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Archive for August 9th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 17/Update2

Posted by Charles II on August 9, 2009

Update2: Foreign Policy in Focus has an article alleging that the US may have been behind the coup. Not much of it will be a surprise to RAJ of HondurasCoup2009 Conn Hallinan mentions Robert Carmona-Borjas, Otto Reich, and Lanny Davis’s employers. But it also links an article in The Nation by Greg Grandin, summarizing it as follows:

According to Greg Grandin, a history professor at New York University, the coup makers also included the extremely right-wing Catholic organization, Opus Dei, whose roots go back to the fascist regime of Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco.

Chiapas Indymedia has a summary of the day’s events. First, marches from the Atlantic Coast in the north and from the west converged on San Pedro Sula. Weathermen went on strike for 48 hours, which could affect air traffic. Taxi drivers are joining the resistance. Also, five thousand people from the provinces of Colon and Atlántida who had started in the port of Tela arrived in El Progreso Yoro.

The list of of OAS representatives, according to Tiempo is: Jorge Taiana (Argentina); Peter Kent (Canada); Bruno Stagno (Costa Rica); Kenneth Baugh (Jamaica); Patricia Espinosa (México); and Carlos Morales Troncoso (Dominican Republic).
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Update: I am unable to get either Radio Globo or Radio Progreso. Telesur is talking about the transmission of some Trypanosoma cruzi by the bite of the kissing bug (triatomine bug) rather than Honduras.

Bill Conroy has an important piece at Narconews:

The coup d’état that rocked Honduras in late June and removed democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya from office, sending him into exile in Costa Rica, was preceded by a multi-million dollar build-up of foreign aid from a U.S. agency that includes on its board of directors the president of the International Republican Institute as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

That taxpayer-funded agency, called the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), oversees a multi-billion dollar foreign-aid fund called the Millennium Challenge Account. It was established in 2004 under the Bush administration as means of combating terrorism by funding development in poor nations under a strict neo-conservative free-trade model.

Diana Barahona is saying that Zelaya has given up on returning to Honduras. This is unfair and self-defeating. It’s based on a comment by Hugo Chavez that returning is not Zelaya’s central goal: that obtaining political and social change is. True, the poor people of Honduras are enduring a lot of hardship and, also true, one can never rely on politicians to make change. But Zelaya could have sold out and, so far he has not.
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Adrienne Pine has a number of new documents. Soon up on her site will be an assessment of the Honduran economy. The point that leapt out at me was that Honduras’s international reserves dropped by 12% in July. For a country like Honduras, that implies exploding interest rates will soon follow. The cancellation of Venezuelan oil puts further pressure on currency reserves. Year-on-year tourism revenues are down 36% (though some of that is simply due to the recession). The Honduran lempira is down, weakening buying power.

Adrienne also mentions a protest in Washington DC for Tuesday evening on the National Mall. Oscar Amaya Armijo, speaking of the police assault at the National University says that academic neutrality becomes impossible under such circumstances.

Alexis Aguilar writes that:

The United States is purposefully sending mixed signals on the Honduran crisis. ….These mixed signals are meant to give the coup government assurances that the United States will not take any firm action against them and will continue to pay only lip service to the restoration of democracy in Honduras.

While this is a possible interpretation, it’s also possible that (a) there are two factions within the Administration, which are pushing in different directions, (b) the Administration is trying to fend off critics in a misguided attempt to buy time for negotiations that cannot succeed, or (c) Hillary is out of her depth and is simply bungling it. But the net effect is indeed that the coup thinks that it is going to get away with it.

Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle writes about the tangled politics around General Romeo Vasquez. He leans toward the hypothesis that there are competing factions within the Obama Administration, with the CIA and the military focused on getting rid of Chavez to the exclusion of considering the long-term damage to hemispheric relations. He adds:

It is significant that the gringos have not revoked the visas of Romeo and his four generals. … It is only a moral sanction. But why is the embassy treating the military with such respect?

The Narcosphere and RAJ are discussing the report that the coup has suddenly rejected the visit by a delegation of foreign dignitaries, including Miguel Insulza of the OAS. He is demanding the exclusion of Insulza, who is from Nicaragua Chile [thanks, Nell], a country that is part of the Chavez alliance, ALBA. My guess is this will prove to be a major miscalculation.

The New York Times can’t even get the death toll right. Ginger Thompson says, “So far, however, only two people have been killed in the weeks of political strife since the coup; as many people died in unrelated clashes at a soccer game, underscoring the high level of violence in the country.” I have it as closer to a dozen, and –in addition– the soccer clashes are generally believed to be political, but even keeping an accurate death toll is difficult– the human rights organizations like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch don’t have reports more recent than early July and the Honduran government has been very effective in keeping the media at bay.

The Sacramento Bee has photos.

Posted in Latin America | 7 Comments »

Dick Armey, Teabagger Puppetmaster

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 9, 2009

Thought you all might be interested in hearing a little about the background of FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey, one of the people pulling the strings of the tea party persons currently being bused in en masse to town halls nationwide to lie about health care reform:

According to Susan White, a graduate student at [North Texas University, where Dick Armey was a professor in the economics department] in the mid-1970s, Armey often flirted with undergraduate women before and after class. Two other economics graduate students, one an economics professor and the other an economist for the New Mexico legislature, confirm her statements. Armey’s advances were strong enough that they caused one graduate student, Anna Weninger, to leave the university. She stated that his behavior was inappropriate, but could not remember the details of what Armey said/did. Her story is confirmed by two other sources: her mother, who said her daughter left school because of problems with a Professor Armey (and almost didn’t go back), and Professor Cochran of the economics department. Cochran, then chairman of the department, told the Dallas Observer that he was approached by another professor who stated Weninger had left due to Armey. Cochran called Weninger and persuaded her to return to the university after he promised to personally supervise her master’s thesis, which would reduce any pressure she felt studying under Armey. Weineger agreed and returned, graduating with her masters in 1979.

Now remember, this is the same guy who famously said, after Paula Jones’ nuisance lawsuit against President Bill Clinton was thrown out for lack of any sort of credible evidence (it didn’t help that Ms. Jones kept changing her story as key parts of it were debunked), that “If it were me that had documented personal conduct along the lines of the President’s, I would be so filled with shame that I would resign. This President won’t do that. His basic credo in life is ‘I will do whatever I can get away with’. I believe that he is a shameless person”.

Okay, Dick: You were accused. Why didn’t you resign?

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, astroturf, health care, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | 10 Comments »

 
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