Sunday, July 5, 2009
Assault on democracy close to home
The following paragraphs are from the Latin American Solidarity Coalition.
Background: A military coup took place in Honduras on Sunday, June 28, led by SOA graduate Romeo Vasquez. In the early hours of the day, members of the Honduran military surrounded the presidential palace and forced the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, into custody. He was immediately flown to Costa Rica.
A national referenfum had been scheduled to take place on Sunday in Honduras to consult the electorate on a proposal of holding a Constitutional Assembly in November. General Vasquez had refused to comply with this vote and was deposed by the president, only to later be reinstated by the Congress and Supreme Court.
The Honduran state television was taken off the air. The electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa, as well telephone and cellphone lines were cut. Government institutions were taken over by the military. While the traditional political parties, Catholic church and military have not issued any statements, the people of Honduras are going into the streets, in spite of the fact that the streets are militarized. From Costa Rica, President Zelaya has called for a non-violent response from the people of Honduras, and for international solidarity for the Honduran democracy.
You can go to this site and send a message to President Obama, asking him to cut off aid to Honduras (as required by law) and take what other actions he can, but what isn't included in the message is a demand to close the School of the Americas. You can go to the School of the Americas Watch for some history on the numbers of oppressive dictators and military "leaders" trained by this U.S. funded bastion of tyranny.
President Zelaya is due to return to Honduras today. For an up to the minute account, check out Al Giordano's The Field. (Al was a reporter at the Valley Advocate, Western Mass.'s weekly alternative paper, a few years after I worked the front desk.)