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Canada “seriously concerned” about Honduran coup – but you’d never know it

June 29, 2009

As we all emerge from the Jackson-induced media haze of the past few days, a real news story managed to surface Sunday:

Honduran military sends president into exile
Congress names successor; Obama says he is “deeply concerned”

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Soldiers ousted the democratically elected president of Honduras on Sunday and Congress named a successor, but the leftist ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced what he called an illegal coup and vowed to stay in power.

The first military takeover of a Central American government in 16 years drew widespread condemnation from governments in Latin America and the world – including the U.S. – and Chavez vowed to overthrow the country’s apparent new leader.

Oddly, the only mention of Canada’s response was in a CTV article which quotes Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent stating that “Democratic governance is a central pillar of Canada’s enhanced engagement in the Americas, and we are seriously concerned by what has transpired in Honduras.”

I find it telling that not one of Canada’s three national newspapers has made any mention of Kent’s statement, relying instead on U.S. wire service reports. In fact, I had to really dig through the Foreign Affairs website just to find the full text.

There is a lot being left unsaid in the media coverage of this incident in general. Even the excellent Al Jazeera is treading carefully, not wanting to fall to hard on one side or the other. But at least one U.S. right-wing organization that spams my inbox on occasion is painting this as “Freedom Restored”, a triumph of democracy over a leftist dictator who wanted to stay permanently in power like Hugo Chavez. Or Castro. Or Hitler.

Perhaps a better explanation can be found in this comment on the CBC’s article:

Just count the number of native faces in the supreme court and senate of Honduras and you will have your answers.

Latin American states are in process of power redistribution where native majorities are taking back larger share of what was stolen from them for generations.

Honduras is a hard one, it was always controlled by Yanks by its American trained military and clean blood European puppet governments. Gave a good look at Micheletti, not exactly a Mayan. No wonder he was part of the coup.

For a more in-depth look at the events leading up to Sunday’s events, check this article in Al Jazeera. You certainly won’t find it in the Canadian media.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 12:14 pm

    “the US has not legally classified the removal of Zelaya as a coup d’etat as it would automatically lead to the suspension of aid to Honduras, an impoverished nation of 7.2 million people.”

    The notion that the U.S. is somehow concerned about the impoverished people of Honduras is preposterous. And the U.S. connection to this coup runs deep:

    http://www.whyweworry.com/blog/2009/07/10/the-honduran-coup/

  2. June 30, 2009 7:45 pm

    All excellent questions, which I would have hoped that some journalists somewhere would be inspired to delve into. But apparently not here.

    As with so many news stories, we appear to be given the choice between dispassionate but utterly shallow reportage, or in-depth analysis promoting a particular point of view. I’ll still go with Al Jazeera for finding the best balance, but there are still a lot of questions that need answering.

    In the meantime, it appears that whatever the nations of the world might think of Zelaya, nobody is supporting the way in which he was removed from power. That same article has this interesting tidbit:

    “the US has not legally classified the removal of Zelaya as a coup d’etat as it would automatically lead to the suspension of aid to Honduras, an impoverished nation of 7.2 million people.”

    Good point.

  3. corsullivan permalink*
    June 30, 2009 11:38 am

    Thanks for the link to the al-Jazeera article, which was really interesting. The whole thing sounds like a good old-fashioned power struggle between a president who wants to rewrite the constitution in order to cling to power and a political opposition that’s damned if they’ll let him. Is Canada supposed to take sides in a spat like this?

    Regarding the CBC comment, it’s a worthwhile perspective but perhaps no less simplistic than “Freedom Restored”. Surely there must be political questions in Honduras that cut across racial lines, and in any case the racial lines themselves are awfully blurred (you won’t find many “native faces”, as opposed to Mestizo ones, anywhere down there).

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