Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 1st, 2010

Honduran dictatorship, Day 35

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2010

Partly because I have a spammer known as the US Department of State (11 e-mail alerts in one day!), I have been way too busy to do an adequate job of covering events. Thank heavens for Brother John, RAJ/RNS, and Adrienne, among others.

March in Tegucigalpa, via Adrienne Pine
(Image from Quotha. Via RAJ, Tiempo says that there were 20,000 people at the march. )

The main story, besides people continuing to get slaughtered, kidnapped, threatened, etc. is the Hillary Clinton Hypocrisy Tour. She won’t visit Honduras, just Guatemala, where she’ll meet with Pretendisent Lobo. This thoughtfully-crafted, carefully calibrated bit of horse manure deceives no one, accomplishes nothing:

ASSISTANT SECRETARY VALENZUELA: And then finally on the final day of her trip, which will be next Friday, she will travel to Guatemala and meet with President Colom in Guatemala, at the same time, with several of the other presidents of the Central American countries, including President Lobo of Honduras, President Funes of El Salvador. President Fernandez is coming from Dominican Republic as well. So this – and President Arias will attend.

Department of we can’t hear youuuuu:

PRESIDENT DE KIRCHNER: (Via interpreter) I hardly talk about my CNN interview with the Secretary of State. I don’t usually talk about my interviews with the media (inaudible). It would be sort of dangerous for me to tell her what I think and for her to tell me what she says to the media. But we did talk about what triggered that question at the CNN, which was the Honduras issue, where, as you all know, both countries hold different stances. Far from turning (inaudible) into two people that cannot reach agreement, turns us into very serious (inaudible) where we can discuss our points of agreement and things on which we do not agree. …
SECRETARY CLINTON: Could I just add to the president’s comments? We had a very frank exchange of views about our different perceptions of Honduras. And as the president said, I appreciated the opportunity to explain why we believe that the free and fair elections which have elected the new president in Honduras means it’s time to turn the page. The difficult period Honduras went through, we hope is now over.

Via Adrienne, Belen Fernandez on the belated discovery by the Honduran pro-coup press of the murder of the daughter of union leader Pedro Brizuela. Another sign of radicalization: Resistance marchers ripped down a plaque in San Pedro Sula commemorating Micheletti, and replaced it with a plaque commemorating Zelaya… complete with a quote from Karl Marx, rescued from the dustbin of history by resentment over the coup.

Via Honduras Culture and Politics, Interpol has officially declared the charges against Zelaya by the dictatorship to be nothing more than political bunkum.

Brother John has an interesting report on Jesuit priest Ismael Moreno’s comments about the two-party system. He believes that there is an independent force in society which could be educated and mobilized. These are, he believes, neither the traditional left nor Zelaya supporters, but people who felt disrespected by the coup. As I commented to Brother John, I’m skeptical. Organizing is difficult work. It requires a high level of rhetorical and strategic skill, historical knowledge, and extraordinary diplomatic skill to keep coalitions together. This is why, at moments of high conflict, radicals on both sides, particularly those who have been radical over generations, tend to emerge as leaders: they have the commitment and the experience, and people know where they stand. Independents who have been tuned out of politics would require enormous training to get them up to speed. And would they stay mobilized long enough to accomplish real change, or would they stop short in order to get back to the familiar comforts? Seeing how many resistance leaders have been murdered, it’s clear that only people with the highest level of commitment are going to take on the largely thankless task of organizing.

There’s been another shooting involving journalist Carol Cabrera, who again emerged unscathed. Although Cabrera was pro-coup, she had reported on having video and details on sexual activities within the halls of government. She had been calling the wives who were being cheated on, whom she called “deer.” Twenty seven year old Joseph Antony Hernández Ochoa, a TV presenter on Channel 51, died in the attack.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduran dictatorship, Day 35

The Great Game, South American Version

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2010

The BBC is reporting the following:

Judge Eloy Velasco charged six members of Basque separatist group Eta and seven members of Colombian rebel group Farc with various offences.

He said he believed Farc had asked for Eta’s help in a plot to kill Colombian officials in Spain, including Mr Uribe.

He said the two groups benefited from “Venezuelan government co-operation”.

In a 26-page indictment Mr Velasco said an investigation launched in 2008 has turned up evidence “that demonstrates Venezuelan governmental co-operation in the illicit collaboration between Farc and Eta”.

Both groups are listed as terrorist organisations by the US and EU.

Now, it could be true. But there are elements to the story that make me skeptical.

First, cooperation between ETA and FARC seems unlikely. ETA is a long-standing nationalist organization that has, for many years, steered away from terrorism toward political action. ETA was blamed for the Madrid bombings that were actually performed by North African Al Qaida members, producing a well-deserved embarrassment for the conservative government that had attempted to manipulate public opinion. The last terrorist incident that Wikipedia records is, if I am correct, six years ago. FARC is, well, weird, espousing a Marxist-Leninism that doesn’t resonate well even inside Colombia, where they long ago lost the battle for public opinion.

Second, the story involves the magical laptops, for which the provenance of the data is in question. Furthermore, some of the contents, even if real, were simply not plausible. Whether that was due to forgery by the Colombians or by the weirdness of FARC is unknown.

The BBC is also unaccountably vague in describing the alleged Venezuelan link, Arturo Cubillas Fontan. The judge supposedly says he “has held a job in the government of President Hugo Chavez – and may still have one….He is also a key member of Eta, running its operations in Venezuela and the region.” Surely the job title matters. Was he a janitor or a Cabinet secretary? Cadena Ser says that Cubillas Fontan, apparently a Basque, was employed by the Agricultural Ministry and that his wife, also of Basque extraction, is a Director General in the agency. He has been in Venezuela since the 1980s, so it’s not like Chavez imported him. A full list of suspects is given by here.

It’s also implausible to me that ETA has “operations” outside of Spain, but I suppose it’s possible, especially if by “operations,” the judge means Cubillas Fontan.

Finally, it’s unclear to me why FARC would attempt to assassinate a former president of Colombia or attack the Colombian embassy in Spain. It’s not like either action would improve their situation. Of course, since I don’t understand FARC’s strategy, if one even exists, it could be.

The same goes for involvement by Chavez. I could understand if he had supported a plot to assassinate Uribe. It’s not as if the two are friends. But a former president of Colombia? At the cost of attracting an international s–tstorm? Maybe, but…

…But, as with all the allegations swirling around the monstrous mess we have helped to create in Colombia by our support of the cocaine trade, a lot of questions remain to be answered. The US has been trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government for a decade and has, in the course of that effort, committed acts that make skeptical anyone who has followed the situation.

Posted in Colombia, Latin America, terrorism, Venezuela | 6 Comments »

A Dilemma

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2010

Do I let the silly person currently ensconced in my Spam folder know that I’m not reading any of the missives sent by said silly person to me?

Or do I let him spam on in blissful ignorance, thinking that he’s somehow winning his war to convert me to his cause?

I think I’ll stick with not letting him know, even though the temptation to gloat is strong.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

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