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Archive for July 8th, 2009

Honduras Entr’Acte (day 3)

Posted by Charles II on July 8, 2009

Al Giordano has an interesting proposal for what might be behind the coup:

Some are scratching their heads, asking, “how can it be possible that both the United States – and its allies – and Venezuela – and its allies – say they oppose this coup?”

And a related question: “What can the coup plotters be thinking that they can do without US and World Bank and PetroCaribe funds?”

The answer is that there is indeed a powerful network behind this coup. It is an attempt by a certain element of organized crime to resurrect the Batista experiment of Cuba in the 1950s – a safe haven for narco-trafficking, money laundering and right-wing terrorism in the hemisphere, with billions of dollars already in its combined coffers. That is the power behind Micheletti and his Simian Council.

I’m not convinced it is this black and white, though there is an unholy alliance between right-wingers, the oligarchs, and the narcotraffickers that makes it often difficult to see it as an alliance rather than as a unified movement. Laura Carlsen adds this interesting comment:

In other developments, Under-Sec. of State Thomas Shannon met today with former Honduran president Roberto Maduro in Washington, a coup supporter. Zelaya dismissed criticism of this meeting, saying, “Maduro is not an official of anything. They have no reason not to receive him.” He went on to question the national loyalty of an ex-president who supports a military coup. There are no reports, as of this writing, who the coup leaders, virtually orphaned among the international diplomatic community, were able to meet with. Rumors of the involvement of rightwing former diplomats and conservative non-governmental institutions in the coup have been cropping up repeatedly in recent days, prompting calls for investigation.

Secretary Clinton’s intervention to get Zelaya and the coupistas to negotiate has had the effect of confusing the opposition to the coup, who are now trying to decide how they should respond. Shipments of Venezuelan petroleum have been cut off, though doubtless smugglers will make it available at a higher price.

Kristin Bricker, Narconews:

It has been widely reported that Zelaya was pushing for a new Constitution so that he could run for a second term in office. Honduras’ Constitution currently prohibits presidents from running for a second term. However, as Narco News reported on June 27, it was Zelaya opponents, not Zelaya himself, who raised the issue of re-election in a new Constitution. Zelaya has never said that he would seek re-election; on the contrary, he has repeatedly stated that his term ends on January 27, 2010, when his current term expires.

Given this widespread confusion regarding Zelaya’s true intentions in the June 28 opinion poll, the AP’s report that the State Department might want Zelaya to agree to “drop his aspirations for a constitutional change that might allow him to run for another term” can be read two ways:

1. That he may have to add a clause to any future attempt to re-write the Constitution prohibiting changes to the current Constitution’s article that bars presidents from running for re-election. Or
2. That he may have to completely drop his campaign to re-write the Constitution.

This would be ridiculous. We have a saying that no Congress can bind any future Congress. Circumstances change, and laws must change with them. To try to fix a law in stone by threatening those who would like to amend it is to guarantee that at some future date, there will be an overthrow of the law when its consequences become insufferable.

Posted in Latin America | 10 Comments »

Strict Constructionist

Posted by MEC on July 8, 2009

Massachusetts is challenging the “Defense of Marriage” Act on the grounds that Congress intruded in matters that should be left to individual states.

The lawsuit questions the constitutionality of Section 3 of the law, which defines the word “marriage” for the purpose of federal law as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” It does not challenge the constitutionality of Section 2, which provides that states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Since “States’ Rights” is usually code for racism and exclusion, I’m going to make a wild guess that the “States’ Rights” crowd will go a little crazy at this example of using “states’ rights” to grant civil rights, instead of denying them.

Posted in civil rights | 3 Comments »

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 8, 2009


— Honduran coup leader Roberto Micheletti, who had previously insisted that the return and reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya was not possible and “not negotiable”, has suddenly backed away from this stance.

— T. Boone Pickens’ grand wind-farm plan has fallen apart due in part to transmission-line issues. Here’s why this might not be a bad thing.

— Speaking of transmission lines, we currently have enough capacity (especially during off-peak hours) to sustain the demands that electric car usage would put on the grid. Furthermore, even with the current mix of coal and nuclear plants and a growing number of renewable-energy generators, a wholesale switch to electric cars would result in overall emissions and pollution reduction.

Posted in energy, environment, Hillary Clinton, Latin America | Comments Off on Wednesday Morning News Roundup

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