Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presidential candidate had to answer to her role in the “military coup” that ousted freely elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. Clinton denied it was a military coup although the U.N. and rest of the world said it was illegal including her own embassy staff in Honduras. Clinton’s session with the New York Daily News Editorial Board did not receive all that media attention that Bernie Sanders received for his “ambush” interview. Except for Democracy Now correspondent Juan Gonzales who posted a story on Clinton’s Q&A for the New York Daily News with attention paid on the Honduras coup, violence in Central America and the women and children fleeing the narco-violence only to be rounded up and deported back to the violence. The gangs force families to work with them by threatening their children and they often end up “enslaving” them, which is a more correct term than “recruiting.”
This has been going in the USA’s back yard since Honduras was declared the first “banana Republic” in 1904 with the U.S. sending in troops several times between 1903 and 1925. It is the poorest country in Central America and the gap between rich and poor has consistently risen except for a time in the 50’s when workers were allowed to unionize. In 1963 a democratically elected President was overthrown in a military coup, 10 years after a similar CIA-backed coup deposed the freely elected President in Guatemala. Ronald Reagan upped the ante by supporting the CIA’s work with the Contras fighting the Russian-supported Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Next door violent wars raged in El Salvador and Guatemala and thousands would flee the violence north to Mexico, USA and Canada. That trend has only gotten worse with the failed War on Drugs and the potential failure of the narco-state that Mexico has become. Thousands of Central American women and children flooded the US border, only to have many of them deported back to the narco-gang violence that is terrorizing this country which is now one of the most violent in the world. Secretary Clinton said it was important to send a message.”
No President or politician has ever done anything good or positive for the poor people of Honduras or the entire region, and the upper classes and the connected continue to get wealthy. Clinton also talked of the “Colombia-ization” of the violence in Central America meaning funding the military to fight narco- gangs, with years of conflict, armed men, death squads, Special Forces, civilians caught in the middle, just as in a civil war. Yes Colombia may finally be negotiating a cease fire with guerillas but what was the hidden price to the population and the economy? U.S. officials think the Honduran military is slightly less brutal and corrupt than the nation’s police since drug gangs do have influence. “The Alliance for Prosperity” is the name for the corporate globalization of Central America and the corporate economic zone enterprises that the compliant and corrupt government of Honduras are now legalizing are called “New Model Cities” to be run by corporations. Both terms are ominous phrases in our Orwellian days of doublespeak and recalls other hemispheric Prosperity campaigns by Japan and China and USSR. This is what Clinton espouses for the region.
A recent murder in Honduras of a lawyer who represented corrupt politicians by a man who said he did it “for the people” and was claimed as a hero by the populace, gives us some indication of what’s going on there. The murdered lawyer had said he was going to run for the Supreme Court after the politicians he was defending became part of a national conspiracy that defrauded and stole $600 million from Honduras’ social security system. This same Supreme Court whose members were “changed” by the new President so that they could legalize those “New Model Cities.” Weekly protests by the poor and working class in support of Zelaya, then the missing social security funds, and then the murders of journalists and environmentalists, have been constant for years and the world’s media have ignored them all. Berta Caceres murder could’ve been averted had the U.S. State Department sent a strong message to protect her from threats. Zelaya was ousted because he dared to find another path and consorted with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Remember that the U.S. government wrenched Panama from Colombia to create a capitalist free trade zone and now “The Panama Papers” show us what the end result is, the wealthy and corrupt hiding their money from their own countries and the global economy.
Does all this matter to the average American voter? Most likely not. But it is an indicator of economic trade-offs, free trade fallout and the problematic “prosperity of the Clinton years” that will magically return. More likely, we will all take turns saying, “Thank you, Hillary” for all the good and the bad headed our way.
Alex Jacobs, Mohawk, is a visual artist and poet living in Santa Fe.