By Emile Schepers, August 4 2009
Here is today’s update on the Honduras struggle.
1. ZELAYA IN MEXICO, DEMANDS STRONGER ACTION BY THE UNITED STATES. President Manuel Zelaya was in Mexico today, meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. In spite of Calderon’s decidedly right-wing orientation, he has been among those who have denounced the coup, and Zelaya thanked him for Mexico’s solidarity. Speaking to the press in Mexico, Zelaya reiterated his call for stronger pressure by the United States on the coup government headed by Roberto Micheletti. Zelaya said that if the United States would apply more economic pressure on the coup government, the coup would be over in “five minutes” due to the fact that Honduras is 70 or 80 per cent dependent on the US economically. Zelaya said he is willing to accept the original plan to resolve the Honduras situation which had been presented by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, and denounced coup leader Micheletti for sabotaging it. Zelaya heads to Brazil next.
2. FOREIGN MINISTER RODAS CALLS FOR CUTOFF OF U.S. AND CANADIAN AID TO HONDURAS. The Honduran foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, today called on the U.S. and Canadian governments to suspend military aid to Honduras, “because while they have oxygen from power forces represented in the U.S. government, the military coup is going to also have a way to breathe”. Rodas, who accompanied Zelaya to Mexico City, said that they had asked president Calderon to put pressure on the United States to take real and forceful measures to cut off aid to the coup regime. She said they also asked for Mexican support in the campaign to make sure that no elections carried out under the Micheletti regime are recognized as valid internationally.
Note that Canada has big mining interests in Honduras and that the right wing Canadian government of Prime Minister Harper has also been reluctant to apply sanctions to the coup regime.
3. HONDURAN GENERALS GO ON TV TO EXPLAIN THAT THE MILITARY COUP THEY CARRIED OUT IS NOT A MILITARY COUP. The New York Times and others are reporting that the 5 generals, who appeared in camouflage uniforms on Honduran TV, said that their action in ousting President Zelaya does not constitute a military coup d’etat, but rather a constitutional transition, because they got authorization from civilian authorities first (but not from the president, or head of state, obviously). The NYT reporter, Ginger Thompson, pointed out that if they intended to send the message that the military is not running the government, all that brass appearing on TV together (dressed for battle) was probably not the best way to do it.
4. REPRESSION IN SAN PEDRO SULA. There are reports of military/police repression against anti-coup marchers in San Pedro Sula today, with about 42 injuries and arrests. Soldiers and police evidently assaulted a caravan of vehicles that was organized to demand the return of President Zelaya, using tear gas, clubs and live ammo.
5. INDEPENDENT PRESS IN HONDURAS MENACED. The coup authorities have filed charges with the National Telecommunications Commission (similar to our FCC) against Radio Globo in Honduras, one of the few pro-Zelaya, anti coup media outlets now functioning. They are being charged with using the airwaves to promote violence because they have been quoting on air an article in the Honduran constitution which asserts the right of the people to rebel against a usurper government “the people have the right of insurrection in defense of the constitutional order”. (Thanks to Jose Cruz for this info)
6. NO NEW SIGN ONS FOR H RES 630 (GOOD RESOLUTION) OR H. RES 619 (BAD RESOLUTION) TODAY. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS RECESSED SO GO WITH DELEGATIONS TO TALK TO YOUR CONGRESSPERSONS.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
By Emile Schepers, August 4 2009