By Emile Schepers
1. OAS DELEGATION ARRIVES IN HONDURAS, U.S. ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR MISSION. The long-delayed visit of foreign ministers of the Organization of American States arrived in Honduras today. Along with OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, who is billed as an “observer” because the coup leaders don’t like him, the delegation will include the foreign ministers of Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Canada, Jamaica and now also Panama. The U.S. government issued a statement in support of the OAS foreign ministers’ meeting, whose stated purpose is to get acceptance by the coup authorities for the proposal made by mediator President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica to settle the controversy. President Zelaya has agreed to the plan in principle, though the resistance in Honduras appears not to be fully in agreement with this, specifically to amnesty for the coup plotters and the abandonment of the plan for a referendum to ask Hondurans if they want a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution next year. On the other hand, the Micheletti gang and their supporters seem more determined than ever to dig in their heels and wait out the clock until the scheduled presidential and congressional elections on November 29, after which time (many believe) they think that the rest of the world will lose interest in the issue and will end up recognizing whoever wins. The Honduran Supreme Court, which is described as being a highly politicized and partisan body, said yesterday that they consider it unconstitutional to allow President Zelaya back into the country without prosecuting him for “treason, abuse of power” and other crimes. The de facto deputy foreign minister, Marta Alvarado, has declared Zelaya’s return to be “non-negotiable”. The OAS foreign ministers plan to meet with people on both sides of the issue, including de facto president Micheletti.
2. PRO-ZELAYA MEDIA FACILITIES SMASHED UP, BUT RESISTANCE PRESS PROMISES TO KEEP BROADCASTING. It was reported today that the transmission facilities of two major pro-Zelaya media entities, Radio Globo and television Channel 36, were attacked Sunday night, forcing them off the air, according to reports given to Telesur. The reports state that unknown parties invaded the studios and sprayed “toxic” gases at personnel (nature of this gas not yet revealed), and that damage to the transmission facilities then ensued. By 6 AM Monday morning, apparently both were back on the air using emergency backup. The attacks happened during the airing of anti-coup program, in which musicians from various countries were performing. There have been a number of other attacks on anti-coup media. Pro-coup media are said to be broadcasting inaccurate information on the coup, e.g. claiming that anti-coup demonstrators are controlled by foreign powers and that demonstrations are paid for by the Colombian FARC, so Radio Globo and Channel 36 are extremely important parts of the resistance.
3. INTENSE RESISTANCE TO THE COUP CONTINUES. Today is the 58th day after the coup, but resistance activities continue without letup. Large demonstrations are to take place today and tomorrow, organized by the National Front Against the Coup. Although teachers had gone back to their classrooms for part of the week, the teachers’ union announced that they will have a work stoppage today and tomorrow (August 24 & 25). These demos are designed to coincide with the visit of the OAS foreign ministers, to prove to them that there is large scale popular opposition to the coup.
All for now. Tomorrow should be a key day, so tune in again.
Monday, August 24, 2009
By Emile Schepers