Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Honduran "Elections"

HondurasOye - Supporters of Zelaya raise their painted hands calling the people not to vote in the November 29 “election”, during a demonstration in Tegucigalpa. Legitimate president Mel Zelaya, from his refuge in the Brazilian embassy, announced that abstention had reached 65% of the electorate (well above the 44% abstention in the 2005 election), with peaks of up to 75% in some districts in the north of the country. An official statement from the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup put the number of voters abstaining at between 65% and 75% of the 4.6 million registered voters.

Al Giordano- National Party candidate Pepe Lobo declared the "winner" of the mock elections in Honduras with over 50 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos. Various Latin American nations have already said they do not recognize Lobo as a legitimate president, including Uruguay which today elected former guerrilla leader José Mujica in real elections today, not to mention a vast number of Honduran citizens. Claims of voter turnout, results, all of it, of course, can't and shouldn't be believed. And won't be. Nothing is resolved. Today's act of electoral theater was an exercise in futility.

DemocracyNow Report on Fraudulent Elections

Wayne Madsen on RussiaToday

U.S. human rights observers denounce intimidate, raids, threats, detentions and physical abuse use by military during elections

U.S. Human rights observers from a dozen different organizations around the United States have been in Honduras for several days to observe the human rights environment in Honduras at this time of elections.

Some 20 U.S. Citizens have traveled throughout Honduras over the past 3 days to cities and communities such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Tocoa, Santa Rosa de Copán, Choluteca, Comayagua, Siguatepeque y Puerto Grande. In addition, they have visited police stations, hospitals and jails.

In each of these communities they have observed the systematic abuse of human rights as evidenced by raids, detentions, threats, physical abuse, intimidating and persecution on the part of state security agents. These actions have been mostly directed against citizens identified with the Resistance movement.

Amnesty International (AI) denounced an atmosphere of intimidation in the run-up to controversial general election in Honduras. In a statement, AI charged that the de facto government in Honduras has stockpiled anti-riot material such as tear-gas ahead of Sunday's elections. AI delegate in Tegucigalpa Javier Zuniga told the German Press Agency dpa that basic voting guarantees were not being respected, due to the limitations on personal freedoms that were imposed in the Central American country since democratically-elected Zelaya was ousted by a military coup on June 28.

'Rights like the right to communicate and receive information, which are fundamental for an electoral process so that people have a perspective on what is happening, are constantly suffering limitations,' Zuniga told dpa.

AI denounced in a statement that the de facto authorities in Honduras 'have stock piled 10,000 tear gas cans and other crowd control equipment, triggering fears of an increased risk of excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces around the presidential elections.'

National Lawyers Guild Calls for the US to Disavow the Legitimacy of Elections in Honduras The National Lawyers Guild calls on President Obama and the U.S. Department of State not to recognize the elections in Honduras, which was conducted under the control of an illegitimate coup government.

Honduras State Employees Forced to Attend Santos Campaign Rally

Evidence has surfaced that state employees were forced to attend the closing campaign ceremony of Elvin Santos, the ex-Vice President under Zelaya. In the letter, addressed to all department heads of the office of Civil Service, general director Marco Tulio Flores wrote, “I instruct all employees that are fulfilling their duties, without any exception, to attend the closing campaign of the Liberal Party that will take place Sunday November 22 at 9:30am. In a booth at the entrance to the coliseum Xiomara Orellana will take attendance of all personnel of this institution.”

On Saturday November 28 military soldiers raided the offices of small business collective RED-COMAL in Siguatepeque, Comayagua, a city approximately 2 hours north from the capital. The Police Commissioner issued a search warrant 15 minutes after the raid began with the purpose of looking for weapons, posters and any documents that call on the population not to vote. Ricardo Bueso, speaking to Radiodelosmenos.org, reported that the military and police stole four laptops along with money from some of the organization’s sales

Amnesty International - Military shooting in Honduras must be urgently investigated and witnesses protected
Amnesty International said on Saturday that it was deeply worried about the safety of victims of and witnesses to a shooting at a military blockade that took place in Tegucigalpa on Friday night. The organization called on the Human Rights Prosecutor to urgently investigate the incident. According to eye witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International on Friday night, four men were on their way back home when they saw a military blockade moved from its normal position, close to the Estado Mayor (military compound). They were not given any indication to stop or request to slow down so they drove past. Immediately after, shots were fired by the military at the car. The men drove on and as they went into a new road, one bullet hit the driver, 32-year-old Angel Salgado, in the head. He lost control of the vehicle which then crashed into a taxi and injured several bystanders, including 45-year-old woman, who was also hit by a stray bullet. She is now in a serious condition in hospital.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Honduras Updates

Making the Coup “Stick” by Forcing a Vote
The Honduran armed forces are comprised of 12,000 men and 14,000 police in this impoverished Central American nation of 7.5 million people, and the military has called up reservists for deployment during the election. — AFP

AFL-CIO: Free Elections Not Possible Now in Honduras

The continued repression of trade unionists by the regime set up in Honduras after a June 28 coup makes it impossible to hold free and fair elections, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a Nov. 13 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Trumka points out that delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in September passed a resolution calling on the U.S. government to suspend military aid to Honduras until President Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected leader, is returned to office and human and trade union rights have been restored.

Click here to read the convention resolution on Honduras and here to read Trumka’s letter.

Via Adrienne Pine - Letter from Zelaya to Obama


From the Desk of the President

Dear President Obama:

When we met for the first time the 8th of July with the Secretary of State Cinton after the Coup d'Etat there was made clear to me and to the world the position of the Obama administration of condemning the Coup d'Etat, not recognizing its authorities and demanding the return to the state of law with the restitution to the office of President elected by the people. The official position of your government and its representatives that sponsored and signed the resolutions of the UN, OAS. In which the third point demanded my immediate and secure restitution.

As the Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza has pointed out, there does not exist a political environment for elections, as has been observed and pointed out by the North American Congress member [Jan Schakowsky] in her visit to Honduras, observing a veritable environment of violation of human rights in Honduras....

The presidential election is now scheduled for the last week of November. In this case, as Constitutional President of Honduras, and as citizen who represents and was elected by the democratic vote of the people of Honduras, I see myself obligated to state that under these conditions we cannot back it and we will proceed to challenge it legally in the name of thousands of Hondurans and hundreds of candidates that feel that this contest is unequal and does not present the conditions of free participation.

In Honduras due to the repression that the Honduran people today is subjected to, where there is no respect even for the highest authority of the President of the Republic, where they have not considered that in three years I achieved the best economic indicators and the greatest reduction of poverty in the 28 years of democratic life, where I was removed by force of arms, never was submitted to a trial nor to due process and today have 24 accusations and orders for arrest for drug trafficking, corruption, and terrorism, among others, and where the major part of the Ministers of my cabinet are the object of political persecution and are to be found fleeing the regime in different parts of the Americas.

3500 people detained in 100 days, more than 600 people wounded and beaten in hospitals, more than 100 assassinations and an unknown number of people subjected to tortures committed against citizens that dared to oppose and demonstrate for their ideas, for liberty, and for justice, in peaceful demonstrations, all that converts the elections of November into an anti-democratic exercise by an illegitimate state, due to the uncertainty and military intimidation, for large sectors of the people.

To carry out elections, in which the President elected by the people of Honduras, who is recognized by your Government and the international community, is prisoner, surrounded by military in the diplomatic mission of Brazil, and a de facto president, who imposes the military, surrounded by the powerful in the palace of government, would be a historic shame for Honduras and an infamy for the democratic peoples of the Americas.

This electoral process is illegal because it covers up the military coup d'etat, and the de facto state that Honduras lives with does not furnish guarantees of equality and liberty of citizen participation, for all the Hondurans, it is an antidemocratic electoral maneuver repudiated by large sectors of the people to cloak the material and intellectual authors of the Coup d'Etat.

The elections are a process, not just a day when you go to vote, they are a debate, they are the exposition of ideas, they are equality of opportunities.

In my status as President elected by the Honduran people, I reaffirm my decision that from this date on, whatever will happen, I WILL NOT ACCEPT any accord of returning to the presidency, to cloak the coup d'etat, that we know has a direct impact through military repression on the human rights of the inhabitants of our country....

We are firmly resolved to battle for our democracy without hiding the truth and when a people decide to peacefully fight for its ideas, there is no weapon, no army nor maneuver that is capable of stopping it.

In the expectation of your prompt response, I repeat my highest regards.

President of Honduras

Election Boycott Kicks Off with “To Vote is to Say “Yes” to the Coup D’Etat”

HondurasOye - Soto Cano Base: SOUTHCOM Awards $38M Contract to Honduran Firm for “IT-Communications”
This critical infrastructure program supports the Commander of JTF-Bravo — the Commander of all U.S. military operations in Central America in the execution of USSOUTHCOM’s strategy to build Partner Nation Capacity. It is intended to bolster security, stability and prosperity in the Americas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

President Manuel Zelaya: Talks Are Off with Coup Government After Deal Collapses

An American-mediated accord to end the four-month political crisis in the country appears to be in shambles just a week after it was signed. On Friday, ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who remains in the Brazilian embassy, declared the deal was over. Meanwhile, coup president Roberto Micheletti said he would install a national unity government without the participation of Zelaya. DemocracyNow interviewed President Zelaya from the Brazilian embassy.

Reporters Press State Department on U.S. Recognition of Fraudulent Elections:

IAN KELLY: The bottom line is that we have a Honduran process in place, where the two sides have sat down. They’ve signed on to the agreement. The agreement is specific in terms of the next steps to be taken. If the two sides can agree on a way forward—and the best way forward is this agreement; I mean, it’s very specific—then we support it. But what happens between now and November 29, you know, I don’t know. But we’re supporting this Honduran process.

REPORTER: Even though it is not being implemented? You’re continuing to support it, even though you’re disappointed in what it is?

IAN KELLY: We’re disappointed that this—

REPORTER: But you’re still going to support the process.

IAN KELLY: We’re supporting the process.

REPORTER: Well, then, I don’t understand. Then what you just said, as the bottom line, means nothing.

IAN KELLY: It means that—it means that they need to sit down and start talking again. They—it means that they have to stop saying—maybe they need to stop making dire statements like the agreement is dead.

REPORTER: There must be someone in this building who can give a straight answer to this question.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Negotiations Fail

AP - US-brokered pact for Honduran crisis failsOusted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said Friday that a U.S.-brokered pact failed to end a four-month political crisis after a deadline for forming a unity government passed.

But the U.S. still thinks the accord can work, and is working to move forward on it, said a State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity because an official statement was still being prepared.

The Obama Administration's position contradicts the ousted leader of Honduras.

"The accord is dead," Zelaya told Radio Globo from the Brazilian Embassy where he has been holed up under threat of arrest. "There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans."

Zelaya spent Friday huddled in meetings with supporters and it was unclear what his next move would be.

Jorge Reina, a negotiator for Zelaya, said the pact fell apart because Congress failed to vote on whether to reinstate the deposed president before the deadline for forming the unity government.

"The de facto regime has failed to live up to the promise that, by this date, the national government would be installed. And by law, it should be presided by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya," Reina said.

Shortly before midnight, Micheletti announced that a unity government had been created even though Zelaya had not submitted his own list of members. Micheletti said the new government was composed of candidates proposed by political parties and civic groups. He did not name the new members.

Hundreds of Zelaya supporters gathered outside Congress on Thursday to demand his reinstatement. The protesters said they will boycott the elections if Zelaya is not returned to power beforehand to serve out his constitutionally limited single term, which ends in January.

Reina accused Micheletti of preparing "a great electoral fraud this November."

"We completely do not recognize this electoral process," Reina said. "Elections under a dictatorship are a fraud for the people."

National Resistance Issues Midnight Deadline: No Zelaya, No Recognition of Electoral Process or Results

Communiqué No. 33

The National Resistance Front Against the Coup d’État communicates to the Honduran population and the international community:


1. During 131 consecutive days of struggle, we have pressured for a peaceful way out of the political crisis that our country is undergoing as a result of the coup d’état perpetrated by the Honduran oligarchy. In this period we have accompanied the initiatives that have been put forward from several national and international sectors, maintaining three fundamental demands: a) the return of institutional order with the restoration of the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, b) respect for the sovereign right to set up a National Constitutional Assembly with which the country may be refounded and c) punishment for the human rights violators.

2. That the so-called Tegucigalpa-San José agreement contains as its first priority the return to constitutional order and literally indicates “bring back the incumbency of the Executive Power to its state prior to the 28 of June until the conclusion of the current governmental term, the 27 of January of 2010.”

3. That the National Congress, co-author of the breaking of the constitutional order on the 28 of June, is using delaying tactics in refusing to convene the full assembly in order to repeal the decree that installed the defacto regime.

4. That the OAS and the United States government, whom we consider accomplices in the military coup d’état, do not show interest in the definitive ouster of the putschists from power.


1. If today Thursday, November 5, by 12:00 midnight at the latest, President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is not restored to his office, the National Resistance Front Against the Coup d’État shall not recognize the electoral process and its results.

2. We alert all of the organizations of the Resistance on a national level so that if the restoration of President Zelaya does not happen in the established period they may be ready to execute the actions of non-recognition of the electoral farse.

3. We call on the international community to maintain the position of non-legitimation of the defacto regime and the November 29 elections.

Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. November 5, 2009.