Honduras: a few deft murders
As I mentioned earlier today, Matt Yglesias not only made a fool of himself mistaking Ecuador for Honduras (as Bina noted in her comment, other than both being banana exporters, they don’t have a lot in common beyond a national language) the guy has forced me to consider exactly what is meant by his Wikipedia entry when it refers to him as a “prominent voice in the liberal blogosphere”.
I was under the assumption that Yglesias was a “liberal” in the U.S. sense of the word — which presumably includes things like support for human rights and democracy, but perhaps I’m mistaken. Either about U.S. liberalism, or about Yglisias’ liberalism. Perhaps Yglesias is thinking of “liberal” less in the sense of Benito Juarez or Valentín Gómez Farías (or even Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana) — for whom a “liberal” was free trader in favor of lowered tariffs, and — by extension — one who would tolerate foreign investors and their foreign customs and mores, and is more a “liberal” in the sense of Porfirio Díaz and the Cientificos of late 19th century Mexico.
The worthy gentlemen — all of whom considered themselves “liberals” — added Positivism and Social Darwinism to their theories of “liberalism”, allowing them, without blinking an eyelash, to engage in the persecution and murder of dissenters against the strong-man rulers that upheld that economic system.
Ygesias’ “deft” — or, “daft” support of the Obama Administration — via his claim that the Honduran (or, as he wrote, Ecuadorian) coup was “hardly a major event in the scheme of things.” Perhaps not for a late 19th century Cientifico, or Don Porfirio, but tell that to Walter Trochez — a twenty-five year old leader of the National Front of Resistance against the Coup, and gay rights activist, kidnapped December 4, beaten, released, and gunned down last Sunday in front of his home. Tell that to Santos Corrales Garcia, another leader of the National Front who was arrested December 5 in the Nueva Capital area, in the south of Tegucigalpa, by five people wearing uniforms of the National Criminal Investigation Department. His headless corpse was found Sunday, showing signs of torture.
Perhaps Yglesias, being from the United States (where “liberal” has a special meaning) is also one of those who thinks we are all equal, but USAnians are more equal than others. OK… Matt… tell Laura Carlsen — a name you should know, if you want to write on Latin America — who was physically threatened by “international observers” during the so-called “election” that the United States government so “deftly” handled. Or, Matt, in your “liberal blogosphere, is official harassment of journalists and analysts somehow a value to be supported?
I’m kind of wondering how pissing off the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador (which didn’t have a coup), Peru, Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico (to name a few), or the huge erosion in good will towards Barack Obama throughout Latin America, or creating a sudden interest in cooperation among the Latin American nations to counter U.S. miliary and diplomatic initiatives in the region could be considered “deft” handling of foreign policy. But then, Yglesias is either intellectually lazy, completely clueless about foreign policy, or speaking his own private language… or all of the above.