By Dennis J Bernstein in Consortium News
AP: Hillary Clinton was probably the most important actor in supporting the coup in Honduras. In part, perhaps, one would assume because one of her best friends from law school, Lanny Davis, who had actually run her campaign for a while, her presidential campaign against Obama, was hired immediately following the coup by the most powerful business group in the country, that supported the coup, as the representative for the Micheletti coup government in Washington.
In that capacity he was able to organize hearings in Congress through his friend, Eliot Engel, who at the time was the head of the congressional committee for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and he was able to directly have Hillary Clinton’s ear. And, what that meant was that whereas the initial signals from the White House, from Obama were that yes indeed this was a coup and that this was illegal, and that the coup administration wouldn’t be recognized.
Hillary Clinton was able to veto that position, in effect, and alongside her friend, Lanny Davis, and the State Department took a couple of months to even admit that a coup had happened. But they made this, theretofore unknown differentiation saying that this had not been a military coup, it had just been a regular coup. It’s a difference that didn’t make much sense. The military, in effect, had carried out the coup.
DB: Well, if there ever was a distinction without a difference, it was that.
AP: Hillary Clinton played a huge role in propping up the coup administration. And it was the State Department that went against the Organization of American States, which actually has had a positive impact hemisphere-wide in that it provoked the creation of CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] which is the new, sort of parallel organization of OAS that excludes the U.S. and Canada because they have had such a negative impact within the OAS, of really pushing back against the progressive governments in the region, that want to have a different kind of relationship with the north, and not just be in the sort of ongoing imperialism.
But the State Department ensured that the coup administration would remain in place through negotiations that they imposed, against the OAS’ wish, and through continuing to provide aid and continuing to recognize the coup administration. And so if it weren’t for Hillary Clinton, basically, there wouldn’t be this refugee crisis from Honduras at the level that it is today. And Hondurans would be living a very different reality, from the tragic one they are living right now.
Hillary, Hillary, this was your problem in 2008. Don’t tell me you’ve continued this old back-room Democrat into the State Dept coz when the campaign comes along, you’re gonna get hurt again. Damn shame.
And also, there’s a growth of private universities that goes along with a sort of neoliberalization of the whole educational sector, which was one of the major impulses of the coup in 2010, a year after coup, one of the most important achievements of the then President Lobo administration, who won in fraudulent elections in 2009, that were funded and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, and the [U.S.] State Department.
One of his major achievements was destroying the teachers union, which was the most important defender of public education in Honduras. And, in doing that, they’ve managed to help destroy public education, and increase the possibility for profits for the owners of private schools, many of whom were strong supporters and central actors within the coup.
So it has become more and more difficult for Hondurans to get an education. Honduras is an extremely poor country. And it’s also an extremely divided, between rich and poor, so that over 70 percent live under the poverty level in Honduras. And the majority of Hondurans don’t get through high school. And I don’t remember exactly what it is that most Hondurans get to. I think it’s something like third or fourth grade.
DB: Third or fourth grade.
AP: And there’s almost no point in getting educated because there are no jobs. That’s really the crux of the matter. Even if kids want to better themselves by getting an education. And they fight, and struggle and they work full-time and sacrifice and their parents sacrifice and they get that university degree, there are just no jobs available. And their only chance is to flee, for so many of them. And that’s what is behind this.
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