The Latin American Resistance Needs Us Now!
Urgent Plea from Radio Progreso (my translation)
Sun, 08/16/2009 - 12:30 — AP (Translation in Spanish follows plus three more important and useful articles on this issue)
Help! Our Voice, Radio Progreso and ERIC SJ
Our Voice in the political crisis:
Radio Progreso and the Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication ERIC of the Jesuit community in Honduras
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Radio Progreso was placed under siege by an army contingent the very day of the coup d'etat. At gunpoint and without a warrant, the military penetrated our facilities and forced us to silence our equipment.
On August 14th, our radio sent two of its reporters to cover the protest that the resistance front had organized in the city of Choloma, between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés, in the north zone of the Honduran Atlantic. Radio Progreso would cover the events when the protesters were savagely attacked by the police contingent.
At noon, our reporter Gustavo Cardoza transmitted the news about the teargassing, the arrests, the physical attacks that the police were carrying out right and left on the protesters. All of the sudden, Gustavo Cardoza said that a policeman was pointing his weapon at him and immediately reported that other police were coming after him. Our reporter tried to run, and told them that he was a reporter for Radio Progreso. It was then that we heard his cries, and the blows that our reporter was receiving.
The transmission from our reporter was abruptly suspended. The police kicked him, hit him in the back, in the stomach, they threw him in a vehicle and laid him face down, and in the trajectory they kicked him, hit him with rifle butts, and attacked him with the worst possible insults.
Luckily, the Association of Lawyers in Resistance to the Coup and the Association of Judges for Democracy acted with speed and diligence, and although some of them were shoved and insulted, at the end of the day they managed to get the police to free our reporter and some of the other protesters who had been captured and tortured.
Before the world, we give testimony of our defenselessness. We raise our voice, our clamor before the community of international human rights organizations, because here, all those of us who oppose the de facto regime are exposed to barbarities, while the organisms of the state that are responsible for overseeing justice and human rights, instead of protecting us, point their accusing finger so that they can exterminate us. People of the world, don't leave us alone!
Original?!!AUXILIO!!Nuestra Palabra Radio Progreso y ERIC sj.
NUESTRA PALABRA en la crisis política:
Radio Progreso y el Equipo de Reflexión investigación y Comunicación ERIC de la Compañía de Jesús en Honduras.
Sábado 15 de agosto de 2009 ¡¡AUXILIO!!
Radio Progreso fue sitiada por un contingente del ejército el propio día del incruento golpe de estado. A punta de ametralladora y sin orden judicial, los militares penetraron en nuestras instalaciones y nos obligaron a silenciar nuestros equipos.
El día viernes 14 de agosto, nuestra Radio envió a dos de sus reporteros a cubrir la manifestación que el frente de resistencia tenía organizada en la ciudad de Choloma, entre San Pedro Sula y Puerto Cortés, en la zona norte del atlántico hondureño. Radio Progreso cubría los acontecimientos cuando los manifestantes eran atacados salvajemente por los contingentes policiales.
Al mediodía, nuestro reportero Gustavo Cardoza transmitía la noticia sobre las bombas lacrimógenas, las capturas, los golpes que los policías infringían a diestra y siniestra a los manifestantes. De pronto, Gustavo Cardoza advirtió que un policía le apuntaba con su arma y de inmediato reportó que otros policías venían sobre él. Nuestro reportero trató de correr, y les decía que él era un reportero de Radio Progreso. Fue entonces cuando oímos sus lamentos y los golpes que nuestro reportero estaba recibiendo.
La transmisión de nuestro reportero se suspendió bruscamente. Los policías lo patearon, le pagaron en la espalda, en el estómago, lo subieron a un vehículo, lo acostaron boca abajo y en el trayecto le pegaban patadas, le daban con la culata del fusil mientras lo maltrataban con las peores palabras e insultos.
Por suerte, la asociación de abogados en Resistencia al Golpe y la Asociación de Jueces por la democracia actuaron con prontitud y diligencia, y aunque algunos de ellos recibieron empellones e insultos, lograron que al final del día la policía liberara a nuestro reportero y a otros de los manifestantes capturados y torturados.
Dejamos constancia ante el mundo de nuestra indefensión. Elevamos nuestra voz, nuestro clamor ante los organismos de derechos humanos de la comunidad internacional, porque aquí todos los sectores que nos oponemos al régimen de facto estamos expuestos a la barbarie, mientras los organismos del Estado responsables de velar por la justicia y los derechos humanos, en lugar de protegernos, apuntan con su dedo acusador para que nos exterminen. Pueblos del mundo, ¡No nos dejen solos!!
Too Cute by Half on Honduras, Mr. President
Posted by Al Giordano - August 11, 2009 at 8:29 am
By Al Giordano
The President of the country whose seal is emblazoned on your correspondent’s passport took some heat from the right during his 2008 presidential campaign when his bride, Michelle Obama, said, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
The statement was far from a spontaneous gaffe: It was very smart politics and from the moment it happened I marveled at the genius of David Axelrod, the Obama advisor who I suspected had orchestrated it. Michelle’s admission was a clarion call to tens of millions of US citizens who knew their government had betrayed its founding principles more often than not in recent decades and who had generally stayed away from the ballot box over the past 28 years. If there’s anything the United States of America has fostered in so many of its citizens, it is a healthy ambivalence about a “democracy” that hasn’t usually walked its talk.
The higher voter turnout that allowed Barack Obama to overwhelm the Clinton machine in the primaries and achieve a punishing victory last November was largely the result of citizens that do not regularly vote – young people, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, community organizers and others that know what I’m talkin’ about here –turning out and doing so because Obama presented the possibility that we might be able to be proud again.
Many of the causes of that long national ambivalence by a significant swathe of the US population could be found in Washington’s historic behavior in this hemisphere: from the 1955 US-backed coup d’etat in Guatemala to the 2002 US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela (turned back in three days by the Venezuelan people), the global power of the North - the first land to lead the hemisphere an a wave of insurrectionist rebellions against European colonialism - had become the hemisphere’s colonizing empire, and utilized shamefully brutal and violent methods to do so.
In that context, President Obama ought to think twice before bandying about the word “hypocrisy” again in the way he did last weekend while in Mexico. Asked about the widespread perception in Latin America that Washington hadn’t backed its words against the Honduran coup d’etat with deeds, the President said:
“The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we're always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can't have it both ways.”
“If these critics think that it's appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is that maybe there's some hypocrisy involved in their -- their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations that -- that certainly is not going to guide my administration's policies.”
As with all falsehood, there is a kernel of truth in what the President said: It would be hypocritical to repeat the dastardly deeds of the past. Counting only the actions since Barack Obama was born, the list is long and shameful enough: The 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the 1965 US occupation of the Dominican Republic, the 1966 Green Beret intervention against rebels in Guatemala, the 1973 US-backed coup d’etat in Chile, the 1975 US launched Operation Condor to install and back military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, the dirty wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s (which included well-documented official US cocaine-trafficking to pay for it), the 1983 US invasion of Grenada, the 1987 US military “drug war” intervention in Bolivia, the 1988 US-backed electoral fraud in Mexico, the 1989 US invasion of Panama, the multi-billion dollar US intervention of Plan Colombia launched in 2000 (which continues through the present), the 2002 US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela, the 2004 US-backed coup in Haiti, the 2006 US-backed electoral fraud in Mexico, and the 2008 US launch of Plan Mexico among them.
As you can see from the above (and partial) list, this is not a matter of ancient history. Some of this crap continues through to the present day.
When in April of this year the US President went to the Summit of the Americas and promised a new beginning in US-Latin American relations, his counterparts to the South took him seriously and gave him much benefit of the doubt. That the US voted with the rest of the Organization of American States (OAS) to lift the ban on Cuba’s membership, while its Justice Department finally indicted ex-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and Washington took its first baby steps to ease the embargo on the island, contributed to what could have been that new hemispheric order based on mutual respect that Obama waxed so poetically about.
US policy toward its closest neighbors had begun to turn the corner from dysfunctional to functional.
But suddenly, less than seven months into the Obama administration, all that promise of progress is now at risk, because of its ham-handed response to the June 28 military coup in Honduras.
I worry not for Latin America. As Narco News has documented for nine years, most of them while the US suffered under a tinhorn tyrant named Bush, the people of this hemisphere have been untying the colonial knot just fine even as Washington opposed them. And as I documented last week from distinct regions of Honduras, the civil resistance there will triumph sooner or later and topple the coup d’etat and its illegitimate regime with or without support or opposition from the United States.
What the US will get from its betrayal of its initial good statements against the Honduras coup will be a civil revolution that erases the institutions – executive, legislative and judicial – that existed until June 28 in Honduras and that replaces them with a more Latin American kind of democracy. I really don’t worry about Latin America. I’ve listened and learned too much to think that it needs Washington’s hand to do for itself what its majorities desire.
No, I worry for the United States of America.
Right now, the cadre of foreign policy bureaucrats to whom President Obama unwisely delegated hemispheric relations while he pursues lofty priorities like national health care have wrought their own special kind of coup d’etat in Washington. In the end, he can’t escape ultimate responsibility because he put them there. The buck stops at his desk. There’s no ultimate way for my fellow community organizer to wiggle around it. He’s the one that will stand for reelection in 2012 and perhaps be left wondering why folks like Michelle Obama who want to feel proud of their country may end up sitting on our hands and go back to our non-voting ways.
At the center of that coup in the United States is the Clinton machine that in some kind of macabre power sharing agreement has taken US policy in this hemisphere hostage and off the track of what the President promised when running against Secretary Clinton for president in 2008.
Not only have we now got Clinton attorney Lanny Davis lobbying on behalf of the Honduran dictatorship before an administration whose central promise was that it would end the undue influence of lobbyists, but as journalist Bill Conroy documented this past weekend for Narco News, the US-funded Millenium Challenge Corp. – whose board of directors includes Secretary Clinton – poured $17 million into Honduras oligarch interests between April and July of this year.
While DC apparatchiks told us they had cut almost $20 million (about ten percent) of US aid to Honduras and put the rest on pause, Clinton’s Millenium Challenge Corp. (MCC) has been quietly replenishing those funds through the back door.
A Narco News review of deposits to the Honduran Central Bank reveals that since the June 28 coup d’etat – in a little over a month – MCC has subsidized the coup forces in Honduras with $6.5 million dollars.
Those payments arrived on these dates and in these amounts:
July 9: $0.9 million
July 16: $0.3 million
July 23: $3.7 million
July 30: $1.6 million
While it’s possible that the US President doesn’t know about this sabotage of his stated policy – a small Central American nation with a population smaller than that of New York City might not exactly be front and center of his attention – his Secretary of State is on the frickin’ board of directors of the entity that, we now know, has been quietly funding the coup even after it was consummated.
So while I wholeheartedly agree with part of what the President said in Guadalajara this weekend – that it would be “hypocrisy” for the US to respond to the Honduras coup with military invasion, assassination, traditional covert black ops, electoral fraud, and the rest of the bag of tricks that have defined US-Latin American relations for all of Obama’s 48 years – the real hypocrisy at work comes, rather, when Washington tells us it has put funding for the coup regime “on pause” when it is now demonstrably true that it has not.
Last week, Obama told reporters that he couldn’t “push a button” and make the coup regime go away. That was also too cute by half, because there are buttons left unused through which it could do what it falsely claims it has already done: stop the flow of US dollars to the Honduran oligarchy and its coup regime.
At very least, his Secretary of State could make a motion on the board upon which she sits to stop that meddlesome anti-democracy funding.
The fact remains that giving that money to the regime or the private sector interests behind it are themselves the kind of US intervention that Latin American peoples have long struggled against.
Shutting down that money flow to the criminal enterprise that is the coup regime and its private-sector sponsors is not the kind of “Yankee intervention” that the region opposes: it is the continuance of that dollar spigot that constitutes the dirty intervention.
And that’s why the President’s statements – on hypocrisy and previously on the lack of a button to push – are too cute by half.
Again, I don’t worry or weep for Latin America or Honduras. The people united will never be defeated, and our authentic journalists, myself included, will be there alongside them reporting their every step in community organizing and civil resistance to win back what basic democratic principles establish is rightfully theirs. It really doesn't matter how much money or oxygen Washington gives to the Honduras coup regime: that baby is going down, and will go down hard, at the hands of an organized people.
But I’m looking at the faded gold ink on my 2001-issued US Passport and flipping through the pages right now: Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, the United States, multiple indentations and earmarks for most of them… I recently had to go to a US embassy to get additional pages woven into its book because the Brazilian consulate had demanded two blank pages to graffiti and the original ones had overflowed with entry and exit stamps. And I’m feeling sorry not for Honduras but for us, the pro-democracy citizens of conscience of the United States who, like Michelle Obama, want to be able to be “proud of our country for the first time in our adult lives,” but who see that dream slipping away once more.
US Secretary of State Clinton’s Micro-Management of the Corporation that Funds the Honduras Coup Regime or Whose the Real Hypocrite Secretary Clinton?
Records Demonstrate that the Secretary Has Hands-On Control of the Fund that Gave $6.5 Million to the Regime After the June 28 Coup
By Bill Conroy and Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
August 11, 2009
In recent days, Narco News has reported that, in the three months prior to the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, the US-funded Millennium Change Corporation (MCC) gave at least $11 million US dollars to private-sector contractors in Honduras and also that since the coup it has doled out another $6.5 million.
The latter revelation – that the money spigot has been left on even after the coup – comes in spite of claims by the State Department that it has placed non-humanitarian funding “on pause” pending a yet-unfinished review.
Narco News has further learned – based on a review documents available on the websites of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US State Department – that Secretary Clinton, as chairman of the MCC board, is not just a figurehead in name only. She has played an extremely active role in governing and promoting the fund and its decisions.
An August 6 statement by MCC acting chief executive officer Darius Mans praises Clinton and President Obama for their balls-out support of MCC:
Now, well into a new administration and era, I am encouraged by the level of support MCC has been given by Congress and senior government leaders. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, chair of MCC’s board, confirms, “President Obama supports the MCC, and the principle of greater accountability in our foreign assistance programs.” The Secretary herself has referred to Millennium Challenge grants as a “very important part of our foreign policy. It is a new approach, and it’s an approach that we think deserves support.” Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew has said, “MCC is getting off the ground and making real progress.
Secretary Clinton’s official “blog” at the State Department reveals that the June 10 meeting of MCC’s board – just 18 days before the Honduras coup – was on the Secretary’s schedule:
Here’s what Hillary has on her plate for today, June 10th:
10:00 a.m. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board Meeting and Luncheon.
Last March, the previous MCC acting executive director Rodney Bent wrote:
“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chaired her first MCC Board meeting this week. I was pleased to be part of this historic transition, and I welcomed Secretary Clinton’s active participation at the meeting. Her presence and the presence of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other public and private sector Board members signal the importance of MCC’s ongoing commitment to delivering change in the lives of the world’s poor.”
A recent move by the Clinton-led MCC board documents that the US-funded corporation has already discussed the cutting of funds to another Central American country, Nicaragua, based on criticism of its government, and that this was the topic of MCC’s June 10 session, chaired by Secretary Clinton. The Christian Science Monitor reported:
LEÓN, NICARAGUA - US concerns over last year’s questionable municipal elections in Nicaragua could be strong enough to cause leftist President Daniel Ortega, a cold-war nemesis of the US, to lose $64 million in development aid.
In a Wednesday meeting with the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an international development initiative started during the Bush administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss whether to cancel the remaining portion of a $175 million compact awarded in 2006.
In December, the US government froze new aid after expressing serious concern about “the government of Nicaragua’s manipulation of municipal elections and a broader pattern of actions inconsistent with the MCC eligibility criteria.”
At the June 10 meeting, the MCC board approved partially terminating the agency’s foreign-aid compact with Nicaragua — resulting in some $62 million in U.S. foreign aid being withheld from that nation, which shares a border with Honduras. And in May of this year, the Clinton-led MCC board approved the termination of the agency’s compact with Madagascar in the wake of a coup in that nation. However, no such action has been taken by the MCC board, to date, in the wake of the Honduran coup.
In the context of President Obama’s statement last weekend that those who urge the US to take stronger action against the Honduras coup regime “think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate,” calling it “hypocrisy.” The revelation that Clinton and MCC have already sanctioned the elected government of Nicaragua and its private sector in ways that it so far refuses to sanction the illegal coup regime of Honduras and its private backers has revealed one important fact: That Washington has already determined that “it’s appropriate” to deny MCC funds to a country for lighter and more transient reasons than those that exist to sanction a coup regime in another.
Didn’t a certain US President, last weekend, speak the word “hypocrisy” in the context of the US and the Honduras coup?
If “it’s appropriate” to sanction Nicaragua for lesser reasons, why not apply the sanction of denying MCC funds to a criminal coup regime in Honduras that Washington claims it has “paused” giving money, but that it continues to fund?
Please spread the above article everwhere. Help restore Honduras and the United States. jamie
This hemispheric awakening is being fostered by independent media artists/sources who you can easily follow. Some are:
Join this struggle for justice and true freedom. Our brothers and sisters across the Americas are doing their parts from conditions of extreme hardship and danger. Surely it is time for us to “step up” from here. We may be on the verge of an historic victory. Spread the news everywhere. jamie