Honduran coup info.

14

June 30, 2009 by theradicalmormon

The Honduran coup was headed by a man named Vazquez, who is reportedly a graduate of the notorious School of the Americas in Fort Benning Georgia, which has trained many of Latin America’s worst criminals/human rights abusers over the last few decades.  Also, many of the groups backing the coup receive money from the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID.  The US military is also in the Honduras and trains the Honduran military. 

Eva Gollinger gives a good account of the coup and some general information on the background in this article:

Such an initiative has never taken place in the Central American nation, which has a very limited constitution that allows minimal participation by the people of Honduras in their political processes. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the Reagan Administration’s dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure those in power, both economic and political, would retain it with little interference from the people. Zelaya, elected in November 2005 on the platform of Honduras’ Liberal Party, had proposed the opinion poll be conducted to determine if a majority of citizens agreed that constitutional reform was necessary. He was backed by a majority of labor unions and social movements in the country. If the poll had occured, depending on the results, a referendum would have been conducted during the upcoming elections in November to vote on convening a constitutional assembly. Nevertheless, today’s scheduled poll was not binding by law.

In fact, several days before the poll was to occur, Honduras’ Supreme Court ruled it illegal, upon request by the Congress, both of which are led by anti-Zelaya majorities and members of the ultra-conservative party, National Party of Honduras (PNH). This move led to massive protests in the streets in favor of President Zelaya. On June 24, the president fired the head of the high military command, General Romeo Vásquez, after he refused to allow the military to distribute the electoral material for Sunday’s elections. General Romeo Vásquez held the material under tight military control, refusing to release it even to the president’s followers, stating that the scheduled referendum had been determined illegal by the Supreme Court and therefore he could not comply with the president’s order. As in the Unted States, the president of Honduras is Commander in Chief and has the final say on the military’s actions, and so he ordered the General’s removal. The Minister of Defense, Angel Edmundo Orellana, also resigned in response to this increasingly tense situation.

But the following day, Honduras’ Supreme Court reinstated General Romeo Vásquez to the high military command, ruling his firing as “unconstitutional’.  Thousands poured into the streets of Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, showing support for President Zelaya and evidencing their determination to ensure Sunday’s non-binding referendum would take place. On Friday, the president and a group of hundreds of supporters, marched to the nearby air base to collect the electoral material that had been previously held by the military. That evening, Zelaya gave a national press conference along with a group of politicians from different political parties and social movements, calling for unity and peace in the country.

As of Saturday, the situation in Honduras was reported as calm. But early Sunday morning, a group of approximately 60 armed soldiers entered the presidential residence and took Zelaya hostage. After several hours of confusion, reports surfaced claiming the president had been taken to a nearby air force base and flown to neighboring Costa Rica. No images have been seen of the president so far and it is unknown whether or not his life is still endangered.

Zelaya’s wife gives this account:

President Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, speaking live on Telesur at approximately 10:00am Caracas time, denounced that in early hours of Sunday morning, the soldiers stormed their residence, firing shots throughout the house, beating and then taking the president. “It was an act of cowardice”, said the first lady, referring to the illegal kidnapping occuring during a time when no one would know or react until it was all over. Casto de Zelaya also called for the “preservation” of her husband’s life, indicating that she herself is unaware of his whereabouts. She claimed their lives are all still in “serious danger” and made a call for the international community to denounce this illegal coup d’etat and to act rapidly to reinstate constitutional order in the country, which includes the rescue and return of the democratically elected Zelaya.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4554

This Counterpunch article also gives good background information.

http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff06292009.html

Where is the outrage in the US press?  Why is this less outrageous than what we are seeing in Iran?  It is good that Obama is condemning the coup, but I think he could exert more pressure and eventually influence the reinstatement of Zelaya.  Such is the power of the office of the US President as has been demonstrated in the removal of Suharto of Indonesia from power for example.

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14 thoughts on “Honduran coup info.

  1. Joseph says:

    This is infuriating. It should be front page news. But it is good to see that the Honduran people standing up to this, just as they have been doing in Iran.

    It’s interesting to see that as U.S. economic and military power throughout the world diminishes, there seem to be more actual grassroots democratic movements rising up and challenging military dictatorships. Hmmm…. I wonder what the relationship there could be? Perhaps the U.S. has not been so much a beacon of freedom and democracy, but instead more of a self-serving empire (like every other nation that thought it should rule the world). Just a theory, not much to back it up yet.

  2. theradicalmormon says:

    Joseph, actually, I think your last thought there, that the US is not so much of a beacon of freedom and democracy, but more of a self-serving empire… is true. And this is not just a belief, but is a rather well documented fact if one looks in the right places. Two books for the interested reader would be, “Deterring Democracy,” and, “Necessary Illusions,” both by Noam Chomsky. His books are backed up by hundreds of references and I have never seen anyone able to seriously challenge the facts he puts forth in his books. He shows how we have been deceived into thinking that we are a beacon of freedom and democracy so that our consent for the wars our secret combinations pursue can be manufactured in a way that allows red-blooded Americans to cheer our conquest and submission of people in other nations while we take away freedoms and stop the people from rising up.

    How much does the US have to do with the current coup in the Honduras? I don’t know. There’s the USAID and NED funding for groups backing the coup, the School of the Americas graduates heading the coup up and the military training the US gives the Honduran military, all of which gives me a sense of deja vu of the Venezuelan coup of 2002 where Chavez was deposed and it was claimed by the coup plotters that he had resigned (as is being claimed by the Honduran military). At that time, the US had prior knowledge that the coup in Venezuela was going to take place and did not warn Chavez. Instead, the US government didn’t condemn the coup and if my memory serves me right, recognized the coup government of Pedro Carmona, which government was overturned within 48 hours as the people of Venezuela took massively to the streets and brought Chavez back. Also, the fact that the coup is not being covered by the news organizations in the Honduras is absolutely amazing. They are not showing the clashes between the military and protesters at all. This is exactly what happened in Venezuela. The coup was not televised and the television stations were apparently in cahoots with the elite part of society that supported the coup.

  3. theradicalmormon says:

    I am pleased to see here that the UN has issued a condemnation of the coup and has demanded Zelaya’s immediate restoration as President. With this sort of support, this coup will not last long.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/world/americas/01honduras.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

  4. J. Madson says:

    This is all very interesting to me. My father in law was a colonel in the Honduras army during the 80’s and trained in Kansas with the US army. He wrote three articles that I just read supporting the military and what they did. He believes that Zelaya is a “communist” and in league with “Chavez” (another dirty word apparently) and that he planned on stuffing the ballot boxes.

    A few months ago we had a conversation where he told me that things were better when the military ran things. Apparently this sentiment is common among certain classes in Honduras, like those in power and among military types obviously. He also had the opportunity to meet Pinochet and shake his hand. To this day he still believes Pinochet did not disappear people (desaparecidos) and is not guilty of war crimes.

    I am still learning how to approach these subjects with him as in I personally believe Pinochet is one of the worst of the worst and have a hard time conceiving of why the military should ever intervene in any country and why the people cannot be allowed to vote if they want to change their constitution, an essential characteristic of democracies.

  5. theradicalmormon says:

    I am very interested in what is happening south of the border because of the prophecies of the Book of Mormon about the remnant of Jacob that’s going to tear the Gentiles apart. The last few years have really brought out more left-leaning rulers as the constituencies of these countries have rejected the imperialism of the north and the same old policies of so-called, “free trade,” etc.

    I personally view the agreements of NAFTA, CAFTA (not to mention the worst of them all, the MAI which was never ratified but which idea has lived on in different forms) etc. as part of the secret combinations of the latter-days that could be loosely be grouped into the category of THE secret combination of the last days which is built up to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries and is destined to bring about the destruction of all people.

    Satan’s threats of buying up armies with silver and gold and reigning with blood and horror on the earth, are not idle threats.

  6. theradicalmormon says:

    Justin Raimondo has a nice analysis of the situation over at antiwar.com

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/06/30/history-haunts-honduras/

  7. Joseph says:

    Thanks for all of this info. Oh, and J., that’s pretty crazy about your father-in-law. I could almost say that I won’t complain about my father-in-law again, but I don’t want to take a commitment like that on. Instead, this just gives me some perspective!

    It just amazes me how silent the mainstream media is on this. Not surprising, I guess, just really troubling.

  8. Forest Simmons says:

    Besides “Deterring Democracy” try William Blum’s classic, “Killing Hope,” and John Perkin’s recent books, “Confession of an Economic Hit Man” and “The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption.”

    Put these together with Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” book and his National Geographic documentary by the same name along with MIke Davis’, “The Late Victorian Holocaust” and you start to get the picture of what Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, and Jesus were talking about in their end times prophecies that are recorded in the Book of Mormon. Isaiah saw the same vision of the future, so Nephi, et. al. have exhorted us to search Isaiah’s prophecies using the clues that they have provided. I hate to have to say it, but it seems to me that people that don’t see the connection between these prophecies and Western Imperialism, are pretty clueless about end times prophecy.

  9. theradicalmormon says:

    There appears to be some backroom negotiating for the return of Zelaya to power.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/world/americas/02honduras.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print

    This will not make a huge difference in the final outcome in the Honduras I think. The defeat of the principle of the military coup in favor of democracy would be the most important part of Zelaya’s return. He leaves office in January of 2010 anyway and has no plans for running for reelection as the opposition has lied about and the US press has faithfully parrotted. According to the article above, he would have to promise to not run for reelection as a condition for returning to power. This appears to be a smokescreen that the Honduran elite are putting up to appear as if they are gaining some sort of victory out of this whole event. It should be noted that serious journalists are reporting that the poll that was not allowed to go forward because of the coup, was simply an opinion poll, a non-binding poll to see if the people wanted to hold a constitutional referendum later, during which they could alter the constitution to make it more people friendly and probably to strip the military of some of it’s undemocratic powers.

    It is amazing to see what passes for news at Fox News, but I’ll provide a link to an article here so that you can judge for yourselves.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/obamas-support-ousted-honduran-leader-accused-breaking-law-stirs-concerns/?test=latestnews?test=latestnewscommentscomments

  10. The part of this which is most disturbing to me is the obvious power the US has in influencing the restoration of democratic government to Honduras, and the Obama administration’s refusal to obey US law by wielding this power:

    “The US policy towards Honduras has historically been one of having great deal of control and the U.S. policy continues to be that. It is very clear that the US is trying to associate itself with not only Latin America, but the entire world. But even so, the United States is not following even U.S. law which says no aid, either economic or military, can go to a country when it is declared that a coup has happened. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have said a coup has happened, but have not legally declared that to be the case.

    That means aid has continues to flow, even though the State Department has used the words, “there has been a pause” and even though the Pentagon has said that the associations between the U.S. Military and Honduran military have been minimized. Even those symbolic efforts, even if they have happened, it does not mean the aid should continue to flow. And therefore the U.S. is in violation of its own law in continuing to support this regime.

    The history of the U.S. in this country is also full of repression. The School of the Americas trained the coup leader here, the general who took over. And Billy Joya also related to Battalion 316, a death squad which was founded during the time of John Dimitri Negroponte. Billy Joya is a key security advisor to the so-called President Micheletti. So the ties of U.S. policy here continue to be damaging and U.S. is not taking an active role in resolving this crisis.”

    This sort of thing irks me to end. To me, Obama is no different from Bush, just smoother on the surface.

  11. theradicalmormon says:

    Please urge your congressman to support HR 630 urging the immediate reinstatement of Zelaya to power. The resolution doesn’t go far enough in that it doesn’t call for a cessation of financial aid to the illegal government, but it’s better than nothing.

    http://www.nicanet.org/?p=732

  12. theradicalmormon says:

    Here is a great article by the ever-solid Eva Gollinger showing how the US is very complicit in the coup de tat in the Honduras. Check out the article and then use some of that righteous anger to get your congressman to support the above mentioned HR 630.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14390

  13. Forest Simmons says:

    Some recent good posts at counterpunch about CIA assasinations, and other secret combinations.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia07152009.html

    http://www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern07152009.html

    An interesting article about the rationale for atheism followed by my reply:

    Dear MIchael Neumann,

    I think that your essay in counterpunch at

    http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann07102009.html

    is very well written and argued as far as it goes. However, it seems to me that there is at least one little gap: evidence by eye witnesses.

    As you know, in courts of law, the testimony of eye witnesses is considered pretty strong. There have been many humans over time who who have claimed to be eye witnesses of a god or gods, and others who have claimed direct contact through two of the other basic senses, both tactile and auditory. In science, also, direct experience counts for more than derivative conclusions based on those experiences. As DesCartes famously noted, we can settle our own existence by direct experience. The existence of somebody else is more problematic. Nevertheless the testimony of eye witnesses is considered as positive, if not conclusive evidence, if the observer is credible. To automatically classify as incredible those witnesses that testify of amazing things is a kind of circular argument against their testimony on a par with the many circular arguments that the classical theologians used in their proofs of the existence of god.

    In some cases it would have been very difficult for the witnesses in question to collude on their convergent testimonies, especially when describing near simultaneous contacts at vastly separated distances, say twelve hours of time and ten thousand miles of distance, in an era when human travel over long distances was limited to speeds on the order of four or five miles per hour.

    A more subtle gap in your argument is this one: the prior probability of organic evolution from scratch (i.e. from inorganic matter) is so small that twenty billion years (an upper bound on the age of our observable universe) is infinitesimal compared with the time required for a reasonable likelihood of such an event. There are two ways around this. (1) We were incredibly lucky to have beat the incredible odds. (2) The observable universe is incredibly small and recent compared to the universe as a whole.

    In general, explanation by extreme luck is not very satisfactory, leads nowhere, and usually turns out to be wrong when we understand things better.

    I prefer the “multiverse” theories that are gaining currency among scientists, as witnessed by a recent Scientific American article. In these theories there are infinitely many regions of space-time similar to our own observable universe, which must be a pretty ordinary specimen. This agrees with the long established pattern, that our sun turns out to be a pretty typical star, our galaxy is pretty ordinary, our local cluster of galaxies is pretty ordinary, our local super cluster of clusters is pretty ordinary, etc.

    Up to now this ordinariness has worked against believers, because the vast majority of them (who felt moved to express an opinion on the matter) have claimed that our earth was a special and unique creation of the unique real “God.” So as each stage of ordinariness was verified, the claim (of those who relied on that idea) was weakened.

    However, before this ordinariness was known (i.e. before the twentieth century) the strongest witness of our age always claimed that this earth was typical of so many similar ones that humans could not innumerate them, and that this has been the case into infinite recesses of the past.

    However, setting aside that witness, let us posit (as a temporary, simplified working hypothesis) that space-time is indeed infinitely vast and filled with infinitely many regions of space-time similar to our observable universe.

    Then no matter how small the prior probability of spontaneous evolution of organic matter from inorganic matter, as long as that probability is not zero, then with certainty that spontaneous event will have taken place in infinitely many regions of space-time similar to our own observable universe, and extending back into the infinite recesses of time.

    Furthermore, in at least one of these regions, the whole process will have surpassed by more than a trillion years our present level of development on this planet. If that isn’t enough time for a race of gods to develop, then replace the trillion with any number that you deem large enough. My point is that as long as this number is less than infinity, that much time will have come and gone on infinitely many planets like our own, given our hypothesis.

    I anticipate your two objections: (1) Perhaps they exist, but why would they have anything to do with us? (2) These “gods” are nothing like the absolute “God” of the orthodox Christian creeds or the Christian apologist philosophers; they are just highly evolved animals of some sort.

    With regard to (1) we must admit that more likely than not, there are infinitely many regions of space-time as yet untouched by such “gods.” But here is the opportunity for correct application of the anthropic principle if ever there was one: How else could sentient beings get here, when the probability of evolution from scratch is too small for the few billion years of existence of our observable universe?

    Here’s an analogy. When Captain Cook happened upon the Hawaiian Islands he found them to be inhabited. These islands were sterile volcanoes only a few million years prior to his voyage. Was he to assume that the inhabitants had evolved from scratch in that short period of time? No, first seeds were dropped by birds and wind. Then when Samoans happened upon the island it was already full of life. They brought additional seeds and animals with them to make the island friendlier to man, etc.

    Some of the multiverse theories have mechanisms of short cuts connecting many of the typical regions. If there are such, they would facilitate a diaspora like the Polynesian one of our analogy.

    With regard to (2), our strongest witness claimed that all of the extant creeds of orthodox Christianity were an abomination in the sight of the gods that he interviewd. Later (before 1844) he went on to say that these gods were advanced beings that wanted to help us advance, and that there was no such thing as creation ex nihilo, etc.

    In other words, the absolute god of the philosophers is not in the running. On this you are completely correct.

    But these gods claimed to have revealed themselves to the ancient Hebrew prophets from whom a more or less garbled account has survived to the present day. So we do have some evidence that the original Hebrew and Christian gods were based in fact.

    So we see that modern cosmology tends to support the theology of Joseph Smith, Jr. as opposed to the theology of the classical philosophers and the orthodox religions that they created from the remnants of more ancient religions.

    A Mormon hymn that has been included in all of the Mormon psalters for over 150 years starts out

    1. If you could hie to Kolob
    In the twinkling of an eye,
    And then continue onward
    With that same speed to fly,
    Do you think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
    Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?

    2. Or see the grand beginning,
    Where space did not extend?
    Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?
    Methinks the Spirit whispers,
    “No man has found ‘pure space,’
    Nor seen the outside curtains,
    Where nothing has a place.”

    The Mormons are the only religion with a cosmological leg to stand on, and it is a pretty good leg.

    In addition, Mormons claim that each person who so desires can receive a personal witness, satisfactory to him/herself, from the god in this part of the universe who has responsibility for that kind of thing. Nobody is expected to rely on anybody else’s witness except as an incentive to seek one’s own witness.

    Joseph said that he didn’t expect anybody to believe his account on his word alone. He said that he wouldn’t have believed it himself if it [or something like it] hadn’t happened to him.

    For a brief account of my personal witness read through my comments at the foot of this link (excuse the partial repetition of some of the above reasoning):

    https://themormonworker.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/rumsfeld-bush-and-their-cynical-use-of-christ/#comments

    I hope that you find these comments to be both interesting and unoffensive, even though I might have gotten carried away somewhat railing against orthodoxy in both camps

    My Best,

    Forest.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann07102009.html

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