Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for August 19th, 2009

Honduras coup, Act III, Day 27

Posted by Charles II on August 19, 2009

Update2: Nell translates an article from Prensa Latina that says that the faux government is proceeding with plans for the election, which they label illegal. Nell says:

The OAS has not, as far as I know, made an official joint declaration that they will not recognize the results of elections taking place under the coup government. Our government could exert some real pressure and walk its multilateral talk by proposing such a resolution, which would be all but certain to pass unanimously if it had U.S. support….

Deadlines are approaching: Official campaigning begins August 31, and the ballots are to be finalized for printing on September 5. If our government doesn’t clearly state in the next few days that it won’t recognize the results of elections conducted under the coup regime, then one of the OAS member governments that has already taken that position will have to force the issue in the OAS to get the U.S. on the record.

Wise words.

On Radio Globo, they are talking to a couple of women, asking so shouldn’t the men go and protest and the women stay home? Heck no! says one of the women. We’re louder shouters than they are! The other one says, we have a conscience. The announcer says that Zelaya says that if there is no negotiating progress, he will consider the San Jose Accord null and return to Honduras. One woman says that any elections would be invalid because they would be supervised by a false regime. The announcer says that ten families from the Middle East appropriated the state and its institutions: this is an interesting point, that many of the richest families have names that do not sound Spanish. From Saudi Aramco World:

Although there are no official statistics, it’s generally agreed that between 150,000 and 200,000 of Honduras’ six million inhabitants are of Arab descent, and of these, the great majority are Palestinian. No other country in the Western Hemisphere has a higher proportion of Arab immigrants and, in absolute numbers, Honduras ranks fourth after the United States, Canada and Chile.

And though three percent is a small minority of the Honduran population, it includes a good many of the country’s political and business leaders, among them the country’s president, Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé. His mother, like many of the early settlers, hailed from Bethlehem. In business, the names of free-trade-zone and textile entrepreneur Juan Canahuati, mattress-maker George Elias Mitri and shoe manufacturer Roberto Handal are all well known.

So, this is a fascinating cultural angle on the conflict, and explains to some degree the injection of evangelical Christianity into the conflict. Well, that will have to be it for tonight.

Honduras Oye reports that Cholusatsur showed a massive caravan that drove slowly through the streets of Tegucigalpa all day. They had a lot of fun, making noise and moving freely through a city that had been under curfew. A Guatemalan says that it reminds her of what happened in ’63. An American living in Mexico says she is doing human rights work in Honduras. She says there is a grand deception by the US, which gives a larger space for the coupistas.

The Honduran Embassy presents economic statistics for Honduras.

Update: I think this is the State Department transcript I hadn’t seen as of yesterday. Parse it very, very, very slowly (emphases added):

MR. CROWLEY: Well, first of all, on the situation in Honduras, there is a delegation from the de facto regime. These are prominent civilians; they’re not members of the regime itself. But they are en route to Washington, and I would expect there will be meetings not only at the OAS tomorrow but also with Acting Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelly, during which we will continue to encourage the de facto regime that the Arias process is the best chance that Honduras has to resolve this crisis and move towards a new government.

QUESTION: And on Colombia?

QUESTION: Can we stay on Honduras?


QUESTION: There have been some charges that the U.S. knew about the planned coup of President Zelaya because the plane that was carrying him stopped at the air base that houses U.S. troops. Can you respond to those charges?

MR. CROWLEY: Soto Cano Air Base belongs to Honduras. It was run by and operated by the Honduran Air Force, and they make decisions about its use. Military personnel were not involved in the flight that carried President Zelaya to Costa Rica on June 28th. Task Force Bravo members had no knowledge of or any part in the decisions made for the plane to land, refuel, or take off.

In light of the June 20th coup, the 600 American soldiers, sailors, and airmen based at Soto Cano as part of JTF Bravo have ceased conducting joint operations and exercises with the Honduran military.

QUESTION: So you – so the U.S. troops on the air base didn’t – and the Administration didn’t know about the flight until after President Zelaya had already taken off from the air base?

MR. CROWLEY: I think that to the extent that we were concerned about the emerging crisis in Honduras, I think at the ambassadorial level we expressed our concerns to Honduran authorities prior to the coup. I don’t think we had any advance knowledge of what took place.

In other words, it is now confirmed that after his kidnapping, Zelaya was transported through Palmerola (Soto Cano) base. The US denies in the weakest possible terms that it had foreknowledge.

Vice chancellor Beatriz Valle says Zelaya will be returning prior to September 1, according to TeleSur. She says that senior members of the government continue to receive threats by e-mail and mobile phone. She says there was an attempt on the life of vice minister of Agriculture, Angel Murillo. He was provoked through a traffic accident, then unknown people fired on him, hitting him in the arm. The trial against 27 people accused in the recent demonstration proceeds. One of them, Justo Mondragon, says that he and his companions were just sitting in the park when the cops swept them up and abused them. Zelaya reiterated that he never intended to seek a second term.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Latin America | 6 Comments »

The Die Is Cast

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 19, 2009

As Jane Hamsher notes over at FDL, Obama and Rahm have finally realized that the Republicans are not interested in doing anything that might benefit the Democrats, and so will go it alone on health care.

I suspect that the push by Jane to get a firewall of House Democrats to take the pledge not to vote for any health care “reform” bill that doesn’t include a meaningful public option — a push that bore fruit this week when 60 House members put their names on a letter to HHS’ Sebelius pledging just that — is what in turn pushed Rahm and Barack to do the right thing.

Give Jane a hand — she deserves it.

Posted in Fire Dog Lake, health care | 2 Comments »

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