By Emile Schepers
1. ZELAYA IN D.C. TO TALK TO O.A.S., HILLARY CLINTON. Since yesterday the legitimate president of Honduras, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, has been in Washington D.C. to shore up support for his return to power. Today he met with representatives to the O.A.S. from various countries. He commented to the press that his efforts are not moving forward as fast as he would like because of the lack of mechanisms for other countries to impact the situation. On Thursday Sept. 3 President Zelaya will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As he did with the O.A.S. members, he will be calling on the U.S. government to increase pressure on the illegitimate coup regime headed by Roberto Micheletti: By increasing sanctions, freezing U.S. bank accounts of major coup leaders (a thing that would be facilitated by the State Department officially declaring that the events of June 28 constituted a MILITARY coup), and by declaring forthrightly that the United States will NOT recognize the results of the elections of November 29, nor will it consider the government which emerges from that election to be a legitimate, democratically elected one.
2. HONDURAN RESISTANCE DECIDES TO BOYCOTT THE ELECTIONS. After much debate, the Honduran resistance to the coup, working under the umbrella of the National Front Against the Coup, has decided that their best option is to boycott the elections as being illegitimate under the present set up. There had been back-and-forth about this, with some members of the resistance supporting a boycott and others worrying that it might backfire. But it now emerges that both presidential candidates on the left, Cesar Ham of the Democratic Unification Party and independent left candidate Carlos Humberto Reyes, have decided to participate in a boycott of the elections if there is no success in restoring president Zelaya and constitutional normality. There appear to be two reasons for this: In the first place, all else having failed, Zelaya’s international supporters are pushing the idea of getting all nations and international bodies to refuse to recognize either the legitimacy or the results of the elections. The real hope is that the Obama administration would join such a move. It might look odd to be asking other countries to take a boycottist stance while running in the elections oneself. The other reason is that it is really not possible to run an effective campaign while dodging bullets and tear gas, and while media entities that are seen as supporting the resistance are being harassed and shut down. But at any rate, this strategy is not without risks. Micheletti is relying heavily on an electoral triumph so he can get the world to back off from pressuring Honduras. If the election is boycotted by the left, and thus the only candidates who get votes are those of the two major right wing parties (the Liberals and the Nationals), the coup and its supporters will surely use this state of affairs to claim that the Honduran people were supporting the coup all along.
3. IN THE STREETS, THE STRUGGLE GOES ON. Yesterday was the 66th day since the coup, and thousands are still participating in demonstrations and other mass actions.
I will be away from my usual work place from tomorrow, September 2 through Tuesday September 8, but anyway will try to keep you posted on major developments.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
By Emile Schepers