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WP Op-Ed: Hillary C. Admits [Defends] Role in Honduran Coup Aftermath & Embraces Far-Right Narrative in Electoral Strategy Move

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Hillary Clinton, US foreign policy, WashingtonPost op-ed, Kissinger book review, political calculation, electoral strategy, Honduras, military coup, aftermath, US backing, worsening violence, corruption, human rights disaster, HardChoices )

- 1445 days ago -
Significant both for confessing crucial truth & propagating falsehoods. >100 members US Congress've repeatedly warned about deteriorating security in Honduras, major source of child migrants pouring into US due to increased violence, anarchy, impunity


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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 5:14 am
Common Dreams - "Hard Choices: Hillary Clinton Admits Role in Honduran Coup Aftermath" - "Clinton’s embrace of far-right narrative on Latin America is part of electoral strategy" by Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. and president of Just Foreign Policy.

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order”, to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.” In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir “Hard Choices” and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama’s administration now faces.

The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government “rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries,” opening the door for further “violence and anarchy.”

The homicide rate in Honduras, already the highest in the world, increased by 50 percent from 2008 to 2011; political repression, the murder of opposition political candidates, peasant organizers and LGBT activists increased and continue to this day. Femicides skyrocketed. The violence and insecurity were exacerbated by a generalized institutional collapse. Drug-related violence has worsened amid allegations of rampant corruption in Honduras’ police and government. While the gangs are responsible for much of the violence, Honduran security forces have engaged in a wave of killings and other human rights crimes with impunity.

Despite this, however, both under Clinton and Kerry, the State Department’s response to the violence and military and police impunity has largely been silence, along with continued U.S. aid to Honduran security forces. In “Hard Choices,” Clinton describes her role in the aftermath of the coup that brought about this dire situation. Her firsthand account is significant both for the confession of an important truth and for a crucial false testimony.

First, the confession: Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton writes. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

This may not come as a surprise to those who followed the post-coup drama closely. (See my commentary from 2009 on Washington’s role in helping the coup succeed here, here and here.) But the official storyline, which was dutifully accepted by most in the media, was that the Obama administration actually opposed the coup and wanted Zelaya to return to office.

The question of Zelaya was anything but moot. Latin American leaders, the United Nations General Assembly and other international bodies vehemently demanded his immediate return to office. Clinton’s defiant and anti-democratic stance spurred a downward slide in U.S. relations with several Latin American countries, which has continued. It eroded the warm welcome and benefit of the doubt that even the leftist governments in region offered to the newly installed Obama administration a few months earlier.

Clinton’s false testimony is even more revealing. She reports that Zelaya was arrested amid “fears that he was preparing to circumvent the constitution and extend his term in office.” This is simply not true. As Clinton must know, when Zelaya was kidnapped by the military and flown out of the country in his pajamas on June 28, 2009, he was trying to put a consultative, nonbinding poll on the ballot to ask voters whether they wanted to have a real referendum on reforming the constitution during the scheduled election in November. It is important to note that Zelaya was not eligible to run in that election. Even if he had gotten everything he wanted, it was impossible for Zelaya to extend his term in office. But this did not stop the extreme right in Honduras and the United States from using false charges of tampering with the constitution to justify the coup.

In addition to her bold confession and Clinton’s embrace of the far-right narrative in the Honduran episode, the Latin America chapter is considerably to the right of even her own record on the region as secretary of state. This appears to be a political calculation. There is little risk of losing votes for admitting her role in making most of the hemisphere’s governments disgusted with the United States. On the other side of the equation, there are influential interest groups and significant campaign money to be raised from the right-wing Latin American lobby, including Floridian Cuban-Americans and their political fundraisers.

Like the 54-year-old failed embargo against Cuba, Clinton’s position on Latin America in her bid for the presidency is another example of how the far right exerts disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy in the hemisphere.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 6:09 am

Good work, Hillary! See (above & below) the terrible consequences of then-Secretary of State Clinton's decisions & policies (& their continuation under Kerry) in the aftermath of the 2009 Honduran military coup, which, as Secretary of State, she supported:

=> 'Witness for Peace' petition - Stand up for human rights in Honduras! - Please take action to call on your members of Congress to stand up for human rights in Honduras.

=> 'Witness for Peace' 2nd petition - Stand up for justice in Honduras!: "For nearly two months, Berta Cáceres and Tomás Gomez Membreño of COPINH (Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras) have been standing with communities that live along the Blanco River, where a hydro-electric dam is being constructed. Communities are terrified that they will lose access to this important source of water. COPINH leadership has worked in defense of the right to land and water, and has subsequently been subjected to death threats and intimidation. On May 24, Berta and Tomás were detained by U.S.-backed Honduran authorities. Both activists were later released..../..."

=>HRW, February 12, 2014 "Honduras: No Justice for Wave of Killings Over Land" - "Government Inaction Feeds Impunity":

"Honduran authorities have failed to investigate properly a wave of killings and other abuses believed to be tied to land disputes in the Bajo Aguán region, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 72-page report, “‘There Are No Investigations Here’: Impunity for Killings and Other Abuses in Bajo Aguán, Honduras” examines 29 homicides and two abductions in Bajo Aguán since 2009, as well as human rights violations by soldiers and police. Human Rights Watch found that prosecutors and police consistently failed to carry out prompt and thorough investigations into these crimes, a failure that Honduran public prosecutors, police, and military officials acknowledged in interviews. .../... "

"Even in a country afflicted by alarming levels of violence and impunity, the situation in Bajo Aguán stands out. The failure to take rudimentary steps to bring those responsible to justice has helped perpetuate a climate of lawlessness in which more crimes are likely to occur, and has deepened public distrust of the authorities." HRW Americas Director, Jose Miguel Vivanco

=> Amnesty International, 2 September 2014 - URGENT ACTION - Honduras: Campesino leader shot dead in Honduras: Margarita Murillo

=> Amnesty International, 7 July 2014 - URGENT ACTION - HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER AND FAMILY AT RISK Honduran journalist and human rights defender Dina Meza has faced increasing harassment and intimidation

=> Amnesty International, 18 June 2014 - URGENT ACTION - Honduras: Surveillance and attacks on human rights NGO - Members of prominent Honduran human rights organization, the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared and Detained in Honduras (COFADEH), based in Tegucigalpa, the capital, report ongoing surveillance, kidnapping, beating, stabbing, mugging. "In November 2009 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called on the Honduran authorities to protect the members of COFADEH and their immediate families. However, members of the organization have said that the authorities have so far failed to implement these effective measures to protect them, including lack of regular police patrolling of the COFADEH office for the past two months, as had been previously agreed." ----->

------> You may have noticed that the year 2009 keeps popping up in all the coverage: 2009 is the year that the democratically-elected Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a military coup & that the US State Department under H Clinton threw all its weight against the return of Zelaya to power & behind the forces which overthrew him. This is the year when military & police repression began, as well as the subsequent human rights disaster

=> Amnesty International, 12 May 2014 - URGENT ACTION Honduras: Children's rights defender beaten, detained: José Guadalupe Ruelas ".../... He stated that he was pulled out of the car by military police and beaten in the face, head, ribs and legs. He was then pulled by the legs face down and kicked. .../... José Guadalupe Ruelas believes that his mistreatment was in retaliation for speaking out against the government in the previous weeks. In April, he presented a report denouncing the high levels of killings of children and young people in the country, with at least 270 violent deaths of people under the age of 23 occurring in the first four months of 2014. Ruelas wrote “there is an emerging pattern of organized people with access to expensive vehicles, weapons and equipment, who kidnap, torture and kill poor children and youths, in almost total impunity”. In May, after the discovery of the dismembered bodies of four children, José Guadalupe Ruelas was interviewed by the media and said that none of the numerous Honduran laws aimed at protecting children were being implemented by the government due to corruption and impunity. "

=> Amnesty International - all the urgent actions, documents, reports for Honduras, most recent first, going back in time, over 9 pages

SusanAWAY A (219)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 5:35 pm
Noted and shared. This was a very interesting article. I'm personally not that crazy about Clinton for president, and will not vote for her in the primary if the Democrats put up a more progressive choice, but I will reluctantly support her if she is the Democrats' nominee. Things would be much worse for the US and for the rest of the world if any of the Republican choices were to be elected.

I would love to see Bernie Sanders run for president, but I'm not sure he would stand a chance. I just think he would make the best president by far.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 6:53 pm
Well she is the Democrats little darling - but I'd not vote for her. She is a Corporate elite through and through. I don't trust her as far as I could throw her, and that isn't far at all. Ewoud put on a story here recently where she pushed the a Government to go against it's own people to push Fracking down their throats.

Her husband was the one to sign in NAFTA sending our job overseas to exploit other workers with paying low wages and no workers safety rules, he wrecked the safety net for women in struggle with the Welfare Reform Act which now there is nothing for women to reach out to when they get in difficult places, he removed Glass-Steagal which did away with an important regulation that allowed the banks to have a field day that led to the economic crash.

Why people think so highly of this dynamic disaster I haven't a clue. They are as blinded as the Republicans are with their nut jobs they keep electing. No one we are in such a mess. I'll only vote the Democratic ticket if Bernie Sanders chooses to run under it, otherwise I'm done with BOTH those good for nothing Parties. I vote 3rd Party now. Even if they don't win at least I didn't become part of the problem voting in the other two horror shows.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 7:00 pm
I just read what I wrote....sorry for the typo's all over. I should of gone to bed. I was on my way.

*where she pushed.....should be another Government to go against it's own people to push Fracking.

*Why people think so highly of this dynamic .......duo......disaster, I haven't a clue.

*No........wonder......we are in such a mess.

I love ya Susan, but this is the same stuff we get each election. I don't like her or him but I will have to vote for them for it will be worse if a Republican gets in. Well, to me there isn't much difference anymore so go third party for a true change. What can I say......doing the same thing over and over again gets the same results.

Okay, I'm off to la la land. Brain isn't functioning.

JL A (281)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 7:52 pm
I would have preferred more ethical behavior in foreign affairs by this administration--yet I see this exemplifying virtually all dealings with smaller countries, especially not in Europe, the US has had for at least 50 years. Thanks Lucy

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 2:16 am

Your brain, my dear Sheryl, is working WONDERFULLY!


=> "I vote 3rd Party now. Even if they don't win at least I didn't become part of the problem voting in the other two horror shows."

=> "Why people think so highly of this dynamic disaster I haven't a clue." (I thought that "dynamic disaster" was a metaphor for H Clinton!)

Susan, I rewarded your comment with a green star, but that was in thanks for you having commented & sharing this article. And for the end of your comment, in support of Bernie Sanders: I, too, think "he would make the best president by far."

I really fail to see how H Clinton would be any improvement over a GOP candidate. The Repugs are so outrageously awful that people still think the Dems are 'nicer.' But there is no 'nice guy' among the majority of Dems (if you eliminate a few of the small minority of progressive Dems), & the Clintons are just the rottenest apples in the basket. As Dandelion said, "She is Corporate elite through and through. .. B Clinton "was the one to sign in NAFTA sending our job overseas to exploit other workers & "he removed Glass-Steagal which did away with an important regulation that allowed the banks to have a field day that led to the economic crash." B Clinton also destroyed Haitian agriculture & promoted manufacturing 'investments' in Haiti i.e. the creation of Haitian sweat shops, the worst & lowest paying in the Western Hemisphere! I wonder if his apology to Guatemala (for US role in the brutal counter-terrorism campaign that caused the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians, including the genocide of indigenous Mayan peasant farmers & their families, in all 200,000 killed in the 36-year civil war, 93 percent of the atrocities carried out by US-trained, US-armed, US-supported Guatemalan state forces, according to the UN Truth Commission) is worth more than a hill of beans, when Hillary's support of the Honduran putschists marks the return of this style of US intervention.

The Dems have their US civil rights record that has given them the aura of being humanitarians, but that was a long time ago. And the ever-widening weath inequality gap that has developed over the last 40 years is as much their fault as the GOPs.

And let's not forget that it is the current administration that failed to prosecute any of the bank & finance executives and/or CEOs responsible first for the sub-prime lending crisis that evolved into the major international economic crisis we are still suffering from throughout the world.

It's really a shame that Americans have more or less unanimously bought into the 'wasted vote' theory that prevents Americans from voting for valid 3rd party candidates & guarantees perenniality to the two party system... to whose benefit? I ask.

I must have been 12 years old the first time I heard the expression, 'the lesser of two evils,' and nothing has changed! With only 54.87% of eligible voters turning out for the 2012 presidential election & the percentage never exceeding 70% since 1900, 56.70% & 58.23% for 2004 & 2008 respectively looking like 'highs' though barely higher than all the repeatedly paltry turnouts since 1976...And that's just for presidential elections.

There is so obviously something wrong: how can we talk about democracy when so few citizens are participating in elections & the system in place fails to mobilize voters?


SuSanne P (193)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 6:48 am
Thank you Lucy. I couldn't agree more with all your submissions, especially the one above this. Dandelion, whether your brain is functioning or not, (your words) your message was loud and clear. I will NOT VOTE for the lesser of two evils, either. NO MORE!

Angelika R (143)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 1:39 pm
This grandmother is, was and always will be a neocon/ziocon ..tch.
Thx Jill.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 2:08 pm
Put it more bluntly: we have a right-wing world government, where not as of yet, surely to be forced to come..
Look at your own country's most recent "primaries" Jill-and who entered the Senate!

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 3:08 pm
Noted. Thanks, Lucy, for posting this great info. I'd known a bit about this, but now know specifics. While others over the years have cursed and belittled Bill Clinton for his liaisons with Lewinsky, I've been cursing him for the items listed by Dandelion & Lucy here. The media has been trying to get people in a frenzy to have a female POTUS finally. Well, it would be nice---but I prefer Elizabeth Warren. We still have nearly 2 years to get the rules changed to get "3rd parties" included in the Presidential debates; and also to have publicly financed elections. I think if we are successful, Ms. Clinton could be in for a big surprise.

Kathleen M (210)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 3:33 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Lucy. And thank you all, wise commenters!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 3:51 pm
The US is my country, even if I live in France. But I'm assuming you're referring, Angie, to the two 'Front National' candidates who made it into the French Senate. But don't forget that the French Senate has nothing to do with the US Senate: they aren't lawmakers in France & they aren't elected by the people.

John B (185)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 4:02 pm
Thanks Lucy for the very informative post and excellent comments. I do hope Berrie Sanders steps up and runs against Hillary in the Democratic primary and if he should win, it would be wonderful if he would pick Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. Now that would be a great progressive ticket and one I would gladly vote for. Noted.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 5:21 pm
I was, yes Jill and I also know they're -thanks goodness-not lawmakers there, yet it is not exactly a soothing idea.

Bruce C D (89)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 7:17 pm
Thank-you, Lucy. Petition signed, reading report. Turd Way Dems are an anchor around the neck of the party. I'm hoping Russ Feingold runs.

Jason R (67)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 7:53 pm
Hillary was doing her job. Following Obama's orders. Obama is doing his job. Obeying the CIA/MIC.

Bernie, Elizabeth, Allen!!! Let's get back to a Progressive America!

Bryan S (105)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 8:37 pm
Thanks for this Jill. It reminds me of something Obama said re Honduras after the coup. I remember it cause it really pissed me off! So in response to the people who very righteously stated that the US should oppose the coup and restore Zelaya and democracy, Obama said (paraphrasing) "Well, first they complained that we went into Iraq too soon, and now they're complaining that we're not going into Honduras soon enough."

Well NO, weasel-mouth! First of all, these people didn't want the US committing the bloody, immoral, folly in Iraq at all. Second, putting the necessary pressure on the new illegal regime (which the US has demonstrated it can and will do so much more in Latin America) does not mean invading and killing.

Of course it's all pretty benign compared to the US' long history of instigating and supporting mass violence in this part of the world. I certainly won't be voting for Hillary, and like others here, would only vote for someone like Sanders or Warren on the Dem team. If some Teapublican wins, then at least people will be motivated to organize more. Though it's always saddening to think there's enough wackjobs out there to vote in some one who outright promotes warmongering, corporatism, religious fundamentalism, and who looks at our world with its beautiful complexity as a pile of resources to make money off of.

BackSoon Fowler (33)
Monday October 6, 2014, 7:23 am
Thanks for the post Lucy.
Very informative. Interesting comments by everyone, intelligence abound.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday October 7, 2014, 1:00 am
I am so pleased that this article was read & widely appreciated!

Unlike so many posts of petitions, we got some real, meaningful comments here! I just can't stand the 'N & S/'noted & signed'-type comments.

Until I accidentally stumbled upon this article, I didn't know who Mark Weisbrot was (co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. and president of Just Foreign Policy) nor that he wrote articles for the press & internet media.

Someone to remember & follow, I'd say.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday April 16, 2015, 2:43 pm

I found out the other day (yesterday?) that the great South American writer, Eduardo Galeano had just died.

On DN!, his passing was noted & his life and ideas celebrated: "One of Latin America’s most acclaimed writers, Eduardo Galeano, died on Monday at age 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Uruguayan novelist and journalist made headlines when Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave President Obama a copy of his classic work, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."

Since its publication in 1971, "Open Veins" has sold more than a million copies worldwide, despite being banned by the military governments in Chile, Argentina and his native country of Uruguay. While in exile after the Uruguayan military junta seized power in a 1973 coup, Galeano began work on his classic trilogy "Memory of Fire," which rewrites five centuries of North and South American history. He also authored "Soccer in Sun and Shadow," "Upside Down," "The Book of Embraces," "We Say No," "Voices of Time," "Mirrors," "Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History," among others. Galeano received numerous international prizes, including the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the First Distinguished Citizen of the region by the countries of Mercosur. We look back on Galeano’s life and hear from his Democracy Now! interviews in 2009 and 2013.
Remembering Eduardo Galeano, Champion of Social Justice & Chronicler of Latin America’s Open Veins

I was just amazed to read that Chavez & Obama had actually met! And then doubly amazed, for Chavez having given Obama Galeano's book. Being an ex-pat, there are loads of things I miss, even though I used to think that having Internet kept me up to date.

The Guardian reported at the time, "During a session of the summit of the Americas in Trinidad at the weekend (Sat & Sun, 18-19 April, 2009), Chávez strode up to Obama, patted him on the shoulder and, with a friendly handshake, gave him a paperback copy of Eduardo Galeano's 1973 work, "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."

"As footage of the encounter appeared on news bulletins, the book rocketed up the US paperback sales chart of the online bookseller Amazon, soaring from number 54,295 to sixth place within 24 hours.

"A classic work in left-wing circles, Galeano's book analyses five centuries of unequal relations with Europe and the US. It contends that Latin America has been abused as industrialised nations plundered its natural resources, ranging from gold and silver to cocoa and cotton.

Bravo, Chavez!!! What a brilliant coup & how fantastic that more Americans will have learned about our shameful & frightful history in Latin America.

Now was that before of after the Honduras 'coup d'etat' supported by US via Sec of State Hillary Clinton? A C2 search I've just conducted has come up with an old post of mine that I'd completely forgotten! And it was on my birthday, too, on Tuesday July 7, 2009, that I posted Eye-Witness Honduras: Coup Regime Blocks Ousted Pres. Zelaya's Return; Troops Open Fire on Supporters at Airport Killing >2

So Obama got the book in mid-April & the coup occurred in June! He didn't read it or he did, but he failed to pass it to his Sec of State, or else neither one of them sought to put an end to US interference in Latin American politics, with 'regime changing' policies & support -always support, military, political, covert CIA- for right-wing generals, business leaders & other assorted thugs.

While nearly all of Latin America was calling for Zelaya's reinstatement as (democratically elected) president of Honduras, Clinton (and we must gather that Obama supported this) did not come out with support or declare the illegitimacy of the new government! On the contrary, she promoted a false narrative of the coup that just happened to coincide with what the putschists were claiming.

And years later, she's still defending her actions!

Past Member (0)
Monday June 13, 2016, 11:49 pm
With the ruse of a presidential election going on presently, and Hillary's campaign running a rigged, immoral, illegal campaign---this was worth a re-look.
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