|Making a Killing: Obama-Backed Coupsters Shoot for Corporate Control|
|Written by Chris Floyd|
|Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:22|
The 2009 military coup in Honduras was one of the earliest stains on the foreign policy record of Barack Obama. Coming just six months into his term -- and a little more than four months before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize -- the coup, and the American reaction to it, gave the clearest indication possible that there would be no change in the Standard Operating Procedure of the Potomac Empire under his watch.
After the Honduran military staged a coup against democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009, Obama and Secretary of State Clinton backed the ensuing fraudulent elections the Organization of American States and European Union refused to observe. Porfirio Lobo won the phony contest, and now holds power. ...
And what kind of people -- what kind of system -- have Obama and his Secretary of State (and possible future successor) embraced and supported so eagerly? Alexandrov tells us:
Returning to Honduras, we see that conditions there are beginning to call to mind those of, say, El Salvador in the ’80s—good news, perhaps, for aspiring financial executives eager to launch the next Bain Capital. But as the business climate improves, everyday life for Hondurans working to secure basic rights has become nightmarish. Dina Meza’s case is just one example.
Well, that sounds good, right? A grass-roots organization working peacefully within the system to secure its legal rights under the national constitution. Isn't that the kind of thing that American foreign policy professes to encourage throughout the world? Unfortunately, the denouement of this good news story shows what our bipartisan elites really support:
On September 23, Trejo took some time off to celebrate a friend’s wedding at a church in Tegucigalpa. During the event he received a call, and stepped outside to take it. The gunmen were waiting for him. They shot him several times, and he died soon after arriving at the hospital. “Since they couldn’t beat him in the courts,” Vitalino Alvarez, a spokesman for Bajo Aguán’s peasants, explained, “they killed him.” They killed Eduardo Diaz Madariaga, a human rights lawyer, the following day, presumably for similar reasons.
And of course, this is only the beginning. American elites have big plans for Honduras: they are looking to build whole cities under corporate control.
The American economist Paul Romer proposed recently that several neoliberal “charter cities”—complete with their own police, laws, and government—be built there, and an NPR reporter recently reviewed this idea enthusiastically in a piece for the New York Times.
This plan is being pushed relentlessly by the elites in Washington and Tegucigalpa. And as always, everywhere, these gilded, coddled, respectable figures play the most adamantine hardball. The Associate Press has more on the wider context of Trejo's murder:
Trejo had also helped prepare motions declaring unconstitutional a proposal to build three privately run cities with their own police, laws and tax systems. Just hours before his murder, Trejo had participated in a televised debate in which he accused congressional leaders of using the private city projects to raise campaign funds ...
AP then adds the hardly necessary coda:
No arrests have been made in Trejo’s killing.
At least part the Honduran Supreme Court seems to to have realized -- belatedly -- the true nature of the plan that so enthused the good centrist serious liberals at NPR, as Alexandrov reports:
But again, this epiphany may come too late. As Greg Grandin, Yale history professor and author of an earlier attempt by American corporatist extremists to build a bosses' paradise in Latin America, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, notes (via Corey Robin), this committee ruling could well be overturned by the full court -- especially with all the aforesaid corporate baksheesh floating around.
Peter Thiel, founder of Paypall ... and another supporter of the Honduran scheme, wrote: “Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
"Freedom" here means the freedom of rapacious elites to enrich themselves -- and impoverish, repress and kill others -- without the slightest restraint. A commenter on the Corey Robin thread in which Grandin's quote appears puts it succinctly:
I first heard about the Honduras project from a Reason.com article that starts with the line: “A roadblock on a very interesting plan to create experimental, freedom-friendly governing structures down in Honduras…” I absolutely love the fact that Reason.com describes a plan to use eminent domain to seize land from poor indigenous communities and hand it over to multi-national corporations “freedom-friendly.” Not to mention the absolute denial of freedoms the workers of this for-profit city can come to expect if it’s ever built.
And as Alexandrov notes in the conclusion to his Counterpunch piece, this brutal, murderous system will continue, unabated, unrestrained, no matter which of the "original sinners" in the current imperial court squabble come out on top in November.blog comments powered by Disqus