Sep 01, 2009
Twenty Honduran youth gather in an abandoned building to learn about
socialist history and ideas. "The history of social change," begins the
facilitator ... "we need to understand our history to know where we are
today." We are greeted by a young boy whose resemblance to Che gives me
chills. "We're the students. The workers. The farmers. We are the
people. La gente. And we are against the coup."
Kids sneak out of their homes stacked with parents proud to be golpistas
(coup supporters) to debate alternatives in the midst of a city
transformed into a canvas of political graffiti. The group is called Los Necios,
a political organization determined to put an end to the social and
political injustices in Honduras. Following the meeting, concert flyers
are handed out which read "Voces Contra el Golpe -- Honduras, datecolor cantando."
Until this moment, the location of the concert, set to begin the
following morning at 9a.m., was kept secret. As a foreigner living in
Honduras, attendance at this event was exhilarating. A story worth
In his response to my previous article about Canada and Honduras in TheTyee.ca,
Peter Kent -- Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Americas --
confirms that he refused to call for the immediate return of the
election president of Honduras following the June 28 coup. Kent
explains, "[I] urged -- before the entire council -- and was
congratulated by all countries except Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and
Ecuador ... that (Zelaya's) return be delayed until the country was
calm and the situation safe."
After his visit to Honduras last week Kent again asserted that
Canada would help find a peaceful solution in Honduras, alongside
support for the (eventual?) reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya. However,
unlike the United States and the European Union, Canada has not halted
diplomatic visas and, most importantly, Canada continues to provide
military aid to Honduras.
My understanding of the coup in Honduras has changed drastically
since relocating to Tegucigalpa. Moreover, my embarrassment about
Canada's reluctance to take a stronger position against the de facto
government has been heightened.
While anti-coup movements are just budding in the countryside,
mobilization is in full force here in the capital. The most fascinating
aspect is the involvement of the youth and women in this fight.
Together, the people are fighting to reinstate 'Mel' as the President
of Honduras, and through unity and perserverence, anti-coup activists
have taken over the city, painting the walls with anti-coup art,
selling t-shirts with Lucha and Luchita (cartoon activists) and
performing satirical versions of the current political landscape in the
It's now the morning following the clandestine meeting of Los
Necios. From 9a.m. until 11p.m., theatre groups and revolutionary
musicians hailing from Argentina, Venezuela and Honduras chant for the
reinstatement of Mel, for the removal of the golpistas and for unity.
Fathers perch their kids up on their shoulders while the elderly sit
on the grass taking in the sounds of local favorites like Cafe
Guancasco. Mel calls in and talks to the people, followed by a pastor
speaking of his repression by coup supporters; he and the crowd declare
that they will fight at any cost. To the world they chant, "This is not
a coup against Honduras, this is a coup against humanity."
The fight in Honduras is not over. In fact, the demand for the
reinstatement of Mel is just the beginning. The MC then calls on the
people to educate themselves and the golpistas about the
mistakes of history in Latin American nations. A friend, who is
volunteering his time drawing caricatures of the attendees, tells me he
doesn't have a sentence to describe the day, just words:"peace,
dancing, music, sunshine, energy, hope, art, unity and families..." It's
hardly the way the anti-coup demonstrators have been portrayed, but a
perfect synergy of words to describe everything that this concert
We leave the concert at 11p.m., at which point we drive to the
office of Radio Globo -- a radio program broadcasting the concert -- to
continue protesting, as the live feed of the show was cut by the golpistas halfway through the night.
'When do you sleep?' I jokingly ask one my friends. 'When the fight is over,' she responds.
Adelante, Adelante, la lucha es constante.
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