While progressives pop firecrackers in celebration of the great victory for Barack Obama's ACA (Advancing Corporate Authority) program -- which forcibly delivers customers to some of the most horrendous and inhumane companies in the land and fills the coffers of these heartbreak cartels with public loot -- another one of the president's landmark achievements continues to build up an enduring legacy for his visionary leadership.
We refer, of course, to the living hell he has helped make in Honduras. In one of the early foreign policy successes of his illustrious administration, Obama helped midwife a brutal coup by Honduran oligarchs, who overthrew a democratically elected president, sent him into exile, then began jailing and murdering those who objected to this regime change. Although almost all of the nations of Latin America condemned the coup, Obama and his equally progressive Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, told the Hondurans to get over it, and embraced the murderous new government.
This despicable policy -- a throwback to the very worst of America's long and very dirty history in Latin America -- has not provoked the slightest ripple of concern from our earnest progressives. Of course it goes without saying that the earnest regressives on the Right have raised no objection either. (And they say bipartisanship is dead in Washington.) But you would think that people who make a profession (not to say a fetish) of progressivism might be just the slightest bit wiggly at the sight of their champion channeling Nixon in Chile and Reagan in Guatemala. But no: the most important thing in the world is that Barack's corporate welfare scam has been validated by suddenly saintly John Roberts.
It’s three years since the coup in Honduras that sent President Manuel Zelaya into exile in his pyjamas. Porfirio Lobo, who took over as president in January 2010 following highly questionable elections, is more than halfway through his term. The only grounds for optimism are offered by the resistance movement that sprang up after the coup.
Much that’s wrong with Honduras is illustrated by a recent incident. In the small hours of 11 May, in the remote Moskitia region, there was a drugs bust led by helicopters from the United States Drugs Enforcement Administration. The facts are clouded, but an on-the-ground investigation appears to confirm that sacks of cocaine had been transferred from a small plane to a boat which – spotted by the DEA helicopter – was then abandoned, with the drug-runners escaping into the night. A nearby passenger boat, about to put into the small port of Paptalaya, was mistakenly fired on, and four people were killed and several injured. The DEA personnel prevented people from helping the victims, violently intimidated the local community and did nothing to secure medical assistance for the injured. No drug traffickers were arrested, though 400 kg of cocaine was recovered from the drifting boat. (According to the Honduran police, the four victims were in a boat that fired on the authorities; the DEA says that none of its agents shot at anyone.)
The incident is indicative of [several] characteristics of Honduras since the coup. The first is drugs. In a suspiciously precise assessment, the DEA says that 79 per cent of cocaine smuggling flights from South America land in Honduras. Drug-running makes money for some of the country’s most powerful people. Miguel Facussé, described by the New York Times as ‘the octogenarian patriarch of one of the handful of families controlling much of Honduras’s economy’, was a strong supporter of the coup. He has been known to the US authorities as a drug-runner since 2004.
Second, violence is widespread. The murder rate in Honduras is four times Mexico’s, and it is now the world’s most dangerous country for journalists, with 23 assassinated since the coup. Four deaths in a remote region, especially in one of the country’s indigenous communities, are unremarkable. Last weekend, DEA agents killed another man in the same area.
Third, the peremptory official investigation into what happened in Moskitia in May is typical. Four months after the Comayagua prison fire in which 360 people died, no one has been charged. Police were implicated in the murder last October of the son of the rector of Honduras’s main university and, last month, of the journalist Alfredo Villatoro (an associate of President Lobo). No one has been charged in those cases either.
Violence, corruption and death for the truth. A marvelous legacy for our progressive commander -- one that even mean old Antonin Scalia can't threaten!