Friday, April 2, 2010

The Liberal Party, the Resistance, the President and the Ambassador

A controversy is boiling in Honduras over reports that Jorge Arturo Reina, Zelaya's ambassador to the UN, is being named as "ambassador to ALBA" by the Lobo Sosa government, or has been confirmed to continue as UN ambassador for the present Honduran administration.

These reports of apparent collaboration by a former supporter of Zelaya led to critique on Vos el Soberano of Reina for his chameleon-like changes of alignment, and his network of contacts with
interests distant from the people, for example, Arturo Echenique and Olvin Rodríguez, previously members of the liberal movement of the Reinas, the democratic left and the Liberal Alliance of the People; here participated Rosenthal, Jorge Bueso Arias who declared himself "proudly golpista", Armando Aguilar Cruz one of the negotiators of the golpistas, and also the Villeda Bermúdezes [negotiators for and supporters of Roberto Micheletti].

Samuel Trigueros, a Honduran poet deeply engaged in resistance to the coup and its aftermath, responded to discussion about whether this appointment should be tolerated by the resistance and its supporters with a critique of deference toward the opinion of former President Zelaya. Trigueros indicted
the wave of recalcitrant zelayists that insist on seeing the popular struggle solely through a party lens, perhaps with the intention of capitalizing, in some probable future, on their liberal militancy in the manner in which many men and women are accustomed: achieving honors through clientism or political chamberism...

The zelayists ought to consider the possibility of not insisting on imposing (as an unwavering dogmatic assertion) our dear ex-president as the ineluctable leader of the Resistance...

If Mel were to return tomorrow to Honduras, would he try to mend the Liberal Party? If the Resistance were to decide that the person in whom it wished to deposit its leadership is not Manuel Zelaya, would the zelayists remain in a disciplined manner in the bosom of the Frente?

Trigueros' post drew a response from Oscar Amaya Armijo. Amaya Armijo describes himself as a poet and novelist born in Talanga, and a faculty member of the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, and has commemorated his kinship with the recently assassinated resistance member José Manuel Flores Armijo. In summer 2009, in the wake of the coup d'etat, he published eloquent statements about what needed to happen in Honduras to address the political breach, and continues to write about the situation in Honduras.

Amaya Armijo argues in part that
The liberals in resistance should, as well, demonstrate that they are unconditionally with the Resistance, which is the immense majority of Honduras, by quitting this old oligarchic and fascist party that Micheletti, Elvin Santos, and Romeo Vásquez lead, and organize a new type of political structure, calling this the Socialist Liberal Party, Liberal Hope, Citizen Power, with new ideology and political platform, so that they can really distinguish themselves from the shells of bipartisanship.

In the Honduran context, Amaya Armijo is reminding us, a sufficiently large defection of progressives from the Liberal Party could have the effect of unsettling the long established two party system that is only lightly masked by the participation of other parties at the margins of national elections.

His post is a kind of counterpoint to the repeated claims that the Frente de Resistencia is, or should be, forming a new political party. While the Frente itself continues to emphasize an alternative form of political deliberation and leadership, parallel transformation of existing political parties would by no means be in conflict. Amaya Armijo presents the moral authority of the Frente as the spur for "liberals in resistance" to consider forming a new party-- illustrating that the Frente has the potential to influence broader politics in Honduras without occupying the role of a standard party.

Amaya Armijo accuses members of the Liberal Party of being wary of joining the Resistance out of "petty bourgeois" fears of supposed Socialist leanings of popular leaders, reminding them that it was Zelaya who began talk of socialism, and indicting the Liberal Party for a history of adhesion to the "foreign oligarchy that has the country kidnapped". He continues:
In any case, why fear the people and their utopias, their yearnings for social, political, and economic transformation, if what we are concerned with here is to initiate a path toward justice, equity, and human solidarity, characteristics of developed and inclusive societies.

Amaya Armijo concludes by saying that for Zelaya
there remains no other way out than to unite himself with the Resistance, if not the resistance and the conjunctures [of history] will continue creating new leaders capable of surmounting him....

Of course, in Honduras, the political map has changed enormously and anyone who does not know how to interpret it will be fodder for the implacable punishment of the Honduran masses, those that now don't aim at traditional bipartisanship.

I do not know if this is radical: but whether or not the liberals in resistance, the zelayists and the reina-ists are in the Resistance; even without them... the constituyente, the new constitution and the refounding of Honduras is coming, and there is no oligarchic power that can hold it back.

In a second response, Honduran journalist Ricardo Arturo Salgado Bonilla reminds Trigueros that whether or not a politician like Reina acts like a politician, taking an appointment from the new government as easily as from the previous one, is not the most urgent question:
It seems to me that all this sterile discussion is distracting us from many more serious realities: the fiscal paquetazo; the selective political assassinations, the terrorist character of the Honduran confessional state; and other less evaluated crises such as the increase in hunger in the south; the drought, the traffic in concessions, and much more...

what is resulting will be no more nor less than the dismantling of the national state, and the conversion, finally, to Honduras Inc., without anyone saying anything... The ambassadors of the oligarchy are an immaterial topic, in the face of the challenges that we must confront.

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