by Francisco Fernández-Bullón for The Saker Blog
As shadow banks become authentic governments of countries, the nations gradually turn into foreign capital corporations or companies, which enslave the workforce. Capital or money doesn’t have a nationality. Its homeland is the accounts, hidden by its owners so as not to pay taxes. Traditionally these accounts were in Switzerland or in the Virgin Islands, but are now scattered around the world in many centers, turned into the cash boxes and are the true homeland of that one percent that monopolizes the riches of the planet.
This is especially true for small countries such as Honduras, which probably never was a proper country, but rather a group of ranches owned by a bunch of families and now on its way to definitively become a foreign capital corporation without nationals. Left behind are only wretched employees with miserable wages. The foreign capital company strips all of the homelands of its excess inhabitants, who then have to migrate on foot looking for other lands. The only nationals that Honduras has at the moment are Orlando Hernandez and his cadre of cocaine traffickers who are the only ones who feel at home in the country (although they would probably prefer to live in Miami and be North Americans) and perhaps the high-ranking US military stationed at the base of Palmerola. They are probably the only ones who can walk the streets of Tegucigalpa boasting with impunity of their elite privileges preserved only by the fear or ignorance of the people; an ignorance that they do everything in their power to encourage. I do not include the rank and file soldiers of the base, because surely they will spend their time dreaming of returning home from time to time; returning home to their own country, that probably has also turned into an immense foreign capital corporation with four or five subsidiaries (Blackrock, Vanguard Group … and of course the Carlyle group, the most emblematic). Nationals without a homeland or with a shrunken one like Syria may perhaps console themselves a little for their misfortune, thinking that the capital in the hands of some Arab sheiks is converting middle-class or lower-class Americans into employees of Ben Salman with slowly diminishing salaries. However scarce the rights enjoyed by the Hondurans that manage to enter the stepmother country of adoption that could be the USA, they’ll always have more than in their own country, where they have none and where their death isn’t news. Now finally they have become “news” after many decades of being anonymous victims, thanks to an epic journey on foot, crossing the hostile lands of Central America and North America: lands hostile to those who don’t have more capital than only their hands or their wit, as long as they do not use it to foment crime and robbery. It is possible that those Mexicans who contemplate this diaspora, and are also subject to the abuse of local mafia bosses backed by Washington, feel wrongly lucky. Thinking that they are on one higher rung of the global pyramid, and I don’t mean the Aztec one, but the pyramid of the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the directors of the Vanguard group or Carlyle, is a false sense of consolation. It only allows the Mexicans to deceive themselves because the foreign capital corporations will continue oppressing them all the same. This hopeless consolation does serve the bigwigs of the banks and corporations in that the Mexicans don’t become fully aware of the oppression that they suffer and don’t decide to rebel against it.
Meanwhile, the nation of Honduras is on its way to becoming universal, because it is a model that Chiquita’s prominent executives want to export to the entire world. They do not want to only ship bananas. They are also committed to exporting slavery and misery as this is part of the model. And the Mexicans and the Americans themselves are becoming Hondurans exceptionally quickly, and if the immigrants don’t hurry to get into the northern country as soon as possible, they could find a nation as tyrannical as their own, but of a much bigger size. Because the real mission that Trump has entrusted to the army on the border with Mexico is not only to stop their progress but to keep intact the mirage that his is a free and prosperous nation, when it stopped being such, a few years ago.
The Bush administration by means of a rigged election, took good care of cutting the constitutional guarantees with its false war on terrorism (which is nothing more than a war against the liberties of America and the rest of the world). This started the long road to privatize the homeland and deliver their wealth into the hands of a few entrepreneurs who frequently disguise themselves as politicians and who change the legislation at will and for their own benefit. It seems very revealing to me that a banana company like Chiquita (because the banana one is the company and not the nation) is in charge of keeping at bay the thirst for freedom and justice of the Honduran people.
In this way, the Hondurans are diminished, and a distorted image of them is projected to the world that allows their oppressors to keep them in the status of serfs or ignorant peasants who serve only to work a land that doesn’t belong to them, with semi-starvation wages. If Honduras is a banana republic, it is because the banana foreign capital companies like Chiquita strangle its development. The role played by Chiquita in the financing of the death squads of Colombia is well demonstrated when they were condemned to pay a “symbolic” fine of 25 million dollars for financing the self-defense groups in that country.
The directors of Chiquita could have saved the money paid to the death squads by raising the salary and improving the coverage of their employees (instead of cutting it as they intend to do now in La Lima). We must ask ourselves, then, why didn’t they do it?. Does such behavior gratify the ego of executives who take a sadistic pleasure in subduing and oppressing their employees under the soles of their feet to feel themselves important? Are they psychiatric fodder? Are they perverts who desperately need someone to knock them down on a couch to be psychoanalyzed? Is that the only explanation? Or would such an initiative have found the rejection of the Colombian elites, of a no less sinister profile, who contemplate any improvement in the living conditions of the humble classes of that country as a threat? Do they fear that this improvement will arouse the envy of other sectors of the population that could claim, in turn, more just living conditions for themselves? The relationship between corporate fascism and sadomasochism is very clear. It is not necessary to consult with any specialist in mental illnesses about that. The problem, or one of them, is that the victims of the sadism of the fascists do not usually present themselves on a voluntary basis. About the sadism of the assassins, I do not want to joke because it’s too terrible.
Regarding this, the Argentine psychoanalytic school has failed us; it didn’t penetrate into the heart of horror, it didn’t sit the assassins on the couch, and sadly neither in the dock to dig into the garbage of their minds, more tormenting than tormented, and profoundly sick with an infectious disease that looks remarkably like the rage. You only have to read their threatening statements. But perhaps psychoanalysis wanted to transform the patient so that it would integrate better or worse in a sick society, and not to transform the sick society as a whole, and I mean into everyone’s society. Because in the new neo-liberal order, psychopaths spring up like mushrooms. Psychopathy is the crop that gets favored most, together with that of transgenic soybeans. They are transgenic psychopaths fed with Kelloggs watered with glyphosate.
We must ask ourselves these things because it is not enough to accuse the corporations of all the evils of this world. Their bad practices thrive in societies of authoritarian tradition that prevail in most Latin American countries (and increasingly everywhere) where the armed man is worshiped, and solidarity or the disinterested struggle for the common good is considered a dishonor. It is a cult of death and weapons that spread everywhere with fascism, and that also corrodes American society. The “perverse” exaltation of the bully, on the part of both men and women, intensifies with the crisis and threatens to plunge us all into a new global conflagration of apocalyptic consequences. The new times, and the new model propose the villain as a hero. We can not get tired of repeating it: the money to pay the thugs and murderers was foreign, but the murderers are native.
Chiquita has changed ownership (supposedly, because it is impossible to know who is hiding behind that innocent-looking name), but it does not seem to be willing to change its practices. And now it is engaged in breaking the strikes, utilizing the Honduran army, which is actually the army of Chiquita. We saw this in La Lima, Colonia San José not long ago,where 400 workers were shot, and several of them were tortured. Chiquita Honduras dismissed 105 workers in retaliation, and 34 arrest warrants were issued against the leaders of the strike committee.
The links that Chiquita Brands maintained with prominent figures of the American political and economic panorama are very clear. Many accuse it of being behind the coup that ousted Zelaya. Chiquita was represented by a powerful US law firm, Covington & Burling LLP and its consulting firm, McLarty Associates. President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, was a Covington partner and defense attorney for Chiquita when the company was accused of hiring the death squads in Colombia. George W. Bush’s ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, currently Trump’s national security adviser, worked as a lawyer for that firm, and the vice president of McLarty Associates was none other than John Negroponte, who played a leading role in the Contra war against Sandinista Nicaragua.
The organizations and individuals that conspire in Honduras are undoubtedly the same ones that want to put an end to the Nicaraguan democracy by disguising themselves as a non-profit or an altruistic organization, now named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The old School of the Americas, where General Romeo Vásquez did his studies as coup supporter, has graduated to a new name just as Vásquez graduated “cum laude” in the techniques of torture, intimidation, and extermination. The fact that such a school remains open despite its bloody history of dishonor and infamy, gives us an idea of how highly it is esteemed in the new world order (which is the same as the old one, but only worse). The degree of impunity which war criminals walking free enjoy, is rampant. We need a non-profit or philanthropic organization that tells us which NGOs are worthy of the name, and that does not include the Cosa Nostra or the Ndrangheta among its members, who will very soon call themselves philanthropic organizations. I recommend Front Line Defenders, committed to the clarification of the murder of the defender of the land, and president of Muca, Jose Angel Flores as well as the defender Mr. Silmer. Another black chapter in the history of Honduras that deserves a separate essay.
If we try to find out the nationality of a corporation like Chiquita, we enter an authentic labyrinth where it is difficult not to get lost. According to some sources it is – in theory – Swiss. Switzerland, the homeland of evaded fortunes is an ideal country and opaque as no other to hide your gains, but its headquarters is in the canton of Vaud and in Florida, which means that it has at least a double nationality. The Safra Cutrale group that acquired it not long ago is an international network of companies that has its headquarters in Sao Paulo, that is, in Brazil, the perfect country to establish the headquarters of a corporation like that one, now that Bolsonaro and the ultra-right is ruling it. Did the executives of Chiquita decide to make the company Brazilian because, in a country as corrupt as that one, where judges send to prison whoever pleases them based on the false testimonies on the part of criminals without credence, their crimes would never come to light?
Safra and Cutrale, the new owners of Chiquita, not only commercialize bananas, but they also commercialize transgenic soybeans, which is a crop that spreads like fascist cancer through Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, and just as neoliberalism, takes hold of those countries. The cultivation of soybeans thrives and already represents 50 percent of the arable land in Argentina. This, however, compromises food security and contributes to spreading the hunger that its defenders say they intend to fight. Violent expulsion of farmers from their lands and introducing changes in legislation that favor the cultivation of these crops, support the concentration of land and wealth in a few hands. It is hugely ironic that the profits of such crops are dedicated to paying the national debt contracted by corrupt politicians or members of the army following the wise advice of the IMF. As many already know, this institution is expert in ruining the economy of countries with the only objective being to fatten their accounts and those of the financial funders who are very savvy in tricks of all kinds. These fraudulent practices deserve a separate essay.
Transgenic soybeans (generously irrigated with Monsanto’s carcinogenic insecticide) not only threaten Argentina’s food security, but it is also a threat to health throughout the world since such poisonous pesticide has been found in alarming proportions in a multitude of foods consumed everywhere. The oppression in the Americas don’t come free of charge for the rest of us: we get it served on a tray, food dressed with carcinogenic. Pharmaceutical lobbies (Monsanto merged with Bayern not long ago) are very active bribing or pressuring European MEPs (like Richard Ashworth and John Agnew) who dine together in restaurants serving organic food. Of course, the glyphosate is left for the masses.
Thus, if Honduras is described as a banana republic, we can already speak of a soy republic in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, or would it be better to call them soy dictatorships? Monsanto impoverishes us all as it impoverishes the variety of seeds and degrades and sickens them; suppressing small farmers and suppressing diversity in agriculture and putting countries on their knees before the big foreign capital corporations of the food, pharmaceutical and armaments complex. The foreign based bankers can only but smile.
Honduras is a priority; together with El Salvador and Guatemala it is the cornerstone where the lies and the tyranny in the Americas, need many schools. Its freedom is the freedom of all of us. That is why it is so important that we help it to free itself so that Honduras exports not only bananas but liberty and justice to the rest of the continent.