Tag Archives: Obama

[en] DeMint: Administration Commits to Recognize Honduran Elections


Commentary accompanying the press release on Republican Senator Jim DeMint’s own website: “Senator secures commitment for U.S. to back Nov. 29 elections even if Zelaya is not reinstated.”

Commentary from a Honduras solidarity activist involved with the Latin American Solidarity Network in Toronto: “This is what a cool half a million can buy in the US when you hire a high powered lobby firm, the Cormac Group, run by a former aide to Senator McCain and also connected to Hilary C.”

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November 5, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced he has secured a commitment from the Obama administration to recognize the Honduran elections on November 29th, regardless of whether former President Manuel Zelaya is returned to office and regardless of whether the vote on reinstatement takes place before or after November 29th. Given this commitment, which Senator DeMint has requested for months, he will lift objections on the nominations of Arturo Valenzuela to be Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Thomas Shannon to be U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.

“I am happy to report the Obama Administration has finally reversed its misguided Honduran policy and will fully recognize the November 29th elections,” said Senator DeMint. “Secretary Clinton and Assistant Secretary Shannon have assured me that the U.S. will recognize the outcome of the Honduran elections regardless of whether Manuel Zelaya is reinstated. I take our administration at their word that they will now side with the Honduran people and end their focus on the disgraced Zelaya.”

“My goal has always been to work with the administration to get the policy on the Honduran elections reversed. Now that this goal has been achieved, I will lift my objections to the two nominations.

“This marks an important step forward for the brave people of Honduras. They are proving, despite crushing hardship and impossible odds, that freedom and democracy can succeed anywhere people are willing to fight for it.

“The independence, transparency, and fairness of their elections have never been in doubt. And now, thanks to the Obama Administration’s welcome reversal, the new government sworn into office next January can expect the full support of the United States and I hope the entire international community.”

“I trust Secretary Clinton and Mr. Shannon to keep their word, but this is the beginning of the process, not the end. I will eagerly watch the elections, and continue closely monitoring our administration’s future actions with respect to Honduras and Latin America.”

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[es] OFRANEH: Misil Mediático del Wall Street Journal dirigido al Frente de Resistencia al Golpe de Estado en Honduras



Video de la OFRANEH: Garifunas presentes en la resistencia al golpe de Estado en Honduras

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Misil Mediático del Wall Street Journal dirigido al Frente de Resistencia al Golpe de Estado en Honduras

El pasado 10 de agosto, el periódico estadounidense Wall Street Journal publicó un artículo de la Sra. Mary Anastasia O’Grady, intitulado los Amigos Hondureños de las FARC, en donde señala tener las “pruebas” de la conexión entre la Unificación Democrática (UD) – partido político vinculado a la resistencia al golpe de estado en Honduras –  y las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

Una vez más las famosas computadoras de Raúl Reyes, son fuente de señalamientos a las organizaciones sociales y partidos políticos que no se encuentran alienados  a favor de los intereses de los Estados Unidos en la región. Las computadoras sobrevivieron al bombardeo del campamento de Reyes localizado en el Ecuador.

La violación territorial del ecuador a manos del ejercito colombiano y la incursión aérea, que aparentemente partió de la Base militar de Manta (Ecuador), fue justificada por el régimen de Alvaro Uribe con la información extraída de las computadoras, la cual implica en actividades terroristas  a un sinnúmero de personas y organizaciones con una trayectoria de lucha social a lo largo del continente.

Este no es primer artículo que publica la columnista del Wall Street Journal referente al golpe. Dos días después redactó un libelo intitulado, “Honduras defiende su Democracia” (1), en el que se ensaña en contra del presidente Manual Zelaya y reduce los hechos a la influencia de Hugo Chávez en el proceso político del país. La  pobreza generalizada y la aberrante estructura feudal  imperante en el país, fueron omitidos en el artículo en aras de defender a los golpistas  y los intereses de los Estados Unidos.

En el caso de las acusaciones que presenta la Sra O’Grady en contra de la UD y por ende al Frente Nacional de Resistencia al Golpe de Estado, fueron inmediatamente utilizados por los medios locales de prensa  afines a los golpistas,  los que en los últimos meses vienen cocinando a fuego lento la supuesta conexión entre el narcotráfico y Venezuela, ademas de mantener una permanente campaña en contra de Manuel Zelaya y la intención de efectuar una Asamblea Constituyente.

Señala la Sra O’Grady que “Obama tendrá que explicar su apoyo a una facción política aliada al crimen organizado. De acuerdo a la evidencia recogida por la inteligencia colombiana que me llego indirectamente”. Por supuesto que la fuente de la información se destaca por su “parcialidad” y son famosos sus falsos positivos.

La satanización del movimiento popular en América Latina ha sido una de las faenas que han asumido los medios de comunicación afines a la Sociedad interamericana de Prensa, la cual le otorgó un premio a la Sra O’Grady en el año de 1997.

Los agentes de prensa de la SIP han aprendido la lección de sus maestros del norte en el “arte” del llamado en inglés spinnig the news , la cual se puede traducir como la capacidad de distorsión de los hechos y la repetición de algunas frases de cajón que maquillan las falacias convirtiéndolas en supuestas noticias. Como ejemplo clásico de lo anterior, se encuentran las famosas armas de destrucción masiva que poseía Hassan Husein, que sirvieron de pretexto para efectuar la invasión a Irak por parte de los Estados Unidos.

El Wall Street Journal (WSJ) es propiedad de Rupert Murdoch (2), el magnate de los medios de comunicación y  especialista global en distorsión. Murdoch adquirió el diario en mayo del 2007, como parte de sus joyas de prensa escrita en peligro de extinción, y al servicio de sus posiciones ideológicas de extrema derecha, las que no ha escatimado para atacar al mismo Barack Obama (3).

Como consecuencia del artículo de O’Grady en WSJ es de esperar una incontinencia en los ataques de parte de los inversionistas económicos e ideológicos en el golpe de estado,m además de  un repunte en las agresiones a las democracias latinoamericanas, en especial en contra de los vecinos a Honduras.

O”Grady comienza con el “spin” de la supuesta información de las computadoras de Reyes, casualmente cuando el Frente de Resistencia Nacional en Contra del Golpe de Estado, del cual forma parte la UD, reúne en las ciudades de Tegucigalpa y San Pedro Sula a miles de manifestantes que marchan en repudio a Micheletti y su turba de empresarios.

Mientras tanto la administración de Obama muestra cada día más la hipocresía reinante en Washington. Si bien entre dientes reconocen que se efectuó un golpe de estado, tras bambalinas persisten en apoyar a los militares hondureños y los empresarios promotores de la defenestración.

La ilegalidad de los hechos es totalmente irrebatible, no obstante los intereses económicos del imperio se imponen en detrimento del estado de ley. El historial de golpes en Latinoamérica demuestra la imposibilidad de efectuar una asonada sino se cuenta con el beneplácito de la embajada y la bendición de la iglesia.

Por supuesto que la CIA prosigue canalizando fondos  a través de la National Endowment for Democracy (NED) para darnos lecciones sobre la versión gringa de la demo_crak_cia y sus efectos en la libertad de mercado, que aparentemente es la piedra fundamental de la ideología neoliberal imperante, y la cual nos imaginamos es la excusa vital del séquito de abogados de la Secretaria de Estado Clinton.

Hipocresía es esconder que Tanto Lanny Davis como Bennett Ratcliff y Roger Noriega, parte del Lobby a favor de los golpistas, han venido utilizando el Capitolio en Washington como un escenario más del golpe. Mientras la  Resistencia  Nacional en Contra del Golpe demuestra su repudio en contra de la intervención en las calles de Honduras, en los pasillos del Congreso estadounidense los abogados de la Clinton no solamente justifican la irrupción del estado de ley, sino que al mismo tiempo en base a la distorsión de la realidad venden falacias  fabricadas por una supuesta periodista con fuentes “indirectas” como si fueran hechos verídicos.

(1) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124623282038066363.html Honduras defiende su democracia
(2) http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2007/08/confirmed-murdo/
(3) http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=okoobs&s=4

Dado en La Ceiba a los 12 días de agosto de 2009
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH

Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Teléfono (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba, Honduras
email: garifuna@ofraneh.org, ofraneh@yahoo.com

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[en] Narco News: US Secretary of State Clinton’s Micro-Management of the Corporation that Funds the Honduras Coup Regime

Records Demonstrate that the Secretary Has Hands-On Control of the Fund that Gave $6.5 Million to the Regime After the June 28 Coup

By Bill Conroy and Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

August 11, 2009

In recent days, Narco News has reported that, in the three months prior to the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, the US-funded Millennium Change Corporation (MCC) gave at least $11 million US dollars to private-sector contractors in Honduras and also that since the coup it has doled out another $6.5 million.

The latter revelation – that the money spigot has been left on even after the coup – comes in spite of claims by the State Department that it has placed non-humanitarian funding “on pause” pending a yet-unfinished review.

Narco News has further learned – based on a review documents available on the websites of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US State Department – that Secretary Clinton, as chairman of the MCC board, is not just a figurehead in name only. She has played an extremely active role in governing and promoting the fund and its decisions.

An August 6 statement by MCC acting chief executive officer Darius Mans praises Clinton and President Obama for their balls-out support of MCC:

Now, well into a new administration and era, I am encouraged by the level of support MCC has been given by Congress and senior government leaders. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, chair of MCC’s board, confirms, “President Obama supports the MCC, and the principle of greater accountability in our foreign assistance programs.” The Secretary herself has referred to Millennium Challenge grants as a “very important part of our foreign policy. It is a new approach, and it’s an approach that we think deserves support.” Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew has said, “MCC is getting off the ground and making real progress.

Secretary Clinton’s official “blog” at the State Department reveals that the June 10 meeting of MCC’s board – just 18 days before the Honduras coup – was on the Secretary’s schedule:

Here’s what Hillary has on her plate for today, June 10th:
10:00 a.m. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board Meeting and Luncheon.

Last March, the previous MCC acting executive director Rodney Bent wrote:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chaired her first MCC Board meeting this week. I was pleased to be part of this historic transition, and I welcomed Secretary Clinton’s active participation at the meeting. Her presence and the presence of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other public and private sector Board members signal the importance of MCC’s ongoing commitment to delivering change in the lives of the world’s poor.

A recent move by the Clinton-led MCC board documents that the US-funded corporation has already discussed the cutting of funds to another Central American country, Nicaragua, based on criticism of its government, and that this was the topic of MCC’s June 10 session, chaired by Secretary Clinton. The Christian Science Monitor reported:

LEÓN, NICARAGUA – US concerns over last year’s questionable municipal elections in Nicaragua could be strong enough to cause leftist President Daniel Ortega, a cold-war nemesis of the US, to lose $64 million in development aid. In a Wednesday meeting with the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an international development initiative started during the Bush administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss whether to cancel the remaining portion of a $175 million compact awarded in 2006.

In December, the US government froze new aid after expressing serious concern about “the government of Nicaragua’s manipulation of municipal elections and a broader pattern of actions inconsistent with the MCC eligibility criteria.”

At the June 10 meeting, the MCC board approved partially terminating the agency’s foreign-aid compact with Nicaragua — resulting in some $62 million in U.S. foreign aid being withheld from that nation, which shares a border with Honduras. And in May o f this year, the Clinton-led MCC board approved the termination of the agency’s compact with Madagascar in the wake of a coup in that nation. However, no such action has been taken by the MCC board, to date, in the wake of the Honduran coup.

In the context of President Obama’s statement last weekend that those who urge the US to take stronger action against the Honduras coup regime “think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate,” calling it “hypocrisy.” The revelation that Clinton and MCC have already sanctioned the elected government of Nicaragua and its private sector in ways that it so far refuses to sanction the illegal coup regime of Honduras and its private backers has revealed one important fact: That Washington has already determined that “it’s appropriate” to deny MCC funds to a country for lighter and more transient reasons than those that exist to sanction a coup regime in another.

Didn’t a certain US President, last weekend, speak the word “hypocrisy” in the context of the US and the Honduras coup?

If “it’s appropriate” to sanction Nicaragua for lesser reasons, why not apply the sanction of denying MCC funds to a criminal coup regime in Honduras that Washington claims it has “paused” giving money, but that it continues to fund?

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Published by Narco News: http://www.narconews.com/Issue59/article3760.html

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[es] OFRANEH: La Clinton y su golpe de estado de tercera generacion en Honduras

OFRANEH en lucha... 4 de julio 2009. Foto: Sandra Cuffe

La Clinton y su golpe de estado  de tercera generación en Honduras.

A partir del 28 de junio en Honduras se ha dado un salto atrás histórico, revertiendo el país a la infortunada época de las botas militares como eje de gobernanza y destierro de los derechos humanos.

El golpe de estado se encuentra enraizado en la política de los neocon(servadores) de la época del régimen Bush, los que comenzaron desde hace años una ofensiva para frenar al movimiento social latinoamericano y los logros que han obtenido en el continente.

No obstante el supuesto cambio político acontecido en los Estados Unidos, su estrategia en el manejo de sus relaciones con las consideradas colinas de ultramar, no ha sido alterado;  y lo que se ha establecido como su inclinación por “las guerras preventivas”, en este caso se redujo a un golpe de estado preventivo, con una aroma de intervención en los asuntos internos de Honduras, de parte  del Departamento de Estado y el Pentágono.

Después de las reacciones iniciales de repudio al golpe de parte de Barack Obama y las titubeantes declaraciones de Hillary Clinton, la que no se atrevió a declarar los acontecimientos como un golpe de estado, quedó en el aire la ambigüedad del gobierno de Estados Unidos, y las dudas sobre su participación en el golpe de estado se incrementaron.

Honduras posee una dramática historia hilada a través de una serie de golpes de estado e intervenciones de Estados Unidos. En el corazón del país se encuentra la base militar estadounidense Soto Cano, la cual cuenta con la presencia de más de 600 efectivos estadounidenses y la pista más larga del istmo centroamericano. Honduras en tope de todo, se prestó para convertirse en una punta de lanza de  imperio con el propósito de atacar a Nicaragua durante la década  de los años 80, siendo la Base Soto Cano un legado de esa guerra fratricida.

El Presidente Manuel Zelaya aceptó de buena fe a instancias de la Sra. Clinton la mediación del Presidente costarricense Oscar Arias, abriendo un interregno  de negociaciones, que se convirtió en una compra de tiempo para ratificar a los golpistas y  esperar diluir el movimiento social que ha respaldado de forma persistente y heroica el retorno a la institucionalidad.

Sin embargo las supuestas negociaciones han estado plagadas de contradicciones e intervenciones de parte de la Sra. Clinton y sus agentes. En la primera ronda de negociaciones en San José, el Sr Bennett Ratcliff fue consultado paso a paso por la delegación golpista (1), mientras Lanny Davis fue contratado por empresarios hondureños para efectuar un cabildeo en Washington a favor del gobierno de facto. Existe la enorme casualidad que tanto Ratcliff como Davis son abogados cercanos a Hillary Clinton, destacándose Davis durante la campa del 2008 como un especialista en atacar a Barack Obama (2).

El golpe  de estado ha sido categorizado por  los golpista como una sucesión constitucional, abriendo puertas a una  nueva modalidad de golpe. Si en el siglo XIX, con la creación de las nacientes repúblicas en América Latina, se dio lugar a un caudillismo que ha sido retratado a la saciedad por nuestra imaginativa literatura, polongándose  hasta la figura del despótico Augusto Pinochet, ya para las postrimerías del siglo XX se presenta los golpes de segunda generación, tal como el efectuado por Alberto Fujimori en 1992, cuando cerró el Congreso en el Peru, acción imitada un año después por Elias Serrano en Guatemala.

El caso de Honduras puede dar inicio a una nueva tendencia, golpes de estado de tercera generación o preventivos, fraguados por el poder judicial en contubernio con el legislativo y por supuesto con la venia de los militares. Esta estrategia sería determinante para frenar los logros sociales que se vienen cosechando en el continente y destruir el bloque económico que surge con el ALBA, específicamente en países  con enorme potencial energético.

Las violaciones sistemáticas a los los derecho humanos, acompañados por un estado de sitio que ha durado practicante un mes, y la denegación al derecho a la movilidad que se está dando en la frontera con Nicaragua, además de la cacería humana de los manifestantes que apoyan al depuesto presidente, es una responsabilidad directa del gobierno estadounidense, en especial de la Sra Hillary  Clinton, la cual parece estar pasando una cuenta personal sobre la actitud asumida por Mel Zelaya y el Estado de Honduras en la última reunión del OEA en San Pedro Sula, un mes antes del golpe, en la cual el organismo interamericano finalmente corrigió su nefasta política hacia Cuba.

Los día pasan y el pueblo hondureño continua demostrando su repudio a los golpistas, pequeña oligarquía y por ende a las políticas imperialistas de los Estados Unidos. Es hora que la administración Clinton-Obama asuma responsabilidad de los hechos y aclare de una vez por todas su posición.  Los golpes de estado no generan la confianza de los pueblos y destruyen cualquier posibilidad de acercamiento a América Latina. Los días de la hegemonía han caducado y el imperio puede comenzar a recibir en su seno a la serie de torturadores y saqueadores de turno que nos han impuesto durante el último siglo.

(1) http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/14/04917/9270
(2) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/13/world/americas/13honduras.html

Dado en La Ceiba, a los 27 días de Julio de 2009

OFRANEH

OFRANEH
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Calle 19, #130.
La Ceiba, Atlantida,
Honduras
telefax: 504-4420618
email:garifuna@ofraneh.org/ ofraneh@yahoo.com

[foto: OFRANEH en lucha. 4 de julio del 2009. Tegucigalpa. Foto por Sandra Cuffe.]

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[en] Americas Policy Program: ‘The Criminal Right and the Obama Ultimatum’

Jul 13, 2009

The Criminal Right and the Obama Ultimatum

see video online @ http://americasmexico.blogspot.com/2009/07/criminal-right-in-honduras-and-obama.html

This is a video of an anti-Zelaya rally taken just days after the military coup in Honduras and shown on the the coup-run national television channel. It is typical of constant broadcasts from the coup-controlled press that seek to pound into the heads of Hondurans and the world the 1984-ish messages that run along the bottom of the screen in Spanish: “Our government is recognized by all Hondurans,” “On to the elections next November!” “We are under a legally constituted government,” “Substitution is in our legal norms,” “Hondurans on the side of the Constitution,” “Honduras has gained democracy.”

Never mind that no Constitution in the civilized world, including Honduras’, condones Armed Forces kidnapping a democratically elected president. Or that no country would recognize elections staged by a military coup. Or that the majority of Hondurans disagree with the forced exile of Zelaya and hundreds of thousands have hit the street calling for his return. The messages here are standard practice when attempting to justify the unjustifiable.

But this montage of doublespeak begins with an interesting twist. Initiating the rally, the speaker says, “We are not alone. I want to recognize a brave man by the name of Robert Carmona.” The crowd, which would be deemed a “mob” by the mainstream press if it were against the coup, cheers wildly.

So who is Robert Carmona?

The man with the anglicized name who has become a hero to the Honduran coup is actually a Venezuelan businessman and lawyer and a veteran of rightwing coups. Carmona is credited with writing the decrees for the short-lived coup d’etat against President Hugo Chavez in April of 2002. The Apr 26, 2002 Miami Herald reports that after that claim to fame he arrived in the US the week of the 15th, where he sought asylum.

Carmona is co-founder of the Arcadia Foundation. The Arcadia Foundation bills itself as an anti-corruption group but its political agenda is up-front. Although it says it works in many countries, the media section lists only Honduras in specific actions.

The foundation launched a campaign in Honduras focused on the telecommunications company Hondutel. In the video Carmona is recognized as “the first to denounce the maneuvers of Hondutel” and thanked for leading to the coup’s arrest, the day before, of former head of Hondutel, Marcelo Chimirri. Chimirri is among more than 1,000 people arrested by the regime since the June 28 coup. The campaign was aimed at weakening and ultimately bringing down the Zelaya government and the hat-tip at the rally explicitly revealed its role in the overthrow.

Honduras was finishing up an investigation of Chimirri, charged with accepting kickbacks for re-routing calls through a U.S. private carrier. The Justice Department fined the carrier, LatiNode, in the case.

In the end, armed force proved a faster route than the slow wheels of justice. Regardless of the merits of the case, the politicized nature of Arcadia’s anti-corruption offensive was clear from the start. Carmona, along with Otto Reich, charged President Zelaya of complicity. The issue grew so hot that Zelaya threatened to file a defamation claim against Reich.

Otto Reich is another name that has come up repeatedly since the Honduran coup as the man behind the scenes. Although Arcadia has denied a formal affiliation, Reich was intimately involved in Arcadia’s anti-corruption charges against the Zelaya government. Honduran government officials note that he was formally featured on the Arcadia site up until Sep 10, 2008 when he was erased from the web page. Reich is infamous for his involvement in the illegal Iran-Contra affair. A 1987 report by the U.S. Comptroller-General, “found that some of the efforts of Mr. Reich’s public diplomacy office were ‘prohibited, covert propaganda activities,’ ‘beyond the range of acceptable agency public information activities….’”

Under fire, Reich felt compelled to pen a guest column in the Miami Herald entitled “I Did Not Orchestrate Coup in Honduras.” He spends the entire first half of this article attacking Venezuelan ambassador Roy Chadderton who denounced Reich’s involvement in the OAS. He then goes on to say that he would have allowed legal processes to take their course.

Reich does not mention, or deny, his involvement with the Arcadia campaign or say anything about his activities in Honduras. He concludes, “Without my involvement, these steps (the legal charges issued after the coup) were taken. Therefore, under Honduran law, the new government is legal and constitutional. The United States should not betray our values by joining the efforts of some of the most repressive and undemocratic leaders of this hemisphere to seek the reinstatement of lawbreaker Mel Zelaya.”

Reich thus contradicts his own title, which calls the events a “coup,” and in passing accuses the entire 34-nation Organization of American States that have called for Zelaya’s reinstatement “some of the most repressive and undemocratic leaders of this hemisphere.”

Carmona and Arcadia’s involvement in Honduras did not stop with the coup. Honduran Radio Globo reports that Carmona returned to Honduras after the coup. Luis Galdames, who hosts the radio program Detras de la Noticia, located him at the downtown Plaza Libertador Hotel in Tegucigalpa under a false name. He reportedly was in attendance at the above rally.

Why did Arcadia choose Honduras? A brief review of Carmona’s recent writings reveals his abhorrence of progressive governments in Latin America and his broad political agenda to defeat them. Most recently he published a piece against the Feb 2009 referendum to lift term limits, saying “The regime (of Hugo Chavez) is desperate, faced with its eventual defeat next Feb 15. Venezuelans no longer believe in the revolutionary farce, in the equality it professes, in Chavez’s participatory democracy. Only its beneficiaries and collaborators, some who scarcely believe in it themselves, accompany this destructive project in Venezuela.” The referendum passed easily with 54% of the vote.

Carmona also campaigned heavily against the election of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, comparing him to Chavez and calling him a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

This string of failures in popular elections no doubt soured Carmona on the popular will. After exhorting, “The utter failure of populist regimes in the region dangerously opens up a new stage in the political history of the region. Let us hope that the people react in a more civilized manner than their political leaders and find a path that guarantees peace and stability in new societies”, it has been the people who have continued to vote for candidates and measures calling for more equitable distribution of wealth and participatory measures like the constitutional referendum proposed in Honduras.

I attempted to reach Arcadia to find out its position on the Honduran coup and ask about the Reich connection and the recent activities of Carmona. The Washington and Mexico City offices answered with a cheery recording on the foundation’s fight against corruption but then routed the call to voice mail with no human intervention. The New York office recording replied that it does not receive anonymous callers.

The Weakest Lamb in the Flock

Arcadia picked Honduras to block the spread of “populism” by pushing for the fall of Zelaya. It picked Honduras because of its failures in other countries and because Honduras is a small, poor nation with a somewhat erratic president with a low approval rating and weak institutions. In other words, the international right picked Honduras because it was the weakest lamb in the flock.

The coup has consistently portrayed Zelaya as a tool of Hugo Chavez—you see more anti-Chavez signs than anti-Zelaya signs in the video. Coup leaders have developed a message that hides the aspirations of the Honduran poor (70% of the population) for a more fair and equal society. The desperate move to block the vote-on-a-vote over a constitutional assembly reflected their deep suspicion that it would win.

Honduras is a land of deep contradictions where an oligarchy has attempted to destroy logic through the force of repetition. Logic and basic human rights dictate that something has to give in the economic model. No society would be considered viable for long where the top 10% of the population earns 42% of the income, the free-zone wage is 63 cents an hour and more than 10% of its population has been forced to migrate to the United States. A population forced to live under those conditions cannot be called free. Whether or not you agree with what Zelaya did or how he did it, his overwhelming support among poor people demonstrates that he was attempting to take steps toward increasing their wellbeing.

That invariably comes at the price of the haves vs. the have-nots. And that’s why Honduras has become a battleground for the international right—to preserve the privileges of the haves. Today the critical battle on that battlefield is to defeat the coup in the name of law and democracy; it bears repeating–a military coup cannot be tolerated in our Hemisphere or anywhere else on the planet.

But the coup would not exist if it weren’t for the battle against entrenched interests and for greater equality.

The U.S. Must Choose Sides

Ironically, as coup supporters scream “Whoever doesn’t wave the flag is Venezuelan” at their rallies (did Carmona wave his flag, or not?), they have received significant outside help from the Venezuelan and U.S. right and other well-funded and organized rightwing organizations that will emerge as we continue to investigate the roots of the coup.

Despite the involvement of former U.S. diplomat Otto Reich, if the international campaign against the elected government of Zelaya were entirely run and carried out by private organizations like Arcadia, there would be little room for citizens to pressure the U.S. government. The revolving door that permits former diplomats like Reich to use contacts and inside information to carry out political agendas after leaving office, is an established and regrettable pillar of U.S. politics.

But unfortunately, efforts to topple the Honduran government do not end with Arcadia and raise questions about the involvement of U.S. government agencies. These are the opaque “democracy promotion” programs, in particular the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that in turn channels funds to other government-affiliated and non-government organizations in Honduras and the U.S.

According to NED reports the International Republican Institute (IRI) received $550,000 “To promote and enhance the participation of think tanks in Mexico and Honduras as ‘pressure groups’ to impel political parties to develop concrete positions on key issues. Once these positions are developed, IRI will support initiatives to implement said positions into the 2009 campaigns. IRI will place special emphasis on Honduras, which has scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections in November 2009.”

Under another NED grant, IRI received another $400,000 to “equip elected officials with practical institutional management skills” in Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Obviously these “positions on key issues” are not politically neutral and represent U.S. interests, and yet the IRI does not specify to taxpayers what they are or whose U.S. interests they represent. Nor does it specify the criteria for selection of elected local officials within the country. Many of the groups who have reportedly received these funds now form part of the coalition supporting the coup. Similar programs were found to favor local governments rising up against the government of Evo Morales in Bolivia.

What little we know of these programs does not prove by itself U.S. government instigation of the coup. But in terms of self-determination and democracy, they constitute a reprehensible form of intervention, as well as being notoriously secretive with public funds.

It is no coincidence that Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, strongly anti-Castro and ranking Republican on the house Foreign Affairs Committee, proposed an amendment to cut funding to the OAS for “its knee-jerk support of Manuel Zelaya” and transfer the $15 million to NED. The ideological bent of the institution is demonstrable and virtually undisputed.

The indigenous organization OFRANEH made these links in a recent communiqué:

“If a total economic blockade is not established against the de facto government, the polarization of the country will continue, promoted by the existing disinformation and the clamor of groups close to the most feudal sectors of the country. From the churches to the business groups to the shrunken middle class, the effects of the work of NED and the USAID can be felt in the country. For the OFRANEH, it is urgent that the Obama administration stop the work of intelligence agencies dedicated to destabilization and disinformation since they seek to create conflict between groups supporting the coup and the defenders of democracy. The government of the United States will be directly responsible for any bloodshed.”

The U.S. government, including the Obama administration, has said it does not agree with Zelaya’s policies. The Bush administration sought to isolate and undermine ALBA countries and center-left governments throughout its tenure. At stake was not so much an economic model in the abstract but the powerful interests of transnational corporations and national elites.

In Russia, Obama made a strong statement on the Honduran coup saying that self-determination is a principle that should be defended regardless of political differences. The U.S. government took strong steps early on to join with the international community to condemn the coup and call for the reinstatement of Zelaya. That hasn’t worked. The attempt to pass the matter on to mediation has not worked either.

President Zelaya has issued an ultimatum saying he will consider the talks failed unless he is reinstated in the next meeting. The Obama administration also faces an ultimatum, this one from the international community and Hondurans putting their lives on the line in an attempt to restore their democracy: be consistent in upholding principles above shady interests or the attempt to build a new, respectful foreign policy will be considered hypocrisy.

In the short term this means:
1. Issuing the definition of the coup as a coup and suspending remaining aid as stipulated by law;
2. Removing Ambassador Hugo Llorens. In the strict sense, the Bush-era ambassador should not merely be withdrawn in line with the withdrawal of other ambassadors to the country but should be fired. At best, he was inept in avoiding the coup; at worst, he didn’t really try.
3. Assuring the safe and immediate return of President Zelaya.

In the longer term, a public review of “democracy promotion” programs like NED and IRI forms part of the urgent need to coordinate a new consistent foreign policy in the region that will demonstrate the primacy of diplomacy and the principles of non-intervention and self-determination.

Posted by Laura Carlsen at 8:49 AM

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[es] OFRANEH: 190 años después: Doctrina Monroe versus el Congreso Anfictiónico de Panamá

OFRANEH en pie de lucha. 4 de julio del 2009. foto: Sandra Cuffe, flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda[OFRANEH en pie de lucha. 4 de julio del 2009. foto: Sandra Cuffe]

190 años después: Doctrina Monroe versus el Congreso Anfictiónico de Panamá

En el año de 1823, Estados Unidos emitió la Doctrina Monroe: “America para los Americanos”, la cual fue elaborada por John Quincy Adams y atribuida a James Monroe. La doctrina supuestamente era dirigida a las potencias europeas, y señalaba como los Estados Unidos no toleraría la intromisión de potencia alguna en el continente.

Sin embargo para los Estados Unidos y precisamente para Monroe, existía la singular experiencia de la Isla de Amelia, en la Florida, donde 150 patriotas venezolanos la ocuparon en 1817, bajo el comando de Gregor Macgregor, siendo la fuerza bolivariana posteriormente desalojada por las tropas de Monroe, las que de paso aprovecharon para apoderarse de la Florida, la cual hasta esa fecha se encontraba bajo el dominio español.

Simón Bolívar en su visionaria Carta de Jamaica (1815), señalaba el ominoso papel que jugaría en un futuro los Estados Unidos y sus intenciones colonialistas. En el 1826 convocó al Congreso Anfictiónico de Panamá, para crear un bloque de naciones latinoamericanas que pudieran responder como tal a las agresiones imperialistas.  Expresamente ordenó no invitar a los Estados Unidos al Congreso, sin embargo con la traición enraizada que padecemos en América Latina, Francisco de Paula Santander procedió a invitar al país del norte.

Ya para 1840, los Estados Unidos procedieron apoderarse de la tercer parte de Mexico, invocando la infausta política  Monroe, la que llegó a su apogeo en los albores del siglo XX, cuando Theodore Roosevelt puso en práctica su famosa frase “Hay que hablar tranquilamente a la vez que se sostiene un gran garrote”, la cual conllevó a la apropiación de Panamá  y la implementación de la política de las cañoneras a lo largo de América Latina.

Ciertamente uno de los capítulos más tristes de nuestra historia, es la invasión a Honduras que parte de un Burdel en Nueva Orleans y tres meses después los conspiradores se encontraban en la casa presidencial en Tegucigalpa. Sam Zemurray (banana man) financió a Manuel Bonilla y su ejercito de mercenarios gringos para apoderarse de Honduras y así proceder a implementar un modelo de estado manejado por una multinacional frutera. Hoy en día se puede considerar a Sam Zemurra y su cipayo Manuel Bonilla como los padres del modelo de república bananera que persiste hasta la fecha.

El modelo colonialista impuesto por los Estados Unidos a lo largo del Siglo XX, encontró su tropiezo con el arribo al poder del geoestratega  Hugo Chávez y su visión Bolivariana. A partir de 1998 comienza la creación de un bloque antihegemónico, por intermedio de la Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, conocida como el ALBA, y el que ha logrado con cierto éxito frenar los tratados de libre comercio impuestos por la administraciones de los expresidentes Clinton y Bush, poniendo en jaque la iniciativa estadounidense  del Área de libre Comercio de las Américas (ALCA)

El Alba en su esencia no es más que la visión de la unión de los pueblos de América Latina para responder a las agresiones económicas, políticas y militares provenientes del norte, tal como lo planteó Simón Bolívar en su visión del Congreso Anfictiónico de Panamá.

Por supuesto que los Estados Unidos viene haciendo todo lo posible por desarticular el movimiento social latinoamericano y su respuesta de visiones hegemónicas que han incrementado  el abismo entre las clases sociales y incrementado la pobreza de los más desfavorecidos.

El nefasto golpe del 28 de junio pasado en nuestro país, no es más que una respuesta del imperio a los procesos de descolonización promovidos en América Latina. No obstante el trabajo de desinformación y promoción de grupos afines a la reducida elite dominante, promovido por la National Endowment for Democracy (NED) y la USAID, fueron incapaces de prever la respuesta de la gran mayoría de los desposeídos del país que hasta la fecha  permanecen en pie de lucha, refutando la visión impartida por los medios de comunicación – muchos de ellos autocensurados –  promotores del golpe de estado.

La polarización de clases y el socavamiento del estado de derecho por intermedio de una Corte Suprema de Justicia y un Ministerio Público sin verguenza, que se han comportado afines a las políticas intervencionistas del imperio,  y se han convertido en cómplices de la destrucción  de la democracia.

El experimento político militar que se esta efectuando en Honduras, no es más que una receta elaborada por los neoconservadores estadounidenses para diluir cualquier intento de frenar la Doctrina Monroe e implementar la visión bolivariana del Congreso de Panamá. Honduras ha sido escogido como el campo de batalla  entre la visión hegemónica y la independentista.

Mientras tanto, el gobierno de facto ha demostrado una vez más su actitud sumisa al imperio: muestra de ello es la presencia de Bennett Ratcliff y un interprete en las negociaciones de San José, auspiciadas por Hillary Clinton y el presidente Arias, donde los delegados del golpista Miceheletti, consultaba los pasos a seguir con el funcionario norteamericano. Estas son señales innegables del sometimiento absoluto de los golpistas a las indicaciones de la administración Clinton_Obama.

Pero la señal más clara del gobierno de facto es la inclusión del torturador Billy Joya como ministro asesor de Micheleti. Esa escogencia  es una señal macabra para un pueblo que fue sometido durante años a una guerra psicológica por parte de los secuestradores  del poder, que durante décadas han mantenido a los hondureños sometidos y pretenden a través del miedo repetirlo en una ocasión más.

A pesar de todos las estratagemas de dominación de parte del imperio y la agresión hacia el el pueblo hondureño, la resistencia continúa. Para la OFRANEH la restitución del orden institucional no consiste únicamente en el retorno del presidente Manuel Zelaya. Los objetivos de la lucha van más allá. Los pueblos Indígenas y Negros exigimos cambios constitucionales que nos visibilicen y garanticen el reconocimiento de nuestros derechos, y sobre todo que tengamos la certeza de la existencia de una democracia participativa, donde el pueblo soberano tome sus propias decisiones y dejemos ser caricaturas al servicio de los intereses foráneos.

A los casi dos siglos de la Doctrina Monroe y del Congreso Anfitiónico de Panamá, los pueblos de América Latina luchamos por nuestra verdadera independencia y el derecho a la no injerencia. Es hora que la administración Clinton-Obama reconsidere su política intervencionista y proceda a una relación de respeto hacia América Latina

La Ceiba 16 de Julio del 2009.

Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH

OFRANEH
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Calle 19, #130.
La Ceiba, Atlantida,
Honduras
telefax: 504-4420618
email:garifuna@ofraneh.org/ ofraneh@yahoo.com

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[en] WW4 Report: Otto Reich Behind Coup in Honduras?

[published on July 5th @ http://ww4report.com/node/7541%5D

The Cuban newspaper Periodico 26 July 3 notes claims by the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH) of the “undeniable involvement” of former US under-secretary of state Otto Reich and the DC-based Arcadia Foundation in the coup d’etat in the Central American country. The account says OFRANEH accuses Reich of “heading misinformation and sabotage operations, with close ties to international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and the Cuban-American mafia in Miami.” The account also names an anti-Zelaya civil coalition, the Movimiento Paz y Democracia, which was apparently funded by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The website Solidarity with the People(s) of Honduras runs the complete text (in Spanish) of the OFRANEH statement. We translate the critical passages:

The mobilizations in support of the de facto government are being organized by, among others, Sra. María Martha Díaz Velázquez, who directs the supposed civic organization known as the Peace and Democracy Movement (MPD), which has for several months been acting as a pressure group against the administration of Manuel Zelaya… The same Sunday the 28th [as the coup], the Peace and Democracy Movement convened a demonstration in Tegucigalpa’s Plaza Morazán, accompanied by the Civil Democratic Union, a group made up of the country’s ultra-conservative business associations…

The ambiguous position assumed by the government of Barack Obama is clear indication of the participation of the United States in the coup perpetrated last Sunday. The Obama administration has condemned the coup in timid terms, but has taken no concrete actions. The press declarations from the White House call the coup illegal, but avoid declaring the events a coup d’etat, which would mandate an immediate suspension of economic aid from the United States.

According to the Obama administration, it is trying to “reinstate” Zelaya, and he insists on disassociating himself from the impertinent rumors of his country’s involvement in the recent events. According to the White House press statements, the United States Embassy made efforts to avoid the coup, serving as a mediator between the golpista army and Manuel Zelaya.

[But it] is undeniable that there exists direct interference on the part of organizations of the extreme right in the United States, such as the Arcadia Foundation, in which meddles Otto Reich, the notorious personality in charge of disinformation and sabotage operations, not far from Posada Carriles and his Cuban terrorists entrusted with dirty tricks by the CIA. Supposedly, one of the primary objectives of the Arcadia Foundation is the struggle against corruption, and under this pretense it has maintained a low-intensity war against the Zelaya administration since 2006.

Then there are the large sums of money received by the Peace and Democracy Movement through US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), institutions recognized as financiers of coups and processes of destabilization across the planet…

For OFRANEH, it is clear that the Obama administration could halt the efforts of the intelligence organisms dedicated to destabilization and disinformation, and which seek to create a confrontation between groups allied with the golpistas and the defenders of democracy. It is the United States government that will be directly responsible for any bloodshed.

The Arcadia Foundation website does indeed identify the non-profit as an anti-corruption watchdog, which also promotes “good governance and democratic institutions.” Otto Reich’s name does not appear in any obvious place on the website. However, one of the two names on the site’s Founders page is Robert Carmona-Borjas, identified as “a Venezuelan lawyer and an expert in military affairs, national security, corruption and governance. In Venezuela, concerned with the issue of governability, the defense of human rights, democracy and the fight against corruption, he became an activist, disregarding the risks that such a stance implied. Following the events of April 2002, he was forced to abandon his country and seek political asylum in the United States of America.”

The Honduran newspapers El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa) and La Prensa (San Pedro Sula) noted June 11 that Carmona-Borjas had brought legal charges against Zelaya and other figures in his administration for defying a court ruling that barred preparations for the constitutional referendum scheduled for the day Zelaya would be ousted. A YouTube video dated July 3 shows footage from Honduras’ Channel 8 TV of Carmona-Borjas addressing an anti-Zelaya rally in Tegucigalpa’s Plaza la Democracia to enthusiastic applause. In his comments, he accuses Zelaya of collaboration with narco-traffickers.

Reich’s name did pop up in the media in relation to Honduras earlier this year, when he publicly accused the Zelaya administration of corruption after the Latin Node digital telephone company (which had since been acquired by eLandia) was fined $2 million by US authorities for allegedly bribing officials in Honduras and Yemen. “President Zelaya has allowed or encouraged this kind of practices [sic] and we will see that he is also behind this,” said Reich. (Miami Herald, April 9) After an outcry in Honduras, Reich said he was prepared to make a sworn statement on the affair before Honduran law enforcement—but said he would not travel to Honduras to do so, because his personal security would be at risk there. (HonduDiario, April 25)

The US government recently filed criminal perjury charges against Luis Posada Carriles, although he remains at large and his trial has been postponed until next year. (AP, June 11) Federal prosecutors are moving to suppress documents his lawyers are seeking detailing Posada’s “long-term association with US government intelligence and law enforcement agencies.” (AP, June 12)

See our last post on Honduras.

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[es] OFRANEH: Arrecia guerra mediática sobre el golpe militar en Honduras

La guerra mediática que precedió durante años al golpe de estado efectuado en Honduras el pasdo 28 de junio pasado, se recrudece y parece ser que abre nuevos frentes. en esta ocasión es la opinión publica estadounidense y el capitolio en washington

El portal de noticias Bloomberg.com, en una artículo de fecha 10 de julio, intitulado ” Guerra de Poder en Honduras Polariza a congresistas Democrats y Republica’,  nos señala como los golpistas en su visita a Washington contrataron al abogado Lanny Davis como agente de relaciones publicas del gobierno de facto (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aMKj7d_.9de0)

Pero quién es Lanny Davis? Es una abogado judío, que formó parte del Consejo Especial del ex-presidente Clinton, además de Administrador de Crisis en la Casa blanca  y es el vocero del Proyecto Israel. Fue miembro del Comité de Vigilancia de los Derechos Civiles, durante la administración Bush y conformó también parte de la Comisión Nacional sobre Ataques Terroristas (Comisión 9/11). En la actualidad forma parte del bufete Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.

En otras palabras el Sr Davis es parte de Lobby de Israel y por supuesto que posee excelentes conexiones con Leo Panetta y su equipo de la actual CIA, incluyendo al Asesor para América Latina de la Casa Blanca Dan Restrepo.

la guerra de opiniones y la apatía demostrada por Hillaru Clinton, la cual regionalizó la solución de la problemática Hondureña al pasar la papa caliente al derechista presidente de Costa Rica Oscar Arias, el que concluye ayer sobre las bondades del diálogo y la prolongación de  las negociaciones, situación que implica diluir el impacto de los hechos a través de la laberinto el tiempo y el olvido.

la guerra mediatica y la distorsión de los acontecimiento se ha tornada en el pan de cada día. El pasado domingo 5 de julio apareció en El Pais de España (Grupo Prisa), una columana firmada por Moisés Naim, intitulada “Idiotas contra Hipócritas”, donde hace una aparente condena al manejo del golpe por parte de los militares hondureños, al mismo tiempo que ataca de forma virulenta  – como suele hacerle desde su habitual columna – al eje Cuba-Venezuela, acusando a Chavez de una política de intervencionismo institucionalizado.

Pero quién es Moisés Naim, para acusar al gobierno de Hugo Chavez de intervencionista, cuando el otrora ministro de Carlos Andres Perez, se desempeña como parte de de la Junta de Directores de la National Endowment for Democracy (NED), institución cercana a la CIA y encargada de distribuir las ayudas económicas para crear procesos de desestabilización desde Georgia, pasando por Venezuela y obviamente en el premeditado golpe en Honduras.

Naim desde su habitual  columna en El País, y de la revista Foreing Policy se ha convertido en uno de los voceros de la neoconservadores estadounidenses, sirviendo sus análisis como un foco de distorsión del concepto de libertad de expresión, retorciendo la esencia de ese principio básico de la democracia.

Al mismo tiempo la guerra mediática que se ha venido dando en el continente, donde los grupos financieros más cavernícolas han utilizado a la prensa escrita, televisión y radio para   distorsionar los avances de los movimientos sociales que se han dado en la última década en América Latina.

Desde la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa  (SIP) se ha fomentado la distorsión de la información hasta el punto que la gran mayoría de los periódicos del continente sirven de voceros de los grupos financieros y sus intereses económicos y políticos. Ademas de utiliza técnicas de polarización destinadas a crear choques entre las clases más desfavorecidas.

En Honduras, Jorge Canahuati, presidente Comisión Internacional de la SIP, ha sido uno de los gestores directos del golpe, utilizando sus periódicos La Prensa y El Heraldo, los que en la actualidad son fervorosos defensores del golpe y persisten en manipular la información para  tratar de mantener una falsa imagen de apoyo del pueblo hondureño al golpe fratricida.

Pero no sólo son los medios de América Latina los que se han visto involucrados en la distorsión de la información. El Blog Dayly Kos, en un análisis denominado “spinning the news from Honduras” hace un análisis de la diferencia de cobertura de noticias  entre la  imparcial Al Aljazeera y la distorsionadora AP, agencia que nutre la mayoría de periódicos en los Estados Unidos.  Daily Kos  hace una comparación de la cobertura de los acontecimientos de los hechos acontecidos en el aeropuerto de Tegucigalpa el domingo pasado.

El articulista Ken Silverstein de la revista Harper, en una columna de julio 6, intitulado “Algunos Hechos del Golpe en Honduras” señala que muy poca es la verdad que se puede leeer acerca del golpe en los periódicos den los Estados Unidos, recalcado que Manuel Zelaya no es un radical, siendo su mayor crimen el aumento salarial que era más que necesario para la clase obrera, pero que recibió un rotundo rechazo de parte de la elite de poder hondureña.

Una de las mayores distorsiones propagadas en cuanto a Manuel Zelaya, era su intención de cambios constitucionales que le permitieran permanecer en el poder, falacia que fue elaborada por los periódicos del Sr. Jorge Canahuati, y que se ha reproducido en tos el planeta como un hecho verídico, cuando por cuestiones de tiempo era imposible efectuar una asamblea Constituyente antes que Zelaya abandonara el poder. hasta la fecha las agencias de noticias internacionales en su gran mayoría hacen eco de los infundios del Sr Canahauti, señalando a Mel Zelaya como un violador de la Constitución Nacional y un presunto complot para permanecer en el poder.

El golpe en Honduras se fraguó con el explícito apoyo de los medios de comunicación locales, los que en su gran mayoría son propiedad de un grupúsculo de empresarios afines a los intereses colonialistas de los Estados Unidos; país que posee interese históricos que se pueden reducir  a la clásica descripción de República Bananera.

En el corazón de la República Bananera se encuentra la base militar Cano Soto, donde opera la Fuerza Conjunta Bravo, con la presencia de  600 militares y una pista de 2,600 metros (la más grande del istmo), desde donde es muy probable se ha venido controlando el golpe de estado. Por supuesto que los Estados Unidos clama inocencia sobre los acontecimientos.

La administración Obama-Clinton ha probada de forma contundente que no controla ciertas facetas del poder de esa nación. Como prueba de ellos es que mucho antes de haber ganado las elecciones Barack Obama, Robert Gates ya estaba negociado como futuro Secretario de Defensa de Obama-Clinton, dando lugar una continuidad en la política imperialista de los neoconservadores de ese país ( http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4232070.ece).

Honduras e ha convertido en un laboratorio político militar para los Estados Unidos y sus interese en América Latina, mientras nosotros los hondureños nos encontramos en pie de lucha para restituir al democracia y frenar la enfermiza intervención de los militares y el retroceso que implica, el encuentro de las delegaciones del gobierno electo y el golpista se encuentran frente a la actitud de ganar tiempo, situación que preconiza la casa Blanca y los gorilas de turno.

OFRANEH
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Calle 19, #130.
La Ceiba, Atlantida,
Honduras
telefax: 504-4420618
email:garifuna@ofraneh.org/ ofraneh@yahoo.com

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[en] Honduras, Washington and Latin America: Doctor Jekyll and the Good Neighbor

Written by Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein
Wednesday, 08 July 2009

published at: http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1978/46/

In the wake of the Honduras coup, speculation about whether or not the U.S. was masterminding the plot is running wild. Brushing off denials of involvement and claims that U.S. officials had tried to dissuade the plotters from plans to overthrow President Manuel Zelaya, progressive writers have almost unanimously accused the Obama administration of complicity in the coup. Respected analysts like Jeremy Scahill, George Ciccariello-Maher and Alexander Cockburn argue that the U.S. must have been involved at some level, with Scahill arguing the U.S. “could have prevented the coup with a simple phone call.”

And in Latin America the bitter riddle still rings true: Why are there no coups in Washington DC? Because it doesn’t have a U.S. embassy! Last week, for instance a friend in Caracas said during an on-line chat that he was convinced Obama himself had given the command to the Generals to overthrow Zelaya. We countered that our Chief Executive may be playing a more wily and sinister strategy than that.

Certainly the past 50-plus years of U.S.-Latin American relations make that statement seem naïve. The Bush Administration’s fingerprints on the Venezuelan coup of 2002 and its involvement in the Haitian coup of 2004 through the IRI (International Republican Institute) would provide enough circumstantial evidence to bring an indictment of the U.S. before any international court of law – if it hadn’t likely already paid off the judges, that is.

However, if we assume that the Obama administration is following all previous recent administrations’ policy of genocide, brute force, terror, authoritarian rule and other forms of inhumane repression, we ignore the evidence that we are in a new, more complex and indeed more dangerous moment for the Bolivarian project of Latin American unity. To understand our moment we need to look back three-fourths of a century, to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his “Good Neighbor” policy.

FDR came to power in a time remarkably like our own. The Republicans had just tanked the economy and voters looked to a liberal to ease the pain. North Americans of that moment had disinterestedly observed as the U.S. military spent the first third of the century invading and occupying Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Haiti, Cuba, Panama and the Dominican Republic. After years of battling “insurgents” (or “bandits” as they were often then called), Washington was forced to consider a new course under the new liberal administration.

“In the early 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised that henceforth the United States would be a ‘good neighbor,’ that it would recognize the absolute sovereignty of individual nations, renounce its right to engage in unilateral interventions and make concessions to economic nationalists,” Greg Grandin writes in “Empire’s Workshop.” Grandin goes on to describe what to an anti-imperialist could be called a chilling result: “Rather than weaken U.S. influence in the Western Hemisphere, this newfound moderation in fact institutionalized Washington’s authority, drawing Latin American republics tighter into its political, economic and cultural orbit through a series of multilateral treaties and regional organizations.”

From one Roosevelt to the next a dramatic change in U.S. foreign policy occurred: The first one (Teddy) used the “Big Stick,” but Franklin traded it for “a goose’s quill” knowing more “great is the hand that holds dominion over/ man by a scribbled name.” FDR’s “Good Neighbor” policy toward Latin America was a frank recognition that dozens of military interventions in the region, in addition to being costly for a country slipping into a depression, had been entirely ineffective.

Roosevelt picked up the idea for the “Good Neighbor” policy from his Republican predecessor and was backed in his efforts by none other than Nelson Rockefeller, who argued that “if the United States is to maintain its security and its political and economic hemispheric position it must take economic measures at once to secure economic prosperity in Central and South America and to establish this prosperity in the frame of hemisphere economic cooperation and dependence.” (Grandin) In other words, opening markets and making trade agreements with Latin America was crucial for the salvation of capitalism in recession and for the maintenance of “dependence.”

Under the “Good Neighbor” policy, Latin America supplied raw materials for the emerging industrial empire to the north which “not only set the U.S. on the road to economic recovery but fortified a block of corporations that provided key support for the New Deal reforms and served as the engine of America’s remarkable postwar boom,” Grandin wrote.

Latin America, on the other hand, was drawn more deeply into a colonial dependence on the United States for the health of its own economies in a relation wherein it provided raw materials but was deprived of the means of development. Most political thinkers, especially in Latin America, saw the “Good Neighbor” policy as “a new strategy of domination” in which “the principal form of imperialist domination on the continent would have, starting at the moment his policy was declared, an essentially economic character.” (“Historia de Nicaragua,” 2002, UNAN, Nicaragua).

Nicaragua put the “Good Neighbor” policy to its first test. A bad economy, international pressure against a brutal occupation, and fierce resistance from the patriotic forces led by A.C. Sandino had forced the U.S. to withdraw its occupation forces. But the departure of the U.S. Marines opened the door for Anastacio Somoza, head of the U.S.-trained Nicaraguan National Guard. On February 20, 1934 Somoza had Sandino murdered and quickly took control of the country.

As is now the case in Honduras, the U.S. role in the murder of Sandino and the coup that instituted the Somoza dictatorship was unclear. Although then-U.S. ambassador Arthur Bliss Lane had lunch with Somoza a few hours before the murder, the Nicaraguan was certainly ruthless and power-hungry enough to have organized the killing and the coup on his own. At the very least, however, the “Good Neighbor” acquiesced and FDR’s reported comment on Somoza said it all: “He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

Fast forward to another Democratic president who comes to power in the U.S. to save the Empire from a burst economic bubble, and decides to revamp relations with Latin America. Obama calls his updated “Good Neighbor” policy “A New Partnership for the Americas.” He previewed it while campaigning in Miami’s Cuban-American community last year.

Playing to that audience, Obama lashed out at “demagogues like Hugo Chavez” who, he said, “have stepped into this vacuum” of the Bush “distraction” from Latin America as a result of the Iraq war. Obama went on to flay Chavez for “his predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy that…offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.” The future U.S. president ended with the recognition that “the United States is so alienated from the rest of the Americas that this stale vision has gone unchallenged, and has even made inroads from Bolivia to Nicaragua.”

To repair this alienation, Obama offered programs pegged to FDR’s “Four Freedoms.” He suggested that together the U.S. and its southern neighbors could work towards freedom from fear, as partners in fighting drug trafficking, gangs and terrorism; towards freedom from want, as they addressed poverty, hunger and global warming, and towards political freedom and democracy.

After taking office, Obama announced major relaxations of the bans on travel and remittances to Cuba. At the April 2009 Summit of the Americas, he carried on the appeal to regional unity. He talked of the U.S. intention to foster “engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values.” He shook hands with Chavez, and Venezuela and the U.S. agreed to restore their ambassadors.

As in so many arenas, though, Obama’s message on Latin America gets clouded by mixed signals. The veteran plotters of the 1980s contra wars–John Negroponte, Otto Reich, Roger Noriega and their ilk–have no place in his administration. But Obama’s ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, held the Andean desk at the National Security Council during the failed 2002 coup against Chavez, and Jeffrey Davidow, the president’s advisor for the Summit of the Americas, served as ambassador to Chile during the coup against Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973.

Though the administration recently announced it would not ask Congress to approve the Free Trade Agreement with Panama until it developed a “new framework,” the president very publicly withdrew his opposition to the trade pact with Colombia during the Summit of the Americas.

In Latin America, Obama faces much more complex and rapidly evolving regional political and economic alliances than did his immediate predecessors. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) took its first stand in defense of Bolivia last September; the Organization of American States has spoken with one voice for Zelaya; MERCOSUR and ALBA are weaving economic ties.

These new political realities also provide an opportunity for the U.S. to regain a measure of control over the region. By contrast with conservatives and neo-cons(ervatives), liberal and neo-liberal imperialists prefer trade treaties to “armed treaties,” that is, military force. While Bush preferred leveling Iraq with bombs, Bill Clinton managed to level Mexico with NAFTA. Franklin Roosevelt, with his fast-track authority, negotiated trade treaties with fifteen Latin American countries between 1934 and 1942. Obama could use trade deals to widen the divisions emerging in the region–perhaps fortifying “the U.S. free-trade partnerships and links to Brazil and Chile, knowingly sacrificing a sphere of influence in the hope of establishing ring-fences around the most radical governments,” as Ivan Briscoe suggested in the “Foro Europa-America Latina.”

Fissures and new poles of power are emerging in opposition to what Professor Napoleon Saltos of the Central University of Quito calls the “Bolivarian Coordinate.” This ideological-political-economic axis is only one possibility. Saltos also points out the possibility of the emergence of a “sub-imperialist” Brazil in competition with the neoliberal U.S.-European imperial axis. (See this article).

Regional divisions and tensions surfaced dramatically during the September 2008 disturbances in Bolivia. On one hand, the fledgling UNASUR’s resolution of the conflict between the regions loyal to President Evo Morales and those of the Media Luna demonstrated South America’s new independence.

But while the world’s attention was focused on Bolivia’s crisis, another struggle was taking place behind the scenes at the UNASUR meeting in Santiago, Chile. Just days before that gathering, Hugo Chavez verbally attacked Bolivian Defense Minister Luis Trigo, accusing him of not doing enough to defend President Morales. Chavez went on to say that “if something happens to Evo… I won’t just sit here with my arms crossed.”

Many Bolivians took umbrage at this statement and viewed it as inappropriate meddling in their country’s internal affairs. As one friend in Bolivia said privately over a cup of coffee, “I guess Chavez doesn’t remember what happened to the last ‘gaucho’ (cowboy) who tried to save Bolivia,” comparing Chavez to Che.

At the UNASUR meeting, Chavez agitated for sharp statements against U.S. interference in Bolivia, while the “pragmatic” group led by Brazil and Chile preferred to address only Bolivia’s immediate, internal issue. The meeting was held in private, but Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley told Bolivia’s daily La Razon that “he feared a failure of the extraordinary summit of the Union of South American Nations due to the demands of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to condemn the United States in the final declaration.” (La Razon, Sept. 17, 2008) “There are different perspectives… I want to say that we don’t share his position and we believe that the problems of the region have to be solved in the region. I don’t like making others responsible,” Foxley said.

It was no secret who came out on top at the end of the summit: The “pragmatists” won, with Lula da Silva clearly in charge as the representative of the economic powerhouse of the region. This wasn’t the first time Chavez, a brilliant strategist, sabotaged his own efforts with his lack of diplomacy. He left the summit having not only lost a bid to make a statement against U.S. imperialism, but also having alienated many Bolivians by his harsh criticism of their officials.

While the countries of Latin America continue to welcome Venezuela’s generous aid and subsidized energy, in a context of reduced tension where an ignorant, unpopular, proto-fascist North American president turns his throne over to a charismatic, intelligent leader of African descent, Chavez’s attempts to maintain the polarization between empire and its unofficial colonies so as to push the agenda of Latin American unity forward is in danger of losing steam.

None of this could possibly be lost on Obama. He must know that the U.S. has galvanized opposition in Latin America every time it has undertaken the sort of violent undermining of local autonomy now being carried out in Honduras. He has everything to lose and nothing to gain from this coup in Honduras, especially when he can manage to keep any upstart junior president in line by manipulating trade treaties and cutting deals guaranteed to maintain Latin America in subservience, in short, to divide and conquer.

Yes, it’s obvious that the U.S. hopes the coup can neutralize Zelaya. Of course Hillary will mince words and use linguistic tricks to avoid the use of the word “coup” to exploit the situation to the max. It’s also clear that Obama will continue to defend the Empire: A tiger that has withdrawn its claws remains a tiger. But if anti-imperialists continue in the simplistic, black-and-white Manichean thinking of the last 50 years, we’ll miss the specific dangers–and opportunities–of the moment.

Here we recall the words of Bertolt Brecht: “There are many ways to kill. You can stick a knife in a person’s belly, take away her bread, not heal him from a disease, stick her in a bad apartment, work him to death, drive her to suicide, send him off to war, etc. Only a few of these things are forbidden in our country.”

By far, the murder by stabbing–or military coup–attracts more attention. That’s why the brazen golpe in Honduras has raised so much speculation about who was holding the knife. The treaty that will ensure that a nation like Honduras starves or remains on its knees tends to attract far less attention.

While it’s crucial that the coup plotters be brought to justice (even if that includes U.S. citizens) and that Manuel Zelaya return to his rightful place as president of Honduras, activists need to pay even closer attention to the silent murder by economic strangulation and/or free trade agreements. We need to ensure, for instance, that Clinton not be allowed to “cut a deal” to have Zelaya returned under “conditions” (as her husband did with Aristide in 1994). We need to lobby for fair trade agreements and not free trade agreements. We need, finally, to support movements in Latin America working toward unity against empire. Zelaya’s return to Honduras, without conditions, will be only one step in our struggle.

Clifton Ross is the writer/director of “Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out” (www.pmpress.org) and more recently “Translations from Silence” (www.freedomvoices.org). Marcy Rein is a freelance writer and editor and longtime participant/observer in various social movements.

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[es] OFRANEH: Obama y la injerencia de su administracion en el golpe en Honduras

[English translation to come soon. OFRANEH = indigenous/black Garifuna federation.]

[OFRANEH = Organizacion Fraternal Negra de Honduras]

Obama y la injerencia de su administración en el golpe en Honduras

La campaña internacional de aislamiento al gobierno de facto de Honduras que  se ha dado como respuesta al golpe del 28 de junio, ha traído una oleada de  apoyo al depuesto Presidente Manuel Zelaya, el que después de haber logrado en el seno de la ONU un respaldo absoluto, y  de haber logrado que la OEA emitiera un ultimátum de 72 horas para que el presidente Mel regrese al poder.

El vertiginoso apoyo con que contó la administración depuesta, en especial la reunión de emergencia efectuada horas después del golpe en el marco de la OEA, es una muestra de los cambios políticos que se viene dando en América Latina en la última década. Desde el ultimo golpe en contra del presidente venezolano Hugo Chavez y el irrestricto espaldarazo concedido por la Administración Bush a los golpistas, a la actual actitud asumida por el Secretario General Insulza a favor de Manuel Zelaya, muestran los aires de cambio que se comenzaron a dar desde el mes de abril con la cumbre de Trinidad y la posterior reunión de la OEA en San Pedro Sula.

En Junio 29  la Secretaria de estado Hillary Clinton pidió tibiamente la restitución de Mel al poder, en el marco de declaraciones efectuadas por la diplomática en una conferencia de prensa del departamento de Estado relacionada con los “puntos conflictivos del planeta”.

Las movilizaciones de apoyo al gobierno de facto, están siendo organizadas entre otras por la Sra. María Martha Díaz Velázquez que dirige la supuesta organización cívica denominada Movimiento Paz y Democracia (MPD), la cual ha venido desde hace meses actuando como grupo de presión en contra de la administración de Manuel Zelaya. La Sra. Diaz fue utilizada por CNN en su cobertura noticiosa posterior al golpe, para  justificar las acciones emprendidas por los golpistas. El mismo domingo 28, el Movimiento Paz y Democracia convocó a una manifestación en la Plaza Morazán de Tegucigalpa acompañados por la Unión Cívica Democrática, agrupación donde se aglutinan los gremios empresariales ultraconservadores del país.

La polarización en Honduras es un trabajo que se ha venido dando desde hace años, en especial utilizando los medios de comunicación afines a la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP), especializados en la desinformación tendenciosa. Ha sido un trabajo lento y persistente. Siendo la afiliación de Honduras a  Petrocaribe y la iniciativa ALBA los mayores crímenes cometidos por la administración Zelaya, situación que sirvió de pretexto para invocar el otrora demonio del “comunismo”, que tanto caló en el pueblo hondureño durante la guerra fría.

La actitud ambigua asumida por el actual gobierno de Barack Obama, ciertamente es un indicador de la participación de los Estados Unidos en el golpe perpetrado el domingo pasado. Hasta el momento la administración Obama ha condenado el golpe  de forma tibia, pero no ha procedido a tomar las medidas concretas. En declaraciones a la prensa los voceros de la casa Blanca llaman el golpe ilegal, pero han evitado declarar los sucesos como un golpe de estado, situación  que implicaría una suspensión inmediata de la ayuda económica que se recibe por parte de los Estados Unidos.

Según la Administración Obama está tratando de “reinstalar” a Zelaya, e insiste en desasociarse de los imperantes rumores de la participación de su país en los hechos acontecidos. Según los informes de prensa vertidos por la Casa Blanca, las gestiones para detener el golpe se iniciaron ya antes que éste fuera confirmado, sirviendo la Embajada de Estados Unidos de mediador entre el ejercito golpista y  Manuel Zelaya.

Es indudable que existe injerencia directa por parte de organizaciones afiliadas a la extrema derecha estadounidense, tales como la Fundación Arcadia, en la cual esta inmiscuido Otto Reich, nefasto personaje a cargo de operaciones de desinformación y sabotaje, no muy lejano de Posada Carriles y los terroristas cubanos encargados de los trabajo sucios de la CIA. Se supone que uno de los objetivos primordiales de la Fundación Arcadia es la lucha en contra de la corrupción, y desde esa perspectiva a mantenido una guerra de baja intensidad a partir del año 2006 en contra de personeros de la Administración Zelaya.

Por otro lado están las fuertes sumas de dinero recibidas por el Movimiento Paz y Democracia, a través de la USAID y la National Endowment for Democracy  (NED), instituciones reconocidas como financistas de golpes y proceso de desestabilización a lo largo del planeta.

Es de esperar que de no crearse un bloqueo económico total en contra del gobierno de facto, la polarización en el país continuará, cobijada en la desinformación existente y en los clamores de grupos afines a los sectores más feudales del país. Desde las iglesias hasta los gremios de empresarios pasando por la apocada clase media, los efectos del trabajo de la NED y la USAID se hacen sentir en el país.

Para la OFRANEH es inminente que la administración Obama debe frenar la labor de los organismos de inteligencia dedicadas a la desestabilización y desinformación, ya que lo que pretenden es crear un choque entre grupos proclives a los golpistas y los defensores de la democracia. Será el gobierno de Estados Unidos los responsables directos de cualquier derramamiento de sangre.

Hacemos un llamado a Barack Obama que muestre de nuevo el singular perfil del hombre que logró  mover un país en base a su clamor por la justicia, y que frene las agresiones de los cuerpos de inteligencia  de los Estados Unidos que claramente no cejan en perder los que siempre han considerado su patio trasero.

Por eso reiteramos que no basta con declaraciones ambiguas por parte de Obama y su gabinete. Se requiere una vez por todas señalar los acontecimientos como un coup d’état (golpe de estado). Es urgente DECRETAR SANCIONES ECONOMICAS DE INMEDIATO para Honduras y así frenar la agresividad del gobierno golpista  y neofascista. Es la única forma que se inducirá la paz y seguridad en Honduras y la estabilidad del continente.

La Ceiba, Atlántida 1 de Julio del 2009.

OFRANEH

OFRANEH
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Calle 19, #130.
La Ceiba, Atlantida,
Honduras
telefax: 504-4420618
email:garifuna@ofraneh.org/ ofraneh@yahoo.com

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Filed under cobertura internacional, comunicados, ESPANOL, noticias desde Honduras, resistencia indigena