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President Zelaya and the Audacity of Action

Posted on Sep 22, 2009

Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected president of Honduras, is back in his country after being deposed in a military coup June 28. Zelaya appeared there unexpectedly Monday morning, announcing his presence in Tegucigalpa, the capital, from within the Brazilian Embassy, where he has taken refuge. Hondurans immediately began flocking to the embassy to show their support. Zelaya’s bold move occurs during a critical week, with world leaders gathering for the annual United Nations General Assembly, followed by the G-20 meeting of leaders and finance ministers in Pittsburgh. The Obama administration may be forced, finally, to join world opinion in decisively opposing the coup.

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How Zelaya got into Honduras is still unclear. He told the press Monday, “I had to travel for 15 hours, sometimes walking, other times marching in different areas in the middle of the night.” One source inside the Brazilian Embassy said he may have hidden in the trunk of a car, successfully bypassing up to 20 police checkpoints.

Around dawn Tuesday, supporters who defied the government-imposed curfew outside the Brazilian Embassy were violently dispersed with tear gas and water cannons. Electricity, phone and water service to the embassy have been shut down, and the Honduran military has reportedly set up a truck with loudspeakers there, blasting the Honduran national anthem. On Monday, the Organization of American States (OAS) reiterated its call “for the immediate signing of the San Jose Agreement,” the accord negotiated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias calling for Zelaya’s return as president, with members of the coup regime included in the government, and amnesty for anyone involved in the coup. Zelaya has agreed to the terms, but installed coup President Roberto Micheletti has rejected them.

After the June 28 coup, the OAS immediately suspended Honduras from OAS proceedings and called for Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement. On June 30, the U.N. General Assembly issued a unanimous demand for “the immediate and unconditional restoration of power” for Zelaya.

Likewise, UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, at its summit in Quito, Ecuador, formally denounced the coup. The OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights traveled to Honduras in late August and reported that demonstrations in support of Zelaya “were broken up by public security forces, both police and military, resulting in deaths, cases of torture and mistreatment, hundreds of injured, and thousands of arbitrary detentions.”


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President Barack Obama, on June 29, said clearly, “We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there.” But subsequent action, or inaction, by Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sent mixed signals. While Obama originally used the word coup, official policy pronouncements have avoided the term, which, if used, would trigger mandatory suspension of foreign aid. Instead, the Obama administration has deployed selective punishment of the coup regime, rescinding visas for Micheletti and other key coup figures, and halting a relatively token $30 million in aid.

Clinton said Monday, at a meeting with Costa Rica’s Arias: “We just want to see this matter resolved peacefully, with an understanding that there will be the remainder of President Zelaya’s term to be respected.” The United Nations will most likely take action this week in support of Zelaya. Zelaya said Tuesday from the Brazilian Embassy: “The U.S. should respond and respect the OAS charter. The United States should call for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The United States should take every type of trade sanction measure in order to pressure this regime now in power in Honduras.”

Obama is expected to chair a session of the U.N. Security Council, marking the first time a U.S. president has done so. Costa Rica currently has a seat on the Security Council, and could in theory bring up the issue of Honduras. Then in Pittsburgh, where the G-20 is meeting to assess and act on the global financial crisis, Brazil’s support for Zelaya may be a factor. Brazil, a G-20 member, is by far the largest economy in South America, and is a key ally and trading partner of the U.S. With tear gas wafting through the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, and a potential armed assault on it by the coup regime to arrest Zelaya, this week may force Obama and Clinton to finally help the people of Honduras undo the coup.
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback.

© 2009 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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By Peetawonkus, October 10, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

D. Knaup
Andress, hasn’t described anything accurately and their opinions and observations, like your own, are not supported by any government or organization except like-minded military juntas or cocaine dictatorships like Columbia. Like you, Andress is an apologist for a long and sad legacy of military rule in Latin America. Each one of these illegal and unconstitutional coups has repeated the cynical nonsense that they are “rescuing” the country from one “Leftist”, “Communist” or “Subversive” threat after another. Sure, when Honduras has been declared “safe” (meaning all opposition crushed), elections will be held. The military will be present at every election place and outside observers will be banned. And what do you want to bet that the current coup government will sweep the elections? If you really are a Democrat worthy of the name and not a troll in neo-liberal clothing you ought to know this. If not, you’d be well advised to start reading the history of Latin America.

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By Dhamma3, October 10, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Knope, you sound like a Democrat.  I have some property in Florida….

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By D. Knaup, October 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Andress has explained the situation in Honduras accurately.  I am a Democrat in
the US, but also embarrassed by Obama’s position on this important matter.  We
ought to be supporting this democratic action taken by the Honduran
government.  Instead, Obama is dead wrong as he has been on so many important
issues in his short duration as president.

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By Dhamma3, October 4, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment


PA (This state, next to California, is really pushing it. They have Republicans signing on due to the fiscally conservative nature of single-payer in terms of cost.

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Dhamma3—can you give a link as to where in ohio you are working with groups working on single payer? I keep running into people who “support the public option”. I have been on this issue for more than a decade and hate what I see happening.

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By Peetawonkus, October 2, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Trolls like Andress mimic education and intelligence and so we begin to debate them in good faith. But their conclusions were made before any evidence and no amount of information can shake what is essentially a mythology and not a methodology. Their primary function is to lurk on sites like Truthdig and waste the time of well-meaning people. Eventually their mask drops and we catch a glimpse of the authoritarian apologists who’ve been masquerading as concerned citizens. We’ll never change these people’s minds no more than Abolitionists changed the minds of slave owners. We can, however, work together to build a better world and not get distracted by the chatter of reactionaries.

I wasn’t in Pittsburgh but I’ve seen what Officer Friendly can do when the citizenry decides to protest. It’s the same cop, the same arm swinging the same club over women’s rights, civil rights, the rights of people to organize unions, and so on. When push comes to shove, phone calls are made and the police become the rent-a-cops for the ruling class. You’re absolutely right: no difference between Pittsburgh and Honduras. We’re up against people who think they own the Government. And they probably do. I’m sure they have a receipt for it somewhere. Maybe hidden under the Constitution or used as a bookmark in the Bible.

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By Dhamma3, October 2, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Thanks Peetawonkus. I fear you may be right.  For a number of years I have been working in Ohio with groups that have been working on single-payer health care (statewide and nationally), and I have found that many do not want to look at facts since ideology keep them from seeing what those facts mean, if the facts are able to be processed whatsoever.

Unfortunately, the whole impending health care reform fiasco is not only due to the Right Wing corporatists who rally the fearful and ignorant with outrageous lies (death panels, socialism, government mandating abortions, etc), most (but not all) of the Democrats are equally culpable. According to a reputable, econometric study by the California Nurses Association, an expanded and improved Medicare for all, single-payer plan would save 350 to 400 billion a year, create 2.6 million jobs. So what are the Dems offering, a plan that entrenches insurance companies even more in the system, does not allow for negotiating drug prices, and punishes those who can ill-afford quality plans by making them buy bad ones or maybe even fining those via the IRS those who do not purchase them.  The Dems have no guts and are complicit.  The money they receive from Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry has done its work.

This issue to is emblematic of what is going on in the seemingly unrelated issue of Honduras. The overriding question is who controls our democracy (and its foreign policy), and the answer is it ain’t you and I, the citizens.

I was at two of the Pittsburgh G-20 protests.  The 4000 police there looked no different than the police and soldiers breaking up the demonstrators in Honduras.  They were worse maybe, having the latest new technological innovations to squash the will of the people.  An industry has build up around this activity. 

With Military Commissions, the egregious Patriot Act, and the expanding corporate control of our democracy, citizens must see the big picture. I won’t even get into the privatization of all the things that once were publicly run, like our military, our prisons, and our schools.  The post 9-11 “government” sponsored and corporate backed tools have embedded themselves in our flailing democracy in order not to protect us, but to squash the inevitable dissent that will assuredly ensue.  As the middle class keeps getting eviscerated and the corporations walk off with more of the public treasure, it may take such an unfortunate tragedy for the populace (tea baggers included) to finally see who the real enemy is in our nation, the enemy within that has the power to quell dissent as easily as it has stopped sensible public discourse over our airwaves over the last 35 years.

Not sure how a class movement (and it is about class though we do not speak about it in America) can reassert itself like it did in the 1930’s, but if it doesn’t awaken soon….  Well, let me not ring the death knell yet for democracy, for the ideals that once stirred our better selves may stir once again in the breasts of real patriots, of true winter soldiers. Let me just say at times I get in despair over it, and despair of course does nothing to change what needs to be changed.  Awaking one person is a waste of time, you are right.

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By Peetawonkus, October 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Dhamma3, you are to be commended in trying to instruct someone like Andress. I tried it, too, as did others. But it’s a waste of time. This is someone who is mired in a right-wing ideology founded on violence, distortion and lies. They can’t, and won’t, be led out of it by anything like reason or information. The opinion of this troll on the affairs in Honduras is not widely shared and is largely discredited at this point yet they continue to hammer away on sites like this, in garbled legalese, belaboring their contradictions as if they were truth. They fancy themselves erudite and informed but trying to teach them history (or for that matter, current affairs) has as much use as urging a German Shepherd to learn French. These are the people history leaves behind.

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By Dhamma3, October 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

This is a cut of the same cloth Andress.  Multinational companies going after water rights of the poor and unempowered. In the words of the old union song,
They say in Harlan County,
There are no neutrals there,
You either are a *union man,    (*the working people)
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

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By Dhamma3, October 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

The Real News:

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By Dhamma3, September 30, 2009 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

PART II.  (Andress, this article informs the present) Why would a cabal of capitalists—conspirators of enormous wealth—approach such a man? Because they knew veterans revered him; he never ordered anything done he would not do himself. Grunts, noncoms, and combat officers believed Butler was their friend. Forty times, envoys of Wall Street tried to persuade him to lead a coup d’etat.
The instigators wanted a putsch commander who could mobilize 500,000 soldiers overnight. These would make up a paramilitary force, to take form as the American Liberty League. Its pattern was a French veterans’ group, the Croix de Feu. (The backers studied then rejected two other models of veterans’ organization that fascists had used in taking power: Mussolini’s blackshirts and Hitler’s brownshirts.)

The reason for the plot was the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), a member of the same ruling circles as the cabal itself. March 5, 1933—the day after his inauguration—FDR embargoed the export of gold and declared a national bank holiday. He told the “Hundred Days Congress” to enact a New Deal into law. In striving against the Depression, FDR awakened hope in the American people, but he appalled bankers and industrialists. Who would pay for this New Deal? The rich feared changes to the US system of finance, a rise in taxes, possibly even (Heaven forbid!) socialism.

Rumours of the plot reached Washington, where the Committee on Un- American Activities (CUAA)—was already exposing fascist intrigues. Its cochairmen were John McCormack (D MA) and Samuel Dickstein (D NY). CUAA got in touch with Smedley Butler: did the general have anything to tell them? After prying out all the plans he could, Butler asked a friend, an experienced newsman, to confirm the whole incredible scheme. The reporter visited twice with an agent of the conspirators (a wounded Marine vet) and set down his findings.

Secret executive hearings of CUAA opened November 20, 1934. Sworn testimony showed that the plotters represented notable families—Rockefeller, Mellon, Pew, Pitcairn, Hutton; and great enterprises—Morgan, Dupont, Remington, Anaconda, Bethlehem, Goodyear, GMC, Swift, Sun…. Some people named as plotters laughed, all denied everything.
“The reader who wishes to examine the official testimony is referred to the government report, `Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities: Public Hearings Before the Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-third Congress, Second Session, at Washington, DC, December 29, 1934. Hearings No. 73-D.C.-6, Part 1.’ Extracts of the censored testimony are revealed in the books A MAN IN HIS TIME, by John L. Spivak [NY: Horizon Press, 1967], and ONE THOUSAND AMERICANS, by George Seldes [NY: Boni & Gaer, 1947]” (p 140).

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By Dhamma3, September 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Andress, do you know about Smedley Butler?  Make sure you read the whole article and start with this post. It is about a right-wing coup attempt in the US back in 1933.

The Plot to Sieze the White House by Jules Archer
Hawthorn Books: New York

244 pp. Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940) blew the whistle on the little- known plot of the title. He was on public television the fall of 1993 in “The Road to Rock Bottom”—Part 2 of The Great Depression series (Blackside production). Near the end it shows Butler in shirtsleeves, urging on 10,000 of the war veterans who had marched to Washington and camped in Anacostia DC. It was July 1932. The Bonus Army asked for early payment of moneys promised for 1945. “Some were the same men who had fought under Smedley Butler in the Spanish-American War, the Philippines campaign, the Boxer Rebellion, ...Caribbean interventions, the Chinese intervention of 1927-8, and World War I” (p 3).
Butler, a major general at 48, retired from the Marine Corps in 1931. He had faced gunfire 120 times. Columnist Will Rogers wrote of Butler, “He is what I would call a natural born warrior. He will fight anybody, any time….He carries every medal we ever gave out. He has two Congressional Medals of Honor….You give him another war and he will get him another one….I do admire him” (p 116).

Except the two years in China, Butler spent the last third of his service in police work and administration. During this time a disillusion with war spread through Europe and America. The mood fed on books like ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and MERCHANTS OF DEATH.

August 21, 1931, Butler spoke to an American Legion convention in New Britain CT. Looking back, he reflected on his career. His remarks stunned the audience. Few papers dared report even part of the speech:

  “I spent 33 years…being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism….
  “I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street….
  “In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested….I had…a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions….I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three cities. The Marines operated on three continents…” (p 118).

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By Andress, September 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, you speak as if Zelaya were the only elected representative of the people of Honduras. As in the USA, the executive comprises only one third of the government.  The Supreme Court and the Congress make up the other two.  Every member in congress was elected by the people to serve as their representative.  What you are calling a coup was the ouster from office of an executive who was in the process of usurping power from the people’s elected representatives in Congress.

If Obama resorted to violent mobs to override Congress and the Supreme Court he would be arrested by the military or FBI under the orders of Congress or the AG, and removed from office too.

The reality of having a president leading mobs in the execution of an act of defiance against the other branches of government is something we cannot fathom in the USA but something that the Honduras’ democratic institutions had to contend with.  They did the right thing by throwing him out of the country and then calling out the army to maintain order.

You characterize calling out the army as “occupying the country” and the “ultimate act of political violence”.  You would rather see the country go up in flames and succumb to mayhem in the streets rather than have the army maintain order.  I will remind you that the first responsibility of government is to guarantee the safety of its citizens.  This is clearly a situation in which the army had to be called out into the streets in order to live up to this responsibility. 

There are plenty of examples here in our own country of the army being called out to maintain order.  The last one I remember occurred in Louisiana in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, at which time Cindy Sheehan famously called for an end to the military occupation much like you are calling for the same in Honduras.

My guess is that your sanctimonious position is what is not lost to the readers of this forum.

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By Peetawonkus, September 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Honduras is not a democracy, as demonstrated by the coup.

You’re trying to have your cake and eat it, too. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t support law and order by breaking the law and you can’t claim to be defending a constitution when your first act is to violate it. This contradiction, inherent in your argument, and its attendant cynicism, is not lost on contributors to this board. You harp endlessly on Zelaya’s alleged violence but make wordy excuses for Micheletti’s summoning in the Army to occupy its own country, the ultimate act of political violence. Excuses, by the way, most of Latin and South America aren’t buying. My guess is that, had the situation been reversed and a right-wing President been ousted by a left-leaning coup, you would be the first to start hollering about the sanctity of the rule of law.

It’s fairly clear at this point that you’re making the same arguments over and over again, based on conclusions you doubtless reached before you’d ever heard of Zelaya. I sincerely doubt anything I, or anyone else, including much of the world’s opinion at this point, can convince you of the bankruptcy of your point of view. You can cling to these arguments defiantly and stubbornly but they are not opinions widely shared. As a matter of fact, they are widely condemned, and outside the OAS as well.

Trying to tar everyone who disagrees with you as a Cuban cigar-chomping Chavez lover only makes your arguments more foolish and extreme.

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By Andress, September 30, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Dhamma3, thank you for the links.  I will dig into them at my earliest opportunity.

As far as the position of the OAS: keep in mind that the OAS is under the thumb of Chavez and his quartet.  Pronouncements from the OAS might as well be pronouncements from Caracas.

Peetawonkus, any isolation of Honduras will last until January, when the people will cast their vote for a new president and whatever members of congress are up for election.  You keep ignoring the fact that Honduras is a democracy.  The removal of Zelaya was that democracy’s defensive actions against a would-be dictator. 

It will probably fall on deaf ears again, but I will repeat it one more time: Zelaya was engaged in a naked power-grab using mob violence to trample the constitution and the other democratic institutions of Honduras.

The USA should be backing Honduras 100% against Zelaya and Chavez.

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By Peetawonkus, September 30, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Should Micheletti and the group currently in power arrest Zelaya they will make him into a martyr. Should they be so foolish as to kill him, he will become iconic as a symbol of resistance to the sad legacy of military dictatorship in Latin America. Honduras, like yourself, Andress, may remain defiant but it will find itself increasingly isolated, politically and economically, and eventually subjected to boycott from enough of the world to hurt. A resistance movement almost certainly will begin, which will naturally be brutally put down, fueling further world disgust. The odds are excellent that any resistance would be funded and supplied by other Latin and South American states. The US may object but there will be very little we can do about it except, perhaps, take the side of the coup government, which would be suicidal from a diplomatic point of view. The US might saber rattle over Chavez but if Brazil gets into the equation that will change everything. Honduras’ military is dependent on supplies from the United States, and there will certainly be increasing pressure to cease supplying them. The Obama Administration will weigh the cost and usefulness of maintaining a presence in the Middle East versus a widening regional conflict on America’s doorstep. The likelihood is that they will throw Micheletti to the wolves as a cost analysis write-off. This is not 1936 or 1965 or 1973. This is not a situation Micheletti, the Army, or those currently in power can win in the long term.

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By Dhamma3, September 30, 2009 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Andress, you say, “the DN report in the link you posted states that the Honduran congress voted down acting president Micheletti’s decrees and Micheletti relented (even asking for ‘forgiveness’ from the people).  This indicates that the Honduran government’s democratic checks and balances between the executive and the legislative branches continues to work.  The truth is that Honduras has a working democracy that has fought back against a naked power grab by the chief executive (Zelaya).”

I say what that means is the the 3 month mass demonstrations by citizens in the streets and the large marches after Micheletti imposed Marshall Law are what made the government rescind Marshall Law. The people do not want the dictatorship. They want their democratically elected leader back.  We see things differently on this point.

On Chevaz, I know that he is the democratically elected leader of Venezuela.  The Bush Administration unsuccessfully tried to oust him through a coup, so the guy—with all his faults—had reason to be wary of the United States and its arming heavily the Colombian regime.  All the money and military armament we pump into Colombia is not put there in order to improve the lives of the people in that nation.  It has to do with control over resources, the displacement of indigenous people to gain access to those resources, and the empowering of the wealthy elite who run the country with the support of multinational corporations. Chevaz has good reason to be worried. He is part of a movement in South and Central America to get out from under the thumb of American imperialism. Those nations want their autonomy back, and regardless of what we think of them they should be allowed self-determination. Our empire is crumbling before our eyes, and if we don’t make a smart, strategic and new approach to the peoples there, we will be in a worse way when our economic empire dissolves. Cooperation is needed—not meddling militarily with the big stick, even if put it in the hands of client state leaders.

If Zelaya’s plan is to redistribute wealth more equitably and alleviate the grinding poverty of the mass of its citizens, as he has took steps to by raising the minimum wage), then I support the return of the democratically elected leader since he was elected to lead and fight for the people who are marching in mass to have him reinstated. The OAS is adamant about his return.  Central and South America are both tired of the US’s meddling in their affairs.  See this link for the history of it:

As a US citizen, I tire of our nation acting for the corporate interests of the multinationals rather than democracy, or more importantly for the needs of the people to our South. It is an immoral policy, a dead-end neo-liberal policy to which the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank serve. Read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. A summary here:

What I am asking you to do is to challenge the basic assumptions upon which you look at Honduras. The coup is not an isolated incident. It is part of a larger, more complex problem of the US role in the internal affairs of these nations for interests that square neither with democracy nor our long term interests. You obviously are a smart, articulate person, smarter than I am I am sure, but you might dig deeper and get to the big fish deeper in the pond and not be content with sunfish and bluegill.

Last, I admit you are right about one thing.  If Uribe were ousted by a group wanting to reorient their nation to better serve the needs of the people and to serve democracy, I would be calling for him to be imprisoned, not reinstated.

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By Andress, September 30, 2009 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

Dhamma3, the DN report in the link you posted states that the Honduran congress voted down acting president Micheleti’s decrees and Micheleti relented (even asking for ‘forgiveness’ from the people).  This indicates that the Honduran government’s democratic checks and balances between the executive and the legislative branches continues to work.  The truth is that Honduras has a working democracy that has fought back against a naked power grab by the chief executive (Zelaya).

Regarding the Honduran constitution: it expressly prohibits ammendments related to election law within 6 months of the election. Zelaya was insisting (through the use of force) to proceed in his attempt to ammend the constitution within this six-month blackout window.

Zelaya’s actions were clearly illegal and blatantly flouted the authority of the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Attorney General, ALL OF WHOM RULED AGAINST ZELAYA.  His impeachment and ouster was a foregone conclusion were the Honduran legal process were to proceed unimpeded.  He was unceremoniously tossed out of the country rather than impeached in order to prevent bloodshed (which Zelaya in ensuring through his irresponsible return to the country).

The evidence that Zelaya’s ambitions are to emulate Hugo Chavez are plain for all to see.  If Chavez’s active support weren’t enough (they have an open and high profile relationship; Chavez even sent the printed ballots for Zelaya to conduct the unconstitutional plebiscite), then the tactics utilized by Zelaya to remain in power should be sufficiently convincing since they are straight out of the Chavez play book.

Put yourself in the position of the Honduran congress, Supreme Court, or Attorney general.  You see Zelaya getting support and advice from Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator who has been actively engaged in destroying democracies in the hemisphere (starting with the one in his own country).  Then you witness Zelaya resorting to mob violence in defiance of lawful orders to not proceed with the unconstitutional plebiscite—Zelaya stormed with a mob the military base where ballot equipment is stored and took the equiopment by force.

Zelaya’s actions were breathtaking in their outrageous disregard for the law and lack of respect for the country’s democratic institutions.  The Honduran democracy defended itself in a responsible manner.  All this hand-wringing about the way he was removed from office is being done by ideologues who would be singing a different tune if the likes of Colombia’s Uribe were in an identical situation, or by naive idealists who think that a third world country president who leads mobs to force his will over the trampled bodies of the Supreme Court, Congress, and AG should be treated as if he were the chief executive of Switzerland engaged in a political squabble with the legislative branch.

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By KDelphi, September 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Andress—I agree, and, i am not necessarily a supporter of Zelaya either. But, he was democratically (more than Dubya was) elected. I would have to disagree that we have never used a cannon to kill a gnat, with the giant leap of the GOP to the SCOTUS , citing “equal protection under the law”(who the hell believes that one?), after which Dubya employed many of the Supremes judges’ granchildren in high paid (little work) govt
“all Americancoup”.

With our “support” Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in hemisphere, save Haiti, which we have pulled coups in , again and again, while, as “immigrants” in boats team here from hait, they are turned away , while Cubans are welcomed with money and open arms.

How we have failed Honduras (and every other country in theouthern Cone that the uS touches whether with “freetrade agrements” or military coups or “the war on drugs”—when you see death squads in South Am, you will find the uS if you look deeply enough.

“...instance, Obama called the coup a coup; Hillary Clinton has never let that word pass her lips…

Obama called for the restoration of the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya. But when Zelaya first returned to Honduras, Hillary Clinton called it “reckless and imprudent” of him…

Now, after Zelaya has taken asylum in the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Lewis Anselem, just echoed Clinton by calling his move “irresponsible and foolish.”

And, with great condescension, the ambassador said Zelaya should stop “acting as though he were starring in an old movie.”

Actually, what we’re seeing is an old movie, and a bad one at that. It’s a movie called U.S. imperialism, and it keeps running and running and running.

Even though Obama yelled cut earlier this year and promised a relationship of equality with Latin America.

But, I never believed a word of it anyway. He’s too bush NOPT renegotiating NAFTA and trying to get CAFTA and PAFTA snugly under the radar. Bad for workers here, bad for former land owning farmers there.

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By Peetawonkus, September 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

“I see the contradiction, I just don’t allow its existence to override common sense.”

No, you mean you see the contradiction…but you don’t care if it’s applied in this case. When people are compelled by their ideologies the first thing they resort to is exceptionalism. Any law can broken, any constitution suspended so long as it can be made into a exception and words of noble purpose read over it. But one exception leads to another and soon the original purpose is lost in the struggle for power or to hang on to it. In the sad history of Latin America, fragile democracies have only recently emerged from the long shadow of one harsh military dictatorship after another, each one proclaiming the nobility and necessity of its coup as it “rescues” the country from one “subversion” after another. What has happened in Honduras is a step backwards into that shadow.

There was ample opportunity in Honduras (and perhaps still is) for the political process to continue. Zelaya could have been marginalized and his power largely and legally contained. Had it been truly necessary, the military could have been brought in, not to occupy the streets, but to guarantee that the political process would continue to function, and their role would have been largely invisible. This would have given Zelaya’s opponents time to prepare
for the next election and oust him through the ballot box. Or early elections could have been
called. However, it would appear Micheletti and other Zelaya opponents were not interested in any of that. They weren’t interested in elections that they possibly might lose, and that’s a gamble they were not willing to take. Despite alarmist proclamations of Zelaya intending to use force to take over the government, it was Micheletti and other Zelaya opponents who had a cosy relationship with the military, which came running at a whistle. Almost as if they were waiting…

For the record, Andress, I do not support Zelaya, per se. I have my personal assessment of him as a leader and it’s not overly generous. What I do support is the rule of law. If a political party, or group of individuals, in the United States, in collaboration with the military, overthrew the government on the basis of what the ousted party “might” have done or tried to do we would be horrified, and rightly so. Most Americans would call for an immediate end to martial law. And I deeply believe that if it were not halted immediately it would be disastrous in short order for the party that called for it. It would also likely have long range consequences for the military.

One of the reasons why our Democracy has survived so long when others failed is because the political process has triumphed, sometimes narrowly, over the urge to use a hammer to swat a fly. You cite an extreme example from the American Civil War era of why suspension of liberties is sometimes necessary in the grand scheme of things. But Honduras was under no such extreme condition. A political crisis, yes, but one which I maintain could have been solved through the rule of law and peaceful means. What do I think of the extreme measures Lincoln put into effect during the Civil War? It’s difficult to project yourself back into another time period and swear what you would do with a 21st Century mind—but I’d like to believe I would have been opposed to those measures.

I am not one of those who believes the means justifies the ends. I believe the means are the ends.

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By KDelphi, September 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Andress—If Lincoln had let the South secede, the slaves would be free by now and the uS (what was left of it) would be a more progressive country. The North would not be forced to live by the “
Southern strategy”. There were ways to end slavery without war, and, Lincoln didnt fight the Civil War over slavery—it was over economic power and most people should know that by now.

You should go see the Dhamma3 video at DN—it is very good, evven if you dont agree with it.

The matter is over whether the US had a right to yield its economic power over the poorest country in Central America , in spite of (or because of ) US “aide”, which, in the Southern cone, always has neferious purposes.

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By Dhamma3, September 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Andress, a report you should see:

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By Dhamma3, September 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Anress, a report you should see:

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By Dhamma3, September 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Andress, seems you do a lot of “projection” by stating that you know what Zelaya’s intentions were.  It’s a shame when actions can be taken against someone because someone thinks he or she is going to do something. So, please itemize your facts about what Zelaya was going to do rather than stating what the corporate media has been saying. Where did you get your information?

Calling for a referendum is legally justified under the Honduran Constitution.  The Honduran Constitution has been altered 16 times since 1825 (if my initial date is right), many of the changes quite positive. A good Constitution needs to be amended from time to time, as the United States’ Constitution has been with amendments. 

I don’t think women suffragists in the early 20’s in the US should have been thrown in jail or ousted from the country or lose their citizenship due to their work. 

You are correct to bring up Uribe, but for other reasons.  The US foreign policy to the region has always been about supporting our economic interests there, and the Honduran coup falls right in line with it.  There are reasons why Honduras is so poor. 

We would like all the leaders to our south to be Uribe puppets that support the moneyed elite at the expense of the working people and the poor. We want cheap access to all of their resources and do not want anything like democracy getting in the way. History has shown this time and time again. So the larger question for you Andress is which side are you on?  I hope not on the side of the Uribe’s of the world who kill union leaders and support the unfettering of the multinationals.

If Zelaya was going to improve the lives of the people of his nation through referendum, then that is where the arc of history is bending—more social and economic justice.  A Constitution should be able to be altered to improve lives, as theirs has been over the last 180 some years.

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By Andress, September 29, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

I see the contradiction, I just don’t allow its existence to override common sense. 

Zelaya used physical force to contravene the ruling of the country’s supreme court.  He was in the process of running roughshod over the other branches of government and the constitution itself (with the assistance of a foreign dictator, no less!).

His actions were so egregious in their unlawfulness and so blatant in their disregard for the other democratic institutions (including the Attorney General) that his removal from office was, from a legal standpoint, a foregone conclusion.  The only question was whether his removal should be carried out through his arrest and impeachment or through summary expulsion from the country.

The Honduran government chose summary expulsion in order to prevent loss of life (the bloodshed subsequent to Zelaya’s irresponsible entry into the country has borne out these fears).

I think that your comments about “ideological bias which will accept any distortion of the political process” are a classic case of what psychologists call “projection”.  We have two branches of a democratic government defending themselves against a brazen power grab by the third branch, and you defend it only because the power grab is being attempted by someone whose ideology you share.  My guess is that if Zelaya were a “Uribe” (Colombia’s Rightist prez) you would be backing the Congress and Supreme Court against him.

What we are seeing in Honduras is democracy defending itself from tyranny.  Zelaya left no doubt that his ambitions are to emulate Hugo Chavez.  Honduras has every right to defend herself against this attack.

By the way, do you think Abraham Lincoln was wrong in breaking the law in order to preserve the Union?  He suspended habeas corpus, restricted freedom of the press, and enforced a real military occupation of his own country.  Now Lincoln is nearly universally heralded as, arguably, the greatest of all our presidents.

One last note: I am delighted to have found a site where I can debate people who are “left” of center without being subjected to all kinds of invective and profanity.  Thanks,—Andress

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By chis@, September 29, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When brute force is imperative in a country, how can you trust anything ‘official’ that comes out of it?

For all I care, any word from the coup authorities should be dismissed promptly, and that goes the same to coup judges, coup priests, coup reporters working for the coup media, coup politicians, etc. They’re either puppets or coerced citizens, that fear, with good reason, a certain reprisal against them speaking their minds freely.

One person the anti-coup fighters ought to bring forth is Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to remind everyone what happened in Haiti and how the world bankers will twist Zelaya’s arms into accepting their corrupt continuation of economic dominance.

Although his term is ending, I hope Honduras will eventually be part of ALBA, which I think is what unsettled the moneyed interests and instigated the coup - Hondurans joining ALBA.

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By Peetawonkus, September 26, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

You do not break the law to uphold the law and you do not use a military occupation of your own country to secure Democracy. This is the contradiction at the heart of your arguments. Your failure, or refusal, to see this betrays an ideological bias which will accept any distortion of the political process so long as the individual or Party you do not like is removed. Apparently, at that point, then the rule of law can be re-instated and its sanctity proclaimed. Until the next coup, or the one after that. Once you’ve started, where does it end?

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By Andress, September 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

To Peetawonkus: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

From my perspective, the action taken at the point of a gun to enforce the findings of the Supreme Court and Congress against a president who blatantly tramples the constitution is, in fact, enforcing the rule of law.

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By billyrides, September 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

The Wall Street Journal used to be a paper that print the truth and that America
could respect. Now it is a propaganda machine for the fascist neo cons that
support torture and military dictatorship and oil wars. The economic collapse in
America caused by Wall Street bankers and CBBs (Crooked Banker Buddies) that
created the FIRST $TRILLION BANK ROBBERY when they launched the
derivatives scam on December 15th 2000 that resulted in 4 million Americans
to lose their homes (mostly black people) and the American taxpayers to be
stuck with a $63 TRILLION toxic financial instrument called the derivative.
These CBB’s under the guidance of the Bush mafia then pulled off the dayliight
$1.25 TRILLION bank robbery and their stooge Paulson gave these $TRILLION
CROOKS the $1.25 TRILLION bailout. Reference the documentary “American
Casino”. Americans should band together and demand a new constitutional
convention and restore democracy in America and end congressional pensions
and healthcare for starters. Fascists like Morganthau and O’Grady should be
exposed for the fascist propaganda they publish for FTAA plundererss like
Phillip H Knight who exported 120,000 American jobs to Honduras then
skimmed a $6 BILLION tax free profit from his Honduran sweatshops. This
Philip H Knight hates American union workers and wants to export 1 million
more American jobs to Honduras and Colombia. FTAA fanatics like Knight and
Clinton and Bush are dedicated to crushing all American unions and their way
is to fire American workers and move the jobs to a fascist country like
Colombia or Honduras because these greedy capitalists also control the
narcotics trade in Honduras and Colombia. Only President Chavez of Venezuela
stands in their way because he has seized the ports from the corrupt lackeys of
Phillip H Knight and stopped drug shipments cold and stopped FTAA
expansion cold. Thank God their is a new hero in the world standing up to the
Bush and Clinton mafias that caused the FIRST $1.2 TRILLION BANK ROBBERY
and lost $63 TRILLION in the CBB republican derivative scam, and lost $13.1
TRILLION since 1991 in the FTAA/ FREE TRADE PONZI scheme, lost $6 TRILLION
in the Iraq oil war, borrowed another $4 TRILLION from China and middle east
tyrants to finance their oil wars. They have turned America into a debtor nation
and ruined our economy and stolen our jobs. Let’s dump these fascist bank
robbers now.
Send photos of FTAA sweatshop atrocities to
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By mustntsleepmustwarnothers, September 25, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Zelaya, hero of democracy.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

” Zelaya said Tuesday from the Brazilian Embassy: “The U.S. should respond and respect the OAS charter. The United States should call for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The United States should take every type of trade sanction measure in order to pressure this regime now in power in Honduras.”

The siege of Tegucigalpa
Repression ordered to the neighborhoods of the Honduran capital, forcing the poor to fight or starve

Video: Zelaya’s return to Honduras met with force    
Written by The Real News  
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Source: The Real News Network

Ousted president makes surprise return to the capital, coup government responds with vicious crackdown

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By Peetawonkus, September 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

To Andress:
You seem to be missing the point about the rule of law. Resorting to military overthrows of elected leaders is not how Democracies solve a political crisis. Much of Central and South America—indeed much of the world—are aware of Zelaya’s shortcomings and over-reachings. Yet these same governments have also condemned Micheletti’s coup as a violation of the very rule of law Micheletti claims to uphold.

Regardless of what Zelaya did or didn’t do, or is alleged to have done, he is still the elected President. Something Micheletti, for all his defiant posturing, is not, having come to power through the barrel of a gun.

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By Andress, September 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

To Dahmma3: you say that I “give no substantive reason why there should have been a coup or why we should support it.”

Please see my post of Sept 22 7:41pm.  In it, I write about how Zelaya was moving forward with his unconstitutional attempt to remain in power (term limits prevent Zelaya from running for office again).

The other branches of government (congress and the supreme court) found Zelaya’s actions unconstitutional and warned him not to proceed.  The country’s attorney general also sided with the rule of law and warned Zelaya and anyone assisting him not to continue.

And yet, Zelaya led a mob in storming the military location where Honduras stores its voting equipment and to take the equipment by force.  His plan was to use paper ballots flown in by Hugo Chavez to conduct a plebiscite to change the constitutional restriction to running for another term.

This outrageous behavior is indifensible.

The Honduran government (congress, supreme court, AG) had the obligation to stop him.

I am perplexed at the multiple posts that charge the US government with complicity in his expulsion from the country and with standing against Zelaya.  It is the exact opposite!  The Obama administration has sided with Zelaya and is subjecting Honduras to punitive sanctions in an attempt to force Honduras to reinstate Zelaya.

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By Peetawonkus, September 24, 2009 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

I get it that Zelaya and Hitler and Bush and all sorts of people were elected. I also know that the current President of Honduras, Micheletti, was not. What troubles me in all of this is the logic that justifies using violent, non-democratic means to remove an elected leader and replace him with a non-elected one in order to preserve “Democracy.” Micheletti is saying, in effect, he seized power via the military in an unconstitutional coup to keep the elected President, Zelaya, from, maybe, possibly, attempting to subvert the Constitution. It has that “We had to destroy this village in order to save it.” smell about it.

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By NYCartist, September 24, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Peetawankus,  to answer your question: Hitler was elected.  I am not opposed to Chavez, I add.

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By Dhamma3, September 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Don’t quite get your post.  You are using a false syllogism with the Hitler comment.  But more importantly, you give no substantive reason why there should have been a coup or why we should support it.  Maybe the answer is because Zelaya implemented a higher minimum wage to help the poor in this Central American country that is one of the poorest in the hemisphere.  United Fruit, and I use the name symbolically to represent the moneyed interests there and abroad, doesn’t like that kind of thing.  Maybe because he had called for a referendum on the Constitution, one written when Honduras was ruled by a dictator and one which entrenches the wealthy few at the top and the many poor far below.  Maybe because since Central and South American countries are finally getting out from under the boot and from the United States many decades of economic control, and Zelaya too was slowly moving in the same direction as Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc. 

We have a long and sordid history of overthrowing democratically elected governments in the hemisphere, and maybe this one is to be the one to turn back the tide on a socially left movement in the region that is attempting to spread the wealth in a more responsible way, while not allowing its wealth to be shipped off north to the multinationals.

Maybe you like the fact that Micheletti has already implemented water laws that privatize water, something that was not going to happen unless there was a coup. 

Not really sure what actions of Zelaya you are speaking of, since you name none.  Shed some light on this to help me understand your position.

It is obvious that the coup has the blessings of the United States government, and one can easily see this by the tepid response from Hillary Clinton and Obama too.  Zelaya should be returned without conditions, and if the wonderful speech Obama gave to the OAS has any truth in it, then we should call for self determination, not indulging in the intimidation of silence; we should be working with all the nations of the region regardless of where they are on the political spectrum, though Columbia poses a problem since they are pretty much a client state of the US (besides, they kill union workers too); and maybe we should be ending the senseless embargo against Cuba while we are at it.  We haven;t done pretty things to our neighbors to the south, and one day the chickens will come home to roost.

I am tired of our self-interested interventionism and of our sense that we have a right to do so on behalf of our interests (a word used in Obama’s speech to the UN if you heard the part), which of course always seems to mean the corporate interests, not ours as citizens.

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By Peetawonkus, September 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

I think I understand now. So…the best way to prevent a “democratically elected” President from becoming a dictator was to launch a preemptive strike. In other words, we needed a military coup in order to save…what was it again—Democracy? I wonder how many Americans would be in favor of this happening in the U.S.

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By Folktruther, September 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

The resistence of the Honduras people is very embarrassing to the US power structure, since the coup could obviously not occur without its consent.  Also dangerous since it is mobilizing not only the Hondurans but all Latin Americans against yankee imperialism.

this might be the reason we are getting so many ‘independant’ truthers dropping in to defend it, like Andrass.  If the CIA was involved, as it probably wss, they have a variety of assets and sympathizers who can defend their policies.

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By andresslack, September 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason the Honduran government “kidnapped” Zelaya and flew him out of the country rather than arresting him was to prevent bloodshed (the bloodshed we are now seeing as a result of Zelaya’s return into the country).

My post in reply to the question of how a dictator can be elected democratically isn’t showing, so at the risk of being repetitive I will give just one example (of many possible ones) without elaboration: Hitler. He was a democratically elected dictator.

Zelaya’s actions are indefensible.  Just because he may share the same ideological bent one has does not mean that one should support him.  He should be censured by all and the Honduran government should receive our strong support, not our opprobrium.

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By Che J, September 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me Hillary Clinton operated a little to the left of the Obama
administration in her response to the ousting of Zelaya in Honduras.  The
quote below from The Wall Street Times is an example of what she said before
Obama stepped in and changed her course.

‘Mrs. Clinton has piled on as well. Yesterday she accused Honduras of violating
“the precepts of the Interamerican Democratic Charter” and said it “should be
condemned by all.” Fidel Castro did just that. Mr. Chávez pledged to overthrow
the new government.’

And Monitor 24 credited Hillary with originating the word ‘coup’ in relation to
the ousting of Zelaya -

‘The U.S. government condemned the expulsion of the president of Honduras,
Manuel Zelaya, during the weekend. The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,
described the incident as a “coup”.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton disagrees with the Obama drift regarding Honduras -  I
believe she did originate the word ‘coup’ in regard to matters there.

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By Andress, September 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peetawonkus, here’s how you become a democratically elected dictator:

1. Get elected through the democratic process (a good way to do this is to promise the masses that you will give them everything for free and that you will fight against all manner of evil such as the current political system, greedy corporations, corruption in general, and (of course) the rich.

2. Once in office, change the rules so that you strip the power from other branches of government (the judiciary and the legislative).

3. Stamp out political opposition and muzzle the press.  Make sure to do this under the cover story of protecting the nation from infiltrated enemies and repeat often and loudly that these actions are actually ensuring freedom for all.

4. Change the rules so you remain in office for as long as you please (for life, even).  Start out by extending term limits to just one more than currently exists; do this a couple times, and then just put in the constitution that there are no term limits for yourself so that you don’t have to keep going through the pesky task of extending presidential term limits. 
Preferably, conduct periodic “show” elections so that you can maintain the semblance of a democracy. Note: be careful not to win by too much.  In a real democracy, 90% margins of victory are not possible, so try to keep victory margins realistic (this one appears to be particularly hard for dictators to adhere to—probably because they are all egomaniacs)

5. Constantly repeat to the press and to the country’s citizens that you were democratically elected and therefore, by definition, you are obviously not a dictator.

BTW, Hitler is a good example of a democratically elected dictator.


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By Folktruther, September 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

The coup governemt is now repressing the Honduras people with shootings, beatings, etc, no doubt with US consent or even instigation.  The question is whether they can repress the population by violence.  The US couldn’t in Iraq, Afghanisstan and Pakistan.

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By MG8, September 23, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny how some people can get it so wrong, backwards actually. It causes one to begin to understand why so many in America don’t accurately understand what’s going on with our own government, with such misinformation floating around.
  Tell us how Zelaya subverted the Constitution, Andress. How did his proposed referendum subvert the Honduran Constitution?
  The coup government in Honduras that took over said Zelaya’s proposed non-binding referendum, which he called a survey to determine if people wanted a constitutional convention to amend their Constitution to better the working class, was an illegal power grab to attempt to oust him legally, but of course that didn’t work because Zelaya did nothing wrong, so they (the right-wing elites) did it by force, then claimed it was the correct thing to do against someone who broke the law. This sounds suspiciously like the logic those in our government in the US use for their various positions on issues like gun control, energy policy, the banking bailout, the military invasion and occupation of Iraq, the list is nearly endless. People need to keep track of those who would lie their way into power, or misinform for whatever motives they may have, or this world will go to hell in a hurry.

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By Peetawonkus, September 23, 2009 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

To Andress:
“...Venezuelan dictator Chavez (who was also democratically elected, you may recall.”

How do you become a “democratically elected” dictator?

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By Peetawonkus, September 23, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Andress:
“...Venezuelan dictator Chavez (who was also democratically elected, you may recall).

How can you be a “democratically elected” dictator?

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By Folktruther, September 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

The pre-revolutionary situation is the reason Obama is making token efforts toward pretended legality.  the population is no doubt encouraged by the support of Latin America, visible in the use of the Brazilian embassy as a refuge for Zelaya.  Clinton is appealing for ‘calm.’

An historic situation.  The Bush coup against Chavez failed and now theUS is having trouble in a tiny country like Hondoras which it largely owns.  The coup has alredy backfired, unting Latin America and activating the Honduras population.Whatever happens, it is obvious that US imperialism is crumbling.

An indication is the number of stray commenters backing the coup.  they are almost as well organized as the neozionists.

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By Commune115, September 22, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Andress, the Micheletti regime rendered itself illegal when it kidnapped Zelaya and expelled him from Honduras, an illegal act under the very constitution these fascist pigs claim to protect.

Meanwhile, Al Giordano reports that Tegucigalpa is in a state of near revolution!

8:03 p.m.: An interesting development today in the popular barrios and colonias of Greater Tegucigalpa: The coup’s military curfew - now extended for a total of 36 hours until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning - is causing major hardship for the great mass of Honduran citizens that live day to day. Small shop owners, ambulant street sellers, mercado workers and so many others generally don’t have savings. If they don’t work on a given day, they and their families don’t have food to eat that night. A great many don’t have refrigerators and they shop the same day for the food they will eat. The curfew is causing shortages of food and other basic products of daily life, and preventing many from being able to afford what little they need. And while the general view in the popular (read: poor) barrios has been anti-coup, the curfew has brought forward a rage and a higher level of organization overnight.

Add to that the fact that the National Police have spent last night and today busting into those neighborhoods to enforce the curfew - because many citizens aren’t paying it any mind as it interferes with their daily subsistence level survival - and has overreacted with great violence, shooting tear gas canisters into homes, invading people’s houses, and such. This has caused a generalized phenomenon throughout the metropolitan area: People have come en masse out of their homes, chased the police out of many of those neighborhoods, and erected barricades to keep them out. They are now organizing to maintain those barricades. The coup regime thus, overnight, has lost any semblance of control of considerable tracts of urban Honduras. Tegucigalpa is beginning to look a lot like the city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006.

8:46 p.m.: After a bizarre press conference held in English and translated into Spanish, in which a staffer, Carlos Lopez Contreras, represented coup “president” Micheletti (without Micheletti being present - his handlers have hidden him away for good reason), and in “cadena nacional” (broadcast on all stations by law), the regime has extended the curfew now for 50 hours, until 6 p.m. tomorrow night.

8:54 p.m.: From, more detailed info on the neighborhood-by-neighborhood uprising underway in Greater Tegucigalpa today and tonight:

The de facto government, through its violence and denial of constitutional and human rights, has managed what Zelaya alone had not fully succeeded in doing: uniting the entire country in the struggle for freedom. Today, they resistance underwent an important shift: it went local. The following Tegucigalpa neighborhoods are defying the curfew and protesting against the coup d’etat:

Arturo Quesada
Barrio Morazán
Centroamérica Oeste
Cerro Grande
Ciudad Lempira
Colonia 21 de Febrero
Colonia 21 de Octubre
El Bosque
El Chile
Flor del Campo
Hato de Enmedio
La Fraternidad
Residencial Girasoles
Residencial Honduras
San José de la Vega
Víctor F. Ardón
Villa Olímpica
In some places people have repelled the police, while in others the terrain is in dispute. The police are using live ammunition. Barricades are everywhere. This list was current at 7pm local time in Tegucigalpa.

The latest extension of the curfew just announced - preventing Hondurans from working or shopping all day tomorrow, too - will only exacerbate this situation.

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By Marci Davis, September 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is an embarrassment beyond description that the US government is NOT supporting Zelaya and is applying so little pressure on Honduras to reinstate him.  Snatching the President from his bed and flying him out of the country without him be charged is not in the Hondurain Constitution. He wasn’t arrested the several times he could have been because he did not break any laws.

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By Commune115, September 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

The Honduran workers need to set an example for the world and overthrow this corrupt, fascist regime and reinstate the legitimate, elected government. Maybe this is a prologue for the anticipated revolution in Mexico for 2010.

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By Andress, September 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here are the facts:

Zelaya attempted to subvert the constitution. 

The Honduran congress ruled against him.

The Honduran SUPREME COURT ruled against him. 

The country’s attorney general also ruled his actions illegal and forbade him and anyone else to pursue an unconstitutional attempt to call a plebiscite to modify the constitution within the constitutionally forbidden 6-month window prior to general elections (the Honduran constitution stipulates that changes to electoral laws cannot be made for the 6 months prior to the elections).

Zelaya insisted in going forward with a brazen and unconstitutional attempt to remain in power. 

The supreme court ruled his actions unconstitutional.

He persisted.

The congress ruled against his actions.

He still persisted.

The attorney general ruled that anyone assisting Zelaya in this effort was breaking the law.
And yet, in the face of the other democratic institutions exerting their proper role in curbing Zelaya’s power grab, Zelaya proceeded with hundreds of supporters to storm the army base where voting equipment is stored in order to forcibly take it and use ballots supplied by Venezuelan dictator Chavez (who was also democratically elected, you may recall).

It is an embarrassment beyond description that the US government is supporting Zelaya and applying pressure on Honduras to reinstate him.

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By Folktruther, September 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

this week so a historical step forward in two directions.  Brazil allowing its embassy to be used as resistence to the coup.  and the US allowing Columbian death squads to be imported into Honduras.  The US coalition is opposing the Latin coalition as the coup becomes internationalized.

the US threat is formidable.  If Obama can import death squads into Honduras from Columbia, there is no reason why he cannot import death squads into the US.

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