Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Checking Back On Honduras [With Updates]

Sorry for yet another politically-oriented post, but it has been several weeks since the Burning House looked at the strange situation in Honduras and something should be said about it.

What reasons might there be for the media's extensive coverage of Iran, to the point of airing cell phone videos and messages posted on Twitter -- yet so very little about Honduras, including the brutality being visited on supporters of deposed President Zelaya?

We were, and are, somewhat skeptical about President Zelaya, but nothing he has done seems to have warranted the sudden and unannounced expulsion from his country by the military. His crime appears to have been insisting on holding a referendum that the Honduran Supreme Court ruled illegal. His non-binding referendum was to ask citizens whether they wanted to hold a convention to revise the Honduran Constitution. Some felt that his motives might have included a bid to extend his own Presidency -- but that wasn't what the referendum was asking. Innocent before proven guilty, eh wot?

In any case, he went ahead with the thing even though the Supreme Court said it wasn't a legitimate poll. That's bad, but then came the chaos: the military showed up at the President's house, arrested him in his pajamas, and put him on a plane headed out of the country. According to the line of succession, a legislator by the name of Micheletti was installed as President. Although Micheletti is from Zelaya's own political party, there is now a standoff. The government does not want Zelaya back, and seems to be waiting out the rest of his term (which expires later this year).

Most of the states of Central and South America are condemning this situation and vowing not to recognize another government elected under the watch of this regime. The United States is weirdly silent. (Its silence is also suspicious.)

Amnesty International investigated and has issued a disturbing report about violent crackdowns and police brutality against Hondurans who have taken to the streets asking that their president be allowed to return so this whole thing can be sorted out in a civil manner. Beatings by police, some of whom are covering their badges and wearing cloths over their faces; arbitrary detentions; women being molested. As in Iran, these events are witnessed and recorded, and yet for some reason CNN is not taking an interest. [[Otto Reich seems to think this is Chavez and Castro's doing.]]

The U.S. has a base there and is a member of the OAS. Why the silence? Especially when the plane that carried Zelaya landed and re-fueled at our base?


[UPDATE: Or maybe it has something to do with this: the interim government wants to pull out of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.]

1 comment:

Nathan said...

There's supposed to be a meeting between Zelaya and Hillary Clinton and maybe Obama today. It will be interesting to see if the silence is broken. I find that, given the U.S. history in Central America, the silence on our part is very, very problematic.