The coup regime in Honduras – and its right-wing backers in the United States and Canada – say they objected to political abuses by ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but the bigger motive appears to have been fear of empowering the long-oppressed Honduran poor.
Former Reagan-Bush official Otto Reich joined in supporting the coup-regime president Roberto Micheletti because, Reich said, elected president Zelaya was getting too close to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and had proposed a referendum on rewriting the constitution, which dates back to the 1980s and the days of the Honduran military dictatorship.
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Canadian gold miners, U.S. military bases and the Honduran oligarchy also had reasons to fear political reforms that Zelaya might have unleashed. It appears to have been that specter of participatory democracy -- rather than Zelaya himself -- which entrenched economic and political elites saw as so threatening.
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