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Obama Administration Connection to Honduras Coup

by Gunnar Gundersen
A NYT article today described work being done by Lanny Davis and Bennet Ratcliff for the coup leader in Honduras, Mr. Micheletti. Most know Mr. Davis' connections to the Clintons and the DNC. Many may not know that Mr. Ratcliff has similar connections and a direct connection to the Administration of President Obama. Mr. Ratcliff is advising Mr. Micheletti in his talks supervised by President Arias. He is a partner in the firm of Vander Ark/Ratcliff. Mr. Ratcliff is a close friend and associate of Mr. Arne Duncan, Mr. Obama's Secretary of Education.
Perhaps, many of you have seen the following NYT article about
Micheletti’s use of consultants/image managers who are close to the Clintons.

Bennet Ratcliff, who is the “American” mentioned in the NYT article, is a
partner of a consulting company called Vander Ark/Ratcliff, based in San
Diego.

In addition to the fact that Mr. Ratcliff has direct contacts with the
Clintons, Tom Vander Ark (Ratcliff’s partner) and his wife also have
direct connections to the Clinton Administration and the Obama
Administration. Mr. Vander Ark is an old friend and strong supporter of
Mr. Arne Duncan, the Education Secretary appointed by President Barack
Obama. Mr. Vander Ark also has direct connections to Bill Gates
(Microsoft) as the former Executive Director of his Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation.

No doubt Mr. Gates is not very happy that Venezuela and others are working
towards developing alternatives to the use of the Microsoft operating
system. This could lead to other countries following Venezuela's lead.

So, it appears there may be some unexpected players and multiple
motivations for the coup in Honduras, in terms of the corporate concerns
about losing their control over certain aspects of resources and life in
Latin America.

References:

NYT article on Clinton/DNC Honduras Coup Connection:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/13/world/americas/13honduras.html

Vander Ark/Ratcliff Corporate Information:
http://www.varpartners.net/?page_id=2

Bennet Ratcliff’s Linkedin Web Page:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bennet-ratcliff/1/985/a36

ABC News Article Showing Direct Vander Ark/Arne Duncan Link:
http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/Politics/story?id=7876217&page=1

Notice that among the goals of President Obama is the expansion of
“Charter Schools”, a movement in which Mr. Vander Ark has been a key
player, with the support of Bill Gates. The for-profit education business
is booming and it clearly has the support of major players, apparently
including our President. Here is President Obama’s speech to the Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce in March:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/03/10/Taking-on-Education/

Mr. Duncan recently (July 2) gave a speech at the NEA Convention in San
Diego (city where Vander Ark/Ratcliff is based). You’ll find in this blog
and its entries more information about the connection between Mr. Duncan
and the privatization movement.

http://nea-ra.blogspot.com/2009/07/arne-duncan-speaks-to-delegates.html

I'll leave you with an interesting Democracy Now! piece that includes an interview with Secretary
Duncan and his critics. One thing is clear the Charter School approach is
anti-union. Sound familiar?

How are the teachers and the unions doing in Honduras these days?
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Gunnar Gundersen
Mon, Jul 13, 2009 5:11PM
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