Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 46/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 7, 2009


The Honduran pretend-government has managed to violate yet another violation of international law (Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights): According to El Heraldo they “annulled” the citizenship of naturalized Salvadoran priest Andres Tamayo. And the Cardinal of Babylon, rather than backing up his priest, has barred him apparently not done a single thing to protest or prevent the banning of Father Tamayo from his parish. Or so it says. One can’t trust El Heraldo to report even the correct date.

Tamayo will be replaced by Joaquin Euceda.

Brother John has a post about Father Tamayo. Brother John mentioned in comments that the Cardinal of Honduras would not be the one to strip Father Tamayo of his parish. I don’t know how Honduras works, but in the US, Cardinals have intervened on the grounds that a priest has become “notorious.” This vague standard apparently applies to sex scandals and also sometimes to political incorrectness, as in the case of Father Michael Pflaeger. At any rate, Brother John’s article has some very good links our readers should follow.

Zelaya has formally invited Hillary to join him in Tegucigalpa to sign the “Accord of San Jose.” The pretend Ministrette of Finance, Gabriela Núñez continues to insist that Honduras will be able to use the IMF money. She says the IMF is disinformed. Zoe Zelaya Castro says that the charges of misuse of funds levied against her father are false and that anyone who wants to can look up the expenses under the Transparency Law.

Tom Hayden interviewed Zelaya for The Nation. The main takeaways are that Zelaya thinks that the State Department’s actions were sufficiently forceful and that Zelaya has equated the people who removed him from power with the American right-wing that is trying to block healthcare as an expedient to removing Obama from power.
Radio Globo is still down. Channel 36 says that the IMF funds are locked up, unusable by the coupistas. (At a later broadcast, they are having great fun with this, repeating it in stentorian tones a dozen times and then saying, “Breaking: Roberto Micheletti Lies!” They are reading off of an EFE article that can be seen at La Tribuna). The IMF issued a statement that it has no agreement with Honduras. CholuSat has footage of about a dozen of Elvin Santos’s men firing live ammunition. The incident appears to me to have begun with one of Santos’s men swinging a machete against the resistance. The announcer says that the Choluteca media are controlled by the mayor. They are calling this the “political fiesta.” The police, of course, do not move to arrest those who fired. Elvin Santos arrives by helicopter (it looks like a military helicopter) and someone throws something (a rock?) at it. The area is flooded with protestors chanting “Golpista” and “Urge Mel.” The wounded people were senior citizens, one 72 years old and the other 56 according to Tiempo. The military have automatic weapons and are not slow to point them at people. Moving on from Choluteca… there were were large caravans in Marcala La Paz (40 mi. west of Tegucigalpa) and other locations, one of them headed by Dona Xiomara. The announcer points out that contrary to Elvin Santos, they are greeted by no eggs and no rocks. It’s interesting to compare the account of Channel 36 (anti-coup) and La Tribuna (pro-coup). In La Tribuna, the resistance is masked… but the presence of masked paramilitary troops is not mentioned. In La Tribuna, the shots fired and a rain of rocks and machete(s) appear miraculously with no hand attached to them. Presumably pro-coupistas imagine that the resistance has guns and wields machetes, but the Channel 36 photos do not support that.

There was a fight between supporters of Elvin Santos and the resistance in Choluteca. Two were injured and five arrested. The resistance threw eggs, but this escalated in rock throwing by both sides. The diversion of police and military resources means that the drug trade is able to use Honduras unchallenged. The Superior Court of Assessors says that it will also investigate military figures in the handling of the $4.5M that were to be used for the survey on behalf of a constitutional convention. In San Pedro Sula, a man was beaten by two soldiers for shouting “Viva Mel.” Tiempo has photos illustrating the telephone piracy that is being blamed on Zelaya– and like most of these accusations, it turns out to be pretty ridiculous.

(Corrected:) The pretend-government was apparently reneging on $6M of debt, but has apparently understood how suicidal that would have been and is paying.

Flashpoints had a program on September 2nd interviewing Eva Golinger on Honduras and other topics.


17 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 46/updated”

  1. jo6pac said

    I just read some were that imf sent this clown outfit money. The people lose.

  2. Nell said

    That’s one trigger-happy bunch of bodyguards Elvin has there.

    Wrt the IMF reports: I’m convinced the EFE and other stories are picking up on the unnamed IMF person in Weisbrot’s press release from Friday. For one thing, the IMF doesn’t issue press releases on weekends; for another, there’s no corresponding press release on their site (and they go through today); finally, the language is very similar to the wording in the Weisbrot release.

    So there is still no on-the-record statement from the IMF, but all this can’t hurt; it makes it harder for them to backtrack and release the money.

    • jo6pac said

      Thanks Nell, I wondered that very thought but it is Monday and Only Amerika closed. I guess we’ll wait until tomorrow to find out.

  3. Joche said

    “The pretend-government is reneging on $6M of debt”:

    and then you link to a page where it plainly says that Gabriella Nunez paid the debt (which was due today) at lunchtime (she later showed the receipt to the press).

    Funny how the BCIE won’t recognise Gabriella’s signature when it comes to withdrawing funds but is quite happy to accept money from her.


    And you conveniently forgot to mention the fact that the Honduran banks are withdrawing money from BCIE like wildfire ($120M so far) and depositing it in the BCH.


    • Charles II said

      Joche, when you’re right, you’re right. The link has been updated and I will correct it to show the original, “FINANZAS intenta cancelar más de $ 6 millones de la deuda con el BCIE, pese a la decisión de este organismo de no reconocer al gobierno actual.” which translates roughly as “The Finance Ministry plans to cancel $6M of debt with the BCIE because that organization does not recognize the actual government.”

      Now, I am responding in this manner because what matters to me is the truth. I am fully confident that you will not reciprocate.

      The story about Honduras withdrawing money from the BCIE is old. I reported on it on August 26th and it hasn’t become any more plausible or interesting since. Honduras’s foreign exchange reserves are collapsing. Within six months, interest rates will be stratospheric, the lempira will be valued at less than toilet paper, and most imports (except drugs) will be unavailable.

      • Joche said

        Why don’t you update your comment to show the truth rather than still propagate a lie?

        The BCIE story is only not “more plausible or interesting” because it doesn’t fit in with your pre-concieved biases. The fact remains that the private banks and businesses ARE transferring funds rapidly to the BCH – but then you couldn’t possibly admit that.

        Honduras foreign reserves have fallen by 12% since June 28th – that is not good news but neither is it “collapsing”. As you are not the Honduras Finance Minister,(thank heavens) I shall ignore your stupid prophecies – perhaps you should be advising Obama on health-care – mow that’s a real laugh! :-)

      • Charles II said

        Joche, you’ve proven me correct that you would not reciprocate courtesy. You’re now pushing the limits of what we tolerate. We generally warn people before banning them or taking other steps up to and including filing complaints with their Internet Service Provider (yes, your IP is recorded), but we do not take crap from guests. Consider yourself warned.

        I have edited the post to say exactly what I think happened w.r.t the Finance Ministry and the BCIE. The newspaper changed its story because the Finance Minister was forced to pay the BCIE. Show me facts to change my mind, but don’t waste my time with bluster.

        As for BCIE, this is my blog, and I decide what I think is interesting. So far, there have been no repercussions from the threat to withdraw funds from the BCIE. If there are repercussions, I will report that. Not sooner.

  4. Padre Tamayo’s parish is/was in Olancho. This would not be under the jurisdiction of the Cardinal but of another bishop, the bishop of Juticalpa, I believe. The Cardinal may have influence with other bishops but he cannot order a priest in another diocese to be removed. This is the prerogative of the bishop in the diocese.

    • Charles II said

      Thanks, Brother John. I want you to know that out of respect for you and the other decent people in the Catholic Church I did not include the adverb that I was tempted to use to modify the word “single” on emending that entry.

      PS: W.R.T. your post, “A moment of opportunity,” it’s more likely to be wishful thinking. We pray for transformation of the human spirit of the powerful, but that’s asking for miracles. Great change normally requires that the power holding back change be destroyed, or at least held in check long enough for alternative power to take root. So far, nothing is on the horizon that would destroy the power of the oligarchy. Weaken, maybe. But there’s a need for candidates to replace the entire Congress, and they would have to hold power in the face of threats and bribery for a generation to really change Honduras. There’s a need for alternative media. And there’s a need for a mechanism to raise general living standards. That’s a very tall order.

      • Suzanna said

        Why not – it doesn’t usually stop you!

      • Charles II said

        Undergo a sex change, Joche?

        The IPs for Joche and Suzanna are identical.

        So, now that we’ve established that you’re a liar, willing to use false names, why don’t you just move on before I have to take steps?

      • Charles,
        I do agree that there doesn’t seem to be much chance for a real change, but I’ve heard from several different sources the “hope” that Hondurans in the popular movement will use this as an opportunity to begin the long process of major transformation. It might be a moment of opportunity – a moment to begin new processes toward more democracy (at least from the base.)
        Also, as to Padre Fausto.His bishop is Bishop Santos who has stated very clearly that he does not report to the cardinal, but to the pope. Each bishop is ‘autonomous’ (at least in theory to a degree). Padre Fausto, 82 in November, is retired and does not have a parish, though he says Mass in the church of San Martín in Santa Rosa de Copán most Sunday mornings, and occasionally has the 7 pm Mass in the cathedral on Sundays. The only thing the cardinal could do is prohibit him from saying Mass in the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa. I doubt Bishop Santos would do anything against Padre Fausto (except maybe advise him about some things).

      • Charles II said

        Brother John, I thought about this question of whether cardinals have the power of removal. There have been several cases in the American church where the cardinal has pulled rank and booted a priest despite the disagreement of the bishop. These occurred in some child abuse cases. Apparently, a standard developed where, if a priest was “notorious” the cardinal could step in. So, when a Chicago area priest made some politically incorrect comments at Obama’s former church, it was not regarded as strange for people to demand that the cardinal remove him.

        Naturally, Honduras is not the US. But I think the implication is clear that ecclesiastical custom rather than ecclesiastical law governs employment and assignment decisions. You’re probably right that the bishop removed Father Tamayo, but this is a topic I will keep an eye out for, because it’s more complicated than either of us believes.

      • According to this report Tamayo was removed from his parish by the bishop of Juticalpa, Mauro Muldoon (who happens to be a US Franciscan priest.)

      • Charles II said

        Many things are reported. Most of them are true.

        This cardinal has so insistently inserted himself into events that it only makes sense to have just a bit of skepticism. For the time being, we’ll assume that Bishop Muldoon is the sole source of the order to remove Father Tamayo.

  5. Suzanna said

    I am a silly little half-man.

    Watch me huff.

    Watch me puff.

    Watch me run away.

    (edited slightly by siteowner for clarity)

    • Translation of Suzanna/Joche’s whine: “Oh, crap, I’ve been caught! Better run away and then try to come back later and hope they don’t hang onto my IP address!”

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