Former Honduran President Manual Zelaya says coup staged to hand country to foreigners. - Nbr. 2015, January 2015 - NotiCen: Central American & Caribbean Affairs - Books and Journals - VLEX 636841481

Former Honduran President Manual Zelaya says coup staged to hand country to foreigners.

Author:Rodriguez, George

The bloody coup that rocked Honduras six years ago was staged to hand the county over to foreign interests, which are using the Central American nation as a lab for a model to be implemented elsewhere if it proves successful, says former President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya (2006-2009), ousted in that coup (NotiCen, July 2, 2009). Legislation being passed aims at massive privatization of public services and infrastructures, a context made possible by the coup.

In his evaluation of the violent action that toppled him at dawn on June 28, 2009, Zelaya told NotiCen that testing the country model implies repression through official security forces--several of them recently created--as well as an illegal structure made up of paramilitary squads. Within this framework of violence, making Honduras one of the most dangerous places worldwide--at the top of the list, according to different accounts--political killings are an ongoing practice triggered by the coup, Zelaya said.

Severely hit by corruption, Honduras is a country where US ambassadors tell incoming presidents who to appoint to head ministries, Zelaya said during a recent visit to Costa Rica--where he was taken the morning of the coup--pointing out he did not yield to pressure in this regard, thus getting himself in political trouble. "The coup, in a nutshell, was staged to hand over the country to foreigners," Zelaya said in summarizing to NotiCen his violent downfall some seven months before his presidential term was to constitutionally close.

"Look, Honduras is a laboratory for transnationals, to test what they want our countries to be by the end of the 21st century: privatization of all public services and anything that moves," said the former president, in whose view Honduras "is a state economically handed over to transnationals."

"Right now, they're privatizing health, they've privatized highways, ports, airports, telecommunications, energy," Zelaya said. "The laws that are right now in force, post-coup, will be implemented in all countries in the next decade, if we can't turn them around."

Troubling ciudades modelo

As an example of the government's privatization push, Zelaya mentioned the administration's initiative known as Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo (ZEDE). Officially described as a tool for attracting investment, reaching development, and lifting people from poverty (NotiCen, Jan. 15, 2015), the ZEDEs--also known as ciudades modelo (charter cities)--are opposed by civil-society...

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