This marks the first step in the reversal of the Honduran coup of 2009. Mel is back, and dialogue is ON, babies:
Part 1 of several; keep clicking through for the rest.
Note that Mel’s plane is one from the fleet of the Venezuelan national airline, Conviasa. Chavecito and his neighbor, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, have worked hard to broker this return. Which is, I reiterate, only a first step, and does not mark the definitive end of the coup just yet.
Don’t miss the excellent analysis from Fr. Roy Bourgeois (head of School of the Americas Watch; article by Lisa Sullivan of SOA Watch here) and Piedad Córdoba, Colombian senator and longtime progressive peace advocate, who has been supporting Zelaya and urging dialogue from the outset. Fr. Roy points out that Barack Obama’s shameful failure to condemn and reverse the coup (which was entirely within his power and rights to do) is the direct result of putschists within his own government, derailing any effort to get the US to do the right thing in Central America for a change. He doesn’t mention Lanny Davis by name, but everyone knows just how close that little snake is to the State Dept. (and Her Royal Clintoness.)
The first interview is also important; exiled progressive Hondurans are still unable to return, and this is an ongoing problem. It’s going to take a lot more than the return of Mel Zelaya to resolve this matter. 107 Honduran organizations are still protesting the coup and demanding further steps to guarantee the safety and human rights of prisoners and exiles. So far, their demands have not been met.
And let’s also not forget that Mel Zelaya is the last legitimate elected leader of Honduras, and that he was thrown out for trying to put a democratic question to his own people — namely the “Fourth Ballot”, the one that would have started the process of convoking an elected assembly to rewrite the Honduran constitution. Real democracy won’t return to Honduras until an honestly elected leader (and that’s NOT Pepe Lobo!) receives the sash from a legitimate president.
And it won’t be guaranteed until the people of Honduras have a constitution written by their own democratically elected representatives. The current constitution was written by a military dictatorship, and still contains provisions that would allow coups and illegitimate so-called régime change. Surely it’s no coincidence that those who deposed President Zelaya did so as he was moving to have it scrapped in favor of something more clearly democratic, and used its most undemocratic provisions to justify their doing so!
And finally, on a shameful note, the major English-language media remain complicit in their role as lackeys of the coup. When I googled “Honduran constitution, coup”, the overwhelming preponderance of top articles consisted of slimy, flimsy attempts to cast the coup as a “triumph of democracy”. How “democracy” can “triumph” by way of persecution, death squads and autocrats like Gorilletti, the media coup apologists won’t say. That’s not surprising either, since what’s been reigning for the past two years in Honduras is not democracy at all, but the usual, tiresome CIA/SOA-backed fascist putschism, nada más. There is no legal defence for that, and the media secretly know it. They, too, should be held accountable — but what are the odds, since crapaganda is generated by a consortium of corporatist fiefdoms in private hands, rather than anyone who is answerable to the general public? None of it surprises me, but it never fails to utterly disgust.
Mel, here’s hoping you kick some culo now that you’re back, man. Or, as the activists would say: Adelante, adelante, la lucha es constante!