Tag Archives: Washington

Opinion Necia: La traicion de Washington era un hecho previsible

Manifestante en Tegucigalpa. Julio 2009. Foto: Sandra Cuffe

La traición de Washington era un hecho previsible. La necesidad de Estados Unidos por controlar la región no podía verse obstaculizada por un presidente que, deseando el progreso de su pueblo y ejerciendo los derechos de la soberanía, pasara por alto los principales intereses del imperialismo en la región.

¿Pero qué es el imperialismo sino la expresión de los intereses de la economía transnacional? Es así que la acciones que desde el 28 de junio ocurren en el país, estuvieron promovidas, financiadas y respaldadas por empresas transnacionales muy poderosas, que se vieron afectadas en sus ganancias por las medidas que adoptara el Presidente Constitucional Manuel Zelaya, en aras del beneficio de su pueblo. Entre ellas podemos destacar a EXXON, quien fuera la primera de las afectadas con la fórmula de los combustibles y el histórico cambio de proveedor que rompió con el monopolio comercial.

Pero no fue ese el único encontronazo del presidente con el imperio del norte. Supo del control directo de la Embajada Norteamérica de fiscales y jueces que protegen inversiones norteamericanas en todo el país, legales o ilegales. Así también descubrió el control por parte de la CIA de todas las agencias nacionales de inteligencia en el país; Inteligencia Militar del Ejército de Honduras, Inteligencia de la Policía, Inteligencia de las agencia de seguridad privada, Inteligencia de la Dirección General de Investigación Criminal, entre otros grupos de sistematización de información económica, política y social que existen en Honduras. A la vez, que como en todos los países de nuestro hemisferio, también actúan directamente  agentes de la CIA asignados a Honduras.

¿Qué protegen? ¿Por qué un control tan férreo por parte de los Estados Unidos?

La primera potencia militar del mundo, la más grande en la historia de la humanidad, mantiene un aparato de control que  existe con el propósito de defender los intereses imperialistas y también funciona para saber como imponerlos en el resto del mundo. La fuerza es el principal argumento de Estados Unidos en su política internacional; su brutalidad es tal que hace más de 50 años permanece en guerras en todo el planeta y ha generado con ellas el establecimiento de la dependencia de su nación a la industria bélica, lo que se le llama el Complejo Militar.

El monstruo imperialista que ha criterio del Presidente Zelaya, y como claramente lo expresara en reuniones abiertas de gabinete presidencial y movimiento popular, utiliza las empresas transnacionales para desarrollar el Neocolonialismo en todos los lugares del planeta en los que exista un mercado del que extraer riquezas naturales y fuerza de trabajo.

No obstante, el imperialismo encuentra con frecuencia que pueblos con dignidad se oponen a sus planes expansionistas, a su lógica de guerra y muerte, a su necesidad mezquina para mantener un estilo de vida que perjudica seriamente el medio ambiente y que somete al hambre, la desnutrición, la dependencia y el subdesarrollo al miles de millones de seres humanos. Es cuando el método pasa del Neo al colonialismo clásico; invasor, militar, fascista e inhumano.

El golpe de estado en Honduras tiene el sello de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia, CIA, tiene el interés evidente de la ultraderecha norteamericana, tiene la venganza de las transnacionales que han promovido siempre a los políticos convenientes a sus intereses y que por un error de cálculo permitieron un hombre en la más alta magistratura del Estado Hondureño, un hombre que en su discurso inaugural declaraba tres cristianos y sencillos principios con los que gobernaría el país: No mentir, no robar y no matar, principios por demás incompatibles con el sistema capitalista y mucho más aún con las prácticas de la  oligarquía hondureña.

Es por eso que muchas transnacionales como Exxon, Entre Mares y Chiquita Banana son protagonistas del golpe de estado militar. Mientras que Roberto Micheletti, un empresario de poca monta, y Romeo Vásquez Velázquez, un ladrón de vehículos, no son más que un par de peleles en este asunto. El pueblo lo sabe y no les teme, por eso lucha contra ellos por una patria liberada y contra las transnacionales por un mundo sin guerras ni injusticias.

¡Venceremos!

¡Necedad!

OPLN

[Organizacion Politica Los Necios: ]

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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] CISPES: Honduran prosecutors family attacked after he denounces military coup on CNN

NOTE: DELEGATION OF ANTI-COUP RESISTANCE LEADERS INCLUDING ATTORNEY JARI DIXON HERRERA IN WASHINGTON, DC. EVENT IN DC TODAY AT 6PM. SEE BELOW!!!

A delegation of anti-coup resistance leaders from Honduras is currently in Washington DC to work towards the unconditional reinstatement of President Zelaya. Please forward the information about the public forum to your contacts in DC.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 6:00pm
WHERE: Institute for Policy Studies, 16th St NW Washington, DC 20036.
For questions and to RSVP, please contact: natali@mateagroup.com

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Honduran prosecutors family attacked after he denounces military coup on CNN

The family of Honduran public prosecutor Jari Dixon Herrera were attacked by police on Tuesday shortly after he made statements to CNN en Español and other international media in Washington denouncing the recent military coup in Honduras. Dixon’s mother’s house, located in the town of Talanga, was first shot at repeatedly by police agents with automatic weapons. The agents then broke the door of the house down and entered the residence, beat Dixon’s mother and arrested and took away his brother. Jari Dixon is currently in Washington, DC, as part of a delegation of Hondurans that has been meeting with members of Congress, representatives of the World Bank, the State Department and human rights organizations to discuss the rights abuses committed by the Honduran de facto authorities.

The attack against Jari Dixons family comes in the wake of the killing of two leaders of the United Democrat Party. On Saturday evening, hooded armed men stormed the house of Roger Bados of San Pedro Sula and shot and killed him in front of his family. That same night, Ramon Garcia was ambushed and killed in the street close to his home in Santa Barbara.

These violent acts, that have gone largely unreported in the US media, strongly resemble the selective repression that occurred under the previous military dictatorship in Honduras, when paramilitary death squads killed or kidnapped key dissidents to maintain a climate of terror in the population. Human rights activists in Honduras have been speaking out against this development under the new coup regime, which comes on the heels of two weeks of violent repression of peaceful demonstrations, the closure of radio and TV outlets and intimidation of journalists who have criticized the coup and hundreds of arbitrary arrests of nonviolent protesters.

Jari Dixon is lawyer with the Honduran Attorney Generals office, and is Vice President of the Association of Honduran Government Attorneys (Asocación de Fiscales de Honduras). In 2008 he coordinated a hunger strike by lawyers who work for the Attorney Generals office in protest of corruption in the legal system.

Dixon, together with the renowned environmentalist and anti-torture activist Dr. Juan Almendares and United Democrat Party congressman Marvin Ponce, traveled to Washington to demand the restoration of the rule of law in Honduras and the return of its constitutional president Manuel Zelaya.
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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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