Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup Act III, Day 36/Update2

Posted by Charles II on August 28, 2009

Update2: The State Department says:

  • A State Dept. official met with the coupista delegation, off-site
  • State has given the lead on responding to the coupista proposal to the OAS
  • There will probably not be a formal determination as to whether this is a military coup by Hillary until she returns from NY
  • However, State has already frozen all aid that would be frozen by a formal determination
  • OAS has nothing new on their site. However, AP is reporting that they said no deal to the coupista proposal. They also say that the determination of a coup would cut off $215 M of Millenium Challenge money. Bill Conroy has more detail on the money that is flowing.

    RNS reports that, based on publicly-available figures, Honduras has burned 15% of its foreign exchange reserves since the coup. That means that theoretically they could keep going for another year. Practically speaking… probably not that long. The former director of the Banco Central Edwin Araque Bonilla said that by December, the Honduran economy will be in free fall. (See here for a source. The drop may not be as precipitate as RNS thinks, since the recession is undoubtedly chewing away at reserves)

    Foreign Exchange reserves per La Tribuna
    (Image from La Tribuna)

    Sandra Cuffe has a report. The police detained and threatened the student and writer Ludwing Varela. Nadia Mendoza y Tania Mendoza were beaten and threatened.

    The coupistas are mounting another assault on the Zelayas claiming misappropriation of funds. Dona Xiomara is burning up a lot of time on Radio Globo explaining exactly how donated pharmaceutics, some of which were expired, were disposed of. I’m not sure if the two things are connected (probably not; the accusations against Zelaya is old). The sound on Dona Xiomara is awful, but the town they are talking about is Montana de la Flor.
    Update: Looks like Hillary is stalling through the weekend. FFFFFF

    Via Adrienne (please note: Chiquita sells a number of fruits and other products, not just bananas)

    (Image from the Boycott Chiquita website)
    I’m concerned that gorillas are getting a bum rap by being associated with thugs.
    As Magbana at Honduras Oye reminds us, today is demo day, with demonstrations scheduled for Tucson and Phoenix, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Jose, Atlanta, and
    Detroit. There’s also a Chiquita Boycott movement.

    The Frente Contra el Golpe has issued a position paper rejecting elections (absent restoration of the constitutional order). There’s also a semi-humorous “When will you return, Mr. President?” After explaining the abuses of The Gang from an ant’s-eye view and calling the liberty of all of Central America as a “clown show,” it closes by saying, “And please be sure to bring us a souvenir.”

    Honduras Labor says that the regime is planning to stuff the ballot boxes on a massive scale and says that the 2005 election was manipulated, with roughly 800,000 votes left uncounted.

    From a translation of an e-mail by Alberto Edel Morales at Adrienne Pine’s blog:

    Jonathan Osorio, member of the resistance against the coup d’etat, university student and member of the National Federation of students of Honduras (FENAEH), was assassinated last night in Colonia Los Zorzales in Tegucigalpa, shot numerous times by hitmen driving on a motorcycle.

    RAJ has some media criticism worthy of a Robert McChesney, comparing the construction of the NYT vs. the Washington Post vs. AP articles on the Honduran regime’s offer to allow Zelaya to return (but not as president) and to obtain limited amnesty (but not against fabricated criminal charges) as concessions in negotiations. They’re also willing to have international observers for the elections.


    …the secretary general of the Organization of American States has rejected a proposal by the coup government that would allow Zelaya to return to Honduras. Under the plan, Honduras’s interim ruler, Roberto Micheletti, offered to resign and accept Zelaya back into the country—as long as the democratically elected Zelaya gives up his claim to the presidency.

    According to Tiempo, the town of Danli has declared itself a politics free zone. In other words, they will not allow elections.

    Pro-coup La Tribuna reports that Melvin Redondo, who negotiated the CAFTA treaty says that it can’t just be be suspended. While I suspect that he’s right, there’s nothing to prevent the US from invoking the obvious: there’s no Honduran government in Honduras, and hence the treaty has ceased to exist. Let the courts work it out. In the meantime, Honduran goods get treated the same as North Korean. The legitimate ambassador to the OAS (who La Tribuna calls the former ambassador), Carlos Sosa, has asked the OAS not to recognize elections

    Radio Globo is, alas, talking about “the Arabs and the Jews” who are concerned with their business interests to the exclusion of the problems of the Honduran people, illustrating the ethnic fractures noted on MercRising previously. A sub contractor of a company of the Elvin Santos family is protesting not being paid and calls them thieves. It sounds as if the occupation of the old presidential palace by INAH IHAH (Anthropology and History) is still on. Micheletti is unable to go out, because he’s in physical danger. Elvin Santos offers hunger and misery. They are cutting up the birthday cake in the presidential palace, and offering pieces to journalists.

    TeleSur says Uruguay ceased to recognize the Honduran ambassador.

    A car bomb was deactivated in front of a government building (the Technical Secretariat of Cooperation).

    I am not able to get Channel 36, but Radio Progreso is on. Mostly music. An editorial notes that the beatings, rapes, murders, and abuses have only strengthened the movement and promises that the leaders of the coup will end up in history’s trashcan. A professor Mejia says they are hoping that Hillary will respond this afternoon. Cultural celebration and memory of the history. A woman recalls the intervention of the 1980s and the role of John Negroponte in the death squads. Adolfo Ateno from Nicaragua: this fight places democracy across the continent at risk. A permanent sit-in in front of the US embassy in Nicaragua. In the center of Managua, a cultural celebration. A brief squib: Ramon Garcia is the 6th victim of the coup, died July 11. NotiNada #37 (news that we like. News for the rich). From the Dept. of Injustice, proudly coupistas. The best news: we will tax everyone on the tax rolls (taxer todo el censo). Musical noteCoupistas! Coupistas! Proudly coupistas! Musical note Well, I have to move on.

    4 Responses to “Honduras Coup Act III, Day 36/Update2”

    1. Wow. If we can keep up the pressure on this end, the money behind the coup goes away.

    2. Nell said

      I’m worried about the campesinos occupying the INA building. I was surprised not to have heard anything about that until recently, since it’s apparently been going on since June 28.

      Seems like a situation, given the current volatility, and the likelihood that not all Zelaya cabinet members will return to office under the best case scenario, where a strong international presence could and should be maintained to protect the land ownership documents.

    3. akwesasnecounterspin said

      Just a little clarification re a minor typo that might cause confusion:

      About halfway through the Radio Globo paragraph, ‘INAH’ is a typo.

      It should read IHAH, which is the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History. Unionized IHAH employees and supporters have been carrying out sporadic occupations and job actions at the various buildings under the care of IHAH, including the old Presidential Palace that now houses the National Archives.

      INA, on the other hand, also mentioned in Nell’s comment, is the National Agrarian Institute. It has indeed been occupied since June 28th – in the first week by unionized workers of the INA, but soon after also supported massively by members of most of the national campesino organizations and federations. One of their reasons for the permanent occupation is precisely to protect the land titles and documents.

      I personally trust that the documentation will be infinitely safer under their care than under any previous government. Many land titles and documents have conveniently gone missing in the past. Actually, even further in the past, there were some suspicious fires in government building housing land documentation in Atlantida & many land titles were lost, around the same time the banana companies were expanding their holdings in the region.

      And then there’s the whole issue of many titles and land documents now being dealt with by the Property Institute (IP) – born of land privatization and commercialization – encroaching on the activities of INA, which was born out of agrarian reform initiatives… but I could go on forever…


      Sandra Cuffe

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