Honduras: 'The US must assume responsibility for the coup'

Issue 

The article below is abridged from a July 27 statement by the National Black Fraternal Organisation of Honduras on the one month anniversary of the military coup that overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya. It is reprinted from Hondurasresists.blogspot.com.

An international sign-on statement of solidarity for individuals and organisations, entitled "With Honduras, with all Latin America" can be read at . The statement calls for the reinstatement of Zelaya, while also opposing the propaganda campaign attempting to slander the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela, and Colombia's decision to allow the US to operate five military bases on its soil (see page 15). To add signatures, email .

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In Honduras since June 28, there has been a historic leap backwards — reverting the country to the unfortunate epoch of the military boots as an axis of governance and elimination of human rights.

The coup d'etat is rooted in the politics of the neo-conservatives of the Bush era, which started an offensive to stop the Latin American social movements and the achievements they have obtained.

Despite the supposed political change in the United States, the strategy in the management of its relations with overseas colonies has not been altered. The Honduras coup has the smell of intervention in the internal affairs of Honduras by the State Department and the Pentagon.

After the initial reactions repudiating the coup by President Barack Obama, and the hesitant declarations of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who didn't dare declare what had happened a coup d.etat), the stance of the US government was ambiguous.

Suspicions about its participation in the coup d'etat increased.

Honduras has a dramatic history strung through a series of coup d'etats and US interventions. In the heart of the country is the Soto Cano military base, which has more than 600 US soldiers.

Honduras lent itself as a launch point for the empire with the purpose of attacking Nicaragua during the 1980s, with the Soto Cano base being a legacy of that fratricidal war.

President Manuel Zelaya accepted in good faith the mediation of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, at the request of Clinton. This opened negotiations between Zelaya and the coup regime, which turned into a time-buying scheme to sanction the coup government and dilute the social movement supporting the return to constitutional order in a persistent and heroic manner.

The so-called negotiations have been riddled with contradictions and interventions by Clinton and her agents. In the first round of negotiations in San Jose, US lawyer Bennet Ratcliff was consulted step-by-step by the delegation representing the coup.

Another US lawyer, Lanny Davis, was contracted by Honduran businesspeople to lobby in Washington in favour of the de facto government.

It is an enormous coincidence that both Ratcliff and Davis are close to Clinton. Davis stands out as a specialist in attacking Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.

The coup government has categorised the coup as a constitutional succession, opening the doors for a new era of coups. In the 19th century, the emergence of Latin American republics led to the rule of "strong men", lasted up until the despotic figure Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

By the end of the 20th century, a second generation of coups emerged, such as that led by Alberto Fujimori in Peru in 1992 when he closed Congress — a model followed a year later by Elias Serrano in Guatemala.

The case of Honduras may be the start of a new tendency, the third generation coup d'etat, organised by the judiciary in conspiracy with the legislature and of course with the permission of the military.

This strategy is aimed to stop the social achievements that are being made across the continent and destroy the economic bloc that started with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA).

The systematic violation of human rights, accompanied by the state-of-siege that has lasted for nearly a month, and the denegation of the right to movement that is occurring on Honduras' border with Nicaragua, besides the hunting down of protesters supporting the ousted president, is the direct responsibility of the US government, especially Clinton.

She seems to be seeking reprisal for the attitude of Zelaya at the last meeting of the Organisation of American States in Honduras, a month before the coup, in which the OAS finally corrected its disastrous policy towards Cuba. The 1962 expulsion of Cuba for carrying out a socialist revolution was overturned.

The Honduran people continue to show their repudiation of the coup government, the oligarchy and hence the imperialist politics of the US government. It is time for the Clinton-Obama administration to assume responsibility for their actions and clarify their position once and for all.

Coups do not generate confidence among the people but obliterate any potential relationship of trust with Latin America. The days of hegemony have expired.

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