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Honduras Down the Memory Hole: U.S. media ignore the aftermath of dubious elections they praised

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:55 PM
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Honduras Down the Memory Hole: U.S. media ignore the aftermath of dubious elections they praised
August 2010
Honduras Down the Memory Hole
U.S. media ignore the aftermath of dubious elections they praised
By Alyssa Figueroa

A year after a military coup removed democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya from office, Hondurans are still living under a repressive governmentbut the U.S. is pushing Latin American countries to join it in normalizing relations with the regionally ostracized nation.

Reporting from a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), the New York Times (6/8/10) dutifully relayed Secretary of State Hillary Clintons assertion that we saw the free and fair election of President Lobo, noting on the other hand that several foreign ministers inveighed against Mr. Lobos government, which they said had violated human rights. The Times left it up to readers to guess who might have been right. The Washington Post (6/8/10) reported that this debate is simply an indication of how difficult it is to bridge regional divisions.

Such coverage is no surprise, given the medias enthusiastic response to Lobos election in January. After the June 28, 2009, coup, the U.S. and many Latin American countries said they would refuse to recognize the elections in November if Zelaya wasnt restored to office to finish out his term (Washington Post, 9/4/09). Given that the elections would be held under the auspices of a coup regime, the UN, the OAS, the EU and the Carter Center didnt send observers (Real News Network, 4/08/10).

Before the election was held, however, the U.S. backed off this positiona reversal cheered in the U.S. press. Washington Post columnist Edward Schumacher-Matos (11/27/09) declared that Obama was alone, and right, on Honduras, because the election will come off favorably enough. A Post editorial (11/28/09) agreed, arguing that Hondurans were eager for the election because they have little taste for Mr. Zelaya, who embraced the leftist populism of Hugo Chavez. (See FAIR Action Alert, 9/24/09.) Yet an August 2009 poll by the Honduran polling company COIMER & OP found that 52 percent supported Zelayas return to presidency, while 33 percent opposed it. In the same poll, those who expressed an opinion came out 3-to-1 against the coup (Narcosphere, 10/7/09).

The election went on, with many publications (e.g., Washington Post, L.A. Times, both 11/30/09) deeming it peaceful, while at the same time reporting that 500 protesters were targeted with tear gas. There was little coverage of the beatings and arrests leading up to the election, or of the nearly 5,000 soldiers dispersed throughout the country to enforce a state of emergency (Guardian, 11/28/09).

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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:09 PM
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1. like Honduras 1982-90s, El Salvador 1982, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Iraq
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 04:21 PM by MisterP
Honduras 2009 was a "demonstration election," though without the Red Menace as the antidemocratic, unpopular, sneaky, do-anything, heartless, inevitably-Stalinist, intention-concealing foils to glorious, cornucopian democapitalism
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:30 AM
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2. Another "Mission Accomplished". n/t
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