Standing firm for Honduras

The coup d’etat carried out against the legally elected president of Honduras on June 28 is meeting with worldwide resistance which is as strong as it is broad. Not a single country around the world is supporting it. The United Nations General Assembly and the Organization of American States have declared emphatically that they do not recognize the coup regime.

Countries around the region have withdrawn their ambassadors as have all member states of the European Community. International lending agencies have suspended all aid to Honduras.

Within Honduras, labor unions and other people’s organizations have mounted massive resistance to the coup, with hundreds of thousands of people protesting on the streets, defying a mounting wave of repression. Honduran workers are getting support from the labor movement worldwide, including the AFL-CIO and Workers Uniting, which encompasses U.S., British and Canadian steelworkers, who have called for their respective governments to support the restoration of Zelaya and to deny all military aid to the coup regime.

In a gratifying change from previous U.S. practices, the Obama administration has denounced the coup and considers Manuel Zelaya to be the legal president of Honduras — a welcome demonstration of the administration’s stated commitment to dropping unilateral approaches and strengthening international and collective methods of solving problems.

This is in spite of a mounting campaign of lies and pressure by the ultra-right. Had John McCain won the presidency in November 2008, reactionary figures such as John Negroponte, Roger Noriega, Otto Reich and Ollie North would be running the U.S. response, including overt or covert military support for the coup regime. This would be bad news in a region which has seen more than a hundred years of U.S. support for despotic regimes which have oppressed their own people and served only the interests of exploitative corporations.

Now, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has agreed to mediate in an attempted peaceful solution. Arias’ mediation has been accepted by President Zelaya and the coup front man, Micheletti. However, the two sides are still far apart on terms. So the pressure must be kept on to ensure a united front against the coup regime and for the restoration of Zelaya and democratic rights in Honduras.