Monday, June 28, 2010

Honduras, One year after the coup

Honduras, After Democracy by Bill Quigley.

Since what's been going on in Honduras after the coup is largely blacked out in America, this is a useful article to read.

I do think Mr. Quigley goes too lightly on Obama when he says ....
A leadership vacuum in the Obama Administration regarding Honduras has led to extreme right-wing ideologues directing US policy there. These people are hell bent on stopping the growing populist movements throughout Latin America from gaining more influence and power. Some, such as Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, have moved from positions in the State Department and United Nations into private lobbying firms or conservative think tanks. Others, such as Robert Carmona-Borjas, who was granted asylum in the US after his involvement in the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez, are working for so-called NGOs that use vague missions such as “anti-corruption” to mask the foreign policy work they do.

From the American left, there seems to be a fundamental unwillingness to accept Obama's real role in the coup. There is not some mysterious 'leadership vacuum' that's mysteriously allowed right-wingers to control US foreign policy. The very best you can say about Obama is that he's deliberately created this 'vaccum' because he wants right-wing policies in effect. But even that is letting Obama off lightly, because in my opinion he's supported and backed this coup from the beginning. There's only one statement from his administration right after the coup to the contrary. And by now, surely everyone is learning not to trust what Obama says.

First, the left apparently was never willing to acknowledge that Obama has constantly attacked Chavez just like the rest of right-wing rhetoric. A quick google search found this item from Talk Left. This is an Obama quote from 2008.

[D]emagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum [of a failed US Latin America policy.] His predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.

Note carefully also the way Obama characterized Bush's 'failure' south of the border. This was a constant Obama campaign theme, and it essentially said that the growing signs of independent democracies in South America was a sign of a foreign policy failure by Bush. And the unspoken part of this is that he's saying in 2008 that he'll fix Bush's 'failures' in South America. Presumably by trying to roll back this democracy movement that we see in places like Venezuela and Bolivia.

Then, in Obama's first year, a democratically elected President who's somewhat allied with Chavez gets overthrown in a coup. Yet, the lefties in the US still have such blinders on about who Obama is and what he's really doing that they write these bizarre theories about mysterious "leadership vacuums" that somehow let the American right wing mysteriously do exactly what Obama was saying that he'd do before the election. The left seems incapable of realizing that this was really Obama's policy.

The first step towards solving a problem is to correctly understand the problem. The fact that the left in this country can not see that it was Obama who approved and staged the coup against Honduras' democratically elected President is quite worrying. Because it means there's no solution to this anytime soon when people go to such great lengths to see mysterious vacuums instead of the real problems.

I hope the people of Honduras aren't waiting for help from us. Because even the people who should be their supporters in America have such blinders on concerning Obama that they simply can't see that its their great progressive leader who is the problem.

The American left could maybe ask Honduras' deposed president what he thinks.

"What we suspected at the beginning has now been confirmed. The United States was behind the coup."

See Also: Democracy Now! segment One Year After Coup, Honduras Repression Continues

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