Revolution #172, August 9, 2009

From A World to Win News Service

The U.S. hand behind the coup in Honduras

July 27, 2009. A World to Win News Service. The first of the  following two  articles is excerpted from a text by Eva Golinger that first appeared on her blog on July 15. Golinger, a Venezuelan-American attorney from New York, has written several books on U.S. intervention against the Chávez regime in Venezuela, most recently Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela (2007, Monthly Review Press). We have excerpted her brief outline of the arguments given in the full text, posted in English and Spanish on “Postcards from the Revolution.” The second article is excerpted from a piece by Linda Cooper and James Hodge first published July 14 in the U.S. newspaper National Catholic Reporter. The full articles were also reprinted on the Web site of the U.S. magazine Monthly Review.

Washington & the coup in Honduras

No one doubts that the fingerprints of Washington are all over the coup d’état against President Manuel Zelaya that began last June 28. Many analysts, writers, activists and even presidents, have denounced this role. Nevertheless, the majority coincide in excusing the Obama Administration from any responsibility in the Honduran coup, blaming instead the lingering remains of the Bush-Cheney era and the war hawks that still pace the halls of the White House. The evidence demonstrates that while it is certain that the "usual suspects" who perpetrate coups and destabilization activities in Latin America are involved, ample proof exists confirming the direct role of the new administration in Washington in the Honduran coup.

U.S. continues to train Honduran soldiers

A controversial facility at Ft. Benning, Georgia—formerly known as the U.S. Army's School of the Americas [SOA]—is still training Honduran officers despite claims by the Obama administration that it cut military ties to Honduras after its president was overthrown June 28, National Catholic Reporter has learned.

A day after an SOA-trained army general ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, President Barack Obama stated that "the coup was not legal" and that Zelaya remained "the democratically elected president."

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act requires that U.S. military aid and training be suspended when a country undergoes a military coup, and the Obama administration has indicated those steps have been taken.

However, Lee Rials, public affairs officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the successor of SOA, confirmed Monday that Honduran officers are still being trained at the school.

The school trained 431 Honduran officers from 2001 to 2008, and some 88 were projected for this year, said Rials, who couldn't provide their names.

The general who overthrew Zelaya—Romeo Orlando Vásquez Velásquez—is a two-time graduate of SOA, which critics have nicknamed the "School of Coups" because it trained so many coup leaders, including two other Honduran graduates, General Juan Melgar Castro and General Policarpo Paz García. Vasquez is not the only SOA graduate linked to the current coup or employed by the de facto government. Others are [a descriptive list of two generals and three colonels follows].

The ongoing training of Hondurans at Fort Benning is not the only evidence of unbroken U.S.-Honduran military ties since the coup.

Another piece was discovered by Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois, the founder of SOA Watch, while on a fact-finding mission to Honduras last week. [SOAW, which has organized several actions against the U.S. Army School of the Americas, held a protest against American intervention in Honduras at the U.S. Army Southern Command headquarters in Florida July 25—see]

Bourgeois—accompanied by two lawyers, Kent Spriggs and Dan Kovalik—visited the Soto Cano/Palmerola Air Base northwest of Tegucigalpa, where the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force-Bravo is stationed.

"Helicopters were flying all around, and we spoke with the U.S. official on duty, a Sergeant Reyes" about the U.S.-Honduran relationship, Bourgeois said. "We asked him if anything had changed since the coup and he said no, nothing."

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

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