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Chairperson of US Congress committee on Foreign Affairs demands : "Honduras - call it a Coup!"

category international | crime and justice | other press author Thursday September 03, 2009 15:27author by über pleb - (iosaf) Report this post to the editors

"This one looks, walks and quacks like a duck. It's time to stop hedging and call this bird what it is."

So writes Howard L. Berman, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee in this morning's LA Times in an opinion article which demands that the US State deparment under Hillary Clinton formally declare the Honduran crises as coup & thus cut all funding. His call is significant for several reasons.

Yesterday the usurpist regime of Honduras who are farcically now engaged in a presidential and parlimentary election campaign revealed that they had received 150.1 million US dollars on August 28th from the IMF. They will receive a further payment of 13.8 million US dollars next week.

They immediately crowed that they had were being respected and taken seriously. The total 163,000,000$ were allocated by the IMF through G20 development funding.


This is the second time this summer that a chairperson of a US House committee has taken to publishing their criticism of Hillary Clinton's State Department treatment of Latin America. In an appendix comment to part 1 of my current series on Latin America and US bases, I explained how the Senate Foreign relations committee has also been writing letters protesting the lack of constitutional consultation on the Colombian bases.


The less powerful but not much less weighty House Foreign Affairs Committee it seems now joins fellow Democrats in wondering aloud at what exactly the game of Hillary Clinton's State Department is.

"The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a "coup d'etat" as "a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group."

So far, the United States has taken a measured approach to this matter, allowing negotiations between Latin American leaders and the de facto Honduran government to run their course. But our patience is not without end, and President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, the U.N. General Assembly and the Organization of American States have already put the label to good use."


"This one looks, walks and quacks like a duck. It's time to stop hedging and call this bird what it is. And if, for whatever reason, the State Department lawyers do not conclude that this was a coup, Congress should examine other ways by which it can directly affect the flow of aid."

"Cutting off assistance is a blunt instrument, one that should not be wielded lightly. It can affect livelihoods and families and industries, in addition to targeting those at the top. But Honduras will hold presidential and parliamentary elections Nov. 29, and every passing day gives Micheletti and his associates the chance to tighten their illegitimate hold on the reins of power."

this of course is the position taken by LASC's analyst known as "attrition". ( c/f http://www.indymedia.ie/article/93002 ) .

US Congressman Berman also writes :-

"And if, for whatever reason, the State Department lawyers do not conclude that this was a coup, Congress should examine other ways by which it can directly affect the flow of aid.

He then qualifies his position with the usual political skill :-

"The de facto government claims that Zelaya was trying to subvert the Honduran Constitution and convert the country into a satellite of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. That may be. But having soldiers take Zelaya out of the country at gunpoint is an insult to decades of Latin America's hard-won, historic struggle with democracy.

No matter what we think of Zelaya (and I don't think highly of him) and his actions to change the Honduran Constitution, it is a fact that his mandate to govern was gained in a fully transparent election.

You can read his piece in its entirety here :

last link to IMC Ireland's pages on the Honduran crises and obviously other articles on the current geopolitical insecurity in Latin America.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/openwire?search_text=honduras&x=0&y=0
author by iosafpublication date Fri Sep 04, 2009 08:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On cue (the above article which reported a "kite-flying" exercise in the LA Times), the US State Department under Hillary Clinton has indeed cut all US non-humanitarian aid to Honduras - about $30m which would have followed June's coup. Honduras looks set to lose a total of $200m because of this decision. Which we may note is less than it would get from the EU but only 50m more than it has got this month from the IMF courtesy of the G20. We may also note that US humanitarian aid is still available for Hondurans who most likely are scouring the skies as I write awaiting a delivery of rice, noodles, swine flu vaccines or colored pencils by stealth bomber air drop. For such humanitarianism is the USA famed.

According to the BBC, the state department said the US needed to take strong action given the failure of the replacement regime to restore "democratic, constitutional rule".

This has all coincided with a meeting between Zelaya and Clinton in Washington where as far as I can tell he has been now for at least three days. "With this decision of the United States, the countries of the Americas have formed a single bloc in condemning the coup," Mr Zelaya was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

* The US has also decided it isn't to going to recognise the results of the general & presidential elections. A State department spokesperson commenting : "There's a sense that the de facto regime was thinking if we can just get to an election that this will absolve them of all their sins. That is not the case." I hope you all understand the gravity of the "no absolution" thing - for surely and most verily these Americans are merciless in their rightousness.

The BBC English pages have actually made quite an effort in the small hours for us Europeans to put together (for once) an informative article on this. It breaks down what the now suspended aid was going to be used for. They've even given a sidebar to their analyst Stephen Gibbs who explains to us that the Honduran regime can quite probably do without thier new highway and aren't facing an all out US trade embargo any time soon.


= quite. no embargo. no tough words. no proper analysis of human rights issues or the funding from the G20 and US corporate interests in Honduras but loads of attention trumpeted for a mild scolding.

We're still at the three hail mary stage of contrition for this attrition style coup d'etat and Honduras aint Cuba.

Nonetheless Brazil has stepped up its pressure and is now refusing to grant visa applications to Hondurans, as in any of them - worker, student, holiday maker or in-law relative of a Brazilian family.

& to mark that significance of that Zelaya has announced (for the fourth time since the coup) that he will attempt a return to Honduras in the next few days. Each time he does that he talks about blood and uses religious language, without actually doing an Iranian green revolution martyrdom vibe which seems so popular with young fans of U2.

Every, as in each time, other Honduran people die and he doesn't get restored. But that's very good for keeping the morale up and awakening the political spirit of Hondurans.

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