Honduras and the Three-Ring Circus

By Al Giordano

I got in from a very long, hot and humid day on the highways of a country called América – within tens of hours, health willing, I hope to be reporting from a very interesting place - and I’ve just spent the last while catching up on what happened on the border of Honduras today.

Here’s the short version:

There is a three-ring circus distracting the global media from the authentic struggle – the one waged by the Honduran people, from below – and today none of the ringmasters dressed themselves in glory.

In ring one, we had Coup “president” Roberto Micheletti, who blinked when his troops did not arrest President Manuel Zelaya, who set foot on his country’s soil today at the border crossing – Los Manos – where we suggested he would yesterday.

In ring two, we had Zelaya, who himself blinked – inexplicably, from this community organizer’s lens, objectively viewed, a setback for his cause and his people – by not continuing his walk toward Tegucigalpa after the coup regime blinked. A few more steps forward and he would have either called the regime’s bluff, and continued marching, or he would have ended up in prison, inspiring the people to go the extra yardage necessary to topple the coup.

And in ring three, we had US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who claimed that Zelaya’s actions today were “reckless.” Today Clinton proved, once and for all, that she is not competent to do the job of foreign minister. What an asshole. It is Clinton who demonstrated that she is reckless about democracy. The actions she called “reckless” were those of a Honduran citizen and elected president doing no more than trying to rejoin his own feet with his own land. What makes her behavior today so obviously inept and deserving of eternal contempt is that she used such strong words to criticize a guy who, when push came to shove, did exactly what she had recommended, when Zelaya backed down. The only reckless thing he did was shrink from putting the next foot in front of the other.

Obscured from view by the circus: the mobilizations of an increasingly organized Honduran people. Today’s saga underscores that, in the end, the outcome is up to them, and from this pen we will redouble our efforts to make sure that their courage and sacrifice do not go unseen or unheard.

In my twelve years as a resident of Latin America, as close as I walk to the social movements, I have never told them what to do. I don’t believe it is the proper role of any US citizen to presume to give such advice. But I would like to highlight the remarks of Maryknoll priest and President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto, who prior to all of today’s blinking said, “Zelaya’s return is heroic and correct.”

Or it might have been, had he actually returned.

Notimex reported that coup “president” Micheletti told reporters that Zelaya, during his brief moments in Honduran territory today, was not arrested because “we would have provoked an international quarrel.” As if he and his Simian Council have not provoked sufficient crisis already.

And although my much bandied-about and different opinions than those of colleague Eva Golinger about how we got to this point in history continue, today’s events certainly put me on the same page when that colleague wrote:

“Personally, I think he needs to just continue inside Honduras, despite all risks, and fight to reunite with his family and his people, who have been risking their lives now for almost one month, struggling to defeat the coup regime.”

Yes, and finally: It’s not about Zelaya. This has never been about Zelaya, whether he's good or bad or somewhere in between. It’s about the people, who continue to reject the coup regime and withdraw the consent of the governed from it through exemplary civil resistance.

May Manuel Zelaya divert his gaze from the circus up above – may we all do that - and place it where the only authentic action will now happen: the struggle from below. The rest is just a pretext for cotton candy, Cracker Jacks and clown shoes.

Saturday Morning Update: About to get on the road again. Will check in this afternoon with all necessary updates...

 

Comments

not sure if it was a blink, feels more like a feint...

on Zelaya's part. 3rd time is the charm.

what a disgrace... Micheletti echoes Clinton

I hope Obama or Rahm are keeping close tabs on Clinton.

"Interim President Roberto Micheletti said Zelaya was "an irresponsible demagogue who puts the lives of others at risk in pursuit of his own personal agenda," and that Hondurans were disgusted by the "media circus" surrounding Zelaya's attempt to return on Friday.

Washington has condemned the coup and called for Zelaya's reinstatement, but it also advised him not to enter Honduras without a political deal in place. Clinton urged all sides to reach a negotiated, peaceful solution.

"We have consistently urged all parties to avoid any provocative action that could lead to violence. President Zelaya's effort to reach the border is reckless," Clinton said. "It does not contribute to the broader effort to restore democratic and constitutional order in the Honduras crisis."

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN24456507

Zelaya Blinked Because He's Not A Real Revolutionary

I hope with all my heart the Honduran masses overthrow the fascist coup. But one problem here is Zelaya himself, the reason he continues to blink and move backwards instead of forwards is because at the end of the day, he was never a fire in the veins revolutionary. It took close to three years to finally wake up to the new Latin American awakening and he's also a classic upper class figure in the sense that maybe he's not fully prepared to risk everything to overthrow the coup. Men like Chavez, Castro, Evo Morales etc., are take no prisoners types. Zelaya is not in their league, that might be the real weak link here in the chain.

Do I have to be nice?

It's all I can do to keep my mouth shut about how I feel about Zelaya right now.  And Clinton?  Don't get me started. 

I sincerely hope some new leadership emerges among the Honduran organizers of the resistence...someone with some integrity and cajones.  The Honduran people are the real stars of the show.  I'm massively proud of their discipline and determination.  It's inspiring.

Unite a new Honduran political party

 

All the time Mel is wasting on trying to get back into his own country...

When the military are holding the big guns...

Does not look good for Mel...

We risk our lives speaking in public...

Marching for Mel...


Mel must tell Honduras...
The time is now to organize a new political party...
This will stop the Liberal Party cold...
And force the National Party to change

The Hondurans are ready...

I have never seen so many Hondurans shouting for change...

Great time in world history...

We as grassroots organizers are working hard to convince Mel and Xiomara to start a social revolution unlike any in Honduran history...

Unite Pro Zelaya supporters...

Unite those against the Coup...

Unite those who up to now did not care...

Unite the million plus Hondurans stateside...

Under a new political party born by the Honduran people...

The world is watching...

We must act now...

 

 

You are right, it is not about Zelaya

This is bigger than him. A couple of days after the coup I went to a protest in Los Angeles in front of the Honduras consulate. I was there protesting the right wing military coup and its trampling of Democracy. I knew virtually nothing of Zelaya and was not there to defend him personally. I went to show my solidarity with the people on the streets of Honduras protesting and resisting the military coup.

 

This is about the people of Honduras not letting the rich and the military dictating to them how their country will be run.

 

Yes, he blinked but...

The military, as I understand it have his wife and family as hostages a few kilometers up the road. Personally, I think it was a mistake and he should have kept going to the capital but I am not on the ground there and don't really know how it was. Where is the political and diplomatic  outcry about his family being held hostage by the military? What does the US state department or any one have to say about that?

Great coverage

Al Giordano,

Your coverage of the Venezuelan crisis is great. Why can't there be more journalists like you. I'd love to see the mainstream media call Clinton an asshole too but I won't hold my breath.

Leaders

They don't need "leaders".  They are leaders.

Losing Faith

I don't know if I ever had any real faith in Zelaya. I knew from the start that the airport incident was a photo opportunity, a play if you will. For if he was true to the cause he would have just taken a helicopter and landed where he wanted.

I felt to give him another chance weeks ago when he gave Arias a chance to broker a deal. However he then agreed as a start to everything on paper, which was in my mind a show of weakness. No one skilled at negotiating will ever start out agreeing to everything up front. He basically had no demands other than for himself to come back and play head of state for a few more months. Sure a few perks thrown in like being able to go home are extras, but still, no real demands for the people.

 

At that time I pretty much saw through him. He was playing, not only for time, but for show. This last effort, after countless other he is coming efforts, failed to produce anything more than another photo opportunity for him, and lastly, his telling a reporter than he has balls, but he not crazy.

Sometimes in Latin America, you have to take it to the limit to prove you are stand up. In Zelayas case, his coming across and staying all of 30 minutes showed that he was just playing with people, playing with their ideals, and eventually playing them. He has no real intentions other than to be a fly buzzing about Honduras, biting every so often the current gorrilas in power.

It was a huge disappointment, but not one in which I wasn't expecting. He just wants to keep playing it for all he can get out of it, it's a show, and as long as attention is focused on him, the more the better for him. If you really want to come back, then you walk with your head held high and face it, come death or life, you face it and show people what you got. If not, your just a puppet on a string.

He showed people that was what he is about today. Very sad and very depressing for me. I am sick of it. I am going to think about other things, I am no longer interested in him as a leader. For he has shown today that is not the leader for me.

 

Meno

 

 

Clinton is a disgrace

Al,

I am disgusted by Hillary Clinton's lack of support for Zelaya. She makes me ashamed of being an American, giving de facto aid to the golpistas with her ill-calculated remarks.

As you have pointed out before, she and her hacks (Lanny Davis) have failed to step up to the plate on this matter. Even Fidel Castro came out the other day not blaming Obama, but mentioned the "departamento de estado" in Granma as de facto co-conspirator.

This isn't the first time Clintonistas have screwed with "latinoamerica." I reccomend watching the film "Our Brand is Crisis," where James Carville and other Clinton advisors helped the U.S. backed Sanchez de Lozada win a corrupt election in Bolivia.

I say it is time for a house cleaning. Time to depose Clinton as Sec. of State!

 

@ Alci Rengifo

I think, given the circunstances, that calling Zelaya "not" a revolutionary is very premature. I believe Zelaya is preparing the field so that more and more people build up at the border.

Remember that a lot of people can not say what they think at their work or missing work is even riskier; so this weekend is key because most people is off.

Also, Zelaya is armed with the MEDIA mostly international.

Friday night, the police tried to takeover Radio Globo in Tegucigalpa, so people sourrounded the building and defied the curfew!

Honduras is moving forward!!

Criticism of this report

I have the greatest repsect for the excellent NarcoNews coverage, and for the Al's 'body of work', but I think this particular report is at best misplaced.

You cannot equate Zelaya with Clintons golpistas.  Zelaya wasn't the cliched 'international hero of the people', but he is doing the best he can against US repression and that should be acknowleged.

The United States speaks the truth at last - The Extreme Right

The truth at last...

The United States...

"The most powerful bankrupt nation on Earth"...

Its Extreme Right has punished Mel...

~

U.S.: Honduras Coup a "Lesson" for Zelaya Not to Follow

Venezuela's Path July 23rd 2009, by Mérida, July 22nd 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com)

-- The military coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya last month should serve as a "lesson" for Zelaya to steer clear of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and President Hugo Chavez, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley.

In a press conference on Monday, Cowley stated, "We certainly think that if we were choosing a model government and a model leader for countries of the region to follow, that the current leadership in Venezuela would not be a particular model. If that is the lesson that President Zelaya has learned from this episode, that would be a good lesson."

On June 28th, the Honduran military kidnapped Zelaya and deposited him in Costa Rica, and Roberto Michelleti, a fellow party member of Zelaya and head of the Congress at the time, took over as de facto president. Coup government officials have cited Honduras's entrance into the Venezuela-led fair trade group known as ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) last year, and Zelaya's initiative to allow Hondurans to elect an assembly to re-write the nation's constitution, as motivations for the coup.

Crowley also accused Venezuela of intervening on Honduran affairs. The U.S. is "concerned about unhelpful steps that [President Chavez has] taken with some of his neighbors, and interference that we've seen Venezuela - with respect to relations with other countries, whether it's Honduras on the one hand, or whether it's Colombia on the other," he said.

The U.S. currently occupies a military base in Honduras, and recently expanded its operations on as many as five Colombian military bases, causing a diplomatic dispute between Colombia and Venezuela. Chavez called the U.S. military presence a threat to the region. Venezuela demands the unconditional restoration of Zelaya to power, and has called on the U.S. to take a firm stance in support of this.

The U.S. has cut off $18 million in economic aid to Honduras, but refuses to define the coup as a "coup," which would obligate the U.S. to cut off another $180 million. And, while the U.S. claims to have cut off military aid, it continues to train Honduran military officers in the School of the Americas in Georgia, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), according to the National Catholic Reporter.

~

Just who is a "Model Country" for Honduras...

The United States???

"The most powerful bankrupt nation on Earth"

Chavez is sitting on millions of oil barrel's...

He can stand down America...

Something the Extreme Right can not accept...

This is not about saving a failed system - Capitalism...

This is about hearing the cries of millions who want change...   

 

 

Give Zelaya a Chance

I too was disappointed that Zelaya did not proceed further into Honduras.   But in a sense the situation in Honduras reminds me of that in Cuba in 1947.  

At that time the oligarchy and the US had a stranglehold on the island and much of Fidel's political work "within the system" was within the confines of the mainstream political party known as Orthodox, under the leadership of the legendary Chibas, who in many respects was like Obama. You may recall that Fidel was destined to win a Congressional seat in the Cuban legislature, shortly before Batista's coup in 1952. 

Castro chose this path, instead of open rebellion, because he wanted to develop a mass movement from within so that he would have the backing to overthrow the government at a later time.

Recall that Zelaya was ousted just a few weeks after hosting the OAS conference in Tegucigalpa that reinstated Cuba to that organization.  During that conference Zelaya made some remarkably inspirational speeches.

Those speeches convinced me that Zelaya is the real deal.

Zelaya may simply be taking this "go slow" approach to build an overwhelming popular force that he can later use to install a popular government, of the people, by the people and for the people.

Shame on the Empire!

Shame on Hilary, and her boss too - for not stopping this circus. But we should consider that the dark ultra right wing forces who are based in the pentagon have more power than the white house. When JFK went against them, they killed him. Perhaps Obama has been reminded of that.  Anyway it is very clear that the bastards appointed by Bush are still on the payroll, still scheming, working against popular democracy, and trying to keep Latin America under the feet of imperialistic bastards.

===================

This is an great little 12 min video - (in addition to that which is obvious to most here, it speaks a little about canadian gold mining operations in Honduras)

Honduran coup plotters' fear isn't losing power to Zelaya or Chavez,
it's losing power to Hondurans

They didn't overthrow Zelaya when he raised the minimum wage, de
facto1 president Roberto Micheletti even voted with Zelaya in
approving the Chavez-sponsored ALBA initiative, but the day he went to ask the people to get involved the military kidnapped and expelled him. Canadian gold miners, US military bases, and the Honduran oligarchy all have something to fear at this time, but it isn't necessarily the return of Manuel Zelaya. A look at the time-line of the coup shows a pretty conclusive picture of the specter of
participatory democracy as the catalyst to the Honduran coup.

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&It...

it's also on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i7nvxO2iQE&feature=player_embedded

==================

"Without sharing there can be no justice;
without justice there can be no peace;
without peace there can be no future."
The World Teacher

 

 

 

 

.

..

...

a small correction

LAS Manos, not LOS Manos.  Remember, LA mano, EL mapa.

Don't feel bad.  Eva Golinger made the same mistake.

@machetera

...unless "Los Manos" is short for "Los Hermanos"?

I must have been watching some other crossing at Las Manos

I must have been watching some other crossing at Las Manos, because what I saw was a very well-considered act of civil disobedience worthy of Martin Luther King. And it gave me the same sense of history being made that listening to King gave me many years ago. 

 

I can't read Zelaya's mind and I don't know why he decided not to press on. As events unfold, we may come to understand. But I was not at all disappointed that he stayed overnight in Nicaragua. With one attempt on his life (reported by TeleSur) already and with night falling, it made sense from the standpoint of security.

 

He also had to gauge whose forces were stronger, and whether time favored him or the coup. I certainly fear that time favors the coup. But he knows Honduran society and he is doubtless in touch with many of the coup opponents. So, I am willing to suspend disbelief for the time being.

 

Another factor that he has to consider is the US. If this is to be a relatively bloodless countercoup, the US must act. Otherwise, it really is civil war. The coupistas have a much stronger hand when it comes to organized violence. If all the people who, from relative safety, bitch about Zelaya's lack of fortitude would sit down and write a polite but passionate letter to Hillary Clinton and send it fastest delivery, it would probably change the situation. Our oligarchy is favoring the coup because it believes that we aren't watching. Their weakness is that they want to be loved. Hardened as their consciences are, they can be shamed.

 

I asked myself whether I would be bold enough to walk in, under the guns of snipers and to a place where I had been told I would be arrested. I decided that my likely reaction was pretty iffy and that, at least compared to me, Zelaya is a pretty brave man. Huevones, actually. 

 

(to preserve the integrity of the Narcosphere: this is the name under which I write about politics and have done since 9/11)

Run for daylight -- Organize -- Organize -- Organize

So what if coup was years in the making and designed to destroy Chavez?  So what if Zelaya and Hillary do more harm then good? For we always knew what the leaders on both sides would do next, just a repeat of bad history.

 

But who knows that the people might do next, and how glorious is.  Especially in defeat how glorious they shall be.

 

So come, our job is to shine light so their darkness may give way, and to provide guidance and the material support they need to,  “Run for daylight."

Zelaya

Let's wait and see how it plays out.  The situation in Honduras is much different than it is/was in Venezuela or Bolivia.  I've spent some time in Honduras - my first trip after a great campesino leader was shot dead in fabricated confrontation with police.  His name was Nahun Calix, a very, very special and beloved man.  Zelaya is no good to anyone, dead.  And it was risky entering Honduras, but for his own, he was there, where he said he would be - although briefly - and helped the people keep the faith.  Suppose he was shot dead, surely any number of police or soldiers would love the notoriety, instant fame, recognition, however temporary, by the elite.  Perhaps he would even be a paid assassin.  But Zelaya is still alive, and still provides hope instead of despair for his people.  Bravo to the people of Honduras - may they keep marching forward in such a disciplined manner.  And let us support them by not criticizing their chosen leader.

Great anaysis of the

Great anaysis of the situation.

I don't what Zelaya's plans are, but I am inspired by the thousands of Hondurans that showed up for his entry into their country.  It is amazing.  They walked through rough and tough mountain passes to arrive; all their busses had been stopped (or had their shot out by the military) and the military blocked all the main roads.

Honduras does have a tradition of a non-violent and cautious approach to confronting the oligarchy and its military guard dog.

Unlike El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, Honduras never experienced violent revolutions and counter-revolutions. 

So, Zelaya may be operating within that tradition. But that is only my opinion.

I used to teach the middle school spawn of the Tegus oligarchy.  They were uncultivated, spoiled rotten, into US hip-hop and rap, didn't give a rat's ass about the impoverished majority of Hondurans, hung out and went to buying sprees at the fortress-like US-styled malls and basically schmoozed and talked all the time.

They only refected the basic character of their parents.  Actually, one of my more troublesome student's mother monopolized the sex-worker and drug trades for the Palmerola (US) military base.

Her Spanish was similar to that of an uneducated street person.  But she possessed millions of Lempira in hard-earned currency.  She deserved it since provided US GI's with important and necessary services!

I also had the daughter of major contender for the mayorship of Tegus in my class.  On the first day of class, she showed up sporting a mini-TV.  She wanted to entertain herself while I did my business in the background.  Her father was one of the more educated of the new oligarchs; he had actually graduated from High School.  In addition, her petite mom visably and constantly drove her huge HUMMER throughout the city.  It was practically the only such vehicle in Tegus.

You get the picture.

The Honduran oligarchy is a joke.  They don't know the convaluted legal system that they and their predecessors produced, nor do they remember when they similarly transgressed their legal system or constitution when it came to making more money.

In fact, they view, like oligarchs, their country as their personal money-making machine.  That is all it really is constructed for; this a holdover from the days of the conquistadors.

Last, if you go to BBC World News, you can download each country's profile.  Honduras is described as having the one of the most corrupt politico-legal systems in the world -not just in our hemisphere!  So much for the sancrosanct decisions made by the Honduran supreme court, military bosses and members of the congress.

 

@Charles

While it does seem a bit harsh to fault Zelaya for not walking straight into the arms of a political-military establishment that would like nothing better than for him to vanish from the face of the earth forever, the fact is that he failed to manage expectations. If he wasn't prepared to follow through, he never should have declared his intention to return.

The words of a Honduran organizer from Jonathan Treat's July 18th report on the blockade of the southern highway into Tegucigalpa are apt:

“We have done here what we came to do... We have said what we came here to say,”

Zelaya failed to do what he came to do.  The result was a big disappointment for his supporters, and that makes the work of organizers in Honduras much more difficult.

 

 

Ithink Mel knows what he's

Ithink Mel knows what he's doing -- remember that his own people are armed to the teeth. 8 military checkpoints between him and Teguz--how far would he have gotten? He was most concerned first about reuniting with his family, and that didn't happen. He tried to negotiate with the joint Chiefs, and that failed. He also needs thousands of people to be able to challenge the barricades.

I think many readers don't understand that revolution in Honduras doesn't run by the playbook--this is something new, something unique. Mel, also, is not and never has been an ideologue. If things go horribly wrong--if he is assassinated or even jailed--all hell WILL break loose. It is absolutely magnificent that he is keeping this peaceful, but with a word, he could have a different type of civil disobediene. 'Patuca Warrior' knows full well what I am talking about.

 

Please, ut the guy some slack--you aren't planning this, you're not on the ground with him, and you and I don't know one percent of what is transpiring. And maybe do some real research into the messiness and complexity of Latin American revolutions (starting with Bolivar and his European friends!). Remember, also, that Hugo was a product of the military.

 

 

 

Jeff, just one question...

Have you written to the Secretary of State to express your disappointment with US adherence to domestic and international law, which requires her to declare that a coup has taken place and to suspend all aid? Did you request of her that she freeze the bank accounts of the coupistas? And what about the moral obligation to seek an indictment of the coupistas in the UN? 

Who is Lt. Cnl Luis Recartes?

Even though I felt a bit dissapointed myself for Zelaya not going deeper into the country, I don't feel in a position to ask anyone to martyrize him or herself. I would like to know more though who is this commander that ordered his troops to stand back, dialogued with Zelaya and according to him would serve as some sort of messenger.

At the beginning of the crisis Al wrote about sources from inside Honduras reporting that some military garrisons weren't repressing the protesters. I don't expect a Baduel to side with Zelaya but still, what is the situation within the Honduran military, and what role can this character play?

@Charles

No, no, and no.

A training program for popular uprising

Zelaya is not a revolutionary, but he is creating revolutionary conditions.

Now he could have walked into captivity like more-committed radicals, but he risked having the country forget about him.  This is a concern if Honduran culture is as conservative as people have been saying.  It wasn't as if he had Nelson Mandela's ANC to keep up the fight while he was in prison.

Instead, since he has no political future under any reasonable scenario for restoring a free election, he is performing the useful service of helping to train a movement that has had little opportunity in the past.  Recall how the Bolivian Indians marched their government to death.  That ability was not spontaneous; the Bolivians had been marching for years.  Now the Hondurans are learning how to organize marches on short notice, paralyze the economy, and maintain discipline.  Perhaps Zelaya will keep making these border crossings, each time arranging a truce with a local army commander who does not want a massacre on his conscience.  This makes the coup regime impotent and ridiculous.  The army gets more and more shaky, while the marchers who show up to confront them have more assurance that the balance of power is tilting towards them.  I think this is a fascinating experiment in nonviolent resistance, at least until the regime finally finds a commander who will make the arrest.  At which point all the things Al talked about will occur anyway, but with the regime weakened.

Most of all, this political theater ensures the prevention of normalcy that the regime seeks for its all-right-wing elections in December.  Hondurans have other political parties they can vote for, but have not yet become disgusted enough to try.  Recall what happened in Turkey, when all the pro-secular, pro-US parties backed by the Army were all voted out at once in a wave of disgust in favor of the populist AKP.  Compare that to Pakistan, where there was plenty of disgust against the Army in last year's election, but when the brave but corrupt Benazir Bhutto went to campaign knowing she would probably be martyred, all she accomplished was to pass her family-owned, ex-socialist party to her even more corrupt husband Mr. 10%.  It's back in power but it has done nothing to solve the problems of the country or address the weakness of democracy there, such that the Army keeps overthrowing it without popular resistance.

 

Okay, so Zelaya isn't their

Okay, so Zelaya isn't their MLK, Mandela, or Ghandi. Now what?

Nov pres elections: Is Carlos Reyes a candidate?

As I understand it, member of Congress Cesar Ham is the Unification Democratica's candidate in the November presidential elections.

But I recently read* that Carlos Reyes, a popular movement leader, has recently been allowed by the Supreme Court to register as an independent candidate for president. If this is true, I believe it's the first time that a non-party candidate will have been allowed to run. Reyes is among other things a leader and spokesman for the Bloque Popular, a coalition of grassroots organizations.  He met with the School of the Americas Watch delegation during their visit July 7-10, and has been quoted by press covering the anti-coup resistance.

Can anyone confirm the report about his candidacy? I don't know if the Supreme Court ruling on Reyes' candidacy, if it's a fact, happened before or after June 28.

-----------

*in one of the early-in-the-coup reports by a participant in the Honduran resistance that Adrienne Pine has been receiving and translating.

 

@ super390

The political situation in Turkey doesn't exactly resemble Honduras in terms of the principal actors. The newly emerging religious oligarchy is much more neo-liberal economically than the secular elite they're replacing. Concordantly, they're held in high regard by various appendages of the U.S. power structure. The electoral support for the AKP comes heavily from the rural regions of Turkey, which was meticilously stripped of any coherent political ideology through three military coups in two decades. In its the place, the population is heavily inoculated by religion to facilitate the pseudo-feudal economic system that a large portion of the population still endure. I would hardly call any organization that composes national economic policy by reading memos from the World Bank populist.  

 

As far as Zelaya goes, I have similar difficulties in expecting a man to endanger his own life except in such a case when hordes of individuals have been risking their own well being protesting in his support. While the walk was certainly inadequate, I think the more important aspect of it was that it was ultimately inconsequential. This movement is obviously bigger than Zelaya's return to the presidency. Hopefully Zelaya's hesistance will convince any activists still looking to leaders for salvation to act on their own behalves. 

@super390

Thank you!  Your evaluation and speculation has gone a long way toward helping me understand what's going on.  You make some very valid observations. You're right...the guy has no political future, so why risk his family?  Seriously good stuff from my limited perspective.

@ Nell

I can confirm you the following:

Carlos H. Reyes had been trying to run as an independent candidate before June 28th, but he was not taken seriously. He had to collect a fixed amount of signatures to request permission to the Supreme Electoral Tribune. I´m not quite sure if he actually collected them all.

Given the circunstances after the coupe, he was officially accepted as candidate.

Yesterday, there was a public event to define the order of the apperance of the 6 candidetes on the ballot.

http://www.elheraldo.hn/Pa%C3%ADs/Ediciones/2009/07/25/Noticias/Agitado-sorteo-de-papeletas-electorales

http://www.latribuna.hn/web2.0/?p=23079

 

President Zelaya returns to Honduran border

 

Stephen Gibbs at the BBC seems to think that President Zelay can cross the border.  Just wondering why he would think so if the Army is plainly in sight at the border.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8169101.stm

The spectacular mountainous border between Nicaragua and Honduras is riddled with unguarded crossing points. They can be reached by foot or horseback.

Manuel Zelaya is an expert horseman and knows the area well.

 

Zelaya returns to Honduran border

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/07/200972521138455815.html

clip from MSNBC of President Zelaya commenting on Clinton's statement.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/32144283#32144283

Jeff...

Jeff, if you haven't written a letter in defense of the Honduran people, why criticize Zelaya for not walking into almost certain death or imprisonment? 


I'm not being facetious nor am I asking a rhetorical question. I hear many people saying they're disappointed that Zelaya didn't do his duty. But I believe that if we did our duty, and demanded that our officials obeyed the law and promoted justice, Zelaya's job would be a lot less dangerous.

 

Everyone on these boards: please write or call the State Department and your congressman to politely urge that they start doing the right thing.

Thanks, Hector!

Links much appreciated.

Amazing interview on Radio Globo

Eduardo [Maldonado, presumably] gave an amazing interview on Radio Globo, which I joined a bit late. If I understood correctly, he was interviewing General Vasquez Velasquez. Then, in a classic Marshall McLuhan moment he brought Xiomara Castro Zelaya on line. I live blogged it as best as I could, but it was difficult to understand parts of it, so I hope someone has a recording. I think this interview confirms that there was no arrest order and that Vasquez Velaquez doesn't know or refuses to say how he happened to storm the presidential palace. It also seems to give confirmation that the home invasion was at an illegal hour and otherwise violated Articles 99 and Articles 102 of the Constitution.

Military endorses San Jose Accord...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/world/americas/26honduras.html

Military in Honduras Backs Plan on Zelaya 
Published: July 25, 2009 
WASHINGTON — The Honduran armed forces issued a communiqué on Saturday indicating that they would not stand in the way of an agreement to return Manuel Zelaya, the country’s ousted president, to power....Posted on the Honduran Armed Forces Web sitehttp://www.ffaah.mil.hn/index.html, it endorsed the so-called San José Accord that was forged in Costa Rica by delegates representing President Zelaya and...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/world/americas/26honduras.html

Of double standards.

I have recently observed the crowds of Iranians protesting their nation's recent electoral outcome.  I don't I remember hearing or reading that the leadership of the opposition or the protesters were acting "reckless."  Didn't their actions cause civil strife and several killings.

I remember the anti-communist uprisings against the Roumanian regime.  It was one of the few communist states that ceased to exist after a major bloodbath.  I don't remember any US State Dept. officeholder, or media pundit describing those crowds as "reckless."

I do remember that H. Clinton stating that the democratically elected President of Venezuela was a "dictator" during her run to be the Democrat's Presidential candidate.

Maybe, because she has such views concerning Hugo Chavez, it colors her views about Mel Zelaya?

Honduran Army will be the excuse to give the U.S. what it wants?

From the New York Times article linked by Know Buddee:

The communiqué was drafted in Washington after days of talks between mid-level Honduran officers and American Congressional aides. Posted on the Honduran Armed Forces Web site, it endorsed the so-called San José Accord that was forged in Costa Rica by delegates representing President Zelaya and the man who heads the de facto Honduran government, Roberto Micheletti.

The accord, supported by most governments in the hemisphere, would allow Mr. Zelaya to return as president, although with significantly limited executive powers.

In my view, this is what the U.S. has wanted all along, so, just out of curiosity, what measures did U.S. negotiators push to remove the Honduran military from the governing process?

Will the Honduran military agree to continue existing under "significantly limited military powers"?

No, nevermind.

Outstanding Colombian journalist on scene with Zelaya

For Spanish readers, please check out the gutsy and defiant Hollman Morris covering the developments on the ground at the Honduran border.  (He's a good enough journalist that the paramilitary-linked government regularly implies that Morris is a subversive, thus encouraging paramilitaries to threaten him and inspiring international condemnations of the Colombian government's provocative, journalist-threatening rhetoric, except for the entire U.S. which pretends not to notice.)

Hollman Morris: con Zelaya en la línea

Por: Hollman Morris / Especial para El Espectador
El periodista relata las negociaciones entre un coronel del ejército hondureño y el depuesto presidente.

Un joven busca desesperadamente por los pasillos del hotel preguntando quién ha visto el sombrero blanco. Es la indicación de que el presidente Manuel Zelaya se dispone en los próximos minutos a salir. Él nunca deja su sombrero, como tampoco a su fiel alfil, la canciller de su gobierno, Patricia Rada. Alfil y sombrero, pareciera, eran los elementos más importantes este sábado para la jornada en la que Zelaya, como lo hiciera en la víspera, intentara volver a entrar a Honduras.

En el hotel La Campiña, en la población nicaragüense de Estelí, a unos 45 minutos del puesto fronterizo de Las Manos, lo veo venir, impecable: vestido, pantalón negro, chaleco de cuero negro, camisa blanca y sombrero blanco. No usa botas, porque quizá lo harían ver más alto de lo que es -casi dos metros-. Me toma por el brazo y dice a la cámara: "Hoy, en Honduras, se están jugando los derechos de la democracia y los del pueblo hondureño que me eligió en las urnas".

Sigue hablando de la democracia mientras se sube a su Jeep blanco. Un alfil importante lo acompaña, de nuevo, en esta jornada: el canciller venezolano, Nicolás Maduro.

Inicia la marcha. Sobre la carretera, jóvenes mujeres nicas gritan "¡Viva Zelaya!", mientras al borde se divisa una que otra bandera de Honduras. Los carros de periodistas buscan rebasar furiosos el carro de Zelaya. Es lógico, todos quieren la imagen de frente del campero estacionado en la línea fronteriza en el municipio de Las Manos.

Cuarenta minutos después, ahí está el Presidente, a unos 50 metros de la línea fronteriza. No sabe qué hacer. Llueve. Los gritos de los adeptos de Zelaya empiezan a escucharse con más fuerza en el lado nicaragüense, gente humilde, la mayoría. Otros empiezan a llegar por un camino de herradura desde el lado hondureño. "¡Ahí vienen!", vociferan los que los divisan: son cincuenta, cien, doscientos seguidores de Zelaya. Vienen de su departamento natal, Olancho, muchos andrajosos, con los pies descalzos.

Un joven con la bandera de Honduras amarrada a su cuello grita: "Vivo o muerto con Zelaya hoy pasamos". Muchos repiten el lema. Del otro lado de la cadena, del lado hondureño, aparece el coronel Recarte. Me dirijo a él instintivamente con la cámara prendida. "Coronel, ¿usted tiene orden de detener al presidente Zelaya?". El coronel me dice que no y me deja ver que quiere hablar con el presidente Zelaya. Lo interpreto como un mensaje que rápidamente tengo que transmitir. Corro diez metros y me encuentro frente a frente con ‘Mel', como le dicen al depuesto presidente. Le digo: "El coronel hondureño quiere hablar con usted". El presidente deja de contestar la artillería de preguntas de los periodistas y me dice: "Pídale el teléfono, que me mande el número celular". Nuevamente corro al lado hondureño.

Regreso con el número del coronel. Me subo al coche de Zelaya y le paso mi pequeña libreta con todos los apuntes de mi viaje a Honduras (nunca la volvería a ver). El presidente coge la libreta y marca: "Coronel, habla el presidente Zelaya. Necesito que dejen pasar a mi familia". Deja de hablar y me pide que le diga al coronel que se reúnan en el campero.

De nuevo, del lado hondureño, el coronel se quita las armas y me responde. "Yo voy desarmado, pero no puedo pasar la cadena". Lo que sucede después me recuerda una escena del Medio Oeste norteamericano. El coronel Recarte se aproxima a la cadena del lado hondureño. El presidente Zelaya, del lado nicaragüense, está a cinco metros. Instintivamente los periodistas abren un corredor. Los dos se quedan mirando frente a frente. La prensa, toda la tribu mediática, es capaz sorpresivamente de guardar un minuto de orden.

El minuto de orden se rompe y esa es la luz verde para que Zelaya avance hasta el coronel. Se dan la mano, intercambian unas frases que no escucho y entonces Recarte se retira a hacer unas consultas. Zelaya, impulsado por sus seguidores, alza la cadena y entra a territorio hondureño. Después se dirige hacia el cartel donde comienza Honduras y es allí donde todos los flashes se disparan. Zelaya logra con esto un gesto simbólico al estar un par de minutos en territorio hondureño.

¿Espectáculo? No estoy de acuerdo. Zelaya logró, al estar un par de minutos en Honduras, que todos los medios del mundo hayan vuelto su mirada al país y logra presionar al gobierno norteamericano para que se defina una vez por todas frente a la crisis hondureña (hay quienes opinan que Estados Unidos está demorado en retirar a su embajador en Tegucigalpa).

Con sombrero o sin sombrero, show o no show, lo que logró Zelaya este sábado, a las 2:10 de la tarde cuando pisó tierra hondureña, fue hacer ver, de nuevo y con urgencia, que las democracias en América Latina se juegan en esta frontera su futuro.

*Esta historia formará parte del tercer capítulo de la serie documental Tiempo Real con Hollman Morris, del canal The History Channel.

El Payaso Micheletti rachets up the curfew

The people of Honduras continue to resist. Many have gathered at the border near Nicaragua. TeleSur reports:

El gobierno de facto de Roberto Micheletti anunció la extensión de la medida de toque de queda en el departamento de El Paraiso (paso fronterizo con Nicaragua), y regirá desde las 6.00 pm (hora local) hasta las 6.00 am.

The moron-in-chief (Micheletti) has instituted a 12 hour curfew from 6 AM to 6 PM in border next to Nicaragua, where Zelaya is reportedly camped out.

Analysis : Excellent read

Thierry Meyssan  and Red Voltaire have an excellent analysis of the coup and how the U.S. figures into the fray. It is in Spanish, but a google translation will give a rough approximation.

http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/opinion/1132/el-southcom-toma-el-poder...

 

The Honduran Coup and the

The Honduran Coup and the Clinton Connection

A pro-coup faction in the Obama administration

 

So what we have is this: a powerful group within the Democratic Party, clustered around Hillary Clinton, actively pushing for the legitimization of the Honduran coup on behalf of their corporate clients – Chiquita, which has a long and dishonorable history in the region, and the Honduran association of big businessmen, who have long used the state as their personal instrument.

U.S. Supported Coup

Gauging from the failure of the Obama administration to officially call it a coup and cut off all activities with and money to Honduras, it is painfully obvious that the US is supporting imperialistic anti-democracy forces, as usual. The most powerful Americans don't work out of the white house, they work out of the pentagon.  It's a shame that there aren't a few genuine heros in the U.S.S. Honduran military. The window of opportunity for some to save the day is slowly closing. The good news is that the dark force's reign in power will pass before too much longer.

Organization of American States -- Three weeks of dead silence

Organization of American States  --  Three weeks of their dead silence

 

OAS leadership, like the leadership of Empire USA, has no love for the progressive left agenda now capturing the hearts and minds of the majority in the Americas.

 

OAS leadership has no objection to manifesto democracies created by a smoke screen Constitution, such as the one in Honduras created by a military regime in 1982.

 

The OAS leadership sees nothing wrong with the Honduran Supreme Court being nothing more then a group of politicians holding office for only four years, and hand picked by the very one they are suppose to regulate and impeach.  Surely not an independent third branch of government that could prevent abuse of power.

 

The OAS leadership does not have a “Rule of Law.”  For they are mostly capitalists who have only one rule:  Those more powerful and intelligent must be allowed to compete freely, and to enrich themselves upon the misery of others openly.

 

Beating a dead horse are they say Honduras has a real Constitution.  For the organized will of the people is the highest law in the land, far higher then the Constitution.  And any piece of paper stating that the people go to prison if they try to change it - is hiding a manifesto dictatorship, not making visible a Constitutional democracy.

Good news: RadioGlobo has interview online

Good news: RadioGlobo has the Xiomara Castro de Zelaya vs. Romeo Vasquez Velasquez interview online. If anyone is good at transcription/translation, this would be a valuable effort.

_______________________

John Ellis, what is the OAS supposed to do? Partly as a consequence of revulsion for American intervention, their charter forbids intervention in a member state. While Honduras is technically now not a member, it would go against every instinct to intervene. The one OAS member who can make the coup shut down is the United States.

 

And, as I keep mentioning, if every person who bitches about the way things are would write to Hillary and Barack, they would probably start doing the right thing. They're doing this crap because they don't think anyone is watching.

 

 

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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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