After months of repression and the attempts of the constitutionally elected president of Honduras, President Zelaya, to return to power following a coup, it appears that a breakthrough has happened.
This is only due to the persistence of Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy, while the coup leaders have arrested and beaten up his supporters outside. However, it appears that external pressure and the constant support of the people and trade unions have forced the hand of the coup leaders. President Zelaya may shortly be returned to office.
Apart from its implications for Honduras, this coup was also vitally important in Latin America, as it was a test case to see whether old style coups by the military and oligarchy were still acceptable in the region. This has been proved not to be the case and is a victory for the forces of democracy throughout the continent as well as those clamouring for social justice and human rights. Although the US and Hilary Clinton have given support to Zelaya, it is primarily the Latin American states, particularly Brazil and Venezuela, which have been most supportive. The US has been lukewarm in its support and tried to discourage Zelaya from returning to Honduras. Only his steadfast belief in the people of Honduras and in his own democratic legitimacy have sustained Zelaya and it looks as if he will return to power as a victor in Honduras.
This is also a grim warning however, that the forces of the vested interests and the oligarchy will oppose radical politicians who threaten their power base and wealth. This is what happened in Venezuela and elsewhere and demonstrates that reactionary forces are still at work, and are encouraged by some in the US administration and the Republicans. Hopefully Zelaya can now take office peacefully and implement his social and economic reforms.