Mark Sanford might now be the second happiest person about Jackson's death. The military in Honduras overthrew the elected president, Manuel Zelaya early Sunday morning, the first coup in Central America in 16 years. And, did it show up as big news? It did not. The Chronicle buried it in the World section, the Times buried it even further. My nightly news last night ran a 30 second story. Much more important that we know more about the world of Michael Jackson. Heck, even the US Soccer team and their (admittedly extraordinary) run at the Confederations Cup was a bigger story than the coup.
Zelaya is a leftist who was elected on a populist bill and worked to improve life for the Honduran poor. He was part of Chavez's ALBA block, but one of the saner members. His great crime was a referendum on the Constitution (largely written by 80s cold warriors) to allow the public into the revision of a new Constitution. Of course, Chavez used the same sort of trick to put himself into perpetual power so some grains of salt would not be begrudged here. But still.. The Supreme Court of Honduras (decidedly unleftist..) has basically overthrown the government under the guise of "protecting the Constitution."
Interestingly, it looks like an old shady character Otto Reich, might have been at least tacitly involved in the coup. You may remember Reich (a former ambassador to Venezuela and Bush Administration Central America point man) for his ham handed handling of the abortive coup attempt in Venezuela a few years ago. Reich (and other characters like John Negroponte) have been using Honduras as a US base of power in Central America since the 80s, and have enjoyed a progression of pliant administrations that depended on IMF & World Bank funds to keep solvent. I won't go into the Imperialist strings that are attached to IMF funds right now, but suffice to say that most liberal thinkers decry the effects of the IMF & World Bank on the developing world.)
The good news is that President Obama (and pretty much the rest of the World) denounced the coup, and refused to recognize the new regime. President Zelaya even attended a summit of Central & Latin American leaders where he was recognized as the legal President. I was actually a little surprised that the Obama Administration spoke so quickly, given our usual stance in Central America. The bad news is that this significant event is getting next to no notice. I think it's safe to say there won't be a lot of follow up stories on Honduras in the coming days. After all, we have Billy May's funeral to cover!
Last 5 posts by Ezra
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