by Giorgio Trucchi
Rel-UITA (Unión Internacional de Trabajadores de la Alimentación, Agrícolas, Hoteles, Restaurantes, Tabaco y Afines)
On 22 May, Porfirio Lobo and former President Manuel Zelaya signed the “Agreement of Cartagena”, in the context of the mediation process led by the governments of Venezuela and Colombia. To analyze how the Honduran Resistance is living this moment, I spoke with Esly Sirel Banerjee, a member of the Political Committee of National People’s Resistance Front (FNRP).
How does the FNRP evaluate the Cartagena Agreement?
For the FNRP this Agreement meets only a part of our key demands, that is, the safe return of former President Zelaya and other exiles. But we do not share how other items were included, because the Agreement does not include our expectations as the Resistance.
What are these other issues?
With regard to the Constituent Assembly we hold it should be participatory, rooted in our land, and self-summoned, so that people have the opportunity to express directly what the contents of a new Constitution should be. In regard to human rights we have witnessed that the persecution, repression, assassinations, and impunity have continued; and as the Resistance we demand an end to these human rights violations. In this sense we do not agree how these issues are reflected in the Agreement.
Following the Agreement of Cartagena we are witnessing an acceleration of the process of normalization of international relations with Honduras. What is the position of the FNRP?
Honduras was suspended following the coup and that situation hasn´t been resolved. The Resistance rejects the reintegration of Honduras to international bodies, including the OAS, while it does not meet the four items included in the mediation process.
However, former President Zelaya supported the decision of the Central American governments of the CA-4 to call Latin American countries to support this process of normalization. How do you analyze this decision?
Manuel Zelaya signed the Cartagena Agreement in his capacity as former President and the FNRP supported this signature because it includes one of our demands, which is his return and that of all the exiles. As former President he has every right to express his views and opinions, but as the resistance we reaffirm our rejection of the reintegration of Honduras to the OAS and demand answers to our demands, including punishment for the oppressors.
The agreement recognizes the FNRP as a political force and there is already talk about it becoming a political party. Does this decision create tension in any way with the resolutions of the great FNRP Assembly last February?
There is a recognition of FNRP as a belligerent political force and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal guarantees its right to register so that, at some point, it can participate in the electoral process. The Assembly was clear in saying that we will not participate in these processes until there is a call for the National Constituent Assembly and a new Electoral Law. That remains and it will be for the FNRP Assembly to decide what will be the next steps.
Once Manuel Zelaya is in the country on May 28, the FNRP will recognize the government of Porfirio Lobo?
No way. The FNRP will not recognize this regime which is the continuation of the coup. We support the return of Manuel Zelaya, as coordinator of FNRP, but we will continue to work against a regime that is repressing the people and defending the interests of the oligarchy.
Who stands to gain from the Cartagena Agreement?
We the people in resistance because we achieved the return of Manuel Zelaya and of the exiles. Thus we defeat those within the coup who rejected his presence in Honduras, and we will remain committed to the struggle of the people until all our demands are met.