Friday, May 28, 2010

Obama and Honduras

Jeremy Kryt has an article on Honduran politics at Huffington Post, which provides a very good rundown on the continued push for constitutional reform and on human rights abuses.  The only problem is an interview with Mark Weisbrot, who seems to have fallen off the deep end, arguing that Barack Obama's Central America policy is just like Ronald Reagan's because he supports death squads.  This is akin to Newt Gingrich saying that Obama represents a threat similar to Hitler.  Both comparisons are not only inaccurate and ignorant of history, but they also trivialize the extremes of 1930s-1940s Germany and 1980s Central America.


leftside 5:07 PM  

No Greg, Weisbrot did not say that "Obama's Central American policy is JUST LIKE Ronald Reagan's." He said that "in some sense" it is "similar." There is a huge difference in your characterization.

Far from being "off the deep end." Wesibrot's comments are sorely needed. There ARE very important similarities in the way Obama helped the coup succeed and Reagan's "roll back" policy in Central America. There are also similarities in the way that the Obama Admin. is defending the Honduran Government from legitimate human rights concerns and Reagan's policy of hear no evil, see no evil in El Salvador.

Weisbrot's main contention is that the US has dirty hands in the whole Honduras affair. I don't think many could disagree with that.

leftside 5:27 PM  

And Weisbrot never says that Obama "supports death squads." Another totally unfair characterization of his position. Shame! What Weisbrot said is that "They've (Obama Admin.) tried to prevent [the Lobo administration] from paying any political cost, either internationally or domestically, for killing people."

Can this really be disputed?

Anonymous,  7:41 PM  

Greg Weisbrots comments are always off the deep end, because he has no idea what he's talking about. I'm sure he is a very intelligent person and has studied a lot, but reality is quite diff than what is taught in a classroom.

Actually the whole article does not really accurately represent what happened in Honduras. Perhaps only somebody living there could express the degree in which Zelaya has hurt the honduran people physically and economically.

It would be nice if it were just about taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Unfortunately Mr. Zelaya was not really trying to help the poor in that way, nor did he lack much of anything himself. Coming from a rich family and having aspirations of greatness he joined ALBA, and from then on got support from Chavz to do all sorts of harm.

It is quite sad that the poor become poorer,and the media misinformation continues...

Randy Paul 9:19 PM  

Leftside's comment is a distinction without a difference. Here's what Weisbrot said:

In fact, I think, in some sense, this administration's legacy in Central America is similar to Regan's, in that they're bringing death-squad governments back."

Why would someone be accused of "bringing death-squad governments back" if they didn't support death squads?

Justin Delacour 1:44 AM  

Why would someone be accused of "bringing death-squad governments back" if they didn't support death squads?

Weisbrot's statement is exaggerated, but the point that the Administration is turning a blind eye to death squad activity in Honduras is valid. Obama's Honduras policies are definitely not equivalent to Reagan's Central America policies, but they don't really bode well for democracy in Central America either.

Anonymous,  11:54 PM  

Weisbrot is a terrible analyst of what's going on in Latin America, so bad in fact that he threatens to taint Dean Baker as well.

leftside 5:11 PM  

Randy, there are a million ways a powerful State like the US could acquiesce in allowing death squads to exist without actually consciously supporting them as a tool of statecraft. Case in point -Colombia and Honduras (or Iraq). Or are you arguing that Obama has done all he could possibly do to ensure that death squads don't gain a foothold in those countries? I am confused.

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