Sunday, August 16, 2009


By Emile Schepers

1. ROLE OF U.S. MILITARY IN DEPORTATION OF ZELAYA QUESTIONED. Today Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Patricia Valle accused the U.S. military of involvement in the June 28 coup which ousted President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile in Costa Rica. According to Valle, the airplane that flew Zelaya to Costa Rica on that date stopped at the Palmerola (Soto Cano) air force base to refuel. Palmerola/Soto Cano is defined as a joint Honduran-US operation. Although the US claims that it is mostly used for coordination on humanitarian relief and anti-drug operations, people in Central America can’t easily forget that Lt.Col. Oliver North used to run US aid to the “Contra” terrorists out of this base. President Zelaya announced last year that the air base would be converted to civilian air traffic purposes, because the Toncontin airport near Tegucigalpa has runways that are too small and is therefore dangerous. Valle’s implication is that if the plane carrying Zelaya as a prisoner was able to refuel at Palmerola it strongly suggests U.S. military connivance in the coup. However, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Valle, she thinks that the top levels of the Obama administration were not involved in this. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, discussing these accusations, suggested that U.S. President Barack Obama is ignorant of, or does not understand, the dynamics of Latin America, and needs to bone up on the subject. He added that nobody in Latin America wants the U.S. to interfere in the Honduras situation, but to stop their historic pattern of interfering.

2. RADIO PROGRESO CALLS FOR HELP. Radio Progreso, a progressive radio station supported by the Jesuit community in Honduras, has appealed to the world public for support after its reporter was arrested and beaten in Honduras. The reporter, Gustavo Cardoza, was covering an anti-coup demonstration in the city of Choloma, between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortez in the North Atlantic region of Honduras, when police targeted him and in spite of his identifying himself as press, beat him up and arrested him. Subsequently he was freed after action by progressive lawyers’ and judges’ organizations.

3. CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP TO INVESTIGATE REPORTS OF ABUSES IN HONDURAS. The Inter American Commission for Human Rights, an OAS body, is sending a delegation to Honduras starting Monday August 17 to look into complaints about human rights violations by the Micheletti coup regime, according to Agence France-Presse. Commission Executive Secretary Santiago Canton said that the Commission has asked that some 100 people who fear repression for having spoken out about the coup be assured protection. The Commission will interview witnesses in various parts of the country until August 21.

4. NO NEW NEWS ON THE OAS FOREIGN MINISTERS’ DELEGATION. There is no new news on the planned delegation of OAS foreign ministers to Tegucigalpa, which had been delayed because of the Micheletti gang’s complaints about OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza accompanying the group. The coup regime is sending a new delegation to Washington D.C. this week to talk to OAS representatives to get them to change their support for Zelaya.
That’s all for today—tune in again tomorrow.

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