The Second Honduran Coup Came Today Because the First One Failed
Posted by Al Giordano - September 28, 2009 at 11:05 am
By Al Giordano
D.R. 2009 Latuff, special to The Narco News Bulletin
On the morning of June 28, coup regime soldiers stomped into the offices of Radio Globo and Channel 36 in Tegucigalpa and silenced their transmitters. The two networks filed court orders to be able to get back on the air. And for the past three months they’ve each been subject to written orders from the Honduras regime to cease broadcasting (the journalists, in turn, refused to be censored) and to paramilitary attacks that poured acid on their transmitters, and yet they and their journalists heroically got themselves back on the air rapidly.
On this morning, three months later, it was déjà vu all over again, as those same military troops reenacted the battle of June 28, busting down the doors of both broadcasters and this time removing their transmitters and equipment. And soldiers have surrounded both houses of media t o prevent the people from retaking them.
This time, due to yesterday’s coup decree, there is no legal recourse for the journalists. Under the decree, if a judge even looks at a motion from those media, he, too, can be rounded up, arrested and detained. And if another media reports what happened, it, too, can be invaded and silenced by force.
Today’s “do over” of the June 28 Honduras coup proves two big truths.
First: that the original coup failed to establish control over the country and its people. More than 90 days of nonviolent resistance have demolished what little support the coup regime had inside and outside of Honduras, and left them only with their small core of oligarchs and security forces to defend their putsch against the majority.
And second: That despite all the regime’s Orwellian talk of how it was a “legal” coup, how it was executed to defend the Constitution, and how the continued broadcasting of critical media proved it was not a dictatorship, its intention all along was far more sinister: to erase democracy and its most basic freedoms in order to establish autocratic control by a few over 7.5 million Honduran citizens and the lush natural and human resources in that land.
A significant portion of the Honduran population has gone underground overnight. Tipped off that last night their homes would be raided and they would be hauled off to the soccer stadium in Tegucigalpa where the regime already holds at least 75 citizens incommunicado – reports of the use of torture are all the more credible because the regime won’t allow any attorney, doctor or human rights observer inside the stadium to inspect – other rank-and-file Hondurans opened their homes to resistance organizers throughout the country. They are hiding from the regime, but they are in constant contact with each other, and with our reporters.
Another part of last night’s wave of state terror came in the form of this provocation: Key human rights leaders and attorneys were notified anonymously of an alleged roundup of dissidents at a particular police station in the capital. They rushed down to look for the detainees, only to be greeted by the very nervous and heavily armed station police who had, simultaneously, received an anonymous phone call telling them that a mob was on its way there to burn down the station. Fortunately, cooler minds prevailed and once the human rights attorneys explained to the police the message they had received, both sides figured out it was an attempt to trick them into a violent confrontation.
That the regime has to try and fool and manipulate its own police forces provides an indication that not all of them are thrilled with the latest decree and events.
This is what the coup plotters always wanted: the prohibition of constitutional rights and total authoritarian power in their hands. They tried to have it both ways for three months – defending themselves to the world with their absurd “the coup is not a coup” doublespeak – but that failed. Now they’ve gone to Plan B, which unmasks them for what they are: terrorists, and enemies of democracy and freedom.
Their first coup failed in only three months. That’s why the date of September 28 now enters the history books as the second coup attempt in Honduras of 2009. The second resistance is out there, regrouping, figuring out its next moves, and when those moves come, probably soon, we’ll be reporting their words and deeds, despite the fact that the coup regime has also just made that reporting illegal, too.
Similarly, our longtime friend and colleague, the Brazilian cartoonist Latuff, author of the image above, doesn't take orders from golpistas either. Today he makes public his email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
- and offers support and his talents at image-making to all members of the Honduran resistance as the next phase of the struggle begins.
The second coup - today's - came because the first one failed miserably, as this one will, too.
Update 11:26 a.m. in Tegucigalpa (1:26 p.m. ET): And another few rings fall away from the coup regime "onion" of support. The daily Tiempo reports that National Party presidential candidate Pepe Lobo - who leads in all polls for the November 29 "election" - has now spoken out against yesterday's coup decree and its 45-day suspension of constitutional rights and liberties:
The National Party presidential candidate, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, lamented what has happened in the political crisis and after calling upon Manuel Zelaya Rosales and Roberto Micheletti to sit down and dialogue, he criticized the Executive Decree published in the Gaceta that restricts various freedoms inherent to human beings.
Lobo made those statements after leaving a meeting that four presidential candidates, a former president of the nation and various businessmen had with US Ambassador Hugo Llorens.
The presidential frontrunner confirmed that, in addition to him, candidates Elvin Santos, Bernard Martínez and Felicito Avila of the Liberal, the Innovation and Unity, and the Christian Democratic parties, respectively, were also present in the meeting.
Lobo Sosa questioned the military curfews and the emission of the Executive Decree against individual rights and news organizations because "they damage the image of the country abroad and directly harm the population."
The meeting with the US Ambassador from which Lobo emerged to make his first-ever public criticism of the coup d'etat and its repressive maneuvers was also attended by former Honduran President Carlos Flores Facussé, and business magnate Adolfo Facussé - both who had been original backers of the June 28 coup attempt. If either of them follow Lobo into denouncing the coup and its decree, the "coup onion" would lose one or more of its most inner and powerful layers of support.
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The Folly of Previous Approaches
Submitted September 28, 2009 - 11:45 am by Matt Dubuque (not verified)
You need a reality check. When are you going to understand that your gibberish about nonviolent resistance is a mistake?
Armed rebellion is the only possibility here. You are too stupid to understand that.
Matt - Your comment is that of a coward
Submitted September 28, 2009 - 11:54 am by Al Giordano
Matt - What a big tough talking macho first world elite member you are today!
It's easy for you - from the safety of the sidelines - to call upon others to engage in "armed rebellion." I think you're just big spoiled chicken, myself. Nothing is more cowardly than saying "hey, you over there, why don't you walk over to that other guy and start a fight!"
You're no different than the chickenhawks in the US Congress who call to start wars but when they had the chance to serve in the military got privileged deferments and such.
You're a coward, Matt, with an ugly fetish for watching others bleed and die to satisfy your upper-class romantic notions of "armed struggle." And the fact is that the nonviolent resistance of the past three months worked, precisely because it forced the regime to now unmask itself for what it is with the latest decree. And as anyone can see from the update I just posted above, it is already demonstrably serving to peel more layers of support away from the coup "onion," as nonviolent civil resistance is designed to do.
You're just too dense to notice that what is happening is actually hastening the demise of the coup regime, and are apparently afraid that the nonviolent path will work enough to make a last hour desperate call of your own for others to shoot and be shot to please your own pathologies.
- Al Giordano
US Silence Is Disturbing
Submitted September 28, 2009 - 12:09 pm by Alci (not verified)
The silence of the Obama White House over this is truly disturbing. Not even during the most vicious phase of the Contra war in Nicaragua did the Sandinista government ever do something like this with leading opposition media. This is just a dark day, the resistance needs our support more than ever!
Thank you again Al for shining a light over the truth.
Excellent analysis, Al.
Submitted September 28, 2009 - 12:11 pm by Jason Wallach (not verified)
I think the definition of this moment as a new chapter, indeed a second coup, I think is a propos and reflective of the situation. Great work and keep up the solid reporting.
The recent decree demonstrates that the golpistas can't maintain power even within the rather malleable limitations that the Honduran constitution places upon state regarding control of the masses. The mask is off.
How far are the gorillas going to go?
Submitted September 28, 2009 - 12:15 pm by Karla Balzer (not verified)
I could never forseen the development of these events. I can tell that the situation on the ground is just getting ugglier and ugglier by the minute. I have family in Honduras who still think this regime has done nothing wrong, just because my family didn't like Zelaya the man as a person and as a President. My family think that Zelaya has been the most corrupt President in Honduras. I can tell that Zelaya hasn't been the best and not much different than any other Honduran President but at least he realized that Honduras needed a change, a social change. Those small changes were not tolerated by the oligarchy over there and that was enough to try to get rid of him. I just don't know how things will continue to evolve, I just hope that the resistance in Honduras do what they have to do, overthrown those gorillas who have taken the power by force and by illegal means.
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