A coup & a class warJuly 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Posted in International | 5 Comments
However you might wish to apportion blame for creating the farcical situation in Honduras, what’s become startlingly clear in recent days is the extent to which the slanging match between the Honduran ‘government’ and the rest of the world is nothing compared to the intensity of the conflict between those mostly rich supporters of the coup regime and those mostly poor supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya:
On one side of town near the presidential palace, a river of people wearing neatly pressed jeans and new white T-shirts waved kerchiefs as they “defended democracy and peace.”
Across town, throngs of scrappy, shouting pickets — some with kerchiefs around their faces — hurled insults at the military that ousted their beloved president, Manuel ”Mel” Zelaya.
”The coup-plotters were responsible for dividing our people,” said Daisy Chávez, a middle-school teacher who was among thousands who turned out this weekend to demand Zelaya’s return. “Just look at them, with their nice little shirts and neatly styled hair. Us? Mel supporters? We come to the protests looking just like we did when we rolled out of bed.
“You can see how divided Hondurans are by just looking at us.”
There’s much which should cause us to have suspicions about the motives of those who carried out the coup, but chief amongst them should be what seems like an ingrained bias against Zelaya among the military top brass, primarily for his left wing politics:
Inestroza acknowledged that after 34 years in the military, he and many other longtime soldiers found Zelaya’s allegiance to Chávez difficult to stomach. Although he calls Zelaya a ”leftist of lies” for his bourgeoisie upbringing, he admits he’d have a hard time taking orders from a leftist.
Memories of the 1980s fight against guerrilla insurgents are still fresh in Honduras.
”We fought the subversive movements here and we were the only country that did not have a fratricidal war like the others,” he said. “It would be difficult for us, with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That’s impossible. I personally would have retired, because my thinking, my principles, would not have allowed me to participate in that.”
And if Zelaya comes back, he’ll have to retire anyway.
”I will resign and leave the country, and so would most of the military,” Inestroza said. “They would come after us and the other political leaders who were involved in this.’
Still, at least they’ve picked a top notch diplomat to help rebuild the country’s tarnished reputation:
This is the same “foreign minister,” by the way, whose skills at diplomacy included this statement, last week, about US President Obama:
“The (US) president of the republic, with all due respect to the little black man (‘negrito’), doesn’t know where Tegucigalpas is. We know where Washington is and we’re are obligated, as a small country, a democratic pygmy, to clarify the concepts for him and read to him, maybe in his language, what’s going on.”
And as comical punctuation to his defense of his small country in the context of a larger one, Ortez, speaking last week about neighboring El Salvador, said:
“It’s not worth talking about a country so tiny that you can’t play football in it because the ball lands in another country.”
This isn’t a government. It’s a clown show… a macabre one, in which the clowns are armed with machine guns and, like Batman’s super-villains, are shooting them at the audience.
Yeah, that’s the ‘foreign minister’ of Honduras (population 7 million) belittling El Salvador for being a ‘tiny country’. That’s a bit like Ronnie Corbett teasing Kylie Minogue for being ‘a bit on the short side’.
I swear, if this thing weren’t so serious, it’d look eerily similar to a Woody Allen film.