Friday, 13 May 2011
Honduras is NOT open for business
by Gerardo Torres
General Secretary of Political Organization Los Necios, 09 May 2011.
If you've ever had the opportunity of seeing the famous movie The Godfather II (1974) you probably remember the scene in the preambles of the Cuban Revolution in which the Cuban dictator Batista recieved from foreign investors a stunning gold phone amid promises that everything will be fine; that the rebels are only four and they will never win.
If you saw the movie you may remember what happened to the dreams of the investors and the plan for the promotion of foreign investment during the dictatorship. But the purpose of this article is not to delve into the masterpiece of Puzo and Coppola but rather to point out the obvious similarities between this plot and that which Honduras today lives.
The Conference Honduras is Open for Business (HOB as it is known) has its last day today (06.05.11) and the sum total of the sale of our country is U.S. $ 14.586 million which is lower than reported as Gross Domestic Product in 2010 ( U.S. $ 16.288 million) with a total of 147 projects that represent control of 6 investment sectors across the country.
To the private business sector the State of the coup undertakers has been put on sale for in the areas of Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, Forest Areas, Infrastructure, Textiles, Services and Tourism and all for an amount less than what is already perceived. This does not surprise anyone, the country's oligarchy has never been marked by intelligent but rather for being submissive and when he it talks of investment it means handing over everything to foreign capital without asking for anything in return and this was the case of the banana enclave, the textile factories, franchising and many other sad and so on so´s in our history.
Of course, you could say that they can sell even more and probably would if their incompetence did not prevent them. Attempting to sell such an impoverished country with little infrastructure and so corrupt should not be easy.
The intention is:
The peasant farmers have neither a plot of land and that everything is big industry to produce fuel instead of food,
Our rivers, air and sun are private and no longer serve for life if not for the production of commercial energy,
We no longer have forests as it will all be squeezed to make the rich filthy rich,
Our roads, sidewalks, bridges and ports are private and we should get permission from the employer to be on our streets,
We are offered to lock ourselves in textile factories until death as the only way to work without any right or ability to live in dignity and of course not to forget our beaches and that our Garifuna and Miskito communities start thinking in new homes because the land they have lived on for hundreds of years will now be owned by the big hotels: forbidden land for Hondurans.
For this they rely on the body of the constitution that oligarchy and the military created in 1982 and killed themselves with on June 28, 2009 with the military coup. The companies are promised that everything will be fine, your money will be protected at the expense of the blood of the Honduran people, that they can take all and do not need to hire anyone who does not want to bow their head down and absolutely obey because they can bring in workers or workers of other parts, the rights of workers wi not be respected and the State will do everything they need and forget about taxes. Sounds trite but the question always appears ... So what does Honduras win?
The answer: Resistance
Returning to the film, leaving the golden phone meeting of the main character, Michael Corleone, comes upon a police checkpoint with captured insurgents (those who had just been told were only four) and realizes that the story is just like that. Arriving at the meeting in which investors hold a huge cake with the loot that they just gave, he announced his retirement arguing that "the rebels have a chance to win."
Of course not at any time do we expect to find such behavior among persons who visit us today such as Alvaro Uribe (exponent of the brutal right-wing Latin American) Carlos Slim (billionaire who has already "invested" in Honduras with his phone company Claro) Francisco Sánchez (Secretary of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. government), Ricardo Martinelly (president of Panama and major friend of the regime from the start) and Sheng-Chung Lin (who currently serves as Deputy Minister of Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Republic of China Taiwan).
What we can say is that yesterday May 5 while conducting the first expositions a few meters from Expocentro (where the conference takes place) the resistance was present with a demonstration conducted by the National Front of Youths in Resistance , Departmental Coordination from Francisco Morazán who left the capital, as well as colleagues from COPINH who also left early from their lands to defend the future of Honduras that is NOT for sale.
As always the dictatorship attacked and chased striking comrades while regime officials sought to maintain the image of democratic peace to investors. The balance were eight male and female detainees: Wendy Aguilar, Sydny Flores, Joseph Alexis, Gevona Isidora Garcia, Ian Diaz (militant political organization Los Necios - OPLN) Leucadia Maria Hernandez, Jaime Martinez and Apdi Baquedano.
International calls to the First Police Post of San Pedro Sula and the Post of Chamelecon little by little was spoiling the regime party in the halls where it was said that there was nothing to worry about, that Honduras was quiet, but on the other side tried to hide the cries of a generation that is NOT for sale.
Honduras according to international studies has become the most violent country in the continent, the "experts" from the official sector give a thousand and one explanations for the phenomenon and on the advice of the Department of State of the United States it is all the fault of the Drug Trafficking, that way they give more money to the coup undertakers even though they have looted the state.
The truth is that we have become the most dangerous country for women, media, LGTTB community, peasant farmers, students, teachers and indigenous people because we live in a military dictatorship that is becoming more violent. The masks are falling at times and Honduras is Open for Business is a new proof of his violent, plundering and submissive nature.
On the other hand the granitic support that they had has been weakening, this oligarchy is a problem even for its supporters, has become a headache for the United States and there are dissenting voices to the inner workings of Congress after the initiation of a letter written by Reps. James P. McGovern, Janice D.Schakowsky and Sam Farr demanding the State Department to suspend all support and budget for the Armed Forces of Honduras and the National Police until they put a stop to human rights violations and investigate the responsibles. The letter will be presented on May 25 and has already been signed by ten congress men and women, demonstrating that the opposing views begin to emerge, the new signatories are:
Maurice d. Hinchey (NY)
John Lewis (GA)
John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Anna G. Eshoo (CA)
Danny K. Davis (IL)
Jim McDermott (WA)
Lynn Woolsey (CA)
Raul Grijalva (AZ)
This accountability is in addition to the points raised by the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) to initiate a debate on the possible reinstatement of Honduras to the Organization of American States (OAS) to this June in General Assembly to be held in the city of San Salvador, El Salvador.
The construction of a process
FNRP points are clear: Zelaya must return to complete freedom likewise for all the exiled, among them is our friend René Amador who has lived outside the country for over a year and a half, away from his children as a result of the violence the coup. Violators of human rights should go to jail and must stop attacking the unarmed population in Resistance. The FNRP should be recognized as a belligerent political force which cannot continue ignoring the fact that what people want is not that Honduras is put up for sale but rather the creation of a National Constituent Assembly that is popular and not of the oligarchy allowing the creation of a truly democratic, just, inclusive and egalitarian Constituent.
What we see now is that the regime is currently not willing to fulfill the first point and its legs are already shaky. The suspension of trials against Resistance Coordinator Manuel Zelaya is a show, it is known that what is fair is a complete dismissal of charges and nothing less. Still missing are the other exiles and the other three points, time runs against the coup, not against us.
Raised by the FNRP are four points and no less, for doing this there are sectors that have accused the leadership of handing over the project which is of all the people. For the OPLN the only thing that is being done is tracing the route, the goal has always been clear is that these goals which we have proposed will only be obtained when the coup structure is defeated and not before.
The resistance against the sale of Honduras goes hand in hand with international pressure that we must maintain, the resistance struggles in the streets, universities, countryside, schools and neighborhoods, a collective process with the self-declaration to create our own Constitution (process of which we are part).
There are many attacks, but internal resistance is a natural process, the lasting consensus are those that are forged through work and those of us in this daily struggle will find them or will build together.
The month of May starts with the best example of this class struggle that concerns us, on the one hand the oligarchy behind the treacherous weapons of armed forces to sell the country and the future of its citizens, and on the other resistance raises its voice to the world and out into the streets without fear defend what is rightfully ours.
After this conference the focus will be placed on the Assembly of the OAS and in the process self-declaration, we are grateful to the sister nations that have said that if the four points are not complied with they will not allow the return of the coup undertakers.
Out and about someone consulted me to ask if we know that the coup is not going to support our four points. Well, at least for us is to important to go through all the steps with peers and mark the route of what we want and put on paper what motivates us to be on the streets.
So when spray a wall, throw a stone or require the international community to continue pressuring the regime because we believe it is still not meeting our four points. It's the same with the self-declaration, this process will allow us collectively to understand what the word Re-foundation really means for us and us and who shares that will be colleagues and who does it will be the enemy.
The class struggle is not aware of half measures, but before having a revolutionary process must forge our own revolutionary ideology and it begins with simple ideas to give substance to our process of unarmed popular uprising and our path to the Re-foundation of Honduras. Sometimes the most obvious steps are the most important.
Maybe if we all focus we can have our night of popular clamor for as in the mentioned film in which the oligarchy flees into the darkness with little certainty about their future, this will only be achieved by understanding the true meaning of the landmark ruling that Honduras is not loaned, or for rented or sold.
To see what the regime wants to sell nationally and by department (information obtained through research Solidarity Network of Honduras - Honduras Solidarity Network)
National: 3 projects, U.S. $ 6.718 million
1. Atlantis: 18 projects, U.S. $ 465 million
2. Choluteca: 11 projects, U.S. $ 148 million
3. Columbus: 6 projects, $ 156 million
4. Comayagua: 15 projects, $ 399 million
5. Copan: 11 projects, U.S. $ 564 million
6. Cortés: 28 projects, $ 904 million
7. Paradise: 8 projects, $ 75 million
8. Francisco Morazan: 30 projects, U.S. $ 1.385 million
9. Thank God: 3 projects, $ 167 million
10. Intibucá: 3 projects, $ 45 million
11. Islas de Bahia 12 projects, U.S. $ 478 million
12. La Paz: 2 projects, U.S. $ 99 million
13. Lempira 2 projects, U.S. $ 214 million
14. Ocotepeque: 2 projects, $ 19 million
15. Olancho: 21 projects, $ 1.595 million
16. Santa Barbara: 6 projects, $ 654 million
17. Valley: 11 projects, U.S. $ 269 million
18. Yoro: 12 Projects, $ 230 million