Honduras: waiting game is no game
It's sickening enough that there are members of Congress who openly support the coup in Honduras. But Ginger Thompson of the New York Times' Mexico bureau wants you to believe that the squawking of a little splinter group of Republican rightists represents "tiny cracks emerging in the solidarity of the coalition of countries demanding the return of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya."
How else to intepret this passage, as she presents no other evidence for the assertion?
There were also signs of discord in the coalition of countries demanding Mr. Zelaya’s return. At a subcommittee hearing in Washington on Friday, several members of Congress criticized the Organization of American States for suspending Honduras not long after it lifted the suspension against Cuba.
Representative Connie Mack, Republican of Florida, urged the United States to cut its support for the O.A.S., which gets 60 percent of its financing from Washington. He said the organization’s response to the crisis in Honduras proved it was a “dangerous organization,” because it had sided with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, a stern ally of the ousted Honduran president, in undermining democracy in the region.
"What has happened in Honduras was not a military coup,” Mr. Mack said. “If anyone is guilty here it is Mr. Zelaya himself for having turned his back on his people and his own Constitution." [my emphasis]
The only way this would represent disunity among the countries pushing for Zelaya's return to office is if Miami were a separate country. Which, well... never mind.
The article as a whole is actually better than the run of recent big-media accounts of the coup and its aftermath. It reports the strikes and roadblocks by the popular movement supporting Zelaya's return to office, and reports the actual results of the CID-Gallup poll in Honduras showing a plurality of opposition to the coup (as compared with Reuters and Juan Forero of the Washington Post, who simply repeated the results as reported by La Prensa. Wild that "journalists" would take their cue from a coup-supporting paper that photoshopped the blood from the now-iconic photo of Isis Murillo (taken by Eduardo Verdugo for AP), shot dead by the military at the airport while waiting for Zelaya's attempted return.
Murillo's father, an anti-logging activist, spoke to the press recently recounting [Spanish] the shootings at the airport last Sunday and holding responsible Billy Joya, a retired Battalion 316 commander who's evaded every effort to bring him to justice for tortures and murders in the 1980s and who was named a ministerial advisor by the coup government. Yesterday Sr. Murillo was taken away by men in plain clothes. He is at serious risk.
Murillo's is one of the many lives at stake if the U.S. government does simply fold its hands and wait for magical results from the Costa Rica "negotiations". It may be that this administration, which is clearly eager to demonstrate that it opposes Zelaya, the Honduran popular movement, and Hugo Chavez, is backing away from its support for Zelaya's restoration. But Miami Republicans spreading pro-coup nonsense in a House hearing is not evidence for that. (For an interesting account of the hearing, see Adrienne Pine's anthropological field notes.)
Update: 12:30 pm, 13 July - All you'll hear about in the U.S. media is that the coup government lifted the curfew, but the repression is actually ratcheting up: Two leaders in the popular movement were assassinated [Spanish] over the weekend, and seven TeleSUR reporters and crew are in the process of being expelled [Sp.]. What will it take to get the U.S. government to cut off the rest of the aid and exert the many other forms of pressure it can bring to bear on the coup-makers?
The victims: Roger Ivan Bados, a labor leader and activist in the Democratic Unification party, killed on Saturday evening by three shots fired by a man on a bicycle near his house in San Pedro Sula. Ramon Garcia, from the province of Santa Barbara in
[Image: Anti-coup demonstration at U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa July 2; Eduardo Verdugo, AP]