'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Importance of Honduras 

From the UN News Center:

Latin American leaders today called for a return to power of José Manuel Zelaya following the recent coup d’état in Honduras, stressing that political will is vital to confronting and overcoming threats against peace, development and democracy.

The leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and El Salvador used their addresses to the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate to express their concern about the ongoing political situation in the Central American country.

Since Monday, Mr. Zelaya, who was forced from office in late June, has been seeking refuge in the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

“Unless there is political will, we will see more coups like the one that toppled the constitutional President of Honduras,” said Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“The international community demands that Mr. Zelaya immediately return to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of Brazil’s diplomatic mission in the capital of Honduras,” he added.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said it was crucial that the international community became aware that it would set a “very serious” precedent in the region if it failed to devise a strong multilateral strategy to return democracy to Honduras.

Multilateralism means all countries must accept common and general rules, such as basic democratic values and respect for human rights, she said.

In his address Carlos Mauricio Funes, President of El Salvador, said the “de facto government [in Tegucigalpa] has not heeded the clamour of the international community that Honduras return in the shortest time possible to constitutional order.”

Meanwhile, any elections organized by the de facto authorities will lack the necessary legitimacy and transparency to ensure credible results that can contribute to resolving the crisis, he stressed.

“We must close all possibility of returning to the era of authoritarianism or military or civil-military dictatorships. We must not let the coup in Honduras become a precedent that would endanger the gains made with regard to stability and regional institutional democracy.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration remains remarkably passive. Do we live in an age in which even the President is incapable of resisting an alliance of indigenous oligarchs and their right wing supporters in the US bent upon reimposing their autocratic control over Central and South America? It calls to mind the effort by East German President Honecker and his conservative allies within the Kremlin to bring down Gorbachev in the mid to late 1980s, an effort that culminated in the 1990 coup after the fall of the wall. Is even Obama himself threatened by a similar international coalition of reaction?

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