Friday, July 17, 2009

National Black Organization of Honduras: The Resistance Continues

190 years later: The Monroe Doctrine versus the Amphytrionic Congress of Panama
In 1823, the United States emitted the Monroe Doctrine: “America for the Americas,” which was elaborated by John Quincy Adams and attributed to James Monroe. Supposedly, the doctrine was directed at the European powers, indicating that the United States would not tolerate the intromission of outside forces on the continent.

However, for the United States and specifically for Monroe, there existed the experience of Amelia Island in Florida, which was occupied by 150 Venezuelan patriots in 1817, under the command of Gregor McGregor. The Bolivarian force was later displaced by Monroe’s troops, who then took over the rest of Florida, previously under Spanish dominion.

Simon Bolivar in his visionary Letter from Jamaica (1815) signaled the ominous role that the event would play in the future of the United States and its colonial intentions. In 1826 he convoked the Amphytrionic Congress of Panama, to create a block of Latin American nations that could respond as such to the imperial aggressions. He explicitly ordered the United States not be invited to the Congress, however, with the ingrained betrayal we suffer from in Latin America, Francisco de Paula Santander invited the northern country.

In 1840, the United States proceeded to take over a third of Mexico, invoking the nefarious Monroe policy. The doctrine reached its apogee in the beginnings of the XX century, when Theodore Roosevelt put into practice his famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” which led to the appropriation of Panama and the implementation of “gunboat diplomacy” throughout Latin America.

Certainly, one of the saddest chapters of our history was the invasion of Honduras from a brothel in New Orleans. Three months later, the conspirators found themselves in the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa. Sam Zemurray the “Banana Man” financed Manuel Bonilla and his army of gringo mercenaries to take over Honduras, and through him implement a state model managed by a multinational fruit company. Today one might consider Sam Zemurray and his disciple Manuel Bonilla as fathers of the Banana Republic that continues into the present.

The colonialist model imposed by the United States over the duration of the XX century, reached a barrier with the rise to power of Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian vision. Since 1998, he has created an anti-hegemonic block, through the intermediary of the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America, known as ALBA, which has successfully put a stop to free trade agreements imposed by the administrations of ex-presidents Clinton and Bush, putting at risk the U.S. backed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

ALBA in its essence is no more than the vision of the unified people of Latin America to respond to the economic aggressions, policies and military from the north, such as the one elaborated by Simon Bolivar in his Amphictyonic Congress of Panama.

Of course the United States has done everything possible to break the Latin American social movements and its response to the hegemonic visions that have increased the abyss between social classes and increased the poverty of our most vulnerable populations.

The coup that occurred on June 28th in our country is no more than a response from the empire to the decolonization processes promulgated in Latin America. Nevertheless, efforts to misinform the people and the promotion of groups tied to the dominant elite, encouraged by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID, were incapable of foreseeing the response from the great majority of the dispossessed in our country, that until the present date remain in struggle, refuting the vision imparted by the media—many of them self-censored—promoters of the coup.

The polarization of the classes and the derailment of the state of law have been shamelessly supported by the Supreme Court of Justice and the Public Ministry. Both institutions have shown loyalty to the interventionist policies of the empire, and have been converted into the accomplices of the destruction of democracy.

The political military experiment that is taking place in Honduras, is no less than a recipe elaborated by the neo-cons of the United State to dilute any attempt to halt the Monroe Doctrine and implement the Bolivarian vision of the Congress of Panama. Honduras has been selected as the battle grounds for the confrontation between the hegemonic vision and independence.
Whereas, the de facto government has demonstrated once again its subordination to the empire: proof of this is the presence of Bennet Ratcliff at the San Jose negotiations, guided by Hillary Clinton and the President Arias. Micheletti’s delegates consulted the steps to take with the North American functionary. These are undeniable signs of the absolute obedience of the coup leaders to the Clinton-Obama administration.

But the most ominous sign coming from the de facto government is the inclusion of torturer Billy Joya as a Micheletti minister. This choice is a macabre sign for a people that underwent psychological warfare for years at the hands of those who took power , that for decades have repressed Hondurans and pretend to do so again vis-à-vis the coup.

In spite of the capillaries of domination extending from the empire and the aggressions towards the Honduran people, the resistance will continue. For OFRANEH, the restitution of democratic order does not consist solely in the return of President Manuel Zelaya. The objectives of the struggle go much farther. The Indigenous and Black people demand constitutional changes that make visible and guarantee the recognition of our rights, and above all that we achieve a participatory democracy, where the sovereign people make their own decisions and we stop being caricatures in the service of foreign interests.

Almost two centuries after the Monroe Doctrine and the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama, the people of Latin America continue to struggle for our true independence and the right to non-interference. It is time the Clinton-Obama administration reconsiders their interventionist policies and proceeds with a respectful relationship towards Latin America.

La Ceiba, July 16, 2009.

Nacional Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras, OFRANEH

Teléfono (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba,,

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