As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Honduras Update

The deposed President was sitting on the border between Honduras and Nicaragua, and briefly stepped inside Honduran territory for reasons that are inscrutable. He then walked back over the line, reporters in tow.

Meanwhile, the current Honduran government has a curfew set in the border areas.

As the talks to settle this dispute have collapsed, I don't see a possible endgame, though I assume more sideshow activity like "I'm in Honduras, now I'm not" will probably be in order.

And I think we can all agree that, while it's hard to find winners in this situation, we can definitely pinpoint one loser - Lanny Davis.

"My clients represent the CEAL, the [Honduras Chapter of] Business Council of Latin America," Davis said when reached at his office last Thursday. "I do not represent the government and do not talk to President [Roberto] Micheletti. My main contacts are Camilo Atala and Jorge Canahuati. I'm proud to represent businessmen who are committed to the rule of law." Atala, Canahuati, and other families that own the corporate interests represented by Davis and the CEAL are at the top of an economic pyramid in which 62 percent of the population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank.

For many Hondurans and Honduras watchers, the confirmation that Davis is working with powerful, old Honduran families like the Atalas and Canahuatis is telling: To them, it proves that Davis serves the powerful business interests that ran, repressed, and ruined Honduras during the decades prior to the leftward turn of the Zelaya presidency.

"No coup just happens because some politicians and military men decide one day to simply take over," White says upon hearing for whom Davis is working. "Coups happen because very wealthy people want them and help to make them happen, people who are used to seeing the country as a money machine and suddenly see social legislation on behalf of the poor as a threat to their interests. The average wage of a worker in free trade zones is 77 cents per hour."

"The tragedy," adds White, "is that the Canahuatis and the Atalas and the other big businesspeople don't understand that it's in their best interest to help to do things like help people make a decent living, reduce unemployment, and raise the minimum wage."

What do you get when you cross a wealthy businessman, the might of a military, and a Latin American coup? Lanny Davis for ten grand or so a month.

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