Electoral Coup in Honduras
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
It’s standard practice in banana republics and elsewhere.
The late Edward Herman explained how it works in his book titled “Demonstration Elections,” covering sham ones in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Vietnam.
They occur regularly elsewhere in countries like Egypt and nations America occupies.
Herman explained “elections held under conditions of military occupation and extensive pre-election ‘pacification’ ” aren’t free at all.
Their aim is getting an occupying force’s puppet choice installed to rule with influence wielded more by bullets than ballots to create “stability.”
Electoral fraud occurs in Western nations, notably in past US elections. Most recently, GW Bush lost to Al Gore and John Kerry, yet served two terms as an illegitimate US president.
In June 2009, dozens of Honduran soldiers stormed President Manuel Zelaya’s residence at night, arrested him in pajamas at gunpoint, exiling him to Costa Rica – a coup d’etat engineered in Washington, orchestrated by Hillary Clinton, repressive fascist rule installed.
Zelaya was ousted because he joined Venezuela’s Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA) based on fair, not one-sided “free” trade; complementarity, not competition; solidarity, not domination; cooperation, not exploitation; and respect for each nation’s sovereign freedom from corporate control.
He raised the country’s minimum wage, provided free school lunches, milk for babies and pensions for elderly Hondurans.
He distributed energy-saving light bulbs, decreased public transportation costs, offered students scholarship help, built roads and schools in rural areas – policies opposed by Washington and Honduran hardliners.
America prefers leaders trained at the infamous School of the Americas (SOA), renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISEC).
Enrollees are taught state of the art ways to kill, maim, torture, oppress, exterminate poor and indigenous people, overthrow democratically elected governments, assassinate targeted officials, suppress popular resistance when it erupts, and work cooperatively with Washington to solidify hard-right rule, intolerant of progressive change.
Honduras and other US puppet-run countries are governed this way – democracy, equity and justice strictly forbidden.
US-installed president Juan Hernandez supported the 2009 coup ousting Zalaya. He trailed opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla in the November 26 election.
Early results showed Nasralla way ahead in the vote count, yet Hernandez was declared the winner, electoral fraud permitting him to retain power.
Ballot count manipulation occurred while the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) servers were for down for five hours.
Fraudulent results were accepted by Washington, the EU and Organization of American States, ignoring flagrant electoral rigging.
Hondurans took to the streets to protest. Violence erupted, ongoing for days, military forces deployed to suppress the right to resist a stolen election.
A nationwide curfew was imposed, military and police emergency powers invoked. At least one death and numerous injuries were reported.
Both candidates claimed victory. Nasralla demanded a recount, rejecting the rigged result, saying I won the election with 70% of the vote (counted), with 116,000 more votes than Hernandez.
“Mathematically, it is impossible that this would change even with the 30 percent of the ballots left to count.”
Yet Hernandez was declared the winner by a 47,000 vote margin. Nasralla is a popular former TV host. His Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship coalition includes the Liberty and Refoundation Party (Libre), led by ousted president Manuel Zelaya.
He called for international observers to monitor a recount. Latin American expert William Robinson explained a mass movement in the country followed Zalaya’s 2009 ouster from office.
In 2013 elections, “again there was electoral fraud,” he noted, repeated on November 26.
In Honduras for the elections and aftermath, Witness for Peace coordinator Elise Roberts explained:
“We’ve heard testimony of ongoing intimidation through use of US-funded security forces, incidents of fraud and violence at polling places, use of US-made munitions against anti-fraud protesters, and a total lack of transparency about the electoral process.”
Under US-installed puppet rule, Hondurans face brutal repression, impoverishment and suppression of dissent in a nation known as Latin America’s murder capital.
Anthropologist/Honduran expert Adrienne Pine explained Nasralla is more a showman, campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.
He’s not part of the country’s resistance against structural violence, oligarchy, US imperialism, militarization or related issues.
The Honduran establishment and Washington won’t let any leader govern from the left, Nasralla not part of it.
It’s Zalaya’s base, not his. Conditions in the country are dire, said Pine. Washington assures human rights abusers aren’t punished.
Extrajudicial assassinations and incarcerations, along with torture and other mistreatment occur with impunity.
It’s been the pattern before and after Zelaya’s ouster, the country militarized to enforce neoliberal harshness, transformed into a narco-state.
Despite his appalling human rights record, Obama supported Hernandez. So does Trump.
With or without a recount, he’ll likely retain power because Washington backs him as a useful puppet.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”