Arnold August, Montreal author and expert on Cuban democracy, was invited on August 24 by Sylvia Richardson of CJSF Radio to shed light on the June 28 events in Honduras and the revelations surrounding the case which are being exposed over time. After more than 60 days following the kidnapping of President Zelaya and the seizure of power by the usurper "government" of Roberto Micheletti, it became impossible for Washington to continue to deny its direct involvement in this reprehensible and internationally condemned act.
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As noted by Mr. August it is now a known fact that the aircraft that carried Zelaya the night of his abduction from his home landed at the U.S. military base in Soto Cano in Honduras, before continuing to its final destination of Costa Rica. "Even if one is not a military expert, how can a plane land and to take off again on a military base where you have 600 American soldiers and a lot of military equipment there, without the knowledge, expertise and support of the Americans at that base? » August asked.
Therefore, the study of the U.S. State Department’s official publications since June 28, which August has followed closely, show that the strategy of Washington since this military coup has not consisted solely in emphasising the "mediation" by the President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, a hoped-for dialogue between what Washington calls "the two parties."
Sylvia Richardson noted that the United States invaded or interfered in more than 50 countries in the last century and draws a dark portrait of Yankee interventions, the most recent having occurred in Haiti in 2004 and Venezuela in 2002. The latest demonstration of U.S. hegemonic intent: the agreement between the United States and Colombia to establish seven military bases in this country sharing a border with, amongst others, Ecuador and Venezuela. Colombia is the main geopolitical powerful ally of the United States in the region. Mr. August indicated that compared to the 60s, the situation has changed drastically. At that time Cuba was isolated by the vast majority of southern governments. All governments in the south now recognize the socialist island. In the entire hemisphere, only the United States refuses to do so. The coup in Honduras was not only directed against President Manuel Zelaya and the Honduran people, but it especially targeted the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean which had chosen to join ALBA, an economic, social and political alliance as an alternative to U.S. dominated alliances.
August stated: "The military coup d’état that took place in Honduras was sort of a threat, an indication from Washington that even if power has changed hands, even if we have a new face there, the empire still considers Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean to be areas that should be dominated by the United States." Mr. Obama, at the August 10 meeting in Mexico with Canada's Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Calderon, lost his cool by qualifying as hypocrites those who ask him to intervene strongly in favour of the return of President Zelaya and the Honduran people to power. In this sudden lack of diplomatic tact, Obama has shown the true face of his administration by putting down those who, like Venezuela, demand that Washington takes a firm stand against the coup.
August said: "What is being demanded that the United States act upon is certainly not an intervention in the internal affairs of Honduras, but Washington should at least withdraw their own ambassador as have already done most countries, and completely stop all military and economic aid to Honduras." He continues: "What we’re seeing evolving before our very eyes is Washington applying the same imperial policy in Central and Latin America, that is to say a policy of domination and interference in order to control the natural resources of the region and have a stranglehold on the geo-strategic areas."
August noted that the growing and all-encompassing resistance in the south against U.S. policy is now so palpable in the light of the Honduran people occupying the streets of the country by claiming not only the return of their democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, but also the holding of a Constituent Assembly to change the Constitution. The growing prestige of countries such as Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Paraguay, and the reputation of their leaders and their social programs, has spawned a growing movement against U.S. domination, the capitalist system and neo liberalism, not considered viable for the peoples of the world.
* Karine Walsh is a social justice activist and member of the Table de concertation de
solidarité Québec-Cuba. Since 2006 she is hosting a francophone radio program
called Dimension Cubaine about Cuban reality on a Montreal community station,