July 17, 2009 - No. 140
What Must Be Demanded of the United
July 12, 2009: Rally in
central square of Tegucigalpa. Banner reads: "Comrade Mel, the peoples
are with you."
• What Must Be
Demanded of the United States -
• President Zelaya en Route to Honduras as
Resistance to Coup Gathers Strength
• Massive Repression by Coup Regime
• Telesur and Venezuelan TV Journalists
Arrested in Honduras - Tamara Pearson, Venezuelanalysis.com
• Shame on Canada, Coup
Ashley Holly, TheTyee.ca
• Hugo Llorens, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras: An
Eloquent Pedigree - Jean-Guy Allard, Granma International
• U.S. Continues to Train Honduran Soldiers
- James Hodge and Linda Cooper, National Catholic Reporter
• Honduran Oligarchy: "The War Is Against
Chavez" - Ricardo Daher, Aporrea
What Must Be Demanded of the United States
The meeting in Costa Rica did not lead and could not
lead to peace. The people of Honduras are not at war; only the coup
perpetrators are using weapons
against them. They should be called on to end their war on the people.
Such a meeting between Zelaya and the coup leaders would only serve to
the constitutional president and wear down the energies of the Honduran
World public opinion knows what has taken place in that
country via footage circulated by international television,
which, without losing a second, faithfully transmitted each and every
one of the events that took place in Honduras, the speeches given and
agreements against the coup by international agencies.
The world was able to see the blows rained down on men
and women, the thousands of teargas grenades fired on the crowds, the
with weapons of war and live rounds to intimidate, wound or kill
The idea that Hugo Llorens, the U.S. ambassador in
Tegucigalpa, was unaware of or discouraged the coup is absolutely
untrue. He knew about
it, as did the U.S. military advisors, who didn't stop their training
of Honduran troops for one minute.
It is now known that the idea of promoting a peace move
initiated in Costa Rica emerged from the offices of the State
Department in order to
contribute to the consolidation of the military coup.
The coup was conceived of and organized by unscrupulous
individuals on the extreme right, dependable officials of George W.
promoted by him.
All of them, without exception, have a bulky file of
anti-Cuba activities. Hugo Llorens, the ambassador in Honduras since
mid-2008, is a
Cuban-American. He is part of a group of aggressive U.S. ambassadors in
Central America comprising Robert Blau, ambassador in El Salvador;
McFarland in Guatemala; and Robert Callahan in Nicaragua, all appointed
by Bush in the months of July and August of 2008.
The four are continuing the line of Otto Reich and John
Negroponte who, together with Oliver North, were responsible for the
dirty war in
Nicaragua and the death squads in Central America, which cost the
peoples of the region tens of thousands of lives.
Negroponte was Bush's representative at the United
Nations, czar of U.S. intelligence and finally assistant secretary of
state. In distinct ways,
both of them were behind the Honduras coup.
The Soto Cano base in that country, headquarters of the
Joint Task Force Bravo belonging to the Armed Forces of the United
States, is the
central support point of the coup d'état in Honduras.
The United States has the sinister plan of creating five
further military bases around Venezuela, on the pretext of replacing
the Manta one in
The ridiculous adventure of the coup d'état in
Honduras has created a really complicated situation in Central America,
which will not be
resolved by traps, deceptions and lies.
Every day, new details are emerging of the implication
of the United States in that action, which will also have serious
repercussions in all
of Latin America.
The idea of a peace initiative based in Costa Rica was
transmitted to the president of that country from the State Department,
was in Moscow and when he stated, in a Russian university, that the
only president of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya.
The coup perpetrators were in a difficult situation. The
initiative transmitted to Costa Rica sought the objective of saving
them. It is obvious
that every day of delay has a cost for the constitutional president and
tends to dilute the exceptional international support that he has
received. The Yankee
maneuver does not increment the possibilities of peace, but exactly the
opposite, it reduces them and the danger of violence is growing, given
that the peoples
of our America will never resign themselves to the fate programmed for
them. When Micheletti, the de facto
president, proclaimed yesterday
that he is
prepared to resign from his post if Zelaya resigns, I knew that the
State Department and the military coup leaders had agreed to replace
him and send him
back to Congress as part of the maneuver.
The only correct thing to do at this point is to demand
that the government of the United States ends its intervention, stops
support to the coup perpetrators and withdraws its Task Force from
What is being demanded of the Honduran people, in the
name of peace, is the negation of all the principles that have been
fought for by all
the nations of this hemisphere.
"Respect for the right of others is peace," said
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 16, 2009
President Zelaya en Route to Honduras
as Resistance to Coup Gathers Strength
On July 16, Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas
announced that President Manuel Zelaya is en route to
Honduras to reunite with the
people in resistance to the coup regime, news agencies reported.
Eva Golinger writes: "On [July 14], President Zelaya
issued an 'ultimatum' to the coup regime, warning that if they do not
step down by
Saturday -- during the next scheduled 'mediation' meeting in Costa Rica
-- then he will consider the dialogue process, imposed by Washington,
as a failure.
And he will return and rescue constitutional order, along with the
masses in the streets, by any means necessary."
Rodas did not divulge how or when President Zelaya
planned to enter Honduras. "Our president will be in Honduras at some
point and some
moment. He is already on his way. God protect him and the people of the
Americas who are with him," Rodas told reporters in La Paz, Bolivia.
"The establishment and installation of an alternative
seat of government will be to direct what I will call the 'final
battle' against leaders of
the coup that toppled Zelaya," she said.
Delegations representing legitimate President Zelaya
and the coup leaders' so-called president, Roberto Micheletti, are
expected to engage in
a second round of "mediation" talks tomorrow in Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, the Honduran people's organizations have
completed their 20th day of resistance to the coup d'etat; huge marches
are being planned
in the two main cities of the country.
The leadership of the National Front against the Coup
d'Etat ratified that the struggle in the streets would not stop until
the constitutional order
is reestablished and Manuel Zelaya is restored in power, as the
president elected by the people.
"Are you tired? Are you afraid?" Workers' Unitary
Federation President Juan Barahona asked the people in a rally on
Tuesday July 14 and
a powerful crowd answered "NO" in unison.
"Carry on, there is a constant struggle!" the
demonstrators said in unison, marching along important avenues
in the capital
Tegucigalpa and other cities to demand the restoration of democratic
The union centrals held a meeting to analyze the
preparations for a general strike to hit one of the sectors that
support the military coup: the
business sector, sources said.
Student organizations also agreed on July 12 to brush
their differences and unite in vigorous action against pro-coup
occupy the universities and schools in rejection of the coup.
Honduras' traditional Liberal Party rank and file,
together with that of the National Conservative Party, agreed on July
12 in a
national plenary to
label as illegal the organizations' echelons for being accomplices to
Those sectors repudiated the de facto government
president, businessman Roberto Micheletti and presidential candidate
Elvin Santos who they
demanded must renounce the coup.
Constitutional President Manuel Zelaya, whom they
recognized as leader of the Liberals, sent a message to the meeting,
ratifying his decision
to return to the country as soon as possible to replace the coup
Meanwhile, Press TV reported that the coup leaders'
so-called President Roberto Micheletti said he would only step down so
long as the
legitimate President Manuel Zelaya does not return to Honduras as
Micheletti expressed willingness to leave "at some point
that decision is needed to bring peace and tranquility to the country,
but without the
return, and I stress this, of former President Zelaya," he said.
He went on to accuse 'unspecified' rioters of scheming
to stage an armed uprising in the capital Tegucigalpa in a concerted
attempt to "topple
the interim government," Press TV writes. "This morning we were
informed that they were handing out
Massive Repression by Coup Regime
In a July 15 update, Eva Golinger reports: "Over the
weekend, two well-known social leaders were assassinated by the coup
forces. Roger Bados
leader of the Bloque Popular & the National Resistance Front
against the coup d'etat, was killed in the northern city of San Pedro
Sula. Approximately at
8pm on Saturday evening, Bados was assassinated and killed immediately
by three gun shots. Bados was also a member of the leftist party
(Unificación Democrática) and was president of a union
representing workers in a cement factory. His death was denounced as
part of the ambience and
repressive actions taken by the coup government to silence all dissent.
"Ramon Garcia, another social leader in Honduras, was
also killed on Saturday evening by military forces who boarded a bus he
in Santa Barbara and forced him off, subsequently shooting him and
wounding his sister. Juan Barahona, National Coordinator of the Bloque
Popular & the
National Resistance Front against the coup, stated that these actions
are committed by the coup government 'as the only way to maintain
themselves in power,
by terrorizing and killing the people.
"Despite statements made by representatives of the coup
government, the national curfew remains in place. Different social
Honduras have been denouncing the curfew which is still in effect and
the coup government is lying about lifting it, so as to seem less
repressive to the
"However, over the weekend, foreign journalists from
Telesur, Venezolana de Televisión (VTV -- Venezuelan State TV)
and EFE, were
detained by military forces and expelled from Honduras. The Venezuelan
journalists returned [...] to Venezuela, while Telesur [continued]
trying to find a
way to maintain its correspondents on the ground. [...]
"Honduran media, which supports the coup, reported on
the journalists' detention stating that the police arrested and
deported them due to 'car
In a July 16 update, Golinger points out, "The
Committee of Family Members of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras
published a report
today detailing more than 1155 cases of Human Rights violations
committed by the coup regime since June 28, 2009. Of those, there have
been 4 political
assassinations, 6 gravely injured, 16 threatened with death, 59
injured, 13 media outlets closed or censored, 14 journalists detained,
of which the majority
have been expelled forcefully from the country, and 1046 arbitrary
Telesur and Venezuelan TV Journalists
Arrested in Honduras
The coup government of Honduras arrested Telesur and
Venezuelan TV (VTV) journalists on Saturday night [July 11]. The two
based in Venezuela,
are the only channels globally to transmit ongoing coverage of the 28
June coup outcome, anti-coup demonstrations, and the constant regional
Since Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped by
the military and taken to Costa Rica on 28 June, whilst there have been
protests against the coup, most Honduran media have allied themselves
with the coup government and have been broadcasting only regular
The arrested journalists were released at about 3:30am,
after the police checked their documents and told them to leave the
pro-government media reported.
VTV producer Pedro Quesada reported that the police in
the headquarters where they were taken were hooded and their excuse for
was that the vehicle Telesur had been using was supposedly wanted by
"Get out of here, you all have to go, you don't have
anything to do in this country," one of the police reportedly said.
Telesur journalist Madelein Garcia reported that a
police detachment, under orders from the coup government, had entered
the hotel where
the Telesur team was staying, and detained them without explanation.
She said she had information that the government immigration department
continue checking their documents today.
The hotel where they are staying was still surrounded
this morning by police, with the journalists restricted from leaving
unless they were
accompanied by police.
VTV journalist Eduardo Silvera told the press from
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, that, "This is a violation of freedom of
expression, under the
supposed justification that it was preventative detention, they
arrested us and threatened to take away our telephones."
Silvera said after a long interrogation, the police
said, "You can thank your President Chavez for this, get out of this
country, this is going
to turn ugly."
According to Venezuelan government media reports, the
journalists were eventually released due to negotiations by the
Quesada said the VTV crew were transported to the
airport to leave Honduras, accompanied by representatives from the
Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) and the Venezuelan Embassy in
The CIDH denounced the detention and Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said that the government of Honduras had
journalists...and I hold [current coup president Roberto Micheletti]
Goriletti and his little gorillas responsible."
José Insulza, general secretary of the
American States said the whole thing was "very dangerous" as "the
community is [only] being informed by CNN and Telesur." The Latin
American Federation of Journalists (Felap) also condemned the arrests,
violated the region's right to information.
"Honduras is in danger of a political and historic
setback... so it is fundamental that there are journalists there,
fulfilling their work as witnesses
of history," Ernesto Carmona, executive secretary of Felap said.
A range of other Honduran media also publicly expressed
their disapproval of the arrests. During the coup, Channel 36 of
Honduras was also
taken off the air for a few days. Eldras Lopez, the director of that
channel expressed his solidarity with the Telesur and VTV journalists.
"I'm in solidarity with you, as you have been with us.
You provide balanced coverage and aren't inciting anyone," he said.
This is the second time Telesur journalists have been
detained in Honduras. On 29 June pro-coup military used force to detain
the team which
was at that time filming the military repression of a peaceful protest
against the coup. The journalists were also beaten.
Shame on Canada, Coup Supporter
For the first time in decades, the world's eyes are on
Honduras, a tiny country many Canadians know for those little stickers
on exported bananas and
the surplus of coffee it floods onto the global market each year. The
world is less aware of the ongoing role that the Canadian government
mining companies play in pushing many Hondurans further into poverty.
Now that the world is watching, it's a good time to
reveal these secrets.
On Saturday, July 4, at the impromptu meeting of the
Organization of the American States, Canadian Minister of State of
Foreign Affairs for
the Americas Peter Kent suggested President Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya
not return to Honduras. It's an interesting stance for Canada to
that most of the international community has condemned the coup in
Moreover, following violent clashes between the military
police and demonstrators awaiting Zelaya's return this past Sunday,
Kent held Zelaya
responsible for the deaths of two demonstrators by the military
Prior to these comments, Canada had remained relatively
silent on this issue. But while most other counties have cancelled
their aid to
Honduras in protest of the coup, Canada has not. Why is our democracy
suddenly in the business of supporting a military coup?
Capitalizing on Hurricane Devastation
The answer begins with Canada's reaction to the last
crisis in Honduras.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch swept through much of Central
America and especially ravaged Honduras, where thousands of people were
and millions were displaced. Already the second poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere, Honduras was now struck with over $3 billion in
a loss of social services such as schools, hospitals and road systems.
Seventy per cent of its agricultural crops were destroyed. Nothing so
ever hit Honduras.
Canada was quick to respond to the cries for help
following Hurricane Mitch, with a 'long-term development plan.' Canada
offered $100 million
over four years for reconstruction projects. These grandiose aid
packages made Canada look like a savior. However, attached to this
assistance was the
introduction of over 40 Canadian companies to Honduras to assess
opportunities for investment. This hurricane offered a strategic
economic opportunity for
Canadian investment in Honduras.
The Canadian government, as it officially stated this
year, considers mineral extraction by Canadian mining companies one of
the best ways
to "create new economic opportunities in the developing world." Shortly
after Hurricane Mitch weakened the Honduran state, Canada and the
joined to establish the National Association of Metal Mining of
Honduras (ANAMINH), through which they were able to rewrite the General
This law provides foreign mining companies with lifelong concessions,
tax breaks and subsurface land rights for "rational resource
'We Have Lost Everything'
"They crave gold like hungry swine," Uruguayan
journalist Eduardo Galeano has written of multinational mining
firms. I thought of those words on a recent drive through the open pit
San Andres mining project, recently sold by the Canadian company Yamana
to another Canadian company, Aura Minerales. When I'd finished my tour,
I was convinced the social, economic, environmental and health costs of
pit mining practices far outweigh the supposed benefits, and that the
resource exploitation practiced by certain Canadian companies is
I got chills driving through the abandoned village of
San Andres. What were once homes and schools had been bulldozed into
crushed adobe and rock. Where ancient pine trees stood, there now were
deep craters, accessible by the nicest highways I had seen in Honduras.
But a local resident at the end of one of those roads
told me: "We have lost everything." The mine had displaced him from his
he was now without clean water to drink or fertile land to sow.
Currently, Canadian companies own 33 per cent of mineral
investments in Latin America, accumulating to the ownership of over 100
properties. Export Development Canada contributes 50 per cent of
Canadian Pension Plan money to mining companies, which offered upwards
of $50 billion
in 2003. Goldcorp alone has received nearly one billion dollars from
CPP subsidies. Although EDC is responsible for regulating Canadian
it has been accused of failing to apply regulatory standards to 24 of
26 mining projects that it has funded.
In February 2003, nearly five hundred gallons of cyanide
spilled into the Rio Lara, killing 18,000 fish. The mine in San Andres
water in one hour than an average Honduran family uses in one year. In
that same year, mining companies earned $44.4 million, while the
per capita in Honduras in 2004 was just $1,126USD.
Zelaya's Anti-Mining Stance: Payment Due
As the man at the end of the road tried to explain to
me, mining is not development for people
who live around these mines. He speaks for thousands of others -- a
base of support aligned with the ousted President Zelaya. In 2006,
Zelaya decided to
cancel all future mining concessions in Honduras.
Which would appear to explain, at least in large part,
why Canada stands virtually alone in the hemisphere in supporting the
military's ousting of Zelaya. The Canadian government, and its friends
in the mining industry, are using the coup as an opportunity to plant
their feet deeper
into the Honduran ground.
In his role as minister of state for foreign affairs,
Peter Kent once declared that "democratic governance is a central
pillar of Canada's enhanced
engagement in the Americas."
Apparently, his instructions from Ottawa have been
Hugo Llorens, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras:
Hugo Llorens, U.S. embassador to the Honduras who
acknowledged having participated in meetings in which plans for a
putsch were discussed before
the kidnapping of President Zelaya, is a U.S. citizen of Cuban origin,
who emigrated to Miami under the CIA's Operation Peter Pan.
A specialist in terrorism, he was head of Andes Affairs
at the National Security Council in Washington at the time of the coup
President Hugo Chavez in April 2002.
In the course of his early years of diplomatic
activity, he went to Honduras for the first time as an economic
counsellor, then went on, under
the same standing, to La Paz in Bolivia. He pursued his career as Trade
attache in Paraguay under the Stroessner dictatorship and later in San
narcotics coordinator, another of his specialties.
In an unsuspected passage to another part of the world,
this Llorens of many faces was sent to the Phillipines as a simple
worker. Back in the North America, he became General Consul
for the U.S. in Vancouver, in Canada, where he set up a "multi-agency"
which oversaw the opening, within the consulate itself, of FBI offices,
of an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office and a U.S. Border
Services office, not to mention offices of the Secret Service and the
Security Department. All this under cover of the struggle against
Ambassador Llorens presented his credentials to
President Zelaya on September 19, 2008. A few days earlier, President
Zelaya had refused
to receive him, as a gesture of solidarity towards Bolivia who had just
expelled [U.S.] ambassador Philip Goldberg.
At the Sides of Elliot Abrahms and Otto Reich
The White House under George W. Bush appointed the
sly Llorens in 2002 to none other
than Head of Andes Affairs within the National Security Council in
Washington, D.C., which made him the main advisor to the President on
It so happens that the coup d'Etat in 2002 against
President Hugo Chavez took place while Llorens was under the authority
of State for Hemispheric Affairs, Otto Reich, and of the very
controversial Elliot Abrams [who had
been Chief Advisor for the Near
East within the National
Security Council and ...to numerous services in Central America --
Pedro da Nobrega].
Reich, who is also a U.S. citizen of Cuban origin,
protector of chief terrorist Orlando Bosch [Cuban anti-castroite,
involved in numerous
criminal activities, such as the bombing of civilian flight Cubana 455
in 1976 -- Pedro da Nobrega], had been U.S. embassador to
Venezuela for three years,
to 1989, and claimed to "know the terrain."
Reich, from his position in the State Department, had
hastily brought his support to the Venezuelan Micheletti (Micheletti
who was named
President of Honduras by the military putschists, note), Pedro "Le
Bref" Carmona [derogatory nickname
given to him for vainly having tried
Chavez in 2002 only for a few days -- Pedro da Nobrega] and to
the ... military.
Otto Reich, full-time member of the circle of the
former, now plucked, hawks, remains one of the most influencial persona
of the Miami mafia
underworld. His name has been mentioned as a possible conspirer in the
Tegucigalpa putschist camarilla.
In July 2008, Llorens is appointed embassador to
Honduras in replacement of Charles "Charlie" Ford, an individual having
the ungrateful task
of proposing that Honduras host Posada Carriles (another Cuban
expatriate involved in a number of assassination attempts against
civilians, such as the
Cubana bombing, note). Zelaya had answered with a definite no and
"Charlie" had to inform his bosses that they would have to keep their
"hot potato" [the
character had become embarrassing for the Bush administration who was
in the middle of his "anti-terrorist" campaign -- Pedro da Nobrega].
General Vasques Was Already Being "Coaxed"
When Llorens arrived in Tegucigalpa on September 12,
2008, President Zelaya, taking
into consideration the fact that Bolivia had expelled the U.S.
diplomatic representative for reasons of interference, in a
gesture of solidarity, had refused
the credentials of the new ambassador.
Eight days later, Zelaya met with Llorens to express
his government's uneasiness because of "what the most impoverished
country in South
America is going through."
It is important in this respect to recall an event
which took place at the time. On September 22, at the same moment that
Zelaya was expressing
his "uneasiness," the Chief Joint Commander of the Honduras Armed
Forces, General Romeao Vasquez, the same putschist leader now
had declared to the local press that "some people were interested in
destituting President Manuel Zelaya."
The fascist military chief added that the President
"was subject to criticisms because of the treaties signed with
Venezuela, Bolivia and
Nicaragua", and that "we have been approached to overthrow the
"But we represent an institution which is serious and
respectful, therefore we respect the President as Commander-in-chief
and we comply
with the law," making himself underhandedly reassuring as he is
presently the one ordering his troops to shoot at the people [Pinochet
had held the same
discourse in 73 before the coup d'Etat -- Pedro da Nobrega].
Last June 22, La
Prensa newspaper revealed that the
night before, a meeting of politically influent people, of military
chiefs and ambassador
Llorens was held under the official pretext of "looking for a solution
to the crisis," the one provoked by the popular consultation organized
The New York Times would later confirm that
the Joint Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas A.
as well as ambassador Llorens, had "had talks" with high-ranking
officers of the Armed Forces and heads of the opposition on "how to
Zelaya, how to stop him and to define what authority would deal with
U.S. Continues to Train Honduran Soldiers
A controversial facility at Ft. Benning, Ga. -- formerly
known as the U.S. Army's School of the Americas -- is still training
Honduran officers despite
claims by the Obama administration that it cut military ties to
Honduras after its president was overthrown June 28, NCR has learned.
A day after an SOA-trained army general ousted Honduran
President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, President Barack Obama stated that
coup was not legal" and that Zelaya remained "the democratically
Operations Appropriations Act requires that
U.S. military aid and training be suspended when a country undergoes a
coup, and the Obama administration has indicated those steps have been
taken. However, Lee Rials, public affairs officer for the Western
for Security Cooperation, the successor of SOA, confirmed Monday that
Honduran officers are still being trained at the school.
"Yes, they're in class now." Rials said
Asked about the Obama administration's suspension of aid
and training to Honduras, Rials said, "Well, all I know is they're
here, and they're
The decision to continue training the Hondurans is
"purely government policy," he said, adding that it's possible that
other U.S. military schools
are training them too. "We're not the only place."
Rials did not know exactly how many Hondurans were
currently enrolled, but he said at least two officers are currently in
Command and General Staff course, its premier year-long program.
"I don't know the exact number because we've had some
classes just completed and some more starting," he said. "There's no
more plans for
anybody to come. Everything that was in place already is still in
place. Nobody's directed that they go home or that anything cease."
The school trained 431 Honduran officers from 2001 to
2008, and some 88 were projected for this year, said Rials, who
couldn't provide their
Since 2005, the Department of Defense has barred the
release of their names after it was revealed that the school had
human rights abusers.
The general who overthrew Zelaya -- Romeo Orlando
Vásquez Velásquez -- is a two-time graduate of SOA, which
critics have nicknamed
the "School of Coups" because it trained so many coup leaders,
including two other Honduran graduates, General Juan Melgar Castro and
Vasquez is not the only SOA graduate linked to the
current coup or employed by the de
facto government. Others are:
* Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo, the head of the
Honduran air force, who arranged to have Zelaya flown into exile in
* Gen. Nelson Willy Mejia Mejia, the newly appointed
director of immigration, who is not only an SOA graduate, but a former
One year after he was awarded the U.S. Meritorious Service Medal, he
faced charges in connection with the infamous death squad, Battalion
3-16, for which
he was an intelligence officer.
* Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza Membreño, the
Honduran army's top lawyer who admitted that flying Zelaya into exile
was a crime, telling
the Miama Herald that ''In
the moment that we took him out of the
country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime," but it
will be justified.
* Lt. Col. Ramiro Archaga Paz,the army's director of
public relations, who has denied harassment of protesters and
maintained that the army
is not involved in internal security.
* Col. Jorge Rodas Gamero, a two-time SOA graduate, who
is the minister of security, a post he also held in Zelaya's government.
The ongoing training of Hondurans at Ft. Benning is not
the only evidence of unbroken U.S.-Honduran military ties since the
Another piece was discovered by Maryknoll Father Roy
Bourgeois, the founder of SOA Watch, while on fact-finding mission to
Bourgeois -- accompanied by two lawyers, Kent Spriggs
and Dan Kovalik -- visited the Soto Cano/Palmerola Air Base northwest
Tegucigalpa, where the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force-Bravo
"Helicopters were flying all around, and we spoke with
the U.S. official on duty, a Sgt. Reyes" about the U.S.-Honduran
said. "We asked him if anything had changed since the coup and he said
The group later met with U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens,
who claimed that he had no knowledge of ongoing U.S. military activity
Hondurans, Bourgeois said. The ambassador also said that he himself has
had no contact with the de facto
That has apparently changed. Christopher Webster, the
director of the State Department's Office of Central American Affairs,
that Llorens has in fact been in touch with the current coup
government, according to Eric LeCompte, the national organizer for SOA
LeCompte met with Webster Monday along with other
representatives of human rights groups and three Hondurans -- Marvin
a member of the Honduran National Congress, Jari Dixon Herrera
Hernández, a lawyer with the Honduran attorney general's office,
and Dr. Juan Almendares
Bonilla, director of the Center for the Prevention, Rehabilitation and
Treatment of Victims of Torture.
Webster told the group that Llorens and the State
Department are engaging the coup government to the extent necessary to
bring about a
solution to the crisis.
Webster "told us that military aid had been cut off, and
that the return of Zelaya as president is non-negotiable although the
which he returns are negotiable," LeCompte said.
Herrera Hernández, the lawyer with the Honduran
attorney general's office, told Webster that the coup government has
misinformation by claiming the coup was legal because the court had
issued an arrest warrant for Zelaya for pushing ahead with a
on whether to change the Honduran constitution.
However, the order to arrest Zelaya came a day after the
coup, he said. And contrary to coup propaganda, Zelaya never sought to
term in office, and even if the survey had been held, changing the
constitution would have required action by the legislature, he said.
Whatever legal argument the coup leaders had against
Zelaya, it fell apart when they flew him into exile rather than
prosecuting him, the
attorney said. The legal system has broken down, he added, for if this
can happen to the president, who can't it happen to?
Honduran Oligarchy: "The War is Against Chavez"
The Honduran de facto
government and private media
insist on denying the coup d'etat and say that they accept the
mediation of Costa Rican president
Oscar Arias, but exclude any conversation over the return of Zelaya to
the presidency. At the same time they sustain that they are the
spearhead of a "war"
against the "dictatorship of Hugo Chavez."
The daily newspapers, Heraldo, Tribuna
and La Prensa, lead the way in defending the coup d'etat and
repeat, almost in the same words, the accusation against the Venezuelan
president for his supposed interference. They also promote the
Honduras from the ALBA accords, because they claim, "it has only
benefited the left."
The headlines of these newspapers and the declarations
of the current leaders of the State are a copy of the anti-communist
manual of the press
campaigns in the decades of the sixties and seventies in the last
With contrived arguments, the Honduran media promotes a
campaign accusing the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez of interfering
country and provoking the confrontations last Sunday near the
of the Tegulcigalpa International Airport, when 200,000 people waited
for the return
of the constitutional president.
By extension, they maintain that the UN and the OAS are
manipulated by Chavez, and that the presidents of Argentina, Cristina
of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, of Nicaragua,
Daniel Ortega and the Honduran president himself, Manuel Zelaya, also
orders of the Venezuelan president.
Even the highest authorities of the Catholic Church have
joined the campaign.
The Honduran oligarchs continue ignoring the demand of
the people for a return to institutionality and to allow Zelaya to
finish his term. "We
have communicated with president Arias to tell him that we are prepared
for any dialogue, always and when it is not for the return of president
rather when it is to hand him over to the justice tribunals," Roberto
Micheletti, the defacto president, said. He insisted, "we are not going
anything, we are going to dialogue."
"We are clear that everything that has happened here was
within the framework of the law and the Constitution of the Republic,
there was, was a constitutional situation," the dictator concluded.
At the same time, the de
facto president continued
naming new authorities in the cabinet and substituting governors and
Legislator, Mauricio Reconco, of the Liberal Party,
defended the legality of the overthrow of Zelaya, "we know what was
done was best, if
not we would have been in a worse situation," he said. Immediately he
went on to attack Chavez, "in this moment we are seeing internationally
has shown it is a country that has put a block the path of Hugo Chavez.
The war is no longer against ex-president Zelaya, but against Hugo
"It is lamentable that in organisations such as the UN
and the OAS, Hugo Chavez continues have strength and power, he has
chess pieces --
such as these presidents, Correa, Lugo, Kirchner, Mel Zelaya and Daniel
Ortega -- who he manouvres at his whim," he concluded.
Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez, after
defending the coup d'etat and critising the protests calling for the
return of the constitutional president,
attacked the Venezuelan president;
"We totally reject the interference of the Venezuelan
president, we are a small but sovereign country, since he came to
insult us in the month
of August, that Mister has been trying to put his hands in here, he
should leave us in peace, he should dedicate himself to governing his
Meanwhile, the rightwing movement Generation for Change,
continues holding mobilizations in support of the coup, as they did
against president Zelaya, and they repeat the same arguments of the old
rulers. Luis Colindres, one of the youth leaders said during an event
that a dictatorial system exists in Venezuela, and that "if Zelaya
Rosales returns the same thing could happen in our country."
The Retired Officials of the Armed Forces Association
mobilized together with the "youth" of the Generation for Change. At
the same time
as they defended what they claimed was a legal presidential
substitution, they criticised the OAS, which they considered to be
biased in favor of Zelaya and
through a communiqué condemned the intervention in internal
affairs by said organization.
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