Written by OFRANEH (Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña) and posted here on January 4, 2012. Translated to English by the Witness For Peace Nicaragua Team and posted here on January 6, 2012.
OFRANEH also posted an 11min video on YouTube here, in Spanish, on January 5, with interviews with community leaders and residents sharing their analysis and opinion about Canadian investors moving in on their territory, and national and international plans for a Model City in Trujillo Bay, all without free, prior and informed consent.
Honduras: “Libertarians’” Model Cities and the Resurrection of William Walker
This past December 10th, the British magazine, "The Economist" published an article that makes a reference to a memorandum of understanding between the government of Honduras and two United States firms regarding the construction of Model Cities (Charter Cities) in Honduran territory, without notifying the Honduran people up to now of the planned transactions.
The attitude assumed by the current regime to maintain “its business” with utmost secrecy , is part of the disdain held by the power elite of the country toward its subjects, a situation that worsened with the judicial-military coup in 2009 and the subsequent failed state that prevails in Honduras.
The Future Cities Development Corporation, was founded by Patri Friedman, grandson of economist Milton Friedman, known in Latin America as the father of neoliberalism, the economic theory associated with the impoverishment of the majority of the continent’s population and with authoritarian regimes that have offered themselves to boost the accelerated enrichment of the power elite.
Paul Thiel (founder of Paypal), another person involved in the construction of libertarian cities in Honduras, declared in an article written for Cato Unbound, that democracy and liberty are not compatible.
After the coup d’état in 2009, Honduras has suffered at the hands of the current National Congress—composed by a large majority of the same actors that participated in the downfall of democracy—the approval of a series of neoliberal-style laws that completely annihilated the meager social gains obtained in the 20th century. Concepts such as national sovereignty, food security, and human rights have been converted into obsolete terms by Honduran “legislators.”
In fact, the political and social deterioration occurring in this country, converts it into a paradise for economic adventurers and reactionary politicians, whose ideologies are based in individualism and economic Darwinism.
From the American Phalange of the Immortals to the Banana Coast
In the mid-19th century, filibuster William Walker invaded Central America with a band of self-declared “American Phalange of the Immortals,” who succeeded in taking over Nicaragua, where Walker acted as president from 1856-57. In his last incursion he was captured by the British who handed him over to Honduran authorities, who proceeded to execute him with a firing squad in the city of Trujillo in 1860. A New York Times editorial the same year mentions that the filibuster stated that other Walkers would rise from his blood.
Half a century later, Sam Zemurray financed an invasion and a coup d’état in Honduras (1911), perpetrated by Manuel Bonilla, who landed in the country coincidentally in the place where Walker was shot. From this point on, the Banana Republic was reaffirmed, a term coined by the writer, O’Henry, seven years before the felony committed by Bonilla.
Days before the coup d’état, the Canadian investor known as the “porn king,” began a series of illegal land purchases in the Bay of Trujillo, designated to create a tourist empire in an enclave known as the Banana Coast. During the mandate of Big Boss satrap Roberto Micheletti, the porn king consolidated the appropriation of a Garifuna community on the Rio Negro located in the city of Trujillo, demolishing a large part of the community under the pretext of constructing a dock for the Panamex cruise ship.
The Failed State and the Libertarian’s Paradise
According to the Washington Post, Honduras has become the most dangerous country on the planet, in addition to being the epicenter of drug trafficking between South America and the United States. The collapse of institutional pillars such as the Ministry of Security and the judicial apparatus, have converted the country into a true failed state.
It seems that Peter Thiel and his follower Patri Friedman, want to take advantage of the existing failed state of Honduras to recreate the pages of the novel Atlas Shrugged, in which the Russian-American author Ayn Rand, idol of libertarians, creates a science fiction novel that makes clear her philosophy that writer Gore Vidal described as “almost perfect in her immorality.”
Libertarians have converted themselves into a synonym of factions of enormous economic power in the United States that reject the supposed exaggerated intervention of the State, exalting the liberty of individuals over supposed government coercion. Although some anarchists of the 19th century were self-defined libertarians, the current movement in the United States finds itself linked with ultra-right groups like the Tea Party, Cato Institute and the Free State Project, among others.
It just so happens that the first week of December, the National Congress selected the Board of Notables in charge of Model Cities: George Akerlof, Ong Boon Hwee , Harry Strachan, Nancy Birdsall, and of course the artifice of the neo-colonial maneuver Paul Romer. But unfortunately in Honduras the media has opted for a discreet silence on the matter, while its news is dedicated to distill the blood that runs and impunity that rules in the country.
It is to be expected that the libertarian dignitaries and their millions of dollars will be successful in imposing their conditions on the Congress of a failed state. There is nothing strange that in imitating the ideas of the libertarian bible, Atlas Shrugged, they implement the “death ray” a sophisticated torture weapon, from the delirious book, which will probably be used against the undesirable hordes that try to cross the electrified fences of the paradise in the middle of the hell that they have imposed on us.
La Ceiba, Atlántida, January 4, 2012
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Translated into English by the Witness for Peace Nicaragua Team.
For the original Spanish version please visit OFRANEH's blog.