Something Dangerous is Happening in Honduras
June 17, 2010 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Hillary Clinton has asked the Organization of America States to re-admit post coup Honduras, but many people with long memories are against it and wondering why this president, in particular, is doing it.
posted by history is a weapon (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Why not just wait for them to have a new scheduled election and then readmit them.
posted by delmoi at 7:22 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's no president, that's my wife!
- Bill
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2010


The "many" link contains footage from the actual coup, some of them graphically violent, for those who might be upset by such things.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:46 AM on June 17, 2010


Why is he continuing to protect the perpetrators of extraordinary rendition? Why did he refuse to grant Maher Arar justice for being tortured because of the American government? Why did he send a delegation to Kampala to derail negotiations over the crime of aggression? It's because he's not the guy we thought he was. He's not even the guy he said he was in 2006.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:53 AM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


As I was saying at the time, it was quite possible that we were somehow involved; we have a long and storied history of overthrowing leftist leaders and governments in that region. Much of the reason things are so miserable down there for so many people is because of our constant direct involvement.

One of our primary weapons was in convincing countries to take on too much debt, and to set up government structures that would enrich a few at the expense of the many... as the bills came due, the regular people would be ground into the dirt, while the elites prospered, with enormous relative power and near-complete untouchability. The price: sweetheart deals for resource extraction. And we propped up those corrupt governments as long as they played ball, and destabilized, assassinated, or outright invaded them if they stopped.

So this being our engineering struck me as quite possible, and the proof for me was going to be, not in what we said, but what we did. And what we did than was: nothing. And what we're doing now is: trying to gloss over what happened.

Even if we didn't directly engineer this, it would certainly appear that we're accessories after the fact.

As a side thing I've been musing of late.... those weapons of economic takeover work. They work really, really well. And I find it very distressing that the United States government itself is now engaging in exactly the same practices that turned many prosperous small countries around the world into helpless thralls. I can't help but wonder if the corporations are using those same weapons (overly rosy economic projections, economic bafflegab to convince governments that debt's a great idea) on their ostensible host.
posted by Malor at 7:59 AM on June 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Bafflegab. Excellent!
posted by spicynuts at 8:16 AM on June 17, 2010


Dreams from My Father (the "in particular" link above):

Power. The word fixed in my mother’s mind like a curse. In America, it had generally remained hidden from view until you dug beneath the surface of things; until you visited an Indian reservation or spoke to a black person whose trust you had earned. But here power was undisguised, indiscriminate, naked, always fresh in the memory. Power had taken Lolo and yanked him back into line just when he thought he’d escaped, making him feel its weight, letting him know that his life wasn’t his own. That’s how things were; you couldn’t change it, you could just live by the rules, so simple once you learned them. And so Lolo had made his peace with power, learned the wisdom of forgetting...

Power. Obama has it, and now he's made his peace with it, and he's using it.
posted by blucevalo at 8:17 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


…And in the Darkness Bind Them
posted by homunculus at 9:25 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Malor beat me here to say what I was going to say. This smacks of the 1950's and the creation of "banana republics" (no, not the fucking store you morons) and the way we (well, our CIA at least) would set up governments and subvert actual democracies in order to dominate the region.
posted by daq at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2010


So this being our engineering struck me as quite possible, and the proof for me was going to be, not in what we said, but what we did. And what we did than was: nothing. And what we're doing now is: trying to gloss over what happened.

Even if we didn't directly engineer this, it would certainly appear that we're accessories after the fact.


Accessories after the fact to ... the Honduran Congress (including Robert Micheletti, of Zelaya's own PLH) and the Supreme Court of Honduras?

The fact is, the Administration is seeking to restore the status quo ante because there was no coup, and calling it a coup (or agreeing with those who called it a coup) was a mistake. The Supreme Court of Honduras had determined that then-President Zelaya was trying to proceed with an unconstitutional referendum, and that he had dismissed the head of the military for refusing to go along with his unlawful plans. Members of Zelaya's own party had opposed the referendum, and then the interim president (from Zelaya's own leftist party) relinquished power as agreed once elections could be held.

I think the only reason that the Administration gave any support to Zelaya at all was because it was overcompensating for the history of intervention against leftist regimes in Central America. Completely knee-jerk response, and now it has been abandoned.

Horrible way to run a foreign policy.
posted by Slap Factory at 10:33 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


thanks for this post.
posted by ms.jones at 10:50 AM on June 17, 2010


George Vickers of FP weighs in on the recent elections (article is from November '09).
posted by Man Bites Dog at 11:43 AM on June 17, 2010


"He's not even the guy he said he was in 2006."

Right. I'd suggest that 1) he expressed many sincerely held ideals that hadn't been tested in the crucible of experience, and 2) inherited what is arguably one of the most onerous and complex repair jobs ever faced by a US president. Certainly a lot messier than replacing all the 'W's on all the computer keyboards.

As a result of the deluge of major disasters (imagine the amount of time he's spent on BP!) he's simply had to accept policy default on many issues, just as he had (and as a bipartisan compromiser, chose) to keep many Bush appointees in place.

Which is a longhand way of saying he's inexperienced and overloaded. OTOH, imagine (if you dare) the chaos if Palin was in the office, and it's not quite so grim.

Latin America is a pinata that no doubt looks more like Pandora's Box from the White House. We created 90 percent of the messes that exist there. Imagine the complexity of unwinding two centuries of colonial damage.
posted by Twang at 11:52 AM on June 17, 2010


Can you guys take the time to read what actually happened in Honduras and why this guy was oustered?

Take a look at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Zelaya

If you think the entries there do not for some reason or another correlate to what actually happened in real life please look up old Hondurian newspapers from the days leading up to the ouster of this guy.

Manuel Zelaya was simply a power hungry, dictator wanna be who from the start of his presidency wanted expand the powers of the executive branch and change the Hondurian constitution.

I am glad that the hondurians didnt let him back in power and it certainly seems to be one of the few examples of a "forced" impeachment gone right.
posted by The1andonly at 12:10 PM on June 17, 2010


The fact is, the Administration is seeking to restore the status quo ante because there was no coup, and calling it a coup (or agreeing with those who called it a coup) was a mistake.

What do you call it when the elected head of government is marched out of the country at gunpoint by people who have no legal authority to do it?

The Supreme Court of Honduras had determined that then-President Zelaya was trying to proceed with an unconstitutional referendum

The conflict was not over a referendum, but a "consultative poll" to see if Hondurans wanted to change the constitution. It was important that this not be allowed to proceed, because it might reveal that Hondurans don't like that constitution--because it allows things like this to happen, for example, and allows apologists for such events to talk up how constitutional they are.

the interim president (from Zelaya's own leftist party)

That's the right-wing Liberal party. Zelaya is from a conservative background and was very, very mildly radicalised while in office.

I am glad that the hondurians didnt let him back in power and it certainly seems to be one of the few examples of a "forced" impeachment gone right.

Quite a few "Hondurians" were killed and disappeared in the campaign to restore Zelaya. It was pretty bloody for a bloodless coup. I mean, a bloodless non-coup.
posted by stammer at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2010


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