Honduras Is Sold as a Libertarian Paradise — I Went, and Discovered a Capitalist Nightmare

(Yes, libertarianism is neoliberalism by a different name. It’s the same economic policies promoted by folks like Thatcher, Reagan, Clinton and now Obama (in other countries and here as well) and by institutions like the IMF/World Bank. Remember, we staged a coup in Honduras not that long ago in order to implement these “structural reforms” on behalf of the IMF and World Bank. For those of you who still think libertarianism is some kind of anti-establishment movement, just keep in mind who dictated those libertarian reforms in Honduras: Bill Clinton’s people and it took place at the outset of Obama’s first term in office.)

by Edwin Lyngar,  AlterNet

The closer you get to totally untamed, uncontrolled privatization, the nearer you approach “Lord of the Flies.”

Last month, I spent my final vacation night in Honduras in San Pedro Sula, considered the most dangerous city outside of the war-torn Middle East. I would not have been scared, except that I traveled with my wife and our four children, aged 5, 7, 14 and 18.   On our last taxi ride, we could not find a van to fit us all, so we rode in two taxis. Mine carried me and my two daughters, aged 5 and 14, while the driver blasted Willie Nelson singing “City of New Orleans” (a city that is also considered very dangerous).

It was a surreal moment, traveling in one of the most dangerous cities in the world with my babies in tow.  I gave a nod to the radio. “Willie,” I said, and he gave me a grin and vigorous “sí.” There’s a lot of American cowboy culture in Honduras, but along with silly hats, Honduras has also taken one of our other worst ideas—libertarian politics. By the time I’d made it to San Pedro Sula, I’d seen much of the countryside and culture.  It’s a wonderful place, filled with music, great coffee, fabulous cigars and generous people, but it’s also a libertarian experiment coming apart.

People better than I have analyzed the specific political moves that have created this modern day libertarian dystopia.  Mike LaSusa recently wrote a detailed analysis of such, laying out how the bad ideas of libertarian politics have been pursued as government policy.

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Our Special Brand of “Democracy” in Iraq

by Scott Creighton

499 potential candidates have been striken from the ballots for the upcoming March 7th “elections” in Iraq. Why? Because they were alledged to have ties to the now defunct and illegal Baath Party. You see, the Baath Party was primarily a socialist political organization and having them around in positions of power wouldn’t be helpful to those who intended to impose a vast neoliberal restructuring of the Iraqi economy in the wake of our illegal invasion and occupation. So basically, they made being a “socialist’ illegal in Iraq and they are removing certain candidates from the election rolls who’s fiscal ideology isn’t in line with that of the neoliberal globalists here in America.

Come March 7th, the people of Iraq will be allowed to chose between one corrupt neoliberal globalist politician or the other corrupt neoliberal globalist politician. Kinda like the choice given to the people of Honduras after the illegal coup got their populist president out of the way (supported by the Obama administration in at least 10 clear ways)and kinda like the choice we had here in America back in November of 2008.

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Honduran coup regime launches brutal crackdown

by Bill Van Auken, WSWS

In an attempt to suppress the growing popular resistance to the regime installed just over a month ago by the June 28 coup that overthrew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, police and troops carried out a brutal crackdown against demonstrations in the capital of Tegucigalpa Thursday.

… Among those arrested was Carlos Reyes, the president of the Honduran beverage workers union and an independent candidate for president. After he submitted to arrest, Reyes, who is 70 years old and diabetic, was beaten badly by the security forces suffering a broken arm and a head wound.

[read the rest, here]

A Chance for Real Democracy in Honduras

by Kevin Coleman, ICH

Honduras is changing. In 1981, Ronald Reagan imposed democracy from the outside, yielding a constitution that minimized the participation of the citizenry in the decisions of their government and a process that repressed and decapitated the social movements—led by workers, peasants, and students—who sought to have their voices heard. Nearly three decades later, as President Manuel Zelaya made marginal steps toward reform, by raising the minimum wage from about $0.50/hour to about $1.20/hour and attempting to create a mechanism for the people’s participation in their government, the previously fragmented Honduran elite united to overthrow him.

That same elite and a deeply colonized Honduran middle class thought that the United States and other conservative members of the international community would embrace this undemocratic step. That was their first miscalculation. Their second misstep was to assume that the historically acquiescent Honduran people would shut up and accept the dictates of their social and economic superiors. The complete opposite has turned out to be true.

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Human Rights report reveals brutal repression in Honduras

by Rafael Azul, WSWS

In negotiations held over the weekend, deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya agreed to a proposal by Costa Rican President Óscar Arias that, as a price for his returning to office, accept a government of “unity and national reconciliation” that would essentially make him a powerless puppet of the very forces that overthrew him and him sent into exile.

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Ex-Clinton aides advising Honduran coup regime

by Bill Van Auken, WSWS

Ever since the military abducted President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint on June 28 and expelled him from the country, the Obama administration has cast itself as a steadfast defender of “democracy” in Honduras.

The real nature of that defense has become somewhat clearer with the news that key former aides to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have surfaced as top advisers to the illegal regime led by Roberto Micheletti, which was installed by the coup.

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Honduras: US-backed mediation legitimizes military coup

by Bill Van Auken, WSWS

The talks convened in the Costa Rican capital San José on Thursday with the purported aim of resolving the political crisis unleashed by the June 28 coup in neighboring Honduras, are shaping up as a farce. The apparent object of this fraudulent exercise is to legitimize the military overthrow of the elected president of Honduras and realize the aims of Washington and the predominant sections of the right-wing Honduran oligarchy.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who last month was seized by troops, bundled onto an airplane and flown to San José and exile, returned to the Costa Rican capital Wednesday and was the first to hold talks the next day with the US-designated mediator, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias.

He was followed by Roberto Micheletti, head of the government installed by the coup, whom Costa Rican authorities referred to as the “acting president,” a description that disconcerted Zelaya and his supporters, who have denounced the former head of the parliament as a criminal who illegally usurped power.

Before the talks, Arias stressed that he would treat both men equally as presidents.

[read the rest, here]

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