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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.”

16 Responses to “Military Coup in Honduras. OAS and US reject coup. Update: Coup now murdering opponents.”

  1. Unlike in Iran, this is a situation where the United States should and must be forceful in its condemnation of the would-be dictators. Obama has a fine line to tread in Iran, as the protesters themselves have asked the US to stay out of this — both because it’s the Iranians’ fight alone, and because they don’t want Ahmedinejad to use any US action as alleged proof that evil foreigners are controlling the protesters. But in Honduras, that’s not an issue.

  2. The Ghost of Che said

    This is why comrade Chavez must ratchet up his pogroms. The filthy capitalist swine must be exterminated where ever they are found. We applaud the support of the American President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. We hope that he finds the strength to continue his own glorious work on behalf of the proletariat!!

    Perhaps President Obama would be so good as to supply our comrades in Venezuela with a little Sarin gas, which will allow them to carry out the necessary cleansing with more rapidity.

    Viva La Revolution!

    • Charles II said

      It’s nice to have one a–hole show up to demonstrate exactly how ridiculous the people who reflexively support anti-socialist coups are.

      Pal, to me it wouldn’t matter if Zelaya was from the far-right or far-left or a vegetarian from Pluto. He was lawfully elected and unlawfully removed from office. People who do unlawful things are called “criminals.”

      That’s who you are rooting for. Criminals.

      I hope and expect that Gen. Vasquez will go down, and that you will gag on your own bile.

    • Charles II said

      Just to be clear, you’ve already been banned here, “Ghost”. Changing your IP doesn’t change the ugliness of your soul. It simply adds a few minutes to repeating the banning process.

      • Yes. Ironic considering this same person’s recent efforts to try and dissociate himself from his past actions by adopting a slightly more civilized tone when posting under his real name at various Twin Cities media sites.

  3. jo6pac said

    This is a No Brainer, but will we?

  4. By the way, a Kossack who’s been following this says that it looks like the army planned the online arm of this very well — lots of people on the boards defending their actions with the same set of predigested talking points.

  5. Darrol said

    Your information is totally unclear.
    Was CESAR HAM killed or not killed ?
    The linked story to NarcoNews say
    nothing about it. The linked story
    in El Financiero says he died, but
    your commentary says the El Financiero
    story is wrong.

    • Charles II said

      Actually, the information is totally clear. It states, and I quote:

      “Update: The coup has [ UPDATE: NOT] murdered Cesar Ham, the head of the left-wing Democratic Unification Party of Honduras.”

      If you follow the link and scroll down, you find Kristin Bricker stating that Cesar Ham is still alive.

      I apologize for correctly presenting the facts as reported by Kristin Bricker.

  6. Beto said

    Charles II,
    Panama is not considered one of the five Central American nations since it was split off of Colombia so technically it was not a coup in “Central America”.

  7. Beto said

    I would agree that my usage and theirs is somewhat dated.

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