Wednesday, July 15, 2009

That Honduras coup

In the past, if a Central American military deposed a left-wing government, Bush would have declared that he was happy to see democracy prevail. These days, the State Department bristles that it is shocked - shocked - by the affront to a sovereign country's constitution. One way to determine whether the US ruling class actually approves of the coup, though, is to consult its media. Here's one index of the corporate media's view of the coup:

Did a CID-Gallup poll last week indicate that a plurality of Hondurans support the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya? Yes, according to the Washington Post [July 9], the Wall Street Journal [July 10], the Christian Science Monitor [July 11], and Reuters [July 9], which all reported that the poll showed 41% in favor of the coup, with only 28% opposed.

But in fact the poll showed that 46% -- a plurality -- were *opposed* to the coup, according to the New York Times [July 10], the Associated Press [July 11] and the president of CID-Gallup, in an interview with Voice of America on July 9.

As of this writing -- Sunday evening, 5:30 pm Eastern time -- none of the outlets which reported the poll incorrectly had corrected their earlier, inaccurate, reports.

Another way to study this is to determine whether the US government actually approved of the coup, despite its disavowals. Eva Golinger has some thoughts:


• The Department of State had prior knowledge of the coup.

• The Department of State and the US Congress funded and advised the actors and organizations in Honduras that participated in the coup.

• The Pentagon trained, schooled, commanded, funded and armed the Honduran armed forces that perpetrated the coup and that continue to repress the people of Honduras by force.

• The US military presence in Honduras, that occupies the Soto Cano (Palmerola) military base, authorized the coup d’etat through its tacit complicity and refusal to withdraw its support of the Honduran military involved in the coup.

• The US Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, coordinated the removal from power of President Manuel Zelaya, together with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon y John Negroponte, who presently works as an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

• From the first day the coup occurred, Washington has referred to “both parties” involved and the necessity for “dialogue” to restore constitutional order, legitimizing the coup leaders by regarding them as equal players instead of criminal violators of human rights and democratic principles.

• The Department of State has refused to legally classify the events in Honduras as a “coup d’etat”, nor has it suspended or frozen its economic aid or commerce to Honduras, and has taken no measures to effectively pressure the de facto regime.

• Washington manipulated the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to buy time, therefore allowing the coup regime to consolidate and weaken the possibility of President Zelaya’s immediate return to power, as part of a strategy still in place that simply seeks to legitimate the de facto regime and wear down the Honduran people that still resist the coup.

• Secretary of State Clinton and her spokesmen stopped speaking of President Zelaya’s return to power after they designated Costa Rican president Oscar Arias as the “mediator” between the coup regime and the constitutional government; and now the State Department refers to the dictator that illegally took power during the coup, Roberto Micheletti, as the “interim caretaker president”.

• The strategy of “negotiating” with the coup regime was imposed by the Obama administration as a way of discrediting President Zelaya – blaming him for provoking the coup – and legitimizing the coup leaders.

• Members of the US Congress – democrats and republicans – organized a visit of representatives from the coup regime in Honduras to Washington, receiving them with honors in different arenas in the US capital.

• Despite the fact that originally it was Republican Senator John McCain who coordinated the visit of the coup regime representatives to Washington through a lobby firm connected to his office, The Cormac Group, now, the illegal regime is being representated by top notch lobbyist and Clinton attorney Lanny Davis, who is using his pull and influence in Washington to achieve overall acceptance – cross party lines – of the coup regime in Honduras.

• Otto Reich and a Venezuelan named Robert Carmona-Borjas, known for his role as attorney for the dictator Pedro Carmona during the April 2002 coup d’etat in Venezuela, aided in preparing the groundwork for the coup against President Zelaya in Honduras.

• The team designated from Washigton to design and help prepare the coup in Honduras also included a group of US ambassadors recently named in Central America, experts in destabilizing efforts against the Cuban revolution, and Adolfo Franco, ex administrator for USAID’s Cuba “transition to democracy” program.