Monday, 20 July 2009

Wake up call - the Honduras coup d'état reading list

James D Cockroft calls the Honduras coup "The Moment of Truth for the Obama Administration"
The military coup currently underway in Honduras is a hard coup accompanied by various vain attempts to make it appear soft and "constitutionalist." Behind the coup are diverse social, economic, and political forces, of which the most important is the administration of President Barack Obama. No important change can happen in Honduras without Washington's approval. The Honduran oligarchy and transnational corporations (banana growers, pharmaceutical manufacturers) are defending their interests, as they always have, with a military coup.
James Hodge and Linda Cooper report on the U.S. Continuing to Train Honduran Soldiers.
A day after an SOA-trained army general ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, President Barack Obama stated that "the coup was not legal" and that Zelaya remained "the democratically elected president." The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act requires that U.S. military aid and training be suspended when a country undergoes a military coup, and the Obama administration has indicated those steps have been taken. However, Lee Rials, public affairs officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the successor of SOA, confirmed Monday that Honduran officers are still being trained at the school.

"Yes, they're in class now." Rials said [...]

Whatever legal argument the coup leaders had against Zelaya, it fell apart when they flew him into exile rather than prosecuting him, the attorney [Herrera Hernández] said. The legal system has broken down, he added, for if this can happen to the president, who can't it happen to?
They claim that President Zelaya was violating the constitution by proposing a non-binding national survey on the possibility of future constitutional reform. Most strange in this claim is that a non-binding survey, which means it doesn't legally matter what the outcome is, to consult the people's will regarding their constitution, is somehow a violent crime that justifies kidnapping, forced exile, and 3 weeks of imposed national curfew, suspension of constitutional rights and repression of the people. [...]

Meanwhile, the outrage is growing in Latin America over Obama's request (happily accepted by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe) to occupy 5 new military bases in Colombia. This agreement, which was consolidated in the Oval Office this past June 30, 2009, as Obama simultaneously and cynically declared the Honduran coup "illegal", will turn Colombia into a dangerous launching pad for US military operations in the region, never seen before in history. $46 million of US taxpayer monies was already approved by Congress - as requested by Obama - for pumping up the capacity of just one of the Colombian bases that US forces will occupy. The base in Palanquero - central Colombia - is set not just for counter-drug operations, which is the usual justification for US military presence in the region, but also for "hemispheric security operations". Hmmm, security operations? Against whom? Maybe neighbouring Venezuela and Ecuador, two nations that are in revolution and maintain anti-imperialist doctrines.

The people of the US and the world should express outrage and disgust at this violent, intimidating and threatening massive US presence in Latin America, authorized by "agent of change" Barack Obama.
During his presidential inauguration speech Barack Obama said, "America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity". If only it were.

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