Via Orlando Sánchez at Narconews, a link to an article by William Finnegan in The New Yorker:
With the decision last night by the Honduran Congress not to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya, who was overthrown in a military coup on June 28th, to office, the humiliation of the Obama Administration was complete. The Honduran crisis was the first serious test of Obama policy in Latin America, and Washington’s performance during the first weeks after the coup was exemplary….
The democratically elected leaders of the major Latin American countries—Brazil, Argentina, Chile—are united in their dismay over the Obama Administration’s performance in Honduras. None plan to recognize the government produced by this week’s elections. Some of these leaders have a deeply personal understanding of what is at stake. [a number have been jailed or tortured by regimes the US supported] How hard is it to understand which side of a military coup we should be on? Latin Americans who believed that Barack Obama represented a new era in U.S. policy in their region have had an unhappy surprise.
From Al Giordano:
Also, don’t believe the hype about alleged “65 percent” (now somewhat lessened to “60 percent”) voter turnout last Sunday. Did you know that the coup regime and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal still hasn’t released the town by town results? Well… One of our colleagues got hands on the real results from inside the counting room. And those facts are going to drop next upon the heads of all who made up or repeated claims over the past five days of 60 percent turnout in Honduras. They’re not even close. Stay tuned…. As predicted here, the mock “election” resolved nothing, and the hard proof of officially sanctioned fraud will in fact complicate the regime’s grasp on power even more. I’ll make sure you’re among the first to know, kind readers, when the you-know-what hits the fan…
It’s a good thing RAJ/RNS and Adrienne are keeping up with things. The latest State Department slapstick routine was delivered by three “Senior Administration Officials” which is a very limited pool of people that could include Obama, Clinton, Shannon, Valenzuela, and Crowley. If anyone can give a more authoritative list, I’d be interested. I think Obama can be excluded, because one of the reporters says “You guys.” RAJ excerpts the best description of the situation by Ricardo Lagos of Chile from El Universal of Venezuela:
Lagos puts the blame for the breaking of the accord squarely on the de facto regime and the Honduran Congress:
The decision “finishes breaking the accord between the (interim) government and Zelaya..it began to be broken [when] one of the parties thought that he could constitute [the unity government]” in a unilateral form…in reference to the regime of Roberto Micheletti.
To be blunt, the TSE is messing with us in order to tell the story about the election that the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti Bain wants the world to accept. The message, turnout was massive. The reality is quite a bit different, and the way they’re playing the game is by changing the rules….While previous press reports have described Hagamos Democracia as having a contract with the TSE, and described its methodology as being based on exit polling, neither turns out to be true.
According to Rolando Bú, coordinator of Hagamos Democracia, the only thing the TSE did was accredit them as election observers. They were not paid by the TSE to report; they are, in fact, and NGO, funded by various governments, including the United States…In 2005 the TSE website said 2,190,398 people voted, from an electoral roll of 3,976,550 voters. According to Hagamos Democracia, 2,162,000 voted in 2009 from an electoral roll of 4.6 million. That’s approximately 28,000 fewer people voting than voted in 2005, while the electoral roll increased by some 600,000 persons….As I wrote this a correspondent wrote to tell me the TSE has recanted and now claims turnout was 49%.
* Lewis Amselem has been replaced by… Carmen Lomellin. This is huge news. This would seem to confirm that he was sent there to be an irritant.
* Insulza recounts the history, but he leaves out the fact that Micheletti did not convene the Congress to deliver the Accord, as required.
* Insulza says that the Congressional action reaffirming their installation of Micheletti was done under threats and that it dissipated any possibility of reconciliation. It was just a repetition of the coup (the events of June 28).
* All nations are free to recognize Honduras or not (the OAS can’t force them to do anything), but we have to recognize that it was a coup, Zelaya is still president and has never been granted due process, an election on its own does not erase the illegal removal of a president
* Colombia rejects recognition of the dictatorship [added 12/5: but recognizes the elections. They express “hope” that the new Pretend Government will respect the sanctity of the embassy, establish a reconciliation government and a truth commission. In other words, they demand nothing in exchange for their support for the Pretend Government.]
* Mexico reiterates it was a coup d’etat. The constitutional order has not been restored (this is a significant position). They excoriate the dictatorship for its treatment of the Brazilian embassy.
* Peru says that the siege of the Brazilian embassy must be lifted, but they have said they’d accept the dictatorship.
* Guatemala calls it a brutal, violent, armed coup. The ambassador reiterates that Zelaya is president and deplores the congressional action. Elections, though desirable, do not restore legitimacy.
* Paraguay delivers the most fiery speech so far: the coup broke all conventions, not just the OAS. The dictatorship violated due process against Zelaya again by ratifying its actions of June 28. No recognition of election. The government is illegitimate. Elections must be held under democratic conditions. The dictatorship has not fulfilled its obligations to the OAS. Let us remain firm in our campaign against those who would undermine democracy.
* Ecuador delivers a complex but also fiery speech: Fake elections to give the appearance of democracy. Elections under repression and with the president imprisoned in an embassy. We agreed that none of us would recognize any government that arose from this rupture of the constitutional order. We regret that some governments are going to recognize spurious elections. A dangerous precedent.
* Nicaragua: In Chile, there was the funeral of Victor Jara, cruelly murdered by Pinochet. After years of being buried secretly, he was at last given proper honors by his family. Now, consider the Honduras coup. This was a military coup condemned by the whole world, followed by a simulacrum election rejected by most nations. This brings back the memory of what the US did in the 20th century, which brought misery and death, and is a rehearsal to conduct masked coups. A diplomacy of Bad Neighborship.
* Dominica rejects the coup d’etat. We continue to recognize Zelaya. Are the elections valid or invalid? Since the OAS didn’t send observers, we didn’t send any either. The moment has arrived and passed. Now what? Let us not cease our battle for democracy in Honduras. We must continue to influence them. Five minutes later, I still don’t know what he said.
* El Salvador. Magical realism (a reference to the US). Condemns coup. No recognition of Micheletti. The election was done in a climate of institutional instability.
* Chile: Collective action to reject the coup and defend democracy. We cannot allow the coup to succeed. We regret that the Congress did not restore Zelaya. The elections did not solve the crisis.
* Canada: the elections were done in a peaceful and orderly manner. No major incidents of violence. Elections in and of themselves do not mean an end to the impasse. Congress’s vote may make reconciliation more difficult. We have called on Lobo to for a government of national unity. It doesn’t sound any better in French.
* Argentina: We cannot share the idea that the new dictatorship is a new set of actors. A coup conceived of within the statel powers, not a classic coup. These same actors are in power. Lobo is the head of the majority party which allowed the illegal removal of Zelaya. Two dangerous antecedents: elections used to whitewash a coup and a double standard depending on whether we like the government. This is business as usual, and we don’t want business as usual.
* Brazil: Welcome to the US delegate. It was agreed that elections arising from a coup should not be recognized. Reviews San Jose “Accord” and its devolution into the Tegucigalpa “Accord.” The dictatorship did not act in good faith from the beginning. The elections were held in conditions far from what is generally acceptable. We have to interpret the “Accords” through the lens of the OAS resolutions from which they arose.
* Venezuela. This is an uprising against imperial dominance similar to the fall of the USSR. The (US) manipulates information and cannot tolerate dissent. It is enmeshed in war for 60 years. (Regrettably, he is far more eloquent than to the point). Is it worthwhile to be in an organization that has become sclerotic?
* Guyana (which represents all the Caribbean smaller islands, as well as Haiti). Zelaya is still the president. We must not allow our actions to establish a precedent.
* US. Recent developments give us hope that the crisis is ending. The US has consistently stated that the expulsion of Zelaya was wrong. He received no due process. We have rejected the calls to “cripple” the Honduran economy and cause violence. (this sounds pretty loopy). She misrepresents the congressional vote as just Zelaya’s idea (it was a legal requirement that they rescind their decree). The governments did not appoint a unity government. Zelaya made misstatements about the elections. (???!!!) The TSE deserves our congratulations. Other reputable observers were at the election. Zelaya signed the “Accord.” He should honor his commitment. (Intellectual prostitution has a new gold medal champion in this woman). We are on the verge of a victory! The coup has not been rewarded.
* Costa Rica. The OAS is brimming with life and vitality because we disagree with one another. Conspiracy theories. (???!!!) We deplore that the Congress of Honduras refused to restore things to the point prior to June 28th, since that was the main point of the “Accord.” The elections are not recognized, because only a people can recognize elections, while we can only recognize governments. There were allegations of fraud (apparently a reference to Nicaragua) but we didn’t reject them (but the US threatened sanctions and may have imposed them; I don’t recall).
* Bolivia. Dialogue with the dictatorship was fruitless, and so we will not recognize them. Honduras is still manipulated by a puppeteer.
* Panama. Tells a joke having to do with a right-winger, a Christian Democrat, and a communist whose wives are unfaithful. The right-winger would slug the guy, the Christian Democrat would urge his wife to do better, and the communist would throw rocks at the US embassy. Honduras has a right to seek its own destiny. Redbaits Venezuela because Chaderton is wearing a red tie.
* Uruguay. Welcome to Patricia Rodas and Ambassador Carmen Lomellin. I missed the statement, but it would have opposed the coup.
*Venezuela. Responds to some red-baiting by Panama by pointing out that the colors of his tie are red, blue, and yellow, the colors of the flags of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.
* Honduras. Patricia Rodas. A misinformation has been circulated. We are a young people which lives in the present. Elections are spurious. Pretend President-elect Lobo was a coup leader. Please focus on three fundamental purposes: what will OAS do about human rights violations? What about the political opprobrium to Manuel Zelaya? What will be done about the coup perpetrators? We ask why coups d’etat in the US? Because there are no US embassies in the the US–just a little joke.