Massive anti-government protests in Latin America; but not the one you are thinking of
Election fraud. Presidential drug trafficking. Huge anti-government protests and strikes in the name of democracy and freedom, that are brutally crushed by security forces. Tens of thousands of refugees.
This is Honduras today.
Unlike Venezuela, Honduras is a close US ally, so the media coverage has been practically non-existent.
In late 2017, Juan Orlando Hernández "won" the presidential election.
Hernandez, a conservative supported by the United States, appeared set to lose the Nov. 26 election until an abrupt halt in the vote count and a shift in the results took victory away from his center-left rival, Salvador Nasralla.
Allegations of fraud sparked protests that killed more than 30 people in the impoverished Central American country, which has also been plagued by battles between security forces, local gangs and drug traffickers.
As Hernandez spoke at a stadium at his swearing-in, supporters and troops chanted “unity” and waved the blue and white Honduran flag.
“If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand,” he said, quoting the New Testament. “I promise to carry out a process of reconciliation among all Hondurans.”
Not surprisingly, his promise was worthless.
The Organization of American States said the election was marred by irregularities and called for a new vote, but the U.S. State Department couldn't congratulate Hernández on his "victory" fast enough.
His "process of reconciliation" meant massive cuts in spending on public health and education. Fortunately, the people of Honduras correctly knew exactly where their problems and suffering originated.
Demonstrators lit a fire outside of the entrance to the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Friday.
This comes amid nationwide protests from teachers and doctors.
The day before, US Ambassador to Honduras Chargé Heide Fulton issued a statement urging Hondurans against acts of violence.
It's not entirely clear why the US Embassy was targeted on Friday.
— Diario El Heraldo (@diarioelheraldo) May 31, 2019
Since the 2009 coup, public school salaries and hospital budgets were frozen.
There's been almost no investment in infrastructure for a decade, and now the capitalist dictatorship wants to privatize everything that is left.
This triggered a massive general strike.
If disinvestment in public services, dispossession of Indigenous territories and state repression were not enough, imperialism now seeks to create “Zones of Employment and Economic Development” (ZEDE). These areas would be “model cities” oriented toward foreign investment, controlled by a commission chosen directly by the president. These cities will have their own judicial, economic and administrative systems.
In middle of all this was yet another scandal.
In the face of so much organized opposition, Hernandez pledged to overturn his two decrees to gut public services. However, the protests had their own momentum now.
As protests continued on Monday, demonstrators blocked streets in cities across Honduras and burned tires.
The protests began almost a month ago and have drawn tens of thousands of people as they intensified over the last 10 days.
Behind all of this justified anger is resentment of Washington and the IMF.
Vandals torched trucks ferrying bananas belonging to Dole Food Company, the enduring emblem of erstwhile gringo imperialism.
...President Juan Orlando Hernandez set off the turmoil by issuing decrees to restructure education and health care — moves that demonstrators interpreted as vassalage to the International Monetary Fund, a prelude to mass layoffs and privatization of public services.
... Honduras has one of Latin America’s widest gaps between rich and poor, and one of its lowest rates of social spending, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Even the country’s heralded GDP expansion has been driven by money that emigrants to the U.S. and elsewhere send home.