Kristin Bricker's Comments
Military Blockades Attempt to Block Zelaya Supporters from Reaching Tegucigalpa and the Airport
Yesterday President Manuel Zelaya issued a call to the people of Honduras: "Accompany me on my return to Honduras."
Honduran civil society has responded to this call. People from all over Honduras are heading to Tegucigalpa to receive Zelaya when his plane lands at Toncontin Airport in the capital.
Despite Repression and the Suspension of Constitutional Guarantees, Hondurans Keep Fighting the Coup Government
The anti-coup movement's momentum appears to be building across Honduras, with protests reported across the country. Meanwhile, international pressure builds against the coup government.
Over the past two days, anti-coup protests were reported in Tocoa, Colon; San Pedro Sula; La Ceiba; El Progreso, Yoro; Tegucigapla; Intibuca; El Paraiso; Santa Barbara; and all over President Zelaya's native department of Olancho. Moreover, the BBC reports that citizens have blocked major highways in Copan and Tocoa. The BBC's sources on the ground in Honduras say anti-coup protests have occurred in the majority of Honduras' departments.
Latin American Presidents, OAS Secretary General, and Citizen Caravans Will Accompany Him
Ousted Honduran President Manual Zelaya has announced that he will return to Honduras on Thursday. "I'm going to finish my four-year term, whether or not you coup leaders are in agreement," he stated.
Zelaya will return to Honduras accompanied by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and a commission of Latin American presidents. The Argentine government has announced that its President Cristina Fernandez will accompany Zelaya to Honduras as part of the presidential commission. In a press conference following his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Zelaya stated that Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa will also accompany him.
Border Closings, Suspension of Aid, and Cutting of Diplomatic Relations Present a Non-Violent Response to a Violent Coup
Mexico and the countries of Central America have announced various political and economic sanctions against the coup government in Honduras as part of a non-violent and non-military strategy to return democratically elected President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya to power.
Member countries of the Central American Regional Integration adopted a resolution earlier today that requires taking "necessary measures in a staggered manner, including measures related to interregional commerce, against Honduras' de facto government until President Jose Manuel Zelaya is reinstated as president and institutional normalcy is reestablished." In the first direct action against the coup government, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala will close their borders with Honduras for 48 hours. The border closing means that all cross-border commerce will be shut down for 48 hours.
Foreign TV Channels Blocked, Violence Outside Presidential Palace
Honduras' Radio Globo reports that today Honduras' coup president Roberto Micheletti entered the Presidential Palace from which Honduras' legitimate President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya was kidnapped early yesterday morning. Micheletti will hold a press conference from the President's office later today.
An unknown number of Hondurans have taken to the streets today in an effort to stop the coup that the military, in league with Congress and the Supreme Court, has carried out against democratically elected President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.
Due to intermitant power outages and heavy rain, independent media within Honduras has had extreme difficulty transmitting news. This means that while there's been plenty of news in the mainstream media about the actions people with a lot of political power have been taking--from Chavez and the ALBA nations to the Organization of American States to the United States--there's been very little reported about what rank-and-file Hondurans have been doing to reverse the coup.
However, it is clear that Hondurans are resisting. People are taking the streets in Honduras despite incredibly hostile conditions created by the military. Radio Es Lo De Menos reports that their colleagues on the ground have been fired at by snipers who are positioned in rooftops around the city. They stress that the gunfire at this point has only been in the form of "warning shots" and no one has been reported injured from gunfire.
Congressman Cesar Ham is a Zelaya Ally and Organizer of the Opinion Poll on a New Constitution
Correction: News reports translated by Narco News on Monday that Honduran political leader Cesar Ham had been assassinated appear not to be accurate. This report says otherwise, that Ham is alive and well. We apologize for any confusion caused by our first report, and share in the world's relief that the reports we initially translated were inaccurate.
"The only president the United States recognizes is President Manuel Zelaya."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the coup in Honduras in the following statement:
The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.
US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens said in a press conference from the US Embassy today, "The only president the United States recognizes is President Manuel Zelaya."
Lloren's statement is particularly significant because it means that the US refuses to recognize the man Congress has sworn in as Honduras' interim president, Roberto Micheletti. Micheletti was the President of Congress before being sworn in as interim President.
School of the Americas-Trained Military Detains and Expels Democratically-Elected President Zelaya
Early this morning approximately 200 Honduran soldiers arrived at President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya's residence, reportedly fired four shots, and detained the President. Zelaya told TeleSUR that the soldiers took him to an air force base and put him on a plane to Costa Rica.
Zelaya told TeleSUR from San Jose, Costa Rica, "They threatened to shoot me." Honduras' ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Sosa Coello, reports that the president has been beaten up.
A "Tense Calm" Settles Over the Country Amidst Media Spin Campaigns and Threats to Imprison Voters and Poll Workers
The situation in Honduras was tense but calm today as citizens prepared to vote in a national public opinion poll that will ask them if they wish to include a referendum on a new Constitutional Convention in the country's November elections. The tension is exacerbated by the partisan Honduran media, which, with few exceptions, has mounted a confusion and spin campaign against President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.