By Ricardo Salgado
It is certainly difficult to be a poor Honduran. The criminals who led the coup (not its executors) saw as too close a threat the possibility that the popular majorities had the option to decide on their interests.
It is certainly difficult to be a poor Honduran. Another thing is to belong to the oligarchy or to the subjects who are disappointed saying that this "democratic" regime is the best; in this group we find both the executors of the coup and those who carried it out.
The headlines of newspapers, newscasts and other forms of dissemination bet on "total amnesia"; the clock stopped at 5:40 am on June 28; the dead are an abstraction that nobody talks about; brutal repression is only perceived if evidence is sought; selective political assassinations happen without much noise, they do not go beyond a few journalistic notes or quotes that never seek to investigate in depth; that is conveniently left to the police.
For a long time, President Zelaya is the president "deposed", "overthrown" and other adjectives that place him in the political past of minds manipulated by the media. On the contrary, the pressure on the public is increased by telling them in a thousand ways that the coup was a heavenly blessing and that the "carrier" is something like an emissary of good.
Now everyone is talking about reconciliation among Hondurans. They vote for the new government to “heal” the wounds left by the “political crisis”. Funny how they change names to so many things. What are the wounds you want to heal? Well, what they are really doing is playing at making time do its work in the collective consciousness so that the danger of ungovernability ends.
The coup in all its magnitude, including the elections, is an offense of incalculable proportions to the Honduran people. Its consequences will haunt us for a long time, if we don't do something right now for our own destiny. A large part of our people followed the events from afar since the coup, trusting more in the eventual "normalization" than in the fight for the collective welfare; that phenomenon now hangs like a terrible curse on our future.
The reasons for the coup, in case anyone has forgotten, are essentially economic. The criminals who led the coup (not its executors) saw the possibility that the popular majorities had the option to decide on their interests as too close a threat.
The economic and strategic interests of the gringo empire also come into play, which seeks to control an area that, under the current correlation of forces, may, sooner rather than later, be of paramount importance for its own subsistence. The Yankees have not ceased for a single moment to fight against the interests of the Latin American peoples whenever they have been adverse.
Six months after the cunning attack on national democracy, it is time to pass the bill to the "skinny" Honduran state. With the price he must pay, he can only lose more weight, to the limit of his existence. The executors of the collection have lined up the pieces throughout this time in which they “distracted” us with clubs. The ultimate goal of pseudo entrepreneurs is to get rid of the controls that the State imposes on them.
It is a shock to see how, after all, they continue to argue that it is necessary to create “favorable” conditions for investment; that our competitiveness lies in the meager salaries that are paid; that monoculture exports are the path to development; that the best energy is of private origin. All these things have already been put into practice and nothing happened; The question is how can we continue to believe these lies after so much suffering?
The most favorable victims of the new neoliberal wave in Honduras are the public service companies. Electric power faces imminent full privatization during a fictitious crisis that is already brewing. For now they have carried out a public tender for renewable energy at a higher price than the thermal energy that we currently consume.
Most of those involved in this wonderful business are the same ones who have been in the middle of generating thermal energy. It is likely that the useful life of your generating park is nearing its end and you have decided that it is time to enter the renewable resources route. Practically all sectors of economic power in the country are involved in this business, including banks, oil derivatives importers, equipment distributors and much more.
It is impressive to realize that in the tender it is accepted that the National Electric Power Company buys renewable energy for more than 30 million dollars per year above what it pays for thermal energy. Who in their right mind makes this kind of concession? Probably the issue is that ENEE will absorb the fixed and variable costs of the construction stage; or the price is inflated to pay the interests of the bank. It's hard to tell.
Another tough thing is how ENEE, which was in the process of financial recovery at the time of the coup, today makes concessions to large companies to produce their own energy, when these are the largest consumers of this company's service; in addition to being the largest historical debtors.
You do not need two fingers of a forehead to know that these measures initiated by the de facto government that, surely, will be intensified by part II of the same as of January 27; They will take the electricity company down a cliff together with the Honduran people who will be the only capital contributor to it. This made worse by the inevitable devaluation of the national currency.
In short, energy is valued at a higher price BEFORE the monetary slippage mechanism begins to affect the import of fuels and other goods that influence electricity generation; that will be paid in lempiras by the population.
At the Honduran Telecommunications Company we face a similar fate. Their attempts to foray into cellular telephony will be closed and their little infrastructure delivered as "war spoils" for the communications companies that they request supported the coup. The fixed telephony services will remain in the hands of Hondutel, with it afflicted by the intense competition from private companies and the lack of capital to keep the technology current.
It is very difficult to assume that the movements made in Hondutel are going to benefit customers. Worse still, its status as a state-owned company will hurt it in the area of rates, since it will have to dollarize the charges to the public. Let's not forget that competition from landlines has multiplied and is currently charged in dollars by all companies in the private sector.
The relative advantage that this company had thanks to the monopoly of fixed telephony, which was intended to expand to areas of competition such as cable television service, cellular telephony and data transmission, has disappeared from the moment in which competing companies became they have become part of the "saviors" of the company.
We must not forget that immediately after the coup, personnel from MULTIFON, a company related to the Televicentro group, replaced Hondutel employees for several days in administrative and technical tasks. The military coup was giving the private sector an incredible advantage in a business that they themselves, the military, used as a source of enrichment for decades.
And if we are going to talk about water, this matter is already done. The foundations have been laid for the privatization of water sources by legislative decree. The purpose: to make water available to industrialized countries from healthy sources in industrialized countries. They have tried to include this in the treaties with the European Union.
The European pressure for "democracy" in Honduras is a facade to be able to complete the negotiations with Central America. This will probably delay the development of the privatization of this valuable resource for a while, but this does not exclude the possibility that the first initiatives will take place very early in 2010.
We have in front of us a monster with a thousand heads that tries to deprive us of every trace of civilization; a monster for whom the death of our children means only statistics, collateral damage; an unscrupulous monster for whom everything has a price; everything is sold and everything is bought; a monster that maintains good purchases among the national political class.
After June 28 we unite in one voice to demand the restoration of democracy; for the return of the president; by the National Constituent Assembly. Today we must deepen these struggles, and bear in mind that this cause involves our very existence.
If today we do not define a strategy to fight for what belongs to us, surely the day is not far off when we will have to see the catastrophic effects of this barbarism that we see today with astonishing passivity. This is not a matter for the resistance, but for all Hondurans, although, in reality, it will be the resistance that guides us in defending these and other flags.
Obviously, the effort that we will have to carry out in the new year will be infinitely greater than what we put in this 2009. These scavenging beasts will not stop until we can privatize our breath. The answer to this cannot be less; it is imperative to carry out this fight now.
I still have doubts about the possibility of proposing to Lobo Sosa a general strike in mid-January. I am convinced that there are many reasons to carry out this and other pressure movements against these monstrosities.
Please do not remain silent, let us ask the leadership of the resistance what we can do; as we stand head-on before this bleak panorama.
Ricardo Salgado, December 28, 2009
PS: Just before publishing this writing, it comes to my knowledge that the price formula for petroleum derivatives has been restored to its form prior to the reform of President Zelaya. Well the bells keep ringing.