Category Archives: Honduras

What is the meaning of Honduras for Latin America?

honduras_coup-2009With Zelaya’s return to Honduras, for now safely placed in the Brazilian embassy, the coup government have implemented a 45-day curfew, suspending constitutional rights and shutting down all anti-coup media. The situation is coming to a head, with repression by the oligarchy increasing in an attempt to crush the mass resistance and delay until the upcoming election.

Here are two essays that get at some of the dimensions of the meaning and impact of the coup in Honduras.

Coup in Honduras: the return of the gorillas or the tactics of attrition?

José Antonio Gutiérrez D. writes:

“Even when the protesters to call for little more than the defense of Zelaya, and with it, the defense of a rather lukewarm proposed reform it is in mobilizing that people learn to fight and learn to make their own project. Any mobilization contains the potential radicalization of the masses, especially when you consider that this protest was a spontaneous act of defiance to an oligarchy so stubborn and backward as to be criminal. On this mobilization depends the thwarting of the oligarchy’s plan to deter “soften” the political project of Zelaya: on whether it will radicalize the masses and thus driving the process towards the left. This is the factor with which the oligarchy(nor reformism) does not count on . And this is the factor that weighs more in the balance.”

Read the essay at Anarkismo.

Latin America’s future is being played out in Honduras

Roberto Sáenz writes:

“In the context of the region’s political cycle, and the current global economic crisis, the introduction of the military factory contains elements of polarisation of the situation not only towards the right, but eventually also to the left.

Exactly for this reason, this situation has its own flip-side, a concrete danger for those in power: in recent decades the privileged form of capitalist politics has been “mediation” via bourgeois democracy, avoiding extremism like the plague: not only the far right, but also leftists. A year ago we wrote: “The conjuncture of these factors is taking place under conditions of a growing global economic crisis as well as a crisis of hegemony for US imperialism. These global factors tend to the creation of an international situation with more ‘classic’ features, in the sense that perhaps in the near future we will see more conflicts between states and bourgeoisies than we have been accustomed to in the last two or three decades. That is to say, hints of crises, wars and revolutions”[12].

The reactionary course weakens the mediation of bourgeois democracy and introduces an element of unpredictability: the eventuality that among the polarisation will be opened a way forward for the left, a revolutionary opportunity, a factor which has been absent in all these years.”

Read the essay at The Commune.

Navigating the Honduras Coup: Barack Obama and the New Alliance for Progress

By Chris Shortsleeve

As the crisis in Honduras escalates, as the coup regime enters its fourth month of political power, evicting OAS representatives, barricading the Brazilian embassy, and instituting martial law, it is worth revisiting a question that has not been sufficiently and systematically discussed in left publications – namely, why the seemingly confused policy towards Honduras by the Obama administration? Why the vacillation between rhetorical condemnation of the Honduran coup on the one hand, and the complete absence of meaningful political pressure on the coup regime itself on the other? Furthermore, where does Honduras fit in the future of US imperialism – what does Obama’s response to this coup perhaps indicate for the future of US policy in Latin America?

With a political, military, and economic embeddedness that almost mirrors places like Pakistan and Iraq, Honduras is essentially a US client state. The Honduran economy and political elite are completely dependent on the United States, as 70% of all Honduran exports end up in the U.S., 40% of all capital investments originate in the US, and the entire Honduran military is funded and trained by U.S. aid. Thus, contrary to Obama’s recent press conference statement that “there is no magic button” to the Honduran political situation, there actually is: the US has merely to cut off the $100 million in aid it gives to Honduras each year, and the coup regime would be untenable literally in a matter of weeks.

This obvious hypocrisy gave rise to certain theories on the left this summer that perhaps the US was behind the Honduran coup. After all, why would Obama and Hillary Clinton back Zelaya, a left-center president who has been knick-named “little Chavez” throughout the region, when the coup regime so clearly represents a conservative restoration of unchecked US financial power in the region, a staging ground, perhaps, for a whole new era of neoliberal policies throughout Latin America? Why, if under Micheletti, Honduras could become for Latin America what Iraq has failed to become for the Middle East – the poster-child of the Project for a New American Century – has the Obama administration publicly condemned such a golden opportunity for the long term hegemony of American imperialism throughout Latin America?

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