After the Honduran Coup

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Latin America Asks: Are the Gorillas Back?

by John Ross, Counterpunch, July 12, 2009

The June 28th coup d’etat in Honduras that toppled leftist president Mel Zelaya sends us back to the bad old days of the “gorillas” – generals and strongmen who overthrew each other with reckless abandon and the tacit complicity of Washington.

Perched on a hillside in the Mexican outback, we would tune in to these “golpes de estado”, as they are termed in Latin America, on our Zenith Transoceanic short wave. First, a harried announcer would report rumors of troop movement and the imposition of a “toque de queda” (curfew.) Hours of dead air (and probably dead announcers) would follow and then the martial music would strike up, endless tape loops of military marches and national anthems. Within a few days, the stations would be back up as if nothing had happened. Only the names of the generals who ruled the roost had changed.

Guatemala was the Central American republic par excelencia for such “golpes.” Perhaps the most memorable was the overthrow of General Jacobo Arbenz by Alan Dulles’s CIA in 1954 after Arbenz sought to expropriate and distribute unused United Fruit land. Like Mel Zelaya, the general was shaken rudely awake by soldiers and booted out of the country in his underwear.

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Honduran Teachers Defy Coup Government, Maintain Strike

by Kristin Bricker, Narco News, July 7, 2009

With the death of 19-year-old Obed Murillo allegedly at the hands of Honduran security forces at Tegucigalpa airport yesterday while President Manuel Zelaya was attempting to land there, the coup government demonstrated its willingness to resort to lethal force to maintain its power.

Likewise, the Honduran people have demonstrated their resolve to oppose the coup government, no matter the cost. On Monday, just one day after Honduran security forces opened fire on an unarmed crowd of Zelaya supporters at the airport, resulting in one death and a still-unknown number of injuries, thousands of Zelaya supporters took to the streets for the ninth straight day, with protests reported in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and El Progreso.

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