Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act V, Day Eight: Taking Down Some Myths

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 27, 2009

Gwynne Dyer’s abomination of an article reminds me that it’s time to do another mass debunking of pro-coup nonsense.

Myth #1: The coup itself was bloodless — it’s Zelaya’s attempt to return to power that’s causing all the violence and chaos in the country. No, no, no, no, no, and no. And no again. Talk about blaming the victim here! It’s been documented by the Interamerican Center for Human Rights (IACHR), Amnesty International, and other witnesses and researchers that thousands have been jailed without cause, hundreds wounded, and at least a dozen people that we know of who were murdered by the pro-coup forces. The real death toll is probably into the hundreds if not thousands, but it’s difficult to get more information as the media most likely to report these deaths has been under constant attack (and even been completely  shut down at times) by the golpistas. Meanwhile, there’s not a single death that can be proved to have been committed by any member of the resistance.

Myth #2: Zelaya had to be removed because he was breaking the law or about to do so. Again, no.

Firstly, the golpista-controlled Honduran Supreme Court has yet to actually rule on any of the charges handed down on June 26 — a tacit admission that the charges are legally bogus and unsustainable.

Secondly, the only ones here who have actually been shown to be breaking the law and flouting the Honduran constitution are the coup plotters. For example: The Honduran Congress does not have the authority to remove a president from power, much less for “promoting” one of their own members to the presidency.

Thirdly, was there ever due process for Zelaya? Nope — he was simply kidnapped, held against his will, and then booted out of his own country. All of this being quite illegal, by the way.

Cassel in American Society for International Law 13(9) 2009 explains how the Honduran Constitution and international law apply to the removal of Zelaya, Krsticevic and Mendez in a recent Forbes article. This article rather neatly debunks the Law Library report that coup apologists have been waving around. Orellana is also worth one’s study; it was written by a Honduran constitutional law professor and former Zelaya cabinet member. He disagreed with Zelaya’s approach to the Constitutional Convention, and resigned as a result — yet as he explains his artice, there was nothing illegal at all in Zelaya’s actions, and the Honduran constitution is indeed in need of a makeover, so much so that several other politicians besides Zelaya agreed on the need for a constitutional convention to do just that. Finally, he shows that the Honduran courts overstepped their bounds by barring Zelaya from conducting a perfectly legal non-binding referendum. Speaking of which:

Myth #3: Zelaya was trying to extend his term, and that’s the only reason why he tried to hold a legally-binding referendum. Sorry, not even close. In fact, Zelaya was trying to conduct a non-binding poll. This poll was concerned with whether the Honduran Congress should be asked to place on the November ballot a binding referendum on whether a Constitutional Convention should be held. This Convention would not have been held until after Zelaya had left office — so there’s no way he could have got a second consecutive term out of the deal. Oh, and by the way, the Convention would have dealt with a whole host of issues, and not just the question of whether a sitting president should be allowed to run for re-election.

So why did the coup plotters seek President Zelaya’s ouster? Well, for starters, they were angry with him for raising the country’s minimum wage from starvation level to not-quite-starvation level — still not enough to make a real living, but enough to make two-income families’ lives a bit easier. Zelaya also put an end to various sleazy dealings in the oil industry. And for you Enron mavens, he stopped a whole slew of privatizations of utilities that would have ripped off the majority for the benefit of a greedy handful of hyperrich.

Myth #4: Zelaya’s not that popular and the people want him gone. Reality: Two recent polls, one by COIMER&OP and one by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner show Zelaya to be very popular and the coup leaders, including fake “president” Micheletti, to be very unpopular.

5 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act V, Day Eight: Taking Down Some Myths”

  1. Nell said

    Thanks so much, PhoenixWoman; really excellent.

  2. Stormcrow said

    What is with Gwynne Dyer??

    He hosted a series on modern warfare about 20 years ago on PBS. I remember loathing parts of it intensely.

    Back then, what flipped me out about Dyer was his steady NATO-bashing. This was in ’85, when the USSR was clearly at the deadly crossroads: export its economic problems via war, or face internal collapse. With no other way out. Baaaad time to try to kick the pins out from under NATO.

    These days, he’s playing ball with frigging Latin American neofascists???

  3. […] If that sounds familiar, it’s because GQRR did one of the two polls that have helped undercut coup leadership propaganda claiming that Zel…. […]

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