The bourgeois press called out: "We're going to South Africa!" That same evening, tens of thousands of people streamed onto the streets in all major cities. What had actually been decisive was a U.S. victory against Costa Rica in a qualifying match taking place in at the same time, which allowed Honduras instead of Costa Rica to pass to the World Cup. Therefore, among the cheering crowds, many U.S. flags and signs with "thenks you, USA!" (sic) could be seen - a journalist from Uruguay with lighter skin reported that he was greeting throughout the evening with "Gracias, Gringo!" (Thanks, American).
The victory belonged entirely to the coup regime: On Thursday, the coup President Micheletti declared a public holiday. "We are experiencing a moment of joy which drives away our anguish," he said as he greeted the players at the Presidential Palace. The television broadcast of the game was full of ads for the elections, which the coup makers want to hold on November 29, and each of their candidates.
But the resistance movement was also able to benefit from the free day. The rally in front of the Clarion Hotel, where negotiations between the representatives of Zelaya and the de-facto government are taking place, had over 1,000 participants and was significantly larger than the protests of the last week. The people shouted: "Honduras to the World Cup - and Zelaya to the Presidency!"
But as the coach of the national team coincidentally drove past the rally, they also shouted: "rubbish!" and "Why do you meet with the gorillas?", referring to the coup makers. "What use is it to us poor people when they go to South Africa?" asked Ruth Maridiaga, a laboratory technician. "The players are all golpistas - or why else are they shaking hands with Goriletti?"
Meanwhile, there was no consensus in the "Guaymura dialogue". The representatives of the regime are calling for more time, and Zelaya agreed to extend his deadline by 24 hours. "They want to extend the dialogue as much as possible," said Marvin Ponce, a congressman from the left-wing party UD and an advisor to the negotiating teams of Zelaya. The coup-makers have hinted that they will want to have the results of the dialogue approved by the Congress and the Supreme Court, which will take furthers days or weeks. "But there is not a solution soon, we will boycott the elections - but according to the golpistas we can't say that, so let's say we will not recognize the elections."
Although Zelaya has conceded several months ago that he would give up the demand for a Constituent Assembly and a new constitution, the resistance movement is united behind this demand. "What we are not able to win at the negotiating table, we have to win on the streets," said the general coordinator of the "Resistencia", Juan Barahona, at the rally.
by Wladek Flakin, Tegucigalpa, October 15, 2009 independent youth organization REVOLUTION – www.onesolutionrevolution.org
Pictures of October 15: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onesolutionrevolution/sets/72157622594802888/