Thursday, September 17, 2009

Response to "The Honduran Coup: Was it a Matter of Behind the Scenes Finagling?"

Read the original article here

I see nothing wrong with well informed speculation, especially given the recent history of US-American involvement in Central America and of those people mentioned in this article.

Whoever claims that Zelaya violated the Honduran constitution is either promoting the coup maker’s agenda, or has swallowed the propaganda of the de facto government, and the people that support Michelettis illegitimate government.

The policies Zelaya was implementing before the coup were perfectly legal. He was not trying to get reelected. He was trying to perform a non-binding survey, with the intention of finding out if Hondurans wanted a fourth ballot-box in November’s elections. This fourth ballot-box would have to be approved by Congress and it would decide on the establishment of a National Constituent Assembly, like the one suggested by de facto president Micheletti in 1985 to reelect president Suazo, and the one set up by the Honduran military and the Americans in 1982 to write a new Constitution as a part of their counter-insurgency programs (Honduras’ 12th constitution). It is a perfectly legal and democratic procedure to write a new constitution, which is not equivalent to reforming the current constitution. The reason is that according to the constitution, Honduran people and their will are above the constitution itself. Zelaya was trying to legally open up for citizen participation in a rigid and undemocratic political system that Hondurans have not created themselves. His opponents violated the law to get rid of him. Colonel Bayardo Inestroza, the legal advisor of the military has accepted this in interviews with The Miami Herald and El Faro. A very good analysis made by a Spanish lawyer Enrique Santiago is available here: The decrees that support Zelaya’s policies are also available in the Internet: PCM- 05-2009, PCM 019-2009, PCM 20-2009, PCM 27-2009. None of those decrees speak about reelection. I am all for well informed speculation, and we can speculate about Zelaya’s intention, but there this does not mean we can legally convict him for his actions. By the way, there hasn’t been a due process to establish guilt. He was kidnapped and flown off. Why?

Another interesting fact that is not mentioned here is that this coup parallels what happened in Haiti in 2004, when President Jean Bertrand Aristide was ousted after being kidnapped and flown out of the country.

There has also been a lot of speculation about the involvement of American right wing extremists in the 2004 coup against Aristide.

According to an article by Naomi Klein, published in The Nation Magazine in 2005, Jean Bertrand Aristide told her in person that the reason there was a coup against him was that he told Washington he would not privatize TeleCo, Haiti’s telecommunications company. Just as Arcadia Foundation and among others Otto Reich staged a propaganda campaign against president Zelaya in Honduras before the coup, accusing him of corruption in Hondutel, there had been a propaganda campaign that accused Aristide of corruption before the coup in Haiti.

Answering a comment above, companies are privatized because investors are always after more profit.

It is important to remember that in 1987 the Comptroller General of the United States found that public funds had been misused by the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean to finance a “white propaganda” campaign against the government of Nicaragua. The House Foreign Affairs Committee called this office a propaganda operation against the Sandinistas. This office was led by Mr. Otto Reich, who is mentioned in this analysis.

Arcadia Foundation is run by a Venezuelan exile, involved in the 2002 coup against Venezuela. He had bee campaigning in Honduras against Zelaya before the coup.

These are all important facts and they raise relevant and legitimate questions. It doesn’t have to do with being from the right or the left (the democratic and peaceful versions, that is).

Hopefully the resolution of events in Honduras will eventually answer these questions. In the meantime there will always be short minded people that are afraid to speculate and brush off this information and confuse foreign policy and geopolitical interests with “conspiracy theories”. Such a na├»ve view of politics has no historical conscience.

Comment by Alberto Valiente Thoresen

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