Honduras, model of export-led growth?

Just a heavy dollop of irony.

The news is pleasant enough. In some local paper appears a photo or two of visiting corporate executives chatting with local officials. There is the confident good news: well-paying jobs and an improved standard of living for some community poor but rich in newly discovered natural resources, rapid economic development is around the corner. But in many cases bitter reality strikes, and hard.

Among the countries where such reality is very stark is Honduras, the most unequal country in Latin America and with a poverty rate of some 64%. A journalistic journey helps reinforce the saying, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed – coming to a community near you.” One lesson of caution to be heeded: they come to extract wealth, and the community pays the cost – as the community of Lago Agrio, Ecuador, has long learned as it still awaits resolution to a more than a decade old suit against Chevron..

From The Guardian, a seemingly curious question, Why is Honduras the world’s deadliest country for environmentalists?

 Honduras now has the highest murder rate for environmental activists in the world, and conflict over land rights is the primary driver. Rampant inequality, a weak judicial system, cozy relationships between political and business elites and near total impunity for crimes against human rights defenders have contributed to 101 murders of environmental activists between 2010 and 2014, according to the British NGO Global Witness.

And for some uncomfortable details on what is the fate of those who defy the edict of the corporation with its political and lethal armed support in an oligarchical system, TeleSUR informs us,  Land Grabbing Is Killing Honduras’ Indigenous Peoples. An excerpt – as the names of Lanny Davis and Hillary Clinton weave through the narrative of a tragedy that continues to unfold,

[Nelson] Garcia [murdered] was a colleague of the recently slain Caceres, working with communities opposing the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project. The Agua Zarca dam project, now on hold, would provide energy for the numerous extractive projects slated for Honduras in the coming decade. Since the 2009 coup d’etat against President Manuel Zelaya, 30 percent of Honduran territory has been allocated to mining concessions.

[bold added for emphasis]

And for still more evidence of the principal culpable, as would be for the Haiti, Libya and Syria tragedies, we point to The Nation as but one source, How Hillary Clinton Militarized US Policy in Honduras The revelations are not flattering, and despite the best efforts of US corporate media. Not to be deterred, undaunted and brazen, the former US Secretary of State persists, as TeleSUR recounts, Hillary Clinton Justifies her Support for 2009 Coup in Honduras. (A direct consequence of that policy is the desperate flight to the North by Hondurans terrified for their lives, as other Guatemalans and Salvadoreans of that farcical US-sponsored ‘Partnership for Prosperity’ do the same because of unabated violence flowing from similar, even if, earlier US involvement.)

It should come as no surprise that such people who choreograph the perception of profound knowledge of and insight in foreign affairs, in reality a fraud, are more ignorant than the average world-aware citizen, especially non-US, who follows international affairs, but certainly not from the US corporate media.

Yes, a sterling legacy of unmitigated disasters. As for Haiti, that benighted and similarly poor country, an expert, then on the scene, weighs in on the disaster visited on that country, even if not as horrific as on Libya or Syria.As Prof Ricardo Seitenfus writes, in this post at common dreams blog, Hillary Clinton and Electoral Coup in Haiti One sobering observation that invites a full reading,

[Cheryl] Mills was no development expert, but her connection to the Clintons ran deep. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Mills had been the unofficial manager of Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign and Bill’s defense lawyer during his impeachment. Despite having no training or experience in development economics, Rolling Stone reported a few years back, Mills “was determined to figure out a new way of doing things that would be more effective, both for the U.S. and for Haiti.”

So cronies and hangers-on with a parochial view of the world, a world restricted to the confines of the US, ipso facto, become experts on any country, especially if non-Western. And, yes, at that time, year of the earthquake, 2010, Cubans were already in Haiti working without self-promotion (as they would be doing with the UN-Nepalese cholera epidemic), while the Clintons, ‘Honorary Emperor and Empress of Haiti’, would delay incoming flights with humanitarian aid, as they did their photo-ops. That continuing contrast with Cuba and other disparaged countries.

No need to mention also that Bill Clinton who, by forcing the later deposed and kidnapped (‘renditioned’) President Bertrand Aristide to open up agricultural imports to his cronies in Arkansas, should bear full responsibility for the crash of Haiti’s rice industry – ‘movingly'( voice ‘tremulous’), with damage done and success assured for his associates, he would ‘apologise’ (popular cynical ploy to white-wash misdeeds), and years later.

Those bona fide industrious professionals who do strive to improve the lot of citizens of such disadvantaged countries are all too familiar with the abysmal display of confident, condescending ignorance of such cynical, self-promoting officials. And listening to, considering the views of others is a courtesy that escapes such exceptional folk, which explains the disasters and tragedies they invariably leave in their wake, as well as wakes (and destruction), ofttimes, for their victims to cope with.

Yes, to be forewarned


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