I synthesize the various arguments against and in favor of the recent
events in Honduras, supported by the Chilean and Venezuelan
experiences. I am thankful for the ideas provided by my friends
Hillel Soifer and Alexander Wisch, without them it would have been
impossible to write this article claiming any objectivity.
though there may be limits to the majority rule, or to the power of a
president elected with popular approval, even though there may be
talk about the criminalization of the opposition, illegal actions are
not the correct way to dispose of a president. A revocation process
would have been far more legitimate. A concern about the silencing of
the popular voice can only justify legal actions and protests, but
not a military coup.
conflict in Honduras is a class conflict. The popular governments in
Latin America are more widely accepted than what the medium and upper
class owned press would like us to believe. Instead of dealing with
the causes. Latin American elites choose to boycott, to sabotage and
to violently overthrow the democratically elected popular regimes.
is not feasible to compare a facto president with a democratically
elected president. If the Venezuelans elect Chávez, the Hondurans
elect Zelaya or the Bolivians elect Morales, that happens because of
a class struggle which does not end. This popular option triumphs due
to the failure of the political, economic and social elite in
promoting development for the poorest, and due to the failure of such
elite in selling their social achievements to the majority of the
the case of Chile, such class conflict has expired due to the killing
of the left wing leaders during the seventies and by the support of
the liberal model on the part of the center-left. In Chile the
extreme poverty is maintained and criminality has increased in
comparison to the eighties. Beans are cooked everywhere. The Honduran
domestic press is dominated by the elite or by the upper middle
class, which is trying to show the world that the coup is a defense
of democracy against Zelaya's excesses. The same argument was used by
Pinochet to be able to rule over 17 years. Many Chileans supported
his coup at that time, which may not be justified because of its cost
of thirty thousand dead afterward. Ends do not justify means.
is showing the world new ways to let the people's voice be heard once
the anachronistic democratic systems perpetuate people in power.
Although no posture represents the voice of a whole population, the
opposition has been criminalized as theyu cannot express themselves
through official venues, as it has occurred in Cuba through its
government's monopolized media.
le está mostrando al mundo nuevas formas para dejar que la voz del
pueblo sea escuchada cuando los sistemas democráticos anacrónicos
perpetúan a la gente en el poder. A pesar que ninguna postura
representa la voz de todo un pueblo, se ha criminalizado a la
oposición que no se puede expresar por vías oficiales, tal como ha
ocurrido en Cuba por medios oficiales.
the events on the early morning of June 28, 2009 had not occurred,
that day a systematic fraud would have been approved with the support
of both the OAS and the UN, organizations which in turn are financed
by and therefore respond to the interests of the oppressing regimes,
instead of responding to the needs that those who are ruled cannot
effectively voice due to the censorship coming from the regimes in
cannot determine whether more people died due to the military
repression in Chile or due to the rampant crime rate in Venezuela.
Nevertheless, Chile today boasts better macroeconomic indices and
Venezuela shows them worse than during the seventies. All Venezuelan
media, almost every night, are kidnapped for a few hours by
government imposed programming. Even some radio and television
stations have already been forced off the air.
who inadequately perform their jobs are fired with no contemplation.
Why would presidents have to be so untouchable? Presidents should
efficiently accomplish their task of providing well being to their
populations or instead should comply with the consequences for
commiting crimes against their citizens. The end has now become to
reinstate Zelaya into power by any means such as landing an airplane
in violation to the sovereign airspace of a country, while placing
his supporters as human shields. Both parties have used unjustifiable
means. In this context, the designation by the Venezuelan government
of a new authority for Caracas, in detriment of the democratically
elected mayor Antonio Ledezma, also constitutes a coup.
properly expressed by the mediator Oscar Arias, president of Costa
Rica, both parties hold convincing arguments which have not been
reconciled up to now. We hope that the mediation process currently
being held in San José will provide results that may help healing
some of the wounds inflicted to Latin America and the Caribbean.
original completed in Caracas on July 13, 2009
translation completed by the author in Caracas on July 14, 2009
Rivero & Cooper, Inc.