Home / General / Honduras: The Vanguard of the Republican Party

Honduras: The Vanguard of the Republican Party


I now see from whom the Republican Party finds inspiration.

There is a terrible legislation being considered in Honduras which would send women to jail if they use the morning after pill. There is no exception for victims of sexual assault. The global activist group Avaaz is sounding the alarm on this terrible legislation, which is being actively debated in the Honduran Congress and may be “just days away.”

According to Avaaz, the one man who can stop this bill in its tracks is the President of the Congress. They have mounted a pressure campaign to convince President Juan Orlando Hernandez to squash this bill. As part of this campaign, the are circulating an online petition to show the Honduran government that this kind of anti-women legislation is not acceptable.

And don’t tell me Republicans aren’t also inspired by the massive overcrowding on Honduran prisons.

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  • Well, when one desires to become a banana republic, one should turn to those who have a proven track record.

    • c u n d gulag

      And why not?

      Central and South America was where Friedman and his Austrain Austerity boys tested their theories out for decades.

      • c u n d gulag

        And now, it’s time to bring them home!

    • DrDick

      And who better than one of the original banana republics (a wholly owned subsidiary of United Fruit).

  • david mizner

    Doesn’t the Obama administration any leverage in Honduras, having backed the illegal coup there?

    • Firebagging EMO-prog! JFL will set you straight real soon…

      • joe from Lowell

        Shorter troll: “Don’t pay any attention to the demonstrated facts. Pick a side.”

    • joe from Lowell
      • joe from Lowell

        Oops, the second link should have been this, wherein Doug Bandow whines becauze the coup-supporters in the Obama administration threaten not to recognize the next election unless the removed president is forst returned to power.

        • mark f

          It’s just Chomskyism. If it happened and it was bad, it’s the U.S. president’s fault. In such line of thinking nothing in the world could ever happen without his go-ahead, and even him having no prior knowledge somehow amounts to active support. Had Obama done something more forceful to stop or reverse it I’m sure we’d be hearing about the evils of imperialism.

          • joe from Lowell

            It’s just Chomskyism. If it happened and it was bad, it’s the U.S. president’s fault.

            It’s only reasonable to ask the question. The problem is, there are those who think that asking the question also answers it.

            Had Obama done something more forceful to stop or reverse it I’m sure we’d be hearing about the evils of imperialism.

            I liked the CATO links specifically because of they way they cast the administration’s opposition to the coup, carried out through a passive-aggressive, use-your-words approach, as a demonstration of American imperialist bullying.

            The language of anti-imperialism is like the village bicycle at this point. Even Iraq hawks from CATO have had a ride.

            Speaking of CATO and coups…

          • david mizner

            The issue isn’t really what the Obama did beforehand but rather what’s it done since.

            As for your reflexive, reactionary Chomsky-bashing, well, yawn.

            • joe from Lowell

              Doesn’t the Obama administration any leverage in Honduras, having backed the illegal coup there?

              The issue isn’t really what the Obama did beforehand but rather what’s it done since.

              • david mizner

                Back = support.

                You can back something after the fact. I didn’t say orchestrate or engineer. Do you I need to give English lessons now too?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Back = support.

                  Neither of which = what actually happened.

                  But no, that’s not what “backed the coup” means.

                  And what you need to do now is stop being a prick and carrying out a doomed mission to pretend you didn’t get caught out being wrong.

                  Good bye, David.

                • david mizner

                  Believe, I wish I didn’t I have to school you in basic English, especially since you once claim to teach writing. It’s embarrassing for both of us.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Has this retreat into “you can’t read English” by someone pretending his stupid statement was just misunderstood ever convinced you, David?

                  Then why would you think it would be convincing when you do it?

                • joe from Lowell

                  It’s that very special definition of backed the coup.

                  The one that doesn’t involve doing anything at all to help it happen, or even being in favor of it, but which still results in the new government owing you a favor that you can call in.

                  I guess I would have learned that definition the day I skipped English.

                • david mizner

                  Obviously, to embrace the leader who gains power through a coup is to back the coup. The 2 can’t be separated. The administration’s claim that it condemns the coup at the same time it embraces Lobo is an insult.

                  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Honduras has taken the necessary steps toward restoring democracy and deserves recognition and normalization of relations.

                  “We believe that President [Porfirio] Lobo and his administration have taken the steps necessary to restore democracy,” Clinton said at a March 4 press conference. “We share the condemnation of the coup that occurred, but we think it’s time to move forward and ensure that such disruptions of democracy do not and cannot happen in the future.”

                  This might be — might be — acceptable of the illegal leaders had actually initiated reforms.

                  During your recent visit to Latin America, you asserted that Honduras has made progress since President Lobo took office in January 2010. However, it is our view that political violence continues to wrack Honduras, and insecurity grips much of the population. Reports indicate that many Hondurans fear for their safety, lack confidence in the rule of law, and remain subject to the whims of those in power, including architects and holdovers from last year’s coup that are protected by a climate of impunity.

                  In this year alone, nine journalists in Honduras have been murdered, and several more have been tortured, kidnapped and suffered death threats, including threats against their families. Also, there are cases of reporters who have been forced to leave the country due to these threats, some of them looking for asylum here in the U.S. and Canada. Members of social movements who oppose or criticize the government have been victims of violence and subject to ongoing intimidation. Several judges have been summarily dismissed for raising principled questions about the legality of the coup. Against this backdrop, a number of Army officials suspected of being involved in the coup have been appointed to executive positions in the Lobo government. Most notably, General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at the time of the coup, is now the head of Hondutel, the national telecommunications company. The appointment of Velásquez, a primary actor in the coup, is troubling because in his new position he controls the country’s telephone, Internet and fax lines at a time when human rights advocates and political opposition leaders fear they are being persecuted for their activism.


                • joe from Lowell

                  Obviously, to embrace the leader who gains power through a coup is to back the coup.

                  But the administration didn’t embrace a leader who gained power through a coup.

                  Lobos wasn’t the coup leader. Lobos was the leader elected later, who replaced the coup regime. You don’t know that. I suspected it below, but now it’s clear: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                  Lobo also appointed the truth commission that declared the coup, and Micheletti (the actual coup leader, who I don’t think you’ve ever heard of), to have been illegal.

                  You’re spouting off in ignorance.

                • david mizner

                  Those sham elections can’t be separated from the coup. Those sham elections were designed to provide a sheen of democratic legitimacy to the coup.

                  Let’s say the military seized control of the government of the United States, then held unfair, unfree elections in which the military persecuted candidates and activists allied with former President Obama, clearing the way for a pro-coup candidate.

                • joe from Lowell

                  You’re casting about for an excuse to pretend you didn’t just now learn that Lobo wasn’t the coup leader.

                  He is the internationally-recognized President, with whom the countries that refused to maintain relations with the coup regime reestablished relations.

                  Oh, and btw, your “pro-coup candidate” is the one whose truth commission declared the coup and its leader to have been illegal and illegitimate.

                • joe from Lowell

                  And since you don’t seem to know this either: the US and the EU were sufficiently concerned about the legitimacy of the successor regime that they conditioned their recognition on improvements in the political sphere. As the Wikileaks cables demonstrate, the administration has kept up the pressure on the government, including leaning on Lobo over the very issue of his appointments.

                  All of which further discredits your claim that the administration “backed the coup.”

                • david mizner

                  I might as we well ask you directly, then perhaps we can both get on with our lives.

                  1) Do you believe the election that brought Lobo to power were legitimate?

                  2) Do you believe Lobo has respected human rights?

                • joe from Lowell

                  I don’t believe either of those questions have the slightest bearing on your claim that the Obama administration backed the coup.

                  And that’s probably why you’re so determined to change the subject to those questions.

                  The Obama administration did not back the coup. You were wrong. Complaining about the successor to the coup regime? Go right ahead; they suck.

                  Meanwhile, I’m not going follow you off into the weeds so you can pretend you weren’t wrong. The Obama administration did not back the coup, and the idea that their actions on the subject would give them “leverage” is idiotic.

                • joe from Lowell

                  And just in case it wasn’t clear enough: I’m not interested in an actual discussion of Honduras with you at this point, because you clearly lack both the knowledge, and the desire to have an honest conversation. Like everything else you write, your only interest on this thread is to find an excuse to proclaim yourself the good guy in an argument.

                • david mizner

                  But talk about a “successor to the coup regime” is either dishonest or ignorant. The elections that brought in this “new” regime were managed by the leaders of the coup. Lobo’s government is a continuation of the coup regime.

                • joe from Lowell

                  But talk about a “successor to the coup regime” is either dishonest or ignorant.

                  Actually, it’s a dry recitation of fact. Your opinion about that regime is irrelevant; they succeed the coup regime of Micheletti. They’ve been recognized as such by the world. The strongman stepped down.

                  Someone who supports democracy should be able to recognize, maybe even go so far as to appreciate, the transition from a coup regime to constitutional, civilian rule, shortcomings notwithstanding. Honduras, even after this coup, isn’t the only country in the hemisphere whose democracy needs to get better. They don’t even stand out particularly.

                  None of which has anything to do with your claim “the Obama administration backed the coup,” and has “leverage” with the government because of it.

                • david mizner

                  Jesus, Joe. You should get a job spinning for the State Department.

                  to constitutional, civilian rule

                  And yet below you claim not to be defending the regime.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I trust if you had an argument why either of those terms, or even the entire statement from which they were decontextualized, is wrong, we would have seen it.

                  No, I’m not going to play your little “stop it with the nuance” game. I’m stating objective facts, ones you can’t even argue are wrong, and it doesn’t really matter if you retreat to vagueness (“defending”) to try to make the recitation of those facts look bad.

                  Like I said, someone who actually did care about democracy and human rights would see meaning in the election of a civilian government to replace a military junta. And like I said, someone like you would see an opportunity to take a cheap shot to make himself feel superior.

            • mark f

              As for your reflexive, reactionary Chomsky-bashing, well, yawn.

              And yet, Obama acknowledging Zelaya’s successor, when Zelaya was term-limited anyway, is all you need to declare that Obama “backed the illegal coup” and should therefore have leverage in the Honduran congress. How many weeks will go by before you start claiming that Obama practically wrote the morning after bill himself?

              • david mizner

                All I need? No. The Obama administration lent support to the coup regime by failing to withdraw its ambassador and refusing to cut off aid. It could taken immediate, concrete steps to oppose the coup regime. It didn’t.

                • mark f

                  From the State Department, approximately one week after Zelaya was ousted:

                  We are suspending, as a policy matter, assistance programs we would be legally required to terminate if the events in Honduras are found to have triggered section 7008. Section 7008, if triggered, does not restrict any assistance that is not for the government of a country. Because most humanitarian assistance is for the people of a country, rather than for a Government, it is generally not affected by the provision.

                  Thus, among other things, all assistance supporting the provision of food aid, HIV/AIDS and other disease prevention, child survival, and disaster assistance, as well as elections assistance to facilitate free and fair presidential elections, is still being provided to the people of Honduras.

                  Thursday’s announcement means we are suspending, as a policy matter, military assistance programs and a few development assistance programs that are for the Government of Honduras [. . .] including Foreign Military Financing, International Military Education & Training, Peacekeeping Operations[.]

                  You’re arguing that “opposing the coup in a way different than what David Mizner finds satisfying” amounts to “backing the coup.”

                • joe from Lowell

                  You don’t know what you’re talking about again. The United States cut off most aid, leaving only some humanitarian aid in place. I suppose you’re against that, now that you’ve learned about it.

                  The Obama administration on Thursday cut all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras over the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, making permanent a temporary suspension of U.S. aid imposed after he was deposed in June.

              • david mizner

                And what difference does it make if he was “term-limited”? He still had several months left in his terms. Most Latin American countries called for his immediate return to the power. The United States, although it did call the coup illegal, never called for his return to power.

                • The United States, although it did call the coup illegal, never called for his return to power.

                  The United States
                  and international community have universally condemned the events in Honduras and called for a
                  restoration of Zelaya and the rule of law.

                  You should perhaps remind yourself of the First Rule of Holes right about now.

                • mark f

                  And what difference does it make if he was “term-limited”?

                  Because the election to replace him, the same one that eventually put Lobo in power, would’ve been held anyway. And Zelaya’s removal was directly related to his actions, in defiance of the Supreme Court, in advance of that election.

                  Which isn’t to say the coup was a good thing; it wasn’t. Or that it didn’t affect the election results; it did. But it’s a lot more complicated than you’re pretending, and as Malaclypse demonstrated most recently you have been wrong on almost every factual question.

                • R Johnston

                  Malaclypse, that’s some nice spin in the summary section, but it doesn’t appear to refer to anything that actually happened. The U.S. position was that the various parties in Honduras should negotiate a peaceful resolution and most emphatically was not that Zelaya must be restored to power.

                • wengler

                  We tumbled down the rabbit hole again there.

                • I’m beginning to suspect this thread will be destined for Internet Tradition.

                • david mizner

                  Here’s a pretty good overview of the U.S. reaction to the coup. I suggest reading the whole thing. It might not convince you that my assertion that Obama backed the coup is accurate — fair enough — but it should at least stop of your from claiming that the U.S. opposed it. This kind of approach can be seen from the Obama administration in other countries — less brash and open in its support for repressive regimes that a GOP admin would be but hardly supportive of human rights.

                  The first statement from the White House in response to the coup was weak and non-committal. It did not denounce the coup but rather called upon “all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter”.

                  This contrasted with statements from other presidents in the hemisphere, such as Lula da Silva of Brazil and Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, who denounced the coup and called for the re-instatement of Zelaya. The EU issued a similar, less ambiguous and more immediate response.

                  Later in the day, as the response of other nations became clear, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton issued a stronger statement that condemned the coup – without calling it a coup. But it still didn’t say anything about Zelaya returning to the presidency.

                  The Organisation of American States, the Rio Group (most of Latin America) and the UN general assembly have all called for the “immediate and unconditional return” of Zelaya.

                  The strong stances from the south brought statements from anonymous state department officials that were more supportive of Zelaya’s return. And by Monday afternoon President Barack Obama finally said: “We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras.”

                  But at a press conference later that day, Clinton was asked whether “restoring the constitutional order” in Honduras meant returning Zelaya himself. She would not say yes.


                • mark f

                  For two months (the end of June through the end of Augist) the administration’s position was that Zelaya should be returned to power. Then the administration kind of backed off in a letter to Richard Lugar, but also maintained that it wouldn’t recognize the results of the November election unless Zelaya was in power when it was conducted. A compromise was reached and the administration ended up recognizing the results anyway, but its official position until the last minute was that Zelaya should be returned to power.

                  I can’t believe people don’t remember this. Wingnuts were losing their minds as if Obama’s tepid support of an ousted Central American leftist was akin to turning control of a U.S. state over to Castro or something.

                • State Department fails to use language that would commit the United States to war. News at 11.

                • The United States and international community have universally condemned the events in Honduras and called for a restoration of Zelaya and the rule of law.

                  Ah, but if Obama had really wanted that to happen, it would have happened. Because Obama wanting it is the only reason anything happens.

                • david mizner

                  I’m done I promise.

                • joe from Lowell

                  The reason David’s overview contains the phrase “later the day” so many times is because it took the State Department a whole 48 hours to figure out what was going on and decide to call it an “illegal coup.”

        • david mizner

          Gotta love this tactic, citing a right-wing critic of Obama to prove his non-conservative cred. It’s like the people who cite criticism of Obama from Wall Street in an attempt to prove he’s anti-Wall Street. Logical fallacy.

          The Obama admin didn’t back the coup as much as some would’ve liked, but it backed it much more than it should’ve have.

          As we brace ourselves for the Florida Congress members’ attacks on Obama, it’s important to be clear how dangerous Obama’s policies on Honduras have been. Thanks to a WikiLeaked cable, we know that Hugo Llorens, US ambassador to Honduras, informed the State Department in July 2009 that “there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup.” Yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton avoided using the phrase “military coup,” chastised Zelaya when he tried to return to his own country and eschewed a full condemnation of post-coup de facto President Roberto Micheletti, treating him as Zelaya’s equal during negotiations.

          Llorens’s leaked cable further calls into question the Obama administration’s eager embrace of current President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo in a bogus November 2009 election, which was managed by the coup perpetrators and boycotted by most of the opposition and international observers. Since the coup, the United States has constructed two new military bases in Honduras (in Gracias a Dios and on the island of Guanaja), ramped up police training and, most recently, on December 27, announced that drones will be operating out of the joint US/Honduras air force base at Palmerola.


          • david mizner

            Yes, President Obama called it an illegal coup. That’s nice, and it gives tribal Dems like those in this thread something to hang their support on, but he hasn’t formally designated it an illegal coup, presumably because that would require him by law to cut off all aid to the country.

            • joe from Lowell

              Doesn’t the Obama administration any leverage in Honduras, having backed the illegal coup there?

              but he hasn’t formally designated it an illegal coup

              Were you lying, or did you just not know what you were talking about?

              • david mizner

                I don’t even understand this comment.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I believe you.

                  Don’t worry; you’re not the audience for it.

          • joe from Lowell

            Gotta love this tactic, citing a right-wing critic of Obama to prove his non-conservative cred.

            Actually, David, I cited it for the facts it provides about the administration’s policy. Remember facts, David?

            Had you even bothered to read the links, you’d have noticed that the first one is about the leaked cables, and about Llorens pressuring the coup government about those very elections.

            Quite the principled anti-interventionist, aren’t you? You haven’t provided a single claim of anyone from the Obama administration taking a single action to help the coup. So what exactly is “supported” supposed to mean now? “Avoiding using a phrase” is now “supporting?” Calling it an “illegal coup” instead of an “illegal military coup” is now supporting.

            Hey, remember when John Foster Dulles “avoided using a phrase” about the overthrow of Mossedegh?

            • david mizner

              Yes, welcoming the illegal leader — and continuing to give his government aid — while refusing to meet with the country’s legal leader is — in the real (non-OFA_ world — supporting the coup.

              • joe from Lowell

                You won’t even the read the links I gave, you coward.

                You’re grasping at worst-possible interpretations of public gestures, while ignoring the actual, on-the-ground actions carried out by the administration, as documented by the Wikileaks cables.

                You’ve got your little story and you’re sticking to it, facts be damned. Maybe if you do your tribal Obama-bashing some more, there might some other dorks equally as willing to abandon any pretense of honesty.

                • david mizner


                  The public record is that President Obama is not only meeting with but praising the illegal leader of the country.

                  U.S. President Barack Obama has welcomed his Honduran counterpart, Porfirio Lobo, to the White House and praised the Honduran leader for what Mr. Obama called his “strong commitment to democracy” following a 2009 coup.


                  Only a person drunk on Obama and the Democrats wouldn’t find that nauseating.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Do you even understand that Lobo wasn’t involved in the coup, wasn’t part of the coup regime, and was elected in the subsequent elections?

                  You keep calling him the “illegal leader.” Do you not know anything about what’s happened there, or are you being deliberately dishonest, and trying to pass off Lobo as the coup leader?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Porfiro Lobo was the one who appointed the truth commission that declared the removal of Zelaya a coup, and declared the coup leader – who, once again, was not Lobo – to have led an illegal regime.

                  Gee, imagine praising someone like that for doing a good job restoring democracy. How nauseating.

                • david mizner

                  Wait a second. You’re not actually defending those sham elections, are you?

                  But then you, like President Obama, probably think the recent election in Yemen is a model too.

                  On Sunday, when Hondurans go to the polls to elect a new president, Barack Obama’s administration may be tempted to congratulate the winner, gradually resume normal diplomatic and economic relations with the successor government to the deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, and thus enable the de facto government that drove him from office to erase the remaining stains of its coup d’état.

                  Yield not unto temptation. This election is taking place in a political environment contaminated by repression, violence, and fear. If the U.S. government recognizes the vote, it will grant the de facto regime led by former parliamentary head Roberto Micheletti a legitimacy it does not deserve; it will needlessly lengthen a crisis that is hurting Honduras, its people, and its prospects for real democracy; and it will harm the U.S. image in the region. Most importantly, there is an alternative to this “see no evil” strategy.

                  What has transpired in Honduras in recent weeks has eliminated the prospects for free and fair elections. Actions specifically aimed at suppressing political organizing for the election, including mass arrests, illegal detentions, and violence — documented by respected international groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights — have yet to be investigated or prosecuted by the Honduran attorney general’s office.

                  More than 50 candidates for public office, including several running for congressional and mayoral seats and one presidential candidate, have removed their names from the ballot in protest against the coup regime.

                  Lists of anti-coup activists have been compiled by local mayors and given to the military. The government’s telecommunications commission has continued to block pro-Zelaya media outlets, forcing them to play reruns of old cowboy movies rather than news critical of the coup regime.


                • joe from Lowell

                  Change the subject! Change the subject!

                  What’s a good way to pretend you didn’t just learn that Lobo wasn’t the coup leader? I know, let’s talk about Yemen!

                  Lobo’s government replaced the coup regime, and the results have been recognized by just about every country in the world. You are flat-out wrong about him being “the illegal leader of the country.”

                  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to calculate the distance between Yemen and “the Obama administration backed the illegal coup.” It’s pretty far.

                • david mizner

                  Wow. Despite our differences, I kinda-sorta viewed you as a supporter of human rights and democracy. (We differ on the way to achieve those things.) Now, in seeking to defend the Obama administration, you’ve treating the elections as legit and praising Lobo, even those the former were unfair election managed by the leaders of the coup, and the latter has continued a program of repression and human rights violations.

                  Let me say this one more time in case it might penetrate: you cannot separate Lobo from the coup.

                  The current government of President Lobo won power in a November 2009 election managed by the same figures who had initiated the coup. Most opposition candidates withdrew in protest, and all major international observers boycotted the election, except for the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which are financed by the United States.

                  President Obama quickly recognized Mr. Lobo’s victory, even when most of Latin America would not. Mr. Lobo’s government is, in fact, a child of the coup. It retains most of the military figures who perpetrated the coup, and no one has gone to jail for starting it.


                • david mizner

                  You’ll notice every article I link to notes that Lobo was not a leader of the coup but rather came to power in elections organized by the coup leaders.

                  The only difference between you and me is you think the elections were legitimate whereas I see them for what they were: a transparent attempt to legitimize the coup. But hey, it worked. I mean, listen to you.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, stop it with your posing. “Praising Lobo” now means finding factual errors in your account.

                  For the record, I don’t think you give the slightest crap about human rights or democracy, except as an excuse to strike poses like this. I don’t the difference between us is about means at all, and the fact that you throw around phrases like “praising” and “backed the coup” so cheaply and dishonestly just demonstrates how little they really mean to you.

                  BTW, you keep getting father and farther away from “the administration backed the coup,” and it’s blindingly obvious why.

                • joe from Lowell

                  You’ll notice every article I link to notes that Lobo was not a leader of the coup but rather came to power in elections organized by the coup leaders.

                  I notice that you started with the articles only after you made the claim.

                  And I notice that you kept on with vague terminology (“illegal leader”) that demonstrated absolutely no indication that you’d ever heard any of these people’s names before, until I called you on it.

                  “The only difference between us,” David, is that I have a solid grasp of the facts, and you’re responding by assigning me straw man arguments.

                • david mizner

                  Well, I actually have a full-time job for a human rights organization — which in and of itself isn’t proof of deep commitment — I might just be doing it for the money (heh) — but it suggests it goes beyond blog commenting. (At the money I’m supposed to be drafting an anti-torture op-ed.)

                  But we can’t really gauge each other’s conviction, or lack there of. All we have are each other’s opinions, and in this thread, you keep defending Lobo and the elections that brought him to power. I’ll judge you by that.

                • joe from Lowell

                  you keep defending Lobo and the elections that brought him to power.

                  I guess this is another one of those very special mizner definitions.

                  I find a problem with the facts and logic you use to make a claim, so now I’m “defending” something.

                  I haven’t written a single word about the elections except to note that they happened, and I’m “defending” them? Why, because you’re complaining about them irrelevantly and I’m not following you off into the tangent?

                  I make repeated references to the Obama administration leaning on Lobo, by way of rebutting that claim that they “backed” or “supported” the coup, and that’s “defending” him? I note that he’s taken action which has nothing to do with his performance, but serves to rebut your claim that he was “pro-coup,” and instead of admitting you don’t have the facts and were talking out of your ass, you claim I’m “defending” him.

                  This is the behavior of a poseur. You don’t know what you’re talking about, so you’re pounding the table.

                • joe from Lowell

                  which in and of itself isn’t proof of deep commitment

                  Oh, I think you’re deeply committed, all right. You’re deeply committed to using issues of human rights and democracy to flatter your sense of your moral superiority.

                  Someone with a deep commitment to democracy and human rights themselves would play so fast and loose with the facts, or work so hard to blur the difference between backing a coup and opposing it.

                • david mizner

                  Now you’re actually claiming the Obama admin opposed the coup? We’re off in lala land now.

                • joe from Lowell
                • wengler

                  You know Joe, this didn’t happen too long ago have at least serviceable memories.

                  Initially, the Obama administration was critical of the coup, but when Zelaya made it clear he wanted to go back into Honduras, the US started singing a different tune. One the corporate media, led by FOX, had been singing since the coup occurred.

                • joe from Lowell

                  “sang a different tune” is pretty vague. We can certainly talk about how forceful their opposition should have been.

                  But the Wikileaks cables do not draw a picture of an administration that is happy about this, or getting along with the regime.

    • mark f

      Uh . . . no he didn’t.

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  • c u n d gulag

    Liberals and Democrats look at “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as a cautionary novel about a dystopian future.

    Conservatives and Republicans look at is as an Instructional Manual.
    Or, Owners Manual in this case, since we’re talking their “property” – their little ladies.

  • shah8

    This is not the best of articles. All it is, is an alert.

    I would presume to guess this is being pushed by the Catholic Church, as they have been pushing misogyny as a means to concentrate more power in Latin America.

    • catclub

      That may be right. But my first thought was: The Catholic church could have done this decades ago but never got around to it. The new big thing in Hispano- America is the evangelical churches taking members from the catholic church.

      The evangelical church in Africa seems more like this (imprisoning women for abortion) than the old time Anglican church there.

      Just my guess.

      • ema

        Well, credit where credit is due. They did manage to ban the ECP. Now they’re just going for jail time for patients and physicians.

    • ema

      All it says is that it’s being pushed by the powerful religious lobby that wrongly claims the morning-after pill constitutes an abortion. Probably Catholic.

      • Katya

        Might include evangelicals as well, though. The religious right here certainly pushes the Plan B = abortion line.

  • simple mind

    Three cheers for Marxism, which, at least in principle, is kind to women.

    • Lee

      In practice, its so-so to women.

      • catclub

        ok, two cheers.

    • wengler

      Not in Central America.

  • Simple mInd

    In countries where Protestantism (kind & gentle version) does not exist, maybe they need Marxism as a transitional phase to move forward because progressive thinking aint coming from the Catholic church or neo-liberalism.

    • progressive thinking aint coming from the Catholic church

      Oscar Romero would like a word with you.

      • Davis X. Machina

        He wasn’t a real Scotsman Catholic.

      • Colin Day

        Romero has been dead for 30-something years. Are there any living Catholics who are advancing progressive thinking?

        • You could click the helpful link provided.

          • elm

            Well, if the Pope won’t recognize liberation theology as a legitimate form of Catholicism, I don’t know why we should expect Colin to do so.

          • Colin Day

            Sorry, I did click on the link, but I only read about Romero. Wdile the site did list some living Catholics, I wonder how much influence they hav in the Church.

            • Malaclypse

              Very little, but the original commenter made the factually inaccurate statement that there was no such thing as progressive Catholic theology.

      • wengler

        The current pope probably lit a cigar the day Romero got killed.

        • That is certainly true. Both he and his predecessor were and are reactionaries. That does not change the fact that there is such a thing as progressive Catholic theology.

          • joe from Lowell

            Or that it has, in fact, provided a progressive vision which has been, at least at certain times and places, embraced by large numbers of people in Latin America.

  • JohnR

    “And don’t tell me Republicans aren’t also inspired by the massive overcrowding on Honduran prisons.”

    It’s both simple pragmatism and the true conservative sense of real human consideration all too often unrecognized by the media today – what calms a restless group of men more effectively than the admixture of women (other than sedatives in the drinking water, I mean)? I’m only surprised it hasn’t been pushed through in this country. Surely the useful experiences Argentina had with ‘the disappeared’ would be made available to the Argentine military’s allies and compatriots here, as to how to handle things like troublesome individuals, undesirable side effects (pregnancies, etc.). I’m just floating a trial balloon up the flagpole here to see who salutes, of course, but perhaps allowing randomized ‘conjugal visits’ between male and female prisoners (obviously having a lower ratio of female prisoners at first will not be a problem) of, say, a half-hour every day (predicated on good behavior, of course), would allow better control over these volatile overcrowded situations. Actually, now that I think of it, perhaps expensive, overcrowded buildings would be better replaced by large ‘temporary settlements’ comprised of numerous simple, well-ventilated bunkhouses surrounded by bare strips of land, razor-wire fences and guard towers. Place these installations close to regions where dangerous or relatively unskilled labor is needed (mines, textile mills, vegetable farms, roads which need frequent repair, that sort of thing) and think of the profits which could be made! The great thing is, that if a prisoner becomes unable to do his useful work any more (through poor judgement or age), it costs nothing to replace him or her. Why even children could be useful as profit-generating prisoners, although they obviously would need replacing more frequently than the adults. I realize that some of our more enlightened states are already moving ahead with these ideas, but I think we might want to press some of our larger corporations to get behind doing this at a national level. Imagine finally putting our ‘illegal immigration’ and ‘dangerous radical/terrorist’ problems to good use together! And making money off of it at the same time!

  • wengler

    Of course they hate women, but this overlooks the fact that most people in Honduras are dirt poor so would be unable to afford the morning-after pill anyways.

    And just like in the US, if you are rich, laws do not apply.

  • Anon

    Hondruas also now has an incredibly high homicide rate.

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