5 July ,2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review
Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is a rancher and business owner who wears large cowboy hats and, in November 2005, was elected president of Honduras, an impoverished Central American country with a population of 7.5 million. On June 28 of this year the Honduran military, backed by the country’s elite, removed Zelaya from power. He instantly became a focus of attention for the U.S. media — his statements were examined, and his appearances at the United Nations and regional meetings were dutifully covered. Most media depicted him as a major “leftist strongman” seeking to extend his term of office in the style of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
U.S. journalists generally present world events as the actions of a few important individuals, a sort of Greek drama without the chorus. Latin American politics especially are viewed as a parade of good guys and bad guys — Fidel Castro, August Pinochet, Hugo Chávez, Alvaro Uribe. Which is good and which is bad depends on your perspective.
The current Honduras coverage is no exception. Most working people in this country, pressed by the worst economic crisis of their lifetime, understandably change the channel or click on another website. If you want celebrity news, the death of Michael Jackson is far more gripping than the overthrow of Mel Zelaya.