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So much for the lifting of the state of siege in Honduras

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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 01:31 AM
Original message
So much for the lifting of the state of siege in Honduras




Several hundred of the resistance this morning demonstrated at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa. Police fired tear gas to disrupt the demonstration. Maybe Shannon and Llorens got a whiff of the gas. :)

The lifting of the state of siege still is not official because it has not been published in the government's Official Gazette.

So the repression continues.

From what little I heard tonight on Radio Globo, no visible progress was made in the "negotiations." The talks seem to be stuck on Point 1, the unconditional restitution of Zelaya to the presidency. Unless there is a major breakthrough tomorrow, the talks could collapse completely.

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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. Magbana: update on the meetings.

>News regarding OAS meeting in Tegucigalpa

Diplomats urge return of ousted Honduran president

By BEN FOX (AP) 50 minutes ago

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Diplomats from around the hemisphere flew into Honduras on Wednesday and told the coup-imposed government to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya and restore democracy to the impoverished Central American country.

We are not here to create a debate. We are here to find concrete solutions to a situation that cannot be prolonged, Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, said as talks began in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya gave the negotiators an ultimatum, calling for the postponement of Nov. 29 presidential elections if he is not restored to office before Oct. 15. That proposal is certain to anger the interim government, which views the elections scheduled before Zelayas June 28 overthrow as the best hope of moving past the crisis.

Insulza presented a proposed agreement that would restore Zelaya as head of a unity government and offer amnesty to both the coup leaders and the deposed president, who faces abuse of power and other charges stemming from his defiance of a court order that he drop a referendum on changing the constitution.

The proposal, which also requires Zelaya to abandon any ambitions to change the constitution, is similar to one proposed months ago by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and rejected by the interim government.

Tensions rose before Wednesdays meeting began as riot police fired tear gas to disperse about 200 Zelaya supporters protesting near the U.S. and Brazilian embassies. Zelaya has been holed up in the Brazilian Embassy since sneaking back into the country from his forced exile.

Delegates from the United States, Canada and eight Latin American countries were mediating negotiations between representatives of Zelaya, who was ousted by the military three months ago, and interim President Roberto Micheletti, who has the support of Honduras Congress and Supreme Court but has faced intense international pressure to allow his predecessors return.

Canadas minister of state for the Americas, Peter Kent, said it was imperative for an agreement to be reached before the November elections, which many countries in the Americas have warned would not be recognized if Zelaya remains out of the power.

I sense that everybody involved understands that we are nearly out of time and this crisis needs to be resolved now, Kent said.

Interim Vice President Marta Lorena Alvarado, however, said she did not expect an agreement Wednesday.

It would be fantastic, but the problem is difficult and there are a lot of players. I dont think it will be today, she said.

She insisted that the world was too quick to condemn Zelaya ouster, which the Micheletti government argues was legal because it had the backing of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Still, she said, the two sides were initiating conversations that had not occurred before and expectations are positive for an eventual resolution.

Micheletti set an optimistic tone in a national address late Tuesday, saying the talks would address with a new spirit the main issues of dispute over the San Jose Accord, the plan originally brokered the Costa Rican president.

I believe the time is right to intensify the national dialogue, he said in the brief speech, without going into specifics.

Zelaya warned that the interim government would seek to persuade the delegates to pursue a new plan that would prevent his return to office.

We warn the ministers that the de facto regime is planning to stay in power longer and to deepen the crisis by preventing the return of the elected president and continuing the repression of the people, Zelaya said in a statement.

Zelaya was forced from office for trying to hold a referendum on rewriting the constitution. His opponents charged he wanted to lift the charters provision limiting presidents to a single term an accusation he denies.

Zelaya has not announced any plans to leave his refuge at the Brazilian Embassy, and he was being represented in the talks by members of his deposed government.


http://hondurasoye.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/honduran-na...
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. President Zelaya is right-this election cannot proceed with the Junta in control.
They have suspended the Constitution and all civil rights. No one can challenge them on any matter without risk of peremptory arrest and worse--up to and including death. They are running a terrorist state, in which some 15 people have been murdered so far (known deaths), thousands have been brutally mistreated (beaten, tear-gassed), no one has the right to speak out, meet, organize or travel, opposition news media have been shut down, and key leftist organizers are in prison, in hiding or dead.

Ideal election circumstances for fascist thugs!

This is WHY the Junta "views the elections...as the best hope of moving past the crisis." They have set up a rigged election--with their henchmen in control of the election machinery (they have purged the government of any supporters of the real president and the rule of law) and their 'brownshirts' threatening voters and political activists.

And the longer these conditions continue, the more impossible it becomes for anybody to oversee a fair and aboveboard election on November 29.

I would say that it is already impossible. The elections should be put off until January and run by entirely by the OAS.

And, frankly, I also think that, given the Junta's utter contempt for the Constitution, the Constitution should be scrapped--as the unions and other grass roots groups have long proposed (this was not just Zelaya's idea), and the vote on forming a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Constitution should go forward, and this time it should be binding. (Zelaya's proposal was merely for an advisory vote.)

Zelaya cannot be a candidate on Nov. 29. He is limited to ONE term--under the current Constitution, which was written by the Reaganites to insure the power of the military and the "ten families" oligarchy, so that no populist president could ever achieve sufficient power to challenge them--a provision that insures continued poverty for the vast majority of people. I wish that this provision in particular could be scrapped immediately. I think Zelaya deserves to be a candidate! He has shown amazing courage and fortitude in defense of the poor and the rule of law. And I doubt that there is any other political figure in the current scene who can hold Honduras together through the change that is coming--a re-ordering of power in Honduras, with the poor majority asserting their rights as citizens, at long last. I don't think this is possible, currently, but I think it would be best.

Honduras' current Constitution contains a very odd and unusual provision banning even DISCUSSION of lifting term limits on the president. We can see Reaganite fingerprints in this--trying, in every way, even by violating free speech rights, to prevent a populist leader from challenging the oligarchy, the military and also the US military presence in Honduras. (I think it's notable that Zelaya proposed converting the US military base at Soto Cano, Honduras, into a commercial airport.) This is the thin grounds upon which the Junta trumped up charges against Zelaya. He never said he wants to run again, but an advisory vote on forming a Constitutional convention holds out the distant possibility that that convention might lift the term limit--and it would certainly DISCUSS lifting it. All provisions of the current Constitution would be subject to discussion, analysis and re-writing.

A limit of ONE term is odd, even absurd. Our own Founders opposed any term limits at all as undemocratic, and did not include them in the US Constitution. (The two-term limit on the US President was rammed through, by Republicans, in the mid-1950s, to prevent a "New Deal" from ever happening here again. FDR had run for, and won, four terms in office, and needed all that time to correct the horrors of the rightwing governments that had caused the Great Depression.)

I am certain--from reading the reports from Honduras at NarcoNews and other forums--that this matter of re-writing the Constitution will continue to be the top agenda item of the teachers' union, and other labor unions, and all of the human rights groups and grass roots groups who have formed the Resistance. So why not face this matter head on? If the people of Honduras want a new Constitution, they should have that discussion. And if a representative body--a Constituent Assembly (constitutional convention)--is formed, as the result of a free and fair vote of the people--and decides to lift the term limit on the president, they have that right.

But I don't see these critical matters being addressed by any of the negotiators. Even Zelaya has been cornered by circumstances (by this fascist Junta) into a narrow position of restoring him to his rightful office for the remainder of his term (til January). Honduras' crying need for fundamental reform is not part of the discussion--at least not in public. Brutally repressing reform is what the Junta is all about. Advocating reform is what Zelaya is all about. Yet the Junta has succeeded in shifting the ground to Zelaya's "crimes." Has he killed anybody? Beaten anybody? Jailed any political prisoners? Tortured anybody? Confined people to their homes? Suspended the Constitution? No! He called for a VOTE on something (--an advisory vote at that!). They are the criminals, yet they get to dictate the terms of negotiating the end of their crimes? It's not right.

It is a positive sign that OAS head Jose Miguel Insulza is in Honduras (the Junta arrogantly barred his entry into the country before) and is overseeing these negotiations. But I have serious doubts about the Arias Accord--if this article is correct, that Insulza is falling back on that document. His first statement in the article is very strong.

We are not here to create a debate. We are here to find concrete solutions to a situation that cannot be prolonged. --Insulza.

But then the article says: "Insulza presented a proposed agreement that would restore Zelaya as head of a unity government and offer amnesty to both the coup leaders and the deposed president, who faces abuse of power and other charges stemming from his defiance of a court order that he drop a referendum on changing the constitution.// The proposal, which also requires Zelaya to abandon any ambitions to change the constitution, is similar to one proposed months ago by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and rejected by the interim government."

"His proposal." It is NOT just his proposal. In fact, I don't think it even originated from him. I think he agreed to champion it in response to the grass roots. And neither he nor the people of Honduras should be forced to abandon it any more than Thomas Jefferson should have been forced to stop writing the Declaration of Independence. It is the right of the People of any country to control the laws by which they are governed. This is ALWAYS open for discussion. No valid Constitution can forbid it. It is THE most fundamental premise of democracy--along with transparent elections.

Perhaps the article has misconstrued what Insulza is advocating--or perhaps Insulza, too, is confined by circumstances to what is possible at present--with a fascist oligarchy in control of the military and the police. But I don't see any reference in this article--or in any article about the current negotiations--that addresses what the PEOPLE OF HONDURAS WANT.

I just noticed that this is an Associated Pukes article. I should have known! I scanned too fast down the page to the url. So that is likely why the people of Honduras are not mentioned. The Associated Pukes don't give a crap what they think.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. This wouldn't be happening had Zelaya not returned.
He deserves a lot of credit for confronting the Pinochettis at such personal risk. They could easily have killed him.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. Only by keeping the media shut down can these people terrorize their country
while imprisoning so many, torturing, killing, conducting political assassinations with impunity. They will continue to do this until the elections are held.

Do you think there's any chance in the world they would REALLY allow Zelaya back to his elected position? If he returned October 15th, it's STILL only 6 weeks to election, and one candidate they had injured so badly by their police he received broken limbs and is in the hospital.

I think we've just seen the beginning of violence to candidates. They will duplicate what we know has happened in Colombia, Guatemala, etc.

Thanks for the information.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. Minimal reference to protest in this article:
Honduras talks start
Published: 3:30PM Thursday October 08, 2009

Source: Reuters


Talks between representatives of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the country's de facto leader began as top envoys insisted the ousted leftist be reinstated and police used tear gas on a protest.

Foreign ministers and diplomats including the head of the Organization of American States are overseeing the highest-level dialogue to take place in the coffee-growing nation since Zelaya was exiled at gunpoint three months ago.

Shortly before the meeting began, police fired volleys of tear gas to clear several hundred people marching past the US Embassy in support of the logging magnate.

Police and soldiers armed with clubs and automatic weapons chased away demonstrators who shouted Help us, OAS.

Two people were injured, one by a rubber bullet and another by a gas canister, a local hospital said.

More:
http://tvnz.co.nz/content/3055365
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. "the logging magnate" "the ousted leftist" eom
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. The logging magnate on the Honduras list of most wanted for drug offenses
... I can't remember the detail but Micheletti appeared on a list of drug traffickers in Honduras, maybe a US list as well.
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