HONDURAS: “Manuel Zelaya’s Nightmare”
This is THE BEST analysis I have read about the Honduran coup.
Manuel Zelaya’s Nightmare
By Esteban Morales
* Translated for CubaNow by Susana Hurlich
President Zelaya himself could not explain why they had taken him out of his bed and unloaded him in Costa Rica. He gave thanks to God that they had not
assassinated him. But he didn’t know that what awaited him was worse. I myself didn’t have much hope that they wouldn’t kill him; I thought that the right that
had carried out the coup d’état, wouldn’t make the same mistake as happened in Venezuela, allowing Chávez a triumphant return, rescued by the people, which
doesn’t have a precedent in Latin America and, I believe, anywhere else in the world.
They had removed him by force, in pajamas, from his residence in Honduras and they had unloaded him in the “crib” that Oscar Arias had already prepared for
him in Costa Rica, so that he could continue sleeping until the next elections in Honduras.
Meanwhile condemnations of the coup d’état were moving through the corridors and meetings of the hemisphere’s multilateral organizations and even in the United Nations, all went well, to feed the hopes of Zelaya’s return to his post. But as soon as Mrs. Hilary invited him to Washington, everything began to change. The matter of the coup d’état was taken from the numerous political spheres that condemned it, becoming hostage to the North American administration,
particularly to the State Department of the United States.
The machinery of the Empire’s power began to move, and the first thing it did
was to begin to change the explanatory nuances of what had been a firm
condemnation, given what had been considered, without beating about the bush, as
a military coup d’état. The right immediately appeared, distorting reality;
among them Otto Reich, who availed himself of the opportunity to try to get rid
of the accusations of being linked to the coup, a thing that isn’t very
difficult to believe.
Without a doubt, when the North American Secretary of State entered the scene,
arm in arm with Mr. Oscar Arias, everything continued changing and began to put
a move on new political intentions.
In particular, we know Mr. Arias well. By conviction, he does nothing that isn’t
convenient for the United States. As there is nothing more important than one
day after another, it’s clear for many that everything was prepared and that
Oscar Arias was, from the start, a key piece of that machinery that Clinton set
President Obama was in Russia, where he said that the only president of Honduras
was Zelaya. As for her, the Secretary of State, to two questions asking her to
describe the coup, “they were gone with the wind,” as we say in Cuba. She never
Something that we already said some time ago, that “Obama is only the
president,” immediately began to be made clear. The true power isn’t in the Oval
Office of the White house. Beginning with that then adds up to a substantial
difference between what Latin America and the Caribbean were ready to defend,
and the promises of a new policy made by Obama, that he appears to not be in
conditions to fulfill.
Obama had awakened many expectations of what his policy could be towards the
hemisphere, starting from his subtle, negotiating and encouraging attitude in
the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago.
But I ask myself, in terms of a real change of the old policy displayed by
George Bush towards Latin America and the Caribbean, what can Obama really do,
with Dimitri Negroponte as Under-Secretary of State, after the latter had
occupied positions in the highest levels of intelligence services and being one
of the main architects of the dirty war in Central America, in particular in
Honduras; four ambassadors in Central America named by G. Bush; a Secretary from
the Pentagon, who was the same for the previous administration and a so very
“independent” Secretary of State. As if this wasn’t enough, a Vice-President who
speaks of Israel’s sovereignty when giving responses to Iran, while he forgets
the sovereignty of Iraq?
Obama will be sincere in wanting to change policy towards Latin America and the
Caribbean, but he has done very few things, to not say he’s done nothing, to
help himself. To keep in power the same team that is sabotaging his policy
What is occurring in Honduras is going to have, I think already has had, a great
impact, not only for what we continue believing are Obama’s political intentions
in Latin America and the Caribbean, but for his entire political strategy at a
world level. Obama’s intentions (appearing sound), to improve the international
prestige of the United States, have entered into a “free fall” that greatly
resembles what is happening with the economic crisis.
It’s not possible, not by a long shot, to imagine that what is now happening in
Honduras is an isolated event, staged by a group of crazies, to whom it occurred
to make a coup d’état; and not even to imagine it as revenge against someone who
up to a short time ago was politically active within the Honduran oligarchy. One
is dealing with something that goes much beyond this.
One is dealing with the right working to give a step backwards to the
progressive and liberating processes that are taking place in Latin America and
the Caribbean. Even, I would say, in the entire world, because its plans are
global, which is dangerous not only for such processes, but also for Obama as
president. We remember what happened to J.F. Kennedy, when he wanted to modify
the policy of the United States towards Latin America and in particular towards
Argentina, Brazil, perhaps also Uruguay and Chile, are threatened with the
return of oligarchies.
A triumph of the right in this hemisphere isn’t isolated from their intentions
in processes such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and even China.
Because more than the particular policy towards a country or region of the
world, what one is dealing with is that, in the midst of the so grave present
situation in which the United States is living, a fierce and aggressive debate
is opening within the North American political media, about where the Empire
should go; if it should adapt to the new conditions of survival or recover
positions, which not everyone yet considers lost, tooth-and-nail.
I ask myself, can one trust in a President who says or agrees to something at an
international level, and who when he returns home, has the rearguard against
him? It’s enough to worry everyone. It’s enough to make one think that one can
be negotiating with a president, but that his power comes down to their serving
him morning coffee in the Oval Office and giving him part of an understanding,
with which he isn’t going to be able to do much.
The forces of the extreme right, that approximately 30% that followed G. Bush up
to the precipice, is well articulated and working strongly to sabotage Obama’s
policies, in some cases not only in the United States. Meanwhile the political
forces which perhaps follow Obama are a thwarted and fickle amalgam, which only
voted for Obama in the midst of a crisis that raised the fears of the North
American center to the maximum, faced with the reality that the “American dream”
is becoming, like never before, a nightmare.
All of it becomes more dramatic in view of the expectations to which Obama’s
presidential campaign was capable of giving rise. Meanwhile it’s said that the
higher one rises, the fall can be more catastrophic.
It’s true that Obama is the president who, internally as much as externally, has
moved policies more in such a short time of his mandate. In this sense, the
balance of his first six months of administration could be considered as
positive, but in terms of concrete results, he has very little or almost nothing
Obama already appears like a weak president, without power, dominated also by
the idealism of believing that in Washington there is a predominance of morality
in politics. Even though what’s true is that from the lived experiences up to
now, one can only say that the difference between the United States that Obama
has in his head, in his dreams, of “intelligent power” and the real United
States, is enormous.
Those dreams appear intelligent and brilliantly shaped in his speeches, but, as
we know, between speech and real policy there is almost the distance of an
abyss. As Commander-in-
Chief Fidel Castro has said, “One thing is the presidency
and another is the empire.”
Negotiations in Costa Rica, between those who took part in the coup and Manuel
Zelaya, designed by Clinton and mediated by Oscar Arias, ended. What were the
results of those negotiations?
It’s said that, among others, they reached the following agreements:
1- Zelaya returns to Honduras as president.
2- A government, called the National Unity, will be organized.
3- Presidential Elections are moved forward.
4- The process for a Cuarta Urna (or changes to the current Constitution)
is not allowed.
Here one sees clearly the “kneeing” that Hilary Clinton must have given to Oscar
Arias under the table, saying to him “amuse him,” referring to Zelaya. Here are
also Clinton’s secret dealings with the North American right and with those who
took part in the Honduran coup. As can be seen, three for the pro-coup faction
and one for Zelaya.
With such agreements, the Honduran President should be able to calmly take a
seat in his house, waiting for the day of the elections to arrive, without
having to do practically anything. To not be – while he is in the country, his
presence lifts up the Honduran masses – the moment in which the United States
should then send the Fourth Fleet and should activate its military base in
At the same time, Obama will support such agreements and will work according to
them, since they allow him “to raise his face a little,” before the shameful
attitude, that he had made clear his incapacity to manage the threads of policy
towards Latin America and the Caribbean. I ask myself, can Latin America and the
Caribbean trust in Obama? Can the World trust in Obama? In any event the damage
is already done. Even to Obama.
I said, in an article published in January 2009, that President Obama brings
together all the personal and political characteristics to turn into a
demagogue, and that it is very difficult to discover it.
Cuba, in particular, should take note.
*The author, a Cuban economist, is a Doctor in Sciences.
*Translated by Susana Hurlich