Inside the Corruption and Repression Forcing Hondurans to Flee to the US

If democratic-socialism starts working, which it always does, then the greedy pull the rug out from under it by any means necessary. While doing that, they always claim socialism doesn't work, can't work, never has, never will, etc. Dupes fall for it. The greedy shamelessly pile on sanctions and lies. If sanctions and lies don't work, they try fomenting a coup. If that doesn't work, they end up trying a military invasion against the "monsters" who democratically lift the poor out of abject poverty. Democratically lifting the poor out of abject poverty is a sin under capitalism. That's why capitalism is a sin in God's eyes.

Honduras has morphed into something that defies neat categorization: a narco-kleptocracy of sorts, operating under the guise of privatization and deregulation, where politicians, business elites, and organized crime oversee a system of governance predicated on corruption, violence, and impunity in order to enrich themselves and terrorize their opponents.
And at almost every turn, this system has been enabled and at times encouraged by the US government. ...
Despite the widespread allegations of fraud and calls for a new vote, the US State Department decided to recognize Hernández as the winner of the 2017 election, even as it acknowledged the irregularities identified by the EU and OAS. For human rights activists who have been systemically targeted throughout the Hernández presidency, the US endorsement was a predictable, if demoralizing, outcome.

“If this had happened in Venezuela, there would have been an intervention. But because it happened in Honduras, a country of servitude to their [US] interests, they say, ‘Well, you know, there were irregularities, but these things happen,’” said Bertha Isabel Zúñiga Cáceres.
In 2006, Hondurans elected Manuel “Mel” Zelaya president. Despite being elected as the candidate of the center-right Liberal Party, he embarked upon an ambitious and unapologetically progressive agenda while in office. He raised the minimum wage, increased subsidies to farmers, guaranteed free schooling to Honduran children, and expanded access to healthcare. Although his administration stood accused of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, Zelaya’s poverty reduction programs represented a glimmer of hope for many Hondurans who had been on the losing end of the privatization and structural adjustment policies that had defined the previous two decades.

Zelaya’s leftward turn drew the ire of Honduran business elites, and his decision to join the Venezuelan-led Petrocaribe oil alliance—along with suggestions that the US military presence be reconsidered—spooked the Latin American right and its North American allies. His presidency was cut short when the Honduran military showed up at the presidential palace one morning, arrested him, and flew him to neighboring Costa Rica, stopping to refuel at the Soto Cano air base, where 600 US troops were stationed. The military tried to justify the kidnapping and forced exile of its own president by claiming that Zelaya was planning to change the Honduran constitution to run for a second term.

Zelaya had indeed called for a non-binding poll to determine whether the single term limit should be put to a vote, but his defenders maintain that holding such a poll hardly constitutes a power grab.

The Obama administration, along with other governments in the region, condemned the coup and called for the military to reinstate Zelaya as the head of state. Yet the Honduran military, and the elites who supported the coup, held firm and with time, various actors within the US government began warming to the idea of keeping Zelaya out of power.

Leaked diplomatic cables have since confirmed that Honduran military officials, despite being sanctioned by the US, were able to leverage their contacts within the Pentagon and the US military establishment at the time. Meanwhile, Honduran political and business elites quietly lobbied Republican lawmakers. These behind-the-scenes efforts succeeded in eventually bringing the State Department around to the idea that the military and de facto government should be allowed to hold elections while Zelaya was still in exile.


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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