In June, 2009, the Honduran generals kidnapped the elected President and seized power. In the sort of doublethink the U.S, media is now world famous for, this coup d’etat was depicted as somehow democratic.
The Associated Press, admittedly a piece of shit, described the deposed President, Zelaya, as “a leftist ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,” and said that he had “refused to cancel an unpopular referendum that some saw as an attempt by him to stay in power beyond the one-term limit.”
In the U.S., you have the choice of being uninformed or misinformed. If you do not watch television ‘news’ or read ordinary newspapers such as the New York Times, you may be uninformed; but if you watch these programs or read these rags, you will likely be misinformed.
It’s not just the viewers of F*X News who are badly wrong about national and world events –– as ‘liberals’ like to crow –– it’s everybody. Ignorance is so widespread it’s as though everybody made a conscious decision in favor of it.
The fact of things in Honduras at that time, nearly three years ago, was this:
President Zelaya had about six months remaining in his term; he had no interest in staying in office beyond it. The constitutional amendment he was hoping to bring before the voters would have eliminated the special privileges held by foreigners, principally bankers and U.S.-based corporations, to own land and businesses in Honduras. Those special privileges had been written into the original Honduran constitution by people who had ‘helped’ the country draft it, it’s friends from the U.S.
It was not exactly an ‘unpopular’ referendum, as the AP asserted. If it had been, then nobody would’ve been scared enough to pull off a coup. It simply would have failed. That’s how democracy works, although I concede that in the U.S. such a concept is hard to follow.
And who were the “some” who “saw” the referendum as an attempt by Zelaya to stay in power? Why, the public relations hacks hired by the generals shortly before the coup, that’s who. These were the boys who were “seeing” things
One was Lanny Davis, an old friend of Hillary Clinton’s, who served as her husband’s White House legal counsel, then transitioned to a big time private lobbying gig where he pulls in enormous fees. His partner, also a long-time Clinton buddy, was Bennett Ratcliff.
The referendum was to go before the Honduran voters on the day Zelaya was ousted by troops who sprayed his home with bullets. It wasn’t even binding, merely advisory, asking voters whether they wanted to see a binding referendum on the November ballot. The generals, and their corporate sponsors, weren’t going to let that happen. When they appeared before the world’s media to announce the takeover, they were flanked by Davis and Ratcliff.
That, evidently, was a powerful message for Barack Obama. Since his own Secretary of State was up to her nipples in league with these creeps, actually stopping the takeover would’ve been difficult. Yet he might have done it. He had the power to freeze the U.S. assets and bank accounts of coup leaders and impose trade sanctions –– about 70% of Honduran exports go to the U.S. –– but he didn’t use it. If he had, it would've worked; the OAS was on record condemning the takeover and so was the U.N.
But apart from a pro forma denunciation, Obama didn’t do a thing. The coup stood. Zelaya was lucky he wasn’t killed, although perhaps the generals realized that would’ve been something of a problem for their public relations department.
Several Honduran activists were promptly killed by the new government, which closed down the radio and television stations and arrested journalists. Why not? The leader of the coup, General Romeo Vasquez, was a graduate of the School of the Americas, the infamous CIA training ground for death squads and torturers.
I write about this not only as a reminder of America’s policies toward the rest of the hemisphere but as an overture for consideration of the latest news.
According to the AP, where stories are clearly written by military and corporate flacks who hope to one day grow up to be Lanny Davis, there are “Conflicting accounts of DEA-backed raid in jungle.”
One account is that of the fascist government, installed with the help of the United States; the other is that of the villagers who experienced first-hand the benevolence of America’s Drug Enforcement Administration. Guess which one I believe.
The AP dispatch leads with this:
“Bullets flew as U.S. helicopters swooped toward a river boat. Honduran national police rappelled to the ground and locals scattered after loading close to 1,000 pounds of cocaine.”
According to the AP, the pre-dawn raid began when U.S. drug agents and Honduran cops tracked an airplane loaded with coke as it entered the country. That’s the account of National Police Chief Ricardo Ramirez del Cid. Ramirez said his officers were in the DEA copters when they came under fire from the boat. Naturally, they fired back.
Local officials, including Mayor Lucio Vaquedano of the coastal town of Ahuas, said that four people, including two pregnant women, were killed. They were diving for lobster, according to the villagers and had nothing to do with drug trafficking.
At least one American politician who does not have his head up his ass, Rep. Howard Berman, said “I have consistently expressed deep concerns regarding the danger of pouring U.S. security assistance into a situation where Honduran security forces are involved in serious human rights violations. The problems are getting worse, not better.”
America, of course, has a history of complicity in horrors inside Honduras. During the Reagan presidency, a U.S.-trained death squad, the infamous Battalion 136, tortured and murdered hundreds of political opponents of the U.S.-backed fascist regime. The U.S. embassy pretended not to notice and the U.S. State Department doctored its records to keep the crimes out of possible congressional oversight.
But what interested me especially in the AP bulletin was this ending:
“The United States has assisted with drug operations in Honduras since the 1970s, but activity has increased in the last few years, statistics indicate.”
In other words, after we were able to remove the democratically-elected President and put military officers in charge, we could escalate American military operations, which I suppose was viewed as a priority since most South and Central American countries, such as the “leftist” elected governments in Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and elsewhere, want us to keep our filthy hands off.
It’s not exactly news that the U.S. uses it’s “war on drugs” to militarize much of Latin America and impose its power on their governments. The latest from Honduras lifts the veil just a bit to show us where the next Yemen –– or, perhaps, Libya –– is coming from.