Honduras: the “Preemptive Soft Coup”

The endless epidemic of “soft coups” promoted by the White House has once again attacked Honduras.

The endless epidemic of “soft coups” promoted by the White House has once again attacked Honduras. It was there, in 2009, where– after a traditional military coup had failed one year before in Bolivia – this method was first applied. Since then, governments not wanted by the US have been wiped out by a lethal trident composed of the media oligarchy, the judiciary and legislators, whose combined “fire power” surpasses that of any army in the region. José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya was its first victim, followed by Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012 and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil in 2016. The governments of Bolivia, Venezuela and, of course, Cuba are under attack, while the old resources of bribery and treason, along with the “soft coup” technique seem to have stopped the process of the Ecuadorian Citizen Revolution previously led by Rafael Correa. Washington’s strategic objective is to put Latin America back in its neocolonial condition before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

In the case of Honduras, the coup works preemptively, through an outrageous electoral fraud that has raised criticism from only a few observers sent by the EU. In contrast, the mission of the Organisation of American States, led by the (not-so-democratic) Bolivian former president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, has allowed each and every one of the transgressions to the electoral laws and constitutional norms by Juan Orlando Hernández’s government, heir to the 2009 coup. Quiroga’s intervention in this conflict is quite ironic considering his positions on his own country: the Honduran Constitutional Tribunal has declared that re-election is a constitutional right that should not be impeded by lower-range laws, an interpretation that, in the case of Bolivia, gives legitimacy to Evo Morales’s aspirations for re-election.

But, back to the core of our argument. This new fraud in Honduras is an imitation of the PRI’s theft of Cuautehmoc Cárdenas’s imminent 1988 electoral victory in Mexico. In the midst of the voting recount, an electric power outage affected a massive part of Mexico City, and a real miracle – not short of Jesus’s multiplication of fish and bread – happened when the power came back: during the outage the votes for Salinas de Gortari, the PRI candidate, multiplied, leaving Cárdenas in a sad second place. In Honduras the exact same thing has happened, which proves the Holy Roman Catholic Church’s claims that miracles happen almost on a daily basis. After approximately half of the total polls had been counted, Salvador Nasralla, the candidate from the opposition front, was leading with five points over the official candidate, and the general tendency was very clear. In that moment, the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal – even though the candidate from the third party, Luis Zelaya, conceded Nasralla’s triumph – claimed that he could not announce any other results before the rest of the electoral reports were examined.

The SET then resumed the recount in districts where the official candidate was expected to win, while blackouts and repeated malfunctions in the Tribunal’s computing system happened at the same time. Once these problems were solved, the new data showed a slight advantage for president Juan Orlando Hernández; however, suspicions grew as the Public Ministry broke into an office where the governing party were preparing fake electoral reports. Surprisingly, this fraud was so rudimentary that it gave rise to another unprecedented miracle in world politics: after the technical problems, the votes for Hernández grew, but the tendencies for the official mayors and deputies of Congress stayed as they were before.

All of this, we insist, happened while the OAS mission led by Quiroga – whose politically reactionary DNA makes him sympathetic to this deception of the people’s will – kept complicitly silent. It is therefore not surprising that the grassroots of the opposition parties have taken the streets and demanded respect for the will of the citizenship. Nor is it surprising that Hernández’s fascist government has, along with the US embassy, supported the bloodshed produced since the 2009 coup (Berta Cáceres’s murder is the most famous case, but is one among many other), and has also declared a curfew and state of siege between 6 pm and 6 am. Although the protests in Honduras have already left around ten people dead, the government goes on unperturbed, with the open complicity of the “Supreme Rogue” of the Americas, Luis Almagro, and the implicit support of “the Embassy”, who would never allow the opposition to reach the Presidential Palace.

This is because Honduras has great strategic value for Washington’s geopolitical design. It is neighbours with Nicaragua and El Salvador – two governments that are considered “enemies” of US interests – and it’s Soto Cano aircraft base in Palmerola, besides having one of the three best runways in Central America, is a necessary stop for the Southern Command on the way to South America. The Soto Cano base is also host to the “Bravo” Taskforce, composed of approximately 500 US soldiers, ready to engage in combat in a matter of hours. Additionally, we should recall that the Honduran army was relaunched by the US ambassador John Negroponte and that for all practical effects it is a special commando of the US rather than a properly Honduran national army. All this is at stake in the Honduran presidential election; hence, Washington supported the coup against “Mel” Zelaya and currently validates president Hernández’s fraudulent move.

Since this electoral process is profoundly corrupted, the opposition will never recognise its legality or legitimacy. The latest atrocity was recently made public by the SET: it will proceed to count the rest of the ballots without the presence of representatives from the opposition parties. In other words, the government will count the votes and declare their fraudulent victory aside from any independent control entity. In view of the monstrosity of this electoral farce, the opposition should demand new elections under international supervision, since the SET’s status as an appendix of the government has been obvious: it has not even assured the correct recount of the votes, let alone the entirety of the electoral process. And the democratic governments of Our Americas should rally without hesitation behind the demands from the opposition forces in order to stop the consummation of this “preemptive soft coup” that is currently sinking Honduras into a devastating general national crisis. Finally, the “Supreme Rogue” of the Americas should be notified of the anomalies that are happening in the Honduran electoral process, diverting him temporally from his well paid obsession of monitoring and smearing Maduro’s government and the Venezuelan elections.

Translated by George García Quesada. Originally published in: http://www.atilioboron.com.ar/2017/12/honduras-el-golpe-blando-preventivo.html