As expected, Honduras rejects OAS appeal to restore president
Demonstrators clashed with police and the army in Honduras (link in Spanish), and the country (as I posted yesterday) has suspended Constitutional protections on freedom of assembly during the curfew. Noticias 24 (see prior link for photos) also reports that Congress authorized detaining people for more than 24 hours. A member of the opposition party Unificación Democrática (UD) claims there have been 700 detentions, of which 20 are still under arrest. According to La Prensa, the curfew was scheduled to end tonight at 5AM. If any of the readers in Honduras can verify, please enter links in the comments section.
In today’s WSJ, Honduras Takes Control of Some Media
The country’s Channel 36, run by a close associate of expelled Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, was shut down following Mr. Zelaya’s ouster and remained off the air this week, with only a blank signal showing up on Honduran televisions.
Channel 8, a state-owned network that had also supported Mr. Zelaya, went off the air on Sunday and then returned with a new cast of anchors, largely delivering news friendly to the government’s interim president, Roberto Micheletti.
Radio Globo, a network that spent much energy criticizing Mr. Micheletti before he took power, remains under military guard, according to its owner, Alejandro Villatoro. When it broadcast the first Honduran interview with Mr. Zelaya Wednesday from exile, in which he was addressed as “Mr. President,” soldiers turned off the station’s transmitter, Mr. Villatoro said.
Other outlets less closely allied with Mr. Zelaya said they had no complaints.
The shutdown of Channel 36, for example, has left some newsmen ambivalent, because of what they see as the station’s commitment to attacking Mr. Zelaya’s adversaries when he was in power. Channel 36 owner Edras Lopez, was a close supporter of Mr. Zelaya and last year took aim at Mr. Micheletti, accusing him in a series of commercials of bribery and corruption, according to members of the Honduran media and congressmen. Mr. Lopez could not be reached for comment.
The WSJ quotes Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group for press freedom based in France, said Wednesday that some stations “have resumed broadcasting but their coverage of the coup is either closely controlled or nonexistent.” It also said international news outlets including U.S.-based CNN and Venezuela’s Telesur — which is run by the government of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and strongly supports Mr. Zelaya — were no longer available on TV stations and could only be seen on the Internet.
If any of my readers in Honduras can verify that CNN is no longer available on cable I would be much obliged.
In the comments section, La Gringa:
I have watched CNN 18-20 hours a day HERE IN HONDURAS since 7:30 am Sunday morning when I woke up.
Of course Chávez didn’t miss the opportunity to blame the USA for everything while calling the US government’s reaction “weak.”
Carlos Alberto Montaner, writing at the WaPo blog, confirms that the US had “tried very hard to keep Honduras’s Congress from ousting President Manuel Zelaya” and sheltered Zelaya’s son last Sunday. Montaner is worried about a bloodbath, too, and suggests,
The solution is to move forward with the general elections planned for November. It’s a solution within everyone’s reach: the candidates are already there, freely elected in open primaries, and both enjoy much popularity. Why plunge this society irresponsibly into a maelstrom of violence? Once the new government is selected, a government that enjoys the legitimacy generated by a democratic process, the Honduran people can push this lamentable episode into the past.
Micheletti has gone on the record saying that he would be willing to hold elections ahead of schedule if that would ease the standoff. As of the writing of this post Insulza is scheduled to arrive in Honduras today
The LA Times also says
After Zelaya was seized, his wife, Xiomara Castro, and their youngest son took refuge at the home of the U.S. ambassador, where they remain. The U.S. Embassy has a no-contact policy with the Micheletti faction.
This article from El Salvador.com states that Xiomara Castro de Zelaya had said that she had been with her mother and doesn’t mention anything about the US Embassy.
Libertad Digital has in PDF form the Honduran Supreme Court’s Timeline of Events also available at their official website, the Honduran Supreme Court Arrest Warrant against Manuel Zelaya ordering the Armed Forces to capture Zelaya on Sunday June 26 for “acting against the government, treason, abuse of authority and usurpation of power,” and the Honduran Attorney General’s arrest warrant against Zelaya dated Saturday June 25 (all in Spanish, of course).
Opinion at Counterterrorism Blog: Honduras and the Bolivarian Revolution.
Updates later today.
I changed the title of the post after reconsidering
A ‘coup’ in Honduras? Nonsense.
Don’t believe the myth. The arrest of President Zelaya represents the triumph of the rule of law.
Who cares about Honduras?
Obama ‘meddles’ in Honduras — and chooses the wrong side
Is this why Obama supports Zelaya?
Miami Herald: Top Honduran military lawyer: We broke the law
In an interview with The Miami Herald and El Salvador’s elfaro.net, army attorney Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza acknowledged that top military brass made the call to forcibly remove Zelaya — and they circumvented laws when they did it.
It was the first time any participant in Sunday’s overthrow admitted committing an offense and the first time a Honduran authority revealed who made the decision that has been denounced worldwide.
”We know there was a crime there,” said Inestroza, the top legal advisor for the Honduran armed forces. “In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us.”
La Gringa comments,
Our constitutional rights have not been revoked. We simply have a curfew which is only necessary because of the violence and vandalism being committed by pro-Zelaya protesters, assisted by thugs being imported from Nicaragua and Venezuela. Just last night they bombed a KFC in Tegucigalpa.
According to independent public polls, anywhere from 87 to 92% of the population are in favor of continuing the curfew.
Read also her post on the demonstrations.