Military Coup in Honduras. OAS and US reject coup. Update: Coup now murdering opponents.
Posted by Charles II on June 28, 2009
Update: The New York Times coverage is laughable. Here’s a line from their article by Elizabeth Malkin: The last coup in the region occurred in Guatemala in 1983, when the military overthrew the government headed by Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt. They should get someone who knows a little bit about the region. Not only was Rios Montt the guy who did the overthrowing, the last Central American coup was in Panama, led by the US against Manuel Noriega. Not to mention that if you let your eyes stray a few hundred miles toward the Caribbean, there’s Haiti, another US coup target.
And their article by Simon Romero is equally laughable. His re-writing of the history of that to say that the CIA was “aware” of the coup plans in Venezuela ahead of the onset is an obtuse way of saying that the US laid the groundwork for the coup, encouraged the plotters, and supposedly provided some ::cough:: National Technical Support. Similarly, he says that “President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela …put his military on alert over an apparent affront to the Venezuelan ambassador in Honduras.” What he means is that, according to James Suggett,
Military personnel kidnapped the ambassadors of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in Honduras, along with the Honduran Foreign Relations Minister Patricia Rodas, according to Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton.
FFFFF the New York Times, whose Latin American coverage is the absolute pits.
Update: The coup has [UPDATE: NOT] murdered Cesar Ham, the head of the left-wing Democratic Unification Party of Honduras. Therefore, the presidential elections that the right has announced for November are meaningless. [This story is confirmed [BUT IS WRONG] by El Financiero ( via Bananas at DU), which also reports that the mother of President Zelaya suffered a heart attack as a consequence of the seizure of her son.] Chancellor (Finance Minister) Patricia Rodas has been kidnapped and was reportedly beaten.
NarcoNews is doing an incredible job of following events under terrible conditions.
Update: Al Giordano has footage.
Update: Cadejo4 at DK is doing a sterling job summarizing coverage. As is Laura Carlsen at the Puffington Host. Telesur TV has coverage in Spanish, but the signal is messy, partly because of very heavy traffic. But Zelaya is sounding pretty sensible. He said the referendum was non-binding, a poll (sondeo). I’m now listening to an American labor guy who came as an election observer, speaking in English. He says that ambassadors of several countries (like probably Nicaragua and Venezuela) have been kidnapped.
Reuters gets a brilliant photo
At Tienanmen, we called this brave
As Kristin Bricker of NarcoNews warned was likely, a military coup has ousted President Manuel Zelaya and expelled him to Costa Rica. (Amazingly, the Associated f—-g Press cannot report this straight. It can only bring itself to say that Zelaya says he was the victim of a coup). The coup was triggered by Zelaya’s attempt to hold a referendum on whether to have Constitutional Convention. The right-wing Liberal Party, the Catholic hierarchy including auxiliary Bishop Darwin Andino, and businessmen opposed this.
* El Universal: Armored cars and mini-tanks blocked access to the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa hours after (??!?) the president was seized. Aircraft flew overhead. There were interruptions to the electrical supply and to broadcasting.
* Kristin Bricker, NarcoNews: The president was beaten. He says that the troops used to seize him were probably not regular army.
* Radio EsDeLosMenos was shut down. At this moment, the station is broadcasting erratically. I am having difficulty holding the webstream, and the conversation is fragmented when available.
* Bricker, ibid: The head of the Honduran Joint Chiefs, Romeo Orlando Vasquez Velasquez, refused to accept his firing by Zelaya. He is a another proud example of the graduates of the School of the Americas, as is the Airforce head, Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo.
There is no way that the OAS or Obama can countenance this. If they do, they have no credibility in Latin American. None.
Laura Carlsen says that the OAS has rejected the coup as illegitimate, an important step:
More from the OAS session:(translated and paraphrased on the spot to the best of my abilities)
“This is a blow not to Honduras but to democracy in all of Latin American and a blow the the Inter-American Charter. This is a reality– a reality that this body should condemn as unacceptable. This is an emergency, so we appreciate that the Sec. General (SG) is traveling tomorrow to Honduras. We call for the immediate return to democratic institutions, to convoke an extraordinary session of the General Assembly (GA), to defend institutions in Honduras. This is an act of brute force that disrupts democracy in a neighboring country. The Inter-American Charter (does not include force) but it gives us an arsenal of moral arms sufficient to restore democracy in Honduras.”
Furthermore, Secretary Clinton has rejected the coup (‘ray!):
The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.
Obama has issued a similar though weaker statement:
President Obama issued this declaration this morning: “I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of President Mel Zelaya. As the Organization
of American States did on Friday, I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”
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