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Honduras: Towards A New Republic Or Regional Chaos

Honduras - Towards A New Republic Or Regional Chaos?


por toni solo, July 21st 2009

At the top of Dublin's O'Connell Street, the statue of Charles Stuart Parnell stands on a plinth that bears part of his famous speech in Cork of 1882 : "no man has the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation. No man has a right to say to his country 'Thus far shalt thou go and no farther'. Maybe Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should put the Honduran pinochetti coup-mongers on a plane at gunpoint so they can read that quote for themselves in their pyjamas.

For their part, US oligarchs like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem incorrigibly wedded to the time honoured yankee neocolonial fantasy that they can play kingmakers in the Latin America and the Caribbean for ever. With every false step they take, Barack Obama and his foreign policy team under Hillary Clinton increasingly make the hopelessly inept Bush regime look good. The latest folly has been their propaganda account of Clinton "getting tough" with the brutal coup regime in Honduras.

Clinton is supposed to have telephoned de facto regime gorilla-in-chief Roberto Micheletti to admonish him for not sustaining Clinton's baby, the ill-fated dialogue mediated by Oscar Arias in Costa Rica. That fake dialogue was doomed from the start because it was a deal imposed by the US with marked cards, de facto recognition of the coup leaders and rejection of constitutional change, and a crooked dealer, Oscar Arias, sympathetic to the coup leaders. The joker tripping up Clinton and Arias was the sine qua non of President Zelaya's reinstatement.

That non-negotiable condition was imposed by the Organization of American States at the insistence of the Latin American governments led by the ALBA countries. The US government has been desperate to stop Zelaya returning to Honduras because, once he does, it will be Zelaya who will have the initiative. In their arrogance and hubris, US government officials failed to secure the fundamental aim they share with the coup regime - a postponement of the urgent radical change in Honduras necessary to achieve a just redistributive social contract. Now it is too late.

It was probably always so, because, from Day One of the coup, the only possible enduring resolution to the constitutional crisis in Honduras has been a Constituent Assembly. It will take unprecedented political and diplomatic legerdemain to deny that epoch-making political demand peacefully in the face of the mass non-violent mobilization of grass roots movements throughout Honduras. The next few days will most likely see either some muddle-through, jury-rigged armistice or the outbreak of serious civil conflict.

The US government is certainly managing the coup in Honduras as part of an aggressive revamp of overall regional strategic destabilization. By establishing five new military bases in Colombia they threaten Venezuela and Ecuador, as well as staking out potential military occupation of the Amazon. That is something Brazil's armed forces have taken for granted for years as the principal military threat to their country's sovereignty. Right now Colombia is falsely accusing the Ecuadoran government of supporting the FARC guerrilla movement in Colombia's civil war, now decades old.

Honduras is being groomed by the United States to play a similar destabilizing role in Central America as Colombia does in the Andes. Marta Alvarado, one of the de facto pinochetti foreign affairs factotums in Tegucigalpa, said outright on July 20th "Honduras is playing a very important role in the sense that it depends on Honduras whether the ALBA country landslide continues and it also depends on Honduras whether the countries suffering these pressures from the ALBA countries wake up."

This is verbatim the counterfactual logic of the US State Department - that ALBA, led by Venezuela, destabilizes the region. This US State Department molly-coddled coup d'état, further needless militarization of the Andes in Colombia, Plan Merida's drastic escalation of the narcotics wars in Mexico - these, we are told, do not destabilize the region. The US State Department wants people to believe that what destabilizes the region are national literacy programmes, region-wide health programmes, massive regional credit availability for small businesses and agriculture, region wide energy and food security programmes.

That ridiculous nonsense is the current basis of US foreign policy in Latin America. The frauds that produce such stupid, self-evidently deceitful pap are representatives of the same political class fronting for the US oligarchy who, under the Bush regime lied, cheated and deregulated the US economy into disaster. Now, under peerless doubletalker Barack Obama, the same phonies are unleashing their endless duplicity and idiocy on Latin America.

The fascist Honduran oligarchs of today are backed by regional counterparts in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. For example, Eduardo Montealegre, the US embassy's sweetheart candidate in Nicaraguan elections since 2006, rejected Manuel Zelaya's latest remarks about his imminent return to Honduras. Montealegre said on July 21st, "Nicaragua cannot turn into a nest of terrorists or a space for insurrection. So I therefore ask ex-President Zelaya to leave Nicaragua..."

The mindset of these regional oligarchs has many similarities to that of the wealthy sectarian Ulster bigots who, from the time of Parnell onwards, doomed Ireland to war and abiding conflict. They are determined to resist democratic change to benefit the impoverished majority they have tormented for so long with wretched inhuman immiseration. It is absolutely clear that the doubletalking Obama administration is helping them to do so, despite the ominous threat of prolonged conflict, perhaps civil war, that may again plunge Central America into what had seemed, until now, unthinkable catastrophe.

toni solo is an activist based in Central America - contact via www.tonisolo.net

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