I’ve reconsidered my position about posting Wikileaks articles. This article not only discusses classified material disclosed by Wikileaks, but actually quotes it. I know some of my readers work for the US government, thus the warning. I am not an enemy of the United States of America. I simply love my nation of Honduras.
Ambassador Llorens has more influence over Honduran politics than the Honduran President. His influence over Manuel Zelaya was slightly less than that of Lobo, but in the end, they both look for every way to please the US.
The cables that Wikileaks have been releasing about Honduras, and that in the uproar over Tunisia and Egypt have been ignored by the mainstream media, make the level of US involvement in Honduran politics starkly clear. Very few people care at the moment.
According to cable 09TEGUCIGALPA431, Manuel Zelaya tried very hard to get Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa to sign a document drafted for him by the US government. This would allow Cuba to enter the OAS in exchange for obeying its rules. He ultimately succeeded, apparently without telling his friends they were signing a document created by their enemy. Consider the following comment by Ambassador Llorens, brackets mine:
”Zelaya found himself trapped between his desire to please both the U.S. and his ALBA friends at the OAS. The need to produce a successful assembly won out, however, and Zelaya successfully pressured ALBA to accept our text. The Secretary [Clinton]’s presence was important, as Zelaya wants good relations with the new administration and wanted her visit to be successful. Zelaya kept his word to us on not allowing any of the ALBA presidents to speak at the assembly, at some effort according to his version. We note, however, that had he not issued them invitations, he would not have had to fend of their speaking requests.
The level of cooperation Zelaya showed here has prompted some news media to call him a “double agent”.
Cable 10TEGUCIGALPA2 is even more troubling. Zelaya showed some autonomy even though clearly collaborating with the US. Lobo, on the other hand, was, and is, in a desperate position. The cable shows him pressuring Micheletti to resign, to let Lobo lead a unity government, patronizingly using US visas as a carrot on a stick. Lobo was even consulting Llorens for advice about who to appoint for his cabinet! Consider the following:
”Lobo noted security was not his area of expertise, and he hoped the Ambassador could suggest names of some qualified, clean candidates for the position who would not be beholden to Alvarez. He said on the matter of addressing the transnational threat of crime and trafficking, sovereignty was not an issue, and he welcomed U.S. inputs. The Ambassador said he would consult his security and law enforcement team on the matter.”
In a similar conversation, in cable 10TEGUCIGALPA143, about the minister of defense, Ambassador Llorens dictated the decisions that Lobo ultimately took. While there is no coercion here, why should Lobo discuss his internal affairs with the ambassador of another country at all? Consider this:
“He said he was under pressure from some
within the officer corps to appoint Army Chief General Garcia
Padgett. The Ambassador said that the two individuals most
closely connected to the military side of the coup were
Vasquez and Garcia Padgett. The Ambassador discouraged Lobo
from appointing Garcia Padgett. He suggested that Lobo
consider appointing General Doblado, a scrupulous and highly
In cable 10TEGUCIGALPA160 , Llorens characterized a rushed concession by Micheletti’s government to build a hydroelectric project as “egregious” and an example of “back-room deals”. This may in fact be so. But Llorens is altogether silent with the many egregious instances of fraud and corruption Manuel Zelaya perpetrated from the rigged election that earned him the much-repeated moniker “democratically elected”, to the shameless extraction of millions of Lempiras by Zelaya’s presidential minister on June
27 [24, thanks Gringa], to the “results” of the referendum being pre-loaded into the computers that were to tally them.
The US still insists that all charges be dropped from Zelaya before Honduras is admitted into the OAS. Lobo is intensely lobbying for this. Hugo Chavez said the US ambassador to Venezuela had invalidated himself because he said the military was demoralized. How much more is Llorens invalidated by his deep involvement in the 2009 Honduran constitutional disaster!
Ambassador Llorens and President-elect Lobo had a clear picture of what had occurred. While this is encouraging to me, because it dispels the myths about Obama’s government as socialist, it also dispels the myth that Honduras is “Free, Sovereign and Independent” as our national motto states. Consider the following:
They agreed that what had taken place was a failure of political leadership by President Jose Manuel “Mel” Zelaya in the months leading up to the June coup, as well as Micheletti and other institutions in supporting the coup. Lobo stated that while he believed Zelaya had largely created the environment that led to the coup, he also believed that what took place in June was wrong.
While I agree about the cause of the disaster, I do not join Llorens’s condemnation of Micheletti. Micheletti was simply disobedient to Llorens’s desires, and was punished accordingly. He, unlike Zelaya and Lobo, actually had an ideological backbone. He is now hated by the US and the ALBA nations alike. That is no small feat, and to me, suggests honesty. Why would anyone commit political suicide like that for corrupt reasons?
While Micheletti was president, many Hondurans, for the first time, felt that Honduras was a democracy, and that the people had actual power. For once we were proud of our Constitution and our President. But Lobo, in recognition of who is really presiding over Honduras, extinguished the nationalism that had very briefly shone in our eyes.
I cannot be proud of Lobo nor admire him. I understand what he is doing, I even agree with some things, and would not like to be in his shoes. But his complete spineless submission to the US tempts me toward bitterness. Because of him, it is business as usual in Honduras; the Banana Republic has more than ever become a parody of democracy.
There is a lot more detail in the original documents: