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According to this report by The Real News Network, Honduras has pretty much been forgotten by the international community.

Now that the United States has endorsed the coup and the subsequent piloted presidential election, the international community is acting as if everything is back to normal in the small and poor Central American country. This could not be further from the truth, and the Honduran people and political dissidents have been subjected to intimidation at best and outright assassination at worst ever since the June 28, 2009 military coup which ousted president Manuel Zelaya.

In the report we learn how ten political dissidents have already been killed since Pepe Lobo has been inaugurated as president. Among those killed was Claudia Larissa Brizuela, daughter of resistance leader Pedro Brizuela. She was assassinated in her own home in San Pedro Sula on February 24, 2010. It was the day of her  36th birthday, and the day before a planned demonstration in Tegucigalpa which had been organised by the FNRP (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, or National People's Resistance Front).

On the positive side, it looks like sensible tourists and divers (Honduras' Bay Islands are a prime diving destination) around the world are speaking out with their wallets against the silence of their own governments. A few days ago, I received a 2 for 1 email offer from Anthony's Key Resort, one of the biggest resorts in Roatan, Honduras. If they need to send out offers like this in April, they must really be hurting. Hopefully, this kind of voluntary boycott by conscious tourists around the world will translate into a more proactive approach by the international community.



This diary has been cross posted here.

Originally posted to politicjock on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:08 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el cid, Seamus D

    I see very little about Honduras in the latin american press these days, so I suppose coverage in the US is absent.

    However, the last part of your diary about tourist boyctts is something I don't support. It is too punishing to too many poor and marginalized workers in the tourist industry.

    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg

      But if not economic sanctions, what would you suggest could work in this situation?

      Also, the argument of punishing the workers is a little bit disingenuous in my opinion. The workers are already been punished with poverty wages. Zelaya's biggest sin was to double the minimum wage.

      The owners of most resorts in the Bay Islands are American expatriates, and they are the ones who pressured the State Department to support the Micheletti interim regime (as you can read here).

      So, while I agree with you that it is not easy to impose economic sanctions on a very poor country, it seems to me it is a powerful way of bringing the Honduran government to face reality. This is how it was done in South Africa, and how it is done whenever the international community wants to put pressure on any government.

      •  I know it is difficult (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moondance

        My husband and I are Mexican and he works in the tourist sector so I know first hand what happens to families when there is no work and they have a nonsupportive government. (No safety net)

        The well to do won't suffer that much from a tourist boycott, but the waiters and boat drivers and maids, who have a marginal existence will.

  •  The reality in Honduras seems pretty blah (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moondance

    The guy who's president of Honduras now would have been president of Honduras now even had there been no coup.  Zelaya was the electoral Left in Honduras (since his in-power coversion to leftist populism), and there wasn't a leftist party to succeed him.  Unless you accept the rightist charge that Zelaya was indeed planning to stay in power, I don't see how we'd be in a situation other than what we have now, which is a conservative regime in Honduras.

    When your dream comes true, you're out one dream --The Nields

    by Rich in PA on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:03:31 PM PDT

    •  I think you are probably correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, moondance

      but it doesn't make me happy. The process stunk, not the actual politics. A military coup stes a dangerous precedent in CA. Hell Calderon and Uribe didn't support it, for good reasons.

      •  "Mistakes were made." (0+ / 0-)

        Overall the level of political savvy among Honduran politicians seems to have been remarkably low.  How could Zelaya think that a consultative referendum wouldn't press every paranoid anticontinuista button on the Right? How could the Right think it was better to stage a pre-emptive coup (which other countries pretty much had to condemn, even if they had conservative regimes themselves) than to wait and see if there was a non-paranoid reason?  And so forth.  

        When your dream comes true, you're out one dream --The Nields

        by Rich in PA on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:25:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw

      But what Zelaya was trying to do, was to call a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution. He was doing that in a legal way, mind you, but then supreme court decided they didn't want the people to have a say on that issue so it became the pretext for the coup.

      If there had been a question on the ballot, which would have been decided with the referendum Zelaya was trying to do, then Honduras could have been in the middle of a constitutional convention right now.

  •  Do you think there's (0+ / 0-)

    a possibility that diver's aren't boycotting, but are instead afraid to go into the country?

    •  A lot is the global economy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, moondance

      tourism is down everywhere.

    •  Possibly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, moondance

      But the State Department had lifted the travel advisory to the Bay Islands soon after the coup (like a month later or so), after being heavily pressured by the American expats who own many of the resorts there.

      Divers, also, are known to travel to pretty unsavory places (such as Bali, Borneo, the Red Sea) if the diving is good; so, while there might be some decline because of safety concerns, it's probably minor. Also, the Bay Islands are a world apart from the mainland and there never was any danger even during the early stages of the coup.

      I think it's probably a combination of both. People probably don't like supporting a regime that is starving its people and they can go to some other island in the Caribbean without safety concerns, and thus they go somewhere else.

      On the other hand, if safety is the only concern, these bargains are hard to turn down, and I put myself in that category. And thus I believe there is something more at play.

  •  Was there last week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    anxiety and uncertainty.  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 05:15:35 PM PDT

  •  Where's the cover up? (0+ / 0-)

    Your title said the U.S. was covering up reality, but it seems to be we're just letting Honduras take care of itself.  That's not much of a cover up.  What should the U.S. role be?  Should we be running around the world complaining about every other country's internal issues?

    •  It's a little more complicated (0+ / 0-)

      since the US has been involved in Central american politics since forever and the lack of pushback from the Obama administration against a military coup was disappointing.

    •  Sky Net, the US had a role in the coup (0+ / 0-)

      Most of Honduras' GDP depends on the US. If the US had wanted to stop the coup, it could have been accomplished by one phone call. Instead, we are responsible for the coup, and the cover-up is a cover-up of our nation's culpability.

      I did a detailed analysis of the coup in a series of five parts. You can find part 5 and links to the remaining parts here.

      Elements of the US government almost certainly engineered the coup. Whether it was just the military and/or CIA or whether it included the State Department and even the White House is more difficult to say. I suspect that there was a faction in the State Department that was in favor of the coup, but perhaps not everyone was on board.

      But the State Department quickly fell into line. I document very carefully their changing language and how it paralleled with policy changes.

      I urge you to read through it. Writing it was an eye-opener for me, and I thought I knew just how perverse US foreign policy can be.

  •  Jock, you might be interested in my diary (0+ / 0-)

    First, thanks for carrying on coverage of Honduras. There are precious few Americans who seem to care what happens to Central America.

    Second, you might be interested in my diary from today (4/12). I have been following this story ever since the coup on June 28th, and so there may be some links of interest.

    Thanks again. You're one of the good guys and are much appreciated.

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