30 June 2009
The coup d’état in Honduras shows that the old habits of the privileged oligarchies of Latin America have not gone away. Even the moderate proposals of President Zelaya for a consultation of the people towards a consideration of constitutional change were not acceptable to them, so fearful are they of losing their privileges.
The coup follows a familiar pattern: a massive media campaign, with the participation of NGOs funded from the United States—“Paz y Democracia,” for example—culminating in the kidnapping of the President, even to claiming that he had resigned.
It is an attempt to set back the democratic progress which the peoples of Latin America have been making in recent years, and to restore Honduras as a base for reaction, as it was during Reagan’s dirty war against Sandinista Nicaragua. It brings back unhappy memories of what many Latin American countries suffered at the hands of the military regimes installed with the help of the United States in the twentieth century.
This coup has been repudiated, and the reinstatement of the President demanded, by the countries of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America), by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and by the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States. The Rio Group, which represents the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Union have expressed support for that position.
As President Lula of Brazil put it, “We cannot, in the twenty-first century, allow a military coup in Latin America. It is unacceptable. We cannot recognise the new government. We must ensure the return of the democratically elected government.”
The United States government, while stating its opposition to the coup, could not bring itself to demand the immediate reinstatement of President Zelaya, instead, in its statement on Sunday 28 June, calling for dialogue. Dialogue with whom? The putschists? A more forthright statement is called for.
The Communist Party of Ireland calls on all democrats to show their solidarity with the popular forces in Honduras, who defied the curfew to demonstrate at the Presidential palace, not only in their demand for the return of the President but in their continuing struggle for a broader and deeper democracy in which the mass of the people can participate.