By Chip Ashley
We are in the midst of a historic presidential campaign, and the commercial media focus mostly on Donald Trump, the latest circus in the “bread and circuses” offered up as “news” to a distracted American public. As I write this morning, there is minute focus on Trump’s campaign manger’s jostling of a reporter from Breitbart News. (I was tempted to place quote marks around “News.”)
Meanwhile the assassination of human rights and environmental activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras goes almost unreported except in alternative sources. That the assassination is likely connected with the 2009 coup to oust Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and that the coup was almost certainly backed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are not reported at all.
Since the coup, Honduras has become one of the most violent places on the planet, particularly against indigenous people, like Berta Cáceres, under dictator Juan Orlando Hernández.
We call ourselves a “democracy,” and yet the U.S. has been interfering with democratically elected Latin American governments and others around the globe for over a century, and with increased frequency since World War II and the inception of the CIA. These brutalities are perpetrated in the name of “U.S. interests.” But are these our interests, really? Or are these the interests of large corporations profiting off cheap labor and natural resources available in these countries? Isn’t this, after all, a modern form of colonialism?
The modern pattern was set by John Foster Dulles, secretary of state under Eisenhower, and his brother Allen Dulles, CIA chief at the time, with coups against the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 and that of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán in Guatemala in 1954. In 1973, Henry Kissinger, secretary of state under Nixon, whom Clinton claims as her mentor in her autobiography Hard Choices, instigated a coup against democratically elected President Salvador Allende, to place into power the brutal Augusto Pinochet. Allende was quickly assassinated. Thousands of Pinochet’s opponents were “disappeared” and murdered.
Before voting in the California Primary on June 7, voters need to hear Clinton’s answers to Democracy Now’s Juan Gonzalez’ questions about the Honduran coup as well as to Professor Dana Frank’s analysis. The show aired April 13 and is available as a podcast at democracynow.org.
On June 7 we have the opportunity to take the first step away from empire and corporate colonialism by voting for Bernie Sanders.