Monday, July 30, 2012

Prospects for a Populist Comeback in Honduras Worry the US Intelligence Community
A friend of mine, a Mexican journalist who often criticizes the US over its untamed ambitions in Latin America, recently shared with me a printout listing the staff of the US embassy in Honduras. Many of the names were marked up to identify members of the US intelligence community or those who work for the Pentagon. In my friend's words, Americans appear hyperactive in Honduras these days even compared to the 1980ies epoch when Washington used the country as a Latin American foothold in an extensive anti-guerrilla campaign. The US objectives at the moment are not deeply hidden: populists are regaining weight in Honduras, ousted president M. Zelaya is clearly bracing for a comeback, and the Empire's response strike is only a question of when and where… The elections in Honduras are scheduled for the last Sunday of November, 2013. The left-centrist Libertad y Refundación – Libre was the first of the political parties in Honduras to announce who would represent it in the upcoming pole. Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of former president of Honduras M. Zelaya, removed from his post in a coup engineered by the CIA, the US Defense Intelligence Department, and the local rightists, took the key role in resisting the creeping US occupation of the country. The resistance is completely peaceful: Xiomara Zelaya counts on an honest competition and offers a healthy reformist program. The populists in Honduras are determined to retake power and to put into practice their plan for a socialist transformation in the interests of the majority.
Speaking to supporters on July 1, Xiomara Zelaya stated clearly that her party's goal would be to break the existing ruthless and oppressive system and that the left would not bow to any force or tolerate violence against them. She stressed that resistance is turning global as peoples across the world fight against lawlessness, militarisms, and coups, and, therefore, Hondurans are not lonely in their current struggle. Explaining why she believes that regime change is necessary in Honduras, Xiomara Zelaya slammed the government of P. Lobo for the unprecedented rise of politically motivated violence, poverty, and famine. Problems in the country multiply, with no steps to address them in sight. The ruling National Party staunchly upholds the neoliberal doctrine, helps oligarchic groups build stronger positions within the state machinery, and puts obstacles in the way of the socially oriented reforms launched by M. Zelaya. Xiomara Zelaya blamed on the rightist parties backed by the US the growing underdevelopment of Honduras, the miserable living standards endured by the majority of its population, and and the sellout of the country's national riches.
Formulating the agenda of the Libre party, Xiomara Zelaya cited the program espoused by her husband, which includes convening a constitutional assembly, scrapping the neoliberal economic model, condemning as illegitimate the host of legislative acts passed by the new parliament of Honduras to feed the natural resources of the country to international corporations, departing from militarist methods in the struggle against drug cartels, and reconnecting to ALBA and Latin America's populist regimes. Xiomara Zelaya and her flock favor Latin American integration and pledge to stay immune to Washington's invasive whip and carrot policies. It is already obvious that, if Xiomara Zelaya wins the electoral race, the US anti-populist achievements in Honduras will be completely reversed. Washington is fully aware of the possibility and takes measures accordingly, with priority being given to scenarios involving the use of force. The putchists started to selectively kill off the supporters of M. Zelaya in Honduras immediately following his ouster, but since the time political terror in Honduras has reached sweeping proportions. According to Xiomara Zelaya, over 86 deaths from violence per 100,000 citizens – four times the Latin American average - were reported in Honduras in 2011. Slightly under 13,000 cases of the type – 20 deaths daily – occurred under the National Party's rule. Journalism in Honduras seems to be linked to top occupational hazards, considering that the death toll among the media people has climbed to 24. The conflict over land in the Bajo Aguan district already cost the lives of 50 activists who demanded that farmlands become available to peasants, with no probes whatsoever opened in this connection. The country being run by putschists is in decline, with its administrative system stalling, and the result is a tide of crime and widespread human rights violations. The situation deteriorated visibly this year as terror is at full swing and it is obvious that a bloody plan to wipe out the resistance movement in Honduras is materializing. Major land owners illicitly maintain private armies which they unleash against the farmers whose estates have been seized. For example, Miguel Facussé, a producer of biodiesel exported to the US, is known to practice this type of terror. It is no secret to the US embassy in Honduras that Facussé supplies Columbian cocaine to the US East Coast, and the US DEA has more than enough evidence implicating the tycoon, but Facussé sponsored the anti-Zelaya plot and sent his henchmen to help do the job, and can feel safe so far. The US embassy pulls the strings of practically the entire state apparatus in Honduras. It enjoys unlimited influence over the country's government, parliament, army, law-enforcement agencies, and media. The ruling elite in Honduras and its US patrons coexist in a near-perfect harmony, and have no difficulty reaching compromise when differences do arise as common opposition to populists far outweighs all other regards. For the most part, the US embassy staff responsible for the operation which culminated in the deportation of M. Zelaya no longer works in Honduras. Shifting people from place to place after two or three years of service makes it possible to avoid security breaches, as over the short periods of time they do not make it to fraternalize with the corrupt environment in their private interests. Lisa Kubiske, an officer with a career steadily combining employment at the US Department of State and in the CIA currently represents the US in Honduras. For a while, her interests revolved around China as she spied in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and later she switched to Latin America. Prior to landing the job in Honduras, she used to be the US embassy counselor in Brazil, handling the Dilma Rousseff problem. In Tegucigalpa, Kubiske will similarly be watching over a female politician, this time - Xiomara Zelaya who, therefore, has to duel with an experienced opponent. Matthias Mitman, player number two in the US team, formerly headed the economic section of the US embassy in Moscow. One of his earlier assignments was that of an embassy science department counselor, which implies technological espionage. Mitman's record abounds with impressive twists: he was a deputy political counselor at the US embassy in Athens (an adviser to a CIA resident, in other words), then — a senior economic adviser in Baghdad. Later on, Mitman dealt with East Europe as a special assistant to the US ambassador, an assistant to the US State Secretary for non-proliferation, and a US envoy to the Global Partnership team. Someone with the above record could realistically expect to nab a serious post in the top echelon of the US Department of State or the CIA, and Mitman's sitting in the unattractive Tegucigalpa gives a good idea of how high, as of today, the task of defeating populists in Honduras ranks on the list of the US priorities. The US Department of State, the CIA, and the US Defense Intelligence Department are not the only agencies diverting top-level human resources to Honduras. USAID and the Peace Corps are also there, and vast employment opportunities are open for contractors with combat experience or a record of service in the special forces, Columbian warriors, and former officers from Pinochet's army. Dogs of war are currently gathering across Latin America to beat the recovering populists in Honduras. No doubt, the objective pursued by the US embassy in Honduras is to make sure that Xiomara Zelaya will not be on the list of candidates when the presidential race in the country evolves into the decisive phase.

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