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Friday, July 24, 2009

Updates on the Honduras Coup by Eva Golinger

Eva Golinger

President Zelaya is giving a press conference right now, presumably from Nicaragua. About one hour ago, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica presented a new proposal, called the "San Jose Agreement" of 12 points, adding and modifying his previous 7-point proposal that was rejected by the coup regime on Sunday. The 12 points, available in Spanish here, incorporated several of the requests of the coup regime into Arias' original proposal.

Specifically, point number one was changed from calling for President Zelaya's immediate return to power to become a call for a "government of unity and reconciliation" to be composed of members of the coup regime together with representatives from each political party. Zelaya would have been returned to the presidency, but with his hands completely tied. The proposal again called for amnesty for the coup regime, and, in an inference to the coup regime's allegations against President Zelaya, also called for amnesty to be granted to him as well. This factor clearly legitimates the coup regime's theories.

Another point incredibly called on the Zelaya government and supporters to refrain from convening a constitutional assembly, directly or indirectly, and in fact also ordered a refrain from even holding any kind of consultation, survey or opinion poll on any issue remotely related to constitutional form. This is absolutely outrageous because no government has the right to usurp the people's sovereign right to choose their form and model of government. This is not a right that can be transferred or taken away, it is inalienable.

Another point called for presidential elections to be held in October instead of November, and then again prohibited the people from protesting such elections, regardless of outcome or process, or engaging in any kind of civil disobedience, insurrection or any kind of manifestation of discontent regarding the political process in the country. That is also a completely outrageous and unacceptable usurpation of the people's innate right to protest and manifest their will.

There were a series of other points which, once I translate (or someone else does ;-) ) the "San Jose Agreement", can be analyzed. For now, I just wanted to update on today's situation.

Again, no meetings were held today, just the proposal set forth by Oscar Arias to "resolve" the situation. The Zelaya delegation immediately rejected the agreement, declaring the mediation as failed and called upon the United Nations Security Council, the Central American Integrated System (SICA) and the Organization of American States (OAS) to convene immediately - tonight if possible - and implement extreme measures of pressure against the coup regime in Honduras.

The coup regime's delegation rejected Arias' proposal as well, but still based on their original disagreement relating to the return of President Zelaya to power.

Today, the insane coup Foreign Minister called on Venezuela to recognize their regime, stating that it was "inconceivable" that neighbor nations would not recognize their government as legitimate. The coup regime is being recognized now by both the right wing governments in Panama and Colombia, as well as the United States, in its own, underhanded way.

By the way, the leading military figure in the coup, School of the Americas graduate General Romeo Vasquez, is in Miami today, invited to speak at some evangelical conference funded by the Cuban mafia. So, the State Department hasn't revoked his visa, obviously, despite his clear role in kidnapping - at gun point - and forcing into exile the democratically elected president of Honduras. Yet another clear indication of Washington backing the coup.

Zelaya is calling for insurrection in Honduras. Personally, I think that is the only way to resolve this situation with dignity.
Posted by Eva Golinger at 8:35 PM 1 comments Links to this post
Supposedly the "final" talks scheduled for today in Costa Rica - after President Oscar Arias, the designated (via Washington) mediator, requested an additional 72-hours on Sunday, when the talks had failed - have now been postponed. Last night, President Manuel Zelaya announced his return to Honduras today, and charged chief military commander General Romeo Vasquez - heavily involved in the coup d'etat that ousted Zelaya over three weeks ago - with his safety. "If anything happens to me", said President Zelaya last night in a press conference from Nicaragua, "General Romeo Vasquez is responsible". The Honduran military, trained, armed and funded by the United States, which also maintains a major strategic military base in the Central American nation, kidnapped and forced President Zelaya into exile on June 28, and since then has militarized the streets, repressed the people protesting the coup, assassinated, injured and detained over 1000 Hondurans, and shut down media outlets reporting on the events in the country.

Coup regime leader Roberto Micheletti declared his delegation will not attend the talks today in Costa Rica, claiming that Arias is drafting a new proposal that allegedly will "appease" the illegal regime. The main issue of contention is President Zelaya's return to power. The coup regime refuses to allow the constitutionally elected head of state to assume his position again, despite the fact that the current presidential term ends on January 27, 2009 and the Honduran Constitution does not allow for reelection.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a "tough" phone call to Micheletti on Sunday - coincidentally as Arias announced he was requesting an additional 72-hours to arrive at an agreement between the two parties. Clinton's call to Micheletti was an effort to arrive at some kind of resolution that would allow Washington to save face. So far, the Department of State has declared the events in Honduras do not constitute a "coup d'etat" (see post below) despite the fact that the whole rest of the world sees it as a coup. Washington is also the only government with a remaining ambassador in place in Honduras, and has broken absolutely no diplomatic, military or economic ties with the coup regime. Yesterday the European Union suspended over $90 million in aid to Honduras because of the coup.

The coup regime also issued an order to the Venezuelan Embassy declaring all Venezuelans to leave the country immediately. Nevertheless, Venezuela responded by stating it does not recognize the order from the illegal coup regime, since it does not constitutionally represent Honduras. The Venezuelan Ambassador was recalled right after the coup, but some diplomats do remain at the embassy in Tegucigalpa and have been key in protecting international journalists that have come under attack by the regime.

Meanwhile, the Honduran people are still out in the streets protesting the coup, on this 25th day since the de facto regime was first installed. The economy remains shut down by striking workers, schools remain closed because of teacher's strikes and there are disturbances throughout the nation. A national curfew is still in effect, imposed by the dictatorial regime.

The new Panamanian government, led by recently inaugurated President Martinelli, a multi-millionaire neoliberal conservative, has applauded the Honduran military for "keeping order" in the country. Apparently, Panama is recognizing the coup regime and working closely with Micheletti to resolve the growing economic problems in Honduras. Micheletti and Martinelli are old friends, both members of several business councils in Central and Latin America.

The longer things stall, the coup regime consolidates. On Sunday, a month will have passed since the coup d'etat was executed. Hopefully, it will be defeated before then.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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