Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks and Honduras

Among the documents recently leaked by Wikileaks was a cable from the US Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens. You can find it by clicking here.

What is interesting and surprising about the cable is its clarity in regard to the June 28, 2009 coup. He is not uncritical of Zelaya but he systematically undermines some of the most outrageous "arguments" and "charges" against Zelaya and for the coup.

Many Hondurans against the coup think that Llorens was involved in the perpetration of the coup. On the other hand, those in support of the coup and many US expatriates in Honduras demonize Llorens as selling out Honduras.

But Llorens, though critical of Zelaya, states categorically
“No matter what the merits of the case against Zelaya, his forced removal by the military was clearly illegal, and Micheletti's ascendance as "interim president" was totally illegitimate.”
But what disturbs me is the failure of the US government to condemn the coup clearly. Later, the US State Department statements were very ambiguous and gave the impression – at least to me – that the US was prepared to accept the effects of the coup, as it did with its support and promotion of the November elections here.

The failure of the US to speak up clearly and critically is I believe, at the very least, a failure of nerve, if not a case of the worst type of diplomacy, one that deals with human rights in terms of the interests of the US and not in terms of the dignity of the human person and the common good.

So much for my two cents.

If you want good analysis on this and other events in Honduras I refer you to the blog of two University of California Berkeley anthropologists, Honduras Culture and Politics.

1 comment:

phoenixwoman said...

Unfortunately, nothing more has emerged, even though we know there were 150 cables from Tegucigalpa to the US from May-July. These could tell us whether the US was engaged in a soft coup using the semblance of constitutionality.

As I think you know, I believe the coup proceeded along three separate tracks. Llorens definitely sounds as if his back is up in this cable to Shannon, which could be exculpatory for the ambassador. But that tone could be because they chose the military route without telling him.