Return of the caudillo


Was that a US president speaking? The removal from office of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on June 28 was “illegal,” said US President Barack Obama, “He was democratically elected,” he said in a television interview, “and is the legitimate president of Honduras.”

Obama alluded to the danger of Latin America’s returning to its “dark past” of right-wing military coups and dictatorships. But he didn’t call the removal of Zelaya a coup d’etat, which it was. Neither did he mention that Latin America’s “dark past” was largely the US’ doing, when it fomented, encouraged, and/or funded coups against any Latin American government that it thought threatened the interests of its multinationals, of which the most outstanding were American Telephone and Telegraph and United Fruit.

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