17 July 2009

Honduras update

There’s talk now that Zelaya is returning to Honduras and that the US State Department is against it. After Obama said initially "we are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president," the State Department is now saying that the democratically elected president’s presence in the country he’s supposed to be governing is "not helpful," lacking in commitment to the "process" of the Arias mediation.

You can see that I have been open-minded about the mediation as I thought it would defer influence and accountability to Latin America which is unanimous in its opposition to the coup. There have been those sympathetic to Zelaya and skeptical of the US who have said the mediation is only a way to buy time for the coup regime to consolidate power. Clearly, the word "process" used here is code for "American authority," as in "this mediation was our idea and you enter the country when we tell you to." It is also clear that during the mediation there has been an attempt by the coup regime to violently eliminate dissent which has not drawn criticism from the US State Department.

Nikolas Kozloff reports today that Attorney General Eric Holder represented Chiquita (formerly United Fruit Company) in 2007 when it was the first company in US history convicted for terrorist dealings. Holder negotiated the 25 million dollar settlement and prepped CEOs for the 60 Minutes interview. Chiquita has publicly criticized Zelaya’s hike in the minimum wage.

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