From: Emile Schepers
Here is the latest on Honduras, in no particular order. The priority actions are still to get your congresspersons to sign on as cosponsors to H RES 630, which denounces the coup and calls for the restoration of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. To find out whether your congressperson is already onboard, go to www.thomas.loc.gov
1. ZELAYA MEETS WITH AMBASSADOR LLORENS. Today president Zelaya some of his advisors met with a U.S. delegation consisting of U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens and others, according to reports by Prensa Latina, Telesur and others. The photo accompanying the Telesur report shows Zelaya throwing his army around the professorial looking Llorens. According to the reports there were no new proposals discussed in the meeting which had been planned for a while but which could not take place until today. Reportedly Llorens assured Zelaya that the US stills recognizes him as the only president of Honduras, and assured him that he (Llorens) has not had any conversations with the coup regime headed by Roberto Micheletti. Coming out of the meeting Zelaya’s foreign minister Patricia Rodas called for stronger pressure on the coup plotters by the United States. Referring to the US government’s action in cutting off diplomatic visas of Micheletti and some others from the coup regime yesterday, Rodas said “the suspension of visas, which are a personal slap [against the coup plotters] is not enough, but we consider that if the US response to the [coup] actors is lukewarm it will be felt as….a tacit support for their actions”.
2. NEW INTERVIEW WITH AMY GOODMAN ON DEMOCRACY NOW! President Zelaya was interviewed again by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! This interview is very worth reading. You should be able to find it on the Democracy Now! Website at http://www.democracynow.org. If you can’t, e-mail me and I will find a way to get you to it; my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Important items in the interview include a statement by Zelaya that he does not consider that President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton were behind the coup. He does, however, call for the coup to be called a coup, and for more pressure on the coup perpetrators by the United States.
3. CLASH BETWEEN PROTESTERS AND COUP SECURITY FORCES NEAR TEGUCIGALPA. Radio Globo reports that army and police violently repressed a demonstration against the coup in the town of El Durazno about 3 miles outside Tegucigalpa. One person may have been killed and others injured as the security forces attacked with tear gas and beatings, which were directed also at journalists and camerapeople.
4. ARIAS CALLS FOR CONTINUED SANCTIONS. Today Costa Rican president Oscar Arias responded to a request by Micheletti that he send in a new negotiator to Honduras by calling for the continuation of firm sanctions against the coup regime. Micheletti had asked that Enrique Iglesias, former director of the Interamerican Development Bank and current secretary of the Ibero-American summit, be sent to Honduras to talk to various people to try to convince them to accept one or another set of proposals that Arias has made for a solution to the crisis. Arias did not respond to this request yet.
5. SENATOR LUGAR ASKS FOR EXPLANATIONS FROM HILLARY CLINTON. Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana has, according to Reuters, sent a note to Secretary of State Clinton asking her to explain U.S. policy toward Honduras. The note broadly hints that if she does not give a satisfactory explanation, the GOP may make trouble about the Obama administration’s nomination of several officials, including Arturo Valenzuela as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas Shannon as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil (Shannon is leaving the position to which Valenzuela has been nominated), and Carlos Pascual as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Senator Jim deMint (R-SC) has already used senatorial privilege to delay the ratification of Valenzuela’s appointment, as a protest against the Obama Administration’s failure to support the coup.
6. PROGRESS ON H RES 630. As of this afternoon, House Resolution 630, which denounces the coup and exhorts the Obama administration to work hard to restore Pres. Zelaya to power, has 41 co-sponsors, the latest being Cong. John Lewis of Georgia. The rival resolution, H RES 619, which applauds the coup and calls for the US to recognize the Micheletti regime, has 34. Please make contacting your congressperson to get him/her to sign on to H RES 630 and work for its passage a priority activity. Take a look at the number of cosponsors from Illinois, which is the majority of the Democrats in that state’s congressional delegation. Let’s have some emulation of that in other states. It would be great to organize press activities with some of these Congresspersons.
That’s all for tonight.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
From: Emile Schepers