Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle on justice and the return (or not) of Mel Zelaya

From Vos el Soberano:

Coup, cut, and action: A telenovela called "The Humbug"

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle

Today the most recent episode of the local soap opera "The Humbug" was transmitted. The Attorney General Rubí, protege and sidekick of Carlos Flores Facussé and politically chosen in Congress weeks before the coup, under intense international pressure-- always "the interference!", as Leitzelar and the bards lament--announced with bass drum and cymbal, that he would file away the political proceedings brought against ex President Zelaya after the coup and would graciously permit him to defend himself in liberty against allegations of administrative offenses, that were also the means and pretexts of the coup, before the Court that justified and endorsed the coup, equally chosen among the friends of Flores Facussé by the golpista Congress. Do we have to applaud? Laugh? or cry, as is customary with the soap opera genre?

In theory there is not much to fear. Indeed this is the same Court that only a few days ago (after the coup, pardon me if I insist on the chronology, that is the methodological recourse of my trade) just concluded giving a final dismissal to ex-President Callejas, accused by the conservative US senator Jesse Helms of being in his time "the most corrupt in Latin America" and against who the Attorney, even in the hands of the National Party, kept the charges pending for twelve years! But who had to be rewarded.

We are dealing with a transformation, to a very different Rubí from the one that has declared again and again that he would have to detain and jail ex President Zelaya the moment he arrived in Honduras. And in effect I have an ambivalent feeling because all my adult life I have dreamed about how to construct a country where the powerful would be responsible before the law and
what's justice? My stomach turns at the statement of ex Ambassador Arcos, noting that in Honduras justice is a serpent that only bites the barefoot.

The announcement by Rubí is a new step on the turn that is observed, for months, in the strategy of Lobo and the USA, that are "flexing" their positions with respect to the return of the ex president to the country. And it provides a new trap, of those of which the political field is full. A friend revealed to me a couple of months ago in Honduras, explaining to me that it deals with generating the impression that the conditions for his return have already been established in the country and that "if Mel does not return, it is because he doesn't want to", even if Lobo is not in any condition to absolutely guarantee anything with respect to his security. Under the supposition that this would be enough for the -- meantime, inadmissable-- readmission of the country to the OAS and SICA. And without committing himself in the least to confront the actual situation of insecurity and political persecution that obtains against the opposition.

Although I do not wish to label as "military", thus excusing the prominence of the political and business partners of the conspiracy, the President of the USA, his Foreign Minister, his ambassador and the spokespeople of the State Department have labeled what occurred in Honduras as a "coup d'Etat". That is to say as a rupture of the legal order, a crime against institutionality and the Honduran citizenry. Thus it has been labeled as well by the UN, the OAS, SICA, and it has been recognized repeatedly as well by President Lobo himself and other national actors, accomplices who want to feign candor and objectivity. (Let alone the Resistance in which we locate ourselves for distinct reasons, with cell phones and multicolored flags with an undetermined number-- because we don't want to tell-- of citizens.) And it has been recognized by all those organizations, that have certified and documented many (although not all) of the abuses of human rights and crimes against humanity: illegal detentions, tortures, and assassinations of members of the opposition and their relatives, with the goal of intimidating and silencing it. They were also recognized as abuses, the day before yesterday by the Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA), abuses that there is no way to stop while the apparatus of justice is devoted to covering them up or justifying them.

This actual situation of Honduras will not be remedied in the least with the return (yearned for by many) of ex President Zelaya. Of course Mel should submit himself to justice, and to all the accusations that can be sustained; it comforts me-- serving him-- that he has never refused that and that, only under pressure and for the sake of social peace, accepted the false amnesty that was offered in the San Jose-Tegucigalpa Accord. But the recognition that there was a coup d'Etat and of the present situation derived from it, obliges that all the facts be investigated, so that their perpetrators-- as well-- give an account of their respective responsibilities before Justice. Not by a commission named by the lone wolf that will reveal the facts in ten years nor before the golpista Court. Power, like love, comes to an end; put it in the script.

That is to say that everyone should submit themselves to justice before a trustworthy, objective judicial institution, that cannot be the same Honduran Court since it pronounced in favor of, and even legitimated the coup with an illegal order, when it came about that the Congress would not accept the supposed "resignation of the President with all his ministers" and whose magistrates-- of the Court-- therefore would have to be themselves investigated and indicted for those crimes, which are "treason against the nation", indefeasible. And so that the magistrates and the golpista Fiscal and their other partners and accomplices submit themselves to justice, it is critical to remove them from their offices and immunities, as have to be removed as well, to ensure respect for citizenship and to respond, the police and military commanders directly implicated in the action of the coup and of the repression. The situation is not insurmountable, but the Resistance is more than its head and will not stop until it attains its goal and should be patient.

Ex President Zelaya of course will not fall into this trap. Because the operation of the makeup is transparent and because it is his obligation to continue demanding a correction of the irreversible wrong. The dominant class of Honduras has to learn to be responsible. The situation of the country is no wonder and does not just affect the man in the street. The USA has to reconsider its role in the soap opera to rectify it, in the historical record. Already enough to mourn and to repent.

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