Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The unmasking of golpismo: Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle

Translated from the Spanish posted February 23 on Vos el Soberano:

Those who have taken pains to better inform themselves have not been confused. After a debate of more than a month, hundreds of anthropologists who are members of the American Anthropological Association just passed a resolution that not only condemns the coup d'etat, as many historians of the US have already done, but also asks their government to condemn the abuses of rights on the part of golpismo, support the Resistance, collaborate with the governments of the region and refuse to recognize the government elected under golpismo. But those that have trusted in the information of the press do not end up understanding and one of my old professors-- a political scientist-- here (in México) a few days ago asked me in puzzlement "if the ex-President Zelaya did not intend to remain in power, as the conspiratorial press always alleged, what could have motivated the coup d'etat of the 28th of June?"

I do not know if I knew how to explain well to him that the proposal for a Constitutional Assembly menaced the interests of the beneficiaries of the system, determined to continue being those that command and to command for their benefit. Nor do I know if the majority in Honduras understand it thoroughly. But I see with clarity how the conspirators have tried to conceal this essential motive.

Before and after the 29th of November, golpismo has wished to justify itself recovering its rhetorical defense "of institutionality" whose advance it reverted thirty years, "of the Constitution" that it broke, of "the democracy" that it repressed and of which it made a mockery, and "of private enterprise" whose legitimate right it has placed in insecurity. And it has sought to symbolically consecrate these justifications declaring the day of the coup as that "of the defense of the Constitution", and the golpistas, above all the tramp Micheletti, as "hero of democracy", an idea that was inspired by the grotesque joke of Thomas Shannon that history will not forget him, and to which the Grupo de Rio now has responded. Gradually (as the old adage goes, "by his deeds you will know him"), the contradictions and disputes among the golpistas for the loot surpassed the underlying motives, so that they can be contemplated starkly and they wind up being understood by themselves and strangers.

The later proliferation-- that La Gaceta testifies to-- of concessions of exploitation of open-air mining, that ex-President Zelaya had suspended from the day of his inauguration. The denunciations of corruption of the first post-coup regime (of Micheletti) on the part of the second (of Lobo) that have been disseminated from the Presidential Residence by Sr. Discua, of as yet obscure antecedents, detailing the scandalous management of resources. The denunciations of a pair of ministers, notoriously that of Culture, about the unknown fate of hundreds of millions of lempiras of funds evidently outside the budget (transferred outside of the budget of the entity) for unjustified purposes. The unheard of concession to the mafia of a dam in which the Honduran State (and the people) have invested dozens of millions of dollars since the time of the earlier military dictatorship. The protest now of COHEP about the presentation of "the fiscal species" that this corporation used to enjoy legal benefit from, to the military class, to buy goods of questionable valuation. And, finally, the candid disclosure, on the part of the new Chancellor, of the division of consulates among the traditional parties allied in the coup they attempt to explain.

These things together and simultaneously place in evidence the motive of golpismo: the cupidity of the elites, business, political, and military, and their eagerness to continue enjoying the benefits of public goods and resources without restraint, which the prospect of "Citizen Power" placed at risk. These larcenies are not novel nor unique. So it is that it has always operated, the present "democratic" State (the system of government that the golpistas defended with such passion against any change) to benefit the "real power groups", "interest groups" that have disputed the division of the benefits, the exemptions, the pardons, the concessions of services, the well- and badly- conceived state enterprises, etc. according to the old pattern of colonial corporatism.

If it had been possible to consolidate, in effect, a political regime that responded in direct and exclusive form to the general interest of the citizenry, through a constitutional assembly that would facilitate the participation in legislative representation, in the operation and control of the system, this understanding among delinquents would have been threatened, not only when their misdeeds were revealed, but in the process of public discussion and decision. (This was sought by the ill-fated, because misunderstood, Law of Access to Public Information, that was promulgated at the beginning of the Zelaya administration and that the system rapidly neutralized, dividing the magistracies among the parties.) The coup was produced to protect these privileges for their beneficiaries.

I do not know how many people know that-- even though the cynics of the Honduran political class "understand the routine this way"-- this type of distribution (and more when it is done publicly) is unacceptable not only in the advanced countries, but also in the neighbors of the isthmus that have already passed through a modernizing process. Many Hondurans will not be able easily to understand it. I do not know in what proportion the mass of the Resistance or the public in general understand it. (In the final instance the prospect for reform and the development of the country depends on what the majority understands, because those who benefit from the usufruct rights that they run the risk of losing control of understand it well.) But I do not wish to boast about finding the water tepid. And the unveiling of the modus operandi of this primeval dominant class is a sorrowful civic education for all and a component of the construction of democracy that, in the Honduran case, precisely due to this type of throwbacks, passes -- necessarily-- through a re-founding, by a Constitutional assembly that will armor, as they say today, the general interest.


Anonymous said...

I'm very glad the resolution passed. Kudos!


RAJ said...

Thanks to Oscar for sending a correction for the link to the original by Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle-- I inadvertently pasted the wrong link originally.