Honduras Historical Outline and Independent Links

 


Quixote Center


Honduras Resists


Honduras Resists blog


The Resistance


Amnesty International Honduras


Upside Down World


Seven facts about the coup.


Witness For Pease - Honduran Delegation Report


Witness For Peace - Documentary


CODEH


NYTimes Editorial: In Honduras, A Mess Helped by the US - Succinctly puts all the issues in perspective.


The Hill: Leaked Cable Proves Obama Admin Knew This Was An Illegal Coup the Entire Time and Here’s the actual cable.


WashPo: Grim Toll as Cocaine Trade Expands in Honduras - A climate of violence has taken over the country since the illegal coup against Zelaya. First it was murders of peaceful protestors and the voices of freedom - with no arrests or investigations, and now that culture is beginning to pervade the entire country and area. We have documentary evidence that the US State Dept. understood very well at the time that the coup was illegal. Congress has repeatedly requested and here and here that the Obama/Clinton administration reflect this reality. US taxpayer money has been used to clear campesinos off their own lands so the oligarchs can exploit its natural resources. Obama and Clinton, after consulting with ex-Bush, Clinton lobbyists, have repeatedly failed to reflect this reality  and here in the public forum - which has led to this current state of affairs.


Highlights:


6/8/15


Salon: Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Sold Out Honduras: Lanny Davis, Corporate Cash and the Real Story About the Death of Latin American Democracy - A great summarization, complete with corroborating links. What this web site has been hammering on since 2009.


12/5/10


The Hill: Leaked cable from US Ambassador to Honduras just after the June, ’09 Coup: It “constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup.” - And here’s the actual cable.



Background:


Honduras, along with the rest of Central America, has had a long history of domination by the USA. From the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, through the Reagan Contra war, and even up to today, Honduras has always served as the staging area for US-CIA activities in other countries of the region.


US troops were inserted in Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1919, 1924, and 1925 to protect the interests of the United Fruit Company and overall US hegemony in the region. Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler published his memoirs ‘War Is A Racket’ in 1935 detailing the atrocities and corporate motivations of the Banana Wars during his lifetime.


Another example:

In 1954, the democratically elected Guatemalan government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was toppled by U.S.- backed forces lead by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas[7] who invaded from Honduras. Assigned by the Eisenhower administration, this military opposition was armed, trained and organized by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency[8] (see Operation PBSUCCESS).


The directors of United Fruit Company (UFCO) had lobbied to convince the Truman and Eisenhower administrations that Colonel Arbenz intended to align Guatemala with the Soviet Bloc. UFCO had employed the famous Edward Bernays to begin a propaganda campaign in the US to convince Americans that this invasion was the correct thing to do because of Guzman’s alleged Soviet ties.


Besides the disputed issue of Arbenz's allegiance to Communism, UFCO was being threatened by the Arbenz government’s agrarian reform legislation and new Labor Code.[9] UFCO was the largest Guatemalan landowner and employer, and the Arbenz government’s land reform included the expropriation of 40% of UFCO land.[10]


U.S. officials had little proof to back their claims of a growing communist threat in Guatemala[11], however the relationship between the Eisenhower administration and UFCO demonstrated the influence of corporate interest on U.S. foreign policy.[12] The American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was an avowed opponent of Communism whose law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell[13] had represented United Fruit. His brother Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA, and was a board member of United Fruit. The brother of the Assistant Secretary of State for InterAmerican Affairs John Moors Cabot had once been president of United Fruit. Ed Whitman who was United Fruit’s principal lobbyist was married to President Eisenhower's personal secretary, Ann C. Whitman.[14] Many individuals who directly influenced U.S. policy towards Guatemala in the 1950s also had direct ties to UFCO.[15]


The overthrow of Arbenz, however, failed to benefit the Company. Its stock market value declined along with its profit margin. The Eisenhower administration proceeded with antitrust action against the company, which forced it to divest in 1958. In 1972, the company sold off the last of their Guatemalan holdings after over a decade of decline.


From 1963 until 1981, Honduras was ruled by a succession of military juntas. These juntas were unanimously aligned with the US CIA and friendly to US business interests.


During the 80’s Honduras served as the staging ground for Ronald Reagan’s anticommunist operations in neighboring Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala and also as staging ground for the New Right Christians to roll back liberation theology and also to deny family planning services to Central American women. Reagan’s “Contras” were nothing more than psychopathic death squads, mostly trained at the School of the Americas in Columbus, GA,  that murdered tens of thousands of innocent peasants - men, women and children, elderly and all in between with no purpose in mind other than terrorism and intimidation.


In 1981, the first of a string of democratically elected presidents began with Suazo Cordova, followed by Presidents Hoyo, Reina, Flores and finally Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was duly elected on Nov 27, 2005. He was inaugurated on Jan. 27, 2006. His term was due to end Jan. 27, 2010.


Zelaya precipitated a national crisis by attempting to float a national non-binding referendum to see if there was a desire to, among other measures, change the Constitution to increase Presidential term limits beyond one term. This was then portrayed by his enemies in the Honduran Congress as an attempt by Zelaya to take unauthorized control of the government. But this is a ridiculous claim since no vote on such a constitutional change could possibly have occurred prior to the expiration of Zelaya’s term. The irony now is that that same referendum is being discussed by the current coup government, and this time it does seem to be an attempt for them to take control over an extended period of time.


Also during his term in office, Zelaya has openly courted relations with two of the US’s biggest Latin American rivals: Cuba and Venezuela.


During his presidency, Zelaya refused to privatize the state owned telecommunications firm Hondutel and vetoed the bill that would have banned the sale of the morning after pill. President of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti opposed Zelaya in both instances. Zelaya also accepted foreign aid from Venezuela in the form of low cost fuel.


On June 28, 2009, the day that Hondurans were to vote on the referendum, Honduran troops stormed the home of President Zelaya. He was forcibly exiled to Costa Rica. It is suspected that WHINSEC, formerly known as the ‘School of the Americas’ coordinated this coup since it was carried out exclusively by Honduran officers previously trained there.


A few days after the coup, the Honduran General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the “coup d’etat” and demanded the “immediate and unconditional restoration of the legitimate and constitutional government” of Zelaya.


Micheletti, a member of Zelaya’s party, but an avowed enemy of Zelaya was immediately sworn in as interim president. Since that time Zelaya has tried repeatedly to return to Honduras. On two occasions, Micheletti has thwarted those attempts. Finally Zelaya had himself smuggled into the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. This caused spontaneous demonstrations by thousands of Hondurans in support of Zelaya’s return to power. In response, Micheletti has put the entire country under an around the clock curfew.


Fernando “Billy” Joya, who in the 1980’s was one of Reagan’s “Contras”, now works as Micheletti’s security adviser. Otto Reich, who ran Reagan’s Office of Public Diplomacy which misused money to manipulate public opinion to support the Contra war against Nicaragua, also now works for Micheletti. Also joining the coup is Venezuelan Robert Carmona-Borjas, who was involved in Bush II’s failed coup attempt of 2002 to overthrow Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Carmona’s Arcadia Foundation launched a propaganda campaign designed to discredit Zelaya by linking him to widespread graft and corruption. Several ex-Clinton advisers are also working for the coup makers: Lanny Davis hired by the coup-friendly Latin American Business Council to represent the coup regime in Washington, and to push Hillary to recognize the Micheletti government; Stanley Greenberg and Doug Schoen also work for them.


The crisis has also pitted the familiar conservative Catholic hierarchs and unwitting evangelical Protestants who back the coup on one hand and the progressive Christians who proclaim liberation theology and are being hounded by the security forces on the other.


Micheletti rejected the Clinton inspired compromise negotiated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias that would allow Zelaya to return to serve out his term as head of a ‘reconciliation government’ as long as he does not attempt to alter the Constitution.


Obama has turned the issue over to Hillary Clinton. She is the one who charged Arias to unilaterally devise a compromise rather than going through the OAS, thus undermining that group which would have facilitated the participation of all Latin American countries in the reconciliation process. Instead Obama and Clinton have tried to bypass the OAS.


Obama has failed to take any serious steps to stop or even condemn the coup, such as freezing the US bank accounts of the participants or participating with the OAS which has unequivocally condemned the coup and has refused to recognize any president elected under the current regime. This sends a clear message to other Latin American countries that the US will tolerate coups, provided they are carried out under a democratic guise.


Right after the coup, the IMF immediately made a $164M loan to the coup leaders.


Both the UN, the EU, the OAS and even Clinton appointed mediator Oscar Arias, have called for an end to the coup and the return of Zelaya to power.


The US is one of only a handful of countries that recognize the current government. The EU, OAS and most other countries of the world do not recognize the coup government or the election carried out on 11/29/09.