Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to Cover up a Coup and What is really happening

With President Zelaya of Honduras having spoken to the United Nations today, it is perhaps no surprise that within Honduras, the rhetoric against him is hardening. In news coverage today, the Attorney General asserts that everything being done is legal, and states that President Zelaya is now under an arrest warrant for a laundry list of supposed crimes. At one point earlier today, Honduran reporting indicated that the crimes with which President Zelaya would be charged if he returned to the country would include drug trafficking, a mystifying proposal whose source is the person designated by Roberto Micheletti as his Foreign Minister. While this has largely disappeared from Honduran sources the claim is still included in news media outside the country. Meanwhile, the Attorney General also threatens to charge other members of the government with unspecificed crimes, and a member of the Honduran Congress has introduced a bill to freeze bank accounts of government members, presumably including those cabinet members who continue to elude custody.

What these actions suggest is a desperate attempt to paper over the illegal disruption of democratic process with a post-facto set of accusations for which any "evidence" produced should be viewed as dubious. Perhaps the most telling thing said by the Attorney General was
there is disinformation on an international level. Honduras is a country that is constituted by law and no one outside is going to come and tell us what we have to do.
Meanwhile, correspondents in and outside Honduras inform me that there are protests happening on the main roads outside major cities such as San Pedro Sula, and even the Honduran news media report strikes by teachers and that attempts to keep order in the country depend on an "iron military guard": martial law.

How is this "iron guard" being implemented? Giovanni Rodríguez blogging from Honduras gives a picture of the unfolding situation day by day for those who read Spanish. She writes that the media, even CNN, are prevented from covering the demonstrations in favor of the restitution of the legal government of President Zelaya, which in San Pedro Sula she estimates outnumbered the pro-Micheletti demonstrations 11,000 to 100. She estimates that perhaps 500,000 people nationwide participated in the general strike called for today.

Other bloggers on the same site post photos and give the names of those who were detained, perhaps most disturbing, a political cartoonist, Allan MacDonald, whose capture with his less than two year old daughter was also brought to my attention by other reports. McDonald, a Honduran citizen, managed to contact a Honduran citizen resident in Sweden while in custody along with journalists and others. Mc Donald's political cartoons in support of the public opinion poll surely fall under international norms of political free speech, yet for them, he was dragged from his house by the Honduran military, and his cartoons were burned. He was later freed and is reportedly again at home, although under surveillance.

Want to find more in real time? try this link or if you read Spanish the blog mimalapalabra.

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