Elections for what? by Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle (my translation)

The regime has already unequivocally stated that it will not make the necessary concession to sign an agreement, and just dissolved [recessed] Congress, which had the power to override it. And I understand their firmness and I don't know why it surprises anyone. Neither the Arias Plan nor any other proposal on the table offers a long-term solution for any of the parties, but the prospect for the coup protagonists–the businessmen, politicians and military officers that promoted it, hatched the plan, and carried it out–are the bleakest. Although they speak of "national unity" facing a polarization of two extremes which are furthermore extremely unequal, it would seem clear that, at this stage the only thing uniting Honduras is the World Cup qualification of the national football team and the coup regime finds without a social base or an exit strategy. No one believes in the coup leaders anymore, not even they themselves. The last two independent polls carried out demonstrate this, and this is what inspires Ms. Clinton to assure that "the people of Honduras are boldly fighting for the restoration of their legal government."

This awareness that, as Manuel Torres states, the coup is "socially defeated," also inspires the candidates, especially Lobo, to distance themselves from the coup, faking a neutrality that is not winning them supporters. Lobo thinks that people will have forgotten, in a month and a half [the time remaining before the elections], that the Party that he presides over voted nearly unanimously in favor of the coup, or perhaps he thinks that he could mend that image with a parliamentary counter-coup.

At this moment, the coup regime does not have a rear-guard, nor an escape plan, and it has compromised the security of its proponents in the process of trampling the rights of the majority. The is no action without a reaction and when the actions are of a brutal nature, the reactions are not entirely predictable, nor are they entirely rational. On our own side positions are radicalized, not when there is a call for war (because this seems understandable) but rather when they want to abandon the dialogue. And those who have cast their lots blindly with the coup know that the formal guarantees that can be derived from specious legal interpretation cannot protect them from retaliation.

How can they have confidence that they will find a safe haven when they hand over power? What story can we tell the military coup leaders about their future career? What do the coup-supporting candidates think will happen in the elections when the eyes of the world will be watching them although there will be no observers to certify the elections? Who will forgive them? Of course they prefer to die in the trenches. They think that, with time, the international community will have to give in, that if Micheletti has held out five months they can hold out some more. So, they will continue trying to hide the skeletons in the closet and intensifying the repression.

And the idea that free, fair and democratic elections could be carried out in a month and a half–when we are living under a formal and informal state of siege, in a militarized country with daily violations of human rights that turns its back on the world more and more each day–is a monstrous perversion of political-judicial fetishism and a fantasy of the mafia bosses of diplomatic realpolitik.

Honduras is living a nightmare that is no less painful for the knowledge that it is temporary. An armed kidnapping of the nation and its majority will, without the subtleties of the traditional political system that brought us to this point and that hid the contradictions and covered up the structural roots of social discontent. It's a dilemma from which we will not escape unharmed, although we try to survive it as a civilized community.

But under the circumstances, appealing to the general elections as a remedy becomes a black magic ritual to whitewash or blur the events that have been seared into our memory and collective consciousness with indelible images, words and phrases. And the remedy is, rather, what we don't want to discuss. Hondurans will have to come together, with representation from all political and social sectors to forge a true social pact that permits them to return to a stable governmental regime, through consensus and sustainable practices of community. This can only be achieved from a broad electoral process, with all [constitutional] guarantees. When Hondurans say that they want elections, they say they want them following the restoration of legality, and the response cannot separate the latter from the former. And so the Arias Plan no longer offers us a solution. (President Arias realized too late that the Constitution, trampled on by everyone, is a cause of the problem and not the solution; his plan aims to resolve the problem by excluding the remedy, reforming "the monstrosity").

And it is important to understand this because from this understanding–that the coup regime will not cede, period, and that presidential elections without restoration of legal order will not resolve but will rather aggravate the problem–we must derive a strategic alternative. The President must continue fighting to exhaust diplomatic means, because this is what his position as statesman demands of him. Furthermore, as I see it, the President must demonstrate openness to the coup regime, he should send them conciliatory signals, offer them the peace pipe, because to do otherwise would be hypocrisy. He won't come back otherwise. And perhaps the Resistance needs to regroup in a safer space.

With or without a safe future, the Resistance has to consider other goals. And given that it already has a final goal, the objective of the Constituent Assembly, it has to consider concrete intermediate goals that will take us there, the organization of a new political alliance. There is a group of congress members in resistance, but disconnected from the Movement, as there is also a group from the UD and other strategic partners. And there will be a need for a new leadership capable of bringing together and increasing the movement.

To have a dialogue while they shot and us and they had the president under siege, while they suppressed the most elemental freedoms of information, was a necessary evil. But if in the coming hours the necessary decisions are not taken, the international mediation that has been ineffective will have been a trap into which we fell victims of a farcical good-faith effort, of a diplomatic compromise that is weakened and diluted with each day that passes and which aspires to arbitrarily deny the people of Honduras the fundamental–the only–thing that can get us out of this mess. The OAS and countless other organizations and governments have been mocked by the regime, while the heroic Resistance has had to pay for our well-intended clumsiness with blood and pain and death and torture. No more. This is the end of the game. It's over.


Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle
¿Elecciones para que?

El régimen ya dijo con claridad que no hará la concesión que hace falta para firmar y acaba de disolver El Congreso que pudiera contradecirlo. Y yo entiendo su dureza que no sé porque sorprende. Ni el Plan Arias ni ninguna propuesta sobre la mesa ofrece una solución de continuidad para ninguno de los bandos, pero menos puede poner a salvo a los protagonistas del golpe: a los empresarios, políticos y militares que lo promovieron, fraguaron y ejecutaron. Aunque se hable de “unidad nacional”, frente a una polarización en dos extremos, por lo demás muy desiguales, parecería evidente que, a estas alturas, lo único que une a Honduras es la Selección y el golpismo se ha quedado sin real base social ni salida. Nadie ya cree en los golpistas, ni ellos mismos. Eso demuestran las últimas dos encuestas independientes que se han levantado en el país y es lo que inspira a la Sra. Clinton a asegurar que “el pueblo de Honduras lucha denodadamente por la restauración del gobierno legal”.

Esa conciencia de que, como dice Manuel Torres, el golpe esta “socialmente derrotado” también inspira el esfuerzo de los candidatos, especialmente Lobo para tomar distancia con respecto al golpe, fingiendo una neutralidad que no les gana adeptos. Lobo cree que la gente habrá olvidado, dentro de mes y medio, que la bancada del Partido que preside voto casi unánimemente a favor del golpe o piensa que podría enmendar esa imagen con un contragolpe parlamentario.

En esta coyuntura, el golpismo no tiene retaguardia, ni escapatoria y ha comprometido la seguridad de sus proponentes en el proceso de atropellar los derechos de la mayoría. No hay acción sin reacción y cuando son de naturaleza brutal las acciones, no son completamente previsibles las reacciones, ni del todo racionales. En nuestro propio bando se radicalizan las posiciones, no cuando hay un llamado a la guerra (porque eso parece comprensible) si no cuando se quiere renunciar al dialogo. Y quienes se han empeñado y enceguecido en el golpe saben que las garantías formales que puedan derivarse de un arreglo que no vislumbro, no los cubren contra las represalias sociales.

¿Cómo inspirarles confianza de que se podrán refugiar adonde cuando entreguen el poder? ¿Qué cuento les contaremos a los militares golpistas sobre su futura carrera? ¿Qué se supone que deben pensar los candidatos golpistas que pasaría en las elecciones cuando tendrán los ojos del mundo encima aunque no haya observadores que las certifiquen? ¿Quién los va a perdonar? Por supuesto que prefieren morir en la trinchera. Piensan que con el tiempo la comunidad internacional tendría que ceder, que si Micheletti ha aguantado cinco meses ellos pueden aguatar otros tantos. Entonces, van a seguir tratando de esconder los cadáveres en el patio trasero y profundizando la represión.

Y la idea de que pudieran celebrarse elecciones libres, justas, democráticas dentro de un mes y medio, cuando vivimos en Estado de Sitio, formal e informal, con un país militarizado y violaciones cotidianas de los derechos humanos, cuyas noticias cada día dan la vuelta al mundo es una aberración monstruosa del fetichismo político juridicista t una fantasía de los capos y de la realpolitik diplomática.
Honduras vive una pesadilla que no es menos dolorosa por saberse pasajera. Un secuestro a mano armada de la nación y de su voluntad mayoritaria, ya sin las sutilezas del sistema político tradicional que nos trajo hasta aquí y que oscurecía las contradicciones y encubría las causas estructurales del descontento social. Un dilema del que no vamos a salir ilesos, aun si pretendemos sobrevivirlo como comunidad civilizada.

Pero bajo las circunstancias, apelar a las elecciones generales como remedio deviene un ritual de magia negra para blanquear o desdibujar los sucesos que se han cauterizado en una memoria y una conciencia colectiva con imágenes y palabras o frases indelebles. Y el remedio es más bien el que no se quiere ver. Los hondureños van a tener que juntarse, con representación de todos sus sectores políticos y sociales para forjar un verdadero pacto social que les permita regresar a un régimen de gobierno estable, por consenso y a una convivencia sostenible. Eso solo se puede alcanzar después de un amplio proceso electoral, con todas las garantías. Cuando los hondureños dicen que quieren elecciones, dicen que las quieren después de una restauración de la legalidad, de la que no se puede desligar su respuesta. Y entonces tampoco a nosotros nos ofrece ya una salida el Plan Arias. (Tarde se dio cuenta el Presidente Arias de que la Constitución atropellada por todos, es una causa del mal y no su solución, porque su plan pretende resolver el problema por la vía de excluir el remedio, de reformar “el adefesio”).

Y es importante entenderlo porque de esa comprensión, de que el golpismo no va a ceder, punto, y de que las elecciones presidenciales sin restablecimiento del orden legal, no nos resuelven si no que nos agravan el problema tiene que derivarse una alternativa estratégica de todos. El Presidente debe seguir luchando por agotar la vía diplomática, porque eso exige su condición de hombre de Estado. Es más, a mí ver, el Presidente tendría que hacerles a las golpistas señales de apertura, mandarles mensajes conciliatorios, ofrecerles la pipa de la paz, porque lo contrario es una hipocresía. No va a regresar si no es así. Y quizás La Resistencia necesitara reagruparse en un espacio más seguro.

Con o sin espacios futuros seguros, La Resistencia tiene que plantearse otras metas. Y puesto que ya tiene un propósito final, un Norte que es La Constituyente, tiene que plantearse las metas intermedias que nos conduzcan ahí, concretamente, la organización de la nueva alianza política. Por ahí hay una bancada del Congreso en Resistencia, pero desarticulada del Movimiento, como también de la UD y otros socios estratégicos. Y hará falta un nuevo liderazgo capaz de convocar y sumar.

Dialogar mientras nos disparaban y le ponían un cerco al Presidente, mientras se suprimían las libertades mas elementales de información fueron recursos obligados. Pero si en las próximas horas no se toman las determinaciones necesarias, la mediación internacional que ha sido ineficaz habrá sido una trampa en que caímos victimas de una supuesta buena fe inexistente, de un compromiso diplomático que se diluye con cada día que pasa y que pretende en forma arbitraria, negarle al pueblo de Honduras el ejercicio fundamental –único- que lo puede sacar del lio. Tanto la OEA como las cancillerías de las potencias concernidas, globales o emergentes han sido fácilmente burladas por el régimen, mientras que la heroica Resistencia ha tenido que pagar con sangre y dolor y muerte y tortura, nuestra torpeza bien intencionada. No más.

Este es el final del juego. Se acabo.


Your translation of disolver looks fine

I think Fasquelle could have chosen a better word. However it's true that when the Executive says that he will not accept Congress playing the key role in restoration, and his word clearly goes, and the Congress is not in session, it's pretty obvious that Congress is not going to play that key role. They would have to reconvene and then tell him that his word no longer goes.

Congress has been dissolved?

As of 12:56 PM, October 19th, there's nothing to confirm that anywhere. If true, it's a shock.

I haven't heard it elsewhere either

I was also wondering. Perhaps my translation's off. But you can see the original down there.

Dissolved Congress

I believe this is in reference to being sent home since last Wednesday, as they await resolution of the talks. They have not met, so they are currently "dissolved".

that makes sense

I think you're right- "recessed" may have been a better translation.