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Zelaya-Clinton: Human Rights/Honduran Military: Making Election Threats

September 2, 2009

President Zelaya’s talk at George Washington University included a grave assessment of  the human rights situation in Honduras under the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti.  President Zelaya says human rights will be a topic of discussion when he meets with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, tomorrow and from whom he wants “convincing” talk. As Clinton is about to realize her primary goal of preventing President Zelaya from resuming his presidency,  I’m not sure she cares much beyond that victory.

But, the issue of human rights is critical to the safety and well-being of the the people of Honduras and luckily the abuses are well-documented.  The human rights issue should be pursued vigorously by international solidarity organizations not only to stop the abuse, but to offer as evidence for why elections should not be held under an illegal government that took power by force through a military coup.  What kind of election can be held where voters are threatened, injured and jailed for their political views and media outlets are destroyed because of their opposition to the coup?

And, there is good reason to be concerned about increased repression around the election. Yesterday, the Honduran armed forces made a presentation to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal regarding their plan for elections.  The delegation consisted of de facto Minister of Defense, Adolfo Sevilla and General Romeo Vazquez.  In their presentation they emphasized that they will not permit President Zelaya’s followers to boycott the election.  This statement should be viewed as a threat and, given the tremendous number of human rights abuses committed by the golpistas, it should be viewed as a threat of violence.

First is an article about President Zelaya and his interest in speaking with the Hillary Clinton about human rights.  Following that is an article in Spanish about the Honduran military preparation for the elections and the vow to not permit Zelaya’s followers to boycott the election.

Zelaya wants “convincing” talk from US on human rights in Honduras
Monsters and Critics, Americas News

Sep 2, 2009, 20:25 GMT

Washington – Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said Wednesday in Washington that he expects a ‘convincing and evident’ statement from the United States regarding human rights violations in Honduras.

Zelaya said he would likely discuss the matter with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when they meet Thursday in Washington.

The State Department is currently weighing whether to use the term ‘military coup’ to refer to Zelaya’s ouster, a decision that would force Washington to cut off all aid to the Central American country.

‘We hope that in the coming hours the State Department will not only issue the (military) coup declaration, but also that its statements on human rights are totally convincing and evident,’ Zelaya said in a lecture given in Spanish at George Washington University in the US capital.

‘The State Department has not yet commented on human rights violations in Honduras, when all international organizations have already commented,’ the ousted leader said.

Zelaya denounced the ‘very strong repression’ that he says is taking place in Honduras since he was ousted by the military and expelled to Costa Rica on June 28. Zelaya was replaced by Roberto Micheletti, the next in-line in presidential sucession, who has refused to allow the ousted leader back into the country.

He stressed that Washington’s ‘prestige’ is at stake in the Honduran conflict.

‘The United States got involved in the solution to the coup when it proposed a mediation (by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias) that produced an agreement that the coup perpetrators now do not accept,’ Zelaya said.

The United States – like most of the international community led by the Organization of American States – has refused to recognize Michelletti’s government and has temporarily suspended aid to Honduras pending a review of the country’s political impasse.

Clinton has yet to reach a decision on whether more than 100 million dollars in assistance to the Central American nation should be cut off, so far Washington has only cut off direct assistance to the military and government. The US embassy in Tegucigalpa has stopped processing visas and revoked visas for Honduran officials.”

Las Fuerzas Armadas “no permitirán” que los “zelayistas” boicoteen la elección hondureña – Yahoo! Noticias

Tegucigalpa, 1 sep (EFE).- Las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras aseguraron hoy que “no permitirán” que los seguidores del depuesto presidente Manuel Zelaya boicoteen las elecciones generales del 29 de noviembre. Seguir leyendo el arículo

El portavoz de la institución militar, Ramiro Archaga, dijo al presentar ante el Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) el plan de seguridad y logística para garantizar esos comicios que impedirán que el proceso sea saboteado, como ha anunciado el movimiento que exige el regreso del mandatario derrocado.

El ministro de Defensa, Adolfo Sevilla; el jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto, el general Romeo Vázquez, y otros miembros del alto mando castrense expusieron el plan a los magistrados del TSE, presidido por Saúl Escobar, en la sede de la institución militar.

Archaga explicó que el programa incluye aspectos como los recursos humanos, técnicos y materiales a utilizarse y las rutas para la distribución del material electoral.

También abarca la seguridad de las instalaciones del Tribunal Supremo Electoral, de las bodegas de materiales electorales y de las imprentas donde se elaborarán las papeletas, entre otros lugares, añadió.

Los militares ya están cumpliendo algunas funciones de seguridad relacionadas con el proceso electoral, refirió.

El portavoz militar recordó que la Constitución hondureña establece que a partir del 29 de octubre, un mes antes de los comicios, las Fuerzas Armadas pasarán a disposición total del TSE para garantizar los comicios.

Esta medida constitucional es reiterada, entre otros puntos, en el Acuerdo de San José propuesto por el presidente de Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, en su función de mediador en la crisis hondureña causada por el derrocamiento de Zelaya el pasado 28 de junio.

Los hondureños votarán en noviembre para elegir presidente, tres designados presidenciales (vicepresidentes), diputados y alcaldes para el período 2010-2014.

El nuevo mandatario asumirá el 27 de enero próximo.

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