The traditional right wing power sectors of Central America and South America are in panic. The single argument in their speeches and strategies is: “we have to stop the election of a “Chavez” or an “Evo Morales” in our country.” They have expressed their hatred to the Alba leaders very eloquently.
The virtues of the ALBA leaders are as questionable as the right wingers in power. Who will in the end be more beneficial for their countries, we have to wait and see the results.
Lula in Brazil and Michelle Bachelet in Chile are a good example of positive accomplishments of the New Leftist movements.
In Central America the situation is different; the deep polarization of the people of these countries (except Costa Rica) is a consequence of the proxy war fought in the region during the cold war. Massacres, abuses of power, genocide, and totalitarian governments are still fresh in the memories of the people who suffered the consequences of these wars.
The fragile democracies that started to appear after the cold war was officially over are still mostly only a democracy by name, not a solid government system that works according to the law.
The fragile democratic civil institutions and justice sectors are far from being the strongholds of these democracies.
Laws can be passed, but are not necessarily respected. Guatemala has a very recent example in passing the law of postulation of magistrates by Congress. The new law was necessary to clean out the justice system from corrupt magistrates and judges.
The first sector who twisted the law by declaring one word unconstitutional where the Rectors of the Universities in Guatemala, the representatives of the academia. The brought the case to the Constitutional Court of Guatemala and the Court ruled in their favor.
This is not exactly an encouraging example of how the laws work in Guatemala and who has the power to change the law for their convenience.
In short, since the election of President Colom in Guatemala, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Honduras President Zelaya´s enthusiasm for ALBA and the recent election of Funes in El Salvador has put the right wing traditional power sectors in the region into total panic.
They are like bulls that are seeing the red cape of the torero. What does the bull do: the bull charges.
The first serious attempt to put Alvaro Colom of Guatemala out of power was in May 2009, using the Rosenberg scandal – it didn’t work because the international community paid attention and quickly signaled: don’t even think about a coup, we will not support you. Very reluctantly the right wing opposition retreated back into their trenches and are now looking for other options.
The Honduran right wing power elite must have paid close attention to what happened in Guatemala and came up with a supposedly legal – coup strategy to get Zelaya out of power, thinking: the international community will not be able to stop us if there are some quasi- legal arguments.
Knowing how the Congress and Supreme Courts work in the Central American countries, you can pretty much fabricate any law and get the Supreme Court or Constitutional Courts to rule according to certain interests. The justice systems are very fragile and corrupt, they are basically for sale.
Unanimously the UN, European Union, USA, OAS and SICA have declared that the new government in Honduras is not legal and that Zelaya has to return. We consider that ALBA should not get involved and we deplore any military treat or involvment.
The “not recognized” Honduran government says: we don’t care what the World thinks is legal and democratic, we do as we please.
This is a new strategy: not considering the views of the UN, European Union, USA, OAS and SICA all together.
Now the question is: what effect will the behavior of the Honduran “illegal government” have on El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Costa Rica is stable, Panama just elected a representative of the traditional right wing power sector, and these two countries will stay calm.
The signals coming from the “not recognized” Honduran government could encourage their friends in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua to imitate their behavior.
In Guatemala about 12 right wing columnists have already publicly written and stated their support for the “brave and courageous” Hondurenans who deposed Zelaya and encouraged them to defy the international community and stay the course, no matter what the cost. Several radio commentators have done the same.
Will we wake up to a coup in Guatemala and El Salvador soon? It is more than possible. If you turn on your radio or TV in Guatemala and you hear marimba music and nothing else, you will know.