Honduras: The Crisis Continues

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


Manual Zelaya In The Brazilian Embassy, Tegucigalpa

The two sides aren’t talking to each other in Honduras, even though they are just miles from each other.  The golpistas use the military to repress the people on the streets and to continue the curfews.  The real president of Honduras has asylum in the Brazilian embassy.

Join me in Tegucigalpa.

The New York Times reports:

the two men who claim to be the president of Honduras passed another day without meeting on Wednesday as residents of this capital city used a break in a curfew to store up supplies and hunker down for what could be an extended political standoff.

“We need to sit down face to face,” Manuel Zelaya, the deposed leader, said in a telephone interview from the Brazilian Embassy, where he has been holed up since slipping back into the country from exile on Monday. He complained of harassment of his supporters by the security forces, a dwindling food supply inside the compound where he and ever fewer backers are staying and the acrid aroma of tear gas from earlier clashes outside.

But the government did restore water, electricity and telephone service to the building, which it had cut off on Tuesday.

Conditions in Tegucigalpa today evidence continuing strife as demonstrators defy the curfew and confront the military, which is trying to push supporters of Zelaya off of the streets:

The streets, littered with rubble and tear gas canisters, summed up the acrimony. Angry demonstrators had uprooted trees, looted stores and burned tires on Tuesday to protest the de facto government’s refusal to reinstate Mr. Zelaya. Security forces in riot gear had fired tear gas to move protesters away from the embassy.

The aggressive tactics of the police and soldiers drew strong condemnation, especially the firing of tear gas on Monday at the headquarters of a Honduran human rights organization. A large group of people were inside, filing complaints about police and army abuses at the time, according to Amnesty International.

On Wednesday, the two sides continued to test each other. At noon, as Zelaya supporters were massing, a police spokesman announced that the government had just banned meetings of more than 20 people.

But the protest, thousands strong, went on.

A line of riot police officers, backed by water cannon, tried to hold a line a few blocks from the embassy. But the protest organizers persuaded the police to move back as the demonstrators moved forward, chanting, “Yes, we did,” in a reference to Mr. Zelaya’s return.

Put simply, there is an uneasy, dangerous tension in Honduras, and there is no significant progress toward restoring Manual Zelaya to the presidency.  Although both sides say they want to talk, there have been no talks.  Although Costa Rican president Arias has offered to continue to mediate the crisis, there is no mediation.

It will not do to hold elections for the next presidential term, which begins in January, if the golpistas continue to hold the government.  And so the deadlock continues.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles


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    • davidseth on September 24, 2009 at 04:38

    Thanks for reading.

    • Diane G on September 24, 2009 at 04:59

    I’ve been worrying all day about whats happening, but kid husband and food got in the way of googling it….

    You rock.

  1. was more or less about whether the US soccer team could play there or not.  

    To bad they don’t play football; that would’ve been HUGE.  

    • Miep on September 24, 2009 at 19:51

    This is exactly the sort of thing I appreciate hearing about, serious events in other countries that are being ignored by the media in my own. Much appreciated.

    • Edger on September 24, 2009 at 23:38

    By Pepe Escobar, Sep 25, 2009

    As much as the 2008 financial crisis exposed the economic fallacy of US-propelled neo-liberalism, the June 28 oligarch-directed military coup in Honduras has exposed the fallacy of the Barack Obama administration’s pledge to uphold democratic values around the world. Stolen elections in Afghanistan? We don’t like it, but … Military coup in Honduras? We don’t like it, but …

    What passes for official US policy at the G-20 consists of telling big exporting powers such as China, Germany and Japan to engage in an orgy of consumption (as the US used to) while vaguely promising the US will finally boost savings. Fat chance.

    As for Honduras, this is now the Obama administration’s hour of truth: will it finally come clean and follow world opinion – also expressed by the UN, the European Union and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) – in condemning and isolating the coup plotters?

    The stick, or deafening silence

    Deposed, rightful Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has been to Washington no less than six times since the coup. Not once was he allowed to meet Obama. Then, this past Monday morning, Zelaya showed up at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ capital, after a spectacular run that started in Nicaragua, involved a flight to El Salvador on a plane offered by Venezuela, and a 15-hour odyssey across the border to Honduras on foot and by car, evading myriad checkpoints manned by local intelligence – which is, crucially, funded, trained and maintained by the Pentagon. Zelaya was smuggled into the Brazilian Embassy in the trunk of car.

    Zelaya may have had help from Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, under the umbrella of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA). But now the strategic game-changer has been to shift the attention towards Brazil – and that means under the UNASUR.

    Whether Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva knew it before hand or only at the last minute (as the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists) is irrelevant. It was not the US that called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council this week; it was Brazil.

    Lula forcefully demanded the restoration of democracy in Honduras in his speech at the UN General Assembly – with strong applause from the plenary. Obama’s speech came right after Lula’s. Not a word on Honduras. Obama spoke of a “new era of engagement” or at best an “inter-connected world” – while Lula spoke about the emergence of a real multilateral world; its subtext means the hyperpower does not have the monopoly anymore, be it on the word, the stick, or deafening silence.

    Obama even stressed the US “can’t fix it alone” – as if the war in Afghanistan and confrontation with Iran were global, and not only US, obsessions. (By the way: Lula met Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad face-to-face for over an hour on the sidelines of the UN assembly. He later said that as much as Brazil had the right to develop its own peaceful nuclear program, so did Iran).

    By Obama’s own admission, the US can’t fix Honduras alone, but at least it could have emitted the right signals, delegitimizing the coup politically, militarily, economically and diplomatically from the beginning.


    In pure Pentagonese, Honduras under Zelaya fell under the good old Cold War domino theory. The government had to go because it was linked to ALBA, which means Nicaragua and, above all, Venezuela. Chavez is playing a high stakes New Great Game – he just bought US$2 billion in weapons from Russia at a time when Moscow wants access to the Orinoco oil wealth, and he is also doing energy megadeals with China. The Pentagonese response is an array of bases in Colombia to monitor him. Now Zelaya’s move to the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa introduces an even juicier element.

    Last December, Brazil struck a strategic military partnership with France – involving a multibillion-dollar purchase of submarines, helicopters and jet fighters – with full technology transfer included. Lula is privileging the French over Boeing – and obviously the US industrial-military complex is not amused. Brazil projects power independently from the US and France in South America. This is all about multilateralism in action – of the kind reactionary forces in the US simply abhor.

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