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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Micheletti Will Temporarily Step Aside?

(As Doug said, when he supplied the original Spanish text, "just when you thought it could not get any weirder.....". Thanks Doug. Update: thanks to Doug and Adrienne for pointing out the tenses in paragraph four that we updated below, in the passage marked in italics and boldface.

This is the text of Roberto Micheletti's public announcement on national radio today. Original Spanish text here. [Google login requires])


In only a few days we Hondurans will be exercising the most important civic event of any democracy: electing the leaders of our country in free and transparent elections. Until now the preparations for the November 29 acts have advanced without delays and the political campaigns do their work with more energy than ever. Hundreds of international observers have confirmed their participation in the electoral process, including distinguished ex-presidents and dignitaries from friendly countries. In a like manner, the friendly countries have expressed their support and recognition to a clean, free and transparent process. The presidential elections represent the strengthening of our democracy and civil liberties which our nation asks for and merits.

To successfully come to the moment required the force of all of our nation and institutions. The Supreme Election Tribunal, its justices and their whole team have done a magnificent and patriotic job to organize these acts. We congratulate their hard work. At the same time, I reiterate my full confidence in the democratic vocation of the Honduran nation and in the capacity and determination of the Armed Forces of the Republic and the National Police, who serve the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, who know how to guarantee the order and security of people and their goods on November 29, the date in which the Honduran nation will decide, by citizen vote, the destiny of our beloved Honduras.

"As a token that leaves no doubt about my responsibility in the high office which I've assumed, and with the same democratic conviction which has carried this nation to support and work for an exciting and successful electoral process, I've considered it prudent to open a space for reflection so that Hondurans can ponder the importance of suffrage and the responsibility which goes with electing our next government."

For that reason, I intend to absent myself from the exercise of my public functions for a period that could begin November 25 and end December 2, a decision I will make in consultation with representatives of the various sectors of Honduranicity(?) who have elegantly accompanied this whole process. My aim, with this measure, is that the attention of all Hondurans is concentrated on the electoral process and not on the political crisis.

I anticipate that this decision could be intentionally badly interpreted by those who by their erratic actions and intention to provoke discord say that this is a sign of weakness in my government. To those people who do not contribute to the social peace and security which my country so needs and merits, I assure that its just the opposite. My actions should be interpreted as a sign of strength and total unquestionable confidence in the institutions of our country, which remains demonstrated with deeds, realities, and not with wordplay.

Since the first moment that I took possession of the Presidency I've said that the actual situation in which Honduras lives should not focus on my desires or those of any other individual, but on the necessities of our democracy and the well being of our future. Strengthening our democracy, through the electoral process which grows near, has always been the final goal of my government. I strongly believe that to open a space for reflection will provide the biggest opening for the events.

During the time of absence in the exercise of my public functions, in accord with our constitution, which has been the judicial instrument that has guided all the acts of my government, our government will work in a normal fashion. And, should there be an unfortunate general upheaval in the order and security, which menaces the peace of the nation and the tranquility of Honduras, have no doubt, and I guarantee by the constitutional promise that I swore and on my honor as a citizen dedicated to my country and the Honduran people, that I will immediately re assume my functions and dictate with vigor and firmness the necessary measures to guarantee the order.

With the election, we will testify to the peaceful transition of power in our country and the inauguration of the next leader democratically elected by the expressed will of the Honduran people.

I would also like to give example, and reiterate to citizen Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, the obligation we have to honor, prior to the day marked to celebrate the general acts, intended to keep a profound silence and respect, framed in the guidelines laid out by the Electoral Law of Political Organizations, and the Tegucigalpa/San Jose Accord which we voluntarily signed.

Those who intend to block the events for their own interests and personal agenda, will not succeed. No one can bend the democratic spirit of the Honduran people. To these forces for disunity, I invite them to rethink, to put their country ahead of their personal aspirations so that Honduras will be the country that we all desire and deserve. Together we will show the international community that this small and proud country merits respect and admiration. Our struggle for democracy is unquestionable. For this, we should all be proud.

To all Hondurans, I invite them to exercise their right to vote on November 29. I naturally will do so, to that way fulfill the civic duty which all citizens in a democracy have. Our votes on the next November 29 represent the collective hope of our people, of our democracy, and of our future.


Doug Zylstra said...


And the 2nd of Dec is the date that Congress was/is slated to take up the voting on Zelaya's restitution.

So maybe there is something going on..

RNS said...

Yes, I noticed that odd coincidence as well. He tells Zelaya to be "profoundly silent" until after December 2 as well. I'm not quite sure what's up, but I'll think about it.

Adrienne Pine said...

Thanks for the quick translation! There's a question of tense in paragraph 4 that bears note: "...del ejercicio de mis funciones publicas por un período que podría iniciar el 25 de noviembre y concluye el 2 de diciembre, decisión que tomaré en consulta..."

So, he could leave depending on the discussions that he will have. Slick as a snake. Listening to him give this discurso was spine-chilling.

Anonymous said...

Either he is or he is not president during this hiatus. If he is, as should be obvious, then he's on vacation.

Why is a fuss being made about Micheletti taking a vacation?


RAJ said...

I am with Adrienne on being suspicious of this as another piece of theater, and thus more deadly important than a mere vacation, although Charles is right: if the decision he may take that could initiate a period during which he would not exercise his "functions", that would merely be a vacation from his usurped office.

I wonder two things: what does he gain right now by seeming to be stepping aside (if not down) while really promising no such thing? Obvious answer: incautious international partners who pay less attention to the tense of things (and wilfully ignore his history of deceit) will use this to argue that he has made a gesture-- and press Zelaya to reciprocate (presumably, by also remaining silent and thus not influencing electoral turnout).

But more worrisome still: who will be in charge during his absence from office? who will be keeping the metaphoric trains running on time? who has Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle been reminding us is really the power behind governance in Honduras today?

With the constitution transferring the command of the Armed Forces to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for this last period before the election, and Micheletti taking a vacation from his claimed role as maximum executive power, who is in control of the military? what lengths might they go to in order to impose the order and peace they are trying to produce through repression and violence?

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

I just noted the difference between the NY Times headline "Interim Leader in Honduras Says He’ll Briefly Step Down" and the Reuters headline "Honduras's de facto leader may step aside for a week". Not only is the tense different but the NYT uses the term "interim" and Reuters calls Micheletti the "de facto" leader. Interesting slant given by the NY Times - "all the news that's fitted to print"?

Boehmaya said...

Juan, NYT calls him "de facto" government inside the article. Anyways, I love the way they always have to point out things to show how "neutral" they are, like never stopping mentioning Chávez or calling Zelaya a "rancher", although Pepe Lobo is as much of a rancher if not more than Zelaya is (even wealthier).

What I want to warn you all about is to pay attention to what Andrés Pavon, president of the Human Rights Defense Commission has warned the international community about: The Plan of the military to make a bloodshed of people of the Civic Democratic Union (led mostly by rich industrials and businessmen) and blame the people in resistance for it dthe day of the elections, so that elections won't take place (auto-boycott) and that the de facto regime and military stay in power indefinitely, in the same way they did it in June 28th: martial laws and suspension of individual rights.

There are already reports by the COPIHN about military squads spreading in all 18 departments, which has already been justified by Micheletti in his statements on 16th November. Accordingly to Micheletti hundreds of foreign subversive forces are coming inside the country to boycott elections.

And RAJ: The same who takes charge of the military will take charge in the presidency.. Guess who? The fact that Micheletti does not have the decency to name his substitute already says it all.

Honduras goes from a civil-military dictatorship to a complete military junta.

Boehmaya said...

PS: who told that to Andrés Pavón?

There is a considerable part of the military faithful to the people of Honduras and they told him about these plans personally.

These members of the military have already warned us about other things, including that Romeo is involved in the recent assassination of a Colonel.

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

On militarization.
Last week I noticed more military in Santa Rosa. This Wednesday friends from Gracias came to visit in Santa Rosa and noted that there were at least two armed soldiers on each bridge between Gracias and Santa Rosa.

Doug Zylstra said...


if Micheletti is somehow conviced that he is indeed the constitutionally legal president, wouldn't his proposal to come back on the 2nd be an actual, clear violation of the (in) famous article 239?

Anonymous said...

Boehmaya, I worry about the potential for feeding Pavon disinformation. The Israeli commando story, for example, may well be true, but has never been substantiated, as far as I know. That story has been used by US media to discredit Zelaya.

Similarly with the massacre story. It may be true, but there are reasons to question it (notably, that the targets of the attack would seem to be minor members of the oligarchy, whose families might have the resources to obtain some form of revenge). On that story, we'll find out on Election Day whether it's true or not, and there's not much one way or the other we (or the resistance) could prevent such a thing anyway. But every story that turns out to be false diminishes the credibility of the speaker.

I'm sure Andres Pavon is telling the truth as he knows it, but there's no guarantee he isn't being manipulated, either by his informants or by people who give them information.

RAJ said...

@Doug: you would be correct that Micheletti could not return to office as President if he was indeed "stepping down", as some media have reported.

But actually, Charles's characterization is the right one: he is simply proposing a week-long vacation. Think of it as chopping brush in Texas.

RNS said...

Juan, I'm working on a post on militarization because I believe it may be tied in with Micheletti's "vacation".

Boehmaya said...

@ phoenixwoman: You're totally right about the Israeli collaboration argument used to discredit Zelaya because of lack of proof, although there is some sort of evidence coming out from the same coup regime media: There is an article on La Tribuna, where Micheletti thanks the Israeli government for the sound weapon. (I can post it here if you want).

As for Pavón: You're also right. If it were true that there is a part of the military faithful to the peoples, why haven't they taken any action yet? It could well be a trap. You can't trust them.
What is for the best to prevent anything is for everyone to stay inside and not come out tduring this day. The problem is that according to Pavon, the military will dress up like armed civilians pretending to be members of the resistance. ThMicheletti regime and the meedia will use this to demonize our peoples and repress them. There are reports about reservistas militares being forced to donate blood. This is very scary..

We need you to enlighten us in this.. They obviously want to provoke terror and make the whole thing blurry.. It's very hard to know what they are trying to do with all this..

chela said...

Sorry to join this commentary so late. Regarding the massacre plan: It's frighteningly parallel to the ploy used to initiate the coup against Chavez, as reported by John Pilger in his documentary "The War Against Democracy." It's like there's a textbook out there on what to do. Curriculum from the School of the Americas?

RAJ said...

But we would echo the caution voiced by others: disinformation lending itself to making the resistance seem hysterical is a very serious possibility-- a kind of PsychOps. So, try not to let these things get too powerful...

Boehmaya said...

It's not really disinformation. What Pavón reported since the 14th is eventually becoming true. Everything is militarized. Like crazy, more than ever according to COFADEH (they even sent pics of the trucks invading the streets, there will even be helicopters) ... Lists of resistance leaders are already held by the military and handed in to them by city majors and Micheletti supporter nosy neighbours. The coup media is spreading so many lies and the military are setting up bombs that never explode, or that if they do, they never cause any major damages nor wounded, they of course, blame it on the resistance without any evidence. This is how they are justifying the repression to come and the extreme militarization, getting rid of the opposition crimminally. They closed down channel 36, are getting now to hospitals, and will continue doing more things, there is notihing to get extra paranoid about, the worst is about to happen, but we don't know how to avoid it.
What RAJ says about not letting it get to us and not let this fear manipulate us (cause it's clearly what they want), is true, but these warnings made by Pavon and the action the military is taking now shouldn't be taken for granted by the international community, they should prevent rather than lament...

Chela, thanks for that video, I'll watch it and spread it..

Boehmaya said...

Thank you, Chela.. Will watch and spread it..

What Pavon warned on November 14th is really not disinformation. I am myslef skeptical about whatever the military say, but this time his warning is becoming real like a prediction: Everything is becoming exaggerately militarized. People have taken picturse of all the trucks invading all the streets in the country and it's scary. Also, it is a fact that lists of resistance members and leaders were handed in to the military by local city majors and snoopy neighbours who are pro Micheletti, also by coup media journalists. Romeo said that there will even be helicopters..

The coup media is doing a great job in demonizing the resistance and this is the scariest part: There have been bombs set up in Tegucigalpa in the last weeks, although there is never significative damage done, nor wounded, of course they use it to blame it on the resistance. This is why the population in resistance is described by many coup supporters as "terrorists", The media feeds hatred and even calls people to justify the aggression against them. This is what they are up to and this is why the military is excusing overmilitarizing everything right now, in order to "protect elections from international groups coming inside the country to boycott them".

This is why Pavon's warnings shouldn't be taken for granted by the international community, because there are signals already that something really bad is going to happen and can be prevented if being taken care of. There is no paranoia here, this is really happening. The military do this themselves. The grenades used are mostly of US origin. They are really capable of doing anything, including this massacre as long as they can make us look bad to hold on to power..

Though I understand why RAJ says that it shouldn't freak people out, since it is the coup regime's intention to make things blurry for us, intimidate us and distract us from the main goal.. Still, better prevent..We are trying to warn the international community about this, because repression is already taking place.

Pete said...

I visited La Ceiba yesterday and Trujillo today in the line of work. Altogether, I travelled a total of over 400km. In all that travel, apart from the occasional police roadside security check (normal in Honduras), I saw a total of TWO soldiers. They were in a bank queue!

So where is all this "all the trucks invading all the streets in the country"?

Sounds like more propaganda to me.

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

Today some Honduran friends were talking about what will happen after the elections. One theory circulating (not necessarily the position of my friends) is that Micheletti might do an auto-golpe. There are so many renunciations (and who knows what else will happen) that he may just say that I was not a part of this and so I am the one fit to take all this over. So he will entrench himself in power for two years.
It is a little far-fetched - but we've seen stranger things here in the last five months.

Anonymous said...

Boehmaya, I disagree that Micheletti's thanking Israel for the sound weapon has anything to do with the allegation of Israeli commandos. Micheletti has repeatedly attempted to give an abrazo to Israel. Israel has repeatedly rejected the abrazo. You may see pattern and practice, and therefore confirmation, where another person does not.

RAJ said...

Pete, your experiences cannot be generalized to the entire country.

I would suggest that the police roadside checks you find so normal (and agreed, they have been part of Honduran life since at least the days of the original dictatorships of the 1970s that I experienced) are operating in a less-than-normal state of affairs, so that they represent a more-than-usual threat to personal liberties for those who, unlike you, are engaged in political activism against the de facto regime which illegally controls the country.

And while I urge people to maintain some critical distance about rumors of expected wholesale military shutdowns, those have indeed been the norm anywhere in the country that people have tried to express their dissidence; and especially in Tegucigalpa.

Where, right now, there is a security plan to basically shut down access to the city. You may still be able to get between La Ceiba and Trujillo: but come on, be real here. That is not a route that anyone ever cares about. I remember when that stretch was unpaved; it is not even a commercial route for anything other than internal distribution of goods to the least populated area of the country.

Although the army has no problem mobilizing in similarly remote regions where the people try to express themselves: as witness the forcible blockade of buses from Olancho trying to bring protesters to Teguc in summer; and the kinds of first-hand witness Juan Donaghy provides for the Department of Copan.

Denying that you live in a country oppressing others simply won't work.

RAJ said...

Juan Donaghey's report of the rumors circulating about Micheletti refusing to step down, while definitely far-fetched, should be examined for what they tell us about the way people think about Roberto Micheletti, and the lack of confidence that they have in the system of government and indeed, as polls have shown, in the prospects for democratic government at all.

Micheletti is a dictator as matters stand. Even his latest bizarre move is outside the law: there is no mechanism for a supposed president-- and remember, he claims to be the constitutional president-- to simply step aside and not exercise power.

And of course, he is doing no such thing, even if yet again his not-particularly-subtle language seems to have hoodwinked the US State Department.

So it is not surprising that there is anxiety about his intentions; and the apparent lack of any ability for international partners to deal with him opens the door to this kind of fear that he will choose to remain in control.

And that is the second interesting thing: people are afraid of Micheletti. The poll results that show he is deeply unpopular, and is viewed as almost never acting for the good of the country, reflect the fact that we are dealing here with a strongman.

Isn't it ironic that the claim justifying the coup-- that it would pre-empt the takeover of Honduras by a new caudillo-- now faces the reality of having created just such a personage?

Boehmaya said...

Pete: It's kinda funny(or rather a paradox, like usual with golpistas) that you speak about propaganda, when all you have to do to look at it is open La Prensa, El Heraldo, and all the Goebbels inspired coup media.

FOR THE RECORD: COFADEH and CODEH do NOT spread rumours and I would recommend everyone here to pay attention to their communiqué. They are after all the honduran human rights organizations who documented all the human rights violations done by the dictatorship. Cofadeh is a respected human rights organization supported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

@Juan: Those are not rumours your friends are spreading neither are they rumours. This communique was made by CODEH last week and things are becoming exactly like they warned (I'd appreciate if someone read what I posted before.

If you people want to think these are lies that is pretty much your problem. You should listen to the Honduran people if you really want to know things. We are neither retarded nor ignorant (many of us at least). But please when the worst happens, don't say we didn't tell you and asked for your help to inform the whole world about this.

Repression in Honduras is not a rumour, it is a fact. If the defacto regime scores an auto election boycott on November 29th is this SO ODD and unexpected? To prevent the worst is not any propaganda, it is completely reasonoable to do and repression is already taking place..There is a hospital contingency plan already officially published by the Health Ministry.

Here is the COFADEH communique:

Now, if you excuse me, I have better things to do than to discuss and to HELP our peoples. Listen to them if you want to help.. This IS about the people, do not undermine what they are telling you because "our education is lower", "we are third world", or "we believe in rumours and are easily fooled", "naive". This is prejudice and not of the good kind. I get a lot of that.

Boehmaya said...

@ phoenixwoman: thanks for clearing that out. I didn't know that and fell in the Micheletti trap. I see now what you mean, although there are mercenaries being hired by the Honduran entrepeneurs. I don't say so, the United Nations were able to confirm this information. Amongst them there are Colombian and Israeli mercenaries, which of course doesn't mean Israel per se is involved.

Boehmaya said...

UN confirms presence of paramilitaries in Honduras.
I don't know why these news are never published in English. It's also funny that BBC in Spanish makes far more detailed reports and more "biased" with the resistance than the ones in English BBC...

No chance that New York Times will post something about this. No wonder....

RAJ said...

Boehmaya, in case you are taking offense at my posts, please do know that like you I take offense at the idea that Hondurans are incapable of democratic governance, and all the rest. So if anything I wrote made you think that, my apologies.

My point is this: there are disinformation campaigns. They are intended to delegitimate the opposition. We all need to be very careful to report accurately when something is an event; when it is a fear people have about the future (which tells us a great deal about the nature of life under a repressive regime); and most important, given the extreme polarization that has been produced in Honduras by the media outlets controlled for propaganda purposes, weigh even eyewitness reports carefully.

Conditions are not the same for everyone across the country; some things that are "routine" have more oppressive force today (as they did under the dictatorship of the 1970s: every time a vehicle I am in is stopped at a police checkpoint, I panic a little remembering those checkpoints where young men were removed from the bus, and recalling the time my husband was among them and I waited for hours for some word about what had happened to him, until he was released from the military battalion where he had been taken).

Israel's state role in providing training to military in Latin America, like the sorrowful history of the US with the School of the Americas, is well-established. No one should doubt that. Yet see how the mainstream English-language media drafted this into discrediting President Zelaya, thus allowing themselves to ignore the fact that a sovereign embassy is under seige with inhumane conditions, because it is giving a safe haven to the legal president of the country?

Again-- my apologies if I offended you. Your contributions are welcome and appreciated. And you are quite correct: this election is going to be heavily militarized; already is so; and those (like Pete) who do not notice it or do not see it are either in places considered less of a risk by the de facto regime, or are accepting as normal the military and police presence.

Pete said...


"That is not a route that anyone ever cares about."

I suggest you tell that to the banana trade, then. And also ask them why they have contributed millions of lempiras to local municipalidads for road improvements in this area over the past two years - perhaps it was that Zelaya refused to provide funds to local mayors who refused to support him.

"...they represent a more-than-usual threat to personal liberties for those who, unlike you, are engaged in political activism..."

That's the point - there is no political activism along this part of the north coast - therefore there hasn't been any need for military saturation because the Honduran people here have moved on from June 28th and Zelaya - there are more important things to worry about.

Witness the political rallies in La Ceiba and Tocoa recently - no trouble and minimum appearance by police and military - in fact, no different than the last pre-election rallies four years ago.


"FOR THE RECORD: COFADEH and CODEH do NOT spread rumours"

I agree - distortion and exaggeration of the truth is more nearer the mark.For instance, your comment "all the trucks invading all the streets in the country" is typical of the dialogue being expressed in this and other like-minded blogs, and by resistance sites likewise.

Whilst I accept that the military have stepped up their presence in the last week at strategic points throughout the country. I would not expect them to have done anything different in light of the threats of violence against potential voters and polling stations - but of course, the resistance is purely pacifist, isn't it - I wonder where these threats have come from, then?

Finally, to the both of you,

"Denying that you live in a country oppressing others simply won't work."

I don't deny that there have been acts of oppression - and whilst I don't condone it, I believe that the military and police have restrained themselves admirably in the face of the provacation they have faced from rioters, stone-throwers, machete-armed hooligans and the rest of the "peaceful" resistance movement.

And yes, I follow ALL the pro-coup and anti-coup media - propaganda is spouted uncontrollably by both both sides constantly.

But declaring that the whole country is militarised and on the brink of violence simply won't work either.

Boehmaya said...

RAJ: No way I was referring to you. I was referring to overly -skeptical people and remarks i read over here.

I thank you for your site and for all your precious work. I follow your blog and I translate your posts to an information net against the coup to warn everybody, because your observations are always bvery well backed up. The peoples thank you and others who work very hard to unveil this dictatorship.

@ Pete: Sure, CODEH's and COFADEH's exaggerations, their delusional and outrageous claims are always backed up by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Thanks to those outrageous claims I and many other Hondurans were able to warn Amnesty International about food being blcocked by the military in Las Manos, Nicaragua. A few weeks later, June Holmes, the head of AI for Central America wrote to me personally to thank me for the information and that they indeed were able to confirm it.

I guess AI is just communist and I hope you go on living in your bubble. Hasta la vista hombre sin pista.

Boehmaya said...

Ok, Pete, let's not get so anal about words.
If I said "all the streets of Honduras are militarized" I'll admit that I didn't formulate well what I wanted to say. This is not what COFADEH, CODEH and COPIN report. What they report is that there are military squads invadiong all 18 departments adn there are indeed many roads militarized, which doesn't mean all. but you get the main idea. Does it make a difference if 60% are or a99.9999%? already how much it is according to reports is way to o much. Why do golpistas always like to hide facts with words or use badly elaborated statements as arguments to undermine facts? Like Hondurans say, "you cannot hide the sun with a finger". I'll admit that when i said "all" it was not right, but this doesn't mean it's a complete lie either... Trujillo is not very populated, is it? Don't think that road is of golpista interest, there are plenty other roads in Honduras and roads that snotty golpista supporters would never like to go to, because only "chusma" and "bums", "terrorists" go there..

RAJ said...

Your argument that "the north coast" is not engaged in resistance to the de facto regime only works because you cut off the more densely inhabited part of the north coast, including the city of San Pedro Sula, by emphasizing your experience on the road between La Ceiba and Trujillo.

Road paving in Honduras follows population and international commercial traffic. Thus the western highway and the highway between San Pedro and Tegucigalpa have been broadened and improved continuously, and the roads that lead into the northeast have been neglected, and this pattern did not begin with the Zelaya administration.

But at least you have had to admit that there is a greater military and police presence in the country than normal.

So you change your argument when the facts you tried to assert don't hold up, and what comes out is a piece of pure propaganda:

I accept that the military have stepped up their presence in the last week at strategic points throughout the country..

Now, having had to admit the reality others experience, and thus that Boehmaya is correct that there is a more visible military presence in "strategic points" (admitting the northeast coast is not strategic) you claim there is some threat from the peaceful resistance movement:

I would not expect them to have done anything different in light of the threats of violence against potential voters and polling stations.

You cannot produce anything to back this up. There is no call by anyone in resistance against the de facto regime that includes any threat of violence. Quite the opposite: every such statement calls for the continuation of non-violent protest. A boycott consists of not acting, of refusing, in this case, to be bullied by people like the members of the de facto regime threatening to arrest those advocating non-participation (despite the fact that there is no law against expressing such opinions, and indeed, a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech).

You may actually think you are getting a clear sense of events from whatever media you follow. But if you go in with a closed mind, you come out with one also. Anyone who can write

I believe that the military and police have restrained themselves admirably in the face of the provacation they have faced from rioters, stone-throwers, machete-armed hooligans and the rest of the "peaceful" resistance movement

is suffering from massive disinformation.

Independent international human rights reports across a wide spectrum conclude that, far from showing restraint, the police and military have actively engaged in unwarranted violence. Thousands of cases have been documented, including the use of deadly force against unarmed people. While I expect you also will argue that those individuals secretly had weapons that justified being shot and killed, what are your arguments justifying the sexual assaults and rapes being perpetrated against women participating in resistance?

There are extensive films of demonstrations available on line, showing the peaceful nature of these events. And online sources also include filming of violence against peaceful demonstrators. That is the truth, not the imagery you are imagining and projecting onto others.

So again: denying that you live in a country oppressing other citizens simply will not work. But then, you are not really denying it, are you? you are justifying it-- and thus are complicit in it.

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

Militarization is a reality. Today, Sunday, passing the turn off to Gracias on the western highway, not only were there police and troops but there was a machine gun on top of the cabin of a pick up with a soldier in the back.
This is a place where there are often Transit Police check points (seat belts, non-functioning lights, etc.)
But recently it has also been "manned" by the military and police (not just transit police).
Also, several local folks who have active against the coup are being advised by friends not to travel alone. There is fear of being captured by police or military - or worse.