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Archive for August 15th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 23

Posted by Charles II on August 15, 2009

It’s hard to believe that the people of Honduras have been resisting for 47 days. Many have marched hundreds of miles in heat and in the face of police harassment. Others have faced down fearful intimidation. Others have borne heavy blows. In the US, Congressmen call themselves “courageous” for voting a certain way. In Honduras, Congressmen call themselves “Hondurans” for being beaten or shot, yet returning to the fray.

Belén Fernández has a scoop:

[the following is an] exchange [of Ambassador Hugo Llorens] with Joe Shansky of Democracy Now! en Español:

LLORENS: It’s a clear-cut case of a coup.
SHANSKY: Military coup.
LLORENS: Well, whatever you call it.

Llorens went on to explain that—regardless of whether you called it a coup, a military coup, or a coup d’état—“it’s horrible,” and that coup President Roberto Micheletti was comparable to Napoleon given the zeal with which he had grabbed the Bible and sworn himself in as president of Honduras. As for why Napoleonic behavior had not triggered the freeze in US aid required by Section 7008 of the US Foreign Operations Law, Llorens momentarily supplanted the discussion of millions of dollars flowing into Honduras courtesy of US-funded Millenium Change Corporation (MCC) with a discussion of how the joint US-Honduran military base at Soto Cano had been shut down.

When pressed by Global Exchange delegate Maria Robinson as to the definition of “shut down,” Llorens explained that US troops were still there but that they were refraining from contact with their Honduran counterparts….

the ambassador emphasized that he knew the Honduran police were arresting people without warrants, beating them, and then quickly releasing them so as to eliminate evidence.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote an OpEd in the WSJ trashing health care for all. The tagline was this genial comment: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out
of other people’s money. —Margaret Thatcher”

So guess who helped him write it? Lanny Davis. (via Atrios and TPM). As for Mackey, I’d be surprised if he has a business to run in six months.

Hugo “Pontius” Llorens has gone on vacation, according to Tiempo. Two young men from Dos Caminos, Villanueva were kidnapped by hooded, armed men, and murdered. The 18 year old was a student, and the 20 year worked recharging vehicles. The Partido Unificacion Democratica will sue media companies, including perhaps the WSJ, that accuse them of being connected to FARC, says Congresswoman Silvia Ayala. OAS head Insulza met with a delegation from the coup in his Washington home. The delegation says his attitude has completely changed, that he’s open to anything. Telesur reports that Juan Barahona says the movement is still growing.
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Update: Frustration in getting online feeds. Cholusatsur is coming in fine… with an amateur talent show. Radio Globo and Telesur: nothing. Radio Progreso: nothing. Radio Liberado: music. This kind of patchwork Internet serves the status quo very nicely. Multiple blogs are so valuable because they partially compensate for this ragged state of connectivity.

Anyway, Adrienne Pine has two reports from Oscar. From the first:

  • 26 people stand accused of terrorism, sedition, rebellion, illicit Association, robbery, and arson
  • “The gamble that the political class is making revolves around the general elections of next November.”
  • [The point being that elections would wash all their sins clean. But if there are no credible elections…big problem.]

  • … “the discourse and the interest of the resistance has changed … Mel Zelaya is no longer the main interest of the popular sectors…The interest of the resistance now is in the constituent assembly and that does scare them.”
  • [This is good. Leaders are symbols, but leaders can fail. Everyone needs to be a leader.]

  • “there exists a solid social base of organizations that sustain this effort. It is not an improvised resistance, as they [oligarchy] thought at the start
  • “…judicial actions are among the tactics of the oligarchy. The government needs political prisoners… –they need them to be able to later negotiate a general amnesty.
  • [Hostages, in other words]

  • they know that if the threat of judicial action doesn’t work… the regime will move to a new phase within the CIA manual: the assassination of resistance leaders as an attempt to create terror among us all
  • [Indeed, they have already engaged in selective assassinations for the purpose of terror.]
    From the more recent:

  • “…we cannot deny that the blows have affected our spirit, and in this sense the strategy of repression is having an effect. If they’ve beaten you once, you don’t want to have that experience again, and if you have witnessed brutal beatings, obviously you don’t want to expose yourself to them.”
  • [This is one of the great tragedies, that resistance is a great gift that keeps a nation from becoming corrupt and ultimately self-destructing. When resistance is beaten out of people, the nation will fall.]

  • “We all listened with indignation when the reporter from Radio Progreso, who was covering the eviction live, was arrested and beaten by the police …. The same thing happened to the photojournalist from the newspaper El Tiempo.”
  • The court declared null and void the evidence presented by the army following the invasion of the grounds of the Teacher’s University (Universidad Pedagógica) last Wednesday, consisting of the 12 Molotov cocktails and 3 dynamite sticks…
  • [“evidence” which was almost certainly fabricated]

  • “A diplomatic space appears to be opening up for Micheletti’s government. The EU has announced that it will recognize the coming November elections and the president that comes out of them.”
  • [I don’t believe this.]

  • In Catacamas, Olancho, land of the caudillo Zelaya, a group of men stopped the distribution truck for the La Tribuna and El Heraldo newspapers, made the driver get out and set fire to the vehicle.
  • [this kind of tactic will have little effect on the oligarchy, which will simply file an insurance claim or get a payoff from the coup.]

    RAJ has been devoting Saturday to a good cause, analyzing an article in El Heraldo which in effect uses chauvinistic rhetoric against and threatens one of the opposition candidates, Father Andres Tamayo, for stating that if Zelaya is not restored, they will boycott the elections. Tamayo was born in El Salvador, but is a naturalized citizen of Honduras. He’s also the winner of a Goldman prize for ecological work. So, the regime threatens to strip him of citizenship and stirs up anti-Salvadoran sentiment.

    Nell links to the State Department report on Honduras. It makes for interesting reading: all kinds of murder and mayhem.

    Posted in Latin America | 1 Comment »

    The GOP/Media Complex Strikes Again: Town Hall Edition

    Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 15, 2009

    The Washington Post’s Michael D. Shear and MSNBC’s Chuck Todd are soooo concerned that President Obama will keep out gun-toting thugs concerned opponents of his health care plan from his town hall meetings.

    As Eric Boehlert reminds us, Bush never allowed anyone BUT the most heavily-vetted folks into HIS town halls — yet Chuck Todd doesn’t mention that, much less criticize it when Bush did it.

    Posted in Bush, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, President Obama | Comments Off on The GOP/Media Complex Strikes Again: Town Hall Edition

    Debunking The ‘Bigger Is Better’ Myth

    Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 15, 2009

    The real key to safety on the road is how you drive, not what you drive — and surprise, surprise: SUV drivers tend to drive more aggressively and stupidly than, say, persons in minivans.

    Posted in automobiles | 3 Comments »

     
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