Friday, June 25, 2010

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle: The Community of Nations and Honduras, a Conjuncture

The "coup" of 28/6/2009 (so Obama himself called it before Lobo, although it was those who conspired who were deploring it) entailed a high and expansive level of involvement of the International Community, especially of the OAS, in Honduras. From the perspective of the Resistance, nonetheless, this involvement also was incoherent and ineffective and even misleading (1) in various meanings of the word. And it was increasingly doubtful that the international community could assist in finding a way out (it would be difficult to have a solution) because the determination of radical golpismo to overcome or ignore any external interference that would not be pleasing to them was understood, so that the questioning of the Europeans or Latin Americans, were of no interest for golpismo, and, in that measure, have ceased to be means of pressure. In a recent communication the ex-Minister of Tourism of Honduras Ricardo Martinez wrote lucidly to me:
Central America could not maintain the closure of frontiers after one week because of the economic pressures of their businessmen... partners of the Honduran golpistas. The OAS never succeeded in true commercial embargos or resolutions that would require... the golpistas to give in; on the contrary they dragged their feet (2) and now around 54 countries recognize the present government, including the USA that represents 70% of our economic activity. In Honduras there has been no scarcity of anything that had not already been lacking and despite the acute economic crisis, the lempira has not even been devalued and the interest rates increased. All the multilateral organizations are now in dialogue with the government of Lobo and have initiated payments and the SICA has already incorporated the Honduran ministers in the consultations of its ministers, even thought they have not changed the resolution that prohibited it.

Something that is patently illegal.

We should remember that the ex-Minister behind much of this debacle is the strong arm of the USA, but is a discreet man. On the other hand, the golpista press has questioned, and the forces of the right (that also were more able to hold together with their few external friends) have rejected, adverse pronouncements from outside the country, by the OAS and most recently the joint position of the so-called Group of 16 that-- recently-- repudiated the determination of the golpista Supreme Court of Justice to fire the judges and magistrate that have made statements against the coup and demanded attention and remedy to the continuing abuses of human rights and violence against the opposition, ignored by the Prosecutor. The so called "Institute for the Defense of Democracy", that is no more than a front for golpismo, has rejected in a communique the strong statement of the G16, imputing to them an interventionist spirit and a lack of respect for the institutionality of the country. The ambassador Ruperto Pérez, of the Kingdom of Spain, who belongs to that group, rejected that response and declared that the isolationist norm invoked was completely obsolete, recalling that around the world, the international community today is involved in problems of human rights which are conceived as universal and the responsibility of everyone.

In effect, the judge Garzón, who is now being punished for having dared so much, only had made a personal demonstration of a perception already generalized that we cannot be indifferent before the rights of the rest of the inhabitants of the planet without putting our own in danger. And this thesis has prevailed in the new international law. Consequently there exist international commissions of rights that have repudiated Ramón Custodio and international campaigns against flagrant violations, in Asia and the Pacific, and campaigns by the UN against mutilations by Muslims in Africa, treaties and conventions worldwide against torture that-- furthermore-- Honduras has ratified, which is why the International Court has been established, etc. The ideologues of golpismo such as Carlos López C. (ex Chancellor who was the favorite of the military since the time of his uncle, the dictator of the same name) and his favored ambassadors don't understand. They remain, as General McCrystal said not long ago, "stuck in the seventies". Certainly this is not going to stop this push of international law, nor is it going to resolve the confrontation in Honduras.

Perhaps the evolution of the situation since the coup has been converted into a case of the study of change generated, not in the bureaucratic field, that also keeps being short-sighted or obsolete, but in the very wide public effects on international politics of the powerful countries of the globe. These are democracies in the more genuine sense, where the citizens (that can inform themselves at the edge of the manipulated media) are determined to demand that their governments be consistent with international aid, and not waste it on dictatorships that, with it, make themselves ever more powerful. Self-determination can only prevail where the agreed-upon international norms are not violated. The problem continues being the dissonance or open contradiction between pragmatic interest, especially of the USA, and the more abstract and idealist doctrine of rights, otherwise easily manipulable if it is not defined in an integral way, as human rights, political as well as social.

Some pivotal institutions of the international community could be in danger if they do not demonstrate more effectiveness in the protection of those principles, but at the same time they are pressured not to move against the powerful. In particular the OAS, that is already warned by the published determination of a large majority of its members (that feel smothered within it) to create a different entity, that would leave out the USA and its twin.(3) So that, to the degree that the great power does not succeed in reconciling itself with the greater complexity of the community of nations of the Continent, the latter is disposed to create a space apart, that excludes it. The OAS as such therefore confronts a test. It will not be disposed to fail. And to have success it is necessary that it be capable of reconciling the imperatives of both factions and to obtain concessions from both parties that will give to the voice of the organization the coherency that it requires to be effective and to consolidate its new principles of international law. In so far as this goal advances it will gain respect and even recognition in all the factions, although some will remain more content than others and even though no one can demand that they resolve the internal problems of each one of their members.

Published Friday 25 June, 2010 on Vos el Soberano.


(1) engañoso: deceitful, deceptive, illusory, fraudulent, phony, misleading. As Pastor Fasquelle references "various meanings of the word", any of these should be considered here.

(2) dio largas al asunto

(3) The reference is to the meeting of the Río Group earlier this year, resolving to form an association leaving out the US and Canada.

No comments: