Archive for Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Leaders revoke rights-limiting decree

October 6, 2009

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— The interim Honduran government on Monday revoked an emergency decree that prohibited large street protests and limited other civil liberties following the return of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

The decree, which resulted in dozens of arrests and the closing of two pro-Zelaya media outlets, “has been completely revoked,” Interim President Roberto Micheletti said at a news conference with U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican.

Micheletti did not say whether the lifting of the decree would take effect immediately. He had said in a morning television interview it would be formally repealed today when the new order is published in the government’s official gazette.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Interim?" This is a military-backed coup, not an "interim" government. I wonder who's leaning on AP for this little debasement of language.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

So if I steal a car, I'm merely the "interim" owner of the car.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

from Rich Vs. Poor At Root Of Honduran Political Crisis by JASON BEAUBIEN

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113504873

""Honduras is one of the original "banana republics." In the 1800s, U.S. firms set up fruit companies that exploited cheap Honduran labor to export bananas to the port of New Orleans.

While things have improved since the days of the company store, the vast majority of Hondurans remain in poverty.

Ramon Romero, a professor of economics at the National Autonomous University, says power in Honduras is in the hands of about 100 people from roughly 25 families. Others estimate the Honduran elite to be slightly larger, but still it is a tiny group.

Romero says the country's elite have always selected the nation's president. They initially helped Zelaya get into office, and then they orchestrated his removal from power."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113504873

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

That the left has taken to calling this guy's impeachment and removal from office as a "coup" has been quite interesting. That the Administration has been pulling out all the stops to undermine the Honduran government seems to underscore the lack of change Mr. Obama promised: We're still stuck with the same Yankee imperialism that leads us to treat other nations as 'Banana Republics' to be manipulated and coerced into betraying democratic constitutional order (including constitutional means for the elected representatives to impeach and remove presidents), independent judiciaries, and the rule of law.

Even more interesting is that the ex-Pres, who has snuck back into the country and is held up in the Brazilian embassy (to some embarrassment for the Brazilians) has taken to making the doubly-bizarre claim that he was being "subjected to high-frequency radiation" from outside the embassy and attributing that to "Israeli mercenaries" thereby adopting the anti-semitism of his patron, the buffoon from Venezuela.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

It may very well be that Zelaya is no better than Chavez, but his removal (whatever term you want to use for it) wasn't carried out by a bunch of democrats seeking to save Honduras's democracy.

The "interim" government are the oligarchs that make up Honduras's ruling oligarchy, who were pissed off that, Zelaya, one of their own, chose to oppose the orthodox policies of these sham democrats. And worst of all, he tried to have a non-binding referendum on a referendum that might have led to the creation a constitutional assembly. Why is that so scary? Because the current constitution was written by them, and for them. Their stacked deck was beginning to look more like a house of cards.

BTW, it takes a high level of willful ignorance to think that the coup government isn't making life as difficult as possible inside the Brazilian Embassy, whether or not Israelis are involved.

puddleglum 5 years, 7 months ago

what they hell do the israelis have to do with this?

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

If I under bozo correctly, the bottom line is that the ends and not the means matter, that this guy is of a true heart and therefore whatever he does, regardless of how unconstitutional or violent, is okay because he means well (meaning he means to do what bozo would do).

Hey, at least that's honest. But then V.I. Lenin could be honest about his goals when it served his interests too.

But why has OUR government, for example, yanked the visa for various members of Honduras' supreme court as punishment for not ignoring their constitution process and imposing a dictatorship of the judiciary by decreeing the elected legislature powerless?

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

puddleglum - I believe it's safe to assume that this revolutionary-wanna be is just following in the footsteps of the Venezuelan bozo whose "BFF" is none other than the vile, bigoted, holocaust-denying Mahmood Ahmadi-Nejad of Iran. What can I say? Birds of a feather.

Here's a quote from the other day: "Sometimes I ask myself if Hitler wasn't right when he wanted to finish with that race, through the famous holocaust, because if there are people that are harmful to this country, they are the Jews, the Israelites." David Romero Ellner, Exec. Director of Radio Globo, a Leftist radio station Honduras, Sept. 25, 2009.

Anti-semitism is irrational. You'll never make much sense of it. Explanations will be offered about what the Jews have done lately (or anciently, for that matter) but it'll never add up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"If I under bozo correctly, "

Well, you clearly don't, but your point wasn't really to understand what I am saying, but rather to prop up your straw men.

"But why has OUR government, for example, yanked the visa for various members of Honduras' supreme court as punishment for not ignoring their constitution process and imposing a dictatorship of the judiciary by decreeing the elected legislature powerless?"

Your premise is flawed-- they were yanked because US law demands that a coup-government (and every country in this hemisphere says it's a coup) should not be granted visas, or receive US aid.

"Anti-semitism is irrational."

Yes, but not all criticism of Jews or Israel is anti-semitic. And David Romero Ellner's statement, while repugnant, provides no justification for the coup.

"You'll never make much sense of it. Explanations will be offered about what the Jews have done lately (or anciently, for that matter) but it'll never add up."

Of course there are explanations. Let's take "anciently" first. They were a minority sect who steadfastly clung to their own religion, in a time when political power was intertwined very closely with religion. Staying outside the state religions created all kinds of possibilities for clashing with the political/religious power structure.

Also, for many centuries, Jews were the only ones who weren't proscribed from being money handlers and bankers. Some of the most powerful Jewish families obtained their wealth and power through banking. At any rate, Jews are humans, and any time humans have power, a certain percentage of them will abuse it. The gentiles they did business with, also being human, overgeneralized their anger at being abused by a powerful few by taking their wrath against the more numerous but more vulnerable many, whose only misdeed was to be born Jewish.

That's at least part of the genesis of anti-Semitism.

But can Israel overcome this? Not sure, but what I can say with certainty is that recent Israeli actions haven't helped. The most recent attacks on Lebanon (2006?) and on Gaza were brutal and wholly unjustifiable. They can't be called wholly indiscriminate because the evidence indicates that women, children and other non-combatants were intentionally targeted as a result of a policy of mass punishment.

And who's to say that Israel isn't involved in Honduras? Zelaya has aligned himself with Chavez, who in turn has aligned with Ahmadinejad, a sworn enemy of Israel. You know, the friend of my enemy's friend is my enemy. Could the right-wing coup plotters find some Israelis, either mercenaries or agents of the very right-wing Israeli govt and military, who might be willing to help them if asked "nicely$$?" We know that no one has more dirty clandestine tricks up their sleeves than the Israelis.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

"Well, you clearly don't"

Don't blame me for your lack of clear expression. But then you've still not explained. Please restate rather than avoid the point. Focus!

"coup-government"

Please define. How does one become a "coup-government" by following constitutional guidelines? How exactly does one stage a coup via a ballot box? I've never heard of a coup run by elected officials and judges - some of the very same partisan group as the ex-Pres. Sounds more like a Dr. Seuss coup. Query: if the U.S. Senate had removed Bill Clinton from office would this have been a coup? If yes, should all other nations have canceled every Americans visa? If no, how different? (Bonus points: would that have made President Al Gore a coup-plotter?)

"US law demands"

Please cite the law. Strange. Awful lot of visa from an awful lot of countries without any semblance of democratic government.

"not all criticism of Jews or Israel is anti-semitic."

Please explain how either quotation is merely "criticism" rather than bigotry. 'cmon dig in deeper.

"And who's to say that Israel isn't involved in Honduras? ... We know that no one has more dirty clandestine tricks up their sleeves than the Israelis" Quod erat demonstratum.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Please restate rather than avoid the point. Focus!"

Please restate your question-- and restating your straw men won't be helpful. Focus!

"Please define. How does one become a “coup-government” "

By staging a coup.

" How exactly does one stage a coup via a ballot box?"

Are you saying that there was an election to replace Zelaya? Please explain.

"if the U.S. Senate had removed Bill Clinton from office would this have been a coup?"

That would have been the constitutionally prescribed way to remove him from office. In that case, the process was carried out, and the Senate, after allowing both sides to make their cases, chose not to remove him. The "process" taken by the Honduran Legislature and Supreme Court didn't follow any similar procedures, and certainly no procedures as outlined in their constitution.

“Please cite the law. Strange. Awful lot of visa from an awful lot of countries without any semblance of democratic government.”

It's triggered by a military coup, not the type of the previously existing government.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKTRE55S5J220090629

"Despite Obama's comments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration was not formally designating the ouster as a military coup for now, a step that would force a cut-off of most U.S. aid to Honduras.

Under U.S. law, no aid -- other than for the promotion of democracy -- may be provided to a country whose elected head of government has been toppled in a military coup."

"Please explain how either quotation is merely “criticism” rather than bigotry. 'cmon dig in deeper."

What difference the guy said? He wasn't part of the government, and the junta members never claimed that they overthrew Zelaya because of what a journalist might one day say.

As far as whether or not Israelis are helping the coup leaders, in whatever fashion, that's either true, or it isn't. I have no evidence one way or the other.

But if Zelaya is right in his claims, is he still anti-semitic?

"Quod erat demonstratum."

Engish translation-- declaring oneself the winner and going home.

continued

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

This was nothing but a political disagreement between the ruling oligarchs and Zelaya, who was once one of them. If he hadn't been, he would never have been elected president, because the political system in Honduras is rigged in favor of the 25 or so families described in an article I linked above. His term was winding down, and despite claims to the contrary, he was making no attempt to get an additional term in office. He would have been replaced by the winner of the Nov 29 elections. If he were actually moving towards imposing some sort of military dictatorship, with him at the top, they probably would have been OK with that as long as he remained "one of them."

But in his remaining months, they were afraid of a much graver threat to the ruling class-- the busting up of their sham democracy, and giving a voice to the poor and dispossessed that the ruling elite need to exploit in order to maintain their wealth and power. It was much less risky (to them) to stage a coup, and try to dress it up as pretty as they could. Some of you clearly like the shade of lipstick on that pig.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

There's too much to work with here. But this was the richest:

"That would have been the constitutionally prescribed way to remove him from office. In that case, the process was carried out, and the Senate, after allowing both sides to make their cases, chose not to remove him. The “process” taken by the Honduran Legislature and Supreme Court didn't follow any similar procedures, and certainly no procedures as outlined in their constitution."

Excuse me??? The impeachment process in Honduras wholly and completely was the very model of the rule of law. Please list the precise Honduran constitutional procedures you believe were not followed. I've already asked once that you cite specific laws you believe broken. The dirty secret here is every country has procedures to remove leaders who pursue illegal aims. Honduras exercised theirs. And the US doesn't like that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"What difference the guy said? "

Shoulda been--

"What difference does it make what the guy said?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Please list the precise Honduran constitutional procedures you believe were not followed."

You seem to be intimately familiar with the process. Pleas cite the passage(s) in the constitution that pertain, and then show us how the procedure taken fulfilled that satisfactorily.

Especially the part where they invade the presidential palace in the wee hours of the morning with several hundred soldiers, wake him at gunpoint, and then fly him out of the country in his pajamas. I'd be interested to see how they phrase that in constitution-speak.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

This is from a blog of a few months ago, but it still lays out the situation fairly well--

http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2009/07/honduras-summing-up-some-basic-points.html

"1. According to the constitution, taking Zelaya out of the country was illegal. Period.

  1. Zelaya is charged with trying to amend the constitution to allow re-election of the president (which would be illegal), yet no one has ever provided evidence to that effect. It is illegal to amend seven particular parts of the constitution, but the wording of the proposed vote did not mention any of them.

I do not care if you are positive he wanted to, as that does not constitute evidence. He said before the coup that he would leave office in 2010. Maybe he was lying, maybe not. But it deserves more investigation before overthrowing him. Ousting a president requires more than just assumptions about intent.

  1. At various times, commenters have mentioned Venezuela as intruding (such as with the plebiscite materials) but I have never seen the Supreme Court or Attorney General mention evidence.* Until I do, I think Venezuela is irrelevant. That Zelaya liked Hugo Chavez is not relevant to his standing as president. That Chavez says ridiculous things about invasion is not relevant to Zelaya's case either.

  2. Zelaya was unpopular (even with his own party) and many people in Honduras are glad he's gone. This is irrelevant to the law. Surprisingly, I have not yet seen anyone make an argument for how a parliamentary system might have mediated the situation better--Honduran political institutions are so weak it might not have mattered.

  3. It is also troubling for a Supreme Court justice to use the gossipy phrase "some say" as in "some say it was not Zelaya but Chavez governing."

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

bozo, you're arguing with someone else about something else. All those words and the closest you've come is #2. You aren't satisfied with the evidence of the "crime." Tough. You're not the judge here. Honduras doesn't answer to you or to Uncle Sam. You know, the rule of law isn't about whatever motivation you wish to read into others actions. I'm sure if Clinton had been removed from office, you wouldn't have thought that was appropriate either. But just as in the US the Congress is the judge of what's impeachable and what's evidence, likewise in Honduras. Oh, and you still have told us what precise law you believe broken, just that you find the evidence of some law or other inadequate. The Honduran Supreme Court didn't agree. But then honoring the decisions of courts isn't exactly congruent with a coup either.

Oh, and just because the military is used to enforce the law doesn't make it a military coup. Military coup means the military displaces the civilian leadership and governs themselves, usually by decree. Here, rule continues under the democratic, constitutional guidelines as the constitution provides.

The guy was ordered to cease-and-desist his attempts to perpetuate himself as a multiple-term leader, something Honduras has a long history of and specifically ensured would be constitutionally prohibited. He was warned in advance repeatedly. His own political party is part of the "coup" plotters. Your wholly unsubstantiated claim "he was making no attempt to get an additional term in office" is absurd. Contrary facts are well documented in every journalistic account both pre- and post-"coup" of the guy's aims and his followers' threatened and real violence against those who stood in his way. The guy wasn't impeached and removed from office a few months before the end of his term anyway over "disagreements." The people of Honduras aren't quite as irrational as you seem to think.

What is even more extraordinary is that the State Department is now strongly hinting that it WILL REFUSE to honor the results of upcoming November elections in Honduras, even though these were scheduled and the candidates chosen long before this "coup." Apparently, the Obama Administration's disregard for other nations goes so far as demanding the re-imposition of ex-presidents even after their terms expire. I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when the U.S. refuses to recognize the results of a democratic election.

Still looking for that explanation, not irrelevant commentary, of how either quotation is merely “criticism” rather than bigotry. You can denounce anti-semitism unequivocally. I know you can. And saying "I have no evidence one way or the other" puts you on the same level as our own "Birthers" - you know something is certainly untrue but you refuse to state so because you believe it useful to pretend that the contrary might be true.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

"The guy was ordered to cease-and-desist his attempts to perpetuate himself as a multiple-term leader,"

And if they had ordered him to cease and desist in his attempts to become emperor of the universe, would that have justified a coup as well?

Let me repeat this from the above post--

"2. Zelaya is charged with trying to amend the constitution to allow re-election of the president (which would be illegal), yet no one has ever provided evidence to that effect."

And they still haven't. Neither have you. As a matter of fact, there is ample evidence to the contrary. But you really don't care about proof, do you?

Tell me, why do you and informed like the Honduran fascists so much? (and don't give me any Godwin crap-- that's exactly what they are.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

"The overwhelming majority of Hondurans do NOT want Zelaya back in office — not even for one minute."

Not according to these poll results---

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/3511/poll-wide-majority-hondurans-oppose-coup-d’etat-want-zelaya-back

Are you in favor of the June 28 coup d’etat against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales?

In favor of coup: 17.4 percent Opposed to coup: 52.7 percent No response: 29.9 percent

Should Micheletti stay in power or leave the current government?

Micheletti should stay: 22.2 percent Micheletti should leave: 60.1 percent No response: 17.7 percent

Do you support the return of Manuel Zelaya Rosales to the Presidency of the Republic?

Support Zelaya’s return: 51.6 percent Oppose Zelaya’s return: 33 percent No response: 15.4 percent

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

Excerpt from

Honduran Coup Regime in Crisis by Greg Grandin

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091026/grandin

"But the coup--along with Zelaya's surprise return--has created a lose-lose situation for Honduran elites. If they yield to international pressure and negotiate Zelaya's symbolic restoration, it would legitimize the November elections but would also embolden the left and discredit the coup plotters--that is, nearly all of Honduras' governing class. If they force Zelaya back into exile, arrest him or keep him holed up in the Brazilian Embassy, then the popular movement that has gained momentum over the past three months will demand a constitutional convention as the only solution to re-establish legitimacy. In other words, the very issue that served as the spark of the crisis--Zelaya's attempt to build support for a constituent assembly to reform Honduras' notoriously undemocratic charter--may be the only way to settle it.

Even Costa Rican President Ocar Arias has suggested as much. He recently called the Honduran constitution the "worst in the entire world," an "invitation to coups." "This is something that will have to be resolved," he said, "and the best way to do this is, if we can't have a constitutional election, is to have certain reforms so this Honduran constitution ceases to be the worst in the entire world."

Micheletti's crackdown reveals more than his own desperation. It suggests the larger dilemma of Latin American conservatives. Over the past few years, those opposed to the region's left turn, like Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa and his son Alvaro Vargas Llosa, have tried to represent themselves as democratic modernizers who have rejected the authoritarianism of the region's old cold war right. This is exactly the image Micheletti's coup hoped to project to the rest of the world--even hiring US lobbyists and public relations firms to do so.

continued

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

continued

But in Honduras, as in most of Latin America, there is no social base to create something along the lines of, say, Europe's new conservatism. Clinging to a discredited free-market economic model, their political program is based nearly exclusively on "anti-Chavismo." And in a country as poor and economically stratified as Honduras, that means a reliance on increasing doses of violence to maintain order and a resurrection of the same revanchist sectors of the military, the Catholic and evangelical churches, and the oligarchy that powered anticommunist authoritarianism. Micheletti's government, after all, included Enrique Ortez as foreign minister, who was barely installed in his new office when he called Barack Obama a "negrito" who didn't "even know where Tegucigalpa was"--a sentiment that wouldn't be out of place on some of the placards on display at our own tea-party demonstrations. Given a chance to defend himself--negrito in Spanish is not necessarily a derogatory term--Ortez, who has since resigned, dug deeper: "I've negotiated with fags, prostitutes, commies, blacks and whites.... I'm not racially prejudiced; I like the plantation negro who is running the United States."

Honduras may very well be the "first reversal in the drive to spread '21st Century Socialism' in the region," as Iran/Contra veteran Otto Reich, a prominent US backer of the coup, recently wrote. Yet that reversal--if it holds--comes at the cost of revealing the lie behind the idea that there is a progressive alternative to the contemporary Latin American left."

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