[Marxism] Fw: Honduras

farmelantj at juno.com farmelantj at juno.com
Fri Oct 30 13:12:22 MDT 2009

>From LBO-Talk list. Posted
by Doug Henwood

Jim F.

[Greg Grandin, prof of Latin American history at NYU (and a frequent  
guest on Behind the News), just sent this around.]

Seems like a deal has been reached in Honduras, though still has to be  
voted on by Congress (see Times story below).

Despite the fact that negotiations and compromises bestowed some  
legitimacy to those who carried out the coup -- and despite that fact  
that the question of whether human-rights violations committed during  
the coup will be punished is unclear  -- on the whole this has to be  
read as a victory for progressive forces:

1. it was largely popular protests, which contrary to most predictions  
didn't dissipate over time, that prevented the coup government from  

2. the idea that this was a constitutional transfer of power, which if  
successful would have set a dangerous precedent, is revealed to be a  

3. the attempt to justify the coup in the name of anti-populism, or  
anti-chavismo, has failed (along with the myth that what was at stake  
in Honduras had anything to do with Venezuela);

4. the position of the OAS -- and hence the unity of progressive  
governments -- was affirmed (if it had dragged on past the November  
elections, there would have been strong pressure for individual  
governments to recognize the results, perhaps leading to splits);

5. the violence of the coup government, as well as the fact that the  
extended crisis smoked out its less than savory supporters like Otto  
Reich, reveals the lie that there is a progressive, or modern  
conservative alternative to the left in most countries;

6. the militaries and elites of neighboring Central American countries  
have to take from it the lesson that preemptive overreactions to the  
left can, as it has in this case, actually result in strengthening the  

7.  It is a big push back for Republicans (and neo-lib Democrats) in  
the US, who tried to use the crisis to push a more conservative US  
policy in Latin America;

8. And Honduran social movements go into the next government --  
probably headed by the candidate from the National Party -- with a  
sense of unity and their own power (and elites fractured and  
chastised), much stronger now than they were on June 28.  Not sure if  
the deal reached entailed Zelaya renouncing any attempt to push for a  
constitutional assembly -- it probably did -- but social movements  
will continue to advocate for one, which according to at least one  
poll now has majority support (largely thanks to the actions of those  
who most oppose it!).


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