Honduras: non-dialogue in Costa Rica; real repression in Tegucigalpa

Both ousted President Manuel Zelaya and de facto President Roberto Micheletti, arriving in Costa Rica July 9 for talks on the Honduran impasse, denied that there is anything to discuss. “I am not here to negotiate,” Zelaya said at a press conference upon his arrival in San JosĂ©. “Not to advocate the return of a democratically elected president would be ridiculous.” Saying that international opinion is behind him, he added: “We hope during the next 24 hours, tomorrow that is, we have a clear response by the golpistas who broke the democratic process in the country.” (Inside Costa Rica, July 9)

Micheletti also insisted that he was in Costa Rica to “dialogue and not to negotiate,” and he would not consider the return of Zelaya to power. Saying that the Honduran state, military and majority of the populace are behind him, he added that he had come to power through a “constitutional sucession,” declared legal by the country’s judiciary.

In fact, the two leaders apparently never met. AFP reported that President Oscar Arias, the appointed mediator, met separately with each of them in his private residence—first with Zelaya and later with Micheletti. The Miami Herald reported that Zelaya and his delegation were miffed by Arias’ reference to Micheletti as “acting president.” Zelaya stated in response that Micheletti should be arrested by Costa Rica, not received as a guest.

The trip was also complicated by the fact that Nicaragua initially denied Micheletti’s delegation the right to fly through its airspace. Although Nicaragua finally relented, the flight was diverted out over the Pacific rather than cross Nicaraguan territory. (Miami Herald, AFP, July 9)

Tension grows with Nicaragua
Over the weekend—as Zelaya’s attempt to land at the Tegucigalpa airport was barred by the military, sparking a deadly clash with protesters—tensions also escalated between the coup regime and Nicaragua. Micheletti on July 5 accused Managua of massing troops on the border. He called on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to respect Honduras’ sovereignty, and warned that Honduras is capable of defending itself. (Xinhua, July 5)

Nicaragua immediately denied the accusation. “These reports are totally false… I have no information on why [Micheletti] made those statements,” said Nicaraguan military spokesman Brig. Gen. Adolfo Zepeda. He added that “the army has clear instructions not to interfere in Honduras.” (AFP, Jul 5)

Has the US withdrawn recognition?
The world media remains ambiguous on the matter, but the Honduran daily La Prensa cites a statement from the US Embassy reading: “The Government of the United States is conducting a complete review of all of its foreign assistance programs in order to determine how much of this assistance it may be legally obligated to suspend due to the coup d’etat and the expulsion of President Manuel Zelaya that took place on June 28. This is a careful and deliberate process.” The statement also says that US military cooperation with Honduras has already been suspended. (La Prensa, July 8)

Reuters also cited an Embassy statement saying the US has suspended $16.5 million in military assistance programs to Honduras, and that a further $180 million in aid could also be at risk. (Reuters, July 9) The statement does not appear in any obvious place on the website of the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Delahunt (D-MA) have sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter to the other members of the House asking them to sign on as co-sponsors to a resolution calling for the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is asking constituents to call their representative and ask them to sign on. The Capitol Switchboard number is: 202-224- 3121. (CISPES, July 9)

Racist chancellor out?
La Prensa also reports that Micheletti has removed Enrique Ortez Colindres as his chancellor (foreign minister) in response to the outcry over his calling Barack Obama a “negrito” in a TV interview. The new chancellor is named as Roberto Flores BermĂşdez, who had days earlier been named as the de facto government’s ambassador to Washington. (La Prensa, July 8)

Just yesterday, it was reported that Ortez Colindres had apologized for his racist statement while taking the oath of office at the presidential palace. The removal of Flores BermĂşdez as ambassador may have been in response to reports on TeleSur yesterday that the US had cut off his recognition. (World War 4 Report, July 8)

Repression in Tegucigalpa
Chilling repression is reported from Honduras in the wake of the weekend’s massive demonstrations. The Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared (COFADEH) reports that on the morning of July 9, JosĂ© David Murillo Sánchez came to the group’s Tegucigalpa office to give testimony about the death of his 19-year-old son, Isis Oved Murillo Mencilla, who was shot by army troops during the protest at the airport.

In the COFADEH offices, with members of the group serving as witnesses, he gave his testimony to an officer of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DGIC), and then left to return to his home in Olancho department. Witnesses came running to the COFADEH office soon after to say that police in civilian clothes had detained Murillo, put him in an unmarked car, and took him away.

COFADEH has confirmed that the DGIC detained Murillo on what they consider to be fraudulent charges from two years ago. JosĂ© David Murillo Sanchez is a member of Olancho Environmental Movement (MAO), a campesino ecologist organization that has held protests against logging operations in the region. Writes the solidarity group Rights Action: “The DGIC seemingly agreed to take his testimony about the killing of his son as a trap, so as to detain him…part of an on-going crackdown in Honduras against members of the social movement. (Rights Action, July 9)

See our last posts on Honduras and the Nicaragua.

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  1. The U.S. should be supporting Hondurans, not Chavez’s Zelaya
    The U.S. should be supporting Hondurans and the rule of law, not Zelaya, a Chavez clone desperate to enslave Hondurans! It’s despicable that, rather than defending the human rights of Hondurans and Latin Americans, Obama immediately sided with the Marxist thugs who are trampling on those human rights and working with drug cartels and Islamic terrorist to destroy the U.S!

    And Clinton forces Micheletti to meet with Zelaya, as if they were on the same moral ground! Clinton also offers Oscar Arias, a Fidel Castro admirer, as a mediator! Clinton is actually helping Castro and Chavez continue their dirty work under the cover of the “democratic” Arias.

    Chavez is desperate not to let his prey (the Honduran people) escape, so he will continue to lie, manipulate, intimidate and commit crimes to force Hondurans to submit. He’s practically controlling the media!

    We pray Hondurans are able to defend themselves from Castro/Chavez/Zelaya/Obama and the cancer of Marxism.

    1. How about the “cancer of hypocrisy”?
      “Rule of law”? You mean like rousting the president from his bed at gunpoint and putting him on a flight out the country in his pajamas? As I said before (why must I repeat myself?), if Zelaya defied a Supreme Court ruling, the military have now abrogated democratic norms entirely.

      OK, now where is your evidence that Zelaya is “working with drug cartels and Islamic terrorist [sic] to destroy the US”? We’re waiting. This better be good.

      1. Zelaya behaved illegally
        Zelaya behaved illegally, and the country’s Supreme Court ordered the military to remove Zelaya and elevate the person next in line under the Honduras Constitution. This is Constitutional Democracy in action combating illegal behavior by a sitting President.

        Wiser than other Latin American countries, Hondurans have laws that defend them from the fraudulent scheme devised by Castro to impose Marxism with “democratic” elections and referendums. Hondurans have seen this strategy unfold in the countries being destroyed by the Marxist thugs controlled by Castro/Chavez. They don’t want the tragedy of those countries repeated in Honduras. The particular law is short, concise, and clear:

        “No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”

        Zelaya repeated violated this law, publicly and vociferously. When Congress and the Supreme Court refused to go along with Zelaya, Chavez sent Zelaya ballots and ballot boxes (already rigged for fraud). Zelaya committed a crime. The Supreme Court could have jailed him, but to prevent a Chavez-organized bloodbath, they preferred to send Zelaya out of the country.

        1. Maybe, but so did the military
          Where in the constitution does it say the army has the right to drag the president out of his bed at gunpoint and summarily remove him from the country—without impeachment, without any formal charges having been brought, without any kind of public process? Yes, the Supreme Court said after the coup that a judicial order had been given for Zelaya’s removal. (The Telegraph, June 28) But what kind of legitimate democracy operates that way? Even the Honduran military has admitted the coup was “criminal”! Furthermore, as we have noted (why must I always repeat myself?): The constitution was drawn up in 1982, when Honduras was a military-dominated state—and under virtual US military occupation. Any provision that actually makes it unconstitutional to advocate reform should certainly be reformed—the sooner the better!

      2. Zelaya’s drug trafficking
        All the Marxist thugs controlled by Castro and Chavez are involved activities to destroy the U.S., including drug trafficking and various activities with Islamic terrorists. Chavez calls Mahmoud Ahmadinejad his “brother,” and is working close with him, and so are all his minions – Ortega, Morales, Correa, Zelaya.

        Honduras Foreign Minister Enrique Ortez told CNN en Español that Zelaya was implicated in drug trafficking from Venezuela into the U.S.

        “Every night, three or four Venezuelan-registered planes land without the permission of appropriate authorities and bring thousands of pounds…and packages of money that are the fruit of drug trafficking,” he said. “We have proof of all of this. Neighboring governments have it. The DEA [U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration] has it,” he added.

        1. Your hallucinations
          Excuse me, I asked for “evidence,” not an ad hominem attack. Saying “all the Marxist thugs do it” is not evidence.

          This would be the same Ortez who was shamed into stepping down after calling Obama a “negrito.” Not exactly an objective source. If the DEA had evidence that Zelaya was in league with drug traffickers, I think we would know about it by now.

    2. Article 239
      Article 239 — No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.

      Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.

      1. Yeah, I think we heard that.
        Now where in the Honduran constitution does it say the army has the right to summarily remove the president from the country at gunpoint? We’re waiting…

  2. Regarding the “racist”
    Regarding the “racist” comment, the hoopla over “negrito” is another demonstration of ridiculous propaganda against the legal government of Honduras.

    “Negrito” is NOT necessarily a pejorative word in Spanish! It’s often used to call or to refer to a beloved husband, son, or friend. Many women call their husbands and sons “mi negrito,” even if their husbands or sons are not black.

    Obviously Mr. Ortez did not use “negrito” in love, but “negrito” does NOT have the insulting meaning that “little black man” has in English!

    But the hoopla over the “insult” is ridiculous considering THE REASON WHY Mr. Ortez complained – Obama is trying to force Hondurans to go against their own laws, submit to Chavez/Zelaya, and become enslaved by Marxism like the Cubans!

    It’s like creating a hoopla because a Jew, being forced to go with his family to a concentration camp, called Hitler a “little white man”!

    We should be incensed because human beings were taken to concentration camps or are being forced into the slavery of Marxism, not because of the unfortunate words those human beings may utter trying to defend themselves!

    1. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
      “Negrito” is racist in any context other than pillow talk. As I said before (why must I always repeat myself?).

      Jews in Nazi Germany calling Hitler a “little kraut” would have been gratuitous. (It is enough of an insult to call him a Nazi.) But the analogy is appalling. First: Germans in Germany are not an oppressed minority as Blacks are in Honduras. But much more the point: Zelaya’s modest attempt to impose a little discipline on the Honduran oligarchy is in your book comparable to the Holocaust? Get outta here, troll.

      1. Hondurans don’t want their country to become a GULAG like Cuba
        Thank you for the insults, Bill! Insults from brainwashed lemmings are always welcome!

        Regarding “negrito,” words have different nuances in different languages. If you judge “negrito” with a racist anglo mentality (not to imply that all anglos are racist), you’ll find “negrito” racist.

        Depriving Honduras of freedom as Castro, Chavez and Obama are trying to do is similar to sending them to a concentration camp. As a matter of fact, Castro has transformed an imperfect but happy and prosperous island into somethin akin to a concentration camp, where the only hope for most is to be able to escape. Hondurans don’t want their country to become another a concentration camp like Cuba.

        1. If it smells like a troll…
          I don’t think Ortez was using “negrito” in an affectionate sense (which would have been merely patronizing, as opposed to hateful).

          Right, beefing up the Honduran labor code and giving land to the peasants and indigenas is “similar to” the Nazi Holocaust. Really good thinking there.

          Gee, I wonder why anyone would call you a troll?

  3. Don’t believe Chavez’s propaganda
    Regarding the “Repression in Tegucigalpa,” it seems you are falling for Chavez’s propaganda.

    Most of what has been broadcasted and reported from Nicaragua is Chavez-staged propaganda shows to FOOL the international community and force Hondurans to submit to Zelaya and Marxism. As usual, Chavez sacrificed human beings to do it!

    Most of Zelaya “supporters” were paid poor people incited to violence by ACORN-type “community organizers,” mostly from other countries such as Nicaragua. Each “supporter” on a motorcycle was paid 300 lempiras (US$15.84) a day plus gas. Taxi drivers were paid 3,000 lempiras (US$158.40) a day to drive “supporters.” Farmers acting as “supporters” are being paid 250 lempiras (US$13.20) a day.


    As usual, Chavez is producing and broadcasting propaganda shows created to force Hondurans to submit! Chavez lies, manipulates, intimidates and gets people killed not to let his prey escape. In this case, his prey is the Honduran people.

    1. That zapato fits on the other foot
      We just noted claims that the Movement for Peace and Democracy has been paying poor residents of Tegucigalpa to attend its rallies in support of Micheletti and the coup. Now, given that the pro-Zelaya rallies have been facing deadly repression while the pro-coup rallies have full support of the authorities, which one does it stand to reason is more likely to be astroturf?

      But we aren’t arguing that either side is inauthentic. There is a real class conflict going on in Honduras. We’re on the side of the poor, thank you.

      1. Zelaya was multiplying poverty
        Castro, Chavez, Zelaya and the rest of the Marxist thugs are all on the “side of the poor.” That’s is why they multiply poverty!

        1. Funny that the poor support them, then…
          Interesting that the bourgeoisie accuse those who would give rights to the workers and land to the peasants of “multiplying poverty.”

          You’ve more than had your say here, Antonio. You can go accuse me of censorship on some other blog.


  4. Castro’s strategy to impose Marxism
    Castro’s strategy to impose Marxism via “democratic” elections and referendums:

    1. Select a wannabe dictator — a depraved megalomaniac who is ready to sell out his country (like Chavez, Morales, Correa, Zelaya). Help him run for president of the country.

    2. Invest millions in a “professional” campaign demonizing the opposition and promising CHANGE to help the poor, end corruption, improve schools… whatever people want to hear.

    3. Commit as much fraud as possible to make sure the wannabe dictator wins.

    4. Have “protectors of human rights” like Insulza (OAS) — who have really been trampling on human rights by promoting communism for years — declare that the elections were “legal and transparent.” Carter are also does this dirty job, and so would Oscar Arias.

    5. Make sure that, once in power, the wannabe dictator takes over the Legislative and Judicial branches of power, destroys the country’s institutions, intimidates and controls the media, and demonizes, intimidates and even kills anyone trying to defend the country.

    6. Have a referendum to approve a new constitution. Representatives of the people are supposed to write that constitution. In reality, people don’t even know what’s in the new constitution, which is written by Spaniards working for Castro/Chavez before the wannabe dictator even “runs” for office.

    7. Have Insulza (OAS) and others who pretend to “protect human rights” declare that the referendum is perfectly “legal and transparent.” Carter are also does this dirty job, and so would Oscar Arias.

    The goal of the new constitution is to help the wannabe dictator become a full-blown dictator (like Castro in Cuba), prevent people from defending themselves, and use the country to help drug cartels, Islamic terrorists, etc. to destroy the U.S. And all of it under the cloak of “democracy”!

    Hondurans were able to save themselves from the clutches of Castro/Chavez because Zelaya had not yet been able to take control of the Legislative and Judicial branches of power.

    Congratulations, Hondurans! Many of us wish we could have done what you are doing before the Marxist thugs working for Castro and Chavez enslaved our countries.

    We hope Hondurans can defend yourselves from Chavez/Zelaya/Obama coming to you under the sheep’s clothing of Oscar Arias.