honduras elections after the coup: for an active boycott

on the elections in Honduras, taking place six months after a military coup against centre-left president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya – by José Luis Rojo

What was bound to happen all along has now materialised: Mel Zelaya, the bourgeois leader of the resistance to the Honduran military coup, has ended up giving up everything in exchange for nothing. Signing the “Gaymuras-San José” accord (supervised by the Obama administration) he has capitulated. It is clear that the the US government proposed him a ‘double standard’ deal: Zelaya had to sign the deal, the other side only to make a vague promise eventually to “reinstall” him.

But the ‘letter’ of the deal does not oblige post-coup president Micheletti to reinstall him: this is at the mercy of the same pro-coup Congress which voted to depose Zelaya in late June. The Congress has no need to hurry either: “This crucial aspect (his supposed reinstallment) was placed as the fifth of seven items, not the first, and was drafted ambiguously, showing that Zelaya made too many concessions as he signed the accord”.[1] Continue reading “honduras elections after the coup: for an active boycott”

honduras: democracy has not been restored

An article by Socialismo o Barbarie‘s Honduran section on the peace accord signed by centre-left president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya with the régime established by Roberto Micheletti after a military coup against Zelaya four months ago.


Unfortunately, what we predicted has played out: Mel Zelaya, the bourgeois politician, has proven his remarkable cowardice. Kneeling down at the feet of his US masters, he has signed a deal which not only abandons each and every one of the demands of the people’s struggle (first and foremost, a Constituent Assembly) but it even appears that he has obtained not even a purely formal re-instatement of his powers. Continue reading “honduras: democracy has not been restored”

honduras: zelaya and coup régime make peace deal

On 28th June the centre-left president of Honduras Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya was overthrown by the military and forced into exile. This was followed by months of civil disobedience which raised wider democratic arguments but was subject to murderous state repression. Last month saw Zelaya’s return to the country – forced to take refuge in the Brazilian embassy – and now he has agreed to power-sharing and fresh elections in a deal with the coup régime headed by Roberto Micheletti. Below appear some first impressions from a member of the Socialismo o Barbarie current.


Categorically we can say this is a very bad deal, in fact creating a situation – although everything still has to be approved by Congress – where Zelaya is restored in exchange for the effective abandonment of all of the demands raised during the struggle. Continue reading “honduras: zelaya and coup régime make peace deal”

honduras: zelaya abandons popular movement’s demands

Four months ago Honduras’ centre-left president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya was deposed and forced into exile by a military coup, sparking a long resistance campaign in which twelve trade unionists have been killed. Now Zelaya is back in the country and negotiating elections with the coup régime of Roberto Micheletti (depicted below).  But as Socialismo o Barbarie argue, this national unity means legitimising the coup and stepping back from democratic reforms.


Mel Zelaya has given fresh “space” for negotiations with those who conducted the military coup. This is Zelaya’s strategy: bending over backwards as far as possible, abandoning each and every one of the demands which the popular resistance has stood up for in the streets every day, since the very day when the coup régime seized power.

Zelaya has now given up the central demand of this struggle: a Constituent Assembly.

Zelaya has also given up on the idea of punishing those who conducted the coup, accepting an amnesty for them. Continue reading “honduras: zelaya abandons popular movement’s demands”

honduras coup: a letter from tegucigalpa

A report on the situation in Honduras over three months after the military coup against centre-left president Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya: by a member of Socialismo o Barbarie


The resistance is at its lowest ebb since the coup. The mobilisations have reduced in size to just a vanguard section: in the case of Tegucigalpa [the capital] marches of thousands of people have been replaced by meetings of a couple of hundred or pickets of twenty people of various organisations (for example, feminists, Radio Globo journalists, etc.)

I believe that this situation is the result of various factors emerging since the Zelayista majority on the leadership of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular put the brakes on the movement in the barrios [poor districts] which had been causing the coup government great difficulties and which had made them uncontrollable. Continue reading “honduras coup: a letter from tegucigalpa”

state capitalism and communism-from-below in latin america

David Broder’s talk to The Commune’s recent Manchester forum

The class struggle in Latin America is one that has always roused great interest and a certain romanticism among the western left. The continent has seen a number of heroic struggles against often savage exploitation and state repression, whether by the industrial working class, landless peasants or indigenous peoples. But the politics of the Latin American left are complex and often mischaracterised.


I’m going to talk about the recent history of Latin America and the relationship of US imperialism to national ruling classes; in what ways this has shaped the major left trends and the workers’ movement on the continent; and the different types of movement that exist today.  Continue reading “state capitalism and communism-from-below in latin america”

manchester public meeting: populism and class struggle in latin america

The Commune’s first Manchester forum, Saturday 26th September

The last decade has seen a wave of class struggle shaking neo-liberalism in Latin America, with trade unions, social movements and indigenous people across the continent stirred to action.


Many also think that leaders like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia are ‘building socialism’, and the radical right and US imperialism have mobilised to try and crush them. July saw the most outrageous action yet as the Honduran military overthrew the centre-left president Manuel Zelaya.

Where is the class struggle in Latin America headed? What does the Obama administration mean for US relations with the continent? Are systems like Venezuela and Cuba a model for communists to follow? Come and join the debate at The Commune’s forum. Continue reading “manchester public meeting: populism and class struggle in latin america”

honduras military coup threatened by mass resistance

In June the centre-left Honduran president Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya was ousted by the military and expelled from the country in the first successful coup in Latin America since the Cold War. Yesterday, after more than three months of mass resistence to Roberto Micheletti’s coup regime, Zelaya illegally returned to the capital Tegucigalpa, as a member of Socialismo o Barbarie reports.

by Roberto Sáenz, El Progreso, Honduras, 21st September, 12:30pm


At the time of writing this article, in the very place where events are taking shape, the situation is getting sharper minute-by-minute. Mel Zelaya, it appears, has arrived somewhere in Tegucigalpa, although those who carried out the coup are now on national TV denying it. Continue reading “honduras military coup threatened by mass resistance”

latin america’s future is being played out in honduras

Roberto Sáenz writes of a new situation of crisis, reactionary offensives, polarisation and growing popular resistance in the region, as exemplified by the recent military coup against Honduras’s centre-left president Zelaya.


“What happened in Honduras is no trivial matter. There is no use taking the word of the constitutionalists who claim that no coup took place since the executive was saved and the other powers of state have been kept ‘intact’. It is not a question of yes to Zelaya, no to Zelaya, yes to Chávez, no to Chávez. They took the president away in his pyjamas: the outcome which is concretising represents a massive backwards step for the democracies of the region and a serious threat to their political systems. Two years ago not even the most fervent conspirator could have imagined a military coup in Latin America. Today, given certain circumstances and taking certain factors into consideration, once again all such options are on the table. This is well-known to those who would split Bolivia, the banana magnates of Guatemala and Ecuador, the followers of General Lino Oviedo in Paraguay and Major Roberto D’Aubuisson Arrieta in El Salvador, the ex-contras in Nicaragua, the Venezuelan employers’ federation and the Argentinian landowners with their blockades”[1]. Continue reading “latin america’s future is being played out in honduras”

honduras: mass movement to defeat “pinocheletti”

by Roberto Ramírez

The coup d’état against president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is first of all a sign of how the global crisis has opened up a new political situation across the world. Last year, at the outbreak of the crisis, we warned that it would mean more polarised politics, as much in a right-wing direction as to the left, and that this would mean increasing abandonment of the  political “centre” and sharper confrontations.


Honduras, a country hit hard by the global crisis, is itself one of the weakest links in the Central American semi-colonial chain… which for more than three years has seen the highest level of struggle in Central America, with national mobilisations (the “civic stoppages”) which have several times managed to paralyse the country. One aspect of this previous polarisation was the birth of the CNRP (National Popular Resistance Council) which brought together union federations and social movements calling for “civic stoppages” and other mobilisations. Continue reading “honduras: mass movement to defeat “pinocheletti””