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Index » Regional/Local » Latin America » Honduras
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(former member)

(former member) Avatar

Location: hotel in Las Vegas
Gender: Male


Posted: May 24, 2012 - 8:04pm



Honduras: Which Side Is the US On?

by Dana Frank
The Nation
May 22, 2012

In some ways, it was just one more bloody episode in a blood-soaked country. In the early hours of the morning on May 11, a group of indigenous people traveling by canoe on a river in the northeast Mosquitia region of Honduras came under helicopter fire. When the shooting was over, at least four persons lay dead, including, by some accounts, two pregnant women. In Honduras, such grisly violence is no longer out of the ordinary. But what this incident threw into stark relief was the powerful role the United States is playing in a Honduran war...
 


islander

islander Avatar

Location: Seattle
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 29, 2009 - 8:26am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Honduras president ousted in coup

By way of kicking this off, here is the text of an email we received from a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. She's part of a mission to provide medical support in rural areas. Our diocese maintains a facility there, and people go down a couple of times a year to paint and tidy up as well as replenish supplies and of course treat patients. A couple of Powell kids are there, daughter of our priest, just graduated from high school, ... anyway, here's the email:

 

Glad to hear your people are okay. I have some connections there too - our Rotary group does some clean water projects there, and I have a partial interest in a cabana on Roatan.  I've heard from the Roatan crew, and they are taking it all in stride and waiting to see what comes out of it. Roatan has it's own mini-government and is largely left to itself away from mainland influences. I haven't heard anything from the mainland yet, but those people are incredibly resiliant, and I'm sure they will make it through this.

Honduras has been surprising to me in how their government works with their military. Especially for a Central American nation, they have been very democratic while maintaining a stron military influence. Zelaya had been reasonably popular and supported until the whole 'president for life' thing came about. I think most of the regional nervousness will turn out to be just concern over having the military removal. That is something that has happened frequently enough in the region that it makes people squirm regardless of the reasoning.

zipper

zipper Avatar



Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 10:35pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Wow I think you whiffed on that one... Chavez and "his own leanings" aren't the same?

Seriously, altho Chavez is blaming Obama for the ousting, Obama seems to be pro-Zelaya too. No matter, they've sworn in the successor already. Sounds to me like they have a pretty good handle on things down there.
 
ha! Yes, they're the same. That was my point. Thanks for catching it. (edit: I need to rephrase that last line as - good to hear that we share that observation.)

It does look like democracy is taking care of things quite handily. I read that Zelaya was picked up in Costa Rica by Chavez. We'll see what tomorrow brings.


samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 10:33pm

"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plea; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost."
  ~ William Lloyd Garrison ~

ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 9:51pm

 zipper wrote:

Rock being his own leanings and hard place being Chavez. Plus he's an egomaniacal power-mad putz. ;)

I think the elections are in November, changeover in January, same as here.
 
Wow I think you whiffed on that one... Chavez and "his own leanings" aren't the same?

Seriously, altho Chavez is blaming Obama for the ousting, Obama seems to be pro-Zelaya too. No matter, they've sworn in the successor already. Sounds to me like they have a pretty good handle on things down there.

zipper

zipper Avatar



Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 9:38pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Yeah he's pretty much between a rock and a hard place...liking the president and also liking the rule of law. Seems to have come down on the side of the president. The obvious choice of "let the constitution dictate the process" seems to be off the table, but he's saying words that sound like "follow the law" and "keep the president" which are not both doable. Here's a tip: remove the president per approved process, let the elections in January happen on schedule, hope they elect someone we like. Easy.
 
Rock being his own leanings and hard place being Chavez. Plus he's an egomaniacal power-mad putz. ;)

I think the elections are in November, changeover in January, same as here.

ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 8:43pm

 zipper wrote:

Glad your people are ok. I've been following the reports, as well as O's misstep. Heady stuff.

 
Yeah he's pretty much between a rock and a hard place...liking the president and also liking the rule of law. Seems to have come down on the side of the president. The obvious choice of "let the constitution dictate the process" seems to be off the table, but he's saying words that sound like "follow the law" and "keep the president" which are not both doable. Here's a tip: remove the president per approved process, let the elections in January happen on schedule, hope they elect someone we like. Easy.

zipper

zipper Avatar



Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 8:35pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Honduras president ousted in coup

By way of kicking this off, here is the text of an email we received from a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. She's part of a mission to provide medical support in rural areas. Our diocese maintains a facility there, and people go down a couple of times a year to paint and tidy up as well as replenish supplies and of course treat patients. A couple of Powell kids are there, daughter of our priest, just graduated from high school, ... anyway, here's the email:



 
Glad your people are ok. I've been following the reports, as well as O's misstep. Heady stuff.


bokey

bokey Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 8:33pm

Crap, I was hoping this thread was about an upcoming  party.


ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 28, 2009 - 7:34pm

Honduras president ousted in coup

By way of kicking this off, here is the text of an email we received from a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. She's part of a mission to provide medical support in rural areas. Our diocese maintains a facility there, and people go down a couple of times a year to paint and tidy up as well as replenish supplies and of course treat patients. A couple of Powell kids are there, daughter of our priest, just graduated from high school, ... anyway, here's the email:

Buenas Tardes,
Today is Sunday, and we woke up in the middle of pangs of democracy for Honduras - and we are here.  First of all = we are all safe - Elmer came and said we should stay in the hotel. The president had been removed  - actually the congress had him sign a letter of resignation and he was flown out of the country. His supporters staged protests in the cities - including one here in La Ceiba. It was right across the plaza from our hotel.  It seemed to be fairly peaceful, but then a group on one of the side streets had a confrontation with guns - pro president faced off with pro congress and shots were fired, with the military firing some too. 2 were wounded (legs I
believe) - several of our folks saw it as their rooms faced that street. At that point we had a decision to make. We toyed with leaving town and heading to the mountains - however that would put us on roads, trying to cross bridges and we would have no police protection. We have decided to stay at the Hotel.  Elmer called his contacts at the Navy and alerted them that we are here and if there is trouble they will come to help us.  They owe him because he treats their "bent" divers and he is going to be a dive trainer for their SEALS. Elmer is a blessing for us in more ways than one.

Now for a lesson in the politics of a new and fragile democracy - Honduras has only been a democracy for 22 years. When they created their constitution, they included what they call "rock" principles (there is a term in Spanish but I can't remember it... petrus something). These principles are core to the constitution and can not be amended or overturned, without completely abolishing the whole contstitution. One of those rocks is that the president can only serve 1 term. They cannot stand for reelection.  The president was proposing that he become president for life and as such set a referendum for today. (Chavez in Venezuala is influencing him) The president cannot set a referendum! congress and the supreme court were upset and told him to stop. He ignore them and set the vote. He asked the commander of the Honduran Armed forces to do something illegal. The problem is that the commander must take orders from the Supreme Commander who is the president and the president asked him to do something illegal. the commander and the military support the constitution and the commander went to the congress and supreme court to check with them.  They agreed that it was illegal - so he refused to do as the president asked. The president fired the commander, and the commanders of the army and navy resigned in support of the commander.  When the president fired the commander that really got congress and the supreme court going and they began to talk about firing the president (per the constitution because he had violated the constitution). Things eased for a day or so. Polls showed that 90% of the population supported reinstating the commander. Congress asked the president to cool it and if he would stop this stuff, they would allow him to fulfill his term (national elections are in November - new president in January). apparently he didn't listen as the referenedum was scheduled to go on. So they captured him, got him to resign and flew him out of the country.  The congress has been meeting and just accepted that resignation and elected - unanimously - a new president - the current president of the congress - who will be interim with congress until the elections.  The people here take their constitution seriously - contrary to news this is NOT a coup. and there are no civil rights issues!  In fact the now former president had his own issues there - he was not responding to the flu issue - or the earth quake - he just has not been responsive to the peoples needs or congress.  So don't believe all you hear - It is not a military coup - the military does not want to be president!!!!!

Meanwhile there had been rumors of martial law being declared at 2 PM - but elmer said that they were going to try not to do that = as that does become dicey with perceptions of human rights/military, etc.  Hopefully because the congress moved to elect a new president who is not military, and they are finally beginning to get out on the air to tell the other side.  So far life seems to be returning to the plaza, traffic is starting to pick up - so we shall see.

Interesting to note - many of the protestors are gathered and bussed in to the protests - in "chicken" busses - Elmer said most are also probably paid to come  - when you ar poor and someone offers you a couple of hundred dollars ( more than you make in months) - you will go along with it -

Just wanted to share a different perspective.  This whole trip has has been an an incredible experience - and gives me much to think about and reflect on for a long time. As I have said - Elmer is a wonderful person and has explained it all carefully - not that these people don't have a long road to
travel- democracy is also fragile - and sometimes we forget that we have to travel the road to grow and we have to let countries who are trying it - to walk their road -how ever painful.

Well that is all for now - Thanks for listening!

Adios, and love to you all
Kay