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From Coup-Lite to Truth-Lite: 10 Ways the U.S. Fought Democracy in Honduras

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Posted on Jan 13, 2010
AP / Arnulfo Franco

Soldiers and police stand guard near the Brazilian Embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where Honduras’ ousted President Manuel Zelaya has been sheltered since sneaking back into the country in September.

By Andrés Thomas Conteris

(Page 2)

2. Last August, at the Summit of North American Leaders in Mexico, President Obama had harsh words for opponents of his policy, declaring: “The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening. … I think what that indicates is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations. ...”
The continuing U.S. intervention and hypocrisy in Honduras go well beyond what Mark Weisbrot and I have described. Aid continues to flow to the de facto regime, despite U.S. law that mandates cutting aid to military coups; that is intervention. Lifting the symbolic sanctions temporarily imposed on the dictatorship after the accord was signed but not implemented, that is intervention. Bestowing harsher criticism on President Zelaya and his nonviolent supporters than on the perpetrators of gross human rights crimes, that is hypocrisy.

1. Here in the Brazilian Embassy, incoming death threats are part of the psychological warfare directed against those who continue to accompany Zelaya. Elsewhere in Honduras: Resistance leader Carlos Turcios was kidnapped and beheaded Dec. 16; two members of the United Peasant Movement of Aguan were abducted by four hooded men Dec. 17; and resistance member Edwin Renán Fajardo, 22, was tortured and murdered Dec. 22. In an open letter to fellow Central American presidents Dec. 28, Zelaya cited more than 4,000 human rights violations by the coup regime, including 130 killings, more than 450 people wounded, more than 3,000 illegal detentions, and the political imprisonment of 114 people.
The silence of the U.S. government over the last six months regarding the ongoing human rights violations by the golpistas in Honduras confirms that the Obama regime has sought to support a death-squad democracy, rather than reinstating the nation’s elected leader.

That is intervention. That is hypocrisy.

Andrés Thomas Conteris is director of Program on the Americas, for Nonviolence International, and works with “ ‘Democracy Now!’ en Español.”

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By ardee, January 19, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

Rob C., January 18 at 7:16 pm

Are you really that typically blind, as only a middle class bourgeoisie can be? Of course, Facebook will give us the opinion of the typical Honduran citizen, typical in that he/she can afford a computer in the first place…..Sorry to be a bit harsh, but you seemingly have no clue as to the real world.

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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, January 19, 2010 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

Tito, you’re so right. AFRICOM is our East India
Trading Company. Ironically India is
like…gosh…that’s a hard one, but they’re in
there. China is like Germany and Holland. It’s old-
school imperial mayhem over there. It’s all about
blocking China’s (and to a certain extend Russia’s)
access to energy and minerals. All the hail the old
US Hegemony. As usual it’s was ALL spelled out by Brzezinski ages ago. Famine. Civil war. Chaos.
Disease. But it all just smells like cash to the big
machine. So sad. Can you point me to some reporting
on it? Is http://atimes.com (Asia Times) or
http://rt.com (Russia Today) reporting on it? They
are often pretty excellent these days compared to our
media over here. Give me some good links and I’ll
spread them around as best as I can.

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By Rob C., January 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you want the truth about what the (Honduran) people want, and what they think is right, they appropriate people should be surveyed.

Registered citizens, local small-business owners, and “el pueblo”... The law-abiding community. Not Zelaye’s hand-puppets, “hired help”, or anyone with alterior political/ economical motives.

As unofficial or unregulated as it may sound, a simple social website such as “FaceBook” would illustrate the “people’s” opinion, and demonstrate who is liked & what is “just” for the Honduran people.

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By tp, January 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beware geese, the fox (Aaron Ortiz & Dick Tryon) are sucking the decoy eggs!
tp

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By ardee, January 16, 2010 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Lest we forget..

Mr. Ortiz first arrived here as a defender of the Honduran coup, claiming it was a perfectly legal action under the constitution of that nation.

I imagine that, in the face of world wide opposition to that coup, as well as the impossibility of disguising the pig, he now returns admitting the illegality of the kidnapping and expulsion of a duly elected President but takes the position that sometimes evil is necessary to perform good…..

In summation, I believe this guy is simply a paid agent of the far right which has ruled Central and South America for generations and now sees control slipping away. I think his task rather more than difficult, and applaud the trending we see, populism rising and fascism in descent, thus forcing Ortiz and his ilk to attack Chavez, DaSilva,Morales
and, of course, Zelaya on spurious grounds.

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By tp, January 16, 2010 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Dick Tryon, January 15 at 4:51 pm #

What’s your point Dick?


tp

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By Tito, January 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am new to this site.. and pleasently found it truly informative of divert news..as its name boldly shouts Truthdig is deserving..Ok My request to you is please continue covering the most under reported humantrian crisis under fascitic ethno-racist regime in Ethiopia. I encourge your readers and writers of the site to look into this and Truthdig…than to say later I am sorry it happened..The crisis so deep and complex that even the emerging powers-China,India -are involved not in small maeasures..The geopolitics in the region(horn of Africa) is a replay of power politics of the new and veteran superpowers..with fudematalist Islam(replacing Soviet Communism)the bogey man..resouces hunting(gas,vast arable land for large scale agro-industry to produce enough crops for the new emerging middle class in india and china..)The regime in Ethiopia is client state which is not new in Africa..what is new is stalinst State( it is a totaliatrian state with human face)doing the bid for the highest bidder..
dig deep..and make it an issue..

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By ardee, January 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Aaron Ortiz, January 15 at 12:39 pm #

I am sorry Ardee. I am not the person you are attacking.

Nope, it’s you actually.

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By Dick Tryon, January 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi tp,
Your wrote and I embed in [comments]

By Dick Tryon, January 14 at 10:46 pm #

You asked:
Has Chavez created opportunities for the people of Central or S. America? I think yes. I think the price of a gal of gasoline is about a 25 cents in his country. [Isn’t that close to what it was ten years ago? Many poor countries that produce oil for rich dictators sell the stuff locally to look good.Chávez even sends fuel oil to parts of the U.S. to try to show his power to steal from his people and give it for political purposes elsewhere. That is not impressive to me]The peasants there are now covered with universal health care just as the people in Cuba are.[Have you seen how few in Cuba get the common care given to the political class?] They have access to education for the first time under Chavez.[Schools are not new. What they teach may be. I once read a book in Moscow in the U.S. Embassy written by a Russian who told of the great good news, bad news.  Yes, they improved literacy,but failed to keep people from finding and reading the truth.I do not expect Chávez to inspire scholars]


How about us Dick? What are we doing about the people in our country that don’t have health care Dick, besides making them buy insurance that they can’t afford and will be too expensive for then to use? [Most citizens who have established good work capacity to earn via sufficient education,have insurance that is far more affordable than what is now promised.You can not make doctors add more customers than they can handle, pay less, and expect to maintain quality, and medical care is not without expense for someone to pay]

Yes, to answer your question Dick, Chavez is giving the people in other countries of Latin America and S. America hope. They now feel it is possible for them to have the same kind of care that he is providing his people. [I doubt seriously that Chávez can manufacture quality care by fiat. He can appear to do so by taking from those who work and giving to those who did not find a way to learn or to work]It is possible if they just get together and nationalize the companies, mostly foreign oil companies and mining companies, that are ripping them off, and stay active and demand the same thing of their country leaders.[You seem to view all foreign investment as evil efforts to steal from those


As for Haiti, Venezuela sent doctors and medical supplies while the US is sending in the military. Our wonder investors are eye-balling the real estate for beach front property now.
Dick if you would like to understand how this money making country of ours works, read the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Of course we’ve already looted Haiti to the max but with all the destruction there is always another dollar that could be made by the likes of Heritage Foundation.


You want to know what most of us are doing to help Haiti. Well, most of us are struggling to make ends meet after the Republicans(This includes Bill Clinton. He compromised every social aspect of the progressives and actually deregulated these tyrants) basically opened the doors to the Wall Street Bankster gamblers who stuck it to all of us. So we are unable to hop on a transport and go help. We would like to help but we just can’t afford it, thanks to the Bush’s, Clinton, Reagan, Tricky Dick Nixon, Trickier Dick Cheney and Obama for just handing our futures to the Banksters. We do give what we can but we have to be very careful that some so called humanitarian rich guy isn’t taking our money as the Red Cross did for the victims of 911 and kept it for there future expenses, which covered the million dollar price tag paying the salary of the president of the Red Cross, another executive rip off.



tp

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 15, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

I am sorry Ardee. I am not the person you are attacking. You are attacking a
projection of your hatred of people who don’t share your mindset. I do not
support fascism.

I am not willing to fight back, because hatred doesn’t illuminate, or create
constructive conversations, which is the reason I comment.

Report this

By tp, January 15, 2010 at 6:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Dick Tryon, January 14 at 10:46 pm #

You asked:
Has Chavez created opportunities for the people of Central or S. America? I think yes. I think the price of a gal of gasoline is about a 25 cents in his country. The peasants there are now covered with universal health care just as the people in Cuba are. They have access to educatin for the first time under Chavez.


How about us Dick? What are we doing about the people in our country that don’t have health care Dick, besides making them buy insurance that they can’t afford and will be too expensive for then to use?

Yes, to answer your question Dick, Chavez is giving the people in other countries of Latin America and S. America hope. They now feel it is possible for them to have the same kind of care that he is providing his people. It is possible if they just get together and nationalize the companies, mostly foreign oil companies and mining companies, that are ripping them off, and stay active and demand the same thing of their country leaders.


As for Haiti, Venezuela sent doctors and medical supplies while the US is sending in the military. Our wonder investors are eye-balling the real estate for beach front property now.
Dick if you would like to understand how this money making country of ours works, read the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Of course we’ve already looted Haiti to the max but with all the destruction there is always another dollar that could be made by the likes of Heritage Foundation.


You want to know what most of us are doing to help Haiti. Well, most of us are struggling to make ends meet after the Republicans(This includes Bill Clinton. He compromised every social aspect of the progressives and actually deregulated these tyrants) basically opened the doors to the Wall Street Bankster gamblers who stuck it to all of us. So we are unable to hop on a transport and go help. We would like to help but we just can’t afford it, thanks to the Bush’s, Clinton, Reagan, Tricky Dick Nixon, Trickier Dick Cheney and Obama for just handing our futures to the Banksters. We do give what we can but we have to be very careful that some so called humanitarian rich guy isn’t taking our money as the Red Cross did for the victims of 911 and kept it for there future expenses, which covered the million dollar price tag paying the salary of the president of the Red Cross, another executive rip off.


If you have any other questions Dick, please feel free to ask. But, remember it is a feeling that most of us are worried about. That’s the feeling free thing. Thanks to Bush’s war on terror the constitution has been riddled. So, take care in what you assume to be your freedom.

 
tp

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By ardee, January 15, 2010 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

Aaron Ortiz, January 14 at 4:21 pm

Sometimes the ethical thing to do is to break the law, which is what General Romeo Vasquez did when he exiled Zelaya to Costa Rica.

I wondered how long it would take for the usual supporter of fascism in Central and South America to make his appearance. I do note that , from a position that the coup acted in accord with the Honduran constitution, Mr. Propagandist Ortiz has devolved into admitting the criminality of the act.

One small step for this man, one giant leap in opposition to the right wingers who seek to stifle and defeat the forces of populism as represented by an increasing number of leaders in our Southern Hemisphere. Morales, Ortega, Chavez, Funes and Zelaya all panic the privileged elite of this region, thus the appearance of this paid propagandist here.

Make no mistake about it, this is about the threat to the oil companies and the various entrenched business elite who are seriously opposed to the raising up of the millions of poor people at the heart of the new left agenda that is gaining support rather rapidly..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/mar/18/el-salvador-election

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By lichen, January 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Aaron Ortiz’s propaganda is ridiculous; and actually, no, it was not acceptable to procure an arrest warrant for Zelaya.  He was not a socialist, but he was very popular with the majority of the people (who are poor) because he raised wages and improved their lives.  A constituent assembly is something democratic; the resulting document reflects the will of the people, as opposed to a constitution written by a military dictatorship. 

Venezeula had nothing to do with it; and Venezeuala is not socialist or communist either; rather, Chavez has just written a lot of programs into law such as public schools that have lifted people out of miserable poverty; and those affected by that in Honduras do want it; they do want a job with good working conditions as opposed to a sweatshop.  The largely center-left governments rising up in Latin America do not deserve red-scare propaganda, nor do they pose any danger except to the extremely wealthy who don’t want to contribute to society.

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By DieDaily, January 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Aaron Ortiz, good points. But it still was a coup,
albeit barely and by the thinnest technicality. Had
it not been a coup then the military would not have
been involved. After all, the warrant for his arrest
was valid and constitutional and it should merely
have been handled by the police.

A blogger named Kathleen Moore makes this interesting
observation:

“There is an international Communist-led gang-rape of
Honduras, by the UN, the OAS, and the Obama White
House, who all NEED to destroy the Honduran
Constitution to replace it with CAFTA and Central
American Union, to link up UNASUR (South American
Union, signed 23 May 2008) with the incoming North
American Union, to achieve Western Hemispheric Union,
for which the OAS is the precursor. We are on our way
to a Communist world government, this is not a chess
game, it’s an END-GAME.”

Calling it “Communist” is sheer prejudice…I would
say “Corporatist/Globalist” or “Neoliberal” work
better, but she is correct in essence. The evidence
actually supports the notion that in an odd exception
to the general rule, this was one “coup” that our
twisted leadership was actually against! The “coup”
restored the constitution and maintained the
sovereignty and democracy of Honduras. After all, he
was trying to revise the constitution and was duly
convicted for it. Make no mistake, though, our
bloodthirsty jackals and economic hit men have their
fingerprints all over this.

How did we become the greatest force opposing
democracy and the will of the people across the
globe? What will it take to make us vigilant? I fear
that the answer is “calamity”. We’ve been exporting
calamity for some time now. It’s going to come home
to roost in an ugly, ugly way.

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By Dick Tryon, January 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Andrés,
Do you really think that the Constitution of Honduras, and its Congress were created by military dictators that allowed Manuel Zelaya to be freely elected in a democratic election process? Were they created just so they could stop a traitor, who tried to look to Hugo Cháves as a man with skills to help the people of Honduras?

Why would Chávez care for anyone other than himself? Has he created any opportunities for the people of Central or S. America? Or does he just look for ways to steal existing value to spread around while holding on to whatever he needs to stay in control?

Do you or others in the Zelaya camp see any way to help the people now in Haiti? If so, what are you doing as compared to others from such places as the U.S. and scores of other places- even Puerto Rico! We have little to give here, but we respond and have a plane waiting to take off with men to help.

What are you doing?

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By gerard, January 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

After suffering for centuries from the results of Europe’s religious wars, smart people finally got the idea that their governments were victims of the Church. Gradually the idea of “separation of church and state” won some victories for more democratic regimes, one of which was the U.S. (The church would still like to return to the past, but that is more or less unlikely, short of a terrible hair-raising calamity which would scare people back to religion not as a “choice” but as a “requirement.”)
  Sadly, we are now suffering from a somewhat similar situation regarding the too-close relationship of corporate (money) power and government (otherwise known as State capitalism (fascism in its extreme form). We are searching for ways short of armed revolution to separate exploitative corporate power from government.
  As long as the military backs up corporations at the expense of “the people” this change is going to be more difficult than necessary.  We see such struggles working themselves out all over Central and South America (and Africa) where U.S. (and other) corporations are heavily involved in influencing governments and trying to either forestall or direct change. 
  In such situations, the interests of competing nations and their stockholders almost always outweigh the interests of “the people.” If the interests of ordinary people are to become of first importance, it will be those people who will make themselves heard one way or another and corporations will have to bow to “the people” in the direction of humanitarianism and social justice. Or else.
  Violence is the trap that stands open, ready to catch anyone who steps into it. New ways have to be invented, practiced and perfected.  It’s a challenge not to spring the trap out of sheer frustration, but we all sense that to spring that trap would be sheer madness.
  The world has seen and is seeing more than enough madness. New and more humane methods have been forecast but not yet institutionalized and enforced. Freeing ourselves from the blandishments of the military-industrial complex is one step.  Freeing ourselves from consumerism in favor of a sustainable economy is another.  We pretty much know what has to be done, and are beginning to understand how it must be done.  We are struggling for the confidence to do it.

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By lichen, January 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

The brutal, disgusting right wing sweatshop-owner/military/oligarchy coup that took Zelaya’s government out of power was a terrible blow against the country’s sovereignty and democracy, and it was all brought to you by the US; they could have stopped it, they CHOSE not to, and the rich and powerful at the head of the US government are 100% responsible for their actions.  The coup government has been emboldened, and is now sending out death squads to kill the leaders of the popular movement against the coup, which is shaping up to be something much broader, that can hopefully build something stronger that can’t be torn down by hillary clinton and anti-castro scum.

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By Mayponce, January 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Move along, nothing to see here-don’t you realize that it’s all about IRAN, IRAN, IRAN.

Honduras? Who give’s a flying fuck, what do they produce, bannanas? IRAN’s main export is evil and they must be stopped at all costs!

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By tp, January 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Aaron Ortiz, January 14 at 4:21 pm #


You’ve got to be kidding us. You don’t really think the people of Honduras enjoy the likes of our country ripping off their resources. Do you actually think they’re OK with our country training military dictators to keep them at bey while we help load their national gold mine treasure to be divided up by some Canadian mining company and we eat their goods at rock bottom prices while their children work for pennies a day after which they go home to a house with dirt floors?



Go suck on your silver spoon or the ass of a silver spoon sucker.

We need a little social minded activity in this country instead of that cut throat greed minded attitude you are displaying in your comment. We need nationalize the banks too big to fail and get a single payer health care system like Cuba who actually have humanitarian activities all over the world. 


tp

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By ShelleyP, January 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting, but a seriously false premise.  There was no coup. 

Zelaya, in an unprecedented move, tried to (by presidential decree) overturn the Honduran constitution’s long-standing term limit clause, effectively allowing him to run the country indefinitely (can you say ‘dictator’?).  The Honduran Supreme Court, as well as the Honduran legislative body, intervened and, with the help of a security force comprised of military personnel, physically removed him from office.  Because of the use of military personnel, and the long history in Latin America of military juntas, it is assumed that this was a military coup.  The fact is that all that happened was armed security guards were required to drag their outgoing President kicking and screaming from an office he refused to leave in order to allow the newly elected President to take office.

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

The entire crisis was caused by imperialist ambitions
of countries who have no business meddling in
Honduras. I am not talking about the US primarily,
but about Venezuela, and in second place, the US.

This crisis is not about Zelaya or Micheletti, it is
about the Honduran Constitution, and Hugo Chavez’s
attack on it to create another satellite nation to
his bolivarian ego.

Zelaya wasn’t really going to gain anything, he
wasn’t eligible for reelection. His stated intent was
a Constitutional Assembly that was going to do much
more than only change the reelection clause.

It was going to re-found Honduras as a socialist
state.

I am sure a few of you will be very angry at me for
saying this: Most Hondurans don’t want a socialist
system of government. We can see what socialism has
done Cuba and Venezuela, and frankly, we don’t want
it, or at least the majority doesn’t according to
Gallup’s polls. But worse, we don’t want ANY system
of government imposed on us.

How is this different from the US imposing democracy
on theocratic Iraq? Venezuela wanted to impose
socialism on democratic Honduras, and the OAS would
have forced to sit still and swallow it. Except,
forgive me, you may hate me saying this, for the
Republicans in the US Congress.

Before you hate me, consider what Chavez is doing
with an open mind. Supposing he could, would you like
him to do this to the US? Read caracaschronicles.com.

Sometimes the ethical thing to do is to break the
law, which is what General Romeo Vasquez did when he
exiled Zelaya to Costa Rica.

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By Jim Yell, January 14, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have a long history of letting business interests dictate our response to other countries internal business. Our military has frequently been pre-empted by business interests to commit all sorts of atrocities in order to give business the sweet heart deals they want, also known as corrupting the democracy process.

Iraq is just one more example of this and as far as the nations to our south, we have been unrelenting in calling dictators “forces for Democracy” Remember the names of the dictators we supported? Remember the democratic leaders we have conspired to murder and drive from office? It is no wonder our help is often greeted by doubt as to our intentions and our people continue to accept the lies our government tells about our motives.

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By Thong-girl, January 14, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

The U.S. Pentagon and CIA have a presence in every country in Central America, all the way to Medillin.  It’s called managing supplies and transportation.  They need to make sure there are as many open paths as possible so they can smuggle their drugs to our children.  A gift that started with Ronald Reagan and Google Eugene Hasenfus for details.

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By tp, January 14, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This comes as no surprise to me.

Our country serves the interest of the mining companies and produce companies who suck not only human resources but the natural resources out of Honduras and other defenseless countries. The Honduran people and their democracy are only obstructions for the exercise of the ‘diplomators’ in our deploy.

Let’s toast the success of the infestation of aristocrats(Banksters)who never leave the safety of their well established soft little nests while coaxing patriotic dolts, like army ants, to gather the world wide goods from countries like Honduras.

tp

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By DieDaily, January 14, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Don’t worry, we still control Columbia. We should be
able to sow terror and thwart democracy using Columbia
as a base. All is not lost yet. It’s just those pesky
people getting in the way. People can be killed, bought
and pushed around. It just takes money and guns, and we
have those. Since we control the drugs, we have tons of
off-budget cash too. That’s where we really shine.
Running drugs, killing folks, sneaking around in the
darkness sowing terror.

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By idarad, January 14, 2010 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

I think Honduras was the point where the US and the corporate powers decided enough was enough.  Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Nicaragua, El Salvador.  No they had to re-establish the foot on the neck of Latin America, and Honduras was the place to do it.

We have to have somewhere, something left in our Empire

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By ardee, January 14, 2010 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

This comes down to Zelaya’s alliance with the leftist leaders in South America, chiefly Hugo Chavez. We have replaced the madness of the Cold War with a similar infirmity, fear of socialism.

Lets face it, you gotta find bogeymen in order to continue to justify an absurdly large military budget, especially when our financial community is raping us all.

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By Xntrk, January 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

Terror and Hypocrisy have replaced all references to Truth and Justice in the lexicon of US politicians and bureaucrats.  Average Joe Blow and Jane Soccermom don’t know the difference. Or maybe they just don’t care…

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