…and the Oscar goes to…Honduras Oye

envelopeOf all of the blogs that came to life, either newly created, or revived, as a result of the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, one stands out, particularly for English language readers: Honduras Oye, and Machetera highly recommends that you add it to your bookmark collection.

Sure, Al Giordano’s got good stuff, if you can get past the predictable carping about journalists and others who don’t measure up, and you don’t wonder too much about his new fascination with Serbians, and Eva Golinger is a firecracker and there is the added benefit that you can practice your Spanish along with her, and hey finally Machetera’s not the only one translating Latin American news any more (who knew translating would become a competitive sport?), but where Honduras Oye really steps ahead is that it hoovers up everything that might possibly be relevant to the unfolding political situation, from both English and Spanish language sources, and selects the most relevant stuff for the day.

It’s no easy task, digesting that quantity of information, as Machetera knows all too well.  Machetera also wouldn’t be surprised if the blog isn’t bookmarked at the State Department as well – the bullshit detector at Honduras Oye is unsurpassed.  If they want to know whether the spin is working, they can find out in five seconds at Honduras Oye.  For instance, Honduras Oye was the only blog that caught the significance of Hugo Llorens “chat” with the resistance.  And when hcvanalysis gets down to actually analyzing, they’re right on target, incisive, funny…well, this is starting to sound like an infomercial.  But really, check it out.  You won’t regret it.

16 responses to “…and the Oscar goes to…Honduras Oye

  1. Thanks for your recommendation. I will certainly check it out.

    I was particularly interested in your comment “Al Giordano’s got good stuff, if you can get past the predictable carping about journalists and others who don’t measure up, and you don’t wonder too much about his new fascination with Serbians”.

    I did just that, wonder too much about the Serbian, Marovic, and got accused of spreading ‘counter-insurgency’ propaganda.

    Giordano refused to publish my reply and his vehement over-reaction to my comment and his sweeping generalisations not backed up by any evidence got me wondering why.

    The Serbian is connected to both the ICNC and Col Helvey. who gave a seminar on non-violent resistance to Venezuelan students before the recall vote.

    So what was he doing in Honduras? And who funded his visit? I don’t know but I’d like to.

    See:
    http://dailysketcher.blogspot.com/2009/08/im-currently-engaged-in-debate-over-at.html
    http://dailysketcher.blogspot.com/2009/08/further-reply-to-al-giordano-re.html

    • Sketch – thanks for the links. I was one of those who wondered but didn’t have time to follow it up, so I’m glad someone has. Al does good work but he needs a personality transplant, what else can I say? I’ll bookmark you.

  2. I am so glad that some one else is picking up on the Serbian/Otpor thing. I too posted on Narco News and had my post disappeared. I asked Ivan Marovich who he was working for and who was paying him. A legitimate question I thought but it was gone fairly soon and no reply of course. Before he (Ivan) was in Honduras he was in Dubai (apparently courtesy of the US State Department) teaching the Iranians in the recent Twitter revolt. It is a big mistake for Al (and others) to compare the popular resistance to the coup in Honduras with CIA/NED coup that happened in Serbia. Serbia now has a good little puppet installed busy privatizing and following Washington’s script. I am sure the State Department can live with out Micheletti as long as they get their own man in there. Otpor was largely funded by the International Republican Institute (and others including the National Endowment for Democracy) Now the IRI are funding the coupmongers visiting Washington and helping pay for Lanny Davis.
    I just hate to think that the NED are there in Honduras ‘teaching democracy’ and leading the popular resistance up the garden path. I hope that the people on the ground there can see through it all and do it for them selves.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Talk:Albert_Einstein_Institution
    http://de-construct.net/e-zine/?p=6589
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/msearch?query=otpor&submit=Search&charset=ISO-8859-1
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/message/2496
    http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9342&postcount=124
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Otpor

    Don’t want to be too hard on Al. There is lots of good stuff coming from NN. Eva Golinger of course and thanks for the heads up on Honduras Oye. I’ll check them out. Thanks Machetera for all the work on Otto Reich and I’ve added it to my other bits and pieces on him.

  3. Thanks Magda.

    In fact the training session in Dubai took place in April 2005.

    What is interesting though is that Marovic participated in a strategy workshop in Boston funded by the ICNC and hosted by the Albert Einstein Institution for Venezuelan nonviolent activists. As Barker commented:

    “”The hosting of this workshop is controversial for two reasons, firstly, the workshop involved the participation of two former leaders of the Serbian nonviolent struggle group Otpor (Slobodan Dinovic and Ivan Marovic) – a group that was strongly supported by the NED and the international
    democracy-manipulating community to help facilitate the ouster of President Milosevic (Barker, 2006a). And secondly, it is not clear why NED-connected groups like Otpor, the Albert Einstein Institution and the ICNC, are training nonviolent activists from a country in which the NED actively supports opposition groups which have been involved in attempting to oust the democratically elected President Chavez from power.”
    http://www.scu.edu.au/research/cpsj/human_rights/AHRP2008_Proc_Final.pdf (p.30)”

    See Marovic’s and my own latest comments here:
    http://dailysketcher.blogspot.com/2009/08/im-currently-engaged-in-debate-over-at.html

  4. Sorry I should have mentioned that the Boston strategy workshop took place in March 2005.

  5. Hola Machetera…

    I thank you for your excellent work regarding the Coup in Honduras…

    I think several Blogs are doing good work regarding the Coup…
    Not just one…

    I met with Al here in Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras…
    At a Resistance meeting Al spoke of the Serbian movement…
    It was more of which tactics were used verses introducing us to Serbian agents…
    We took notes and Al said goodbye…

    The Honduran Resistance is being organized in Tegucigalpa…
    Bloque Popular with Carlos Reyes for example…
    There are many players…
    More joining everyday…
    No Serbian players – sorry…

    The Resistance is grassroots…
    What Zelaya started – we will finish…
    In many ways this fight is beyond Mel now…
    We will change the Honduran Constitution…

    The masks have fallen from the faces of the traitors in Honduras…
    We know who they are…
    We know the Extreme Right in Washington are backing the Coup…
    There are no more secrets to be discovered…

    Hugo Llorens is just as guilty as the rest of the Coup members…
    While you guys were tripping over each other to get his story out…
    We were telling Zelaya family members to get Xiomara away from Llorens…
    We knew of Llorens involvement…

    Zelaya said publicly that Washington would have to come to him in Nicaragua – including Llorens…
    The meeting was for show…
    As well as the revoking of visas…
    Freezing bank accounts…
    All show…

    If the Resistance fighters do not win this battle on the streets…
    Zelaya will not return…

    Washington has the last word on Honduras…

    What we need is unity…
    Resistance fighters need your support…
    There is your story…

    We need Al as much as we need Machetera…
    We need Honduras Oye as well as Mercury Rising…
    We all have colorful personalities…
    Show me a perfect activist…

    We start finger pointing as to who is doing the best Coup coverage…
    We are only as good as the Coup members…

    Honduras has its fifteen minutes of fame…
    Lets’ not throw it away…

  6. Again, I’m not sure why Mr. Sketchley is so opposed to Ivan Marovic having done a workshop for pro-democratic Zelaya supporters to overthrow the right-wing junta. Does he really think it is wrong to provide information and a strategic framework to those who could use such information to possibly bring down that illegitimate regime?

    I have seen Ivan at work, most recently when he co-led a workshop for progressive immigrants rights activists at the Chavez Center here in California, and I can attest he is one of the best progressive trainers and activists around.

    Remember that there were a lot of leftists like Marovic involved in Otpor who recognized how Milosevic had betrayed socialism in Yugoslavia. That Otpor received some funding from Congressionally-funded agencies does not mean they were puppets of Washington any more than my friends who receive Congressional funding to support their health clinic for migrant workers here in Santa Cruz County are puppets of Washington. Like Marovic, they are leftists and anti-imperialists.

    I would be suspect of any government funding for training for strategic nonviolent action, but I see nothing wrong with ICNC or any other private independent foundation supporting such work. They have supported workshops for Palestinians resisting the US-backed Israeli occupation, Western Saharans resisting the US-backed Moroccan occupation, West Papuans resisting the US-backed Indonesian occupation, as well as pro-democracy activists struggling against U.S.-backed regimes in Egypt, Guinea, Azaerbaijan, and other countries.

    As a result, it’s confusing as to why one would think that ICNC is part of some imperialist intrigue. Fabrications by such sectarians like Michael Barker have long since been repudiated. It’s time to support those fighting for freedom and against imperialism in Honduras and stop attacking individuals and organizations who are supporting such a just struggle.

  7. Mr. Sketchley of “The Daily Sketch” and Magda have regrettably bought into internet-promoted rumors of Western influence over nonviolent resistance movements. These rumors help repressive regimes — like the one in Iran and the coup leaders in Honduras — to discredit the self-organized resistance of their own people, by citing a nonviolent workshop here or there as nefarious Western intervention. The latter would require the generic knowledge of nonviolent action shared at such workshops, which was actually developed by Indians and South Africans and Czechs and Filipinos and in other struggles over five decades, to have instead been boiled out of old NED memos or hatched in a basement at the CIA in the last ten years or so. It would also require us to believe that one workshop can be responsible for fueling an entire revolution. These theories are absurd on their face. But it would help if the evidence cited for these theories were not mainly unsubstantiated blog posts by defenders of dictators like Stephen Gowans (who keeps expressing his admiration for Roberto Mugabe) or by conspiracy theorists like Michael Barker. The latter’s research, for example, consists notably of guilt-by-association, three-degrees-of-separation allegations, e.g. V sat with X on Y’s board seven years ago, proving that he was behind the Z project . But there is no actual evidence that the U.S. government had anything to do with the resistance to the coup in Honduras, or that Ivan Marovic or the ICNC have any financial or operational ties to the NED or the CIA. It’s ironic that since the U.S. government did support armed coups against progressive regimes in the past, that when some Americans like Stephen Zunes admit to teaching nonviolent organizing to movements for justice and rights, they are suspected of following in the footsteps of past U.S. administrations whose policies they protested and opposed. But I suppose no good deed goes unpunished, when unfounded suspicions run amok.

  8. I don’t see a problem with wanting to know the source of Ivan Marovich’s funding and who pulls his strings. If the future of Honduras is going to be that of the dismembered bleeding corpse of what little is left of Yugoslavia then they had better have a rethink about their direction. Washington’s doormats in each of the little Balkan statelets. I too have been a community worker and know plenty of peace activists from around the world. Where do we find all this string free money to do what we want? Where do I sign? No, really.

    “unfounded suspicion run amok” Please. The evidence is in Belgrade for one. And all the other places Otpor clones staged their fake revolutions. Of course the US has interest in the resistance to the coup. They have an interest in the coup and maintaining those power arrangements. With or with out Micheletti.

  9. Hola PatucaWarrior,

    Just a couple of comments:

    1. You say: “I met with Al here in Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras…No Serbian players – sorry…”

    Yes. I also doubt there were any Serbians in Catacamas. Mr Giordano reports that there was a Serbian in Tegucigalpa, its not my claim.

    Dr. Zunes

    “I’m not sure why Mr. Sketchley is so opposed to Ivan Marovic having done a workshop for pro-democratic Zelaya supporters to overthrow the right-wing junta.”

    You also ask “Does he really think it is wrong to provide information and a strategic framework to those who could use such information to possibly bring down that illegitimate regime?”

    Firstly, Dr Zunes, you confuse opposition with concern.

    Secondly, I quote Gowans on my blog: “If opponents of the coup act to destabilize the coup government with the aim of bringing it down, and Ivan Marovic wants to help them do it, I’m all for it. The question is, What are the ends to which the techniques the US taught Otpor being put? If they’re used to seize power for progressive ends, great.” I totally agree with Gowans here.

    As I put to Mr Giordano and I put to you directly: “‘Progressive ends’ Al. Otherwise it’s all in vain. If its for the backdoor promotion of polyarchy, don’t you think progressive Honduran organisations would want to know, especially if that’s what they’re fighting against?”

    Let me ask you directly, Mr Zunes: are you in favour of progressive ends such as those being implanted in Bolivia and Venezuela or are you in favour of polyarchy?

    Diana Johnstone’s comments were also about “means and ends”, and particularly the fact that those means “say nothing about the political quality of the ends pursued” and that “the Otpor generation…would rather blame their own government than give up their aspiration to belong to “the world” as reflected in American entertainment culture”.

    Prof Robinson’s comment was also particularly insightful considering the historical record: “the financial and political networks set up by the interventionist apparatus (of which both Ackerman & Marovic are “a part of” and Ackerman “integral to”) attempt to penetrate, manage, and reorient mass movements, with varying degrees of success…I do not know what Ackerman and the ICNC have done in Honduras but surely the interventionist apparatus is pursuing, as it always does, a two-track strategy. One is to support the Honduran business and political elite and the other is to penetrate the mass popular/resistance movement (e.g., through meetings, financing, grooming some leaders and marginalizing others, trying to shape the movement’s discourse, etc.), in order to keep it from radicalizing out of control into a genuinely revolutionary movement able to threaten the whole elite order”

    He maintains “That Ackerman is a part of the U.S. foreign policy elite and integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of “democracy promotion”, etc., is beyond question. There is nothing controversial about that and anyone who believes otherwise is clearly seriously misinformed or just ignorant. Marovic too is part of the intervention network; that has been well documented.”

    You mention, and your colleague Tom Hastings, a very nice chap by the sounds of it, challenged me about the fact that ICNC and Ackerman “have supported workshops for Palestinians resisting the US-backed Israeli occupation, Western Saharans resisting the US-backed Moroccan occupation, West Papuans resisting the US-backed Indonesian occupation, as well as pro-democracy activists struggling against U.S.-backed regimes in Egypt, Guinea, Azaerbaijan, and other countries.” (your words not Hastings’) As if that means it’s all OK then. But no one has answered the concerns about what Prof Robinson calls the interventionists’ “two-track strategy”, specifically the track that penetrates “the mass popular/resistance movement (e.g., through meetings, financing, grooming some leaders and marginalizing others, trying to shape the movement’s discourse, etc.), in order to keep it from radicalizing out of control into a genuinely revolutionary movement able to threaten the whole elite order”.

    All you do is accuse people of conspiracy theories. Let me repeat again: “The conspiracy charge is of course a tactic that is commonly used to deflect critical inquiry”.

    Whether you like it or not, there is a case against Ackerman, and blythely trying to sweep the evidence under the carpet of conspiracy theory won’t wash (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor).

    You say “there were a lot of leftists like Marovic involved in Otpor who recognized how Milosevic had betrayed socialism in Yugoslavia”. Astounding! You fail to even mention much less analyse the ‘ends’ to which Marovic and his backers’ ‘means’ were used in Serbia. What was the end result? How do ‘leftists’ like Marovic feel now that there is very little socialism left in Serbia? I would actually suspect he’s quite pleased. You call him leftist, yet I ask you to reflect again on Diana Johnstone’s remarks:

    “…the public relations methods used by Otpor (which were both suggested and, more significantly, financed by the US government) were designed to destabilize a government which was not totalitarian, and which was even, by the standards of post-communist transitional states, democratic. That is, it was elected, it was based on pluralistic coalitions, it did not repress its opposition, the opposition press was free, and so on.

    The answer, in my view, is that in the contemporary world, the United States is universally dominant ideologically thanks in very large part to its entertainment industry. The youth of almost the entire world are particularly influenced by that entertainment industry, and want to be part of the world it portrays. I think it is significant that so many of Otpor militants were physical education majors – activists more than thinkers, susceptible to the physical attractiveness of the Americanized world which they felt they were being unjustly deprived of.

    This is a new kind of “oppression”, which has nothing to do with the oppression of labor that was protested by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1891. But using the same logo as the IBEW seems to be enough to confuse certain leftists without a left (like rebels without a cause).

    The “oppression” of the Otpor generation is that of being deprived of the fun of what they perceive to be modern Americanized society. They don’t like being bombed by NATO, but they would rather blame their own government than give up their aspiration to belong to “the world” as reflected in American entertainment culture.

    The leftists without a left see the raised fist and fancy they are seeing a social rebellion that somehow carries on the traditions of the working class left. But the left has never been about strengthening the position of what Marxists used to call the comprador bourgeoisie – that segment of the middle class of various subjugated countries which identifies whole-heartedly with the imperialist powers dominating, or trying to dominate, their own countries.”

    I totally agree with you Dr Zunes when you say “It’s time to support those fighting for freedom and against imperialism in Honduras”, but let’s take that one stage further please, and let us agree: if it is used to” seize power for progressive ends, great.”

    Thanks Tom Paine for your comments. Shame you didn’t think it appropriate to reply at my blog (I hope Machetera doesn’t mind this discussion taking place here), but presumably that’s another old non-violent tactic of over-extending opposition resources by opening multiple fronts?

    You say that I and others have “regrettably bought into internet-promoted rumors of Western influence over nonviolent resistance movements.”
    To use a very descriptive English word: bollocks! Again, I point you to Prof Robinson’s words: “That Ackerman is a part of the U.S. foreign policy elite and integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of “democracy promotion”, etc., is beyond question. There is nothing controversial about that and anyone who believes otherwise is clearly seriously misinformed or just ignorant. Marovic too is part of the intervention network; that has been well documented.”

    Also your assertion that it helps repressive regimes to claim that “the generic knowledge of nonviolent action” has been “boiled out of old NED memos or hatched in a basement at the CIA in the last ten years or so” is a risible straw man designed to provoke scorn and ridicule. and to obfuscate the issue of ‘means’ and ‘ends’. So I will ask you directly the same question I ask Dr. Zunes: are you in favour of progressive ends for Honduras such as those being implanted in Bolivia and Venezuela or are you in favour of polyarchy?

  10. To answer your questions:

    I just returned from Bolivia, as a matter of fact, and I am generally quite pleased at the steps Morales has taken to advance progressive ends in that country and even more so at the popular movements in that country doing the same. Ditto with other progressive governments in Latin America. Why do you even question that? Anyone familiar with my writings on Latin America, the Middle East, US imperialism, or anything else know where I am coming from politically, but I guess if it doesn’t happen to fit into your disingenuous efforts to depict a couple of small NGOs with which some of us are affiliated as part of some US imperialistic conspiracy, I guess you have to raise such questions.

    Regarding Robinson’s charge of some kind of two-track strategy: I happened to have co-led the ICNC-supported workshop for the Western Saharans and I can assure you that we did absolutely nothing to “penetrate the mass popular/resistance movement in order to keep it from radicalizing out of control into a genuinely revolutionary movement able to threaten the whole elite order”. Why would a life-long socialist and anti-imperialist like me want to do anything like that? I could get you in touch with some of the participants and you can ask them yourself.

    I have also been an observer or co-leader for such ICNC-supported workshops in for Egyptians, Guatemalans, US immigrants-right activists, and Palestinians, among others and have never seen anything remotely resembling efforts to prevent them from radicalizing or challenging the elite order. I challenge you to find any participant in any of these workshops who would say otherwise.

    I do find some of Ackerman’s political views and associations disturbing, but he has never once interfered politically with the work that I, Marovic, Boaz, Hastings, or the scores of other progressive activists and trainers who have been affiliated with ICNC have done in this area. If he ever did, I can assure you that I and presumably the rest of them would sever any such ties.

    Ackerman is also very much a gadfly within the elite circles with which he associates. He has certainly not had much influence in either the current or past US administrations. He has never served in government, even in advisory roles. The idea that he is “integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of democracy promotion” is pure fantasy. The supposed “well documented” reports claiming otherwise have long since been discredited.

    Finally, regarding Serbia: It should be noted that there was little socialism left in Yugoslavia under Milosevic. As Marovic and other leftist critics of his regime pointed out, it was closer to crony capitalism by that point than socialism. Obviously, many of us had hoped that a post-Milosevic Serbia would have been more progressive, but there have been many revolutions – armed and unarmed – where the resulting government did not live up to the hopes and dreams of many of the revolutionaries. As disappointing as the economic direction of the country has gone under the more democratic leadership may be, at least there is more political space to work for progressive change now. And they have hardly been US puppets, as the ongoing disputes regarding Kosovo and other issues demonstrate.

    It is also important to recognize that the “US” — assuming you mean the US government — did not teach Otpor a damn thing. There were some US-based scholars like Gene Sharp whose academic writings influenced them, but no one working on behalf of the US government taught them anything about strategic nonviolent action. They accepted some US money, but their strategies and tactics were developed independently. I have been to Belgrade twice and have interviewed Otpor leaders and participants extensively and have found no evidence whatsoever that anyone from the US government influenced them in any way in terms of strategies and tactics. In fact, on the few occasions in which US officials did try to make such influence, they were rebuffed, since the advice was almost uniformly bad.

  11. I’m fully persuaded the comment section of this outstanding, world class blog has now been infiltrated by informants reporting to US government agencies.

    Keep up the great work Machetera!

    Matt

  12. Dr Zunes.

    Thanks for your reply.

    You say “Ackerman is also very much a gadfly within the elite circles with which he associates. He has certainly not had much influence in either the current or past US administrations. He has never served in government, even in advisory roles.”

    Dr Zunes, to claim , as you do, that the USIP or the CFR (both organisations that Ackerman has or had high connections in) are not organisations that give advice to the US government is, at very least, disingenuous.

    Let me remind you that Ackerman is on the Board Of Directors of the CFR, and was a member of the Independent Task Force of the CFR that prepared a report on Iran in July 2004, entitled: “Iran: Time for a New Approach”, alongside such ‘humanitarians’ as David Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Frank Carlucci and Robert Gates.
    http://www.cfr.org/publication/7194/

    If you are claiming the CFR does not function in an advisory capacity to the US government and its reports are not aimed at influencing government policy, then I am Brad Pitt and I claim matrimonial rights on Angelina Jolie. As we know, both scenarios are pure fantasy, in spite of the CFR’s empty claims that it has “no affiliation with the US government”.

    The report even asserted that Brzezinski and Gates’ “judicious stewardship, broad intellectual vision, and vast experience framed this entire project.”

    According to RightWeb “The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) was created by Congress in 1984…”as a nonprofit, independent organization to serve the people and the government of the United States …While the Institute is prohibited from taking an active part in policymaking or implementation, there is a clear mandate for it to take direction from the executive branch of government and to promote and inform Congress and other public officials of desired approaches and solutions compatible with the foreign policy goals of the administration…Like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another publicly funded, private group funded by Congress, USIP is mandated to conduct–more or less in public view–operations traditionally conducted by intelligence agencies. ..USIP gives grants for research and study into policy questions and problems that are of interest to the government. The studies are then presented to Congress and the U.S. public as ideas and solutions on conflict resolution and policy directions arising from private sector research. (1,3) Conducting business in this way permits public funding of policy-making elites with minimal accountability to voters or taxpayers. (3)…more recently, the Institute shifted its focus to less confrontational,”democracy-building” projects, leading author Sara Diamond to call the USIP a “funding conduit and clearinghouse for research on problems inherent to U.S. strategies of `low intensity conflict’…USIP is funded by Congress. ”
    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/beta/articles/display/United_States_Institute_of_Peace/

  13. Stephen Zunes represents my perspective well enough in his latest reply to Mr. Sketchley, that I won’t wade much further into this debate, beyond three points.
    First, Mr. Sketchley asks me, “are you in favour of progressive ends for Honduras such as those being implanted in Bolivia and Venezuela or are you in favour of polyarchy?” Yes, I am in favor of progressive ends for Honduras that reflect the kinds of social-justice goals that Chavez and Morales have long enunciated. But I’d make a distinction between Bolivia and Venezuela. I’m fully on board with Zunes’s view of Morales’ direction in Bolivia. But I have two concerns about Venezuela. The first has to do with the cronyism and incompetence of some in Chavez’s administration, which has apparently let much of the urban infrastructure deteriorate to a point below where it was when he took office (notwithstanding plenty of oil revenues) and also permitted ordinary crime to skyrocket. He won’t forever retain majority support unless he does far better on such things. My second worry has to do with what I’d call the thuggishness that some Chavistas have shown to non-Chavista activists (not all of whom are in favor of the old oligarchs) and what appears to be a minimum tolerance of independent organizing and media. Even UNESCO, hardly much influenced by the U.S., had a negative report recently about rights issues in Venezuela. Ultimately any government’s legitimacy suffers if it’s not serious about political and media rights. So it may be a mistake to expect Venezuela to be the model to emulate, when it comes to an effective progressive social democracy in the Americas, unless these worrisome trends abate. Fortunately there are multiple progressive pathways now being taken around the hemisphere, to observe and support.
    My second comment has to do with Mr. Sketchley’s rejoinder to Stephen Zunes about Peter Ackerman. I’ve heard that while Ackerman was on that CFR task force on Iran, his nonconformist views were dismissed by Brzezinski, the co-chair. In reality he seems to be much more the maverick as suggested by Zunes than the establishment android as portrayed by Sketchley.
    One final comment to Magda re Ivan Marovic: I’ve actually met him. My sense was that he’d be the last activist on earth who’d let anyone “pull his strings.”
    Thanks to everyone here for their additions to the discussion.

  14. Thank goodness that the Daily Sketch and Magda have the time to participate in this discussion because it is a tangled web and their deconstruction is the only way out.

    After working on Haiti for five years, I know how treacherous liberals are. During the godawful Bush years, money for NGOs with a distinct left of center stance began to dry up like a riverbed. In addition to the soft coup goals so deftly implemented through the USAID, NED, USIP, Haiti Democracy Project, etc. these organizations cleverly rushed in to fill the void felt by left-of-center NGOs because it was an ideal opportunity to co-opt them.

    Before long, these US-funded organizations and the people who ran them seemed less willing to challenge US’ policy publicly and take a firm stance that actually might make some sense.

    The reason why there is resistance to the wholesale condemnation of organizations in which US money is involved is because the US is the only one that has money to contribute generously and repeatedly.

    I found an article about a conference in September in Honduras sponsored by USAID which hopes to bring technology into networking of social movements – read Twitter. Check it out. http://www.projecthonduras.com

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