Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 19

Posted by Charles II on August 11, 2009

Update: Tiempo reports that 15 US legislators have joined the call to freeze bank accounts. But who are they?

Miss Machetera recommends Honduras Oye as a key blog to read. Honduras Oye in turn says you can listen to Channel 36 at Maybe so, but I can’t seem to get the media stream to come up.

Honduras Resists has a radio interview in English with Hondurans from civil society, mentioned yesterday. It’s definitely worth listening to.

Al Giordano and Bill Conroy may have produced the smoking gun demonstrating Hillary Clinton’s direct culpability for the Honduran crisis. Clinton chairs the Millenium Challenge Corporation, which has given $6.5M to contractors in Honduras since the coup, and $11M previous. Millenium, which promotes laissez faire economic, is endorsed by the Heritage Foundation. Millenium was criticized by Pat Leahy for wasting money on Administrative expenses and for failing to disburse funds, and by the GAO for a high percentage of funds ending up with the tourist industry, transportation providers, government employees– almost anyone except the small and midsized farmers it was supposed to help. And just between July and September, $28.5 M is arriving.

So, nothing is happening in Honduras, which is why there’s a curfew in Tegucigalpa.

At TR-Honduras, a report of the demo in front of the presidential palace says there were snipers on the rooftops. There was a thick shield of anti-riot police, but demonstrators pushed them back by main force. Some people were injured and a luxury restaurant was torched. As the march was near the Miraflores Plaza, it was fired upon by transit police, with one wounded person hospitalized. Pepper spray and tear gas were used.

Giorgio Trucchi at Habla Honduras says there were tens of thousands in the march.

La Jornada/AFP says that the delegation of foreign dignataries that plans to visit Honduras has caved to the coup and will include Insulza only as an observer. They will probably go to Honduras on about August 20th. Tiempo says that Oscar Arias has contracted the swine flu. I’m biting my lip not to say it.

(image from Tiempo)

Al Giordano reports:

While DC apparatchiks told us they had cut almost $20 million (about ten percent) of US aid to Honduras and put the rest on pause, Clinton’s Millenium Challenge Corp. (MCC) has been quietly replenishing those funds through the back door.

A Narco News review of deposits to the Honduran Central Bank reveals that since the June 28 coup d’etat – in a little over a month – MCC has subsidized the coup forces in Honduras with $6.5 million dollars….

While it’s possible that the US President doesn’t know about this sabotage of his stated policy – a small Central American nation with a population smaller than that of New York City might not exactly be front and center of his attention – his Secretary of State is on the frickin’ board of directors of the entity that, we now know, has been quietly funding the coup even after it was consummated.

DemocracyNow showed more from the Obama meeting in Mexico, which included a statement that is, as Laura Carlsen said, offensive to those of us who have been calling for stronger sanctions:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways…

If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is, is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to US-Latin America relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration’s policies.

No, Mr. Obama. The hypocrite is you, who declared the coup not legal, yet continue to act as if there were some doubt on the matter… not to mention broke the campaign promises you made on NAFTA.

Adrienne Pine has more on the murder of Gabriel Figueroa Tomé that we picked up from Sandra Cuffe [via] TR-Honduras last night [Added: Sandra Cuffe emphasizes in comments that she is in no way associated with TR-Honduras; it’s simply a story reproduced on that website]. RAJ has a couple of articles. The first is on the attempt to form a Zelaya-backed fusion ticket for the fall elections. The second is a careful exposition of what the Honduran legal system did and did not do in the run-up to expelling Zelaya:

So from the perspective of Honduran constitutional and criminal procedural law, there is no need for a special impeachment procedure because the President, like other government officers, has no special immunity. What was retained from previous codes was a special procedure that protects sitting government officials from being subjected to the entire sequence of trials and appeals that would start in a lower court. Honduran legal scholar Rigoberto Cuellar Cruz notes that since the reform took effect, five high officials have been tried, including congressional deputies, cabinet ministers, and a previous President.

By their actions, at the time of Zelaya’s expulsion, the Supreme Court had begun the process of discovery into whether Zelaya should be tried. It had not reached any rulings (as should be self-evident by the fact that Zelaya had been given no opportunity to respond to the charges, hence due process had not been adhered to).

The lovely Nell has suggestions for the Global Day of Action for Honduras. As she says,

It’s not just Hondurans’ democracy that’s at stake. The integrity of every elected government in the region is at risk if this coup is allowed to stand. Letting the clock run out, pretending as if November’s presidential elections will erase this violent step backward into the dark but not distant past, sends the clear message that grassroots pressure for real change is “off the table,” in the United States as well as Honduras. Our government is sending that message by its inaction.

Nell also draws to attention Blake Schmidt of Bloomberg, who says

The Supreme Court in Honduras will hear a case on whether the military acted illegally when it removed President Manuel Zelaya from the country June 28, said magistrate Rosalinda Cruz.

12 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 19”

  1. I’ve noticed the backpedaling of his verbiage on the issue. Not sure if this is just because he can’t afford to do anything that looks like he’s publicly dissing his own SecState (the PUMAs will revolt if he does, and it makes him look weak), or if he really is trying to help out her and Lanny Davis. Either way, it’s sad and depressing, and if this keeps up he can forget about any real thaw in relations with the non-fascist nations of Latin America.

    • Charles said

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. We cannot expect our leaders to just do what is right when it conflicts with the national interest. But when they do things that are not in the interests of the United States, when they act in a manner that looks weak and confused, then they have truly failed. The sane leadership of other nations will cease to trust us, and the sociopathic leadership will no longer be afraid of us. It’s a recipe for chaos and disaster.

    • I had much the same observation, PW. If this is a Clinton-backed coup, and it is according to Charles’s reporting, it would also bear looking at Leon Panetta.

  2. Thank you for mentioning Cholusat Sur TV [Ed: link fixed]. As an observer of Latin America, I know you understand that reception of Internet TV stations is touch and go. Since the beginning of the coup I have watched and received much valuable information from Cholusat Sur. Unfortunately, Cholusat went off the air late yesterday. Given that the situation in Honduras is tenuous and Cholusat Sur TV is the only anti-golpista TV station, many things might have contributed to its being off the air.

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to suggest that the malfunction is cause for dismissing the value of the station. Lest your readers have the impression it is a lost cause, I encourage them to continue trying to tune in. They can stay in touch with my blog for any updates concerning this: Honduras Oye!

  3. Charles II said

    Thanks for stopping by, HCV. And thanks for the work you do. I just learned of your site from Machetera, and will stop by regularly.

    I’m glad to hear that Cholusat has not been closed down. Every time that I can’t get Radio Globo to come up, my heart misses a beat. I’ll keep trying until I get there.

  4. akwesasnecounterspin said

    Why do you have “TR” after my name? For anyone in or closely following Honduras, this would stand for “Tendencia Revolucionaria” which I am certainly NOT part of…

    Please clarify and/or remove.


    Sandra Cuffe
    Independent journalist & photographer

    • Charles II said

      Apologies, Sandra. As Nell says, your article appeared on TR Honduras. I have corrected it as Nell suggested.

      And I do understand why you would want that imperfection corrected. Again, sincere apologies.

      • akwesasnecounterspin said

        Thanks to you both for the quick response & correction.

        Just to be even more clear, I do know and respect Hondurans involved with TR, so it is not a criticism of TR, but simply a clarification that I am an independent journalist in Honduras, affiliated with several independent media outlets in North & Central America.

        My alarm was for many reasons, but I’m glad I caught it (I think) before the right-wing twitterheads and bloggers who attack me enough as it is with virulent anti-communist rhetoric. They would have had a field day with that one…

        Thanks to TR for reposting the article & to Mercury Rising for linking to it and many others… Great news compilation!

        & check out the latest from El Libertador this morning… Their great research led to financial records of Hondurans contributing in the US to the consolidation of the coup!

        Sandra Cuffe

      • Charles II said

        Oh, wow for the latter news, Sandra! And thanks for the (unmerited) praise for my copy-paste skills. I am very grateful to you and all journalists, who take risks so that we may know the truth.

        And, yes, I am acutely aware of the situation. Partisans get excited and think they are doing their cause a favor by harassing or attacking the press. Of course, what actually happens is that they convince the world that they’re thugs who are trying to hide what they’re doing, but that’s little consolation to the reporter who is on the receiving end.

  5. Nell said

    @Sandra: Charles can clarify best, but I’m almost sure what he intended to write was “Sandra Cuffe via TR-Honduras”. This is the link.

  6. Nell said

    @Charles: The members of Congress are the 15 House members who signed the letter (pdf) that Rep. Raul Grijalva sent to Pres. Obama (h/t Greg Weeks)Two more members signed on, to judge from the announcement on Rep. Grijalva’s site; his office would have to let you know who those were.

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