The Next Honduras

[youtube]JyZcvMYjk_Y[/youtube]

While I was off gallivanting in England, Paraguay had a coup.

Mind you, the oligarchs who staged the coup against populist Fernando Lugo cloaked it in legalistic niceties–though they’re about as convincing as (and may have taken their cue from) the Clinton impeachment.

But those legalistic niceties are not persuading Paraguay’s neighbors, who are  considering ways to pressure the government in response.

Neighboring leftist governments were rallying to support Mr. Lugo. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner called the impeachment process a coup and recalled her country’s ambassador to Paraguay “until democratic order is re-established,” the foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Regional economic powerhouse Brazil condemned the impeachment and called back its ambassador for consultations while it weighs its response. The blistering pace of the impeachment proceedings didn’t give Mr. Lugo a chance to prepare an adequate defense, compromising “the fundamental pillar of democracy,” Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The Brazilian statement said that “the rupture of the democratic order in Paraguay” would be evaluated by regional trade and political groups, including Mercosur, a trade bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

What’s most striking to me is the widespread recognition–even at the WSJ–that this bears similarities to the 2009 Honduran coup.

Mr. Lugo’s impeachment raises the specter of a repetition of the long diplomatic hiatus that followed the coup that deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. Honduras wasn’t readmitted to the Organization of American States until mid-2011.

Which makes Democracy Now guest Greg Grandin’s comments about those similarities particularly worth noting.

GREG GRANDIN: Well, it was interesting. The first interview, I take, was before the Honduran coup in 2009, when Lugo said that a coup would be unthinkable. And so, Honduras—it shows you how Honduras kind of changes the rules of the game, emboldened the right, presented new tactic, new ways of limiting this kind of—

[snip]

AMY GOODMAN: Or I should say President Obama, initially, actually, said that it was not legitimate.

GREG GRANDIN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: But then they—

GREG GRANDIN: But then, eventually, legitimated it over a long, torturous process. In the case of Paraguay, the administration’s response has been—to call it tepid would be an overstatement. It really has been silent, for the most part. Latin American countries, South American countries, including conservative countries like Chile and Colombia, have come out very strongly against it. So, again, you see this great divergence between the U.S. and between South America and Latin America.

It’ll be interesting to see. I mean, the two things to look out for is, one is if military aid to the Paraguayan military will—army will continue—the U.S. is a supplier of much material and financial support to security forces in Paraguay—and, two, if it will take advantage of the crisis to go forward with a long-sought military base in the region, which the Pentagon, SOUTHCOM, has wanted for a while. I think those are the two things to look out for.

That is, Honduras both laid the foundation for this latest coup, and Obama’s silence here seems to repeat his capitulation (to a lot of far right wing pressure here in the US) after the coup that ousted Zelaya.

And then there’s the basing. Since the Honduras coup we’ve installed a Foward-Operating Base and started facilitating the shooting of civilians (ostensibly by accident). Not only will the US be able to use the same excuse of war on drugs in Paraguay, but it will also point to terrorism–the Igazu Falls area has long been alleged to host terrorists. And based on that we’ll plop a base amongst the populist countries that are increasingly skeptical of US hegemony of late.

Sure, maybe that isn’t the point behind this coup. But it sure seems a convenient way to warn and threaten Latin American populists.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

30 Responses to The Next Honduras

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @RuknAlDawla Thanks. Curious.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @gregorykorte I guess if you used "junior flunkie hiding behind the SAO designation" you'd get in trouble?
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @gregorykorte: We're really stretching the definition of "senior administration official" this morning.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Brian Sandoval
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Here's a thought: Citi shaming lawyers publicly more effective means of info sharing than CISA. http://t.co/9jXFbnBwWB
26mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV FBI disrupts plot to kill scores at military base on behalf of Islamic State http://t.co/e1CD1xvQRW Oh, look. FBI "undercover agents" again.
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @abuaardvark: Good overview of alliance of convenience between Houthis + Saleh (US/KSA's man in Yemen for decades) by @ionacraig http:/…
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Q: Is the term "Operation Resolute Storm" ever used in Arabic or is just an invention for the English-only watchers?
31mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV I presume that my whining about tonight's baseball likely to see temps in the high 50's (if not rained out) will not meet with much support.
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel If all the party leaders who know how to count votes retire, who will count the votes. #TheNewMaths
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Don't free Eric Holder, keep him on the job! #DumpLorettaLynch https://t.co/K6jnEfMeVv
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Ebola Virus in Latest Outbreak Does Not Show Unusual Mutations, Study Finds http://t.co/yqbMlRoLjt
2hreplyretweetfavorite
June 2012
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930