Washington Resumes Military Aid to Honduras

The United States has renewed military aid to Honduras with a donation of 25 heavy trucks valued at $812,000, according to the Spanish website infodefensa.com. And on June 18, Ambassador Hugo Llorens announced that the Washington would give Honduras $75 million through USAID for various development projects and $20 million as part of the Merida Program to enhance “security.”

These developments signify a major step in the normalization of the relationship between the U. S. and the government of Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, following suspension of diplomatic ties after the June 28 military coup in which President Mel Zelaya was sent into exile. The coup was condemned unanimously by the Organization of American States, but soon afterwards the United States began working to promote acceptance of the coup regime.

A determined non-violent resistance movement has mobilized millions of Hondurans and united activists from many diverse struggles: labor, human rights, campesinos, gay rights, anti-mining, indigenous rights and others. Meanwhile, intense repression, reminiscent of the U. S. trained death squads of the eighties, has taken the lives of hundreds of Hondurans.

The Resistance has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Lobo government because the November 2009 elections were held in the context of repression and censorship. The Resistance is demanding that a constituent assembly be convoked to write a new constitution, and that genuine democracy be restored. A majority of the nations of Latin America have continued to withhold recognition of the current regime, even in the face of U. S. pressure.

Murders of leaders of the Resistance and sympathetic journalists happen regularly with complete impunity–not a single case has been solved. Meanwhile, big landowners carry on with violent suppression of peasants, community radio stations are destroyed, and it was announced on June 18 that the military will be deployed in the streets to help the police maintain order.