Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September 20th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 59

Posted by Charles II on September 20, 2009

Update2 : Foreign Policy Journal has an analysis of Honduras by Jose Cuesta that is not completely obtuse. One interesting claim is that “I estimated that the feared losses by this elite sector must have exceeded a whopping 11 percent of the GDP in order to green-light the military ousting of Mr. Zelaya.” This is equivalent to roughly $1.50 per person per day, or $6/day for each working adult. So, according to Cuesta, they would overthrow the country rather than raise wages 80 cents/hour. But there’s no indication whatsoever that Zelaya had such radical ideas. What outraged the golpistas was that he raised the minimum wage from 14 cents per hour to 23 cents per hour. Let’s just say that the people running Honduras are evil and leave it at that.

Radio Globo says that the names of the Israeli commandos that are operating inside Honduras will be released.
Update: Al Giordano raises the alarms about a website ( purporting to be connected to the resistance and promoting armed conflict, but explicitly rejected by the resistance.

El Libertador has clear photos of the Conatel people trashing Color Cable’s broadcast equipment (the report is from Tiempo and Tiempo has more photos here). Notice that they are on the roof, and there is no evidence of harassment or traces of water balloons. Here’s one photo:

Vos el Soberano has good photos of the demos of September 15th (see below). They show both that there were massive demonstrations in many localities of Honduras, and also how difficult it is to quantitate the demos. In this one, there appear to be ca. 15 people across the street, standing 2-3 feet from one another over the course of several blocks (perhaps 250 ft.)  So, this is perhaps 1500 people.  But because the street bends, who can tell how many are in the march? Aerial photos would help. I have not seen any from Google Maps that show demonstrations. 

Tegucigalpa, September 15th

Picchu is on Channel 36. One of the interesting things about the resistance is the intense involvement of the Zelaya women in it.
RAJ has a slightly more detailed explanation of the attacks on media that occurred Sept 18. La Prensa has the only intelligible explanation of the government’s action from the government’s viewpoint that I have seen:
1. One allegation, filed 12/8/08, of theft of telephony for the use of VOIP, because Honduras charges different amounts for national and international calls. Since (as I understand it) the network operator of a VOIP system has no real control over how calls are routed, and because VOIP is billed in bytes rather than minutes, this is ridiculous. Stormcrow, feel free to contradict me.
2. A second allegation attempts to force Cable Color to carry channels 30, 21 and 45 (nice respect for private property).
But if you read La Tribuna, Conatel was just trying to do an inspection.

All of this sounds like excellent reasons to send down masked men to tear down an antenna.

Tom Loudon of the Quixote Center has a piece in Truthout describing the competing Independence Day celebrations, a description of the visits by human rights organizations (he thinks Judge Garzon’s visit made the most impression on the coupistas), and a description of shifting tactics by the coup:

By the end of August, tactics of the security forces had changed. Frontal attacks on marches and caravans seem to have stopped. However, other forms of intimidation have been adopted. The police and army follow along with the marchers, (in an attempt to intimidate them), either directly behind or on either side of peaceful protesters. Security forces take photographs of protesters and follow them after the marches disburse. They arrest anyone caught spray-painting.

A notable exception to this new approach occurred during a protest in Choluteca when the mayor arrived at a protest armed with a pistol and accompanied by some 100 men armed with machetes, who proceeded to attack the demonstration. The demonstrators were protesting the presence of Elvin Santos, the Liberal Party candidate for president, whom they consider illegitimate. Five of the protesters were arrested.

Selective murders continue on a weekly basis. On Saturday, August 29, Ismael Padilla was murdered by unknown assailants in front of his house. Padilla was president of the Association of Microbuses, and had accompanied President Zelaya to pick up ballot boxes in one of the buses on the day before the coup. His assassination was a clear message to all who oppose the coup and support the call for a Constitutional Assembly.

Loudon also links an article by the Council of Hemispheric Affairs analyzing the coup.

A program on Radio Catolica, En La Plaza, was suspended for having interviewed Father Tamayo, according to Vos El Soberano.

Via Bo-Rev, you can listen to Micheletti being interviewed by Greta van Susteren on FOX Noise (9/17/09). The transcript, which barely resembles the conversation, is no less hallucinatory than the interview. For example: “Cool honey — to be in a Supreme Court by the way it — get on the Supreme Court.” But he makes some statements:
* He claims to have learned of Zelaya’s ouster 4 or 5 hours before it happened
* He says that Hillary called him, just after coming back from Asia, and very respectfully talked to him about Zelaya returning to power.
* He outright lied about Zelaya’s return to Tocontin airport.

Posted in Latin America | 2 Comments »

Is FOX In Financial Trouble?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 20, 2009

Yesterday I referenced Emptywheel’s piece on how Univision is overtaking FOX in various ratings (and how Obama is tacitly acknowledging this by blowing off FOX’s Sunday gabfest for Univision’s Al Punto), much to the open and vocal dismay of FOX and its Republican allies in Congress.

There are other signs that the FOX empire is not as strong as advertised. For one thing, it’s trying to sell off the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the nation’s premier stock market index.

It’s hard to imagine the megalomaniacal Murdochs willingly giving up the ability to control the most powerful stock market index in the world. The first thought that comes to mind is that they must be in need of liquid cash, and urgently so.

Posted in economy, Fox Noise | 1 Comment »

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