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AL JAZEERA Video Inside Embassy and Article on Honduras’ Deadline to Brazil

September 27, 2009

Two items:

The first is an Al Jazeera video covering Zelaya and supporters at the Brazilian embassy.  Note, at the very end of video, presidential candidate and golpista Elvin Santos pays an evening visit outside the embassy — campaigning, maybe?

The second is a CNN article about the 10-day deadline the golpistas are giving the Brazilian embassy to decide what Preident Zelaya’s “status” is and, if no response, the golpistas will take action.  This move is a slow rolling trap set for Zelaya by the golpistas. The golpistas were bound to interpret Zelaya’s  urging for continued protests in the face of curfews to the world as a call for insurrection.  Further, why a “10-day” deadline?  It eats up the clock.

Honduras Isses Deadline to Brazil Over Ousted President

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) — Honduras is accusing Brazil’s government of instigating an insurrection within its borders, and gave the Brazilian Embassy 10 days to decide the status of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge there.

“Since the clandestine arrival to Honduras by ex-president Zelaya, the Brazil embassy has been used to instigate violence and insurrection against the Honduran people and the constitutional government,” the secretary of foreign affairs for Honduras’ de facto government said in a statement late Saturday night.

The statement said Honduras would be forced to take measures against Brazil if Brazil did not define its position on Zelaya. It did not specify what those measures would be.

“No country is able to tolerate that a foreign embassy is used as a command base to generate violence and break tranquility like Mr. Zelaya has been doing in our country since his arrival,” the statement said.
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Zelaya was removed from power in a military-backed coup in June.

Claiming he is still the president, Zelaya returned to Honduras on Monday and has been staying at the Brazilian embassy since then.

On Friday, Zelaya said he and supporters were victims of a “neurotoxic” gas attack that caused many people to have nose bleeds and breathing difficulties.
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Roberto Micheletti, who was named president after the coup that removed Zelaya, said his government did not launch a gas attack on the embassy. Video Watch Zelaya and Micheletti talk about the standoff »

Journalists, including CNN correspondent John Zarrella, were kept several blocks away from the embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, and could not confirm whether a gas attack had taken place. “

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6 Comments
  1. September 27, 2009 6:45 PM

    Magbana – small question; if the president of a country ignores the orders of the Supreme Court, the permanent upholder of a constititution in any democracy, when they find that his efforts to hold a referendum on extra presidntila terms are unconstituional, what should be done? Maybe Zelaya is popular and even maybe his idea was, but he still broke the constitutional process that provoked this. Parliament was the only forum – whether to vote on the change, or whether to hold a referendum. So I just want to ask – if you were not a Zelaya supporter and he did what he did, would you still think the court acted improperly, or should a president be above his own constitution? For the record, I liked the guy, but when he had ballots for this election printed in Venezuela after the Supreme Court ruled against his actions, I stopped seeing him as a Honduran patriot and just a guy with his own agenda.

    • September 27, 2009 9:26 PM

      Jose:

      Any Supreme Court that issues an arrest warrant for a Honduran citizen where the Honduran military is mysteriously appointed executor of the warrant and the military custody of the citizen results in a kidnapping and involuntary deportation to another country, I’d say that the civil rights of the citizen have been grossly violated and the citizen should sue Honduras. When that citizen happens to be the president, I’d say a golpe militar, or military coup, has taken place which warrants direct international intervention and sanction. And whether a citizen or a president, if Honduran authorities have legitimate cause to incarcerate someone seems like jail in their own country should be the destination.

      Now, for the scenario that you pose as the lead-up to the Supreme Court action. It is a myth. Actually, it is a myth planted by Micheletti’s best friends, until just recently, the US.

      In an article written by Barry Grey that appeared in Global Research on July 2, 2009, he shows that the “violation of the constitution” angle was hatched in the US. (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14206)

      Excerpts:

      “There is ample evidence that the Obama administration was deeply involved in plans by Zelaya’s opponents within the Honduran ruling elite—sections of business, the military, the political establishment and the Church—to destabilize or topple his government. The New York Times on Tuesday cited an unnamed US official as saying that US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon and US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens spoke to “military officials and opposition leaders” in the days before the coup. He said, “There was talk of how they might remove the president from office, how he could be arrested, on whose authority they could do that.”

      “It appears that the Obama administration was seeking to effect a de facto coup, but without a direct use of the military and under the cover of constitutional legality. That would, it hoped, reverse Washington’s declining influence in Latin America and pave the way for an offensive against Chávez and his left nationalist allies in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador and other countries aligned with Venezuela in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.”

      Finally, for any lingering questions about whether the Honduran Supreme Court had any legitimate claim that President Zelaya broke the law, an international group of lawyers is studying that issue now and I will post the findings when available.

      • September 28, 2009 3:11 AM

        Magbana:

        Thank you for the excellent reply. I cannot disagree that using the military to excercise a warrant, and to evict the president from the country, is absolutely outside of norms. However, being a devil’s advocate, what is the norm when the system comes apart at the very top? As innapropriate as the method and extremity of the actions were, still Zelaya bypassed all branches of government to try to achieve the same as what Chavez has – going it alone to over-ride the upholders of his constitution to create a longer mandate for his personal rule. I am not being ideological here; he clearly tried to change the constitution (non-binding is not non-indicative) and he clearly followed Chavez’s strategy to consolidate power. And, frankly, I think the Supreme Court, faced with a challenge to their legitimacy, the constitution’s, and the Honduran political structure, panicked.

        Honduras has emerged from decades of conflict with a fairly good system and opportunity: Robust political parties representing diverse views; a good constitution; a good Supreme Court; and a functioning, legitimate Congress. Throw in a maverick and it does not just upset the system in his favor, it upsets the system altogether. Picture tanks in Moscow blowing up the White House of Russia in 1991 – do you truly feel that Zelaya would have respected his nation’s stability over his desire for an immediate, radical transformation to his personal vision for Honduras? That is why every branch of government, and everyone his own party, went against him. They were not all bought. And he is not Allende; nobody forced Zelaya to ride rough-shod over his colleagues, his own, already delicate democratic system. You wrote that the article you linked showed that the referendum crisis was a myth made up by the US and Micheletti to justify the overthrow. It did not; it only says Zelaya denied it. But he clearly tried. His post-UN concession to drop the effort also obviously confirms that it was his original intention. He might have meant well even; France created longer mandates to enable effective implementation of ideas. But the US limited them to ensure plurality. Almost every government in Latin America, faced with the spectre of past abuse of power, has kept terms limited to one or two maximum. No matter how well-intentioned he may have been, he shook a foundation that was not strong, among people who have seen foundations fall on everyone’s heads. And they reacted too strongly. Seeing how he is acting from within the Brazilian Embassy when they only wanted him there to enable dialogue, I feel that had he not been thrown out, he would have caused a civil war before respecting the constitution. That should not be the only “fair” solution, but it is his call, no one else’s.

        I can fully agree with you that the US does not like the guy. I can also agree that the US has interests there, i.e. the base. However, the US also has a base in Cuba so good relations with the host is clearly not mandatory. Also, keeping Honduras right of center is probably not a big piece of the Great Game with the Leftists in Latin America. That game is surely being played out, but in Brazil and Colombia, Ecuador, Chila and Peru – big nations on the continent, with influence along Venezuela’s borders and/or Chavez’s ideological base. Finally, I think that Obama has had his hands more than full in other arenas and is also fairly honest about not being interested in regime change. The US has stayed in the loop as events unfolded – the military told them what they were going to do and I doubt the US did much to stop them. Agreed. I even agree – and truly like the term – of the effort by the US to put “as much daylight” between them and the actions of the military. I can even agree that the US has not done as much as it could to pressure Micheletti (although revoking visas, cutting aid, and refusal of recognition is pretty strong; while a total embargo would simply hurt the common people, as is the dilemma of all such santions, like Zimbabwe) But, again, the US did not, could not, fix the Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras to make them do this. And that is what ousted Zelaya, however badly it was handled.

        I eagerly await your report on the group of lawyers studying the legality of Zelaya’s actions. I think that what we all should also see, what is supposed to be the constitutional process for removal of a president, and what is the line of succession and succession selection process? That is truly vital and relevant.

  2. September 27, 2009 6:22 PM

    the actions of a usurping government have no validity.

  3. September 27, 2009 3:36 PM

    Since Lula responded this morning that Brazil doesn’t take orders from golpistas, it would seem that the trap just got terminated with prejudice.

    • September 27, 2009 6:11 PM

      The trap did not have anything to do with Lula or the Brazilian embassy. The golpistas know that Lula is the Alpha dog of South America and that he will bark convincingly when appropriate, as he did in response to Micheletti’s’ 10-day deadline. The point of the trap was to snag Zelaya urging his supporters to protest during curfew. This happened and allowed the golpistas to then scream “insurrectionist.” Threatening Lula was not the intent of the trap, just a theatrical by-product. The intent of the trap was to cast doubt on Zelaya by catching him in “another illegal” act against the State of Honduras and then feed it to the only friends the golpistas have left, right-wing media in Latin America and the US. Of course, this propaganda will become “fact” within days. Micheletti’s trap was successful.

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