Honduran Resistance Update – 10/1
The US and Oscar Arias, acting on its behalf, have just screwed the people of Honduras.
Sept 29, 2009
QUESTION: The OAS is sending a team to Honduras on October 7, I believe. What is the U.S. hopes for this visit, and do you think that this is going to mark a juncture in the discussion about where to go with Honduras? Are you there to deliver any sorts of new messages or —
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, we hope that this delegation will be able to enter the country and have the kind of meaningful discussion with the de facto regime that we had anticipated with the delegation that was held this week. So it is time for the de facto regime to have a dialogue with President Zelaya and come to some resolution of this current situation, and we welcome efforts by – ongoing efforts by the OAS to try to seek a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
QUESTION: Micheletti hasn’t lifted the media decrees, and neither has he lifted a 10-day deadline for the Brazilian Embassy to come to some decision on Zelaya’s status. Is that troubling to you?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, obviously, we reiterated last night in a written statement that it was important for the regime to rescind this latest decree suspending freedom of speech and banning protests and media groups. There are some indications by the de facto regime that they’re going – they’re willing to rescind this decree, but as far as we know, it hasn’t happened yet. And we continue to work very closely with Brazil. Brazil has legitimate concerns about statements that have been made regarding the status of its embassy. And obviously, as – in our capacity as the current president of the UN Security Council, we have addressed those concerns within the UN.
Congresswoman’s Trip Flouts the Obama Administration’s Stance Toward the Nation
By VIVIANA HURTADO
Sept. 30, 2009
GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will fly to Honduras Monday to meet with leaders of the country.
Since the crisis began, Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., has bucked the Obama administration’s position supporting Manuel Zelaya, the Honduran president ousted in a coup June 28.
Ros-Lehtinen plans to meet with Roberto Micheletti, the de facto Honduras regime’s president, members of his government, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez, representative of Honduran community groups and American business leaders living in the Central American country.
Zelaya — holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, after sneaking into the country earlier this month despite a threat he’d be arrested — is not on the list of leaders Ros-Lehtinen will visit.
By Jordan Fabian – 10/01/09 12:15 PM ET
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he is leading a congressional delegation to Honduras tomorrow ahead of their November 29 elections.
Voters in Honduras will go to the polls next month to select a president and parliament, but the United States has indicated that it will not recognize the results of the election without a resolution to the political crisis there.
Leading delegation to Honduras tomorrow to support Nov 29 elections. Hondurans should be able to choose their own future.
Honduras has experienced political turmoil since the army in June deposed President Manuel Zelaya in a bloodless coup. Zelaya had attempted to change the country’s constitution in part to eliminate presidential term limits.
DeMint has been an outspoken critic of Zelaya since the constitutional crisis began. The conservative senator at times has criticized the government’s response to the crisis, saying they should give a stronger rebuke to Zelaya.
Under the current constitution, both acting President Roberto Micheletti and Zelaya are ineligible for re-election.
More information about the visit is forthcoming from DeMint’s office.
The Honduran interim government shut down radio and TV stations that support ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but the internet helps them evade the ban.
By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer
October 1, 2009 edition
Tegucigalpa, Honduras – It seemed like a typical day at Radio Globo in Tegucigalpa, which supports ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya. The office bustled with reporters and assistants, and broadcasters took listeners’ calls on the nation’s political crisis. There was just one problem: the station was off the air.
The station and the television channel Cholusat Sur were both shut down by Honduras´ interim government as part of an emergency decree last weekend that put severe limits on civil liberties.
But Radio Globo is soldiering on by transmitting over the internet at a private home, the latest example of Latin American media using new technologies and social media to find a way around govermment censors. In Venezuela, opponents of President Hugo Chávez have used Facebook and Twitter to call for rallies against him – and blogs have created a space for alternative view points that have been stifled in the local press.
Radio Globo director David Romero says the station has over 400,000 listeners online, four times its regular following. “It is frustrating the government,” he says, laughing. “They can´t stop us.”
Other radio stations have also been picking up their internet coverage and airing it. But loyal listeners are still frustrated. “It´s like I lost a family member,” says Maria del Carmen Nunez. Her twin sister, Maria Rosario Nunez, has no internet in her home. She says she listened to Radio Globo programs while doing the dishes or ironing, and relied on it to find out where protesters are meeting. “They want us deaf, mute, and blind.”
Press freedom questioned throughout Latin America
The decree that shut down Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur were the latest in a series of strikes on press freedom in Latin America. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) held an emergency meeting in September over concerns that some governments in the region are increasingly using intimidation, verbal attacks, and legal measures to stifle the media.
“There are some dark clouds in media freedoms,” says Christopher Walker at Freedom House in New York. And while outright closures are still an exception to the rule – and Latin America’s media remains vibrant when compared to the Middle East or parts of Africa – in some countries the space for open dialogue is shrinking, he says.
The Hondura’s closures came on the heels of the three-month anniversary of Zelaya´s ouster. The decree also restricted the right to assemble and gave the government the right to close media outlets that it considers to be disturbing the peace. The emergency decree has been widely condemned within Honduras and the government, led by Roberto Micheletti, has promised to revoke it, though has yet to do so.
Even those opposed to Radio Globo´s pro-Zelaya stance criticized the new decree, with conservative papers and the national press association condemning it in editorials and statements. The government maintains that its decision to shut the outlets on Monday was for the safety of the country, since Radio Globo was airing messages by Zelaya calling for an insurrection. But Miguel Calix, an independent analyst and columnist in Tegucigalpa, says that the security argument is out of proportion to any real threat, and the impact on civil liberties and human rights will reverberate for years to come. “Only despotic presidents limit freedom of expression,” he says.
Outside the office of Radio Globo signs in thick pen read: “It is not Radio Globo nor Canal 36 that is calling for an insurrection” and “The press is the artillery of freedom of expression.”
This is not the first time the station has been closed, says Mr. Romero, the station director. Troops and police shuttered the station upon Zelaya´s ouster too. Mr. Romero jumped out of his office window to escape, breaking a shoulder, he says. This time, just after 5 a.m. on Monday, a convoy stormed the station again. Romero then escaped via a new route he set up in anticipation – rope and ladder. He bears rope burns as proof.
Police: station was inciting violence
Inspector Daniel Molina, spokesperson for the national police, says that authorities acted under orders from the government to close the station because it was inciting violence.
Romero disagrees. Yes, they were giving a voice to Zelaya, he says (they have reporters in the Brazilian embassy where Zelaya is holed up). Yes, they were calling for massive protests to help restore Zelaya to power, he says. “But they are shutting us down because they do not like what they hear,” he says.
Radio Globo is not alone within Latin America in its attempt to be heard. In some cases, stifled press comes from within, as is the case in Mexico where journalists are censoring themselves because of threats from drug gangs. Journalists are under similar pressures in places like Colombia and Peru, says Jake Dizard, a Latin America specialist at Freedom House.
Participants at the IAPA meeting said that freedom of expression is under threat in several countries, from Ecuador to Argentina. Most under fire have been those working in Venezuela, where nearly three dozen radio stations were forced off the air recently (with more closures pending) for a series of licensing issues. Chávez, for his part, denies that the closures are an effort to stifle dissent. He says he is working to open community media outlets so that the people can be heard without being filtered by media conglomerates.
For some in Honduras, it is ironic that the Micheletti government is borrowing a tactic from Chávez, whom it opposes. “They criticize Chávez in Venezuela, but then they do the same in our country,” says Saul Serrano, a broadcaster for Radio Globo. “What exactly are they seeking to do? They just want to maintain power.”
>OCTOBER 1, 2009
University students and other members of the Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado in San Pedro Sula are calling for a “silent protest” TODAY in response to the closing of Radio Globo and Canal 36. The event will take place at the Froilan Turcios Plaza at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (UNAH) in San Pedro Sula.
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30th September 2009
UN: SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION SPELLS HOPE FOR WOMEN IN WAR
Contact: Sarah Taylor, Coordinator
NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security
Tel: (+1) 212.557.7298
Resolution 1888 on sexual violence in war, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council today, could substantively improve the situation of women in conflict, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security said.
“Nine years ago, the Security Council first recognized specific international obligations to women in conflict situations by adopting resolution 1325. But, these women continue to be targeted for sexual violence, and have largely been excluded from the talks to end conflicts,” said Sarah Taylor, Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
Today’s resolution establishes a system of added protection and support to end sexual violence in war. This includes a team of experts which can be deployed immediately to conflict affected situations, and a new leader, a Special Representative, to bring the UN’s response together.
“Coordination is key. Both the Special Representative and the team of experts will hopefully be a catalyst for change. They need to take cohesive and meaningful action in countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Sudan, and all conflicts where sexual violence against women is rife.” said Taylor.
The Security Council has asked the Secretary-General for urgent proposals to dramatically improve the UN’s response to sexual violence. A key question is how to ethically gather timely information on sexual violence, thus allowing the Council to effectively and fairly address the issue.
“We look forward to analysis that draws significantly on the expertise of civil society working with survivors on the front line in the struggle against sexual violence,” said Taylor.
In a nod to the fact that perpetrators of sexual violence rarely are brought to justice, the resolution also requests the UN system to name warring parties responsible for using rape as a weapon of war.
“Impunity is the name of the game when it comes to rape in war. We could see real reductions in the use of sexual violence in conflict if commanders and their soldiers are held accountable for their crimes,” said Taylor.
In its resolution, the Security Council rightly emphasizes that all UN Member States treat survivors of sexual violence with dignity, and that these survivors are provided with effective protection and support throughout the justice process, as well as full reparation for their suffering.
Under the Security Council Presidency of the United States of America, resolution 1888 was unanimously adopted on 30 September 2009, and was co-sponsored by more than 60 UN Member States.* Resolution 1888 builds on the principles and obligations in previous Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security.
The NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security advocates for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to maintain and peace and security. Formed in 2000 to call for a Security Council resolution on Women, Peace and Security, the NGOWG now focuses on implementation of all Security Council resolutions that address this issue. The NGOWG serves as a bridge between women’s human rights defenders working in conflict-affected situations and policy-makers at U.N. Headquarters.
NGOWG members are: Amnesty International; Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights; Fémmes Africa Solidarité; Global Action to Prevent War; Global Justice Center; Hague Appeal for Peace/Peaceboat US; Human Rights Watch; International Action Network on Small Arms; International Alert; International Rescue Committee; International Women’s Program at the Open Society Institute; International Women’s Tribune Centre; United Methodist Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries – United Methodist Church; Women’s Refugee Commission; Women’s Action for New Directions; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
* The co-sponsors of this resolution are: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Republic of Tanzania and the United States of America.
Coordinator, NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security
PLEASE NOTE NEW PHONE NUMBER +1.212.557.7298
777 UN Plaza, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
>Venezuela to OAS: Increase International Pressure on the Honduran Dictatorship
September 29th 2009, by Kiraz Janicke – Venezuelanalysis.com
Caracas, September 29, 2009 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton Matos, criticised the OAS in Washington Monday for its “cautious and moderate” stance towards the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti in Honduras.
“It is necessary to further increase the pressure of the international community against the dictatorship in Honduras, and for each country separately to also exert pressure,” in order to reinstate the democratically elected president of Honduras Manuela Zelaya, said Chaderton during a special session of the Permanent Council of the OAS on Honduras.
In particular the Venezuelan diplomat criticised the “respect” of members of the OAS towards the dictatorship in Honduras and its leader, Roberto Micheletti.
“Given what is happening, the factors that explain the survival of this de facto regime are the dictatorship of the media and the respect it has had from members of this organisation, who have called on Zelaya to behave well and glorified Micheletti,” said Chaderton.
As the coup regime decreed a state of emergency on Monday morning, suspending constitutional guarantees and shutting down critical radio and television stations, interim US Ambassador to the OAS, Lewis Amselem, launched an attack on Zelaya during the OAS debate, saying his “return to Honduras is irresponsible and foolish and it doesn’t serve to the interest of the people nor those who seek the restoration of democratic order in Honduras.”
“The president should stop acting as though he were starring in an old movie,” Amselem added.
U.S. state department spokesperson Phillip Crowley defended Amselem’s comments on Tuesday saying, “What he said yesterday is fully consistent with our concern that, you know, both sides need to take constructive action, affirmative action.”
Despite more than 10 hours of debate, the 33 member hemispheric organisation failed to reach consensus on a resolution on the Honduran crisis, with the U.S., Canada, Peru, Costa Rica and the Bahamas abstaining on the question of whether to recognise the outcome of the November elections in Honduras which will be presided over the coup regime.
The majority of countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean have insisted they will not recognise the results saying that free and fair elections under the coup regime are impossible.
Instead, a short statement was read demanding guarantees for the life of President Zelaya and respect for the “inviolability” of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he has been staying since his return on September 21.
Shortly before the end of the OAS meeting, the coup regime of Honduras announced that it would invite an OAS delegation to the country, only one day after expelling three OAS representatives.
Micheletti also announced that he would “revise” or “modify” the state of emergency decree by the end of the week, after the Honduran Congress called on the coup government to repeal the measure. Opposition radio and televisions stations, Radio Globo and Cholusat, raided by the military on Monday remained closed in Honduras on Tuesday.
The OAS mission is expected to travel to Tegucigalpa on Friday.
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