The Republic of Honduras

The nation of Honduras is a Central American nation located between the United Mexican States and the Republic of Colombia. Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Honduras is a poor nation, out of 8,2 million people at least 5,4 million live below the poverty line. 27% of all workers are not employed and because of that, Honduras has a very high crime rate. In 2009, the capitalist establishment removed their leftist populist president. José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was removed from power by the right-wing dominated Supreme Court for trying to change the constitution!

Honduras remains a typical banana-republic. Corruption is high and politics are dominated by two right-wing parties. The conservative; National Party of Honduras and the liberal; Liberal Party of Honduras. Both parties support capitalism and the rule of the markets. There are few genuine political left-wing parties in Honduras. This is because the main political parties dominate the political life and the pro-capitalist media makes sure that these two parties get all the media attention. Both the conservatives and the liberals have been in constant competition over political power, but once in power it is business as usual!

During the Cold War, the Republic of Honduras was an ally of US imperialism. Americans trained anti-leftist rebels in Honduras to fight the Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government in Nicaragua. These Contras were trained by the CIA and committed many violent crimes against the supporters of the Sandinistas. In 1982, the US Congress called the Contras terrorist and ordered president Ronald Reagan to stop training their soldiers. But the anti-leftist president secretly kept supporting them, which led to the Iran–Contra affair. Meanwhile the corrupt government of Honduras had to fight their own guerilla's such as the Cinchoneros Popular Liberation Movement, a group that became famous for kidnapping and bombing!

There were also border conflicts between Honduras and San Salvador. Between 14 and 18 July 1969, the armies of Honduras and San Salvador were in conflict. These existing tensions between the two countries coincided with rioting during the second North American qualifying round of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. The war began on 14 July 1969, when the Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. After 100 hours a cease fire was signed, unfortunate more then 2.100 soldiers and civilians of Honduras were killed. San Salvador lost 900 soldiers and civilians!

Because Honduras is a corrupt nation, most founds for projects end up in the hands of greedy state bureaucrats. It is said that only 4% of all founds are used for social activities, while 94% of all money ends up in the hands of the state bureaucracy. After the year 2000, the conservative and liberal governments tried to privatize many state enterprises. This led to chaos as the market took over the role of government. Soon the government became a tool for the owners of the economy. Workers and poor had little to no protection from exploitation. Although Honduras has a minimum-wage, most capitalists refuse to pay it and government corruption means that it is not enforced!

In 2005, Manuel Zelaya of the Liberal Party of Honduras became president. He seemed to be just another liberal capitalist president. But then something changed. Manuel Zelaya transformed from a typical capitalist leader into a centre-leftist leader, who started to use leftist rhetoric. The new president raised the minimum-wage with 80% and under his government many social programs were started. Yet the ruling class was not happy with this centre-leftist president. Political opponents, particularly business elites, opposed his foreign policy, including his alliance with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and friendship with Cuba's Raúl Castro. The USA was also not happy with Zelaya's foreign policy, Honduras was always a nation that was easily ''bought'' by US imperialism. But Zelaya proofed to be a danger as many Latin American governments became leftist and critical of US imperialism!

The Republic of Honduras became a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas ( ALBA ). This is an international cooperation organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded by Hugo Chavez and based on the ideals of Venezeula's Bolivarian Revolution, the ALBA stands in opposition to American imperialism. Manuel Zelaya made Honduras a member, the capitalists were furious and most media outlets in Honduras started to portray the president as a ''evil-communist'' a friend of ''communist totalitarianism'' because Zelaya was a friend of both Chavez and Castro. Like in Venezuela, most media networks are owned by capitalists, who were not in favour of the social programs and the centre-leftist principals of Zelaya!

Zelaya said that the main media outlets in Honduras, owned by wealthy conservatives, are biased against him and did not provide coverage of what his government was doing: "No one publishes anything about me. . . . what prevails here is censorship of my government by the mass media''. Inter Press Service says that the vast majority of radio and TV stations and print publications are owned by just six families. These six families belong to the super rich and had a genuine reason to hate him and his government. Thanks to the anti-leftist media, a part of the population was poisoned with lies. Like the Red Scare of the 50's, the media rallied people in demonstrations against what they called a ''socialist takeover''!

Conservatives and liberals had enough of Manuel Zelaya and finally got a change to remove him from office. In June 2009, Zelaya wanted to change the constitution and asked for a public referendum. The parliament opposed this and so did the ( conservative ) Supreme Court. Zelaya's own party opposed him now and the liberals joined forces with the National Party. But Zelaya was not to be stopped and he went along with the referendum. The Supreme Court said that the president violated the law, they were supported by the parliament and most members of the political establishment. Only the leftist; Democratic Unification Party supported Manuel Zelaya!

When Manuel Zelaya refused to stop the public referendum, the Supreme Court ordered the Army of Honduras to arrest the president. On 27 and 30 June the capitalist media rallied thousands in the streets to demands the arrest of the president. Some said that these protesters were paid to come to the capital. Supporters of the president were kept outside the city and were not allowed to enter. President Manuel Zelaya was arrested and removed from the presidential palace. Roberto Micheletti became the provisional president of Honduras. A capitalist businessman by trade, Micheletti was supported by the Supreme Court, the conservatives, the liberals and all major television networks!

The international reaction to the coup was negative. Many Latin American nations opposed it and gave no support to the provisional president of Honduras. One nation however supported the coup and Roberto Micheletti. Like the ( failed ) 2002 coup in Venezuela, the USA supported the removal of Manuel Zelaya. American imperialism said that Zelaya had violated the law and that his removal was supported by all ''democratic'' parties in Honduras. On 30 November 2009, new elections were held under ''Emergency Law''. With the full capitalist media behind them and the suppression of leftists, the National Party of Honduras was able to win the election. Only 50% of all people choose to vote, the conservative candidate got 1,212,846 vote and the liberal candidate 816,874. Porfirio Lobo Sosa, a rich landowner, became the new president of the Republic of Honduras. Under new management, Honduras left the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas!

Human Rights Watch argued that at least eight journalists and ten members of the National Popular Resistance Front ( supporters of Manuel Zelaya, who oppose the current government ) were killed since the coup. Human Rights Watch has also reported attacks on the independence of the judiciary and public prosecutors by the new capitalist government. But to no surprise Porfirio Lobo Sosa is praised by the US government and all media networks for ''supporting the law''. 

Since the coup, poverty has risen. Today more then 70% of all people in Honduras live below the poverty line. Violence and police brutality has increased the last four years since the coup that removed Manuel Zelaya from power. The capitalist media has blamed the supporters of the former president. But we revolutionary socialists know that the true reason for the rise in crime is because of poverty and capitalist exploitation. This is the banana republic of Honduras, a nation were capitalism rules and poverty is everywhere. Rich landowner; Porfirio Lobo Sosa is boss and all who support the former president are called ''enemies of democracy and freedom'' classic capitalist propaganda!

The wife of Manuel Zelaya, is trying to run for president. She is supported by a new democratic socialist movement called Liberty and Refoundation. Xiomara Castro ( no relative of Cuba's Fidel Castro ) is running against Porfirio Lobo Sosa in the November 2013 elections. The rich landowner had declared himself winner on 25-11-2013. But Xiomara Castro has not accepted defeat. It remains to be seen if Porfirio Lobo Sosa can rule for another four years. Revolutionary socialists call for the creation of a mass workers party in Honduras. A party that fights for workers and poor people. Liberty and Refoundation can become a mass party, if it has a genuine socialist program that fights for democratic socialism and workers rule! 

Supporters of the June 2009 coup are filmed by
the pro-capitalist media in Honduras!

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism