By Emile Schepers
What a wild and crazy day on the Honduras front! It is now past midnight and I am not able to do my full blog right now. I will do it tomorrow AM; also watch for a new article I just sent to the People's Weekly World and Nuestro Mundo.
Just to give you a taste:
1. IN THE MORNING, evidently to stave off a promised mass pro-Zelaya march, the Micheletti regime announced the 45 day suspension of a number of constitutional guarantees, including the right to criticize the government, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and due process. At the same time, troops were busting into the headquarters of Radio Globo and Channel 36 TV, and have put them off the air. Two reporters, from the Mexican TV channel Televisa and from the Guatemalan channel Guatevision, were beaten up by the troops, but the staff of the two pro-Zelaya stations evidently managed to escape by the back door. The planned mass march was blocked by the troops and police.
2. LATER President Zelaya spoke to the UN General Assembly by a cell phone hookup, denounced the suspension of the constitution and the attacks on the Brazilian embassy.
3. THE OAS MET in emergency session, initially on the subject of the Micheletti regime's deportation of four OAS advance representatives who had gone to Tegucigalpa as the advance team for a visit of OAS representatives later this week. There was an effort to get a statement denouncing the suspension of the Constitution, but the OAS reps could not agree on the language. The U.S. rep denounced both Micheletti and Zelaya. I will try to find out more about this for you tomorrow.
4. THEN THE WORM TURNED, and the Honduran Congress evidently refused to endorse the state of siege/suspension of constitutional rights decreed by Micheletti in the morning. At this writing, it appears that Micheletti is backing down. Evidently someone noticed that if constitutional rights are suspended for 45 days, they will only be lifted on November 11 and the national elections are on November 29. Micheletti claimed as recently as last week, in a guest column in the Washington Post, that those elections will be completely valid because constitutional rights of freedom of speech, assembly and press are in full bloom in Honduras. And now he suspended all those rights, making a mockery of his claim that the elections will be fair.
If in fact Micheletti has to eat his words and withdraw the decree, I think he has lost the game, because the marches and demonstrations will begin again immediately.
At any rate, I will update this and fill in the details tomorrow.
Monday, September 28, 2009
By Emile Schepers