9 Jul 2009

THE COUP IN HONDURAS

by Diane Raby

The recent coup in Honduras (which I gather has received very inadequate, and biased, coverage in the UK media - surprise, surprise!) is extremely serious. It is clearly directed not just at President Zelaya but at the entire popular and anti-imperialist trend in Latin America headed by Venezuela, with the aim of halting and indeed reversing the most important progressive development in the world in recent years. It is also almost certainly part of the behind-the-scenes struggle for power in the US, with the mini-Pinochets in Honduras being backed by the Republicans, the Pentagon and CIA as part of a strategy to neutralise Obama.

Fortunately the US military-industrial complex and their Honduran puppets miscalculated, and were met with a totally unprecedented unanimous vote of condemnation by the Organisation of American States, the UN General Assembly, the US government (although with some ambiguity resulting from the aforementioned tensions) and the EU. Equally, they underestimated the level of consciousness and combative disposition of the Honduran people, who have taken to the streets on a massive scale despite brutal repression.

It is still by no means clear exactly how and when the Honduran junta will fall. Unlike the Venezuelan coup in 2002, where the people in the streets could count on a large revolutionary section of the Armed Forces to join them in overthrowing the coup-mongers, the reactionaries led by Mr Micheletti (or “Pinochetti”, as he was described on one demonstrator´s poster) can count on a thoroughly disciplined repressive force trained for decades by the Pentagon.

But fall the junta certainly will before very long: total international isolation and a fragile internal base of support guarantee this. Moreover, when it does fall the result will almost certainly be an acceleration of the process of popular change in Honduras, where the people are now mobilised as never before behind “Mel” (President Manuel Zelaya) and his project for a popular Constitutional Assembly.

This in turn will further consolidate the regional ALBA alliance (which now has nine member states) and its project for alternative development based on anti-capitalist principles. It will also increase international awareness of the idea that democracy in today´s world can only mean real popular participation in government, and not just a formal charade controlled by elites - something which is very relevant right now to us in the UK!

Diane Raby is a national council member of Respect. She sent this report from Venezuela.

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