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Archive for September 26th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 6

Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2009


Paramilitary in plainclothes invaded the house of Congresswoman Silvia Ayala, seized a portable computer and telephones

The pretend-government accused Zelaya of using the Brazilian embassy to plot a campaign of violence against Honduras. They also issued a series of demands on governments. They demand that Brazil resolve Zelaya’s situation within 10 days. For governments that have unilaterally cut relations I think they said they have to clear out, but the manure was piled so high I could be wrong. There were weird demands about the display of flags and insignia. It was a long, turgid, and arrogant bit of propaganda. I hope someone recorded it and will publish a transcript. Unfortunately, I think most people have stopped listening.

Radio America is reporting that Micheletti is saying that the troops surrounding the Brazilian embassy are there at Brazil’s request. Yes, I guess the pro-coupistas are that stupid, that they believe this sort of blatant lie.

WSJ (via RAJ):

A study on Honduras law and the recent removal of President Manuel Zelaya was done by the Law Library of Congress. The Sept. 21 Americas column Hillary’s Honduras Obsession attributed the study to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on information provided by the office of Congressman Aaron Schock (R., Ill.). A spokesman for Mr. Schock says the Congressman commissioned the study from CRS, which passed the request on to the Law Library, which also does research for Congress.

Gunmen on a motorcycle murdered the nephew of the owner of Radio Globo, 40 year old Marco Antonio Vallecillos, who was a congressional candidate of the minor PINU party.

The country is under curfew 6PM-6AM.

The Brazilian embassy rotated out its top diplomats for a couple of days.

Bertha Caceres has an interview with TeleSur.

Just to complicate the story, there’s a report in Tiempo that gas could have been introduce through some hoses.

The Guardian has a poorly-written story (it asserts that Zelaya was driven to the border for his exile).


Update2: Channel 36 showing a demo in front of the Brazilian embassy. Troops on the rooftops of residences have guns with sniper scopes. I would guess the size of the demo as roughly 1000. Rafael Alegria says he expects widespread repression across the board in the next week.

[Added: There is no confirmation of the following. It may be a re-broadcast from yesterday] Radio Liberada [but carried over Radio Progreso] says that helicopters are gassing the general public in Colonia Tres Caminos as well as by the Brazilian embassy, that people are vomiting. People taste a sour taste in their mouth, they say, and suffer various symptoms of asphyxiation, and headache. Some are vomiting blood. The announcer pleads for international intervention. Now the announcer is gasping so hard that it’s hard to understand her. [According to this source, the ambient concentration of hydrogen cyanide in yesterday’s attack, 200 ppm, is enough to cause death within 10 minutes. Vomiting is not listed as a symptom of hydrogen cyanide, but it seems likely that they are using a combined gas attack.] This broadcast was at about 5:30-6PM Eastern.

Channel 36, however, is not showing this sort of scene. 6:50PM Eastern: Still no confirmation. It’s possible that Radio Liberado was replaying tape from yesterday. Channel 36 does report that a reporter from Radio Globo was shot. Also that the soup kitchen used by the resistance was looted, presumably by the government.

Update: Famed cartoonist Allan McDonald, who was one of the first human targets of the coup calls Tegucigalpa “a concentration camp, a city mined with hatred, a giant village tangled up with boots that destroy the grass of hope with every step and strike out so that it will never grow again. But the flower of resistance grows in the asphalt of their twisted steps.” It’s a powerful word poem. Better English translation by Machetera here

For deep thinkers, Leticia Salomon has a piece basically saying that we should do away with militaries, since they’re used as private armies by the rich to repress the populace. [I think George Washington said the same].

According to Tiempo, there’s supposed to be a major demo today. The regime ordered the arrest of policeman Denis Omar Montoya, who shot an 18-year old kid to death in cold blood for shouting “Golpista.”

On Radio Globo, the guest [Juan Almendares?] is saying that the population is showing signs of mass torture. [I agree]. He says there is no feeling against Israel, but if the military of Israel has mixed into the Honduran conflict, it’s a big deal. Yikes: they are playing a long commercial for Pepe Lobos as “The Change.”
You can hear Father Tamayo give his testimony about the gassing of the embassy here. Briefly, a small white tank truck passed by. The military cleared the street, saying it was something toxic. Fifteen minutes earlier, a helicopter passed low overhead. And the third wave of attack was from nearby houses. Then Zelaya says that he experience the attack as a dry throat and then irritated eyes. Then the atmosphere felt heavy [this sounds like shortness of breath. not mentioned in this clip: other people experienced bleeding from the nose and in the urine, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms] Then a medical person explains how he determined the ammonia and hydrogen cyanide levels, using an FDA-certified gas monitor.

The Argentine chancellor says that other embassies may be suffering ultrasound attacks and harassment, but he did not name them.

I didn’t realize exactly how morally ill the Miami Herald is. Their editorial, yukking it up about hydrogen cyanide being used on an embassy full of people, is hereMr. Zelaya hardly helped his own cause by claiming that phantom ‘Israeli mercenaries’ were out to get him and that his enemies were using brain-addling gas and radiation against him. Outrageous.” [To be fair, the hydrogen cyanide attack occurred after the editorial was published. But to be scrupulously fair, (a) there had previously been reckless use of agents like CS that reportedly caused deaths which had not pricked the conscience of The Herald , (b) The Herald very likely concocted the quotes that it was laughing at, and (c) The Herald has taken no steps to demonstrate repentance. They are no better than people who stop at a traffic accident to watch someone die– and joke about it.]

Brother John asks whether our hopes have been dashed. He links us to a Catholic News Service article saying that the Vatican may mediate. I wish I believed that, but I think the Church needs to confess its culpability in bringing the situation to this point. Not everyone in it, of course. Brother John keeps pointing out people doing extraordinary things for reconciliation.

From BolPress via Vos, Jean-Guy Allard points out that the Interamerican Press Society, based in Miamia, would do better in its condemnations of interference against the press if it would admit that some of its members executed the coup. Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé, who owns La Tribuna and Jorge Canahuati Larach who owns La Prensa and El Heraldo were key members of the “cupula.” The author calls it an arm of American intelligence. Considering how Latin American news is covered, with complete focus on the benefit of the elites and not a drop of compassion for those who have been left behind by development, it’s not impossible.

Posted in Latin America | 4 Comments »

Congressional Democrats, Please Heed Mark Morford

Posted by MEC on September 26, 2009

Mark Morford tells us how to talk to complete idiots:

Remember, facts do not matter.

So reasoning with them, expecting them to acknowledge facts and logical conclusions, is futile. And now I’m talking to you, Congresional Democrats: negotiation and compromise are forms of reasoning. Don’t waste your time, they’re not listening. You cannot reason with unreasonable people.

Follow Morford’s advice:

The absolute best way to speak to complete idiots is, of course, not to speak to them at all.

That is, you work around them, ignore them completely, disregard the rants and the spittle and the misspelled protest signs and the fervent prayers for apocalypse on Fox News. Complete refusal to take the fringe nutballs even the slightest bit seriously is the only way to make true progress.

When your Republican colleagues assert that providing a government-administered program so everyone in the country can get health care means the government is going to kill us all, and that the highest priority in reforming the health-care system is maintaining the status quo they are fringe nutballs. Work around them.

Please remember: Being in the majority means you get to decide government policy. That’s how “majority rule” works. Do it.

Posted in doing the right thing | 2 Comments »

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