Monday, July 27, 2009

Honduras Update July 27 2009

The major news on Honduras today is the following:

1. President Manuel Zelaya has set up a base camp at the town of Ocotlan, Nicaragua, from which to observe and direct operations in coordination between himself and his supporters within Honduras. He has opted not to make another attempt to go into Honduras, saying that he wants to prevent violence against his supporters.

2. On the Amy Goodman show "Democracy Now", Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, crticized the US State Department for its slowness in implementing pressure against the coup regime headed by Roberto Micheletti, appealing to Hillary Clinton "as a mother".

3. The summit meeting of MERCOSUR, the trading and economic bloc of S. American nations, announced today that if elections are held in Honduras without a speedy return of Zelaya to power, they will not recognize these elections and their results as legitimate. Cesar Ham, the presidential candidate of the Honduran Democratic Unification Party, which has been subjected to repression by the coup regime, made similar comments.

4. It was reported in various media that General Romeo Vasquez Velazquez, the commander of the Honduran armed forces and one of the key coup plotters, was supposed to be in Miami last week to speak to an Evangelical Christian group, name given as "MIGApartners". I have not been able to find out whether the speaking engagement came off as planned. Vasquez is one of the key coup leaders whose US visas president Zelaya has asked president Obama to cancel (and also to freeze their bank accounts). The others are the commanders of the army and navy, and the coup attorney general and chief prosecutor.

5. Allegedly General Vasquez has said that he would not order his troops to fire on Zelaya supporters, in a document said (by various media sources) to have been drafted with the help of several US Congressional aides.

6. Two US congresspersons, Connie Mack (R-FLA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) have gone to Tegucigalpa on a supposed "fact finding mission", both are far right wingers vocally supportive of the coup and the Micheletti regime.

7. U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly on Monday criticized Zelaya for his move toward the border, saying "We are continuing to urge President Zelaya to allow the political process to play out, these negotiations that are being spearheaded by Costa Rican President Arias...we are urging all sides to refrain from actions that would not further this process....and we see this enter Honduras absent any kind of political agreement between the two sides that would allow for his return, as not helpful". According to the Agence France-Presse account from which this was taken, Kelly added that the Obama administration still wants Zelaya restored, but on the basis of a mutual agreement with the Micheletti group, to be mediated through the Costa Rican process.

I will keep updating you on the Honduras situation via this blog.

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