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But as the Obama administration deepens its partnership with Honduras, ostensibly to fight the drug war, Democrats in Congress are increasingly rebelling. Here's a message, then, for new Secretary of State John Kerry: Recast U.S. policy in Honduras and the murderous drug war that justifies it.
In the last few years, the U.S. has been ramping up its military operations throughout Latin America in what the Associated Press called "the most expensive initiative in Latin America since the Cold War." The buildup has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $20 billion since 2002, for troops, ships, clandestine bases, radar, military and police training and other expenses.
U.S. military expenditures for Honduras in particular have gone up every year since 2009, when a military coup deposed democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. At $67.4 million, 2012 Defense Department contracts for Honduras are triple those of 10 years ago. The U.S. spent $25 million last year to make the U.S. barracks at the Soto Cano air base permanent, and $89 million to keep 600 U.S. troops based there. U.S. direct aid to the Honduran military and police continues to climb as well.
But the Obama administration's escalating military commitment in Honduras only deepens its support for the corrupt and repressive Lobo government. State security forces still enjoy near-complete impunity for thousands of alleged human rights abuses and even murders since the 2009 coup. The government hasn't paid many of its teachers for at least six months, and the country is close to bankrupt.
Wikileaks Honduras: State Dept. Busted on Support of Coup
By July 24, 2009, the U.S. government was totally clear about the basic facts of what took place in Honduras on June 28, 2009. The U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa sent a cable to Washington with subject: "Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup," asserting that "there is no doubt" that the events of June 28 "constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup." The Embassy listed arguments being made by supporters of the coup to claim its legality, and dismissed them thus: "none ... has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution." The Honduran military clearly had no legal authority to remove President Zelaya from office or from Honduras, the Embassy said, and their action - the Embassy described it as an "abduction" and "kidnapping" - was clearly unconstitutional.
Yesterday there was an election in Haiti. This election was funded by the U.S., despite the fact that major parties were excluded from participation by the government's electoral council, a fact that Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, in addition to NGOs, complained about without result. The Washington Post reports that the election ended with "nearly all the major candidates calling for the results to be tossed out amid 'massive fraud.'": "12 of the 19 candidates on Sunday's ballot appeared together at a raucous afternoon news conference to accuse the government of President Rene Preval of trying to steal the election and install his chosen candidate, Jude Celestin."
Yesterday's election in Haiti had the fingerprints of the U.S. government all over it. It was funded by the U.S. "Security" for the election was purportedly provided by UN troops, paid for by the U.S. And the crucial historical context of the election was the 2004 coup that deposed democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide, a coup engineered by the U.S. with years of economic destruction clearly intended to topple the elected government.
Clinton Betrayed Democracy, Economic Justice, and Women and Children in Honduras ]
Given information that has been revealed since 2009, we now know a lot more about the US support for the 2009 military coup. Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, didn't necessarily push the button that started it, but she was the Obama administration's most ardent advocate of keeping the military in power and preventing Zelaya from returning as a democratically elected leader.
The repercussions to Honduras of Clinton siding with the military have led to it becoming one of the most corrupt and violence-ridden nations in the world. They also reveal the deep contradiction between Clinton's espousal of democracy and the rights of women and children, and her neoliberal realpolitik interest in protecting the markets and profits of US-based corporations.
Clinton may be out of office now, but she still vigorously defends her policy that guaranteed Zelaya would not be restored to his duly elected role -- and therefore would not continue his reforms on behalf of the working poor and peasants.
Hillary Clinton’s Link to a Nasty Piece of Work in Honduras
By supporting the June 28, 2009 coup d’état in Honduras when she was secretary of state, Clinton helped create the dire conditions that caused many of these children to flee. And the assassination of legendary Honduran human rights leader Berta Cáceres earlier this month can be traced indirectly to Clinton’s policies.
Pine, who has worked for many years in Honduras, told Dennis Bernstein of KPFA radio in 2014 that the military forces that carried out the coup were trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly called the U.S. Army School of the Americas) in Fort Benning, Ga. Although the coup was supported by the United States, it was opposed by the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS). The U.N. and the OAS labeled President Manuel Zelaya’s ouster a military coup.
“Hillary Clinton was probably the most important actor in supporting the coup [against the democratically elected Zelaya] in Honduras,” Pine noted. It took the United States two months to even admit that Honduras had suffered a coup, and it never did admit it was a military coup. That is, most likely, because the Foreign Assistance Act prohibits the U.S. from aiding a country “whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”
Human Rights Watch argued that "at least eight journalists and ten members of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP)—a political group that opposed the 2009 removal from office of the then president and advocated the reinstatement of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya — have been killed since Lobo assumed power on January 27, 2010". Human Rights Watch has also reported attacks on the independence of the judiciary and public prosecutors. The Obama administration, however, praised Lobo for his attempts at reconciliation, which include forming a truth commission to investigate events surrounding the removal from office as well as appointing a human rights adviser and political opponents to his government.
AMY GOODMAN: Interesting, when looking at past coups and the parallel being made to 1973, the September 11th, ’73, coup against Allende, when President Obama met with Michelle Bachelet, a reporter asked if he wanted to apologize for CIA involvement in the Chilean elections. Obama said last week, “I’m interested in going forward, not looking back. I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world. I think there have been times where we’ve made mistakes. But I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region.” So he refused to outright apologize, Professor Grandin. www.democracynow.org...
A critical difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is their position on whether children who fled violence in Central American countries, particularly Honduras, two years ago should be allowed to stay in the United States or be returned. Sanders states unequivocally that they should be able to remain in the U.S. Clinton disagrees. She would guarantee them “due process,” but nothing more.
Reports last month that a DEA agent was killed when his plane, filled with coc aine, was shot down by a Honduran jet fighter, are untrue, announced the US Embassy in Honduras.
Reports in all three daily newspapers in the capital of Tegucigalpa had explained that the unprecedented step the United States took last month— turning off the radar used by Honduras to track suspected drug planes—was necause a Honduran fighter opened fire on a drug plane being used by the DEA. Nonsense, said Stephen J. Posivak, director of Public Affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Honduras. He denied any DEA agents were on the flight shot down by a fighter jet on June 13th over the eastern part of Honduras. “There was no DEA agent on that plane,” Posivak asserted, speaking on Ambassador Lisa Kubiske’s behalf. www.madcowprod.com...
Remarks by President Obama in Address to the United Nations General Assembly
The notion of American empire may be useful propaganda, but it isn’t borne out by America’s current policy or by public opinion.
Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.
Democrats Decry Russia Influencing U.S. Election. FLASHBACK: Obama Admin Funds Group That Tries to Influence Israeli Election.
The CIA's allegation that Russian hackers attempted to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump has resulted in hysteria from Democrats, who have jumped on the theory as another means of explaining away the historic upset of the formerly "inevitable" Hillary Clinton. But before the Democrats get too carried away, a quick reminder: a bipartisan congressional report concluded that a non-profit funded by the Obama State Department attempted to influence the 2015 Israeli election to oust conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a vocal critic of the Iran deal.
After an extensive investigation, a bipartisan Senate subcommittee issued a report in July of this year stating that the non-profit organization OneVoice, which had received hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money from the State Department, had actively campaigned against Netanyahu during the 2015 Israeli election.
The Senate report confirmed what Netanyahu's team had said back in 2015: Obama had played a far more active role in the Israeli election than the American media had reported. Netanyahu's campaign specifically cited the involvement of Obama political operative Jeremy Bird and OneVoice, which they said had funded a campaign called V15 against the Israeli leader.
Jeremy Bird is a Founding Partner at 270 Strategies. He most recently served as the National Field Director for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama, where he had primary responsibility for building a nationwide army of staff and volunteer organizers. Dubbed the campaign’s “Field General” by Rolling Stone magazine, Jeremy was listed among “The Obama Campaign’s Real Heroes” and has been cited as “a former Harvard divinity student who took to political organizing as though it were his higher calling.” He is credited with helping establish a ground game and turnout machine that in 2012 “reproduced – through brute force, dedication and will – a turnout in the swing states that in some cases bested the campaign's remarkable performance of four years ago.” He was previously Deputy National Director of Organizing for America and served in 2008 first as South Carolina Primary Field Director – leading a 29-point victory – and later as Ohio General Election Director – leading a 5-point victory. Across these roles, Jeremy helped create and implement the Obama campaign’s neighborhood team organizing model – an approach which transformed organizing in presidential politics by merging people-focused, community organizing with empowering and inclusive digital technology and cutting-edge data analytics. www.huffingtonpost.com...
originally posted by: LumenImagoDei
Bush and his Administration are the ones who created/funded Al Qaeda to begin with, Obama is only continuing the war in the Middle East and Trump will continue it even further with his plan to ramp up forces against ISIS, the newest name for the same boogeyman.
Acting like Obama or Hillary have any say so in foreign affairs is quite funny because they are only following orders of being scapegoats. The people making the real decisions are behind the curtain unseen.
Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
The central-American nation of Honduras is ruled today by an extremist far-right government, a fascist junta-imposed government, because of what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama did in 2009. The lives of all but the top 0.001% of the population there are hell because of this.
The matter in Haiti was similar but less dramatic, and so it received even less attention from the U.S. Press.
Furthermore, under Secretary of State Clinton, failures at the U.S. Department of State also caused the basis for a hatred of the United States to soar in Afghanistan after the U.S. has drawn down its troops there. This failure, too, has received little coverage in the U.S. press, but our nation will be paying heavily for it long-term.
On 28 June 2009, the Honduran military grabbed their nation’s popular democratically elected progressive President, Manuel Zelaya, and flew him into exile.
The AP headlined from Tegucigalpa the next day, “World Leaders Pressure Honduras to Reverse Coup,” and reported: “Leaders from Hugo Chavez to Barack Obama called for reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya, who was arrested in his pajamas Sunday morning by soldiers who stormed his residence and flew him into exile.”
Secretary Clinton, in the press conference the day after the coup, “Remarks at the Top of the Daily Press Briefing”, refused to commit the United States to restoration of the democratically elected President of Honduras. She refused even to commit the U.S. to using the enormous leverage it had over the Honduran Government to bring that about.
Blood Thicker Than Water? US Accusations Put Honduras President in Difficult Spot
The US government’s recent accusations against several alleged drug traffickers, among them military officials, have placed Honduras’ President Juan Orlando Hernández in an impossible position: between some of his staunchest local allies, including his own family, and his most important international backer.
The incredible week of accusations and counteraccusations began on October 7 with a US government press release of a list of suspects who allegedly have some connection to the Atlantic Cartel, a loose transport network operating from the Mosquitia province in northeastern Honduras.
The spark for the unusual public dump of sensitive information by the US Embassy is not clear, but it came just days after an attack on a car allegedly carrying US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in San Pedro Sula. The event led US authorities to beef up US Ambassador James Nealon’s security detail amidst reported threats against Nealon.