Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mel

The country of origin of the greatest number of refugee children arriving at our southern borders is Honduras. Almost all the refugees are from Central America, and as has been pointed out by Roberto Lovato of UC-Berkeley, of those, are all from countries that have followed US prescribed Reaganomics/Neoliberal economic policies, such as Honduras and Guatamela, and none of them are from the countries that have broken free of US dominance and gone their own, Leftist ways, countries like Nicaragua and El Salvador.

I was reminded of that this morning when I saw a tweet from Manual Zelaya, who is often called Mel, the former Honduran president who was ousted in an Obama Administration/Hillary Clinton State Department backed coup in 2009. Zelaya has become active on Facebook and Twitter in the past few months and today posted a picture of himself and Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro that was taken at the PSUV (Venezuelan Socialist Party) congress that's underway in Caracas.

Nicholas Maduro in red, Mel Zelaya with glasses
It's been quite a ride these last few years for Mel Zelaya. A wealthy Honduran rancher and bonafied member of the Honduran oligarchy, after becoming president of Honduras in 2006 Zelaya veered to the Left. He had implemented many programs benefiting the poor people of his country, which the US ruling elite doesn't like to see happen in its back yard -- witness Cuba, the Sandanista's Nicaragua, Allende's Chile, or any number of other examples -- and when Zelaya began having cordial relations with Venezuelan Socialist President Hugo Chavez, el Gringo lowered the boom.

The US also tried, earlier this year, to oust Maduro, who is carrying on in Chavez' footsteps in trying to find another way, one that benefits the majority of the people of his country and not just the wealthy few. But that extra-legal effort by the US failed.

It had been directed and funded by the US State Department's CIA and USAID respectively and carried out in collaboration with the Venezuelan oligarchy. It consisted of often violent, sometimes deadly street demonstrations by middle and upper class Venezuelans and of acts of economic sabotage by the oligarchy, and was aided and abetted by the US media, which ran almost daily stories about the protests, all of which repeated the same set of false statistics about Venezuela's economic condition and predicted its imminent collapse.

Gone now from US media stories that originate from Venezuela are the false statistics and predictions of doom. And in the last week, first Ecuador, and then Brazil, which also have Leftist governments and have broken free of US dominance, recalled their ambassadors from Israel in protest of the US backed, US funded, congressionally approved slaughter of the citizens of Gaza (while the US continues to be Israel's sole supporter at the UN.)

Also last week the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, stopped off in Cuba to pay his respects to Fidel Castro, on his way back from a tour of Latin America where he attended the BRICS Summit and also summits of Latin American and Caribbean leaders. BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa --  is an economic cooperation alliance that operates outside the influence of the US, and of those US dominated tools of Western economic imperialism the IMF and World Bank.

Photo DW.DE
In other words, Xi Jinping was in Latin America, and Cuba, too, no doubt, to talk about money, about making Chinese investments in those nations, and not the kind of investments made by the IMF and World Bank, which require receiving countries to adopt Reaganomics/Neoliberal "structural reforms," i.e., to slash social spending and lower taxes on the rich and increase them on the poor, as countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain have been required to do, which sends the countries' economies into spirals of decline and makes them essentially cheap labor pools for foreign banks to scavenge from. The Chinese are known for not attaching any strings to their investments and have demonstrated that all across Africa.

Things continue to change south of the border. Not everywhere, and not all at once. Latin Americans may have replaced the now nearly irrelevant US-dominated Organization of American States, the old OAS, with their own regional alliance, CELAC, to which party the US wasn't invited, but the US still controls important nations down under like Columbia and Uruguay. And children may still be fleeing the violence and oppression in the hellhole that is post-coup, US dominated Honduras, but Mel Zelaya is on Twitter and Facebook, and in Caracas, smiling.







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