Wikileaks Revelations Show Obama Administration Complicity in Honduras Coup

Wikileaks’ unauthorized release of thousands of classified State Department documents has provoked moral outrage from pundits and politicians over this breech of national security.

Sadly, however, that moral outrage has not extended to the content contained in the documents. 

Take the military coup in Honduras, for example. 

From the Wikileaks disclosure we now know that the Obama Administration is tramping the same path as its White House predecessors of sanctioning military coups against leftist governments in Latin America.

As the website news source Truthout reported late last month 

By July 24, 2009, the U.S. government was totally clear about the basic facts of what took place in Honduras on June 28, 2009. The U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa sent a cable to Washington with the subject, “Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup,” asserting that “there is no doubt” that the events of June 28 “constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup.”  The embassy listed arguments being made by supporters of the coup to claim its legality, and dismissed them thus: “None ... has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution.”  The Honduran military clearly had no legal authority to remove President Manuel Zelaya from office or from Honduras, the embassy said, and their action—the embassy described it as an “abduction” and “kidnapping”—was clearly unconstitutional.

And yet, more than a year later, the Obama Administration has steadily refused to acknowledge that the new government illegally assumed power.  Nor has the White House condemned the political repression that has occurred in the country in the coup’s aftermath.  

Witness for Peace, the religious-based human rights watchdog organization in Latin America, reports that, “during the first half of 2010, about 3,000 people were killed in Honduras (including journalists, lawyers, and leaders of popular organizations) and that most of the crimes have not been investigated so far.”  Even worse, in October 2010, the group noted that “representatives from the U.S. Department of State met with de facto president Porfirio Lobo Sosa to convene a working group in charge of the implementation of the Merida Initiative/CARSI.  The Merida Initiative finances, equips and trains police and military forces in Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti under the so called ‘war on drugs.’  The U.S. Congress has approved a total of $258 million for Central America, of which $20 million have gone to Honduras.”  

Despite the massive violations of human rights occurring in Honduras after the coup, the U.S. government continues to support the reinstatement of Honduras in the Organization of American States (OAS).  “Reentry to the OAS would lend legitimacy to the coup government currently engaged in massive human rights violations,” says Catalina Nieto of Witness for Peace.  Pressure from activists in the U.S. however, is having some effect.  In October 2010, 30 U.S. Democratic congressional members denounced the deplorable human rights situation in Honduras and urged the U.S. government to stop attempts to achieve the reinstatement of Honduras to the OAS as long as this situation continues.

It is disappointing, to say the least, to see the Obama Administration adhering to the same repressive policies of its more right-wing predecessors.  This type of behavior is beneath President Obama—he of anyone should know better than this.  And he needs to be reminded that we expect better.

Take a moment to contact the White House Comment Line:  202-456-1111 (or call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414).

Tell the president that you want his administration to:

  1. officially acknowledge that the current government illegally assumed power via a  military coup;
  2. respond to the demand of Honduran human rights organizations that the U.S. completely end to all military and police assistance to Honduras.  (Currently Honduran state security forces are participating in grave human rights violations, and are linked to paramilitary organizations and death squads.);
  3. and oppose Honduras’ reinstatement to the Organization of American States (OAS), from which it was expelled following the June 2009 coup.

Read the full article from Truthout about the Wikileaks revelations on Honduras.

It’s very disturbing reading to realize that these kind of ‘dirty tricks’ occurred on President Obama’s watch.

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