Monday, July 06, 2009

Honduras Coup Earns Global Condemnation But Supported By Fox News & The Wall Street Journal

UPDATED: June 6,2009 1250 AM & 11:08 AM
Breaking News From Honduras!!!

President Zelaya tries to land in Honduras is stopped by the military while thousands of his supporters are at the airport to greet him. The Military fires at Zelaya plane but misses and then the army fires on the unarmed crowd of civilians.

Honduran clashes turn deadly - 06 July 09 Al Jazeera

El frustrado retorno de Zelaya deja un muerto en Honduras

and check out BBC news at Youtube :
Honduras's ousted President Zelaya has been forced to divert his homecoming jet to Nicaragua after it was barred from landing in Tegucigalpa.

Anyway a week ago the democratically elected President Zelaya of Honduras was replaced by a military Coup d'Etat. The military in its propaganda to defend the coup has made false claims about Zelaya's government. They claimed Zelaya was trying to change the constitution to allow for his re-election & serve as many terms as possible making himself a sort of dictator for life. What the Coup seems to be really about is that Zelaya was pushing for more laws to reform the country and to extend fairness & social justice for all Hondurans & not just the elite and their foreign corporate backers & investors.

It is reminiscent of other Coup d'etats in Latin America such as that which ousted Allende in Chile . Allende was replaced by the U.S. backed fascist dictator Pinochet who beat, tortured & killed thousands of civilians who were opposed to his regime . Though one should note this is not much different from what the United States did in its invasion & occupation of the sovereign country of Iraq.

In the video below from The Real News Network it is argued that the military in Honduras is attempting to turn the clock back to put an end to participatory democracy .

Honduras under siege- "Not a single foreign country has recognized the new government"

More at

Bertha Oliva: Coup leaders are reviving despotism of the 80s in bid to crush participatory democracy

also see BBC News Video:"Honduras 'to stop ousted leader's plane' " July 5, 1990 at YOUTUBE :

CNN video shows Honduran troops shooting protesters' bus tires

As part of its media strategy to claim public support, the coup regime of Honduras is impeding coup opponents from assembling to demonstrate against the coup. Here, CNN captures coup soldiers shooting out the bus tires 120 km from Tegucigalpa to deter arrival of protesters to the capital.

Anyway Benjamin Dangl in a detailed article shows why President Zelaya was ousted by a military coup. He argues that Zelaya wanted to continue the democratic process in Honduras & he was passing laws to help the average Honduran rather than just the upper-class elite of the rich & powerful & their American corporate friends who's only goal is profit & not social justice.

"Honduran Leader's Populism Is What Provoked Military Violence" By Benjamin Dangl, AlterNet. July 1, 2009.

Contrary to most media accounts, President Manuel Zelaya wasn't seeking to abolish term limits.

Worldwide condemnation has followed the June 28 coup that unseated President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras.

Nationwide mobilizations and a general strike demanding that Zelaya be returned to power are growing in spite of increased military repression. One protester outside the government palace in Honduras told reporters that if Roberto Micheletti, the leader installed by the coup, wants to enter the palace, "he had better do so by air" because if he goes by land "we will stop him."

...Zelaya Takes a Left Turn

When Zelaya was elected president on November 27, 2005... he became president of one of the poorest nations in the region, with approximately 70 percent of its population of 7.5 million living below the poverty line. Although siding himself with the region’s left in recent years as a new member of the leftist trade bloc, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), Zelaya did sign the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2004.

However, Zelaya has been criticizing and taking on the sweatshop and corporate media industry in his country, and he increased the minimum wage by 60 percent. He said the increase, which angered the country’s elite but expanded his support among unions, would "force the business oligarchy to start paying what is fair."

At a meeting of regional anti-drug officials, Zelaya spoke of an unconventional way to combat the drug trafficking and related violence that has been plaguing his country: "Instead of pursuing drug traffickers, societies should invest resources in educating drug addicts and curbing their demand."

After his election, Zelaya’s left-leaning policies began generating "resistance and anger among Liberal [party] leaders and lawmakers on the one hand, and attracting support from the opposition, civil society organizations and popular movements on the other," IPS reported.

The social organization Via Campesina stated, "The government of President Zelaya has been characterized by its defense of workers and campesinos, it is a defender of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas, and during his administration it has promoted actions that benefit Honduran campesinos."

...The key question leading up to the coup was whether to hold a referendum on June 28 – as Zelaya wanted – on organizing an assembly to rewrite the country’s constitution.

One media analyst pointed out that while many major news outlets in the U.S., including the Miami Herald, Wall St. Journal and Washington Post said an impetus for the coup was specifically Zelaya’s plans for a vote to allow him to extend his term in office, the actual ballot question was to be: "Do you agree that, during the general elections of November 2009 there should be a fourth ballot to decide whether to hold a Constituent National Assembly that will approve a new political constitution?"

Nations across Latin America, including Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, have recently rewritten their constitutions. In many aspects, the changes to these documents enshrined new rights for marginalized people and protected the nations' economies from the destabilizing effects of free trade and corporate looting.

...Since the coup, military planes and helicopters have been circling the city, the electricity and Internet have been cut off, and only music is being played on the few radio stations that are still operating, according to IPS News.

Telesur journalists, who have been reporting consistently throughout the conflict, were detained by the de facto government in Honduras. They were then released, thanks to international pressure.

Ambassadors from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were arrested. Patricia Rodas, the foreign minister under Zelaya, has also been arrested...

The military-installed government has issued arrest warrants for Honduran social leaders for the Popular Bloc Coordinating Committee, Via Campesina and the Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras...

Human rights activist Dr. Juan Almendares, reporting from from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, told Democracy Now that due to government crackdowns and the electrical blackout, there is "not really access to information, no freedom of the press." He said, "We have also a curfew, because after 9 o'clock, you can be shot if you are on the streets. So we have a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m."

...Almendares reported that in spite of massive repression on the part of the military leaders, "We have almost a national strike for workers, people, students and intellectuals, and they are organized in a popular resistance-run pacific movement against this violation of the democracy. … There are many sectors involved in this movement trying to restitute the constitutional rights, the human rights."

Rafael Alegría, a leader of Via Campesina in Honduras, told Telesur, "The resistance of the people continues and is growing; already in the western part of the country, campesinos are taking over highways, and the military troops are impeding bus travel, which is why many people have decided to travel to Tegucigalpa on foot. The resistance continues in spite of the hostility of the military patrols."

A general strike was also organized by various social and labor sectors in the country. Regarding the strike, Alegría said it is happening across state institutions and "progressively in the private sector."

...Regarding U.S. relations with the Honduran military, Latin American history professor and journalist Greg Grandin said on Democracy Now: "The Honduran military is effectively a subsidiary of the United States government. Honduras, as a whole, if any Latin American country is fully owned by the United States, it’s Honduras. Its economy is wholly based on trade, foreign aid and remittances. So if the U.S. is opposed to this coup going forward, it won’t go forward. Zelaya will return..."

...The Regional Response

The Organization of American States and the United Nations have condemned the coup. Outrage at the coup has been expressed by major leaders across the globe, and all over Latin America, as reported by Reuters: the presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba have been outspoken in their protests against the coup. The French Foreign Ministry said, "France firmly condemns the coup that has just taken place in Honduras." Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said, "I'm deeply worried about the situation in Honduras ... it reminds us of the worst years in Latin America's history."

Even Augusto Ramírez Ocampo, a former foreign minister of Colombia told the New York Times, "It is a legal obligation to defend democracy in Honduras."

OAS Without Dissent Suspends Honduras Over Zelaya Ouster By Lesley Clark and Laura Figueroa | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Organization of American States voted late Saturday to suspend Honduras from the group over the military ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, who minutes later vowed to return to his country Sunday despite warnings it would be too dangerous.

The group voted 33 to 0 just before midnight to bar Honduras immediately, saying the ouster of Zelaya had created an "unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order.''

...The OAS suspension is likely to prevent Honduras — one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere — from securing important loans, as well as complicate its relationships with other countries. But it seemed unlikely to persuade the current government, led by Roberto Machetti, the former president of Congress, to compromise. Earlier in the day, Machetti's government had said it was quitting the organization.

... Zelaya was ousted in a predawn raid at his home last Sunday after he vowed to defy a court order and hold a nonbinding referendum that day on whether an assembly should be called to rewrite the constitution. He was bundled aboard a plane and flown to Costa Rica. The Supreme Court and Honduras' Congress later endorsed the military's move, though it skirted other steps that could have been taken to remove Zelaya from office.

President Barack Obama has urged for Zelaya's return, but Obama has not met with Zelaya, although the Honduran has been in Washngton for several days. The U.S. military late last week froze ties with the Central American nation's armed forces and the State Department has suspended some aid programs as it conducts a more formal review. It has not recalled the U.S. ambassador.

and the military in Honduras threaten to shoot down a plane carrying President Zelaya if he tries to return to Honduras.

Honduras "to Stop Zelaya Plane" 05 July 2009 @ BBC News &

The interim government in Honduras says it will block any attempt by ousted President Manuel Zelaya to return.

and Zelaya has said about his return to Honduras:

"I ask all farmers, residents, Indians, young people and all workers' groups, businessmen and friends... to accompany me on my return to Honduras," he said in a taped statement sent to media outlets.

The Wall Street Journal & other conservative news agencies in the U.S. are in favor of the coup in Honduras as they have been of earlier military right-wing coups in Latin America such as the 1973 Chilean coup which replaced the popular president Allende who believed all Chileans should prosper as the country prospered & not just a tiny rich & powerful elite The conservative forces in America have never been committed to real democracy in Latin America or elsewhere if it undermines the Rich & Powerful elite.

Such things as the freedom to join unions or to have some form of state run health care or improving the public school system or having a free press or insisting on a fair & just minimum wages along with the rights of workers etc. are not things the Wall Street Journal or most American conservatives could support. They want a democracy which is beholden to big business & free unfettered capitalism . These U.S. conservative are uninterested in real justice in any society. This is why they are in a frenzy these days when President Obama even suggest developing a National Health Care program which would benefit all Americans.

Neocon Dennis Prager & others of course are in favor of the coup since they characterize President Zelaya as Leftist & Communist. They would also like to overthrow other leftist governments in Latin America even if they were democratically elected or are popular with the citizens of that nation .

Such notions carry little weight for the Neocons & conservatives in America who believe the first duty of a government is to protect the property & investments of the upper-class or the Rich & Powerful even at the expense of the ordinary citizen. Dennis Prager repeats the misinformation published by the Wall Street Journal which claimed erroneously that President Zelaya wanted to establish himself as dictator for life. What Zelaya wanted was a referendum to change the constitution with the involvement of the people of Honduras & not just the Rich & Powerful.

There is also an implied threat by Prager & other conservatives that the Obama administration better be careful about its policies for it too could face a military coup or insurrection. Since Prager & Fox News,Glenn Beck & Michael Savage have compared President Zelaya & Hugo Chavez to Obama as all being cut from the same cloth of socialism & communism.

Dennis Prager on Obama's Honduras "Meddling" June 30, 2009
"Sometime democracy is used to limit liberty"

and Glenn Beck chimes in with the weeks Fox News Memo on Talking Points that President Zelaya was an evil leftist dictator & has a lot in common with Castro, Hugo Chavez & President Obama.

Glenn Beck: Barack Obama a Hypocrite on Honduras, Iran [FOX News]

So one can ask whether or not U.S. corporations with interests in Honduras has helped to create opposition to President Zelaya & did they help back the coup. Most coups as I have mentioned that have taken place in Latin America have been engineered , financed & given help by U.S. citizens , the U.S. military & the CIA .

So can we believe Hillary Clinton , President Obama & VP Biden that this Coup was not given the "Green Light" by U.S. government or CIA. For instance in this case the Bush Regime may have been working to destabilize the Honduran government long before Obama was elected or it could have been orchestrated by a rogue CIA operation what they refer to as Black-Ops or even with the help of private American citizens for instance. But if the Bush Regime & the CIA did will President Obama investigate such a matter.Or will we have to wait a decade or more to discover the truth. Though at present it seems unlikely that there was any official US backing of this coup. But for years the US denied it was involved in the 1973 Chilean coup when in fact it was as it was in a number of other coups in Latin America & the Middle East ie Iran.

also see:

Coups Arranged or Backed
by the USA Kryss Tal/Iran

A short account of 1953 Coup

TNR Slideshow: U.S.-Backed Coups In Latin America :The New Republic

"In Right-Wing Bizarro World Military Coups Are the Embodiment of Democracy!" by Brad Reed, Sadly, No!at ,July 1, 2009.

Pro-Coup Government and Allies Pushing Agenda Forward at Citizens Rights Expense from School of The Americas Watch July 3, 2009

Honduras 'to block' Zelaya return at Media With A conscience July 05, 2009

Honduras Defends Its Democracy Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton object. Wall Street Journal Editorial, June 29, 2009

"While the U.S. Dilly Dallies on Honduras, We Continue to Support a Right-Wing Thug in Colombia" By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. July 2, 2009.

Alvaro Uribe could be re-elected through just the type of referendum the ousted Manuel Zelaya has been accused of trying to carry out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 Chile The Other 9/11: US Backed Coup Murders & Tortures Thousands Gord's Poetry Factory

and recommended books:

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer

Kinzer, Stephen : All The Shah’s Men ( AMERICAN ENGINEERED COUP 1953 ) , Pub. 2004

Bitter Fruit : The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (1954) by Stephen Schlesinger ,Stephen Kinzer , pub.1982

Vidal, Gore : Dreaming War: Blood For Oil And The Cheney-Bush Junta , pub. 2002

and so it goes,

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