Polls or weapons?


Polls or Weapons?

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, Honduran Minister of Culture

Translation: Machetera, with editing by Manuel Talens

The coup d’etat has not divided Hondurans, Mel even less so.  Rather, the increasingly concentrated and exclusionary process that has polarized us for half a century is to blame.  And President Zelaya’s proposal to take on the structural contradictions of this model and become aware of and involved in the effective remediation of misery, revealed the fault lines between the segments of the population who have benefited and been alienated by such a process (the various shades of the bourgeoisie) and, on the other hand, the increasingly frustrated marginalized majority, along with socially and ethically committed professionals and organized workers who are able to envision a more just order of things. In the news that reaches me from Honduras, two things stand out: confusion between all sectors, and indignation.

First of all, the profound confusion of the petty bourgeoisie, which has fallen into the trap of media manipulation, convinced that they are supporting a move “against communism and dictatorship.”  Poor things.  I don’t know if they’re redeemable. They were superstitious to begin with and now they’ve become compulsively prayerful, as a reflection of their guilty conscience and fear – I imagine – because they cannot fail to sense the unfathomable dangers that they unleashed using the thugs and evil genies associated with the Contra Cuarta.*  In contradiction to the entire world they invoke Micheletti’s universal leadership, the integrity and heroicism of Vásques Velásquez, the good intentions of businessmen, the Archbishop’s blessing (in the face of the Pope’s complete condemnation) and the inconsistencies of these false prophets against reason itself, against common sense, all the while insisting on the official and media fiction that the coup has united Honduras when the daily demonstrations prove that it has not.

There is also confusion among those of us who certainly did not envision what others call “a coup in the making,” even though we were all aware of the conspiracy.  For the fact that we didn’t take any precautions.  And that we wandered around like idiots, spouting stupidities, thinking that the international community would resolve our problems, citing legal arguments in a country where the justice system has long since collapsed, that we’d go on a general strike, not coordinating with one another, living for the daily poem and the “best songs” while they went after us, taking us prisoner, repressing the demonstrations when they found them too frightening.  The perverse feel secure while the good are more and more exposed.

The hours tick by, the international condemnation accumulates and the marches and demonstrations go on, but they remain in power, only slightly nervous, while at night we return to hiding or look for new hiding places.  (Those of us who’ve barely escaped are lucky).  Billy Joya and Carmona wander the streets freely.  They brutally pursue our people, hound them, and send them on their way. (Without possessing any kind of technical understanding herself, the dangerous blonde Castro has dismissed nearly all the ministry’s technical personnel.)  It’s clear that we’re at a disadvantage.  And that the friction of the struggle is wearing down and to the extent that it appears to be ineffective, the unprecedented international reaction will vanish into thin air, in the double game of “stalling.”  The impotence, the frustration and the confusion must be recognized, but not for the sake of giving up.  Indignation must be cultivated and above all, organized, in order to be turned into an effective instrument of the struggle.  The demonstrations in the street remain urgent and will continue for many more days, although they need to be better organized.  And the banner of the struggle remains; the immediate restitution of the legitimate government.  Congress can give amnesty to whomever it likes.  Mel must return however, from wherever, to do whatever.

There’s nothing personal about it, but Mel personifies this longing.  No-one but he can restore the conditions under which we can return to being a civilized country, debating our differences without the prefabricated foolishness of ideology and fundamentalism; turning to the polls rather than weapons, to resolve contradictions.

* Contra Cuarta (Anti-Fourth) is a reference to the reactionary movement which began against the “Fourth Referendum” which Zelaya wanted to hold during the November elections and which provoked the coup d’etat.

Machetera and Manuel Talens are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and editor are cited.

One response to “Polls or weapons?

  1. (…) The perverse feel secure while the good are more and more exposed. (…)

    i can’t imagine a better description for a junta

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