Honduras: Psychological Operations against Xiomara Castro’s Government

By Ricardo Arturo Salgado on May 29, 2023

Xiomara Castro

The right-wing wars in Latin America are waged, to a great extent in the minds of people, especially those who still think they are part of the privileged class, even though neoliberalism is gradually making them lose purchasing power. Psychological operations, whose spearheads are in the media and social networks have been relentless against  the progressive government of President Xiomara Castro  since the very day she took office.

In Honduras, private media constitute 98% of all media, and the number of troll and bot farms created by the narco-regime of the National Party of Juan Orlando Hernandez, occupy a huge space, which has the strong support of the most virulent communities of the right-wing in the United States. For that reason, for example, it is almost impossible to get a social network such as Twitter, to unsubscribe a fake account in the name of the Government of Honduras.

During the last few weeks, the current administration has undertaken a fight to change the rules of the game in tax matters. Basically, the idea is to put an end to the special regimes that have exempted a small group of businessmen from paying taxes for the last fifty years. Thanks to this system of tax exemptions, things as dissimilar as fast food, the media, fossil fuel energy generators and even drug trafficking companies have been able to flourish while poverty and inequality have accelerated.

In the eyes of public opinion, this is a battle won by the government, in spite of a costly campaign by the elites, including the political sector of the right that is bent on fulfilling its task of preventing the richest from losing their privileges, and competing with an immense number of companies that not only pay taxes, but also pay infinitely higher rates for loans from local banks. Fundamentally, for a small entrepreneur to get a loan, he or she must prove that he or she does not need the money. There is nothing further from the panacea of the free market than what is happening in Honduras; the rich are getting rich by plundering the poor.

The other hot issue is the entry of Honduras into the Andean Development Community, CAF, which must be ratified by the National Congress, with a predominance of the right, from the opportunist to the fascist. The point here is not to ratify the adhesion, in order to prevent the government from accessing new sources of financing. If we look at the big picture, the purpose is to prevent access to funds, and the reordering of finances that would help to bear the burden of the social debt accumulated after twelve years post-coup d’état.

In the current context, the steps taken by President Castro’s government tend to favor the great majorities, and the public opinion matrices, at least the regular ones, are insufficient to convince the population that it is a good idea to continue maintaining a parasitic system in which, in the name of competitiveness, the country’s economy has been destroyed. With an economically active population of 4 million people, the richest 5% of the country barely generates 6% of the jobs. Moreover, it is to this sector that we owe the largest corruption construction existing for many years. Even at the end of 2021, after the right wing had lost the elections, the outgoing Congress approved 4 new regulations of privileges for the same 25 families.

The government of the republic has taken giant steps in a number of areas, some of them historic, and, until recently, unthinkable, such as the opening of diplomatic relations with China, from which favorable agreements are expected,  while being conducted within the framework of the up most of respect. Although it maintains many difficulties, mainly in Education and Health, the current administration has many relief programs for the crisis that comes from the global transition to multipolarity, and the disastrous legacy of the 12 most fateful years in our history.

Unable to achieve a favorable balance in the public opinion, the elites, stimulated by political sectors of the United States, activated spokespersons with a multi-directional campaign, in which the most significant part has been the presentation by the National Anticorruption Council (NGO financed with State funds and controlled by the United States), of a pseudo report on “Nepotism and Excess of Concentration of Power”. In the midst of a Disneyland-like light show, a propagandistic display has been made against the government, without presenting a single concrete case of corruption, under the premise that Nepotism produces corruption.

Enemies have surfaced, both outside and inside the government, who have tried to throw a layer of slime over public officials, all activated in unison, in what is clearly a psychological operation to displace from the national discussion the fundamental problem of the privileges of the ruling class, the complicity of the right wing in this unequal relationship, and above all, the class struggle implicit in this process. It is worth noting that, to date, there had been no cases with indications of corruption, until in the same week of the psychological operation, audios of an official appeared that leave little to the imagination, and that point to corruption in the DINAF, the entity in charge of dealing with children’s issues in the country.

The question of the concentration of power omits an inscrutable fact: power is the capacity of a class to impose its interests, even by force if necessary. That power, real power, in Honduras, continues to be wielded by the elites, with the firm support of the United States. Nevertheless this government is accused of being intolerant, of not respecting freedom of expression, although every journalist in the pay of the right wing rants against the government, and even disrespects the president, at any time of the day, without any restraint to date on the immense amount of mass of slander and lies that they throw out every day.

This being a popular government, which, in spite of obtaining a landslide victory in the last presidential elections, it is correct to say that it is in an unequal battle, in which the ruling class is trying to generate conditions of discontent among the population, perhaps with the intention of generating conditions for a color revolution type movement. To date, however, its social support base remains very poor, and depends more on fake news, memes or poorly made montages.

The fundamental mission of government communications must be to reach the majorities with the truth, who must now understand that we are in a real struggle for power, in which those who drowned us in unthinkable poverty, have an infinity of resources, and have no scruples to lie, to steal, or to kill. This is what history teaches us, we have seen this in other parts of the world.

They accuse us of polarizing, as if the poor were happy to be screwed all their lives. We must not forget that the only field of consensus that the oligarchy accepts is that in which the working class surrenders, and accepts to sign the unconditional surrender, which favors and increases their already obscene privileges.

Today we are facing a smokescreen type of psychological operation, but the slogan continues to be that we all pay taxes; that those who earn more pay more. Whoever tries to distract us from that truth is our enemy.

Source: Telesur, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US