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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:25 PM
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The Minimum Wage and the Coup in Honduras
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:26 PM
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1. A good article, but, while it's true that the Honduran elite is greedy and insular,
and begrudge the poor even the modest improvements that Zelaya implemented (such as a raise in the minimum wage--and are now trying to undo that as well), it is inconceivable that they would have done what they did--dragging the president out of bed at gunpoint, exiling him, declaring martial law, etc.--without the nod of some elements of the US government. So, we need to ask who, and why.

The two most visible villains that I know are involved in Honduras are John McCain (whose US taxpayer-funded "International Republican Institute" has funneled $43 million to these rightwing groups in Honduras, according to Eva Golinger's FOIA research), and John "death squad" Negroponte, who is advising Clinton, and who ran the infamous Contra war against Nicaragua from Honduras! These two represent war profiteers and war mongers, and are no doubt in league with Bushwhack moles in the Pentagon and the CIA. How would war profiteers benefit from this coup? For one thing, the US has a rather large military base in Honduras. Zelaya proposed converting it to a commercial airport. He wasn't the first to propose this, but he was the most serious about it. It is an issue of Honduran sovereignty, as well as need. (They don't have a good commercial airport.) Secondly, Honduras has a long history of being a US stepping stool to aggression against other countries in the region--Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala. In the Pentagon's war plan for taking Venezuela's oil (and likely also Ecuador's and Cuba's)--and I have zero doubt that such a plan exists--Honduras is an important war asset. It combines with the US 4th Fleet, and the seven new US military bases going into Colombia, to surround Venezuela's oil reserves and facilities on its Caribbean coast, and provides dominance over the whole northern "hump" of South America as well as Central America (where leftist governments have been elected in El Salvador and Guatemala, both adjacent to Honduras).

The Honduran elite, like all such fascists and traitors to their own country throughout Latin America, toady to US corporate predators and keep second homes in Miami. We have seen this ill crew before. They are the people who tolerate rightwing death squads in their midst; people--small groups of the rich--who think they are "born to rule." In truth, their rule is egregious mis-rule in every case. They neglect their own countries. They don't build schools and medical clinics. They fail to develop local infrastructure, high-end manufacturing (good jobs), and food self-sufficiency (land policy; often large swaths of ag land lay fallow, or are misused--while peasants who know how to farm can't find five acres to feed their families and local communities). They get rich oppressing their own people, and grow addicted to glitzy US imports. They sell off their country's resources to multi-nationals, and indenture the poor to World Bank/IMF loan sharks--and steal off the top.

This is what US-dominated "free trade" is all about--fostering such a class of oppressors to do US corporate bidding within their borders. And Honduras is a US-dominated "free trade" country. So, for one thing, raising the minimum wage was an affront to Chiquita International which operates farms in Honduras that pay slave labor wages. Chiquita International paid rightwing paramilitary death squads to take care of their "labor problem" in Colombia, by slaughtering thousands of union organizers, leaders and members. Behind oppression is lethal force. The Honduran coup was not just about local economics. It was and is about the use of lethal force to steal resources and subdue the poor--keep them from asserting their rights, keep them out of their rightful place as citizens of a democracy--so that US global corporate predators can make themselves richer and yet more powerful; so powerful, indeed, that they could hijack the US military for a corporate resource war in Iraq. And we can be sure that they want to do the same to Venezuela--all that oil, right in our own backyard, being used for schools and medical clinics! What a waste, when it could be lining the pockets of Exxon Mobil excecs and fueling more US tanks and fighter jets to dominate the world!

Again, this is a good article, focused on the labor issues, there and here. It is important for understanding who is served by the coup within Honduras--who the coupsters are, what they want--and the parallel labor issues, there and here. And--as the article does--you can extrapolate from Honduras to other countries where the poor are being crushed by "free trade." The greed of rich elites, and US exploitation of that greed to create "free fire zones" on union organizers, as in Colombia, and extrajudicial labor zones for export--zones where local wage and conditions laws do not apply--as in Haiti and Jamaica--are WHY most of South America is in such revolt against US "free trade" and has elected leftist governments all over the landscape, to fight for local sovereignty, local workers and the poor majority.

But I am convinced that the Honduran coup has more to it than this, and would only have occurred with Pentagon approval, and active and covert US rightwing support. The Obama administration appears to be paralyzed as to restoring democracy in Honduras. Honduras is a client state of the US. They could shut down the coup today, and they have not done so. Their story that they knew about the coup, before it happened, and "advised" against it, is ridiculous on its face, and that absurdity is attributable to the Bushwhack ambassador that Clinton left place at the US embassy in Honduras. We are seeing a two-faced game here. It's not easy to sort out who's doing what, or why, but, if we can remember the lesson of the last eight years, we know one thing: OIL drives US policy. Honduras doesn't have oil, but it does have strategic location to get the biggest oil reserves in the hemisphere--Venezuela's, which are located on its Caribbean coast, adjacent to Colombia, where seven new US military bases are going in, on Obama's watch (at a cost of tens of billions of US tax dollars, going to war profiteers and to Colombia's nazi army).

The Honduran coup is not just a local matter, by any means. And it is not just a labor/economic issue, although these are very important. It is a war issue. We really need to understand this, because Oil War II-South America, for which obvious preparation is being made, will be done in our name, with our money, and to our eternal disgrace as a nation and a democracy, just like before.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:10 PM
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2. k for your analysis
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