CPC(M-L) HOMETML Daily ArchiveLe Marxiste-Léniniste quotidien

June 29, 2009 - No. 127

No to the Coup in Honduras!
Restore the Honduran People's Democratically Elected President Manuel Zelaya!

Supporters of Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya block a street to prevent military trucks
from passing near the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa June 28, 2009.

No to the Coup in Honduras! Restore the Honduran People's Democratically Elected President Manuel Zelaya! - Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
Reflections by Comrade Fidel Castro: A Suicidal Mistake
News on the Coup
Commentary and Updates: Venezuelan Journalist Eva Golinger

For Your Information
Statement by Minister of State Kent

No to the Coup in Honduras!
Restore the Honduran People's Democratically Elected President Manuel Zelaya!

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) vehemently denounces the coup d'etat in Honduras carried out against the democratically elected government of President Manuel Zelaya. This criminal and anti-democratic act of mutiny by the Honduran putschists against the civilian authority must not be permitted to pass! CPC(M-L) calls on the Government of Canada make a clear statement that it rejects the coup and that it will only recognize the government of Manuel Zelaya as the sole representative of the Honduran people.

The coup was carried out in the early morning of June 28 by members of the Honduran military who surrounded the president’s residence, disarmed his security and on pain of death flew him to Costa Rica. A national referendum to convene a constituent assembly to reform the constitution had been scheduled for June 28. Already, the military had given indications of sedition when it declined to obey the civilian authority and distribute materials for the referendum, resulting on June 24 in the dismissal of General Romeo Vasquez and the resignation of the Defense Minister Edmundo Orellana.

CPC(M-L) also denounces the hostile act towards the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, whose ambassadors to Honduras were also kidnapped by the Honduran military on June 28.

Throughout Latin America, the profound desire of the peoples to be masters of their own destiny is flourishing in various ways under favourable conditions created through decades of sacrifice and dedication, and inspired by the examples of Bolivar, Marti, various national patriotic traditions and the internationalist spirit of the Cuban revolution. The hidebound anti-national and reactionary forces in Honduras and elsewhere in the Americas believe history has ended and the world is theirs to make. Thus, while the world changes they can only see their "future" in the old arrangements of corruption and violence where the people's will and social organization can be simply undone with nefarious methods of coups and assassinations. It must not pass!

Down with the Coup in Honduras!
Uphold the Sovereign Will of the Honduran People and Their Government!
Canada Must Demand the Immediate Return of President Manuel Zelaya!

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Reflections by Comrade Fidel Castro

A Suicidal Mistake

Three days ago, in the evening of Thursday 25th, I wrote in my Reflections: "We do not know what will happen tonight or tomorrow in Honduras, but the courageous behavior adopted by Zelaya will go down in history."

Two paragraphs before I had indicated that: "The situation that might result from whatever occurs in that country will be a test for the OAS and the current U.S. administration."

The prehistoric Inter-American institution met in Washington the following day and in a halfhearted and spiritless resolution promised to immediately make the necessary efforts to bring about harmony between the contending parties; that is, a negotiation between the putschists and the Constitutional President of Honduras.

The high ranking military chief who was still in command of the Honduran Armed Forces was making public statements different from the President's position while recognizing his authority in a merely formal way.

The putschists needed barely anything else from the OAS. They couldn't care less for the presence of a large number of international observers who had traveled to that country to bear witness to a referendum and who had been talking with Zelaya until late into the night. Today, before dawn, they launched on the President's home about 200 well-trained and equipped professional troops who roughly set aside the members of the Guard of Honor and kidnapped Zelaya -- who was sleeping at the moment -- taking him to an air base and forcibly putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.

At 8:30 a.m. we learned from Telesur of the assault on the Presidential House and the kidnapping. The President was unable to attend the initial activity related to the referendum that was to take place this Sunday and his whereabouts were unknown.

The official television channel was silenced. They wanted to prevent the early spread of the news of the treacherous action through Telesur and Cubavision Internacional, which were reporting the events. Therefore, they first suspended the broadcasting centers and then cut off electricity to the entire country. At the moment, the Supreme Court and the Congress involved in the conspiracy had yet to make public the decisions that justified the plot. They first carried out the indescribable military coup and then legalized it.

The people woke up to a fait accompli and started to react with growing indignation. Zelaya's destination was unknown. Three hours later the people's reaction was such that we could see women punching soldiers with their fists and the latter's weapons falling off their hands as they were nervous and confused. At the beginning, their movements resembled a strange combat with ghosts; later, they tried to cover Telesur's cameras with their hands and nervously aimed their guns at the reporters. Sometimes, when the people advanced the troops stepped back. At this point, armored vehicles carrying cannons and machineguns were sent in as the people fearlessly discussed with the crews of the armored vehicles. The people's reaction was amazing.

Approximately at 2:00 in the afternoon, a tamed majority in Congress -- in coordination with the putschists -- toppled Zelaya, the Constitutional President of Honduras, and appointed a new head of State [president of the Honduran Congress, Roberto Micheletti], announcing to the world that the former had resigned and showing a forged signature. A few minutes later, from an airport in Costa Rica, Zelaya related everything that had happened and categorically refuted the news about his resignation. The plotters had placed themselves in a ridiculous situation in the eyes of the world.

Many other things happened today. Cubavision took all of its time to expose the coup and keep our people informed.

Some events were purely fascist in nature and even if expected they are still astonishing.

Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was the putschists' main target, second only to Zelaya. Another detachment was sent to her residence. She was brave and determined, and she acted quickly; she did not waste time and started denouncing the coup in every way possible. Our ambassador contacted Patricia to learn about the situation; other ambassadors did likewise. At a given moment, she asked the diplomatic representatives of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with her since she was being fiercely hounded and required diplomatic protection. Our ambassador, who from the first moments was authorized to offer the minister all the constitutional and legal support, proceeded to visit her in her own residence.

When the diplomats were already in her house, the putschist command sent Major Oceguera to put her under arrest. The diplomats stood between the woman and the officer and claimed she was under diplomatic protection and could only be moved accompanied by them. Oceguera discussed with them in a respectful fashion. A few minutes later, 12 or 15 men in uniform and covering their faces with ski masks rushed into the house. The three ambassadors embraced Patricia but the masked men using force managed to separate the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan ambassadors; Hernandez held her so strongly by one arm that the masked men dragged them both to a van and drove to an air base where they finally separated him and took her away. As he was there in custody, Bruno [Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla], who had news of the kidnapping called him to the cell phone; one of the masked men tried to violently snatch the phone out of his hands and the Cuban ambassador, who had already been punched in Patricia's home, shouted: "Don't push me, cojones!" I don't remember if the term was ever used by Cervantes, but there is no doubt that ambassador Juan Carlos Hernandez has enriched our language.

Later, he was abandoned in a road far from the Cuban mission not before being warned that something worse could happen to him if he talked. "Nothing can be worse than death," he answered with dignity, "and still I'm not afraid of you." Then people from the area helped him to return to the embassy and from there he immediately called Bruno again.

There is no way to negotiate with that putschist high command. They must be asked to abdicate while other younger officers, uninvolved with the oligarchy, take charge of the military command; otherwise, there will never be in Honduras a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

There is no hope for the cornered and isolated putschists if the problem is faced with determination.

Even Mrs. Clinton stated this afternoon that Zelaya is the only President of Honduras and the Honduran putschists can't even breathe without the support of the United States of America.

Zelaya, a man who was in his pyjamas just a few hours ago, will be recognized by the world as the only Constitutional President of Honduras.

Fidel Castro Ruz
June 28, 2009
6:14 p.m.

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News on the Coup

Zelaya Confirms He Is in Costa Rica

President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya confirmed he is in Costa Rica, as he was kidnapped by Honduran military officers, who dragged him from his residence.

During a telephone contact with [Venezuelan TV network] Telesur, Zelaya made clear he continues in his post, he did not request political asylum and intends to attend a meeting of Central American presidents scheduled for Managua, Nicaragua, to condemn the coup in his nation and demand the restoration of constitutional order.

Zelaya called on the Honduran people, their social organizations and unions to unite and fight peacefully for their rights, without violence, through civil disobedience.

"The leaders of the armed forces have deceived me, they have offended me, they stormed my house early morning, breaking the door," he explained. "It is a brutal kidnapping that they have done against me, with no justification but our desire to do good to Honduras and install a participative democratic process."

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (left) with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias during a news conference at Juan Santamaria airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, June 28, 2009.

He said that today "we were scheduled to carry out a non-binding referendum, as any other international pollster usually does."

The objective was to know the people's opinion about the possibility to vote in November in favour or against convening a Constituent Assembly in the future and reform the Constitution.

This cannot justify the interruption of democracy or the coup, stated Zelaya.

We have no way to communicate with the people because radio and TV broadcasts were shut down, and they cut the power, he stated.

The people has the right to resist if their rights are violated, as established in article three of the Constitution, he noted.

In Zelaya's opinion, the coup has been perpetrated by a voracious elite with power, influence in the State and in the national economy, a small group that is distant from the stand of many Armed Forces soldiers and officers.

Hondurans Urged to Resist Coup

People cast symbolic votes as a show of support for Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya on the streets near the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa. Honduras, June 28, 2009. One man shows
his identity card after voting symbolically.

Speaking to Venezuelan TV network Telesur prior to being kidnapped, Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas called on the people to take to the streets to resist the coup perpetrated against President Manuel Zelaya.

Only the people's struggle will make the return to institutional normalcy possible, said Rodas, who accused the National Congress and the Armed Forces of being behind the coup and threatening the life of the president.

In remarks to Telesur, the top Honduran diplomat held responsible the powerful groups who own the media, especially president of Congress Roberto Micheletti.

She also confirmed that in her capacity as Foreign minister, she officially requested an urgent meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States to condemn the coup and adopt measures to restore constitutional order:

"From the OAS we will only accept as valid its condemnation of seditious forces plotting against the rule of law and the people, and the demand to return to constitutional normalcy and return the kidnapped president home.

"We hope the OAS won't turn its back on the Honduran people as has happened in the past and fails to recognize any other government that they may try to establish illegally here.

"Under no circumstance will we allow the coup; the people will resort to the constitutional prerogative to do battle when their rights are violated.

All radio stations and other media were shut down by the plotters, who also cut the power in the city, she said. They are trying to make people believe that nothing has happened; not a single media organization owned by the oligarchy is broadcasting information of what is being going on, she added.

The people continue taking to the streets, as it is there where we will wage popular resistance, she said.

Rodas said that helicopters and planes were flying over the capital,to terrify the people, and there was fear that telephone communications might be shut down too; we are trying to contact embassies, but it has not been possible so far, she said.

The U.S. Embassy was not answering calls or making any comment, added Rodas.

Prensa Latina reported that TV Channel 36, Channel 8, Maya TV and several radio stations were shut down. Just seconds before TV broadcast was lost, the Channel 8 news presenter requested the people to gather at La Libertad square to defend their president.

Venezuelan, Cuban, and Nicaraguan Ambassadors to Honduras Kidnapped

Following the kidnapping of President Zelaya, Honduran military personnel also kidnapped the ambassadors of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in Honduras, along with the Honduran Foreign Relations Minister Patricia Rodas, according to Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton.

Chaderton made the announcement just before noon on Sunday during an emergency meeting of the OAS in Washington that was convened to respond to the military coup d'etat underway in Honduras.

"Excuse the interruption, it is an urgent matter. I have just received information in this moment that the ambassadors of Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, and Foreign Relations Minister Patricia Rodas have been kidnapped by a group of hooded military agents," said Chaderton.

Rodas confirmed the kidnapping in a hurried phone call to the Caracas-based television channel Telesur as the kidnapping was underway, according to Telesur.

Caracas, Venezuela, June 28, 2009: Demonstrators hold a placard as they take part in a show of support for
Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya outside the Honduran embassy. The placard reads: "Hondurans, do not let them (succeed in the coup)." Chavez on Sunday put his troops on alert over a coup in Honduras.

OAS Calls Urgent Meeting on Honduras

The Organization of American States called an urgent meeting of its Permanent Council on Sunday to discuss the coup d'etat in Honduras, where a group of military officers kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya.

The meeting, convened by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, was scheduled for 15:00 local time.

UN Condemns Coup in Honduras

UN General Assembly President and former Nicarguan foreign minister Miguel D'Escoto, condemned on June 28 in a clear, decisive and sharp manner the coup against the Honduran constitutional president Manuel Zelaya. D'Escoto has summoned an immediate meeting of his crisis cabinet for an urgent meeting in his office at the UN to evaluate the current situation in the Central American nation, his official spokesperson, Enrique Yeves told Prensa Latina.

"The situation is worrying because unfortunately in Latin America we still recall the sound of sabres in the barracks," according to D'Escoto's statements quoted by Yeves.

Expressing his deep concern over the way rule of law was being violated, the President of the General Assembly said, "That is a reality which we thought was ousted in the 21st Century and, nevertheless, these incidents in Honduras indicate the contrary." He also demanded that the physical security of President Zelaya be ensured.

D'Escoto's official spokesperson also pointed out that the General Assembly crisis cabinet condemns any destabilizing attempt against people's sovereignty in Honduras.

The President of the UN General Assembly said everything possible must be done so that Honduras returns to democratic normality, legality is respected in that country and above all the popular decision to affirm democratic rights is not stopped. He called upon the presidents of Central America, Latin America, the Caribbean and the world to "immediately speak out against the attempted coup and in solidarity with the constitutional president of Honduras."

U.S. Urged to Condemn Coup in Honduras

D'Escoto also called on U.S. President Barack Obama to immediately condemn the military coup. In his appeal to Obama, D'Escoto referred to the U.S. president's statements in the recent Summit of the Americas regarding his new Latin America policy. "Many are wondering whether this attempted coup is part of that new policy, given that it is well known that the Honduran army has a history of total submission to the United States," the General Assembly president commented.

That is why it is essential that Obama -- in order to leave no room for doubt -- immediately condemn the coup being carried out against President Zelaya, D'Escoto said. The "only solution to the current crisis is to immediately restore Zelaya to his office and the powers that popular sovereignty has granted him through the ballot box," he said, adding that "no other alternative would be acceptable to the international community."

European Union Condemns Military Coup in Honduras

The European Union is condemning the military coup in Honduras and calling for the immediate return of the deposed president. A statement released by the EU's 27 foreign ministers described the overthrow of Zelaya as an "unacceptable violation of the constitutional order in Honduras."

The statement says the bloc wants his immediate release and "a return to constitutional normality."

Non-Aligned Movement Statement - June 28, 2009

The Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), expresses its strongest denunciation and condemnation of the brutal coup d'état carried out in the early hours of this morning against the Constitutional President of the Republic of Honduras, a sister nation that is full member of the Movement.

President Manuel Zelaya, legitimately elected by the Honduran people, was brutally kidnapped by a group of pro-coup military and expelled from the country, in an attempt to prevent, through violence, the realization of the democratic referendum to be held today in the Republic of Honduras.

Likewise, the Chair of the Coordinating Bureau denounces the kidnapping of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Honduras, H.E. Mrs. Patricia Rodas, and demands her immediate release and respect for her personal safety and integrity. The Armed Forces of that country are responsible for the life and dignity of the Foreign Minister.

The Chair of the Coordinating Bureau condemns also the outrage against several Ambassadors accredited to Honduras, including the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, who were kidnapped and beaten, by those who took part in the coup.

The Chair of the Coordinating Bureau strongly calls upon all countries, international organizations and other members of the international community, to firmly condemn the military coup d'état and call for the reinstatement of the Rule of Law in the Republic of Honduras, including the return and full reinstatement of its legitimate and constitutional President Mr. José Manuel Zelaya.

New York, 28 June 2009

Venezuelan Foreign Minister: Latin America Has to Guarantee the Defeat of the Coup in Honduras - Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, June 28, 2009

Venezuelan foreign minister, Nicolás Maduro Moros, said Sunday, from Miraflores Presidential Palace, that Latin America must guarantee the defeat of the coup d'etat against the President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya and try those responsible.

"Latin America has to guarantee the defeat of this coup d'etat and also has to demand, without conditions, the reestablishment of President Manuel Zelaya and ensure justice is done to the fullest extent so that the rabid ultra-right gets a clear message, that they cannot take swipes at the democratic processes that the people are carrying forward," Foreign Minister Maduro expressed.

Minister Maduro said that it is clear that those responsible for this military coup, "those who have not shown their faces, but who will be discovered in the end, should be submitted to international justice for violating the democratic Charter and the constitutional rights of the Honduran people."

"Sooner or later," the Venezuelan foreign minister indicated, "the people accompanied by the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean are going to defeat this coup, fomented by these fascists who kidnapped president Zelaya, and his principle collaborators and who continue to hold captive the [Honduran] foreign minister Patricia Rodas."

The Venezuelan diplomat announced that today had been a day of intense consultation in order to convoke various international scenarios, where the situation could be analyzed, among those, a meeting of member countries of the Rio Group, "we have direct contact with the foreign ministers from Central America and of the Bolivarian Alliance for Our Americas (ALBA), as well as diverse political and social actors in Honduras. We know that the people remain in the streets in a very valiant manner, resisting, confronting this coup d'etat that is a direct expression of the oligarchy and [private] media."

He stressed that a Venezuelan commission has been activated in Costa Rica supporting the president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, "we are in contact for the convocation of this Presidential Summit in Managua that is going to coincide with the summit of the System of Central American Integration (SICA)."

The Venezuelan foreign minister emphasized that the media is justifying the coup, "today they [the media] awoke in silence so that no one would be informed [of the coup]. It was [the Venezuelan-based] Telesur, that broke the media dictatorship, the media dictators of the Honduran oligarchy and the continental oligarchy tried to impose silence."

"We remain in contact with, we have spoken recently with a senator from Chile and with other parliamentarians who are observers in the poll [in Honduras], and they told us that people continue voting until late afternoon hours as a form of expression and of support for the democracy of president Zelaya," he said. He pointed out that there is a large concentration in front of the Honduran presidential palace, "the rumours are running that they are going to decree a state of siege, but the people of Honduras are disposed to confront all the measures that this rookie dictatorship aims to impose."

(Venezuelan Foreign Ministry item translated for Venezuelanalysis.com by Kiraz Janicke. Other sources: Prensa Latina, Venezuelanalysis.com, Associated Press)

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Commentary and Updates from
Venezuelan Journalist Eva Golinger

June 28, 2009, Caracas, Venezuela -- The text message that beeped on my cell phone this morning read "Alert, Zelaya has been kidnapped, coup d'etat underway in Honduras, spread the word." It's a rude awakening for a Sunday morning, especially for the millions of Hondurans that were preparing to exercise their sacred right to vote today for the first time on a consultative referendum concerning the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform the constitution. Supposedly at the center of the controversy is today's scheduled referendum, which is not a binding vote but merely an opinion poll to determine whether or not a majority of Hondurans desire to eventually enter into a process to modify their constitution.

Such an initiative has never taken place in the Central American nation, which has a very limited constitution that allows minimal participation by the people of Honduras in their political processes. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the Reagan Administration's dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure those in power, both economic and political, would retain it with little interference from the people. Zelaya, elected in November 2005 on the platform of Honduras' Liberal Party, had proposed the opinion poll be conducted to determine if a majority of citizens agreed that constitutional reform was necessary. He was backed by a majority of labor unions and social movements in the country. If the poll had occured, depending on the results, a referendum would have been conducted during the upcoming elections in November to vote on convening a constitutional assembly. Nevertheless, today's scheduled poll was not binding by law.

In fact, several days before the poll was to occur, Honduras' Supreme Court ruled it illegal, upon request by the Congress, both of which are led by anti-Zelaya majorities and members of the ultra-conservative party, National Party of Honduras (PNH). This move led to massive protests in the streets in favor of President Zelaya. On June 24, the president fired the head of the high military command, General Romeo Vásquez, after he refused to allow the military to distribute the electoral material for Sunday's elections. General Romeo Vásquez held the material under tight military control, refusing to release it even to the president's followers, stating that the scheduled referendum had been determined illegal by the Supreme Court and therefore he could not comply with the president's order. As in the Unted States, the president of Honduras is Commander in Chief and has the final say on the military's actions, and so he ordered the General's removal. The Minister of Defense, Angel Edmundo Orellana, also resigned in response to this increasingly tense situation.

But the following day, Honduras' Supreme Court reinstated General Romeo Vásquez to the high military command, ruling his firing as "unconstitutional'. Thousands poured into the streets of Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, showing support for President Zelaya and evidencing their determination to ensure Sunday's non-binding referendum would take place. On Friday, the president and a group of hundreds of supporters, marched to the nearby air base to collect the electoral material that had been previously held by the military. That evening, Zelaya gave a national press conference along with a group of politicians from different political parties and social movements, calling for unity and peace in the country.

As of Saturday, the situation in Honduras was reported as calm. But early Sunday morning, a group of approximately 60 armed soldiers entered the presidential residence and took Zelaya hostage. After several hours of confusion, reports surfaced claiming the president had been taken to a nearby air force base and flown to neighboring Costa Rica.[...]

President Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, speaking live on Telesur at approximately 10:00am Caracas time, denounced that in early hours of Sunday morning, the soldiers stormed their residence, firing shots throughout the house, beating and then taking the president. "It was an act of cowardice," said the first lady, referring to the illegal kidnapping occuring during a time when no one would know or react until it was all over. Castro de Zelaya also called for the "preservation" of her husband's life [...] and made a call for the international community to denounce this illegal coup d'etat and to act rapidly to reinstate constitutional order in the country, which includes the rescue and return of the democratically elected Zelaya.

Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela both made public statements on Sunday morning condeming the coup d'etat in Honduras and calling on the international community to react to ensure democracy is restored and the constitutional president is reinstated. Last Wednesday, June 24, an extraordinary meeting of the member nations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), of which Honduras is a member, was convened in Venezuela to welcome Ecuador, Antigua & Barbados and St. Vincent to its ranks. During the meeting, which was attended by Honduras' Foreign Minister, Patricia Rodas, a statement was read supporting President Zelaya and condenming any attempts to undermine his mandate and Honduras' democratic processes.

Reports coming out of Honduras have informed that the public television channel, Canal 8, has been shut down by the coup forces. Just minutes ago, Telesur announced that the military in Honduras is shutting down all electricity throughout the country. Those television and radio stations still transmitting are not reporting the coup d'etat or the kidnapping of President Zelaya, according to Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas. "Telephones and electricity are being cut off," confirmed Rodas just minutes ago via Telesur. "The media are showing cartoons and soap operas and are not informing the people of Honduras about what is happening." The situation is eerily reminiscent of the April 2002 coup d'etat against President Chávez in Venezuela, when the media played a key role by first manipulating information to support the coup and then later blacking out all information when the people began protesting and eventually overcame and defeated the coup forces, rescuing Chávez (who had also been kidnapped by the military) and restoring constitutional order.

Honduras is a nation that has been the victim of dictatorships and massive U.S. intervention during the past century, including several military invasions. The last major U.S. government intervention in Honduras occured during the 1980s, when the Reagain Administration funded death squads and paramilitaries to eliminate any potential "communist threats" in Central America. At the time, John Negroponte, was the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras and was responsible for directly funding and training Honduran death squads that were responsable for thousands of disappeared and assassinated throughout the region.

On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS), convened a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Honduras, later issuing a statement condeming the threats to democracy and authorizing a convoy of representatives to travel to investigate further. Nevertheless, on Friday, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Phillip J. Crowley, refused to clarify the U.S. government's position in reference to the potential coup against President Zelaya, and instead issued a more ambiguous statement that implied Washington's support for the opposition to the Honduran president. While most other Latin American governments had clearly indicated their adamant condemnation of the coup plans underway in Honduras and their solid support for Honduras' constitutionally elected president, Manual Zelaya, the U.S. spokesman stated the following, "We are concerned about the breakdown in the political dialogue among Honduran politicians over the proposed June 28 poll on constitutional reform. We urge all sides to seek a consensual democratic resolution in the current political impasse that adheres to the Honduran constitution and to Honduran laws consistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter."

[... Honduras] is highly dependent on the U.S. economy, which ensures one of its top sources of income, the monies sent from Hondurans working in the U.S. under the "temporary protected status" program that was implemented during Washington's dirty war in the 1980s as a result of massive immigration to U.S. territory to escape the war zone. Another major source of funding in Honduras is USAID, providing over U.S.$ 50 millon annually for "democracy promotion" programs, which generally supports NGOs and political parties favorable to U.S. interests, as has been the case in Venezuela, Bolivia and other nations in the region. The Pentagon also maintains a military base in Honduras in Soto Cano, equipped with approximately 500 troops and numerous air force combat planes and helicopters.

[...] The modus operandi of the coup makes clear that Washington is involved. Neither the Honduran military, which is majority trained by U.S. forces, nor the political and economic elite, would act to oust a democratically elected president without the backing and support of the U.S. government. President Zelaya has increasingly come under attack by the conservative forces in Honduras for his growing relationship with the ALBA countries, and particularly Venezuela and President Chávez. Many believe the coup has been executed as a method of ensuring Honduras does not continue to unify with the more leftist and socialist countries in Latin America.

As of 11:15am, Caracas time, President Zelaya is speaking live on Telesur from San Jose, Costa Rica. He has verified the soldiers entered his residence in the early morning hours, firing guns and threatening to kill him and his family if he resisted the coup. He was forced to go with the soldiers who took him to the air base and flew him to Costa Rica. He has requested the U.S. Government make a public statement condemning the coup, otherwise, it will indicate their compliance.

12:00 noon: The Organization of American States is meeting in an emergency session in Washington concerning the situation in Honduras and the kidnapping of Honduras' president. Venezuelan Ambassador to the OAS, Roy Chaderton, just announced that the ambassadors of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua in Honduras have just been kidnapped along with Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas, and are being beaten by Honduran military forces.

President Obama has made a statement regarding his "concern" for the situation in Honduras and a call to all political leaders and parties to "respect democratic norms." However, this statement is NOT a clear condemnation of the coup d'etat that has taken place during the early morning hours on Sunday. Nor did Obama indicate, as other countries have done, that Washington would not recognize any other government in Honduras other than the elected government of Manual Zelaya.

Opposition forces in Honduras, led by a U.S.-funded NGO Grupo Paz y Democracia, have stated via CNN that a coup has not ocurred, but rather a "transition" to democracy. Martha Diaz, coordinator of the NGO, which receives USAID funding, has just declared minutes ago on CNN that "civil society" does not support President Zelaya nor his "illegal quest" to hold a non-binding referendum on a potential future constitutional reform. She justified his kidnapping, beating and removal from power as a "democratic transition." Again, this is eerily reminiscent of the coup d'etat in Venezuela in April 2002, when so-called "civil society" along with dissident military forces kidnapped President Chávez and installed a "transition government." The groups involved also received funding from the U.S. government, primarily via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and later from USAID as well.

CNN en Español, Telesur, and other international television stations reporting on the situation in Honduras have been removed from the airways in the Central American nation. The whereabouts of the Foreign Minister and the ambassadors of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua are still unknown. OAS General Secretary José Miguel Insulze has announced he will travel immediately to Honduras to investigate the situation. President Chávez of Venezuela has also announced an emergency meeting of ALBA nations in Managua, Nicaragua, as soon as this evening.

12:18pm -- Dan Restrepo, Presidential Advisor to President Obama for Latin American Affairs, is currently on CNN en Español. He has just stated that Obama's government is communicating with the coup forces in Honduras, trying to "feel out" the situation. He also responded to the reporter's question regarding whether Washington would recognize a government in Honduras other than President Zelaya's elected government, by saying that the Obama Administration "is waiting to see how things play out" and so long as democratic norms are respected, will work with all sectors. This is a confirmation practically of support for the coup leaders. Restrepo also inferred that other countries are interfering in Honduras' international affairs, obviously referring to Venezuela and other ALBA nations who have condemned the coup with firm statements earlier this morning.

4:10pm: If Obama Does Not Refuse to Recognize Coup Leaders then U.S. Approving Military Coup

AS of this time, late Sunday afternoon, after the Honduran Congress has illegally removed President Zelaya from power and violently kidnapped and forced him into exile in Costa Rica, the Obama Administration has STILL NOT stated that it WILL NOT recognize any other president of Honduras other than the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.

All of the nations in the region have made clear that they will only recognize President Zelaya as the legitimate president of Honduras. Even the United Nations and European Community have made clear the same sentiment. Only the Obama Administration has made no statement confirming that it will not recognize the head of Congress, who just declared himself president of Honduras, as a legitimate leader.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! We must DEMAND the Obama Administration refuse to recognize any other president than Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. If the Obama administration's rejects such a demand, then it is evidence of its role in this illegal military coup.

4:32pm: Massive Human Rights Violations Underway in Honduras

The Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, elected in November 2005, has been kidnapped, beaten and forced into exile in Costa Rica. A fake letter of resignation, with his forged signature (see blog entry below), was used by Honduras' opposition majority Congress to justify the president's ouster. Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was brutally beaten and kidnapped by military forces in her residence just before noon and taken into custody. She has not been seen since.

In complete violation of diplomatic law, the ambassadors of Venezuela and Cuba were both beaten and kidnapped for a short period by Honduran soldiers, under orders of the coup leaders. They have both been released and have taken refuge again in their respective embassies.

A non-binding vote, scheduled for today, on a possible future constitutional assembly, was impeded by the coup leaders, violating the Honduran people's right to vote and participate in their political processes.

Nations around the world, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, Latin American countries and even the United States have condemned the events in Honduras. Only the Obama Administration has yet to clarify whether they will recognize the illegal coup government led by the president of Honduras' congress, Micheletti.

5:00pm: Illegal Swearing in of De Facto President in Honduras

Right now the Honduran Congress is illegally swearing in the president of Congress, Micheletti, as the de facto president of Honduras, in the next development of this ongoing military-civil coup taking place throughout the day.

President Zelaya is still in forced exile in Costa Rica, after being beaten and kidnapped by soldiers under orders of those involved in the coup. Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas is still disappeared, after also being beaten and taking prisoner by the Honduran military in clear violation of her rights.

The United States maintains a military base in Soto Cano, Honduras, that houses approximately 500 soldiers and special forces. The U.S. military group in Honduras is one of the largest in U.S. Embassies in the region. The leaders of the coup today are graduates of the U.S. School of the Americas, a training camp for dictators and repressive forces in Latin America.

Will the Obama Administration recognize the coup government in place now in Honduras? Or will Obama call for the reinstatement of constitutional president Manuel Zelaya. We are waiting to hear from the White House....

Tonight, a special meeting of ALBA nations has been convened in Managua, Nicaragua. Heads of state or high level representatives from Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Dominica, San Vincent and Antigua and Barbados are expected to attend.

5:37pm: Coup Government in Place in Honduras

It's official, illegal, but official. Roberto Micheletti, up until right now the head of Congress, has just been sworn in as de facto president after violently ousting President Zelaya from power, kidnapping him and forcing him into exile in Costa Rica. Micheletti just gave a speech before Congress, broadcast live via CNN en Español and Telesur, along with Honduran stations, was enraged with power, often yelling and declaring his "utmost respect for democracy and the constitution" (?!) He also discussed how his "cabinet" which he is about to announce, will "restore democracy" and "respect for the constitution" to the country. He repeated over and over again that what took place was not a military-civil coup but rather a "civil society" action to "ensure democracy."

Still no word about kidnapped and beaten Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas' whereabouts. The Congress also did not explain President Zelaya's beating and kidnapping and forced exile or the forged resignation letter, which they now obviously are no longer using as a legitimate "justification" for the coup. It's just too bogus.

BTW, The U.S. Military Group in Honduras trains around 300 Honduran soldiers every year, provides more than $500,000 annually to the Honduran Armed Forces and additionally provides $1.4 million for a military education and exchange program for around 300 more Honduran soldiers every year.

6:54pm: OAS Has Just Condemned Coup in Honduras, Calls for Zelaya's Reinstatement

In a major blow to the coup leaders in Honduras who just illegally installed themselves in power, the Organization of American States (OAS) has just issued a resolution condemning the coup against President Zelaya, demanding the return of Zelaya to power immediately and clarifying that the OAS will not recognize any government other than Zelaya's in Honduras. Whew! For a minute there I thought this was going to turn out like Haiti in 2004 when coup forces kidnapped President Aristide and forced him into exile and, while the OAS "condemned" the constitutional rupture, they never called for Aristide's reinstatement, and since the U.S. backed the coup, an illegal transitional government was installed and nothing more came of it from the international community.

This time, things seem different. Still waiting on the U.S. Government's official position...If they say they will not recognize the coup government, then we have to see how things will play out in Honduras.

7:40pm: OAS Resolution Should Imply U.S. Condemnation

Since the Obama Administration has stated the coup situation in Honduras should be resolved via the OAS, and the OAS has just condemned the coup and called for the unconditional restoration of President Zelaya to power, that should also imply that the U.S. Government shares the same position.

Some rumors are flying around that two U.S. government reps have made statements to the effect of Obama not recognizing the coup government in Honduras, but not wanting to "get involved" and to "wait" for the coup government to decide it is illegitimate by analyzing the OAS decision.

I think a clear coup d'etat against a democratic government that also happens to be a major dependent on U.S. economic and political aid should provoke a more firm and concise statement by the U.S. Government.

Tomorrow the State Dept will have to respond to questions about the coup.

12:26am: Alba Countries Meeting in Nicaragua with President Zelaya

The ALBA nations have been convened for a special meeting in Managua, Nicaragua. Presidents Chávez of Venezuela, Correa of Ecuador and Ortega of Nicaragua are present, along with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. President Zelaya of Honduras, ousted earlier this morning by a military-civil coup, is the guest of honor. Zelaya gave a recount of his kidnapping, saying machine guns opened fire on his residence this morning before soldiers kidnapped him and placed him on the presidential airplane. He didn't know where he was going until he arrived in Costa Rica. Apparently, the Costa Rican government was notified as Zelaya's plane was landing. The ALBA countries have clearly condemned the coup in Honduras today and are meeting to such effect.

The OAS declaration was also quite clear in condemning the coup and calling for President Zelaya's immediate reinstatement to power. Nevertheless, the coup government in Honduras has refused to respond to the calls of the international community to restore Zelaya to power. They continue to insist a coup has not taken place, but rather a "transition" to "democracy." (?!).

Two State Dept spokespeople have given a press conference and indicated, still a bit ambiguously, that the U.S. Govt is calling for Zelaya's reinstatement and only recognizes him as the constitutional president of Honduras. [...]

June 29, 1:00am: U.S. Confirms It Knew Coup Was Coming

A New York Times article has just confirmed that the U.S. Government has been "working for several days" with the coup planners in Honduras to halt the illegal overthrow of President Zelaya. While this may indicate nobility on behalf of the Obama Administration, had they merely told the coupsters that the U.S. Government would CUT OFF all economic aid and blockade Honduras in the event of a coup, it's almost a 100% guarantee that the military and right wing parties and business groups involved in the coup would not have gone through with it.

So, while many make excuses for the Obama Administration's "calculated" statements, had they been more firm with the coup leaders, instead of "negotiating," the coup may never have happened. Also, the State Department says they believed "dialogue" was the best way to resolve the situation, but their lack of clarity and firm position has caused multiple human rights violations to occur in Honduras and a lot of tension to take place in the region.

And during the April 2002 coup against Chávez in Venezuela, the State Department also claimed it knew of the coup and tried to "stop" it. Later, in my investigations, it was discovered through documents from State and CIA declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that CIA, State and other U.S. agencies, funded, supported, advised and armed the coup leaders....

10:32am: Mass Repression in the Streets

Last night, the coup government de facto president in Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, spoke live in a television interview (the only television station left open in Honduras, the others have been shut down by the military), and reinforced his determination to remain in power. He said he would allow President Zelaya to return to the country -- not as president, but as a citizen -- only if he renounces his relationship with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Micheletti also said he didn't need the approval of any nation -- including the U.S. -- regarding his position in power and the "new government" in place in Honduras. Despite all of the condemnations from the international community, Micheletti has said his coup government will not step down.

Today there are several meetings in Nicaragua -- the Rio Group is meeting (comprised of all Latin American and Caribbean nations), ALBA countries have been meeting since last night (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominica, St. Vicent, Antigua and Barbados and Honduras) and the Central American nations are also all going to meet later today to discuss the situation in Honduras.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has made a statement unilaterally condemning the coup in Honduras and calling for President Zelaya's immediate reinstatement. All have said so far they will only recognize Zelaya as the legitimate president of Honduras.

Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas has been released by the coup military officers who beat and detained her. She was forced into exile in Mexico, where she is now and is expected to fly later today with Mexican president Felipe Calderon to Nicaragua.

The coup government in Honduras has issued arrest warrants for members of Zelaya's cabinet that are still in the country. There is widespread repression throughout the country. A curfew was imposed by the coup government last night at 9pm to 6am this morning and the military have thoroughly barricaded the presidential palace to prevent protesters from getting close.

Television, press and radio in Honduras are not reporting AT ALL on the coup and President Zelaya's whereabouts. As they did during the April 2002 against Chávez in Venezuela, television stations are showing soap operas and regular programming, print media is not mentioning the coup at all and neither is radio. There is a MAJOR BLACKOUT on information in Honduras.

No longer is the coup in Honduras making international headlines. Seems like the international media doesn't really care that a military coup has just occurred in Honduras and the president was kidnapped, beaten and forced into exile. Nor are they reporting that for the first time ever, all multilateral organisms, like the OAS, UN, European Community, ALBA, UNASUR, etc, have all condemned the coup and convened emergency meetings to discuss solutions.

This afternoon, President Obama meets with President Uribe of Colombia, in a previously scheduled meeting, and will most likely make statements regarding the situation in Honduras.

Nevertheless, it seems like in the particular coup scenario, Obama has lost control. The US Military Group and Embassy in Honduras have been directly involved with the coup leaders. USAID and the Pentagon have backed this coup, there is just really no question. The Honduran military would never have moved with consent from their commanding officers, the US Military Group in Honduras and those stationed on the Soto Cano base.

11:17am: Violence in Front of the Presidential Palace in Honduras

Alert: There is an irregular situation occurring outside the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Soldiers in riot gear are surrounding the palace, preparing for the coup leaders arrival. But the soldiers are not there to prevent the coup leaders from entering the palace, rather to facilitate their entry and the prevent protesters from nearing the palace grounds. The soldiers are in full riot gear with major weapons on hand and a potential major violent repression is about to occur.

Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas, previously kidnapped, beaten and forced into midnight exile by the coup leaders is giving declarations from her forced exile in Mexico. She confirmed she will be going together with Mexican president Felipe Calderon to the meetings in Nicaragua today. She reaffirmed the government she represents of President Manuel Zelaya remains the legitimate government of Honduras. President Calderon of Mexico, a right-wing president, has offered his help to dialogue with the coup leaders in Honduras in order to restore constitutional order.

(Originally published as "Obama's First Coup d'Etat," on Venezuelanalysis.com, with additional updates from Chavezcode.com)

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For Your Information

Statement by Minister of State Kent

The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement on the situation in Honduras:

"Canada condemns the coup d'état that took place over the weekend in Honduras, and calls on all parties to show restraint and to seek a peaceful resolution to the present political crisis, which respects democratic norms and the rule of law, including the Honduran Constitution.

"Democratic governance is a central pillar of Canada's enhanced engagement in the Americas, and we are seriously concerned by what has transpired in Honduras.

"We will continue to closely follow developments on the ground. Through our mission to the Organization of American States (OAS), we are also working with hemispheric partners to determine what role the organization can play to help diffuse the situation.

"The Government of Canada encourages Canadians in Honduras to exercise prudence, and for Canadians considering travel to the country to consult Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's travel report, which will be kept updated."

Canadians in Honduras are encouraged to avoid areas of possible confrontation and to register online with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada at www.voyage.gc.ca.

Canadians requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian office in Tegucigalpa at (504) 232-4551 or the Canadian embassy in San José, Costa Rica at (506) 2242-4400. Canadians can also call DFAIT's Emergency Operations Centre by calling collect to 613-996-8885 or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

The travel report for Honduras has been updated and a travel warning against non-essential travel to the capital has been added.

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