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  • “The People 48%, The Reactionaries 52%”

    Posted by Jonathan on November 26th, 2009 (All posts by )

    I don’t remember the exact words but this was the essence of a headline in a Chilean leftist newspaper after an Allende referendum was defeated by the voters (as reported, IIRC, by Robert Moss in Chile’s Marxist Experiment).

    The aroma of similar attitudes wafts from an AP report that has the headline, “Honduras vote to sideline president, enshrine coup”. Hey, nobody’s calling anybody reactionary here, but if you talk about a “coup” it’s usually an indication that you’re unsympathetic to the people who did it. Never mind that the president was kicked out by his own legislature and courts, following their country’s written constitution, after he flagrantly broke the law. Like global-warming hysterics, and lawyers for obviously guilty defendants, Zelaya’s supporters don’t have the facts on their side and so keep repeating unsupported assertions that are meant to shift the frame of debate in the direction of their narrative.

    Meanwhile, the Brazilian government, sensing weakness, is trying to push Obama around. This is the same Brazilian government that just received the great democrat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a widely publicized state visit. But Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, a democracy and a steadfast US ally, is a threat to world peace.

     

    6 Responses to ““The People 48%, The Reactionaries 52%””

    1. renminbi Says:

      Democracy seems to have about as much of a future in Latin America as it does in Europe.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      I don’t know. It doesn’t look good at the moment. OTOH, Honduras, a poor and weak country, has so far stood up successfully to everyone else including the Obama administration. That’s encouraging. If Honduras can do it…

    3. Ginny Says:

      Three of my freshmen students (at a junior college mind you) did their research papers on Honduras; all used the report from the Library of Congress. All three seemed to have arrived at a more complex reading of the event than many in Washington. (Sure,one complained that Zelaya wasn’t impeached – but eventually she came to see a difference between our constitution and theirs.) Anyway, this is kind of off topic, except that the kind of research characteristic of a freshman English student might be more thoughtful than that by our president’s advisors – and that should be cause for worry.

    4. renminbi Says:

      Almost all of the countries in L.A. are nominally democratic,but the OAS leans on Honduras. Why should they? Because their political classes want to also grab more power and the hell with the public. I didn’t know that Uribe was looking to change Colombia’s presidential term limits.

      In electoral politics shit rises to the top-the occasional Ronald Reagan or Winston Churchill is an anomaly.

    5. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I just finished John Derbyshire’s book, “We Are Doomed,” and recommend it. He even has a section on Latin America and his predictions, gloomy as expected. He does use the demographics of each country to explain behavior; Bolovia and Venezuela both have large indigenous Indian populations and Evo Morales is the first Indian to be elected president of a country. Derbyshire predicts that Bolivia may not survive as an intact country.

    6. JoseAngel de Monterrey Says:

      I think Honduras is on the right track, they have ousted a potential dictator and have chosen to continue as a liberal democracy..A lot of countries in Latin America have a constitution that forbids reelection (Mexico’s constitution forbids reelection at all political levels, from Municipal presidents, state governors, congressmen, senators and the president) and the reason why is that we have a history of political turmoil caused by dictators and messianic political leaders who want to keep absolute power to themselves, like Allende, who feel entitled to take their whole country down to socialism or any other course they want to go. Perhaps the fact that Latin America was conquered during the age of Spanish absolutism might have something to do with it. I really don’t know.

      But Honduras’s ousting of Zelaya (wrongfully called “coup”) marks a shift in the current geopolitics in central America, because it challenges Chavez’s attempts to control the area (politically, by using his deep petrodollar pockets) that has been a traditional zone of influence of North America, I think that’s also why Brazil is also trying to get Zelaya back on power too, they have always been resentful of American influence in Central America, I guess their end-game is Panama, they think that if they can get Zelaya back in power, then do the same in El Salvador (Chavez is already working on that), Guatemala (already a Chavez ally) Nicaragua (Ortega’s Chavez compadre), then perhaps they can build sufficient geopolitical pressure to oust the Americans from Panama..They might even be working with the Chinese, who have never concealed their vested interest in the Panama Canal. It is just a thought.