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US: Rep. Bill Delahunt Arrogantly Insults Latin Americans – Capitol Hill Cubans

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delahuntYesterday, U.S. Rep Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida debated U.S. policy towards Honduras inPBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

During the debate, Delahunt condescendingly referred to Latin American countries as “banana republics.”

“Banana republic” is a pejorative term used to stereotypically refer to the post-colonial, undeveloped, agricultural based economies of Latin America, with corrupt cliques, and uneducated and subservient populations.

Historically, it was a term used to justify American interventionism in Latin America, as U.S. politicians looked down on the region, judging it as backwards.

Congressman Delahunt then proceeded to blame the region’s woes on “economic elites,” regressing the debate to a class-warfare jargon more akin to a Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

This is quite ironic coming from the Congressman that represents Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard — “champagne socialism” at its finest.

Regardless of your views regarding the situation in Honduras, such labels are degrading to all Latin Americans, and is reminiscent of the pompous arrogance that has translated throughout the years to abuse and discrimination.

Such pejorative terms may seem fine over sailing and martinis in the Vineyard, but they’re insulting to all Latin Americans.

Congressman Delahunt owes us an apology.

Here’s the transcript of the debate:

MARGARET WARNER: So, Congressman Delahunt, explain why you think the United States should be supporting Zelaya, who did act certainly extra-legally, or so the supreme court and the congress and Honduras both said?

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, Margaret, I find it somewhat amusing that many of my colleagues on the Republican side must have gone to law school in — in Honduras, because it would appear that they’re constitutional scholars.

But let me be very clear. The — the request or the initiative by Zelaya was not to extend his term. The question that was going to be on the ballot was a nonbinding referendum for the people of Honduras to decide simply this question: Should there be a constituent assembly?

That was it, pure and simple. I think we have to understand the context of Honduran politics. It’s been a country that has been ruled by an economic elite. And, with all due respect to the elections that have been held down there, that economic elite exercises disproportionate influence in that democracy.

In the past — and I dare say at times now — it would be fair to describe Honduras as a banana republic.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Oh, my gosh.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We can’t go backward.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: What an insult. What an insult. That is…

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We — well, you can…

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Shame on you, Bill.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Ileana, let me — please, don’t say that.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: A banana republic, that’s just great. What an insult to the Honduran people.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, you don’t think that — well, let me — let me ask you this, OK? You would not, in the past, describe Honduras and other Central American and Latin American countries as banana republics?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: No, absolutely not. And I think that’s an insult to the people of Honduras.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Then I dare say that you don’t — you’re not that familiar with Latin America.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: It’s an insult to everyone in Latin America to…

MARGARET WARNER: All right, let me interrupt.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: … to — to label any country as a banana republic.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well…

Source: Capitol Hill Cubans

Read the whole TV show transcription here.

Wath the wholw tv show here:

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Discussion

4 comments for “US: Rep. Bill Delahunt Arrogantly Insults Latin Americans – Capitol Hill Cubans”

  1. As Obama, Rep Bill Delahunt is siding with U.S. enemies and punishing democratic Hondurans. It’s disgusting for Obama and his accomplices to support Castro, Chavez, Zelaya and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America!

    It’s disgusting but it’s to be expected because Obama and his accomplices are doing in the U.S. what the Marxist thugs are doing in Latin America — destroying everything and enslaving people through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion and fraud.

    Posted by AntonioSosa | September 14, 2009, 1:37 pm
  2. […] LATIN AMERICA Rep. Bill Delahunt Arrogantly Insults Latin Americans […]

    Posted by Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » The 1-day-late Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean | September 15, 2009, 5:46 pm
  3. This a**hole is just another Chavez supporter. The following says it all, free oil for Honduran and Columbian blood.
    Boston Globe
    Campaign Notebook
    December 27, 2007
    US Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a leading foreign policy voice in the Democratic Party, will endorse Barack Obama for president today, saying he believes the senator will repair the image of the United States overseas.

    “If Barack Obama is elected president, I daresay America will present a new face to the world, will restore, simply by his election, hope – not just within the United States, but from all corners of the world, that America’s claim to moral authority is back on track and that our leadership in world affairs will see a renaissance,” Delahunt told the Globe.

    Obama opposed the Iraq war from the start, Delahunt noted, while veteran lawmakers voted to authorize force. Delahunt said he was also influenced by Obama’s stated willingness – criticized by the Clinton campaign – to meet with rogue world leaders. Delahunt has met with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, negotiating a deal for home heating oil for his constituents from a Latin American leader who once referred to President Bush as “the devil.”

    Posted by ewetender | September 15, 2009, 9:49 pm
  4. Bill Delahunt is not qualified to judge Honduras: Has he ever lived in Latin America? I don’t mean short visits. Lived in. Speaks the language? Understands how they live? Because of the cultural level, most are simple people that can be cheated by skilful polititians who know how to manipulate fraudulent elections. And that is what was going to happen in Honduras.

    Posted by Carlos Alarco | September 16, 2009, 4:14 pm

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