Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Amnesty International - Journalists in Honduras: "They know who we are"

Journalists in Honduras: "They know who we are"

30 September 2009
Testimony from Marvin Ortiz, a journalist with Radio Globo in Honduras

On Monday at 5am, we started broadcasting with our normal schedule, starting with the Radio Globo news from 5 to 8am, presented by the director of our radio station and two other journalists. At around 5.20am, the heard someone beating on the door and people shouting "get outside!". They were soldiers and police who had come to confiscate all the radio equipment.

My colleagues heard the sound of shots aimed at the lock on the door, as if to break it and get inside the building. At that moment, several journalists decided to jump from the third floor of the radio station building. Now they’re bruised and wounded. Luckily, a passerby saw them, gave them first aid and took them to a safe place.

When the soldiers and police entered the radio station, without warning, they took all the equipment, everything you need to run the radio, computers, microphones, the console, the telephone switchboard, the amplifiers, and even the aerials. They destroyed the news table. They took everything away in a police patrol car.

After that they started to occupy the building. As well as the radio station, a state agency also works in the same building – the National Register of Persons – and when the staff of that agency arrived, the police wouldn’t let them in. All they could do was punch in their time cards and go home.

I arrived at the radio station at around 7am. I was with a colleague. Straight away the police and soldiers started to harass us. They threatened and harassed us. They took photos of us and insulted us.

They confiscated the equipment of several journalists who were covering the shut-down of the radio, and arrested some of them.

Everybody left the building at around 9am.

All of this happened because of an Executive Decree issued by the de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti, which suspends Hondurans’ constitutional guarantees and restricts freedom of expression. The Decree specifically mentioned Radio Globo and Canal 36 [TV station], which has also been shut down.

Since the coup d’état, Radio Globo has maintained its stance of informing the public about what has been happening in our country. We condemn the coup d’etat. We give a space to people to express themselves freely and to make their complaints.

There are around 50 of us who work at the radio station, including reporters, presenters, operators and administrative staff. There is a high level of persecution directed against us and a lot of fear. We never feel safe.

A lot of people gathered near the radio station to protest against the [de facto] government’s decision to close it down.

At the moment, Radio Globo is only operating via the Internet at Yesterday [Monday], we had about 400,000 listeners. People are waiting to see what happens to the radio station.

Following the intervention of several human rights organizations, the military and police decided to end their occupation of the radio station. A group of lawyers are working at the moment to ensure that the radio can start to operate again without restrictions on its broadcasts.

Today [Tuesday], there are only two of us here, both presenters. We’re broadcasting via the internet because the ban, the Decree, doesn’t allow us to broadcast using a radio frequency.

Threats, repression and arrests of journalists continue, but we reporters continue working. We have to go to where the news is happening but it’s frightening because we know that there could be repression against us, especially because they already know who we are. They know we’re part of the Radio Globo team.

We have a commitment to the people, to our profession and to our family.

In spite of everything, we’re going to carry on, informing.

Read More

Increased abuses in Honduras given green light by Executive Decree (News, 30 September 2009)

The Trap of the San Jose Agreement: Arias admits that its purpose is to legitimize upcoming elections

 Tuesday September 29, 2009 22:49
The President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, a mediator in the crisis of Honduras recognizes that the San Jose Agreement " establishes Mel Zelaya limited powers and is nothing more than to give legitimacy to the elections."

Arias in an interview with Colombia's W Radio broadcast tonight on coup Wong Arévalo's Channel referring to the situation agreed that Honduras President Manuel Zelaya "would not have the powers of a president."

 Among other issues he shows that he does not believe it is necessary that the subject of Honduras is aired in the Security Commission of the UN because it does not threaten the peace and security in the world, it must be analyzed and fixed within the nation.

The interview:

There is no will for dialogue: President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica Asdrubal Guerra | September 29, 2009

 In an interview with W Radio, the president of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias, said the process of rapprochement in Honduras is stagnant because there is no settlement between the democratic government and the de facto government in that nation.

  Oscar Arias, who continues as mediator in the conflict, considered the issue of Honduras should not be aired in the Security Council of the UN because it does not threaten the peace and world security.

He said the return of Manuel Zelaya to Honduras, according to the San Jose agreement means greater legitimacy to the upcoming elections.

The president of Costa Rica sees the restoration of order in Honduras very difficult  and lamented that Brazil have come to play a role in this.

 Brazil is not at fault at all because there was a knock by President Manuel Zelaya and the diplomatic mission opened it was its duty, it  is a forced participation and we'll analyze the situation, "he said, explaining that at this point is difficult to realize elections in a climate altered by the lack of guarantees.

  "This issued decree  makes it almost impossible to carry out a normal electoral process," he said to define the restrictions that the Hondurans have to participate in the upcoming elections.

Honduras Mission Impossible: Repress to call elections.

Norelys Morales Aguilera. Norelys Morales Aguilera.

 Suspended all constitutional guarantees in Honduras, the de facto regime seeks to make illegal elections.  Honduran coup government   led by Roberto Micheletti hired a public relations firm in New York to "improve its image."

According to the digital version of the legislation The Hill newspaper, the usurpers of power  have hired Company chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates for a period of four months at a cost of over 290 thousand dollars.

  According to The Hill, at least nine people would take the portfolio of Honduras, who have experience in political management in Washington.

The media campaign was negotiated to broadcast abroad that here ¬ there was a "constitutional succession" rather than a coup, the newspaper Tiempo reported today.

  A Honduran electoral removes propaganda scheme

 To clear human rights violations, it will take de facto government more than  a public relations campaign and the silence of the media, said the U.S. human rights organizations that constantly monitor the situation of the Central American country, according to www. from Los Angeles.

  At 0530 local time in Tegucigalpa (11.30 GMT) on Wednesday 30 there was an operation to evict the National Agrarian Institute, the first reported repressive action on the day.

  Farmers evicted from the National Agrarian Institute

The peasants had seized the offices of the entity from the day of the coup that overthrew Zelaya three months ago. The facilities are located in the center of the capital.

  Juan Barahona, head of the Institute's workers union, said: "They had taken the INA to prevent the coup government fails against them (farmers) and that the files are lost."

"Es una situación de represión de los golpistas, no están respetando en nada las garantías constitucionales más ahora que están suspendidas", apuntó Barahona indicando que desconoce si se habrían presentando cargos a los detenidos. "It's a situation of repression of the golpistas, who are not respecting the constitutional guarantees  more now that they are suspended," Barahona said, indicating that he doesn't know if charges have been pressed against the detainees.

  Calling for dialogue, but the people continue to be repressed

Honduras Supreme Electoral Tribunal Comes Out Against Coup Decree

By Al Giordano

D.R. 2009 Latuff, Special to The Narco News Bulletin
The layers keep peeling away from "president" Roberto Micheletti's coup d'etat, which began with a consensus of most of upper class Honduras and its political institutions but in recent days has seen Congressional and business leaders begin looking for the EXIT sign.
It was Micheletti's authoritarian decree, announced on Sunday, that blasted away the glue that had previously held them all together, with its prohibitions on Constitutional rights of speech, press, assembly, transit and due process.
Today, the country's Supreme Electoral Tribunal joined the growing mob of former unconditional backers of the coup for whom Micheletti's decree went a step too far:
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE, in its Spanish initials) of Honduras today asked president Roberto Micheletti to cancel the decree that suspended constitutional rights because it harms the electoral process scheduled for November... and thus joined in similar demands made by Congress, presidential candidates and other sectors...
Micheletti said... that he would agree to analyze the request and insisted that the decree will be "cancelled in the opportune moment."
However, he said that he would continue to consult on the matter with the Supreme Court and other State organisms with the goal of making a "consensus" decision.
Those few paragraphs speak volumes about what is happening behind the curtain. Let me translate them.
On Sunday, Micheletti announced the authoritarian decree without having the aforementioned "consensus" of key coup players. Some seemed as surprised as the general public to find out about it. The decree already does not have any "consensus" even among the limited power players between whom the coup was negotiated and implemented. Now he is saying he needs "consensus" to remove it.
What does this tell us? It reveals that Micheletti himself isn't calling the shots here. He specifically mentions the Supreme Court, and his reference to "State organisms" most likely means the Armed Forces: the two real kingpins of the coup, for whom Micheletti is a mere marionette.
In typical style, he fools gullible reporters to repeat claims that he has already backed off the decree, while this morning military and police troops continued attacks on peaceful demonstrators that have maintained government agricultural offices occupied for three months now. Clearly, the real powers behind the decree - the Supreme Court and the military - want to make sure it meets its main goals before having to call it off.
What the electoral commissioners can clearly see that the inner trinity of coup power - the Army, the Court and Micheletti - don't seem to "get" is how the decree has destroyed any hope of convincing Hondurans or the world that the November 29 elections can be made free or fair. It's already too late. Smarter minds are seeing it, while the the Army, the Court and Micheletti push on out of an apparent belief that if they don't keep brutally repressing and silencing speech, the nonviolent civil resistance is going to roll right over the coup.
It's possible that both sectors are right about their analysis in this way: The coup "moderates" understand that their electoral "solution" is now screwed, thanks to the decree. While the "hard liners" understand that if they allow basic constitutional rights, they won't be able to hold back the tide of public opinion much longer. Meanwhile, by stalling on the requests by his former coup allies to cancel the decree, Micheletti is further isolating the Army, the Court and he from the support they previously enjoyed. And this is the part of the movie when the once invincible coup regime begins to divide and fall.



Anselem's Statement Creates Problems for Llorens

If the State Department apologist Phil Crowley needs the proof that the rest of us see as obvious, that backup ambassador to the OAS Lew Anselem's ridiculous statements in the OAS have caused damage, one only needs to look at the Honduran newspapers this morning. Many of them are running a story like this one in La Tribuna, quoting the de facto government's Minister of Government, Oscar Matute, saying Anselem is not saying the same thing as our ambassador Hugo Llorens is.

Hugo Llorens held a damage control meeting with business leaders yesterday morning in which he said the US message has been consistant, "we support democracy in Honduras, and in any other country," he told them. He would not have had to say that without idiot Anselem's statement.

Oscar Matute not only noted that what Llorens said, and what Anselem said, aren't the same message, but he specificially noted that Anselem said the way out was the November 29 elections, the same claim as the de facto government. ANSELEM'S STATEMENTS DIRECTLY ECHOED THE DE FACTO GOVERNMENT'S STATEMENTS.

Matute said, what Anselem said in the OAS "differs totally and absolutely with what Mr. Llorens said, such that today there was no consensus in the OAS, because the United States is one of the countries that would not pronounce to not recognize a priori the results of the electoral process."

Matutue also indicated he believes the words of Anselem over Llorens because Anselem operated with the thinking of the US government. "Llorens does not coincide with the official expression of the representative of the United States in the OAS," he insisted.

Here's the question and part of the answer Phillip Crowley gave to reporters yesterday in the State Department daily briefing.

Q: And so is there any comment? Is there any change in the U.S. policy on this matter?

Mr. Crowley: Not at all. Not at all.

So why is it that Hondurans can see the difference, and Mr. Crowley cannot? Damage Control?
Posted by rns

The Coup Government is already working hard to legitimize elections through propaganda:

Honduran government hires fiction writer to hawk coup regime

Posted by Bill Conroy - September 28, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Micheletti junta shelling out $292,000 for D.C. flack attack

The recent decision by the rogue government of Honduras to spend more than a quarter of a million dollars to hire a PR firm to spread its newspeak is marked by a twist of irony that even George Orwell would appreciate.
That PR agency, Washington, D.C.-based Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates (CLSA), claims among its founding partners Peter Schechter, who also is a published fiction writer. His first book, “Point of Entry” [not to be confused with the 1981 heavy metal album by Judas Priest of the same name] is fashioned around a plot pulled right out of low-budget B-movie script.
Here’s how the Washington Post described it in a 2006 review:
The Syrian terrorists, facing the challenge of smuggling 30 pounds of uranium into the United States at a time of heightened border security, devise a fiendish scheme: They will call on Colombian drug lords who smuggle huge amounts of contraband in every day. Deftly, the author shows the nuclear plot unfolding as U.S. intelligence officials slowly piece it together. As the story gallops to a climax, all sorts of urgent questions confront us: Will millions of Americans be killed in a nuclear blast? If so, will it muck up President Stockman's romance with the brainy bombshell in Bogota?
So given Schechter’s apparent knack for crafting hackneyed fiction, it seems only appropriate that he, and some eight of his associates at CLSA, are now charged with selling a bad fiction about the Honduran coup government to the international community.
And that fiction, based on a reading of CLSA’s Foreign Agents Registration filing with the Department of Justice, is to promote Honduran “de facto” President and Usurper Roberto Micheletti’s dictatorship as a democracy “through the use of media outreach, policy maker contacts and events, and public dissemination of information to government staff of government officials, news media and non-government groups” all with the goal of advancing “the level of communication, awareness and attention about the political situation in Honduras.”
That political situation (which of course must now be whitewashed via fiction techniques to be employed by the PR firm) continues to deteriorate, as Narco News’ Al Giordano reports today:
On the morning of June 28, coup regime soldiers stomped into the offices of Radio Globo and Channel 36 in Tegucigalpa and silenced their transmitters. The two networks filed court orders to be able to get back on the air. And for the past three months they’ve each been subject to written orders from the Honduras regime to cease broadcasting (the journalists, in turn, refused to be censored) and to paramilitary attacks that poured acid on their transmitters, and yet they and their journalists heroically got themselves back on the air rapidly.
On this morning, three months later, it was déjà vu all over again, as those same military troops reenacted the battle of June 28, busting down the doors of both broadcasters and this time removing their transmitters and equipment. And soldiers have surrounded both houses of media to prevent the people from retaking them.
The coup regime is now clinging to power illegitimately, threatened on every front by truth and justice, which means it must create an illusion of democratic sanction, and so, it has inked a $292,000 contract with CLSA, calling on the PR firm to “diseñar una campaña de persuasión” [build a campaign of persuasion].
And the chief illusionist for CLSA, Schechter, knows how to sell political fiction, and has done so in the past, as part of election consulting work, for the likes of former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardosa — the latter a useful contact given that the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, is now holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Teguciagalpa, Honduras.
The Golpista Class now in control of Honduras earlier this summer retained as lobbyists to hawk for their cause a consummate Bill and Hillary Clinton shill, Lanny Davis, as well as Bush-era diplomat and Iran/Contra figure Roger Noriega — both hardcore free-traders. Likewise, Schechter is on the neo-liberal bandwagon and argues unabashedly in a blog entry that the free trade agreement with Colombia “needs to be passed” because that nation’s “police, politicians and journalists are the first to be killed in the battle to clear America’s streets of narcotics.” Again, remember, this man is a master of B-movie fiction.
Schechter also seems to have little respect for President Obama, who has already deemed the coup regime in Honduras as “not legal.” In a Nov. 8, 2008, article Schechter penned for the Spanish-language publication El Espectador, he writes:
The Obama campaign focused heavily on rhetoric, but not so much on substance. [La campaña de Obama se enfocó fuertemente en la retórica, pero no así en la sustancia.]
That line should open plenty of doors for Schechter within the Obama administration and assure Micheletti — whose foreign minister previously insulted Obama via a racial slur — gets his $292,000 worth of PR work out of CLSA.
But then Schechter does have some “connected” back-up help on that contract in the event his calling card is not promptly acted on by the current administration.
According to documents filed with the Department of Justice, other CLSA associates assisting Schechter on the Honduras putsch PR pact include Sharon Castillo and Juan Cortiñas-Garcia.
Castillo claims among her past clients former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozado — who resigned from office in the wake of the “gas war” of October 2003, in which government security forces slaughtered some 70 people and injured another thousand.
Castillo, a former Telemundo and Univision producer and reporter, served as director of specialty media and spokesperson for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.
Cortiñas-Garcia, besides his new work for the ruling Junta of Honduras, also is lending his PR expertise to a group of U.S. and Latin American companies that have a stake in the Camisea gas pipeline in Peru. And it seems that project is likely keeping him busy.
In the first 18 months after it became operational in August 2004, the Camisea pipeline, which runs from the Amazon, over the Andes, to the Pacific Coast, has ruptured four times, with at least three major spills.
This appalling record is highly unusual for such a pipeline and comes despite repeated assurances from the downstream consortium and the Inter-American Development Bank that no such problems would occur.
According to a February 2006 independent report by non-profit engineering consultancy E-Tech International, the pipeline was constructed by unqualified and untrained welders using corroded piping and rushing to avoid onerous late completion fees that would have totaled $90 million.
… The Camisea Project is owned by two consortia of small companies with poor environmental records led by Hunt Oil — a Dallas-based company with close ties to the Bush administration. Chief Executive Ray L. Hunt contributed to President Bush's presidential campaign and also sits on the board of Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Hunt Oil, by the way, shows up on CLSA’s Web site in a listing of “past and present clients.”
Given all these characters and intrigue, maybe Schechter will be inspired to develop another Latin American-themed plot for a future novel.
Plot Line: A beleaguered, megalomaniacal Central American dictator fears his grip on power is slipping as the people rise up in protest. So he, and the oligarchs propping up his regime, pay top dollar to a group of lobbyists and PR flacks in an effort to “build a campaign of persuasion” aimed at retaining power.
But then, would that really be considered fiction?
Stay tuned….


U.S. is delighted to see repression in Honduras: Repression is their tool to make Honduras sign their will, ie- the San José Accord

Pressure Forces Honduran Coup Regime to Reverse Civil Liberties Crackdown - Repression Continues

The Honduran coup regime has been forced to reverse a harsh crackdown on civil liberties amidst growing protests for the restoration of the ousted President Manuel Zelaya. But Honduran forces still blocked a large protest march and shut down two media outlets that have criticized the coup regime. Meanwhile, a top US diplomat criticized the coup regime’s decision but then turned around to issue a harsh condemnation of ousted Zelaya. We go to Honduras to speak with Andrés Conteris from inside the embassy where Zelaya is hiding and speak to Luther Castillo, a Honduran doctor who is in Washington to speak with US lawmakers. [from Democracy Now site]


  57 people who occupied the National Agrarian Institute of Honduras evicted by de facto military forces

Tegucigalpa, Sep 30 (EFE) .- Effect of Police and the Armed Forces of Honduras today forcibly evicted to 57 followers of ousted President Manuel Zelaya who for three months occupied the National Agrarian Institute (INA), pursuant to Decree restricting constitutional guarantees. Continue reading the printed article

Evict 57 people who occupied the National Agrarian Institute of Honduras

  "This action is part of what the decree announced on Saturday consists",official Cerrato Orlin , police spokesman, told reporters saying they are checking for more institutions that are in the same situation.
The decree provides for the possibility of evicting persons holding public institutions following the political crisis in Honduras after the overthrow of President Zelaya, 28 June, and his return to the country by surprise on Sept. 21.
Cerrato said "there are people arrested, they are going to take statements to see what responsibility they have."
The eviction operation took place at 0530 local time (1130 GMT).

  Cerrato said he could perform "operations as they are identified" in similar situations, but indicated that this is the only"big" institute  that was occupied by followers of Zelaya.
The official today dismissed new operations, including public universities, which for several nights are housed by supporters of the deposed President.
"We were waiting, then they came and  I have received beatings with  batons when I tried to pick up the suitcase and was about to leave,"   Pedro Serrano, 52, one of the farmers evicted told Efe.
  "We were just watching, we have spent three months here," Serrano added.

Detained farmer Jose Irene Murillo, 69, said he feared "they are going to destroy the records of the small farmers, because the big landowners want the land."
The peasant leader Rafael Alegria, one of the coordinators of the National Front of Resistance against the coup, came to INA headquarters and told  that what happens  in Honduras "is a dictatorship and anything can happen."
  "They are desperate, are implementing a decree is illegal, that has not been approved by the Congress (Parliament), this is a fascist act," said Alegría .
The fiscal of Honduran Human Rights, Gabriela Gallo, told reporters that people that are in "were read and told their rights," adding that if necessary they'd go to the Prosecutor's Office and then to the Justice Office.
"There's no people beaten," she added.
  Zelaya was arrested and expelled by soldiers on June 28, and hours later the Congress named as his replacement  Roberto Micheletti ,president of the legislature and whose government  is not recognize the international community.
  On Monday of last week, the ousted president returned clandestinely to Tegucigalpa and has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy.

Ban Ki-moon called for full respect of constitutional guarantees in Honduras

  The secretary general of the United Nations Organization (UN), Ban Ki-moon, called on Tuesday to the de facto authorities of Honduras full respect for constitutional guarantees of the population in the Central American country, including the freedoms of association, expression and movement.  He considered that the critical situation in that nation has been exacerbated by the declaration of martial law by the regime of Robert Micheletti. 'I am very concerned about the situation in Honduras. The state of emergency increases tensions, "the official said, reported the news portal of Telesur. He also described as unacceptable the threats to the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where a week ago the constitutional president takes refuge in Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.  He recalled that 'international law is clear: the sovereign immunity can not be violated, "and describes as intolerable assaults on staff of the embassy and diplomatic facilities themselves.  Ban Ki-moon stressed respect for the safety of President Zelaya and called on all actors involved in the crisis to engage seriously through dialogue and regional mediation efforts. Meanwhile, the constitutional president, who on Monday through a cell phone reached the UN General Assembly through the mediation of his foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, requested the meeting to protect his life and those who accompany him on the seat diplomatic.


U.S. delighted about the  repression in Honduras

Oscar Ugarteche Oscar Ugarteche
Alai-amlatina Alai AMLATINA

Below see the two announcements, one after the other, and the conclusion falls alone.To make it clear where America stands in the Honduran conflict: on the side that does nothing about Zelaya.

  AFP says "The de facto regime of Honduras closed this Monday, 28 September 2009 two media after launching a decree restricting civil liberties, while the ousted President Manuel Zelaya called on the international community to act immediately to prevent an assassination .

On Monday , Honduras celebrates three months of the coup of June 28, which  deposed Zelaya from power, hundreds of Hondurans were concentrated in the eastern sector of Tegucigalpa waiting to march towards the center of the city, but it was unclear whether the demonstration would be permitted by the de facto authorities.

The leaders of the National Resistance against the coup have insisted that their struggle is entirely peaceful in nature and in that line  it shall be maintained until achieving a return of constitutional order to the country.

  On Sunday night, the government issued a decree restricting public freedoms of movement, expression, thought and public meeting, which also allows police to make arrests without court warrants.

  Following the decree, in the early hours of Monday, military and police raided the premises of the radio station Globo and TV Channel 36 and  took them off the air, a journalist told the AFP.

Both media were the only two of national coverage that maintained a clear line of de facto opposition to the regime headed by Roberto Micheletti. "

  In Washington, the answer didn't take long.They do not want Zelaya nothing to do nothing directly but wait for the end of the Micheletti government or the solution they pose through Arias. It is a U.S. position to reassure Latin Americans  that they are not willing to accept a government in the region that they don't like.  No further analysis is possible.  Less when the Palmerola military base is at stake and the IMF gave  it immediate support . The day after the State Department suspended its financial support, though very limited indeed.

The U.S. ambassador to the OAS Anselem described the actions of de facto government of Honduras as "deplorable and foolish", also  told the ousted President Manuel Zelaya, that he urged him to stop acting "like a movie star" and  to start "acting like a leader," but instead call for peace.

  The expulsion of diplomats from the Organization of American States (OAS) and threats to diplomatic missions in Tegucigalpa are "deplorable and stupid acts because they do not serve the interests of Honduras or the coup regime itself," said alternate U.S. Ambassador to the  OAS, Lewis Amselem, before the Permanent Council debated the situation in Honduras.

Es decir, Washington no defiende aquello que antes defendió cuando le convino sino, que como en Chile en el 73, avala el golpe. That is, Washington does not defend what  it previously defended when  it agreed to do so, but  as in Chile in 1973, it supports the coup.

Ambassador  Anselem  said, that it was  also  a form of an "insult to the international community" and inter-American body, under which Washington's interests are concerned as the government's decision   Roberto Micheletti undertakes, "actions against civil liberties" decreeing the  restrictions on freedom of assembly and opinion.

  The U.S. representative to the OAS also carried harsh criticism of the attitude of Zelaya, who on Saturday called the "final offensive" and called his followers around the country to march to Tegucigalpa on Monday, when we celebrate  three months of the coup that ousted him.

Zelaya "has to act like a leader and send clear messages to express views in a peaceful manner, you need to stop making accusations and act like a movie star," criticized Amselem.

  The United States is not interested in democracy in Latin America, and less in Honduras. They are  Interested in the message that they will not let anyone else to leave the fold.  It is important because it is a change of the neoconservatives ofthe Bush era who ignored Latin America. Now it matters to them  again. What a problem! If Zelaya wins in Honduras , the  seven bases in Colombia can be withdrawn, as can Soto Cano in Honduras.Will  it signal U.S. weakness in the region? Washington reads Zelaya's victory as the victory of Chavez.  That error is leading them to lose face in the region even more than after 8 years of Bush. Obama does not need internal enemies in the State Department.

Oscar Ugarteche, a Peruvian economist in the Institute of Economic Research, UNAM, Mexico. ALAI is president and member of the Economic Observatory of Latin America (OBEL)

Fuente: Source:

More Media Threatened

La Tribuna reports in its Minuto a Minuto column, that the head of the southern region of the National Police, Danilo Valladares, confirmed late this evening that two radio stations in Choluteca, and another two in Valle could be suspended for violating PCM-M-016-2009, the de facto government decree that was used to shut down Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur in Tegucigalpa. This is the same decree that Micheletti promised to rescind, only he's delaying until every contrary voice is silenced.
Posted by rns at 

Arias Plan is the "key" to overcome the crisis

The U.S. ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens, suggested Tuesday that the Costa Rican president's, Oscar Arias' plan  is the "key" to overcome the political crisis  this country is facing after the coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya the June 28.

  "We believe the proposal (the San Jose Agreement) is on the table, which is the key to the solution, to have an agreement to return to democracy, have a peaceful electoral process with support from the international community," told the diplomat to local radio station HRN.

  He clarified that the U.S. "does not endorse any particular individual, but  democracy".

  "Our policy has been very clear in condemning what happened on June 28 and, as President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said we do not support any particular individual," he said.

  "What the U.S. supports are the principles, the principle sof democracy, the principle of respect for human rights, support to restore democracy, to restore the legitimate government," he said.


He added that for the U.S.  " it should not be an American solution, imposed by U.S. or a South American solution, I think that it must be a Central American solution , that is why we support President Arias, and it is a solution Hondurans themselves  can negotiate. "

  "The U.S. policy has been very clear, it is to support democracy in Honduras and in any other country in this region," the diplomat stressed, who the de facto president, Roberto Micheletti, publicly requested once to leave  the country.

He regretted that the Honduran population is polarized, "what we have asked is that there is a negotiated agreement to allow a final settlement, and so far we have supported efforts by President Arias.

Rescind Delay

There is a struggle in Honduras about how to rescind the de facto government's decree removing constitutional guarantees for 45 days. The struggle is not based on any legal issue, but rather on political considerations.

As Greg Weeks notes in his blog today, the consitution allows congress to reject, ammend/modify, or approve of such decrees, and notes that they simply go out of effect should the conditions that caused them to be issued (which must be specified in the decree) cease to exist. So, Congress could have dealt with it yesterday.

Micheletti himself, via a new decree from his council of Ministers, could nullify it. Manuel Zelaya used this technique to comply with the lower court order regarding the Cuarta Urna original decree. Its completely legal and simple.

However, yesterday Congress refused to deal with rejecting the decree even though they told Micheletti it would not pass and Micheletti said he would talk to the Supreme Court and the Presidential candidates about rescinding it. Why?

First, there's the simple need of Micheletti to delay things. He delayed the OAS ministers visit by more than a week; its now scheduled for October 7. He wants this election to take place under his administration, so any delay is a good delay. I think this is his only motivation for asking the Supreme Court how to rescind it. There's no legal impediment to him doing it today, if he wants to do it. The cost, however, politically is enormous. As El Pais notes "the mask is off." In their lead, they see Congress as having "corrected" Micheletti.

Why doesn't Congress rescind it, since they told Micheletti yesterday that it would not pass if it came up for a vote. The reasons here are political. Both Porfirio Lobo (Nationalist Party presidential candidate) and Jose Angel Saavedra (President of Congress) have indicated there is near universal agreement that the limitations on speech and personal liberty are improper and unsupportable. Neither contributes to transparent elections, and both said this yesterday.

Elvin Santos (Liberal Party presidential candidate) noted that in talking with Micheletti, they provided him with several alternative decrees that still accomplished his goal of restricting opposition access to the media.

Congress itself could reject, or ammend the decree right now. However, Saavedra noted that there were divisions within Congress regarding the other consitutional restrictictions in the decree, and the political cost of bringing those divisions to light could damage the coalition that supports the coup.

So expect delay from everyone about rescinding the decree, which is not law, but is being enforced because it has successfully stopped the over the air broadcasts of Channel 36 and Radio Globo.
Posted by rns

Any agreement without "Constituent Assembly" is surrender

José Justiniano Lijerón Jose Justiniano Lijerón
Rebelión Rebellion

The situation in Honduras after the fascist coup supported by the U.S. government against a democratically elected government by popular will, is no longer just a problem of Hondurans. Los pueblos del mundo apoyan la lucha que viene sosteniendo la resistencia en condiciones desiguales frente a la arremetida de la violencia fascista del usurpador del poder Micheletti como títere de la burguesía parasitaria hondureña, que usando los guardianes de sus intereses de clase, un ejército cuyos mandos militares han sido domesticados en la Escuela de las Américas, como dóciles instrumentos al servicio de la política de intervención estadounidense en nuestro continente, continúan ultrajando al pueblo hondureño. The peoples of the world support the struggle of the resistance against the coup, against fascist violence supported by Micheletti, the usurper of power and a puppet of the Honduran parasitic bourgeoisie who use the guardians of their class interests, an army, whose military commanders  have been domesticated in the School of the Americas, as docile instruments in the service of the U.S. intervention policy in our continent, continue to outrage the Honduran people.

This fascist coup revealed once again that the U.S. is the boss in the Pentagon's military technological apparatus, the support of imperial power, regardless of who the ruling party, is, since whoever is against the military power, will be against interventionist policy of the empire. The two party domes, which every four years or eight take turns  in the government are part of that power and if someone tries to do anything that will not suit their interests, the answer must be found in presidents who died from "natural causes" and what happened to the assassinated President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and many others.

The fascist coup in Honduras was a warning that power to the vagaries that while campaigning for Mr. Obama began drawing with the word "changes" to close Guantanamo, interventionist troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and some other etceteras, especially the word "change" is not registered in any of the gorillas brain cell connection in the Pentagon.

  It is still early to speculate what will come.  President Obama insists every morning in his "nice" speeches about respect for the self-determination of peoples and countries of the world and in the afternoon he threats  Iran in synchronized chorus with France, Britain, Russia and others, who will always be pretending to be the owners and masters of the universe in its old practice of negotiating repartition including influences in the world.

  We all ask ourselves whether the agencies, UN, OAS, Rio Group, UNASUR, shall decide, with the exception of ALBA (which has a transparent position), why the fascists are laughing at all the resolutions, they will see that the pronouncements pusillanimous of these bodies is the same: "We reject the coup", "we should quickly return to constitutional order with the return of President Zelaya", but with  more emphasis in the deadly trap for the people fighting in the streets in Honduras and this is the urgent cry of the empire "to enforce the San José Accord" because" that's the mother of the sheep and that is exactly what Americans want.

  They cooked the possible agreement with their official , President Arias, so signing that agreement would be a betrayal to all the dead, wounded, tortured, detained, the signing of the so-called agreement, postponed indefinitely the aspirations of Hondurans to change "peacefully" the old structures of a feudal system anchored in centuries past that benefits certain families of the country as their personal finances.

  The main issue now is not just to "get back Mel" , because  already a lot of blood  has been spilled and the return of the government to solely endorse a fraudulent election or to say that it restores the constitutional thread, now that's very little for the sacrifice made  by the Honduran people, and I am sure that this "agreement" iis not accepted by the people fighting .

  President Zelaya should be aware that any negotiations must necessarily pass through the Resistance Front led by the mobilizations along with delegates who nominated assemblies in the streets, that it is not they who decide what they want or do not agree, with  but  the people, fundamentally the agreement if any, maybe everything is negotiable except the calling of a Constituent Assembly.  Failure to do so is divorce for peoples who always have had courage in defending their interests and their country.  All Hondurans are united in this fight.

José Justiniano Lijerón. Jose Justiniano Lijerón. Ex Dirigente de la Central Obrera Boliviana Former Leader of the Central Obrera Boliviana

Rebelión ha publicado este artículo a petición expresa del autor, respetando su libertad para publicarlo en otras fuentes. Rebellion has posted this article at the express request of the author, respecting their freedom to publish it elsewhere.

US Ambassador Lew Amselem: A Ghoul from Horror Films Past

Posted by Al Giordano - September 29, 2009 at 9:41 am By Al Giordano

When a little over a week ago, Honduras’ elected president Manuel Zelaya landed in Tegucigalpa at the Brazilian embassy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it an “opportune” moment for the “dialogue” she’d been urging all summer.
Six days later, this past Sunday, US Ambassador Hugo Llorens had convened various Honduran political and business people in Tegucigalpa to talk about how to encourage that “dialogue” to resolve the country’s political crisis. Four presidential candidates were there, as were business magnates Adolfo Facusse and Carlos Flores (a former president), John Biehl (a special advisor to the Organization of American States) and human rights advocate Leo Valladares, who shared with Narco News this account of what happened.
In the middle of that Sunday meeting, Ambassador Llorens’ cell phone rang and he received the news that coup dictator Micheletti had issued the now infamous decree erasing basic Constitutional freedoms of assembly, transit, speech and due process. “The first reaction in the room was that it negatively affected the climate for negotiation,” said Valladares.
Then, at dawn, coup troops invaded Radio Globo and Channel 36 TV, stealing their equipment and transmitters to silence them under the new powers Micheletti had decreed.
A few hours later came an Organization of American States meeting in Washington. The interim (or shall we say “de facto”?) US Ambassador, Lewis Amselem, a Bush administration holdover, focused only negligibly on the coup regime’s “state of siege” decree, instead launching into a tirade against the victims of it.
“Zelaya’s return to Honduras is irresponsible and foolish and it doesn’t serve to the interest of the people nor those who seek the restoration of democratic order in Honduras,” Amselem crowed. “Everything will be better if all parties refrain from provoking and inciting violence.”
According to Amselem, provoking or inciting violence is much worse than actually engaging in violence, as the coup regime had been doing all night and morning long prior to and during Amselem’s tirade. And instead of clearly placing the focus the only place it belonged – on the jack-booted regime’s latest wave of terror, in which Honduran lives were and are actually at stake – Amselem decided to play film critic rather than diplomat, taunting Zelaya: “The president should stop acting as though he were starring in an old movie.”
Amselem’s outburst was quickly picked up by the pro-coup media in Honduras (which translated “foolish” as “idiota”) and it not only served to obscure the more important story, that of the coup decree’s erasure of the Honduran Constitution, but it also boosted the morale of the very forces that had just descended into new levels of authoritarianism and actual violence.
And that was only the latest adventure in lack of message control displayed all summer long by a schizophrenic State Department and its erratic, almost drunken, driving that, time and time again, has given oxygen to a coup regime it says it opposes.
The State Department spent the rest of the day composing the following statement, one that reads like an admission that Amselem screwed up:
The United States views with grave concern the decree issued by the de facto regime in Honduras suspending fundamental civil and political rights.  In response to strong popular opposition, the regime has indicated that it is considering rescinding the decree. We call on the de facto regime to do so immediately.
The freedoms inherent in the suspended rights are inalienable and cannot be limited or restricted without seriously damaging the democratic aspirations of the Honduran people.
At this important moment in Honduran history, we urge all political leaders to commit themselves to a process of dialogue that will produce an enduring and peaceful resolution of the current crisis.
We also urge the de facto regime and President Zelaya to make use of the good will and solidarity extended by President Arias of Costa Rica, the Organization of American States, and other members of the international community to help facilitate, within the framework of the San Jose talks, such a resolution.
In this regard, we remind the de facto regime of its obligations under the Vienna Conventions to respect diplomatic premises and personnel, and those under their protection.  Abiding by these obligations is a necessary component of the dialogue between and among nations, and builds the practices of engagement, tolerance, and understanding necessary for the peaceful resolution of disputes.
But those who have followed Amselem’s diplomatic and military career – especially back in the day that he was political-military officer at the US embassy in Guatemala City (1988-92) and political affairs counselor for the US embassy in La Paz, Bolivia (1992-95) – suspect that Amselem’s sabotage yesterday of stated US policy was entirely predictable, and intentional, given his macabre history in the hemisphere.
Journalist Jeremy Bigwood, who was reporting from Guatemala during Amselem’s tenure there, remembers the diplomat for the same kind of outrageous behavior and statements over the years that he displayed yesterday in Washington. Amselem, according to Bigwood, “would put a positive spin on the extermination of a couple hundred thousand Guatemalan Indians. The guy should be sent to the International Criminal Court for abetting war crimes. He even arranged illegal supplies and airlifts to the Guatemalan Army after US military assistance had been banned.  I can't believe that he would be representing the Obama administration in the OAS.”
Most amazing is that Amselem’s current boss, Secretary Clinton, should already know that he’s a loose cannon because she was, as First Lady in the 1990s, involved with one of Guatemala’s most notorious human rights abuse cases, that of Ursuline nun Dianna Ortiz, who was kidnapped and tortured there in 1989.
In 1995, a US federal judge ordered Guatemalan General Hector Gramajo to pay $47 million dollars in damages to Sister Ortiz and other plaintiffs for those crimes.
Human rights champion Kerry Kennedy has written, “Ortiz’s raw honesty and capacity to articulate the agony she suffered compelled the United States to declassify long-secret files on Guatemala, and shed light on some of the darkest moments of Guatemalan history and American foreign policy.”
Well, guess who pops up in Sister Dianna’s memoirs? Lewis Amselem: and not in a good way. Ortiz wrote:
“…after a U.S. doctor had counted 111 cigarette burns on my back alone, the story changed. In January 1990, the Guatemalan defense minister publicly announced that I was a lesbian and had staged my abduction to cover up a tryst. The minister of the interior echoed this statement and then said he had heard it first from the U.S. embassy. According to a congressional aide, the political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, Lew Amselem, was indeed spreading the same rumor.
“In the presence of Ambassador Thomas Stroock, this same human rights officer told a delegation of religious men and women concerned about my case that he was ‘tired of these lesbian nuns coming down to Guatemala.’ The story would undergo other permutations. According to the Guatemalan press, the ambassador came up with another version: he told the Guatemalan defense minister that I was not abducted and tortured but simply ‘had problems with [my] nerves.’”
So yesterday was not the first time that Amselem revealed a mean-spirited streak to blame the victims of human rights violations. Most disturbingly, Secretary Clinton – who met with Sister Dianna in the 1990s and expressed sympathy and solidarity – should already know this history.
That Clinton sends such a shady character to represent the US at the Organization of American States only guarantees such sabotage for as long as he is there. Amselem may object to what he terms Zelaya’s “acting as though he were starring in an old movie,” but it is precisely Amselem who is a B-actor in an even older fright flick: that of US policy in Latin America and previous military and coup regimes. And this sordid tale demonstrates that now more than ever is the hour to disinfect the State Department from the bad actors – like Amselem – who haunt like ghouls from horror films past.
Up next: Faux-journalist Frances Robles of Oligarch's Daily The Miami Herald, who thinks harming Hondurans with chemical weapons is a big funny joke...
Update: From today's US State Department press briefing:
QUESTION: I would like to come back to the statement by your ambassador to OAS yesterday about Honduras. He said that Zelaya’s return to his country had been foolish and irresponsible. It seems that this statement has raised some questions, especially because Zelaya is still under siege in the embassy.
MR. CROWLEY: Who said that? I’m sorry.
MR. CROWLEY: Who made that statement yesterday?
QUESTION: Your – I mean the U.S. ambassador to the OAS.
MR. CROWLEY: Sure. Lew Amselem.
QUESTION: Lewis Amselem.
MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm.

South Africa urges greater pressure on Honduras de-facto regime

The international community should exert greater pressure against the de-facto regime in Honduras, South African President Jacob Zuma has said.

After a meeting with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina on the sidelines of the just-ended ASA, President Zuma said a solution to the Honduran crisis must be found soon.

President Zuma said he was concerned with developments in Honduras.

“It is necessary that the international community exerts greater pressure to find a solution to the situation of Honduras,” said President Zuma.

During the session of II ASA, the leaders adopted a declaration demanding the restoration of deposed President Jose Manuel Zelaya.

The leaders stated that they were profoundly concerned with the situation in Honduras where Zelaya was now holed in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

In condemning the June 28 coup, the ASA summit demanded that Zelaya return to office and that the de facto administration immediately stop attacks on Brazilian embassy. 

Now the Business Sector feels entitled to propose the answers, including "reforming" the San José Accord.

Fito's Plan Causes Conflict

Adolfo Facussé's plan to resolve the crisis in Honduras has stirred up a controversy within the country. This morning, La Tribuna wrote about Luis Larach, presdent of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the department of Cortés (CCIC), who feels Facussé has overstepped his bounds and stepped on Congresses toes.

Larach noted that Facussé's plan involves allowing 3000 foreign soldiers into the country as a peace keeping force, and restoring, if only for a few hours, Manuel Zelaya. "These themes pertain to the National Congress and the Judiciary, anyone who makes these proposals lightly should not have any validity," Larach said.

"All of us should think and propose, but the entities charged to carry this agreement out should be the corresponding authorities and to us the productive aparatus, maintaining employment and moving forward the national economy."

Almilicar Bulnes, presending of COHEP, another business council, said the plan doesn't benefit the private sector in general, that it leaves it up to the proper authorities to do that. "I don't know about the proposal of ANDI, but its not from the private sector, I have not spoken with Adolfo Facussé about the proposal, particularly it appears to me that the situation in Honduras is not such that any kind of foreign invasion would come," Bulnes said. "We are not capable of making a decision over these types of negotiations and including we have not solicited a proposal from COHEP, this does not exist."
Posted by rns

Second Coup Fails, as Lonely Oligarch Plots Third Honduran Coup of 2009

Posted by Al Giordano - September 29, 2009 at 9:12 pm By Al Giordano

Adolfo Facusse – the Honduran business magnate who earlier this month was hauled off an arriving airplane in Miami by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents then deported straight back to Honduras – is one of those fast-and-loose players who, even while deserting the Titanic, will look for some advantage in securing the best lifeboat exclusively for him, or at least stuff whatever silverware he can grab into his pockets on the way out.
And so it was today when Facusse announced his grand plan to solve the problem of a coup that he had supported but that has now demonstrably failed.
Facusse proposes that:
- Coup “president” Roberto Micheletti would step down and be rewarded for his service by the creation of a non-existant post, Congressman for life (“vitalico,” is the word he used, same as that enjoyed by Augusto Pinochet in the Chilean Senate during and beyond his own dictatorship).
- Micheletti and all other coup leaders – including the military brass – would get advance amnesty for all the crimes they committed on and since June 28.
- Elected President Manuel Zelaya would be recognized as such for about fifteen minutes while he signed over all his powers to the Armed Forces and some kind of “civilian” counsel made up of politicians in the current political parties based on their current percentages of seats in the Congress.
- 3,000 “UN Peacekeeping troops” – but only from the the following three right-wing countries: Colombia, Panama and Canada – would be deployed throughout Honduras to enforce this deal. (Because we all know that those fun loving Colombian troops and the paramilitaries they bring along for the joyride are so capable when it comes to protecting the human rights of the citizenry.)
- Zelaya, in exchange for getting to be recognized as president for fifteen minutes more, and a secret decoder ring, would then quietly and powerlessly wait until January 27 when he would face whatever “corruption” charges the coup regime has cooked up for him.
"We set the wheels moving again, although we don't know how far they'll take us," Facusse told reporters, claiming that Micheletti has also signed off on it.
Coup General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, of course, loves, loves, LOVES the plan, gushing:
"I see that we're quickly approaching a solution, which is what we're all waiting for.”
Facusse, head of the National Association of Factories (ANDI, in its Spanish initials), was, only a few weeks ago leading the proposal that all businesses that are members of the Honduran Council of Private Business (COHEP) offer price discounts to voters to encourage them to participate in the November 29 “elections.” It was like a democracy clearance sale, with Crazy Fito shouting "EVERYTHING MUST GO! OUR PRICES ARE INSANE!"
But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box. Coup dictator Micheletti – installed in large part due to Facusse’s anti-democracy efforts – two nights ago decreed a 45-day State of Siege, canceling basic Constitutional rights to free speech, press, transit, assembly and due process. I called it The Second Honduran Coup of 2009, and the naked admission that The First Coup had failed to establish control over the country and its people.
The cloak of “democracy” and “constitutionality” fell off the coup regime overnight on Sunday. Leading presidential candidate Pepe Lobo rejected the decree, as did the current president of the coup Congress, and business leaders who saw the new rules would be bad for their wallets told Micheletti that it wasn’t going to work. And now Micheletti is slowly backing away from it, so slowly that he hopes nobody will notice then demand that his jackboots return the transmitters and equipment they stole Monday morning from key TV and radio stations.
All this time over the past three months, Micheletti, Vásquez, Facusse and the rest of their gang of reverse Robin Hoods thought that if they just stalled for time they would be able to run the clock out and impose November 29 "elections" on a fixed playing field as the final solution. But as Mexican pollster Dan Lund noted today, Micheletti's Sunday night decree inverted that dynamic: Now there is not possibly enough time left on the clock to overcome the damage done by Micheletti's decree to the claim that elections so soon after The Second Coup and its authoritarian vices can possibly be free or fair. Lund writes:
"The timing of the elections set for November 29, 2009 is now a straight jacket, especially in the context of current confusion, the emergency decree... the complex media situation (an open and truly fair media being the sine qua non for an election of this significance), and the need for enough reconciliation to give confidence to the whole process."
Facusse’s proposal is in effect on behalf of The Third Coup, or at least a trial balloon toward its attempt. But beyond its whacky proposals above, The Third Coup has an even more fatal flaw: It was developed in a back room by rich and powerful magnates, without so much a consulting, much less dialoging with, a single worker, or farmer, or student, much less their organizations that represent the great mass of the mobilized Honduran people. For it is their power from below that has prevented both malicious coups this year from triumphing. No regime - not any more - can hold on to power in Honduras unless it sufficiently satisfies the amalgam of social movements that are now popularly referred to as The Resistance.
Furthermore, to attempt to reward Micheletti just two days after he bared his despotic teeth – in effect, betraying his other coup plotters in their lust for portraying this pustch as “not a coup” - with a lifetime unelected post in Congress, as Facusse’s proposal does, indicates a mindset so far removed from the realities demonstrated over the past summer, so profoundly out of touch with the overwhelming sentiment of the majority of his countrymen and women, that it offers a glass window into the mysterious mind of the oligarch, trying one more time to extract advantage over everybody else, even as his best made plans come crashing down all around him.

Honduran oligarchy's comic opera coup mounted to save time

Sanctions and alleged pressure the coup government in Honduras has  received  are just a strategy to gain time, which could easily be described as "comic opera,"  said Venezuela's ambassador on Tuesday to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roy Chaderton. The statements were issued in the evening program Dando y Dando, broadcast by Venezolana de Television (VTV). The diplomat said that under the de facto government's strategy is to earn time until  a few days before the election process in Honduras and in this way to try to give constitutional election event and reveal "that, in a dictatorship, the birth of a renewed democratic process can take place" , however, he stated that this case merits no such conditions.  "In the case of Honduras,it  is an aberration for the support  the de facto government has received  from other governments and the media," he said.  Regarding  the OAS sanctions that should be imposed to Honduras, the ambassador pointed out that for several years this instance only serves to wage political battles that lead nowhere.  "For 61 years the credibility of the OAS is at stake , which has gone through ups and downs. In general, the OAS is an institution for the purposes of countries like Venezuela, which is  is like a sounding board, where one is waging political battles, "he said.  Moreover, he qualified as "pantomime" the hunger strike that some Venezuelan opposition students are doing to denounce an alleged violation of human rights and explained that it only seeks to please the private media and those who conspire against the National government .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CONGRESS CRITICIZES CRACKDOWN The de facto government has come under pressure from some political allies in Congress who criticized the crackdown on civil liberties. Micheletti hinted on Monday that he may lift the decree, but he has not yet done so and is refusing to budge on the key sticking point: the restoration of Zelaya.


UN Secretary General calls for Zelaya's security 

11:35 New York .- The UN secretary general called today to ask for the security of deposed President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya and described the threats to the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa as "unacceptable''and" intolerable'' .
 Ban Ki-moon told a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York he was "deeply concerned''by the latest developments in the country, published AP.

  "International law is clear: the sovereign immunity can not be raped. The threats to the embassy staff and their premises are intolerable. The Security Council has condemned these acts of intimidation. I also do, in the strongest terms' 'said Ki-moon.

  Zelaya was deposed and expelled from Honduras after a coup in late June.The ousted leader returned to the country in a clandestine way a few days ago and was entrenched in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.

  "I urge the political actors to engage in a serious dialogue and regional mediation efforts. Reaffirm that the United Nations stands ready to assist in any way,''said the secretary general.

 Pressure mounts on Honduras to end coup crisis


By Patrick Markey
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' de facto government came under mounting pressure on Tuesday to restore civil liberties and negotiate an end to a three-month crisis sparked when President Manuel Zelaya was toppled in a coup.
Zelaya was overthrown by the army on June 28, but he secretly slipped back into the country and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy a week ago.
De facto leader Roberto Micheletti has ordered Zelaya's arrest, suspended civil liberties, shut two media stations loyal to Zelaya and warned Brazil it has 10 days to decide on the fate of the deposed leader or its embassy will be closed.
The measures have drawn widespread condemnation, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Micheletti on Tuesday to lift the restrictions on civil liberties and stop threatening Brazil's embassy.
"I am deeply concerned about developments in Honduras. A state of emergency has increased tensions," he said at a news conference in New York. "I once again appeal for the safety of President Zelaya. I urge all political actors to seriously commit to dialogue and regional mediation efforts."
Brazil, the regional diplomatic heavyweight, has dismissed Micheletti's deadline and wants more international pressure on his government to force a solution.
The United States has also demanded that Micheletti roll back the emergency measures.
"The freedoms inherent in the suspended rights are inalienable and cannot be limited or restricted without seriously damaging the democratic rights of the Honduran people," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said late on Monday.
But President Barack Obama's administration has resisted calls to push harder for Zelaya's return and a U.S. official said on Tuesday that the government is not talking about imposing new sanctions for now.
It has also railed against Zelaya over his role in the crisis, describing his return to Honduras without a negotiated settlement in place as "foolish."
The de facto government has come under pressure from some political allies in Congress who criticized the crackdown on civil liberties. Micheletti hinted on Monday that he may lift the decree, but he has not yet done so and is refusing to budge on the key sticking point: the restoration of Zelaya.
The deposed leader says any deal must allow him to finish out his presidential term, which ends in January.
Soldiers ousted Zelaya at gunpoint on June 28 and sent him into exile in his pajamas after the Supreme Court ordered his arrest. His critics say he broke the law by pushing for constitutional reforms they say would have lifted presidential term limits. Zelaya denies wanting to stay in power.
Honduran armed forces commander Gen. Romeo Vazquez urged dialogue on Tuesday to resolve the crisis.

Soldiers and riot police have surrounded the Brazilian embassy for the past week, while Zelaya tries to rally his followers to the streets to demand he be restored to office in the coffee-producing country.
The Organization of American States held an extraordinary session in Washington on Monday to discuss the face-off. But a negotiated accord appears far off. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said a mission would only travel to Honduras when "there are results to be achieved."
The de facto government appears to determined to hold out until presidential elections on November 29. But several countries, including the United States, have suggested they might not recognize the vote without a prior agreement.
(Editing by Todd Benson and Kieran Murray)

Ousted Honduran leader talks to U.N. by cellphone

Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:02pm EDT

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya could not make it to the U.N. General Assembly this year, as he is besieged by soldiers at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.
But Zelaya managed to speak to the assembly on Monday by cellphone, held by his foreign minister Patricia Rodas at the podium of the United Nations, and he appealed for help.
"Honduras is being subjected to fascist rule which is suppressing the right of the people," the leftist president, overthrown by the military three months ago, said in his unusual address.
"I call on the United Nations to help reverse this coup d'etat."
Zelaya said the closure of two major media outlets on Monday by the de facto civilian government was evidence of the "dictatorship" that has taken hold of his country.
Rodas said Zelaya's life was in danger.
Since Zelaya's ouster on June 28, the de facto government has resisted international pressure to allow his reinstatement and vows to arrest him and put him on trial. Zelaya returned a week ago from exile and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by John O'Callaghan)


Honduras to end emergency restrictions, Costa Rican leader says

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said the de facto leader of Honduras has vowed to dismantle some of the emergency measures the government took over the weekend amid a three-month political crisis.
Speaking at the Americas Conference in Coral Gables Tuesday, Arias said that Honduras' acting president, Roberto Micheletti, told him on Monday that he would meet with congress and the courts to remove the measures, which limit the media and people's ability to gather.
Arias said ending the emergency measures was key to creating an environment that would allow for free and open elections scheduled for Nov. 29.
``This crisis will not be solved with elections alone,'' he said. ``But with elections that are recognized by all.''
Another key to those elections: Ousted President Manuel Zelaya needs to be allowed to finish out his term.
Zelaya and Micheletti have been at odds since June 28, when Zelaya was ousted at gunpoint and sent into exile. Micheletti assumed the presidency and has insisted it was a constitutional transition. However, not a single nation has recognized the new government.
Arias scorned those who try to justify the action in Honduras as anything other than a coup.
``A coup dressed in silk is still a coup,'' he said.
Zelaya made a surprise return to Honduras on Sept. 20 and since then has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy in the capital of Tegucigalpa. The tense stand-off makes dialogue more important than ever, Arias said.
Arias' initial attempts to find a negotiated solution to the crisis broke down over his insistence that Zelaya return to power. Micheletti has said that Zelaya's only future in Honduras is as a defendant against four charges, including treason and misuse of power.
Arias said those talks, known as the ``San Jose Accords,'' still represent the only viable solution to the crisis. The deal would allow Zelaya to return to office, albeit with limited powers.
If the coup is allowed to stand, it would represent a ``dramatic step backward in history.''

he ousted Honduran president has become the first world leader ever to address the United Nations General Assembly by mobile phone, appealing to the world body to help return hm to power.
Manuel Zelaya made the long-distance speech to the 192-nation body from his refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, where he is surrounded by soldiers and riot police.
Patricia Rodas Baca, his Foreign Minister, surprised delegates by pulling out her mobile phone at the start of her UN address last night.
Flourishing the phone, she gave Mr Zelaya a dramatic introduction. "Our President is under siege by military forces..." she said. "He is being threatened and constanly, every minute, every second, that passes, could be the one that brings the tragic resolution."

"As we speak, the life of our President is in peril. And the life of our people is also in peril."
Ms Rodas Baca held her phone to the microphone so that Mr Zelaya could address the assembly.
The ousted President, who is still recognised by UN member states, told delegates that Honduras was being subjected to "fascist rule”.
"I call on the United Nations to give assistance to reverse this coup d'état and ensure that democracy is available to all nations of the world," he said.
He complained that the Brazilian embassy, where he is holed up, was being subjected to "electronic interference" and appealed to the UN to seek guarantees for his personal safety.
UN officials said the mobile-phone address was unprecedented. "Nobody has ever addressed the General Assembly by a cell phone. Never," said Jean Nkolo, a UN spokesman.
Mr Zelaya was ousted by the Honduran army on June 28 and sent into exile in his pajamas after the Honduran Supreme Court ordered his arrest.
He secretly slipped back into the country last week and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy, sparking demonstrations by his supporters.
The de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti, ordered Mr Zelaya's arrest and gave Brazil a 10-day deadline to decide his fate or its embassy will be closed.
He also suspended civil liberties and shut the only two media outlets that support Mr Zelaya.
But Mr Micheletti announced late yesterday that he would soon cancel the emergency decree and said a delegation from the Organisation of American States would be welcome to help mediate talks set for early October.
He also said he wanted to send "a big hug" to Brazil's President and promised nothing would happen to its embassy.
The de facto government appears intent on holding out until presidential elections on November 29.
The United States and other countries, however, have suggested they might not recognise the vote unless there is a prior agreement.
Nevertheless, a US representative to the OAS criticised Mr Zelaya's return to his homeland without a negotiated settlement. "The return of President Zelaya to Honduras... is irresponsible and serves neither the interests of the Honduran people nor those seeking a peaceful re-establishment of a democratic order in Honduras," Lewis Amselem said.
Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, yesterday added his voice to calls for talks.
"I am deeply concerned about developments in Honduras. A state of emergency has increased tensions," he told a press conference in New York. "I once again appeal for the safety of President Zelaya. I urge all political actors to seriously commit to dialogue and regional mediation efforts."