Ousted Honduran President Zelaya: The 2009 U.S.-Backed Coup Helped Cause Today’s Migrant Crisis

Democracy Now! has the episode Ousted Honduran President Zelaya: The 2009 U.S.-Backed Coup Helped Cause Today’s Migrant Crisis.

Since the 2009 U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras, extreme poverty and violence has skyrocketed in the country, forcing tens of thousands of Hondurans to flee to the U.S. with the hope of receiving political asylum. We speak with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in the capital of Tegucigalpa about the 10th anniversary of the coup in Honduras, U.S. intervention in Central America and its link to today’s migration crisis.

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This excerpt from the translated transcript is almost an aside from the main discussion, but it makes a point I want to emphasize.

MANUEL ZELAYA: [translated] Well, there were some statements recently made by a U.S. senator that triumph in socialism was seen that it could set a bad example for the United States, because it could even impact domestic politics in the United States. They could not allow socialism, modern socialism, I would say, because this is a socialism that is different than the socialism one found in Europe during the Cold War. This is a socialism that accepts capital—not capitalism, but capital. It accepts private enterprise, not control by capitalism of the state, because we understand the concept of popular sovereignty, where sovereignty resides in the people. Power does not reside in a military or economic elite as under the neoliberal model.

This is a more sophisticated view of socialism than what you will hear from any USA politician including Bernie Sanders. This is a view that Democratic Socialists need to take to heart if they do not already do so.In some respects “capitalism of the state” could be the result of government taking back the functions that have been privatized over recent years in the USA. If the government takes these functions over and runs them “like a business”, then we just have “capitalism of the state”. We must never forget that the government took back these privatized functions because we realize that the functions need to be provided to the residents as a human right and for the good of society. The purpose of taking control back did not include making a profit for the state. We need to have a better measure than profit to know if the job is being done right or needs correction and improvement.

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