Created: Wednesday, 09 December 2009 11:57
Written by Luke Lucas
FRFI 211 October / November 2009
On the night of Sunday 20 September, after two days of travelling secretly through the mountains and countryside of Honduras, elected President Manuel Zelaya returned to the capital city of Tegucigalpa. His appearance in the Brazilian embassy, 86 days after he was ousted in a military coup on 28 June and expelled from the country, has electrified the mass of the Honduran people who rushed to surround the embassy before being forced away by the rubber bullets and tear gas of the coup regime’s police and military.
Zelaya’s return represents a humiliating defeat for US imperialism: for its intelligence services, who knew nothing about the plan for his return; for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose department had given the coup government tacit support, and for President Obama, who had been unable to restrain the hawks in his administration. The Reuters view that, by opening its door to Zelaya, Brazil is placing ‘a high-risk bet that could harm its regional leadership ambitions’ completely misses the point: had Brazil not done this it would face marginalisation within the Organisation of American States and other groups where the US now holds little or no sway. As Brazil’s President Lula told the UN General Assembly on 23 September:
‘The international community demands that Mr Zelaya return immediately to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of Brazil’s diplomatic mission in the capital of Honduras.’
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