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Judi Lynn

(161,405 posts)
5. Poor, Abused Honduras; Groped Again
Sat Dec 23, 2017, 12:19 AM
Dec 2017

DECEMBER 22, 2017
Poor, Abused Honduras; Groped Again
by JOHN GRANT

Mr. Hernández and his allies control the much-protested ballot-counting process, the election oversight commission, the army — which under Honduran law moves the ballots — and all appeals processes.

– U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D) Illinois


Poor Honduras.

The word honduras means depth or profundity in Spanish. It’s also the name of one of the most abused nations in the Western Hemisphere. Its citizens are largely poor and overwhelmed by a state of corruption historically linked with the much more sophisticated and wealthy network of corruption that overwhelms the citizenry of the United States. The November 26 election for president of Honduras was the latest chapter in this sad historic reality.

Honduras is now embroiled in street protests following an election count that stinks like three-day old fish in the sun. President Juan Orlando Hernandez was running for a second term, despite an apparently un-amendable Constitutional provision that precludes a second term. Former sportscaster and TV game-show host Salvador Nasralla ran against Hernandez, who was favored to win. The Organization of American States says the election count was seriously flawed and it’s pushing for a new vote. Here’s how the count went: The day after the election, it was announced Nasralla led the vote count by five percentage points, which suggested a real upset. A third candidate for president conceded Nasralla was the winner. At that point, the election tribunal suddenly stopped communicating with the public. After a hiatus, the next communication was to declare Hernandez the winner by one-and-a-half percentage points. Immediately, the nation erupted in protests that led to fatalities. Knowing how important the United States is to Honduras, Nasralla flew to the US to consult with friends and the OAS. The OAS publicly called for a new election.

The Rex Tillerson State Department responded this way: “The United States notes that Honduras’ Supreme Election Tribunal has declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner.” The United States notes . . . Such tentative language suggests the Trump administration can’t deny the smell of rotten fish in Honduras, so it’s being coy in its support for Hernandez’s spurious re-election count. Based on past actions, Hernandez is said to harbor a strong authoritarian ambition. Many members of the police and army, however, are reportedly reluctant to be harsh with protesters; they seem to know what’s going down. How far they’re willing to go is a looming question. If Hernandez can’t put down the rioting and make the citizens of Honduras accept his corrupt election, then the US will have no choice but to assume another posture. The State Department said if Mr. Nasralla is unhappy with the count, well, he should submit an appeal. Of course, they know, as Rep. Schakowsky points out above, Hernandez controls the appeal process.

Cut to Gringolandia and our current gender struggle, which is a very 21st century story that may relate to the Honduras story. I look at the Trump ascendancy as a masculinist backlash rooted the white, male heartland of God, guns and big macho trucks. In the same sense, the current wildfire raging against sexual misconduct can be seen as a feminist backlash against the Trump masculinist backlash. As a grotesquely polarized nation of self-indulgent people full of ourselves, we’ve painted ourselves into a struggle of gender identity backlashes. Sexual misconduct is a vague term that includes the abuse of minors and outright rape, as well as cases of unwelcome bumptious kissing. It ranges from the dead serious to the comical. Every day now, from the mainstream media we get new accounts — usually from women, but not always — reporting on incidents of sexual misconduct by powerful, celebrity males. (There’s Kevin Spacey’s male accuser and a case in Kansas that involves a male charging a woman executive running for Congress with firing him after he refused to have sex with her; she quit the race.) Sexual misconduct is hardly new. What is new, however, is the credibility these accounts are suddenly receiving. So far, the accusatory cycle has not moved very far down the class scale into the working and poor classes, where arguably the most abuse occurs. At that point, it could run head-on into the working class, masculinist backlash among men who see what feminists call “sexual misconduct” as an honorable manly thing, as in: Hey, males are designed to be assertive; sometimes that assertiveness can be awkward. The Times recently did a large, front-page story on the sexual harassment and abuse received by women over decades at two Ford plants in Chicago. It remains an open question whether the newfound credibility will get traction at the bottom of our free-market, union-busting, money-focused culture.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/22/poor-abused-honduras-groped-again-2/
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