Memo: Honduras State Employees Forced to Attend Santos Campaign Rally

By Al Giordano (with reporting from Tamar Sharabi in Honduras)

While today's coup-sponsored "election" in Honduras won't settle the country's crisis created by the June 28 coup d'etat, it continues to provide a showcase for the profoundly anti-democratic nature of the regime.

This just in from Tamar Sharabi, reporting from Honduran territory:

Evidence has surfaced that state employees were forced to attend the closing campaign ceremony of Elvin Santos, the ex-Vice President under Zelaya. In the letter, addressed to all department heads of the office of Civil Service, general director Marco Tulio Flores wrote, “I instruct all employees that are fulfilling their duties, without any exception, to attend the closing campaign of the Liberal Party that will take place Sunday November 22 at 9:30am. In a booth at the entrance to the coliseum Xiomara Orellana will take attendance of all personnel of this institution.

Sharabi also reports that jack-booted regime repression continued right up through yesterday, as a pretext for larceny, too:

On Saturday November 28 military soldiers raided the offices of small business collective RED-COMAL in Siguatepeque, Comayagua, a city approximately 2 hours north from the capital. The Police Commissioner issued a search warrant 15 minutes after the raid began with the purpose of looking for weapons, posters and any documents that call on the population not to vote. Ricardo Bueso, speaking to Radiodelosmenos.org, reported that the military and police stole four laptops along with money from some of the organization’s sales

The National Front Against the Coup d'Etat has called on its participants to remain indoors in a "voluntary curfew" in noncooperation with the fraudulent vote. Should any incidents of violence occur today it won't be from the Resistance, but, rather, the result of the regime's own provocateurs. National presidential candidate Carlos H. Reyes withdrew from the ballot last month, as did many Congressional candidates and one major-party vice presidential candidate: Santos' own running mate on the Liberal Party line is among those who reject this fraudulent process as illegitimate.

We'll keep you updated throughout the day and into tonight as the "mock election" reaches its culmination...

Update 12:16 p.m. Tegucigalpa (1:16 p.m. ET): US citizens and human rights observers in Honduras just made the following announcement:

U.S. Human rights observers from a dozen different organizations around the United States have been in Honduras for several days to observe the human rights environment in Honduras at this time of elections.

Some 20 U.S. Citizens have traveled throughout Honduras over the past 3 days to cities and communities such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Tocoa, Santa Rosa de Copán, Choluteca, Comayagua, Siguatepeque y Puerto Grande. In addition, they have visited police stations, hospitals and jails.

In each of these communities they have observed the sistematic abuse of human rights as evidenced by raids, detentions, threats, physical abuse, indimidation and persecution on the part of state security agents. These actions have been mostly directed against citizens identified with the Resistance movement.

These findings and concerns will be shared at a:

PRESS CONFERENCE

TODAY, SUNDAY NOVEMBER 29, 2009 3:00 P.M. (4 p.m. EST)

IN FRONT OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY, TEGUCIGALPA

3:33 p.m. Tegucigalpa (4:33 p.m. ET): Coup security forces, while attacking a peaceful demonstration in San Pedro Sula today, wounded the Reuters photographer Herbert Villarreal while he attempted to document the story. Villarreal received twelve stitches in the head as a result of the attack.

4:38 p.m. Tegucigalpa (5:38 p.m. ET): Strike up the Grand Wurlitzer of spin as the Honduras regime tries to take what is, today, looking like 70 percent abstention from the vote and call it "70 percent turnout." They're issuing statements to the press about running out of ink (the indelible sort that voters get on their thumbs so they can't vote twice), polls remaining open an hour later to handle the supposed heavy demand, floated false turnout numbers. But here is what it really looks like this afternoon at polling places throughout Honduras:

Yup. Mostly empty ballot boxes, no lines, polling places as ghost towns. The first media war to be fought tonight will be over which version of the story is accurate. The official sources, of course, will do everything to claim high turnout and a successful "election." Set your BS detectors to the red zone tonight.

4:46 p.m. Tegucigalpa (5:46 p.m. ET): Coup security forces surrounded and arrested Spaniard journalist Mario Gascón Aranda this afternoon as he was reporting the day's events, accused him of meddling in the internal affairs of Honduras and announced they would expel and deport him from the country, according to Radio Globo.

7:31 p.m. Tegucigalpa (8:31 p.m. ET): Exit polls have - and no surprise to readers of these pages - National Party candidate Pepe Lobo as the "winner" of today's mock elections in Honduras with over 50 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos. Various Latin American nations have already said they do not recognize Lobo as a legitimate president, including Uruguay which today elected former guerrilla leader José Mujica in real elections today, not to mention a vast number of Honduran citizens. Claims of voter turnout, results, all of it, of course, can't and shouldn't be believed. And won't be. Nothing is resolved. Today's act of electoral theater was an exercise in futility...

 

Comments

Keep shining the light

 Al, Thank you for keeping us abreast of what is happening in Honduras. 

Childish, and Frightening

Taking attendance of public employees forced to attend a political rally, now that's really democratic!  :sarcasm:

Were it not for the tortured bodies of assassinated political opponents in the road ditches and the many other deaths, numerous arrests, detentions, and disappearances, these Pinochelettis would be the laughing stock of the world.  Sadly, they are instead the crying stock of the pueblo, thanks to all that American tear gas.

Keep up the good reporting.  Thank you.

Yet, the U.S Administration will still recognize the Election's

outcome.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the new administration will recognize "elections" held by a military junta. Not in 2009.  My guess is that the Clinton view of foreign policy (as expressed by the State Department's shitty performance regarding the Honduran coup) has won the day.  Obama hasnt helped himself either.  That letter he sent to Lula had me scratching my head.  Certainly, he didnt read Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America.

From BBC reporter in Honduras

The political crisis and election have divided the region, with the US indicating it would endorse the result if the elections are deemed "free and fair".

Costa Rica, which has long been the mediator between the two sides in this crisis, has said likewise, but other Latin American countries have opposed the vote.

Argentina and Brazil have said they will not recognise any government installed after the election, arguing that to do so would legitimise the coup which ousted an elected president, and thus set a dangerous precedent.

The main regional grouping, the Organisation of American States, has declined to send an observer mission.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/americas/8384874.stm

Thank you for caring about

Thank you for caring about this and telling the truth.  Linda

Sadly this is an

Sadly this is an outcome we´ve all been expecting...more outrageous propaganda and still much more to come as the days, weeks and months go by. Probably by tomorrow this will all be yesterday news (internationally) except in this extremely honorable web site. Thank you so much Al for caring and telling the REAL news. My family, friends & I are grateful to no end for what you´ve done to bring light to our situation. THANK YOU!

However the entire latino

However the entire latino community is watching another idiotic awards show tonight. Keep them busy so they can't think. From my perch it seems to be working. Jorge Ramos made his stand in the 15 minutes or less they gave him. This is the most important denouement since what? The 1980s? This is the end of the pretext of democracy in the Americas?

Radiodelosmenos.org

This Radiodelosmenos.org site, referenced in the article above, does not come up on the web. The only reference in Google is this article. Is there an error? Sounds like a good place to learn more.

online radio

Thanks again for being one of very few sources covering this story properly!  Couple of things.  Radio de los menos appears to be at http://radiodelosmenos.blogspot.com and not radiodelosmenos.org.   I was interested in listening so I tried the url and ended up having to google it.  That was in a long quotation from another source and not directly from you guys, but I've noticed you're sticklers for accuracy!  Also, I tried to go to radio globo to listen online, and the site had a link to a plugin that was required which charged a subscription fee.   Is that for real?

thank you

Hi Al, Thank you for your excellent reporting. I've been overwhelmed by medical bills for a while now but will contribute as soon as I can. I've been reading closely though!

 

God I hate US foreign policy.

If this is for real it´s

If this is for real it´s the best news I´ve heard in a long time:

http://www.hondurasnews.com/2009/11/30/us-doesnt-recognize-the-honduras-government/

 

Let´s hope.

State Department Briefing on Honduran Elections

Sorry 2day2tomorrow, but here is today's press briefing from new Assistant Secretary of Western Hemispheric Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and his comments indicate that the US is going forth and recognizing Pepe Lobo as the elected president of Honduras.

While recognizing the "gravity of the military coup," the US acknowledges the results of this "election that met international standards of fairness and transparency despite some incidents."  Furthermore, the Obama Administration frames this election as merely the first step in a reconciliation process to restore the "democratic and constitutional order."

But just what truly is this "democratic and constitutional order" that Valenzuela refers to?  Clearly it seems that this restoration of "order" refers to reverting the state of affairs in Honduras back to what they were prior to Zelaya's attempts to truly democratize his nation and loosen the oligarchy's stranglehold on power in the country, which was precisely the objective of the golpistas in the first place.  

Ultimately the Obama Administration's ambivalence on this situation betrays its true agenda, which remains unchanged from previous governments: the perpetuation of US interest in the region by maintaining a thin veneer of democratic processes atop of oligarchic power structures. 

-RMK

To Clarify

Sorry, perhaps I should clarify: the point of contention is not whether the current coup regime should be recognized as legitimate, which clearly the Administration does not explicitly do.  But, by recognizing the results of this sham "election" and Pepe Lobo as the next president, the Administration gives implicit consent and legitimacy to the golpistas, their goals, and their abominable actions over the past several months. 

Again, the coup regime's goals go far beyond merely maintaining its current monopoly on power.  Instead it seeks the broader goal of the perpetuation of the oligarchic political and economic structures that were relatively unchallenged previous to Zelaya's presidency.

But, corresponding with what Al has been reporting all along, I think that the positive news that can be taken from this is that the events of the past several months, in spite of what the political leaders of Honduras or the OAS or the US choose to do, have galvanized the Honduran public and set the stage for future political movements and true Honduran Democracy in the strongest and deepest sense of the ideal.  The problem is that by acquiescing and refusing to support true democracy in Latin America (that is governments of, for, and by the people), the US has also set the stage for right-wing interests in the region to continue to use violence under the pretense of "protecting the constitution" to maintain their stranglehold on power against the will of the people.

Stay tuned...   

-RMK

The spin machine in action

 Thought you might want to see this garbage editorial on Investors.com

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About Al Giordano

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Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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