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lunes, junio 29, 2009

Honduras: Support The Pro-Democracy Resistance

Protesters on Monday faced off against the soldiers of an illegitimate Government to demand the restoration of their stolen democracy. It's not Iran. It's Honduras. And because it's Honduras, which is in this very hemisphere, squashing a democratically elected government like a Palmetto Bug seems in the Trad MediaTM to be less of an outrage. After all, Honduras doesn't have oil. It doesn't have nukes. It's not part of the dreaded axis of evil. It never held US citizens hostage. Sure, the US has destablized it in the past century, exploited its natural resources, turned it into a Banana Republic. But so what, the US did that to virtually every country in this hemisphere. Even now the Honduran military has strong ties to the US. So it's different from Iran, right? Real different. Or is it?

The New York Times reports:
One day after the country’s president, Manuel Zelaya, was abruptly awakened, ousted and deported by the army here, hundreds of protesters massed at the presidential offices in an increasingly tense face-off with hundreds of camouflage-clad soldiers carrying riot shields and automatic weapons.

The protesters, many wearing masks and carrying wooden or metal sticks, yelled taunts at the soldiers across the fences ringing the compound and braced for the army to try to dispel them. “We’re defending our president,” said one protester, Umberto Guebara, who appeared to be in his 30s. “I’m not afraid. I’d give my life for my country.”

Leaders across the hemisphere joined in condemning the coup. Mr. Zelaya, who touched down Sunday in Costa Rica, still in his pajamas, insisted, “I am the president of Honduras.”
President Zelaya said:
“They are creating a monster they will not be able to contain,” he told a local television station in San José. “A usurper government that emerges by force cannot be accepted, will not be accepted, by any country.”

He's right about that. The US, Venezuela, the OAS have all denounced the coup. Zelaya is scheduled to speak at the UN on Tuesday. But, of course, removing the democratically elected president couldn't be the end of the story in Honduras. No. That would be too simple. Instead, the military coup now has to secure itself, has to assert itself, has to eliminate the opposition:

The military also appeared to be moving against Mr. Zelaya’s allies. Local news outlets reported Sunday that Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas and the mayor of San Pedro Sula, the country’s second-largest city, had been detained at military bases.

The government television station and another station that supports the president were taken off the air. Television and radio stations broadcast no news. Electricity was cut off for much of the day in Tegucigalpa on Sunday, in what local reports suggested was on military orders. Only wealthy Hondurans with access to the Internet and cable television were able to follow the day’s events.

The Congress met in an emergency session on Sunday afternoon and voted to accept what was said to be a letter of resignation from the president. Mr. Zelaya later assured reporters that he had written no such letter.
Apparently, CNN en Espanol and Telesur and the Zelaya stations have all been cut off. The stations on the air are playing music, telenovelas, and cooking shows. There is no news.
Detaining supporters at military bases. Taking TV and radio stations off the air. Turning off electricity. Denying access to the Internet and to cable TV. This is really familiar. Didn't we just deal with these kinds of things in Iran? Yeah, but that was different, right?

Where is the Sea of Green in Honduras? Is there internal resistance to this coup? And if there is, where is it?
Community Radio “Es Lo de Menos” was the first to report that the Fourth Infantry Battalion has rebelled from the military coup regime in Honduras. The radio station adds that “it seems” (“al parecer,” in the original Spanish) that the Tenth Infantry Battalion has also broken from the coup.

Rafael Alegria, leader of Via Campesina, the country’s largest social organization, one that has successfully blockaded the nation’s highways before to force government concessions, tells Alba TV:
“The popular resistance is rising up throughout the country. All the highways in the country are blockaded…. The Fourth Infantry Battallion… is no longer following the orders of Roberto Micheletti.”

Angel Alvarado of Honduras’ Popular Union Bloc tells Radio Mundial:
"Two infantry battalions of the Honduran Army have risen up against the illegitimate government of Roberto Micheletti in Honduras. They are the Fourth Infantry Battalion in the city of Tela and the Tenth Infantry Battalion in La Ceiba (the second largest city in Honduras), both located in the state of Atlántida."

Put another way, there is popular resistance to the coup, from citizens, and even from the army. Again, Twitter has the internal stories.

Again, I want the democratic resistance to win back their democracy. I want to be in solidarity with the pro-democracy struggle.

This might take more than turning my icon green. This might take a lot more than that.

Let's consider what we can do to support the restoration of democracy in Honduras. Let's see how we can move in solidarity with the restoration of democracy in this country.

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