Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 41/update2

Posted by Charles II on September 2, 2009

Update2: The Honduran Embassy has the English translation of the Preliminary Report Regarding the Coup D’etat.

Magbana at HondurasOye has an interesting piece on a speech given by President Zelaya at Georgetown and on the plans for the election by the coupistas. They are going to enforce the laws requiring voting as they have never been enforced. Maybe Nell’s idea for creative ballot spoilage will come into play.

Laura Carlsen has an interview of Bertha Caceres.

We have seen direct participation from governments like the United States, actors from the Pentagon, the CIA and all of the terrorist agents they’ve deployed—counter-revolutionaries, and the ones that destabilize States and people’s governments—with the clear objective of starting a tendency toward coups against our continent, directed toward the south.

They were wrong when they thought that Honduras was the weakest link, because here a process of participation had already begin, of incorporation into ALBA, greater relationships with the south and the Caribbean in our continent. They were wrong here, they miscalculated. They said it would be a two days of resistance, and they were wrong

Update: Honduras Resists has been updated. TR-Honduras is back. Unclear why they were offline.
– The IMF is handing over $160M to the Micheletti government. Most of it was transferred on the 28th of August and 13.8 million will be transferred next week “to inject liquidity.” That’s another action the US could have blocked.
– USAID is providing $47M in fiscal 2009.

Brother John has a piece about the role of Caritas in community organizing in Honduras. They built the program around anti-corruption, as well as sustainable agriculture, combating HIV/AIDS, and even getting the money to build a water tank.

Yet another piece of renegade opinion sneaks into the US press. (via Narconews) Elvia Valle, a Honduran Congressman, was allowed some space in the Seattle Times to say:

The U.S. should freeze the de facto regime leaders’ U.S.-based assets, and revoke their visas, as the U.S. State Department has already started to do.

The U.S. should also join the Union of South American Nations and Mexico in refusing to recognize the outcome of November’s elections.

Slightly off-topic. Nicaraguan Human Rights Solicitor Omar Cabezas has labeled Human Rights Watch as tentacles of the United States, elements of destabilization. He called representative José Miguel Vivanco a criminal and a fascist. Vivanco and Daniel Wilkinson got kicked out of Venezuela for writing a tendentious report critical of of the government. The report was criticized by many American scholars.

A bunch of stories from Tiempo.
* The resistance says that their sources says Zelaya will be reinstated by the 15th of September. For entirely selfish reasons, I certainly hope so.
* Zelaya asserts and General Vasquez Velasquez denies that the general received 4.5 million dollars to conduct the elections of last July.
* A resolution will be presented to the OAS to reject the Honduran elections. There’s still some work to do to make it unanimous, according to Ambassador Carlos Sosa. They’re waiting for the US and Brazil to impose new sanctions. Zelaya is confident that the OAS will not recognize elections.
* Edwin Araque, deposed head of the Central Bank of Honduras, says that the IMF will only recognize officials appointed by Zelaya. He says the IMF is concerned about the plummeting reserves.
* Micheletti has now backed off of resigning in favor of some third party.
* The Consejo de Empresarios de América Latina, a Latin American business council, expressed support for Micheletti’s dedication to the rule of law.
* The president of the Consejo Hondureño de la Empresa Privada, the Honduran Private Enterprise Council, Amilcar Bulnes said that an embargo by the US would be like an invasion. Like, except for the soldiers and bombs and stuff.
* The International Association of Radio Broadcasters denounced authoritarian governments that silence the press. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina: all horrible, horrible censors. Honduras? Never heard of them.

From TeleSur, head of the UN General Assembly Miguel D’Escoto said in regard to the Colombian bases and the Honduran crisis that Barack Obama is not change we can believe in. No change in comparison to Bush? That’s coooold.

El Libertador has more on the money Hillary is pumping into Honduras. Like 35 million lempiras (something like 2 million dollars) to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to run crooked elections. Demonstrators in front of the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa demand the departure of US troops from Palmerola base. More on the closure of the Garifuna Hospital in Ciriboya.

10 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 41/update2”

  1. Didn’t HRW get in trouble a while back for similarly fudging a report to attack Venezuela even as it ignored Haiti?

    Why, yes, it did:

    • Nell said

      an embargo by the US would be like an invasion.

      And about as likely…

      I’m not Jose Vivanco’s biggest fan. HRW’s near-obsessive focus on Venezuela and relative lack of attention to Haiti make clear they’re more concerned about “respectability” (fitting comfortably into the bipartisan elite foreign policy consensus) than about human rights.

      But HRW did respond substantively and fairly convincingly to the criticisms in the letter.

      • Charles II said

        Human rights organizations have to attain a higher standard, Nell. If it is perceived that one has an agenda, then all are endangered. As evidenced by the academics who wrote, HRW’s report was perceived as Yankee interventionism not just by Hugo Chavez but by a broader swath of Venezuela.

        While I didn’t agree with the more …passionate… accusations of the petition, I told Kenneth Roth that the HRW report was disproportionate. For example, it complained that an information request to the government went unanswered. I pointed out to him that FOIA requests to our own government are often simply ignored. Most of the issues raised by HRW were in the same category.

        On this blog, I have raised concerns about Hugo Chavez. I am concerned that he has been apparently unable to develop a succession, concerned that he hasn’t engaged the persuadable part of the opposition (and they exist. We talked to a young woman, a university student who opposed the constitutional referendum. She made a good case for her point of view and we changed her mind also), and concerned about his war talk. While it’s true that the Colombian bases and the US conduct in Honduras scare people all through Latin America, the war atmosphere leads to things like the attack on the TV station and the roughing up of journalists. But even if one suspects that a leader may have anti-democratic tendencies, the right course is to wait until the facts clearly illustrate that point before calling them out. Otherwise, it will be seen as political.

      • Nell said

        The substantive point to which Roth doesn’t respond — and the real source of the letter-writers’ hostility — is the documented, shameful fact of HRW’s (Vivanco’s) immediate position of support for the coup in April 2002.

        Rather than invoking the OAS’ Democratic Charter for the purpose for which it was created, he called on the “provisional authorities” to respect human rights, for their searches and seizures of Chavez officials and supporters to be done “in a transparent manner”, and similar process bullshit that recognized the coup participants as legitimate.

        Only after the coup had been defeated did HRW/Vivanco even begin to address the illegitimacy of the golpistas. HRW’s passivity in the face of the Honduran coup, preferring to lay off their responsibility onto the IACHR(CIDH), is only slightly less shameful.

  2. Nell said

    Charles, sorry I didn’t refresh and see your response before posting my last comment, so apologies if mine seems non-responsive (though it should make clear that we’re in substantial agreement).

    HRW pushes a ton of picky process crap wrt Venezuela in an effort to appear ‘balanced’, while its actions and inactions at the real moments of crisis speak volumes.

    They can be useful, but their limitations have to be clearly understood.

    It just now occurred to me that Vivanco and Custodio, who must have gotten to know each other during Vivanco’s years of work to bring accountability for the disappearances of the 1980s, have followed similar trajectories in their response to Chavez and to Zelaya.

    Caudillismo is real, and the two of them are politicians with all the faults of politicians, but the effective analysis of what happens in Venezuela and Honduras has to be based on what is happening inside of the base movements that support them. On those grounds, there’s much more basis for optimism about the Honduran popular movement.

    • Charles II said

      Actually, I hadn’t heard about Vivanco’s support for the coup, which is really an important point. I wonder why NACLA didn’t bring that out more clearly.

      Yes, the Honduran movement is better rooted in civil society than Venezuela’s. They view Zelaya as a means and not an end in himself. When leaders become irreplaceable, the movement is self-limiting and already in decay.

      But these things happen in waves. A generation of potential leaders has gained political experience under Chavez. When that side loses power, they will be much better equipped to mount an effective opposition and eventually regain power. Honduras is extraordinary– as extraordinary as King or Gandhi– in having recognized early on that a social movement has to be so broad based that it cannot be extinguished.

  3. Nell said

    Vivanco’s support for the coup

    Al Giordano sparred with an HRW intern in 2004 after their report on changes in the laws governing the Venezuelan Supreme Court. The exchange gives not only a good idea of where Al is coming from on an array of issues but contains links to Vivanco/HRW’s statements just after the coup (and AlG’s commentary on them, energetic as always).

  4. Nell said

    Wrt the IMF: Here’s a story that seems to say just the opposite from the TR one. Santos is in DC with Zelaya, and the bank is the source for the TR account.

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