HONDURAS UPDATE AUGUST 13 2009
This is not in order of priority or importance, so please have patience and read it through. Last point is important stuff on what is happening on the streets in Honduras today.
1. ARGENTINA EXPELS PRO-COUP HONDURAN AMBASSADOR. President Cristinia Fernandez of Argentina today de-recognized the Honduran ambassador, Carmen Ortez Williams, for going over to the coup Regime of Roberto Micheletti.
The action was taken at the request of (legitimate) Honduran foreign minister Patricia Rodas, who further requested that diplomatic relations between her country and Argentina be conducted through the Honduran embassy in Washington, whose staff is supporting Zelaya even though the old ambassador, Mr. Flores, had also gone over to the coup and was replaced by Zelaya by Mr. Reina. Telesur also reports that Argentina has cancelled an invitation to the Honduran armed forces to participate in an inter-American army conference in Buenos Aires.
2. ZELAYA SAYS NO IMPUNITY FOR THE PUTCHISTS. Speaking at the University of Chile en Santiago, President Zelaya stated that the leaders of the coup should not go unpunished for their actions. According to the Spanish news agency EFE, Zelaya said that if the coup leaders are not subjected to criminal sanctions, it will encourage similar actions in the future. Zelaya also repeated that his government was within its rights to support the popular demand for a vote during the coming November 19 elections on the issue of a constituent assembly to reform the Constitution. Prensa Latina reports that Zelaya made a statement in memory of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende, who died in the course of a CIA supported military coup on September 11 1973. The Honduran foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, who accompanied Zelaya to Chile, publicly thanked the Chilean government of President Michelle Bachelet for her country’s firm support for Zelaya’s return to the presidency.
3. COUP DELEGATION TO MEET WITH OAS STAFF IN D.C. The Chinese news agency Xinhua is reporting that a delegation representing the Micheletti coup government will be in Washington, presumeably tomorrow Friday August 14, to engage in negotiations with the Organization of American States about the composition of a delegation of OAS foreign ministers to Honduras. I am not clear why the OAS or anybody is “negotiating” with an entity that they themselves do not recognize as legitimate, but perhaps more news on this point will emerge presently. First, Micheletti’s gang said that no ALBA countries could be part of such a delegation (that would exclude the foreign ministers of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) in spite of the fact that Honduras is an ALBA member too. Then they blocked the visit because OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza was going to be part of it. The coup foreign minister, Rafel Pineda Ponce, had even suggested at one point that ideal members of the OAS foreign ministers’ delegation include representatives of Germany and “England” (“Inglaterra”, I suppose he meant the UK as “England” has not had separate ambassadors since it combined with Scotland in the year 1707. Or maybe he did not know that). The insincerity of the coup government, and its desire to use any and all negotiations to play for time, is more evident every day. One puzzling note is that AP is reporting that while they are in Washington, the coup delegation will be meeting with the US representative to the OAS, Lew Amselem, as announced by the State Department. In my opinion, since most of Latin America thinks that the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department are at least complicit with the coup regime, for a US official to meet with a coup delegation in DC is not correct. But what do I know?
4. VIOLENCE IN THE STREETS OF TEGUCIGALPA AND SAN PEDRO SULA. The Quixote Center, a faith based solidarity organization which has observers in Honduras, reports a “steep, brutal escalation” of repression against pro-Zelaya demonstrators with a multiple violations of human rights by army, police and others, against people who have been protesting since large marches terminated in Honduras’ two biggest cities on Tuesday. The Quijote Center has numerous reports and blogs which I will not duplicate here; suffice it to say that it is well worth reading these reports on their website, http://www.quixote.org. They do ask for the following actions, though, which I reproduce from their website:
Also, please call the U.S. State Department (202-647-4000) and Ambassador Llorens 011-504-236-9320 ext. # 4268 and demand that the U.S:
* Publically denounce the extreme and widespread violations of human rights on the part of the coup government.
* Publically state that it will not recognize elections sponsored by the coup regime.
* Revoke U.S. tourist visas and freeze bank accounts of those involved in the coup.
* Cut off all U.S. economic assistance for the coup regime in Honduras.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
HONDURAS UPDATE AUGUST 13 2009