Honduras and the Three-Ring Circus
By Al Giordano
I got in from a very long, hot and humid day on the highways of a country called América – within tens of hours, health willing, I hope to be reporting from a very interesting place - and I’ve just spent the last while catching up on what happened on the border of Honduras today.
Here’s the short version:
There is a three-ring circus distracting the global media from the authentic struggle – the one waged by the Honduran people, from below – and today none of the ringmasters dressed themselves in glory.
In ring one, we had Coup “president” Roberto Micheletti, who blinked when his troops did not arrest President Manuel Zelaya, who set foot on his country’s soil today at the border crossing – Los Manos – where we suggested he would yesterday.
In ring two, we had Zelaya, who himself blinked – inexplicably, from this community organizer’s lens, objectively viewed, a setback for his cause and his people – by not continuing his walk toward Tegucigalpa after the coup regime blinked. A few more steps forward and he would have either called the regime’s bluff, and continued marching, or he would have ended up in prison, inspiring the people to go the extra yardage necessary to topple the coup.
And in ring three, we had US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who claimed that Zelaya’s actions today were “reckless.” Today Clinton proved, once and for all, that she is not competent to do the job of foreign minister. What an asshole. It is Clinton who demonstrated that she is reckless about democracy. The actions she called “reckless” were those of a Honduran citizen and elected president doing no more than trying to rejoin his own feet with his own land. What makes her behavior today so obviously inept and deserving of eternal contempt is that she used such strong words to criticize a guy who, when push came to shove, did exactly what she had recommended, when Zelaya backed down. The only reckless thing he did was shrink from putting the next foot in front of the other.
Obscured from view by the circus: the mobilizations of an increasingly organized Honduran people. Today’s saga underscores that, in the end, the outcome is up to them, and from this pen we will redouble our efforts to make sure that their courage and sacrifice do not go unseen or unheard.
In my twelve years as a resident of Latin America, as close as I walk to the social movements, I have never told them what to do. I don’t believe it is the proper role of any US citizen to presume to give such advice. But I would like to highlight the remarks of Maryknoll priest and President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto, who prior to all of today’s blinking said, “Zelaya’s return is heroic and correct.”
Or it might have been, had he actually returned.
Notimex reported that coup “president” Micheletti told reporters that Zelaya, during his brief moments in Honduran territory today, was not arrested because “we would have provoked an international quarrel.” As if he and his Simian Council have not provoked sufficient crisis already.
And although my much bandied-about and different opinions than those of colleague Eva Golinger about how we got to this point in history continue, today’s events certainly put me on the same page when that colleague wrote:
“Personally, I think he needs to just continue inside Honduras, despite all risks, and fight to reunite with his family and his people, who have been risking their lives now for almost one month, struggling to defeat the coup regime.”
Yes, and finally: It’s not about Zelaya. This has never been about Zelaya, whether he's good or bad or somewhere in between. It’s about the people, who continue to reject the coup regime and withdraw the consent of the governed from it through exemplary civil resistance.
May Manuel Zelaya divert his gaze from the circus up above – may we all do that - and place it where the only authentic action will now happen: the struggle from below. The rest is just a pretext for cotton candy, Cracker Jacks and clown shoes.
Saturday Morning Update: About to get on the road again. Will check in this afternoon with all necessary updates...