Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 25/Update 2

Posted by Charles II on August 17, 2009

Update2: Adrienne Pine has an interesting piece from Oscar. Some of the points he makes are

  • Micheletti traveled by helicopter to San Pedro Sula to plan his trip to El Progreso; the trip was canceled.
  • Taxi drivers have gone on strike because the government hasn’t paid out a fuel subsidy approved by Zelaya. The government had offered them about $25 and licenses for any gypsy cabs
  • The economy is down 30%
  • The translation incorrectly says that Micheletti called for Zelaya (not Llorens) to not return. The Spanish is clear that Oscar is talking about Llorens.
  • The judge let the people charged with burning Popeye’s free on probation because there’s no evidence. So, the Supreme Court is trying to pressure her into changing her opinion.
  • One of the key issues in the crisis is agrarian reform/land tenure. Peasants have seized the National Agrarian Institute because they’re afraid their complaints will be disappeared. So the coupistas are threatening them, which in turn threatens to spread the conflict to the countryside.
  • The Resistance Front acts as if it distrusts genuine open democracy, and this is causing strains within the movement. They hold closed door meetings to plan strategy.
  • The politicians in the movement, notably Cesar Ham, are straining to do what they know how to do: run for office. The rest of the movement is telling them that elections have no legitimacy under present conditions.
  • Via HondurasOye, a very long article analyzing the coup and Washington’s role in it. It does show how much the media plagiarize from one another in coming up with the image of Obama and Clinton as a tightrope act, walking between the abyss of offending the Republicans on the one hand and the void of too openly embracing the coup on the other. Our media did do a wonderful job of not asking what the law requires and simple justice demands. It’s certainly a damning compilation of what we said vs. what we did.
    The popular assembly held yesterday is building toward a general strike on Thursday and Friday, according to Tiempo. Teachers will hold classes Monday-Wednesday, then join the general strike.

    The CIDH (human rights) delegation is comprised of: First Vice President Víctor Abramovich, second Vice President and counselor for Honduras, Felipe González, Commissioner Paolo Carozza and Executive Secretary Santiago Cantón. Along for the ride are members of the Executive Secretariat Isabel Madariaga, Víctor Madrigal, Débora Benchoam, María Isabero Rovero, Milagro Noli, Pablo Sandino Martínez, Gloria Gordon and Gloria Molina.

    From Democracy Now:

    A top official in Honduras’s ousted government claims there was direct US involvement in the coup that deposed Manuel Zelaya. Patricia Valle, who served as Zelaya’s deputy foreign minister, said the plane that flew Zelaya into exile stopped at Soto Cano, a Honduran military base that is home to at least 500 US troops. The Pentagon hasn’t denied the plane landed at Soto Cano. A Pentagon spokesperson said that the troops in Honduras “had no knowledge or part in the decisions made for the plane to land, refuel and take off.” It is unclear why the plane would refuel at the base since it is just sixty miles from the capital, Tegucigalpa.

    Update: New news is in short supply. The State Department remains mum. Yesterday, the Frente Contra el Golpe held a press conference, according to TR-Honduras. Radio Globo has some good discussion. There’s irritation about the teachers being on strike and taxi fares are going to go up. The marches are in the northeast of Tegucigalpa, along Blvd. Morazan and Avenida John Indo. A woman claims a Congressman threatened her, and mentions “verdes” (presumably troops). They say she should talk to the human rights people. A man calls in and says that Maldonado is running a program of “barking.” Eduardo Maldonado says he thinks Zelaya will return. Callers are a lot less certain. A man said without international observers, the elections will be fraudulent. Eduardo says that in the country as it is, they can accuse you of anything. A woman blames the coup for burning the bus, but Eduardo says that’s not true and that they talked to the owner who says it wasn’t insured.

    5 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 25/Update 2”

    1. Nell said

      The politicians in the movement, notably Cesar Ham, are straining to do what they know how to do: run for office. The rest of the movement is telling them that elections have no legitimacy under present conditions.

      Cesar Ham’s speech at the demo on Aug. 11 is what spurred me to write the elections post; it brought the disagreement out into the open. The crowd responded to the idea of unity, which Ham seemed to be framing as everyone voting for Reyes. (I understand there may be some kind of technical challenge to Ham’s candidacy, but in any case he’d be willing to throw UD’s support to a unity candidate.)

      As my post indicates, I’m sympathetic to Ham’s impulse to get people mobilized for something as opposed to a stay-away boycott. An active nullification campaign is the only way I see to resolve the reality of illegitimate elections and a popular movement that needs to stay active and have a visible effect.

      • Charles II said

        I think everyone feels ambivalent, Nell. Boycotting the election was disastrous for the anti-Chavez movement, for example. In the US, we have turned out five times in the last nine years for elections of dubious value– and I say that not because of the clearly crooked vote counts of 2000 and 2004 but because of the dishonest reporting that led people to believe things that were false about Al Gore, about the threat of Iraq, and so on. The best time to boycott an election may, paradoxically, be when one is sure of winning. Then the opposition governs under a cloud of illegitimacy. In the case of Honduras, it’s hard to know. Maybe they should boycott the presidency but turn out as hard as possible for the Congressional.

    2. Nell said

      This PL story on Ham’s speech is what I was basing the comment on.

    3. Nell said

      Maybe they should boycott the presidency but turn out as hard as possible for the Congressional.

      Given the amount of power in Congress, maybe so. I wonder how large a list the UD even puts together. And there’s no possibility, I don’t think, of putting an ‘independent’ slate onto the ballot.

      I have a lot to learn about the Honduran elections. But even when you think you know something, it turns out not to be true in practice — the Election Tribunal is about as fair and balanced as their Supreme Court.

      In light of which, I’d really like to know who appoints the members of the TSE, when, and how, and who are the current members. But I don’t have the googling time to find out; and I don’t want to bug RNS and RAJ again so soon.

      • Charles II said

        I don’t think they would be bugged, Nell. All of us just want to see Honduras achieve a just peace in which this kind of thing won’t recur. An important part of that is getting out accurate information so that people who are not following it on a daily basis can contact their congresspeople and speak sensibly about what is going on.

        I would be surprised if more than a few hundred Americans follow things in detail on a daily basis. Alone, we can achieve very little. But with the help of the many thousands who read blogs, we can achieve a great deal.

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