Friday, August 7, 2009



By Emile Schepers

There are important new developments.

1. SEN. KERRY IS WORRIED THAT OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S POSITION ON HONDURAS IS WEAKENING. The New York Times is reporting in tomorrow’s edition that U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is being critical of a letter that was sent by the U.S. Department of State to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) last week. Lugar, who supports the coup, had asked the State Department to clarify the U.S. position on Honduras, and the State Department’s response stated, among other things, that the U.S. is not supporting any one individual in the Honduras imbroglio, just a negotiated solution. The Lugar letter had threatened to hold up appointments of Obama administration appointees to State Department positions if the response was not satisfactory. The New York Times article paraphrases the State Department letter as criticizing Mr. Zelaya for “provocative actions”, presumably meaning his threats to cross the border from Nicaragua into Honduras.

2. OBAMA STATEMENT ON HONDURAS. Today president Obama referred to the Honduras situation, complaining that the same people who criticize the United States for interfering in Latin America are now demanding the U.S. interfere in Honduras. He says he does not have some sort of a button to push which will bring Zelaya back to power. (For the record, nobody has asked the U.S. to interfere in Honduras, e.g. to send in troops or anything like that, but only to conform to the decisions of the OAS in terms of not supporting the coup regime with material aid. There has been massive U.S. interference in Honduras heretofore via aid to the Honduran military, training of Honduran officers at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, support to the coup plotters and supporters by the International Republican Institute etc etc; what is being asked is that this STOP).

3. LATIN AMERICAN FOREIGN MINISTERS TO TEGUCIGALPA. A group of Hemispheric foreign ministers will be going to Tegucigalpa on Tuesday August 11 to meet with the de-facto regime of Roberto Micheletti, with the assignment of trying to persuade him to accept the plan promoted by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias. The delegation will be headed by OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, and will include the foreign ministers of Canada, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico. Except for Argentina, all of the foreign ministers are from countries with relatively right wing governments at present. Even though all the member states of the OAS denounced the coup and called for Zelaya’s return, some of the countries whose foreign ministers are in the delegation have disagreements with Zelaya, again with the exception of Argentina which has a left-leaning government but is not in ALBA. The government of Jamaica, for example, is critical of ALBA for, in its opinion, undermining CARICOM by including the Anglo-Caribbean states of Antigua and St. Vincent. The Mexican, Costa Rican and Dominican governments have been supportive of the neo-liberal “Washington Consensus” which Honduran President Manuel Zelaya had denounced and rejected while affiliating Honduras with ALBA. When the idea of sending a delegation of foreign ministers to Tegucigalpa was first promoted, coup leader Micheletti said he would meet with them but that he would not accept any visiting foreign ministers from the ALBA countries as part of the delegation. So it appears the delegation was structured to satisfy Mr. Micheletti on that score. The ALBA countries are Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras (as far as Zelaya’s supporters are concerned), Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

4. MAJOR RALLIES PLANNED IN HONDURAS, SOA WATCH ASKS FOR SUPPORT IN U.S.. There have been demonstrations against the coup in Honduras every day since it happened, but there are really big new ones planned for this coming week. In particular TUESDAY AUGUST 11, which coincides with the visit of the foreign ministers, will be called A GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION FOR HONDURAS. While the National Front for Resistance in Honduras is increasing the marches, while demonstrations, sit ins, strikes and other actions, and the three major trade union federations in Honduras are calling an “indefinite general strike”, i.e. not just time delimited work stoppages. The School of the Americas Watch is calling for local actions throughout the United States. Go to their website ( for details.

5. AMY GOODMAN INTERVIEWS LANNY DAVIS, GREG GRANDIN ON HONDURAS. There was an excellent Democracy Now! Episode in which Amy Goodman interviewed Lanny Davis, a lobbyist with Clinton connections who is lobbying in favor of the coup regime on Capitol Hill, and Greg Grandin, a NYU professor who has been opposing the coup and writing in support of Zelaya. You can read the transcript at I highly recommend it!

There are no new sign ons on H RES 630.

All for now, more tomorrow.

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