Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Honduras coup is a sign: the radical tide can be turned

If this were Burma or Iran the assault on democracy would be a global cause celebre. Instead, Obama is sitting on his hands

Seumas Milne, Wednesday 12 August 2009

"If Honduras were in another part of the world – or if it were, say, Iran or Burma – the global reaction to its current plight would be very different. Right now, in the heart of what the United States traditionally regarded as its backyard, thousands of pro-democracy activists are risking their lives to reverse the coup that ousted the country's elected president. Six weeks after the left-leaning Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped at dawn from the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa and expelled over the border, strikes are closing schools and grounding flights as farmers and trade unionists march in defiance of masked soldiers and military roadblocks........

That's why the overthrow of democratic government in Honduras has a significance that goes far beyond its own borders. If the takeover is allowed to stand, not only will it embolden coup-minded military officers in neighbouring countries such as Guatemala, act as a warning to weaker progressive governments and strengthen oligarchies across the continent. It would also send an unmistakable signal that the radical social and political process that has been unleashed in Latin America – the most hopeful development in global politics in the past two decades – can be halted and reversed. Relying on Obama clearly isn't an option: only Latin Americans can defend their own democracy."

No comments: