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Coup ‘election’ flops

Published Dec 2, 2009 3:24 PM

Even the most polished spinmasters, whose job is to convince the public that fantasy is reality and the tail wags the dog, are having a hard time with this one. The Honduran “election” of Nov. 29 was a dismal flop both for the oligarchy’s coup makers and for the U.S. politicos behind them.

The Honduran resistance, which has been bringing vigorous demonstrations into the streets on a daily basis since the kidnapping and ouster of elected President Manuel Zelaya this summer, reports there was the highest abstention rate in that country’s history: from 65 percent to 70 percent of the electorate didn’t vote. This non-election was a victory for those who refused to legitimize an illegitimate regime.

Throughout Latin America and much of the rest of the world, the coup in Honduras is seen as a dangerous example of what the imperial strategists are plotting for the region. As one country after another votes in leftist parties—the latest example is Uruguay, where a former guerrilla leader who spent 14 years in prison was just elected president—the U.S. is expanding its military bases in the region. It may still try to cover its dirty deeds with democratic phrase-mongering, but actions speak louder than words.

In Honduras, the military deposed the elected president when he tried to raise the minimum wage and carry out other reforms. They put in as the new head of state a rightist committed to continuing the rule of a tiny oligarchy over the impoverished majority. Feigning surprise, the U.S. government at first appeared ambivalent about the coup. Virtually all the countries of Latin America, and much of the world, refused to recognize the usurpers. Brazil opened its embassy in the Honduran capital to Zelaya after he surreptitiously returned in September from his imposed exile. He has been there ever since, surrounded by troops who violently break up demonstrations supporting him.

Even though this regime is considered an international pariah, the White House and State Department have now given their blessing to the fraudulent “election.” In so doing, they have made it very clear that the Honduran coup, like so many others in the past when Latin America was plagued with brutal military dictatorships, was made in the USA.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez was clear about this when he spoke to the 19th Ibero-American summit in Portugal the day after the election farce in Honduras. He called for a statement to reject the election and warned that the development of an aggressive U.S. military doctrine, the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet and the establishment of military bases in Colombia constitute a threat to all of Latin America.

“A dictatorship has been started in Honduras, through a military coup, with U.S. instigation and support,” said Rodriguez.

“To recognize the spurious government emerging from these illegitimate elections will betray principles of peace, democracy and justice. We have a deep conviction that the Honduran people, with their struggle, will have the last word.” Rodriguez pinpointed what was at stake: “The aim is domination and interference, to get the

U.S. military power closer to the rich sources of raw materials and energy resources the region has,” he told the gathering.

The National Resistance Front called the extremely low turnout at the polls a “great victory for the Honduran people,” and called on them to continue confronting the military in the streets. There can be no equivocating on this struggle. The people of Honduras have risen up against misery, hunger and a brutal oligarchy tied to U.S. corporations that have squeezed the country dry. The progressive forces of the world, especially in the U.S., must stand with them.