FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Honduran Coup Over?

by GREG GRANDIN

Bloomberg is reporting that Honduran coup leader, Roberto Micheletti has accepted the Arias plan, which means — if true — that Manuel Zelaya will be, with conditions, as president. Though Micheletti is still begging for time, saying he needs Arias’s help in convincing his co-coup leaders to agree.

The terms are unclear about what is covered in the Arias’ amnesty, but it is doubtful there will be any investigation or prosecution of the human-rights violations that have taken place, including nine, perhaps ten murders, all against Zelaya supporters, over the last month.

The very fact that there are conditions on Zelaya’s return, and that there were negotiations, granted legitimacy to the coup leaders. But, and this is a big but, the very fact of Zelaya’s return is important for three reasons:

1. The momentum building in Honduras could continue, including an emerging alliance between the traditional, organized left (unions, peasant organizations, politicians), new social movements, real democrats, and the long-suppressed reformist wing of the liberal part (of course, it could fizzle out; if this new alliance put its energies into backing a presidential candidate in the coming elections, which are presumably advanced from November to take place in October, and that candidate lost, it could effectively end any energy (but right now, social movements are saying that no matter what the Arias accords say, they plan to still push the idea of a constitutional amendment). .

2. Potential coup plotters in neighboring Guatemala, and possibly El Salvador, must be discouraged. They were hoping Honduras might offer a model to follow, what with peasants on the march in Guatemala (protesting, among other things, transnational mining and biofuels) and a center-left president in office who refuses to repress them, and the FMLN in power in El Salvador. If Zelaya returns, this is a set back for them.

3. Perhaps most important on an international level, it delays the maturation of the budding alliance between neoliberals like Lanny Davis (who stands in for the broader Clinton camp) and neo-cons like Reich and Roger Noriega, who have developed close ties with Colombia, Venezuelan self-exiles, and displaced neoliberals from Bolivia. It also strengthens the relatively more sane tendency within the Obama foreign-policy coalition. One underreported aspect of the coup is that Nike, Adidas, Gap, and Knights Apparel lobbied Washington to restore Zelaya. They have maquilas in San Pedro Sula and were afraid of further labor unrest, which I guess is what passes these days for the modernizing bourgeoisie…

Also, the chronology of the diplomacy has been interesting:

1. coup

2. US responds tepidly, but when the rest of Latin America, the OAS, and the EU condemns the coup forcefully, Obama responds in kind.

3. South America, having solved without US help in a very impressive fashion two regional crises last year (Bolivia and Ecuador/Colombia) seems to let the US take the lead on this, since it is taking place in an area squarely in its sphere of influence; White House defers to State Department, which enlists Costa Rica and Oscar Arias to negotiate, despite the fact that OAS and most of South America opposed granting that degree of legitimacy to coup plotters

4. Coup government initially rejects Arias plan, indicating that US can’t even curb this client state, the third poorest in the hemisphere

5. Zelaya threatens to return over land, prompting State Department – embarrassed by the breakdown of Costa Rican talks – to call Zelaya “reckless.” But Zelaya’s presence on Honduras’s southern border ramps up pressure on coup regime, which begins to accuse Zelayas’ supporters of receiving money from Colombia’s FARC (the FARC must be brimming with money, for left politicians from Honduras to Ecuador are accused of being on its payroll).

6. At the same time, South America, both individual countries like Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela and collectively through Mercosur (which met last week in Paraguay), return to putting pressure on Washington to put pressure on Honduras.

7.Washington revokes visas of coup plotters, perhaps signaling that the game is over.

8. Micheletti – just days after publishing an op-ed in the WSJ probably ghost written by Otto Reich or Lanny Davis– throws in towel, hopefully.

So once again, South America comes to Washington’s rescue…

GREG GRANDIN teaches Latin American history at NYU and is the author of the Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, The United States, and The Rise of the New Imperialism, from which this essay has been excerpted. He can be reached at: gjg4@nyu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
May 31, 2016
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Imperial Blues: On Whitewashing Dictatorship in the 21st Century
Vijay Prashad
Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions
Uri Avnery
What Happened to Netanyahu?
Corey Payne
Reentry Through Resistance: Détente with Cuba was Accomplished Through Resistance and Solidarity, Not Imperial Benevolence
Patrick Howlett-Martin
Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation
Bill Quigley
From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani’s Fight for Human Rights
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump, Sanders and the Exhaustion of a Political Model
Bruce Lerro
“Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today
Robert Hunziker
Chile’s Robocops
Aidan O'Brien
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
Binoy Kampmark
Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action
Colin Todhunter
The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns
Dave Welsh
Jessica Williams, 29: Another Black Woman Gunned Down By Police
Gary Leupp
Rules for TV News Anchors, on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail