Forgive and Forget in Honduras
By Theodore Johnson at Mar 07, 2010
al-Jazeera English reports:
The United States has called on Latin American nations to recognise the new government of Honduras after restoring aid to the nation some five months after it was suspended following a coup.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state currently on a six-nation tour of Latin America, said she had notified Congress of the move to resume more than $31m in suspended assistance.
The decision comes as the Obama administration urged countries that cut ties with Honduras after the ouster of Manuel Zelaya, the former president, to recognise the new government.
Clinton said the democratically-elected government that came to power in January deserves normal diplomatic relations, including being readmitted to the Organisation of American States.
"We think that Honduras has taken important and necessary steps that deserve the recognition and the normalisation of relations," she told a news conference on Thursday, on the sidelines of a meeting of regional officials in Costa Rica.
What Clinton failed to mention was that the new administration of conservative Porfirio Lobo is not organically separated from the previous coup government. He supported the coup, in fact both candidates in the election were supporters of the coup. When Hondurans were faced with the choice-of-no-choice is was not surprising that many chose to stay home on election day. The fact that many viewed the election cynically is hardly surprising, since it was organized solely by the coup government that was behind the kidnapping of the democratically elected and legal president Manuel Zelaya. The stripping of civil liberties and the clamp down on dissent under the coup regime was widely documented.
Condemnation poured in from all over the world, especially in the Americas were memories of coups past are still fresh in the peoples minds. Notable exceptions were the US and Canada, who took a wait and see, attempt to broker a deal between the two sides approach. The fact that the coup was illegal under Honduran law and the OAS charter seemed to make little difference.
The US's lack of condemnation in particular was tantamount to implicit approval of the coup. The Obama administration could have easily completed the isolation of the coup regime had it so chosen by withholding ALL economic and military aid instead of the piecemeal portions it decided to hold back. In a country that is home to numerous US troops, military advisors, and the large Palmerola military base (once used as a base of operations for the Contras during the US's proxy war terrorist war against Sandinista Nicaragua), and which depends heavily on US military aid, it is difficult to believe that the Honduran military would initiate a coup against the government if they weren't already sure of receiving the nod of support from Washington.
Let's face it, this coup has had the implicit support of the Imperium from the very beginning, regardless of the posturing and the rhetoric emanating from the Obama administration. It seems that Obama has a penchant for inspiring rhetoric that is completely unmatched by subsequent actions. At least when Bush fed us some line about freedom and democracy or some other mumbo-jumbo we all knew what he really meant. Obama is proving to be a bit trickier, his eloquence as a speaker glossing over the serpentine actions that follow. For this reason he may prove to be more dangerous, almost like a form of soma that lulls part of the population into a comatose state.
In any case, the administration is attempting to sweep the situation in Honduras under the rug. Clinton's message its, 'Its time to move on and make up, jump on the bandwagon for peace and progress, criticizing the Hondurian government is tantamount to being a bad sport,' while totally ignoring HOW - as the child of a military coup - the new government came to power and the role that the US played in tacitly supporting it.
The days when the US says "jump" and its Latin American cronies say "how high" are over. Most countries in the hemisphere have ignored Clinton's call and say that recognizing the government would only reward and legitimate the coup. Leading the way in protecting the principles of law and democracy are the countries that have recently been thorns in Washington's side: Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, i.e the ALBA states, but significantly they have also been joined by Argentina, Brasil, and others. As the Imperium seeks to roll back the Left in Latin America confrontations between the mass popular aspirations and the conservative elements in society, such as the ongoing one in Honduras, take on an importance above and beyond their local manifestations.