Monday, July 12, 2010

Reactions to the National Assembly of the FNRP: From Mel on down

There are so many statements now reflecting, from different perspectives, on the Tocoa Assembly that it would be overwhelming to translate them all.

But one deserves a full translation:

From the desk of the Constitutional President (2006-2010) Jose Manuel Zelaya.

People and Comrades:

I am verifying the contents of the communique and of the first resolutions of the Assembly of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, that was carried out in Colón this weekend. On first impression it seems good to me that the force to advance was encountered in its own decisions. I have asked Xiomara, my wife, that she present herself tomorrow to the Directorship of the FNRP to speak with Carlos H. Reyes, Juan Barahona, Rafael Alegría and the rest of the comrades, to know the scope of the proposal and so tomorrow itself it will be possible to communicate my acceptance as Liberal-Pro Socialista to integrate in the General Coordination of the Executive Committee of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular.

MEL Z RD 11 de julio de 2010.

In this brief note, Manuel Zelaya effectively supports the actions of the FNRP and the leadership of the sectors that resisted pressure to seat a larger than agreed on number of Liberal Party delegates.

Statements like that of Ollantay Itzamna reiterate that this was a critical achievement in the quest to change the fundamental system, that confirmed "the extreme unction of the moribund 'dedocrátic' system of bipartisanship in Honduras".

The first image is of the administration of the Last Rites of Roman Catholicism, given here to the hand-picking of delegates misrepresented as "democratic" (dedo= finger, which substitutes for hand in the Spanish equivalent to the English figure of speech; so "dedocratic" is approximately "handpickedocrat").

Ollantay Itzamna adds that the naming of Manuel Zelaya Rosales as National Coordinator of the Frente is
also another strategic ratification of popular sentiment. In the Honduran conjuncture, Zelaya is an undeniable national/popular leader. But, this nomination is a sociopolitical strategy. The FNRP needs to articulate to all the cells of the resistance dispersed across the country, and so to construct a sociopolitical hegemony on a national level. And this difficult task, against time, only can be done with a strong and evident national leader. Here we have the strategic reason for the nomination of Compañero Zelaya, but this is not to say that the FNRP is completed in Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

In some ways, the statement by Zelaya negates a curious side comment in the report of the withdrawal of the Liberals in Resistance, when Carlos Reina said
before withdrawing, that in taking this decision he had the endorsement of the deposed Honduran president, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who had been consulted by [the Liberals in Resistance] by telephone from the Dominican Republic, where he remains exiled since the past 27th of January.

In context, that seemed almost as a claim of patronage, a reclaiming of Mel from the Frente in general.

That some such claim was perceived is made explicit in the response to the assembly by Luis Mendez, described as a "poet in resistance". After rehearsing the details of the attempt to swell the ranks of the delegates with extra appointees recommended by Liberals in resistance, Mendez says that
It is lamentable but the thing is that Carlos Eduardo Reina and the rest that don't add up to ten have the economic resources to move bars, and money to bring a national commission of Liberals in Resistance to the Dominican Republic (as they proposed at the Assembly of Tocoa), and expound to our ex-president Manuel Zelaya Rosales the developments for which they withdrew from the national conduct of the FNRP... well, if they have the economic resources that would be very much their own affair, but we, we do not go to Santo Domingo, but, we go to the villages, to the hamlets, to form the collectives, to accompany to the town fronts, there is where the construction of popular power will be given.

And, without doubt, we expect comrade Manuel Zelaya will personally join the Executive Committee of the FNRP as one of the principal leaders of the movement and it is certain that we can invite the Apparition, there, to where Saint Thomas was the one to say to us: TODAY IS NOT AS BEFORE COMRADES, today we have new visions.

The religious nature of this imagery, again, is somewhat startling, but like the metaphor of extreme unction, it shifts the register from mere politics as usual to redemption, to revelation, and to fervor.

Zelaya, by accepting his appointed role in the FNRP, affirms the new movement as something more than the politics of the past.

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