Honduran National Resistance Update 11/10
Laura Carlsen | November 10, 2009
Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)
By GINGER THOMPSON
Published: November 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — Under fire from allies in Latin America and on Capitol Hill, the Obama Administration moved Tuesday to try to salvage the American-brokered agreement that had been billed as paving the way for a peaceful end to the coup in Honduras. Instead, the accord seems to have provided the country’s de facto government with a way to stay in power until a presidential election scheduled for the end of this month.
The State Department dispatched Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelly to Honduras on Tuesday for meetings with President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted from power more than four months ago, and with the head of the de facto government, Roberto Micheletti.
Senior administration officials said Mr. Kelly would try to get both men to abide by the terms of an October 30 agreement that called on them to form a coalition government to run the country while the Honduran Congress prepares for a vote on whether to return Mr. Zelaya to power.
The deal began to unravel last week when the Congress announced it would postpone a vote on Mr. Zelaya’s return to power until after the election. In protest, Mr. Zelaya then refused to submit names for the coalition government. And the United States, breaking with its allies in Latin America, announced it would recognize the results of the upcoming presidential election, even if Mr. Zelaya were not reinstated.
While the announcement was celebrated by Republicans as a “reversal” in the administration’s policy, it ignited a firestorm of criticism from Mr. Obama’s allies at home and across Latin America.
Rep. Howard Berman, Democrat of California who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, telephoned Assistant Secretary of State James Steinberg to express his concerns about the administration’s handling of Honduran crisis. An aide to the congressman said, “It was not a feel-good phone call.”
Frederick Jones, a spokesman for Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the senator believed the State Department’s “abrupt change” of policy towards Honduras, “caused the collapse of an accord it helped negotiate.”
On Tuesday, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, said that he would not send observers to monitor the presidential election, scheduled for Nov. 29. And many of the organization’s 34 members said they would not recognize the winner of the contest unless Mr. Zelaya was reinstated to complete his term.
“Paraguay is not only not going to accept the outcome of the elections, it will not even accept that the elections are held,” said Hugo Saguier Caballero, Paraguay’s ambassador to the O.A.S.. “These elections for us simply will not exist.”
Ruy de Lima Casaes e Silva, Brazil’s ambassador to the organization, said the situation in Honduras seemed like a “badly written soap opera, with sinister characters played by the de facto regime, which history will judge.”
The Obama Administration’s representative to the O.A.S., Lewis Amselem, said that the agreement signed in Honduras two weeks ago did not guarantee President Zelaya’s reinstatement, but put that decision in the hands of the Honduran Congress.
Mr. Amselem said it was not possible to translate Latin America’s position on the coup into policy, noting that most of the countries had themselves used elections to establish democratic order after coups. And he urgently pressed for a more pragmatic line.
“I’ve heard many in this room say that they will not recognize the elections in Honduras,” Mr. Amselem said to his counterparts at an O.A.S. meeting in Washington. “I’m not trying to be a wise guy, but what does that mean? What does that mean in the real world, not in the world of magical realism?””
P. J. Crowley, Spokesperson
Nobember 10, 2009
EXCERPT ON HONDURAS:
And finally, before taking your questions, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Craig Kelly has arrived in Tegucigalpa today to continue working with the parties and the verification commission. He’ll be there today and tomorrow, focused on trying to move the process forward towards a free and fair election and the seating of a new government in Honduras at the end of this month.
And with that, Bob.
QUESTION: Would the Kelly visit include a delivery of a direct message from President Obama about the situation?
MR. CROWLEY: If he has – if he’s carrying such a message, we’ll let him deliver that first before talking about it.
QUESTION: And when is that coming up?
MR. CROWLEY: But certainly, we – it’s important for us to continue to support the OAS process and to push for full implementation of the San Jose and Tegucigalpa accords which provide a pathway to a free and fair election. And the outcome, which if handled properly, can be supported both within Honduras and within the region. And obviously, we continue – we’ll continue to kind of push both sides to live up to the agreement that they reached recently, and to continue to move forward towards the election on November 29.
QUESTION: And I’m sure you’re aware of the protesters out front who are saying that this is a sham election.
MR. CROWLEY: Yes, I heard them myself. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Has anyone from the State Department met with the representatives of the protestors or taken a letter from them, or what is your –
MR. CROWLEY: Not to my knowledge.
QUESTION: Or any response to the protestors saying it’s a sham election?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, first of all, on that point, we have been earnestly pushing to get a resolution of this issue so that you could have, in fact, a free and fair election on November 29 that both the United States, Honduras, the region could stand behind, support, and lead to the installation of a new government that the people of Honduras can support and can heal this divide that has –
QUESTION: Why is –
MR. CROWLEY: — that Honduras has suffered through over several months. We understand that this is a very emotional issue and – which is why we’ve been so integrally involved; not only Craig Kelly, but Tom Shannon, others, our support for the OAS process going back a number of months, because we recognize that the only path out of this is through an electoral process that – where we’re – the people of Honduras get to speak and you have a new government that can go about the work of serving the needs of its people.
QUESTION: Why does restoring Zelaya to power a couple of weeks before the election make it more likely credible?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think what’s first and foremost important is that you get to a new election on November 29 that the people of Honduras can participate in, that is free and fair, that’s effectively monitored by the international community. We, the United States, are prepared to help in that effort. But there is an accord, there is an agreement. As part of that agreement, the existing institutions within Honduras will determine how to implement that accord. We certainly encourage and continue to encourage.
One of the reasons Craig Kelly is there is to push both sides to take the steps that they promised to take. One of those steps, working with the congress, is what to do about the existing government. But we will continue to show our support for the verification commission and continue to encourage both sides to live up to their responsibilities. Now, part of that is to establish a unified government that can work through the transition until the election takes place and a new government is put in place.
QUESTION: Do you have an issue in –
MR. CROWLEY: Let’s – go ahead.
QUESTION: The – today’s meeting at the OAS, most of the countries, they say they are not going to recognize electoral results, also the Group of Rio. How do you see the way out for Zelaya?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I don’t think we see a way out for Zelaya per se. We obviously – he has an interest and we have over several months wanted to see the return and restoration of constitutional order. It’s not about any one person. It’s about a return of democratic processes and democratic government in Honduras. It’s an important aspect to us of continuing to support democracy within the hemisphere.
As to what will – obviously, the accords that both sides agreed to recently through the intervention of the United States and under the leadership of Tom Shannon, they have set forth a path to a new election. We need to see both sides working to – on that path, taking affirmative steps so that you can produce a free and fair election that’s effectively monitored, that produces a credible result for the Honduran people.
As to what will happen on November 29, I think it’s important to put these steps and these processes in place so that you can have confidence in the electoral process and the result. But obviously, on November 29 when the election takes place, we’ll be able to evaluate what happened and then what the consequences are.
QUESTION: But the electoral process continues to moving forward, yes?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we want to see the electoral process move forward. We want to see this be done in a way that ensures a free and fair election. We are prepared to support this effort, along with other countries within the OAS and – but obviously, we’re coming up on two to three weeks before that election. A lot of work has to be done between now and then.
MR. CROWLEY: My very, very good friend Arturo Valenzuela will be sworn in this afternoon as the new Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. And a great American, Tom Shannon, will continue to focus on – as the Ambassador-designate for Brazil. Tom was up on the Hill for further meetings with the Senate. And we certainly continue to encourage the Senate to act on his confirmation as soon as possible.
Monday, November 9, 2009
>National Front of Resistance Against the Coup: The elections will not be recognized, the struggle continues
The National Front of Resistance Against the Coup declares to the Honduran people and the International Community th passed without the restitution of legitimate president Manual Zelaya, we declare we will actively not recognize the electoral process of 29 November of this year. th elections to act in accordance with previously-stated commitments and publicly pull out of the electoral farce.
6. We call together the mobilized and as yet unorganized sectors of the population to join actions which reject the electoral farce and promote acts of civil disobedience, as supported by Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic, which gives us the right to disobedience and popular insurrection.
1. Since the midnight deadline of Thursday November 5
Elections which are imposed by a de facto regime that represses and violates the human and political rights of the citizenry would only validate nationally and internationally the oligarchical dictatorship and secure the continuation of a system which marginalizes and exploits popular sectors in order to guarantee the privileges of a few.
Participation in such a process would give legitimacy to the coup regime and to its successor which would be fraudulently installed on January 27, 2010.
2. The refusal to acknowledge the electoral farce will remain firm between now and the elections even if President Manuel Zelaya is re-instated. A period of 20 days is too little time to dismantle an electoral fraud conceived to ensure that one of the representatives of the coup-making oligarchy will be put in place and therefore give continuity to its repressive and anti-democratic project.
The prior statement does not mean that we have renounced our fundamental demand that constitutional order be returned to Honduras, including the return of President Zelaya to the position he was elected to fill for four years by the Honduran people.
3. Now more than ever it is clear that the exercise of participatory democracy through the installation of a Constituent Assembly is not just a non-negotiable right but also the only way to provide the Honduran people with a democratic and inclusive political system.
4. We denounce the complicit attitude of the US government, maneuvering to stall the crisis and now showing its true intention to give validity to the coup regime, thereby ensuring that the successor government will be docile in the face of the interests of transnational companies and their goal of regional control. Therefore, we consider correct the decision made by President Zelaya to declare the failure of the Tegucigalpa Agreement, an agreement which is part of the US strategy to stall Zelaya’s restitution in order to validate the electoral process.
5. We call on all organizations and candidates in the November 29
7. To the friendly nations and peoples of the world, we call on you to maintain political pressure to overthrow the military dictatorship imposed by oligarchy and imperialism, as well as commit to recognize neither the illegitimate elections of November 29 nor the spurious authorities who seek to pass as representatives elected by the people.
“We resist and we will win.”
Tegucigalpa November 9th, 2009
>Honduran Resistance Slams US Role in Crisis HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 10 (acn) Honduras’ National Front against the Coup d’Etat exposed the complicity of the United States with the de facto regime in the Centro American country in a communiqué circulated this Monday. The Front denounced the US contribution to the delays to the crisis and its willingness to recognize the legitimacy of the upcoming election, scheduled for November 29, reported Prensa Latina news agency. The document stressed that the Tegucigalpa-San Jose agreement signed with the approval of Washington is part of the US strategy to delay the restoration of institutional order. Signed on October 30 between representatives of the constitutional government and the coup regime, the agreement left the restitution of President Manuel Zelaya up to the Congress and did not set a date for his reinstatement to be enforced. Although coup forces are still in power and the political crisis continues to affect the country, US Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, openly supports the November 29 election and has said that it is the way for the country to go back to democracy. The National Front against the Coup d´Etat expressed its disapproval of an election promoted by an illegitimate regime. For his part, the independent candidate Carlos H. Reyes presented his resignation to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, for he said the situation the country is facing today makes it impossible to organize a free, transparent election. worldnews/aga/3.55 PM/aga Resistence Denounces US Complicity with Honduran Coup Cuban News Agency firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington. PL. | 10 noviembre del 2009
Nicaragua acusó este martes al régimen de facto hondureño de incumplir los acuerdos alcanzados para poner fin a la crisis que vive ese país y afirmó que Estados Unidos se prestó a esas maniobras.
Son inaceptables las acciones del líder de los golpistas, Roberto Micheletti, para impedir la restitución del presidente Manuel Zelaya, subrayó el embajador nicaragüense, Denis Moncada, al intervenir en una reunión extraordinaria de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA).
Esa estrategia pretende legitimar las próximas elecciones y consolidar al régimen de facto, manifestó el diplomático.
Moncada denunció que ese fue el propósito de la última delegación estadounidense que viajó a Honduras.
Los acuerdos son papel muerto. Pese a la paciencia de Zelaya y su buena fe, sólo recibió maniobras sucias y engaños, aseguró el representante nicaragüense.
Comentó que las conversaciones comenzaron a enturbiarse desde que el departamento de Estado norteamericano le arrebató a la OEA el papel de mediador en la crisis.
Es imperativa la restitución de Zelaya para resolver esta situación y poner fin a la inestabilidad, la violación de los derechos humanos y la inconstitucionalidad en Honduras, expresó. “
Written by Matt Schwartz
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
>The empire with bases loaded
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Regarding the Agreement “for Cooperation and Technical Assistance and Security” recently signed by the governments of Colombia and the United States and denounced by the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro as equivalent to the annexation of the former to the latter, I suggest we read again the essay that Chalmers Johnson, a researcher, writer and emeritus professor from the University of California in San Diego, published in 1999 with the title America’s Empire of Bases, which begins as follows:
As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize –or do not want to recognize– that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire –an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.”
In other words, as early as ten years ago, Professor Johnson, a sharp critic of U.S. imperialism and particularly of its role in Asia, presented us with plenty of data about a project initially entrusted to Andy Hoehn, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, to implement President Bush’s preventive war strategy against “rogue states,” “bad guys,” and “evil-doers.”
Those plans identify “something they call the”arc of instability”, which is said to run from the Andean region of South America (read: Colombia) through North Africa and then sweeps across the Middle East to the Philippines and Indonesia. This is, of course, more or less identical with what used to be called the Third World –and perhaps no less crucially it covers the world’s key oil reserves. (…) The real reason for constructing this new ring of American bases along the equator is to expand our empire and reinforce our military domination of the world.”
Johnson continues: “Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America’s version of the colony is the military base. (…) Militarism and imperialism are Siamese twins joined at the hip. Each thrives off the other…”
Reading the text of the military agreement that Bogotá and the superpower signed a few days ago is sufficient to reveal how humiliating are the privileges, liberties and impunity that the U.S. troops, civilians and military contractors will enjoy in relation to to Colombia and its citizens when they set foot on that country in keeping with the agreement to become, in fact, an army of occupation in the Andean country.
Besides being shameful to the Colombians, these prerogatives are outrageous to all Latin Americans given the serious threat that the takeover of an entire nation located in the very heart of the region represents to their national sovereignty.
In her article “The true intentions behind the Military Agreement with Colombia”, American-Venezuelan journalist Eva Golinger quotes an official document issued by the Air Force division of the State Department which says that the U.S. army base of Palanquero, one of seven they will run in Colombia, will “provide a chance to conduct full-spectrum operations in a critical sub-region… where security and stability are constantly threatened by terrorists rebels funded with drug money, anti-American governments, endemic poverty and frequent natural disasters… “.
This contradicts what the governments of Colombia and the U.S. have publicly claimed about the military agreement being only about anti-drug and counter-terrorist operations and activities within the Colombian territory. It also entails a pre-declaration of war against ALBA member states in Latin America, precisely the ones Washington has identified as “anti-American governments”. Obviously, it also sends a serious warning to the rest of the hemisphere.
The only new thing about the hegemonic escalation this agreement brings with it is that this time the real American power has blamed all this indignity on the learned and still popular president Barack Obama, This comes as a surprise to many people in Latin America and the world who had taken for granted that the era of imperial arm-twisting, embodied in its heyday by an uncultured, corrupt and disgraced George Bush, Jr., had been left behind for good.
Perhaps the danger that the Empire absorbs Latin America pursuant to its plans for the “arc of instability” is not any greater now with the insulting agreement to build bases in Colombia, because our peoples have already been warned and, in the end, “forewarned is…”.
Chalmers Johnson: America’s Empire of Bases (1999)