Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coup fears in Latin America

For all the talk about Gallup polls in the Honduran case, I have not seen coverage of Gallup's region-wide poll about people's fear of military coups (the poll was published in June, but the responses are from 2008). Honduras had the second highest percentage of people (29%) who agreed that the country was moving toward a coup (behind Bolivia at 36%).

Those countries are not surprising. But 11% of Chileans? And 14% of Colombians? And then 11% in Costa Rica, where the military was abolished before most of its citizens were even born?

I find these numbers amazingly high.


Slave Revolt,  8:16 PM  

Well, Greg, when the empire next door displays such perrenial antipathy to e en moderate social democratic change, then hefear of a coup is omnipresent.

Honduras is intended as an example for the people of the Americas.

Let's just hope that the US and it's allies don't revert to deathsquad mode. It worked like magic(cal realism) back in the day.

Anonymous,  9:43 PM  

People believe all kinds of silly things with no empirical support. Just look at the 'birthers' here in the US.

Anonymous,  10:02 PM  

Greg’s reference to Honduran attitudes made me think of Latinobarametro 2008 report on Latin America (
)…here are a few stats on Honduran attitudes toward its low-intensity democracy or polyarchy (referred to as a "democracy" by most observers):

1)-Between 2004 and 2008 an average of 80% of Hondurans agreed with the statement that their government governed on behalf of the powerful (the Latin American average was 70%)

2)-For 2008: P. ¿Está Ud. muy de acuerdo, de acuerdo, en desacuerdo o muy en desacuerdo con las siguientes afirmaciones? No me importaría que un gobierno no democrático llegara al poder si pudiera resolver los problemas económicos. *Aquí solo ‘Muy de acuerdo’más ‘ De acuerdo’

Honduras=63% (third highest), Latin American average: 53%

3)- ¿Cuánta confianza tiene usted en ellas: mucha, algo , poca o ninguna confianza en…? *Aquí solo ‘El Congreso Nacional/ Parlamento’ **Aquí solo ‘Mucha’más ‘Algo’

For 2008: Honduras=26%, Latin American average 32%

4)- ¿Cuánta confianza tiene usted en ellas: mucha, algo , poca o ninguna confianza en…? * Aquí solo ‘El Gobierno’ **Aquí solo ‘Mucha’ más ‘Algo’

For 2008: Honduras 25% (tied for second lowest), Latin America average 44%

5)-Support for democracy in 2008

Honduras 44%; Latin American average 57%



Nell 1:23 AM  

14% isn't that high for Colombia: a country where the military operates with complete impunity, sends more officers to the U.S.'s national-security-state training than any other, and has been feeding off both drug profits and massive U.S. military aid for a decade now.

@Anonymous: fear of a coup in Colombia, e.g., ism't "silly", much less as unhinged as the birthers here.

Nell 2:01 AM  

Does anyone ever poll the U.S. public on the question of whether our government governs on behalf of the powerful?

And if they did, how could anyone conceivably not answer yes?

Corporate money rules our political system. Corporate lobbies control the legislative process. Six or seven giant conglomerates dominate the media.

The financial industry owns us. In the last year We've handed over trillions to the banksters whose unregulated recklessness was made possible by the politicians they' bought off in both parties.

We're about to embark on some kind of "health insurance reform" that won't begin to solve the problems of our current unjust, expensive, and inadequate system. Why won't we even consider single-payer, or any of the similar models that have worked for most other developed countries? Not because it's unworkable, but because it's politically impossible.

Real wages have declined for thirty years. Income and wealth disparity have become yawning gaps, as the increases in national income have gone entirely to the top 5%. Americans under 50 who aren't in that top 5% have almost no lived experience of any government action that's benefited them.

Military spending has soared. We've been lied into one ruinous, illegal war of aggression that is going to go on for at least another three years, and unwillingness to challenge the policy of war has stuck us in another that is just as ugly, pointless, and hopeless -- however justified it might have felt for a few months in the fall of 2001.

The powerful have hugely expanded the scope of executive power, and the current executive is resisting ceding back any of that power. Torture has become a thinkable, discussable "policy difference", not a crime against humanity. It's been normalized, along with warrantless spying, no-knock raids, military show trials, and -- coming soon -- preventive detention.

So it's not exactly a moment in which we can feel smug about those silly Latin Americans and their craaaazy belief that the powerful govern on behalf of the powerful.

Anonymous,  10:24 AM  

Talk of a coup in Colombia is about as dumb as the birthers in the US.

Defensores de Democracia 4:20 PM  

Colombia says that She is the "Oldest Democracy" in Latin America .....

This is not so Absurd or Imbecile, as it appears at first sight ....
Just read any Colombia Newspaper of the last 60 years and you will see tons of criticism to all Governments .... more than anywhere else in Latin America ....

The Last Dictator was Gustavo Rojas Pinilla and was ousted in 1957.

This was not the worst dictatorship in Latin America ... His grandson is the Mayor of Bogota .... and is a nice soft spoken guy without any despotism or aggressivity....

Military Aggression from Venezuela and Ecuador to Colombia is a Greater and Graver Risk and Danger than a Military Coup inside Colombia. The Military is Highly respected nowadays in Colombia. The FARC Guerrilla is 90% defeated ( and I am cautious in putting a low number )

Enter Chavez and Correa

Chavez, the Arrogant Blowhard, always blustering, threatening, always in his role of a Big Military Bully :

He has even said that he does not let the U. S. have airplanes or military personnel in Colombia.

As far as I know, nothing is going to be built in Colombia .... Only the use of already established airports.

The idea of a Military Basis may be wrong ...

Chavez and Correa are angry, insulting and complaining for an event that has been happening during years.

Because there are already American Robot Airplanes flying over Colombia ( drones ) ....

Change the Idea of Basis, for the idea of Technology, like Radar Towers, "radar airplanes", "surveillance airplanes", "Satellite Info Interpretaion" ... etc

To keep control of Narco Operations, FARC Guerrillas, Defense or Protection of the Panama Canal ( next door ) and you get the idea....

Nobody that seriously studies these conflicts in the Southern Caribbean and in the Tropical Pacific ( Colombia and Ecuador ) can seriously doubt that Chavez and Correa have rooted for the FARC Terrorists. ... Hundred of Videos prove it.

Chavez and Correa have given audible encouragement and applause to these Murderous Terrorists.

The FARC plants land mines that have killed or maimed hundreds of little peasant children.

They have destroyed the houses of old people in villages with Gas Cylinders and killed their occupants.

They are kidnappers and cold blood murderers. And Chavez and Correa have given lots of assistance.

Look for the Videos of "Mono Jojoy" ( The Worst Terrorist ) talking of the Great Friendship with Correa and Chavez

Go to please and see the Videos that show what Correa and Chavez are ...

Nobody talks of a Military Coup in Colombia ... That 14% seems absurdly high ... Biased Sample ??

Vicente Duque

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