Honduras: I tawt I taw a coup d'état
So just as the "shock doctrine" can be used by reactionary forces in a crisis, so too can situations of crisis and disorder quickly lead to a steep rise in political consciousness. That's why it is so important for left political parties to be prepared to play a leadership role when unanticipated social upheaval occurs.
For example, those who would have the NDP follow, rather than lead, the Canadian working class, would see their party quickly overtaken and left behind by mass consciousness in the event of a major social/political crisis.
I think we need to keep in mind that Canada is right next door to that last bastion of rightwing conservatism in the world with ~36% of US voters pledging allegiance to the Republican Party. We have Washington style lobbying in Ottawa since Mulroney. The "soft power" influence that country has on Canadian government and public psyche is probably greater here than most other countries. The NDP would be treading where angels fear to go. And I wish the NDP would lead and be a stronger nationalist voice for workers.
I think that with all the natural wealth in this country at the disposal of the neoliberal ideologues and the corporations, and with big banks hitching along for the ride with debt-driven capitalism - Canada has a long way to go before that ideology totally wrecks the economy and carts away the last of the oil and gas and massive amounts of hydroelectric power potential. Canada will be a naturally rich country for a long time coming no matter how much they rob us blind in the mean time. It's not like Sweden after the lumber barons stripped that country bare of timber and other resources before social democrats appealed to the masses there. And things are not nearly as bad here as they were for Cubans leading up to the late 1950's. Not even close.
Eva Golinger, outstanding bloggist, has itemized a huge list outlining the EVIDENCE for Washington's involvement in the coup d'etat.
Nevertheless, the majority coincide in excusing the Obama Administration from any responsibility in the Honduran coup, blaming instead the lingering remains of the Bush-Cheney era and the war hawks that still pace the halls of the White House. The evidence demonstrates that while it is certain that the usual suspects who perpetrate coups and destabilization activities in Latin America are involved, ample proof exists confirming the direct role of the new administration in Washington in the Honduran coup.
Eat shit, liberals. This is your man.
here's more of the same:
Ex Clinton Aides Advising Honduras Coup Regime
"Ever since the military abducted President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint on June 28 and expelled him from the country, the Obama administration has cast itself as a steadfast defender of "democracy" in Honduras. The real nature of that defense has become somewhat clearer with the news that key former aides to Secretary of State Hillary CLinton and her husband, former President Bill CLinton, have surfaced as top advisers to the illegal regime led by Robert Micheletti, which was installed by the coup..."
thanks for the updates here
Who's Behind Lanny Davis' Putsch Paycheck?
"Enter Lanny Davis - a longtime friend and Yale Law School chum of Hillary Clinton and former White House Counsel to Bill Clinton. Davis is now scampering about the Hill setting up meetings with Congressional insiders and throwing money around on advertising and other frills to build a case for supporting the new militarily elected Honduran regime.."
Well it is certainly no question that the forces of American imperialism, i.e. - free market capitalism, are still waging their brutal wars against Latin American nations and their leaders. The obvious link here is the US hatred toward Castro, Chavez, Morales, and the progressive socialist political movements that have been going on for over 6 decades in the various regions. The Honduras coup is nothing new all we have to do is remember Ronald Reagan (yes, the American actor)and the 1980's. Latin American countries have been factories for failed US attempts at implementing free market 'miracles' in countless previous situations. These 'miracles' always turn out to be total social disasters where the people and their society are directly ruined but capital counts its gains. We must always have the role of capital in mind because that is the purpose of these reactionary-extremist actions. The military is propped up and armed by outside capital interests and in this case, as in many others, the US is behind the flow of capital and arms to the military. This is not conspiracy, it is truth.
The real question to be asked is what does the US want this time with Honduras? I mean do they want cheap labour, resources, influence in the region, etc? Maybe they want a combination of all these things and this is important to understand about the coup. One thing is for sure, the US is directly involved in the military coup and I don't think that anyone is arguing any differently but capital growth for American elites (i.e. - corporations) is likely the reason. Well done to President Obama for standing by the failed policies of Ronald Reagan - it looks good on his resume. So much for the policies of "change" and "hope" that were promised. It only took a few months for the US to take several steps backward in their relationship with the 'other' America. Back to business as usual, now that is "change" we can believe in, am I right?
Both political and economic factors come into play I think. The US regime is feverish and blinded by rage in its opposition to ANY alternative to "the Washington Consensus" (now rotting in the sewer) or the prescriptions of neo-liberalism for Latin America in general. The current Cuban, Venezuelan and Bolivian governments fills the strategists of Yanqui imperialism with apoplectic paroxyms. So, any other example, even a tiny one, turns them white with rage. Think of the Guiliani approach to crime in New York City; "no broken windows", etc., is really an extreme reaction to the tiniest misdemeanor. In El Salvador under the US-sponsored death squad regime in the 1980's, the penalty for drunk driving was death. Death. The possibility of a further poltical beachead just cannot be tolerated, especially given that the Honduran President was by no means on the left, or the "far left", and was simply opening the door to wider participation of the citizenry.
That's the political side of things. But, of course, powerful economic interests in Honduras are linked with the military's kidnapping and forcible deportation of the elected President, Aristide-style, to Costa Rica. Outside economic interests, including, no doubt, Canadian ones, come to bear. And that is just as important a factor as the political ones.
It's not by accident that we on the left use the term "political economy" in descriptions of social life; it's an antidote and remedy to bird-brained and tendentious attempts to compartmentalize knowledge in order to deny the obvious. Like a coup d'etat. My two bits.
The NDP could improve that by making reference to the financial support that Canada is continuing to provide the military regime in Honduras. This stuff is sometimes disguised in "police exchange programs", "assistance in drafting laws that reflect Canada's view of 'freedom'" (i.e., rewriting mining laws to better allow Canadian corporations to loot the country), and so on. Canada sometimes plays the role of strong arming other countries into voting along with the USA in international bodies that decide matters of credit, loans and so on that can sometimes be critical to the success, and survival, of a government.
Thats not a bad point, Canadas role as Americas silent partner in the region could also use more public exposure, whether the broader public wants to hear it or not.
Well, it's objectively speaking, an anti-imperialist thrust. And that's far too radical for SOME in the NDP, never mind the Liberals or Conservatives. But it's always worth pushing these things, testing the boundaries of bourgeois politics, seeing how far/ how enlightened the parliamentary parties will be. In another discussion you might find me claiming that the easiest way to expose the failure of our Parliamentary parties is to delve into foreign/military policy; that's just the way it is for any so-called imperialist country like our own. But both of these can be true at the same time.
From my perspective as an unrepentant socialist, if the NDP doesn't move in this direction then it's just as useful to point out their (expected) failure in that regard. It provides prima facie evidence why Canada needs a successful party on the NDPs left; someone has to put forward a policy motivated by solidarity instead of profits and that is, after all, the duty of the left, no matter how small the numbers.
Another left wing party would have the effect of fracturing the left even moreso by our current FPP electoral system. A PR system, however, should unite the left. And that's why the two old line parties voted down the NDP's proposal to restart a federal study on electoral reform in May of 2007.
Here we go again.
I wish the guy well, but I'm not optimistic.
If he couldn't even arrange to land his plane last week, what chance does he realistically have for success.
Aide: Ousted President en Route to Honduras
The Committee of Family Members of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras published a report today detailing more than 1155 cases of Human Rights violations committed by the coup regime since June 28, 2009. Of those, there have been 4 political assassinations, 6 gravely injured, 16 threatened with death, 59 injured, 13 media outlets closed or censored, 14 journalists detained, of which the majority have been expelled forcefully from the country, and 1046 arbitrary detentions. Where are the State Department reports on human rights violations now? They are always quick to condemn Venezuela for made up violations in order to demonize the government, but when real violations and crimes are committed by a repressive regime favored by Washington, then the policy is silence.
The Obama administration is also pumping up, in a gigantic way, the US military presence in Colombia ... right next door to Venezuela.
This makes clear that the Obama Administration is continuing directly on the same militarization path as the previous administrations and it is paving the way for the provocation of a major conflict in the region. Will the empire never listen?
I think Mott the Hoople described the psychology of the Empire very well in one of their songs ...
It's the only thing that will make you see sense
It's the only thing that will make you see sense
The situation in Honduras is getting worse each day since the SOA graduate-led military coup against the government of President Manuel Zelaya.
The Committee of Family Members of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) published a report yesterday, detailing hundreds of cases of human rights abuses committed by the coup regime, including four political assassinations. You can take a stand against this injustice right now: http://www.soaw.org/contactcongress
The colder war on democracy continues
Secretary Clinton Doesn't Get the Power of Non Violence in Honduras
"As thousands of Honduran citizens peacefully blockaded the central highways of their nation yesterday, bringing its commerce under a coup regime to a halt, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Washington with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts.."
Chiquita in Latin America
"When the Honduran military overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya two weeks ago there might have been a sigh of relief in the corporate board rooms of Chiquita bananas. Earlier this year the Cincinatti based fruit company joined Dole in criticizing the government in Tegucigalpa which had raised the minimum wage by 60%..."
The talks are done for today with no agreement. Zelaya's delegation confirmed they are accepting considering the proposal set out by Oscar Arias (see below), beginning with President Zelaya's return to power by July 24th (by continuing to push back the date, the coup regime consolidates and represses the people even more). The coup regime led by Roberto Micheletti has stated it will "study" the proposal overnight, though it has already had 15 hours to do so today, without arriving at a final decision. Several of the spokespeople for the coup regime have said they will not agree to President Zelaya's return to power, which makes things difficult because that is the principle issue at stake here. The talks will be resumed tomorrow morning at 11am, Costa Rica time. See below for my analysis...
UPDATE: President Zelaya has accepted Arias' offer - with all its massive, dangerous flaws - but, so far, it will not proceed because the coup dictator, Roberto Micheletti, has refused the terms set forth today in the negotiation meeting in Costa Rica. The coup regime stands firm on its refusal to allow President Zelaya to return to power. Supporters of Zelaya and popular resistance forces are still in the streets in Honduras. Zelaya says his return to Honduras - by any means and way - is imminent.
The "dialogue" meetings on the Honduras crisis are taking place today in Costa Rica, mediated by the president of that nation, Oscar Arias, who was designed by the Department of State to assume this role. Arias has presented a "document" to both parties, which include representatives from the coup regime and the constitutional government that was ousted in the coup 21 days ago on June 28th. The document, is calling on all parties to accept the following seven terms in order to resolve the political crisis:
1. Allow President Manuel Zelaya to return to his post as president until the end of his term on January 29, 2010.
2. Conform a new government (with Zelaya as president) based on "unity" and "reconciliation", composed on representatives from all political parties in the country to govern through the end of Zelaya's term.
3. Declare a general amnesty to those actors involved in the coup d'etat.
4. President Zelaya will have to renounce any effort to convene a referendum or consultation with the people of Honduras regarding future constitutional reform.
5. Hold early elections during the last weekend of October instead of November 29th, 2009.
6. The military will be commanded by the Supreme Court of Honduras as of September 2009 in order to "ensure" a smooth electoral process.
7. Creation of a truth commission composed of renowned Hondurans and members from the international community, particularly the Organization of American States (OEA) to supervise the correct return of constitutional order and the implementation of the above terms.
President Zelaya has apparently accepted these terms, despite the fact that he would be completely castrated politically, and would be allowing for the same criminals that executed the coup against him to remain in power and in fact, have even more power since they would be part of a "government of unity and reconciliation". If this is true, Zelaya will be strongly disappointing a large majority of those Honduran people who have resisted and struggled against the coup government now for over 21 days. Also, many of us in the international community will also be severely bothered by Zelaya's giving in to such absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable terms!!
Personally, I believe the only issue to be considered is the first one, and it should involve the unconditional, immediate return of President Zelaya to power - that is the only matter at hand here. Also, the OAS resolution on the Honduran coup specifically called for the immediate, UNCONDITIONAL, restitution of President Zelaya to power. What Arias (via Washington) is proposing involves a series of conditions that would render Zelaya absolutely powerless.
Obviously, this is what many of us have been expected from Arias (via Washington) since he assumed this role as "mediator". This is precisely the outcome the Obama administration has been pushing for since day one of the coup. And it is absolutely unacceptable!
First of all, the issue of a government of "unity" and "reconciliation" is ridiculous. That means Zelaya does not name his cabinet members, and all those who previously held positions in his government would be forced to step down. This measure ties Zelaya's hands completely and is just outrageous.
The renouncing of considering a possible future constitutional reform is also unacceptable, since that is not an issue to be decided by a small elite in Honduras, but rather the people of Honduras.
And then the amnesty for the coup leaders sets a dangerous precedent for other actors seeking to overthrow their governments via illegal means, because they will see that it can be done, and you get off the hook for all the crimes and human rights violations committed!!
This is all just really awful. The worst part will be if Zelaya actually does accept this proposal as is being reported right now.
I believe the only viable solution is for the people of Honduras to immediately convene a constitutional assembly and to not only rewrite their constitution as they see fit, but also to depose the congress, supreme court and high military command, since they have all been principal participants in a violent, criminal coup d'etat. Once the new constitution is ratified, elections will be held to fill all offices as specified by law. The power resides in the sovereign people to determine the type and model of government they wish to have. If Honduras allows this coup to be legitimated by Arias' (via Washington's) proposal, it will be a dark day for the peoples of Latin America.
Zelaya Accepts Unity Government Proposal
"Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya agreed on Saturday to a power sharing government as a way out of his country's political crisis, but his enemies rejected any deal that puts him back in the presidency.."
Honduras: The Nonviolent Battle for the Zelaya Home in Catacamas
"While the negotiation circus continues up above - there is a more outcome determinative struggle going on from below. We have received many reports from other regions of Honduras that indicate the same level of unity, planning and discipline at play from the public and the same panicked overreaction from the coup regime.."