Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

August 20, 2009

La verdad silenciada de Honduras :: The truth of Honduras Silenced, Vicenç Navarro

The most widespread interpretation of why there was a military coup in Honduras (reproduced in the five most widely distributed newspapers in Spain) is that this happened to stop the attempt by President Zelaya to "remain in power." The daily more active in promoting this explanation has been the military correspondent with The News in Latin America, Joaquim Ibarz interviewed none other than the general who carried out the coup, Romeo Vasquez, giving the opportunity for justification, indicating that military intervention was fully constitutional, necessary to prevent this prolonged Zelaya power. Ibarz also met Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, which also justified the coup by referring to the need to restore legality, interrupted by President Zelaya. It is interesting to note that 70 years ago in Spain, La Vanguardia(Godó property of the family, who supported the military coup of 1936) - justified the coup by General Franco against the Popular Front, with arguments similar to used now for the coup in Honduras. According to La Vanguardia Spanish (18-07-40), the Popular Front Government, democratically elected, had violated the Constitution, being necessary to his overthrow by the national uprising to restore legality.

The conservative bias of the media coverage of what is happening in Honduras explained that none of those interviewed five rotary Honduran personalities known for their opposition to the military coup. In doing so, as have several U.S. media, the readers of these newspapers would have information that today lack. In addition to interviewing the progolpista Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, La Vanguardia could have interviewed, for example, the archbishop of Copan in Honduras, Villena Luis Alfonso Santos, who in interviews she gave to the Catholic News Service (04-08-09) and CNN television network (06-08-09) indicated that "some say that Manuel Zelaya threatened democracy by proposing to change the Constitution. But the poor know that Zelaya of Honduras raised the minimum wage. This is what they know. That they are aware of who defended the poor. This is why we are now in the streets, blocking roads and demanding the return of Zelaya.

President Zelaya, among many other popular measures, doubled the minimum wage, a measure that angered employers Honduras; provide free school meals (72% of Honduran children in rural areas have problems of malnutrition) and vetoed the proposal National Assembly to ban the use of the postcoital pill. These policies have changed the attitude of the working classes towards the Zelaya government. As the peasant leader Rafael Alegria, "Zelaya gave hope to the people." Trade unions and peasant and indigenous people, who were supporting Zelaya, when establishment of the Honduran, had these sectors against. But to the extent that these forces were supporting popular Zelaya, the oligarchy was mobilizing to stop the process. As the Archbishop Luis Alfonso Santos: "It's a mistake to assume (as the media) that Honduras had a democracy and that the National Assembly to represent the majority of the Honduran population. In fact, we never had democracy in Honduras. What we have is an electoral system where the people are given the opportunity to choose between candidates who were elected by the political elite. The population is not represented by either the House or by the Supreme Court, chosen by the rich of the country. We are the most corrupt country in Central America. We can not say that we have a democracy in which people participate in decisions. "

In fact, even the U.S. State Department's report on "Human Rights in Honduras in 2008 had indicated that" although the Constitution (Honduras), speaking of an independent legal system, such a system is poorly funded with few resources subject to a corruption of patronage and influence multiple policies. The Supreme Court appointed by the two major parties lacks autonomy and is clearly politically influenced, within a culture of corruption ". It was this that the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the president following the orders of the two political parties which dominated the Assembly Nacional.El new president, Roberto Micheletti, was a powerful voice during the military dictatorship and authoritarian government that followed. According to The New York Times (08-08-09), her campaign chief in the last election, Billy Joya, was leader of the political police in the eighties, which is responsible for the torture and disappearances that characterized that period. Today's coup the new government advisor on security issues. As the Archbishop Luis Alfonso, "the people behind the coup were not Democrats. They conspired to prepare before the blow and then found the arguments to justify it. They do not care that children die of hunger or people dying in hospitals because of lack of medicines "(July 29 interview on Radio Progreso Jesuit). The new government has launched a brutal repression that has been unable to stop the ongoing popular mobilizations and strikes against the coup.

In the U.S., the top defender of the counter-revolutionary government is lawyer Lanny Davis, representing the Chamber of Commerce in Honduras and was in its day, the legal representative of the Pakistani dictatorship of General Musharraf. Today he advises, also, the U.S. business world in their attempt to derail the bill that would facilitate the unionization of workers in the U.S.. He was also an advisor to President Clinton and candidate Hillary Clinton, who today is the government Obama more tolerant government coup. All these data are unknown to readers of those five rotary.

Vicente Navarro is Professor of Public Policy at the Pompeu Fabra University and Professor of Policy Studies at The Johns Hopkins University

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