First published in Narco News, 6 August 2009
In a Garifuna village on the Caribbean coast of Honduras yesterday, I asked a young man sweeping the floor of the village disco if he favored the return to power of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. The man shrugged and said that as long as there was peace it did not matter who was president, thus indicating a failure to appreciate the link between military coups and peace outlined on page 6 of yesterday’s La Prensa, the headline of which proclaimed that the Honduran armed forces had blocked Hugo Chávez’ expansionist designs.
We learn from the first paragraph of the article that one aim of expansionism is to penetrate the United States with socialism disguised as democracy. The floor sweeper in the Garifuna village might be excused for his ignorance of threats to peace in the US—and Honduran responsibility for combating them—based on the fact that he is still recovering from the effects of other threats to peace such as Hurricane Mitch.
The second paragraph of the La Prensa article informs us that the Honduran military has finally broken its silence and revealed the real motive for the coup against Zelaya, which we now know was undertaken in order to prevent a Venezuelan takeover of the US. Not revealed is how a July 25 article in El Heraldo was able to report a CNN interview with coup general Romeo Vásquez Velásquez in the middle of military silence.
The current breaking of silence, La Prensa tells us, took place during a broadcast of the television program “Frente a Frente,” which hosted a gathering of Honduran military commanders. Among Vásquez’ contributions to the discussion was the idea that the military would approach with an open mind any potential future victory by a leftist political candidate. La Prensa does not establish whether the “mente flexible” was a concept Vásquez had learned at the School of the Americas or whether an open mind would still have the option of removing the victorious candidate from the country in his pajamas; it does, however, establish the lack of such a mind on the part of the international community, which has failed to understand that the Honduran coup was not a coup.
Vásquez is quoted as explaining that the lack of understanding has been painful for the armed forces, whose principles consist of love of God, love of country, and love of fellow Hondurans, in that order. Love of North Americans is not mentioned but is implied later in the article by army commander Miguel Ángel García Padget, who warns of the surprise that would have been awaiting the US—which has already suffered enough having to share a border with Mexican organized crime—if Honduras had not interrupted the northward advancement of drug trafficking and terrorism with a coup:
I don’t know what the North American people are going to think when on their country’s border there is narco-trafficking and terrorism; they already have organized crime along their border with Mexico!”
Vásquez meanwhile laments the fact that Zelaya supporters in the streets have been hypnotized into being there by people who do not care that they are being unnecessarily sacrificed. One hypnotist was identified for me as Chávez last night by a man in a Honduras soccer T-shirt in the coastal town of Tela, which had just been visited by a peaceful procession of coup protesters en route on foot to San Pedro Sula and then on to Tegucigalpa.
As for potential methods of sacrifice, the man speculated these would include torrential downpours and snakebites, which he deemed appropriate punishment for Honduran teachers sleeping on the side of the highways instead of teaching their classes. My inquiry as to the hypnotic qualities of coup President Roberto Micheletti was met with the observation that only God could save the nation of Honduras at this point, which perhaps explains the position of “love of God” on the military’s list of priorities.
Army commander García’s emphasis on the role of Honduras in defending the US suggests a significant departure from George Bush-era relations, such as the idea contained in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address that “this nation and our friends are all that stand between a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant alarm.” According to García’s model, the US and its friends have now been replaced by Honduras, an arrangement that seems to be growing on the US government based on the fact that it continues to inch away from Barack Obama’s initial declaration that the Honduran coup was illegal.
Other nations south of the US have at times assumed sudden global importance; Grenada, for example, briefly found itself in the position of “world of chaos and constant alarm,” separated from the world at peace by a US invasion. The US may yet wrest the spotlight back from the Hondurans, however, via the installation of military bases in Colombia.