were turned away from Honduras.

The U.S. official continued: “Reject the deterioration in human rights, as evidence of the decree of the de facto regime, and call (for) the respect for diplomatic immunity. That should’ve been it, that should’ve been it.”(cnn.com)

This followed another remark where Amselem called President Zelaya’s return to his country “irresponsible and foolish” and claimed it fueled violence.

As usual, the representative of U.S. imperialism turned things on their head, making right wrong and wrong right.

It is the U.S.-backed Micheletti regime that is responsible for the violence and repression in Honduras today. The resistance has it right: only the people of Honduras can determine their own destiny. But solidarity can also be decisive. At this moment in history, it is urgent for the world movement to come out in support of the resistance in Honduras.

Latin Americans and the progressive movement here remember the events in Chile in 1973. A bloodbath must be prevented in Honduras. The people of Honduras must be free to choose their own leaders. Right now they are demanding leaders who will address the social problems. Which way things go will depend on how the movement there coalesces, but solidarity is key in reversing the golpe in Honduras.