Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crisis in Honduras

Honduras continues moving toward open conflict, as President Zelaya pushes for a vote on the constitution, which both the Supreme Court and Congress have indicated is illegal, and the military does not support. See Matthew Shugart for an analysis of the numbers in the legislature (and whether to call the vote a plebiscite or referendum--he opts for the former). And Boz has background here and here. It is an unusual situation, with Zelaya insisting that it is just a "public opinion poll."

Hugo Chávez has expressed his strong support for Zelaya, though interestingly in a statement he even acknowledged that "everybody is against it."

“In short, what is happening in Honduras is that the Congress is against the electoral consultation, the Supreme Court too, the General Attorney, the Church and the bishops are against it, the bourgeoisie is against it; that is to say, everybody is against it, any resemblance with our reality is not a coincidence.

Presumably someone is for it, though his approval rating is only about 30 percent.

Regardless, this is yet another example of constitution-itis in Latin America. There has been a slew of entirely new constitutions written in recent years (though this is by no means a new phenomenon). Honduras is currently on its 16th constitution, from 1982. It is a poor country based largely on agricultural exports (e.g. coffee and bananas) controlled by foreign investors and constantly beset by natural disasters. A new constitution will not change those realities, just as previous constitutions did not.


Slave Revolt,  2:56 PM  

Stating the obvious, don't trust these opinion polls as they tend to have a huge bias in favor of the very undemocratic elites (they still murder people that shine the light on social ills and develop labor solidarity).

Constitutions will always be altered when situations of pornograghic social oppression are allowed to fester for decades.

Don't be so quick to believe that the majority poor don't support changing the political reality on the ground. It's called democracy. Try it sometime.

Slave Revolt

Meredith Brennan 8:51 AM  

I was actually just in Honduras and speaking to many of the poor there, I think it is safe to say that they are not for this "changing political reality on the ground". It isn't democracy to say he's with the people and then take advantage of them through bribes.

Slave Revolt,  4:01 PM  

I have ties to Honduras and many friends there for decades. My close contacts inform me that the president is popular with the majority of the population.

Just as in the US there are fearful and deluded poor people that vote for politicians that kick them in the face, same goes for Honduras.

This president will return to power more powerful than ever. Oligarchy and imperialism will be defeated.

Why do they fear a poll of public opinion as to whether to alter the constitution?--so much so that they have to kidnapp and beat the president.

You fools are so indoctrinated in an essentially undemocratic ethos--the kind that murders tens of thousands in periodic temper tantrums. It's happened for hundreds of years in the US, so you can expect the dominant attitudinal reallity to be pretty diseased.

You folks use the term 'democracy' while you put its oppposite into practice on a daily basis.

We will resist and fight the Honduran oiligarchy and their military thug allied.

We will defeat this coup. I am already on the phone with my comrades. Two have already been detained by the military. And you whores condone this shit? Amazing (no really).

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