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Honduras: Sufficient Number of People Killed, Maimed and Tortured for NYT to Say “Basta?”

August 15, 2009

Maybe, but as the mouthpiece for official Washington, the NYT is not expressing anguish for the right reasons.  Simply, it appears that a sufficient number of people in Honduras have been killed, maimed and tortured that running the fan club for the Micheletti golpista regime is rapidly becoming a libaility, especially in international circles.  At this point, NOT denouncing the golpistas  is indefensible for the NYT and  the Obama administration.

We can count on the NYT, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times to point us in the direction the administration wishes to take us next.  And what would that direction be?  Roberto “Blood on His Hands” Micheletti must go now and be replaced with the guy that the US planned months ago to be  Zelaya’s replacement, Elvin Santos.  Santos is the former Vice-President (under Zelaya) of Honduras, a current presidential candidate, golpista extraordinaire and, based on an article by Al Giordano and Bill Conroy, recipient of millions of US taxpayer dollars from the Millenium Challenge Corporation run out of the US State Department.

For now, there are probably just two more things that you should know about Santos.  First, a video where Santos makes a provocative visit to the University of Honduras in which his bodyguards beat and shoot at  students because they yelled “Golpista” at him.  Bottom line on this is that if you hang with thugs, you are most likely a thug yourself.  The second item is a picture that Giordano and Conroy posted with their expose on Santos showing a very official photo, presumably taken at the State Department, in which Hillary and Santos are sharing a very collegial handshake in front of the US and Honduran flags.  The photo was taken in JUNE 2009, right before the coup.

The video and photo follow after the NYT editorial.  Stay tuned.

Mr. Micheletti’s Dangerous Game

Published: August 14, 2009

Honduras’s de facto government appears to be running out the clock. It seems to believe that it can slow-pedal negotiations to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya, who was summarily ousted by the armed forces in June, and hang tight until voters elect a new president in November.

It must be disabused of this notion. Honduras has been deeply divided by the coup and passions could easily spin out of control. Even if the de facto government manages to pull off new elections, the results would be viewed as illegitimate by much of the Honduran population. That could mean years, not months, of crisis.

The Organization of American States, Washington and the Latin American governments that are trying to broker a solution must press this point with Roberto Micheletti, the de facto president, and his advisers.

Mr. Zelaya, a self-styled populist and favorite of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, is no fan of the United States. But, as Mr. Obama rightly pointed out, Mr. Zelaya was democratically elected.

Washington condemned the coup and suspended about $18 million in mostly military and development aid to the de facto government. But it carefully modulated its rhetoric to keep the focus where it belonged — on Mr. Micheletti and the illegal coup. And it held off on imposing more drastic penalties, like withdrawing Washington’s ambassador to Tegucigalpa or freezing the bank accounts of people associated with the coup, as some Democrats in Congress have urged.

This has given the United States room to encourage negotiations led by President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The administration has rightly held to that course, even after some Congressional Republicans — whose support for democracy is apparently selective — criticized this approach.

The administration may not be able to hew to this fine line for much longer. Mr. Arias has proposed that President Zelaya be returned to office immediately and that Honduras move up its presidential elections by a month to October. Mr. Zelaya has also agreed not to try to change the constitution so he can run for re-election — the issue that prompted the coup. But Mr. Micheletti has dug in his heels, refusing to accept the deal.

Foreign ministers from several Latin American countries plan to visit Honduras next week to press Mr. Micheletti and his backers to change their minds. The de facto government has already forced a postponement of the visit once. If it continues to reject the deal, the United States must be prepared to exert more pressure.


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