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Political news--June & July 09
Hondoruas Military Coup

Another U.S. backed coup.  Though the evidence isn’t public, the pattern and history support this conclusion, a pattern which has been repeated dozens of times in the Caribbean Islands, and in South and Central Americas.   {site of book thereon}  The military coup of June 24 resulted in the forced exile of President Manuel Zelaya that night.  On June 28th there was scheduled a vote on the issue of there being called a constitutional congress for to write a new constitution. 

 

 From Greenleft.org

Honduras: Coup attempt threatens democracy

 

28 June 2009

An attempted coup has broken out in Honduras in the lead-up to a referendum scheduled for June 28. The referendum is on whether a further vote should be held to decide to re-write the Central American nation’s constitution.

The coup has threatened to bring down elected President Manuel Zelaya, although mass mobilisations of his supporters have filled the streets to defend the elected government.

Under Zelaya, Honduras has joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which is led by Cuba and Venezuela. This is a trading and political bloc that seeks to create an alternative to US domination and foster regional integration based on solidarity, not competition. ALBA and the Organisation of American States have both backed Zelaya.

On June 26, Associated Press reported that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on his Alo Presidente television show: “There is a coup d’etat under way and it must be stopped.”

In a June 25 article, former Cuban president Fidel Castro said: “[Zelaya] forcefully denounced the crude, reactionary attempt to block an important popular referendum. That is the ‘democracy’ that imperialism defends.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed his “absolute rejection of any coup attempt or threat to the democratic process in the sister republic of Honduras”, AP said.

A June 26 ALBA statement offered the “firmest support for the government of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, in his just and decisive actions to defend the right of the Honduran people to express their sovereign will and push forward with a process of social transformation within the democratic institutions.

ALBA nations pledged to “mobilise, together with the dignified Honduran people, in the face of any attempt by the oligarchy to break the constitutional and democratic order of this sister Central American republic”.

The statement printed below was released on June 25 by Rights Action, a North American-based Central American solidarity group. Visit
Rightsaction.org.

* * *

The Honduran Armed Forces are in the street, as thousands of citizens mobilise peacefully to defend democracy and the presidency. Repression is feared.

What happens now in Honduras will have a major impact on the future of the country — and Central America.

Democratic rule is on the line, a military coup is feared, but tens of thousands of Hondurans rushed to the defence of the president, filling and surrounding the presidential palace. The crisis is a tipping point in a political transformation of the country that has taken shape during Zelaya’s presidency.

Months ago, Zelaya proposed that on June 28, a national referendum be held to present Hondurans with the question as to whether, during the November 29 national elections, Hondurans could vote on whether to call a constituent assembly to write a new constitution.

The current constitution was written in 1982 in the middle of the repression and state terrorism that blanketed Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala during the 1980s. Honduras was controlled by a US-backed military regime; the US had 14 military bases in Honduras.

The Honduran Armed Forces initially pledged to support Zelaya and provide logistical support for the June 28 poll, to be administered by the National Statistics Institute.

Then, on June 23, the Honduran army told the president they would not support the referendum. The president fired the head of the armed forces, General Romeo Vasquez, and the defence minister resigned.

Fearing for the president’s safety, thousands of Hondurans surrounded the presidential palace.

The National Congress is strongly opposed to the referendum, and today met to draft a letter of resignation for Zelaya. The Congress has also called on the OAS to withdraw its elections observers for the referendum, and has entertained initiatives to block their entry to the country.

Efforts to intimidate the voters include public statements by influential political figures claiming that if voters take part in Sunday’s referendum, they could face 10 to 15 years in prison.

Around midday on June 25, Zelaya and thousands of civilian supporters left the presidential palace in city buses and headed to the Air Force base and successfully recovered from the military the ballot boxes needed for the vote.

The proposal to draft a new constitution, via establishing a constituent assembly, is the culmination of a series of positive measures undertaken during Zelaya’s presidency.

These include: a raise in the minimum wage; measures to re-nationalise energy generation plants and the telephone system; signing a bill that improves working conditions for teachers; joining the Venezuelan Petrocaribe program that provides soft loans for development initiatives via petroleum sales; delaying recognition of the new US ambassador after the Bolivian government implicated the US embassy in supporting fascist paramilitary groups destabilising Bolivia; and others.

With popular support for Zelaya growing, and a reported 80% in support, opposition has grown in the economically and politically powerful minority sectors. The president has been blocked from the press, and important events have gone almost unreported.


 

From http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/800/41219

The world condemns Honduras coup, demands elected President Manuel Zelaya returns

 

1 July 2009

 

The Organization of American States (OAS) has unanimously backed President Manuel Zelaya as the only legitimate president of Honduras,

he United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto “clearly and strongly condemns the attempted coup d’etat that is currently unfolding against the democratically elected Government of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras,”
Numerous governments have condemned the coup, including those of Cuba, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and the European Union,

 

Teddy Roosevelt's advice that, "We must drive the special interests out of politics. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains."