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Coup in Honduras: the return of the gorillas or the tactics of attrition?

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday July 03, 2009 00:15author by José Antonio Gutiérrez Report this post to the editors

This article deals with the coup in Honduras. Written by José Antonio Gutiérrez, it was translated into English by Molly Mew. Full article text at link. pc

The flashing sabers have once again shown their edge in Latin America: the coups d'etat and destabilization processes orchestrated from Washington have succeeded in countries where governments are implementing reform that may be uncomfortable for the digestion of the hemispheric elite-Venezuela 2002; Haiti 2004, Bolivia 2008. This time Honduras' turn has come, a country whose president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by the military and exiled to Costa Rica. While Zelaya was kidnapped by soldiers in Congress a letter written by Zelaya was read (which turned out to be false) in which he renounced his position as president. At the same time, and while several MPs complained that the conduct of the president put at risk the "rule of law" and accused him of multiple violations of the Constitution real and imaginary, he was removed from office, which was assumed by the Congress president , Roberto Micheletti (who is also from Zelaya's Liberal Party).

The coup happened on the same day that a non-binding public consultation, called by Zelaya would have taken place regarding the need to change the Constitution, drafted in 1982, when the country was just emerging from an extremely brutal military dictatorship supported by U.S. who wielded power from 1972 to 1981. If the results were favorable to constitutional change a Constituent Assembly would be convened in November.

This proposal met fierce opposition from the most reactionary sectors of the Honduran oligarchy who control the legislature, the Supreme Court and the Army, and are gathered under the undisputed leadership of the ultra-conservative National Party of Honduras. These sectors are opposed to reforms that could produce minor questioning of their dominanation of Honduras. The judiciary, in coordination with its allies in the Legislature, were quick to declare the referndum unconstitutional on Thursday June 25, bringing about the scene for the coup . The tanks took to the streets Sunday, July 28, to the residence of Zelaya, and by this canceled the referendum and ended (or believed settled ), by force, the push and pull between the state powers [1].

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author by iosafpublication date Fri Jul 03, 2009 00:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I too really liked how Hugo Chavez described them as "gorillas". But as I wrote in the extensive comments to a short article which has been convering the Honduran coup d'etat(s) before they merited global atttention - the first days of coup d'etats are the longest nights.

We are now most definitely in the longest nights when the usurpers suspend human rights and the constitution on a nightly basis thus allowing them to disappear whomever they wish, perhaps in pyjamas like they almost disappeared Zelaya.

But what is most important for us in social movements, I address this to José Antonio the writer of this piece and contributor to IMC Ireland as much as all readers - is not the game of two lost presidents but the campaign to free political prisoners & expose properly the interest groups who planned the first coup, are believed to have promoted the second coup and are actively engaged in consoliditating the third coup.

I refer to three different coups because that's what I see.

I refer to two lost presidents because neither Zelaya nor the usurper Micheletti have any useful political future now beyond November 2009.

This coup (& / or) regime change (&/or) market manipulation of cash crops, pharmoceuticals or military industrial complex toys has now gone geopolitically beyond the script of either its condemnation or justification. We knew at first this meant more than Honduras and the Hondurans. But how many of us have now realised it means more than just the threat to "traditionally poor Americans" constitutionalism but also is a threat to "medicare poor Americans from the America we don't prefix with either South, North or Latin?

my prediction and ongoing coverage of this story can be read at this link :-

If you look really carefully at this iconic image of hard to see colors - you note that all the chaps are lifting the same flag.
If you look really carefully at this iconic image of hard to see colors - you note that all the chaps are lifting the same flag.

author by Pepepublication date Fri Jul 03, 2009 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The term gorilla is not an invention of Chavez, but a widespread term used to describe in Latin America the military dictatorships of the '60s and '70s. Therefore the title makes sense if you know that history behind: are we going back to the dictatorships in the style of Pinochet or is this more like the Haitian case in 1991 a tactic of attrition? Whatever the case the most important thing is not to let the defence of the "rule of law" discourse obscure the fact that what we are witnessing is class struggle exacerbated by a rancid oligarchy hostile to the mildest reform.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Jul 03, 2009 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I reckon it's more like Haiti - The gorillas aren't in sunglasses this time.

& I wrote that there are clear parallels to Haiti and the removal of Aristide yesterday in a comment to the other article. In fact all over the left people are linking those parallels and dotting dots which go back to the "southern brigade" of American military co-operation run out of the Pentagon.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 03, 2009 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The Gorillas are among us" was a book on the Pinochet coup, written by Juan Prieto and published by Pluto Press.

Maybe we need a Simian Bolivar Brigade to deal with these Gorillas.

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