Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for July 29th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 7/Updated

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2009

Update: An interesting piece from two weeks ago by Jules Siegel at HuffPo (Association for a More Just Society). The money quotes:

I found that the legal and logical deficiencies [in the case against Zelaya] were so obvious that no neutral observer could conclude that Manuel Zelaya received anything remotely resembling due process. …No one in all the discussions I’ve read so far has been able to come up with a single statement in which President Zelaya mentions continuing in office. [emphasis added]

TR-Honduras says that El Paraiso is surrounded by thousands of supporters to defend Xiomara.

According to TeleSur, Zelaya formally asked the US government to freeze the bank accounts of the coupistas. He accused Micheletti of theft on a grand scale and said that international intelligence agents had been involved in the coup. He added two names to the four whose visas had been lifted: Ramón Custodio López, Human Rights Commissioner and ex-chancellor and Obama-basher Enrique Ortez Colindres. Adolfo Leonel Sevilla, Minister of Defense was one of four cabinet-level figures whose name had not surfaced.

Rafael Correa of Ecuador said the Honduras coup was a warning.

RAJ of HondurasCoup2009 alerts us that Ginger Thompson of the NYT is reporting that “President” Micheletti is telling Arias that he would accept the “San Jose Accord” if he could, but he is not really in charge. My suggestion is to lift all the visas and freeze all the bank accounts of the coupistas and see who comes forward to negotiate. Nell points us to the Foreign Policy blog, which mentions the name of Richard Lugar as one of the people Zelaya has been trying to negotiate with. The Tuxtla conference denounced the coup, reiterated that Zelaya is president, and endorsed the “San Jose Accord.”

Carlos Salinas of El Pais has an interesting piece, with a terrible and misleading headline. The headline is that Zelaya is organizing a “militia” in the mountains of Nicaragua. But this is not what the article says. He is, as everyone knows, trying to find a way to return to his native country. Some Hondurans have crossed into Nicaragua at Las Colinas (near the Las Manos crossing in the state of Paraiso). They have organized themselves under the names of notable Hondurans. If they can achieve a critical mass, they want to walk back into Honduras… presumably with Zelaya in their midst… but in a peaceful manner. Five anti-Sandinista Nicaraguan deputies tried to deliver a letter to Zelaya telling him that he is persona non grata but were blocked by Sandinistas. Other oppositionists are headed to Tegucigalpa to talk with Micheletti.

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RAJ has sifted the documents uploaded by the Honduran Supreme Court. Here is what he found among the claims.

  • The Supreme Court said Zelaya apparently could fire the general, but that he did it the wrong way.
  • Two different “arrest orders” were posted. One was not on letterhead and had an illegible signature (probably of Jose Tomas Arita Valle) and ordered the Rene Antonio Hepburn Bueso, a Lieutenant Colonel on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to place Zelaya “under judicial authority” by means of a raid executed during proper hours (6AM-6PM) and take a statement. The other was addressed to Romeo Vasquez, and orders Hepburn Bueso to “capture” Zelaya and “and place him under the command of the corresponding authority for supposedly being responsible for the commission of the criminal deeds” (similarly by means of a raid during proper hours). There are different offenses listed as the cause of the action.
  • “none of the three different versions of orders for June 28 actually called for ‘judicial detention’, a euphemism for arrest”
  • the Supreme Court never issued a ruling about the crimes imputed to Zelaya
  • The latter is the strongest proof possible that there was no due process.

    Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame has a great editorial, saying in part:

    Former Ambassador Robert White, now President of the Center for International Policy and an expert on the region, says the solution is simple: all Secretary Clinton need do is have U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens call a press conference in Tegucigalpa and, with the OAS representative at his side, read the OAS resolution and state that the return of President Zelaya is firm U.S. policy. Then he can stand back and “watch the coup regime unravel.”

    Instead, Honduran citizens are dying in pro-democracy demonstrations and others are murdered or disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Failing to restore a stolen presidency makes a mockery of Obama’s words at the Summit of the Americas. So what keeps Secretary Clinton from denouncing this theft of government and demanding the return of the elected president?[via commenter Lucidamente at Narconews]

    Justice Tomás Arita Valle says that no one has officially notified him that him his diplomatic passport had been lifted. José Alfredo Saavedra says they took away his diplomatic passport, but he has his tourist passport. They’re treating him with lots of respect and I am being invited to meetings with various international missions that come to this country. La Jornada notes the low bar which Hillary at last dragged her feet over: in the last ten years, the US has cancelled the passports of 100 Honduran politicians for corruption. Micheletti boasted that no gringo was gonna tell him what to do.

    Posted in Latin America | 5 Comments »

    The Most Important Stimulus Money?

    Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 29, 2009

    There’s a very good case to be made for the stimulus dough the Department of Energy is about to dish out:

    One of the hottest cleantech funding programs created as part of the stimulus package is close to producing some of its first winners. When we spoke with the Department of Energy back in May about the $2.4 billion in grants for advanced battery manufacturing for plug-in vehicles, we learned that the agency planned to notify awardees sometime in July — as in by the end of this week — and dole out the grants by September. While DOE Deputy Secretary Jen Stutsman told us at the time that delays were a possibility, depending on the number and completeness of applications, she confirmed with us this week that the agency “will be making all of the announcements soon.”

    More than 100 companies have lined up for the so-called Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative’s $2.4 billion, which is set to be divided into just 32 to 35 or so grants in seven different categories. The bulk of the money — $1.2 billion — will go toward manufacturing facilities for battery cells and packs, with grants of $100 million to $150 million supporting seven to eight projects.

    This is the big bottleneck for realistic (and affordable) electric cars with a range beyond that of a typical daily commute.  Furthermore, improved battery storage is a way to take some strain off the grid.

    Posted in automobiles, economy, energy, environment, industry, infrastructure, sustainability | Comments Off on The Most Important Stimulus Money?

     
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