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Honduras -- Democracy at work
June - July

Jul 30, 2009 -- Susan Cornwell - Reuters
A key U.S. senator asked the Obama administration on Thursday to explain in detail its policy on the Honduran political crisis, warning that otherwise Senate confirmation may be delayed for a U.S. diplomatic nominee for Latin America.
"The complexity of events that led up to the Honduran crisis has given rise to questions regarding U.S. policy," Senator Richard Lugar, one of the Senate's most respected voices on foreign policy, wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The United States has refused to recognize the Honduran government led by Roberto Micheletti, which took over the Central American nation after President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the Honduran military on June 28.
Lugar told Clinton he shared her support for mediation by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias in the month-old dispute over whether Zelaya should be allowed to return to his post.
But he also appealed to the State Department to provide a detailed clarification of U.S. policy to "interested Members" -- an apparent reference to several of his fellow Republicans, who charge Washington is trying to reinstate a left-wing government in Honduras. continued

Jul 30, 2009 -- Taiwan Remains Honduras' Friend
Joseph Kuo, director-general of the Taiwan ministry's Department of Central and South American Affairs, spoke yesterday at a regular press briefing regarding Honduras:
In response to their inquiries, our stance is that in consideration of the welfare and benefit of the Honduran people, we will continue our existing humanitarian aid and cooperation projects there. continued

Jul 28, 2009 -- CPUSA
CPUSA vs Honduras
Communist Party statement on the situation in Honduras
Manuel Zelaya, the legitimate president of Honduras, has made a specific request to the Obama administration to increase pressure on the illegal regime of Roberto Micheletti, which was installed after a coup d’etat on the morning of June 28 of this year. Zelaya has asked the Obama administration to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the illegitimate regime by taking actions targeting the main culprits.
*Cancel US visas for the top military and political leaders of the coup.
*Freeze bank accounts in the US belonging to coup leaders as requested by Zelaya.
*Remove US personnel from the military base at Soto Cano, cease all coordination with the coup government’s armed forces, and expel Honduran officers currently being trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning Georgia.
*We should demand an end to the activities in support of the coup government by the International Republican Institute and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States who have a heavy responsibility for the current situation.
Further, we should be contacting our members of Congress to ask that they sign on as co sponsors and work for the passage of House Resolution 630, which denounces the coup d’etat and asks the government to take measures to restore the constitutional order in Honduras. This resolution, introduced by Congressman Bill DeLaHunt (D-MA) has 40 cosponsors; this number has to be greatly increased. continued

Jul 28, 2009 -- The United States Finally Gets It
Two GOP lawmakers returned from a weekend trip to Honduras with a heightened understanding of the presidential crisis there and a proposal for its resolution.
Whether or not [Hondurans] agree on how he was removed all of them agree that he broke the constitution, broke the law, Mack said. A large majority believe he should not return to Honduras and to power.
Bilbray said the U.S. can't put itself in a position of supporting a president over a country's constitution and the rule of law. That's a scary place for us to find ourselves, especially considering our history, he said.
For the [Obama] administration to propose the return of the old president and to put him back into power would really be a slap in the face to constitutional rule, Bilbray said, adding that he believed the administration jumped the gun on its assessment of the Honduras crisis.
I think [Hondurans] were absolutely shocked at the American response. continued
Thank You
Congressman Brian Bilbray -- Phone: 858-350-1150 -- Fax: 858-350-0750
Congressman Connie Mack -- Phone: 239-936-4400 -- email: info@conniemack.com

Jul 23, 2009 -- By Morgan Lee (AP),
Deposed Honduran leader prepares risky return
MANAGUA, Nicaragua Honduras' deposed president was headed toward his nation's border Thursday to prepare a risky return, an attempt to reverse an ouster that is testing the vitality of democracy in Latin America. continued
> Another distorted AP article

Jul 22, 2009 -- Pascal Fletcher - MIAMI,
A leading opponent of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the Organization of American States on Wednesday to give as close a scrutiny of violations of democracy in Venezuela as it was doing in Honduras.
The 34-nation OAS, a continental diplomatic body which has limited real powers, suspended Honduras earlier this month after the government that seized power in a June 28 coup refused to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya. The OAS is demanding that Zelaya, who is backed by Chavez, be restored to office.
Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, who says Chavez unlawfully stripped him of powers and budget funds to weaken him after his election to the city mayorship in November, accused the Venezuelan leader of carrying out a "slow-motion coup".
"The OAS ... has responded in the case of Honduras, where it is argued that the constitutional thread was broken. Well, that thread has been broken for some time in Venezuela," Ledezma told a news conference in Miami. continued

Jul 22, 2009 -- Honduras News
Clinton Phones Micheletti
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has spoken with officials of the honduran governmentreg in Honduras, urging them to continue negotiations being mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and to find a peaceful resolution to the current crisis, State Department Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley says.
In her telephone call to Micheletti, Clinton, who was traveling in India, explained potential consequences of a failure to take advantage of the Arias mediation effort, Crowley said. He also said Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon and U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens spent much of the previous weekend in conversations with Arias, representatives of the two sides and other regional leaders. continued

Jul 21, 2009 -- Lesley Clark, Mcclatchy Newspapers
A South Carolina senator who opposes the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Honduras is blocking the nominations of two appointees to the State Department .
Sen. Jim DeMint , R- S.C. , asked Tuesday that the nominations of Arturo Valenzuela , President Barack Obama's choice to be the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, and Tom Shannon , his candidate for ambassador to Brazil , be held until the next Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting. The committee, which is scheduled to meet next week, had been poised to vote on the nominations Tuesday.
At Valenzuela's confirmation hearing July 8 , DeMint had argued that the administration made the wrong call by pushing for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's return to power. He pressed Valenzuela on whether the removal constituted a military coup and questioned whether the U.S. should side with Zelaya.
"President Obama rushed to side with (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez and (Cuban leader Fidel) Castro before getting the facts," DeMint said at the hearing. "Now it's clear that the people of Honduras were defending the rule of law, yet this administration still supports Zelaya's efforts to become a dictator and return to power." continued
Thank you Senator DeMint!

Jul 20, 2009 -- Miguel A. Estrada
In Honduras, "coup" was legal reaction to Zelaya
Honduras, the tiny Central American nation, had a change of leaders June 28. The country's military arrested President Manuel Zelaya in his pajamas, he says and put him on a plane bound for Costa Rica. A new president, Roberto Micheletti, was appointed. Led by Cuba and Venezuela, the international community swiftly condemned this so-called "coup." continued

July 20th, 2009 -- Honduras News
Nicaragua to Follow Honduras' Lead
Next weekend we will have all the necessary activities (in place) for my return, as laid out in the law and the constitution and international mandates, Manuel Zelaya, former Honduran President stated on Sunday. Absolutely no one can stop me. I'm a Honduran, it is my right.
Zelaya spoke after talks in Costa Rica had been deadlocked, but scheduled to continue again on Wednesday.
I have no doubt that this will raise the tension levels, said Efrain Diaz, a political analyst with the Center for Human Development, a Honduran non-governmental organization. We could see violence if Zelaya tries to return by force. continued

July 19th, 2009 -- Honduras News
Zelaya Intends to Change the Constitution
Yesterday in the talks in Costa Rica, there were 7 points presented by Arias. One of those points presented, has been rebuffed by Mel Zelaya.
From Brazil, Manuel Zelaya stated that he fully intends to return to Honduras as president, and will reinstitute a general assembly to change the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras. continued

July 19th, 2009 -- Honduras News
Honduras Talks Continuing
Talks are continuing today, but comments yesterday indicate they are still a long way from being able to come to a reconciliation. A representative of Honduras' interim government said her delegation lacked the authority to accept most of Arias' proposals, since decisions on amnesty, changed election dates and permission for Zelaya to return despite warrants for his arrest needed the approval of Honduras' courts or Congress.
It is up to Congress to grant amnesties, so we cannot commit to something that intrudes on the powers of other bodies, former Supreme Court President Vilma Morales told The Associated Press. We cannot make commitments that ignore the jurisdiction of the electoral tribunal, and it is also up to Congress to discuss and legislate and issue a decree on moving up the elections. continued

July 19th, 2009 -- Sara Miller Llana | The Christian Science Monitor
Briefing: Was Zelaya's ouster a coup?
Hondurans debate the legality of the forced exile of President Manuel Zelaya. . .
The interim government does not risk any charges. Under Article 242 of the Constitution, which lays out the rules for succession of power, Micheletti, as the president of the Congress and with no standing vice presidents at the time, was the person in line to take over the presidency and name a cabinet. The Congress voted the day of Zelaya's ouster to strip him of his powers and instate Micheletti as provisional president of Honduras. continued

July 15, 2009
Congress v. Honduras
Congress joins Manuel Zelaya, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chaves and Jose Miguel Insulza in condemning Roberto Micheletti. Reps. Delahunt (D-MA), Serrano (D-NY), and McGovern (D-MA) introduced resolution HRes 630 calling for ousted President Zelaya's return to office. Co-sponsors of HRes 630 continued

July 14th, 2009 -- Darcy Crowe Wall -- Street Journal
Venezuela's Chavez Turns Up Heat Against Obama Over Honduras
CARACAS (Dow Jones)--The crisis in Honduras is opening a deep rift between U.S. President Barack Obama and his fiery Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, four months after they met with a handshake and warm smiles.
The Venezuelan leader is drawing on the ouster of his close ally, Manuel Zelaya, from the Honduran presidency to reawaken the region's painful memories of U.S. intervention and paint the Obama Administration as complicit in the crisis.
Chavez said Honduras is a true test for Obama to prove that he is changing Washington's relationship with Latin America. The Venezuelan leader went on to accuse the U.S. administration of dithering, and said that the U.S. should withdraw its military base in the Central American nation and freeze the assets of the new government's leaders to prove it is against the coup. continued

July 12th, 2009 -- Daniel Trotta -- Reuters Honduras lifts post-coup curfew, Zelaya vows return
Honduras' interim government lifted a curfew on Sunday that it had imposed after the June 28 coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya, saying it had succeeded in restoring calm and reducing crime. continued
Note how the Council for a Community of Democracies report is misinterpreted by Reuters

July 9th, 2009 -- Honduras News
United States Stops Aid
The United States has stopped aid to the Honduran Military, and government programs for family health and education. This was in response to the events of June 28th, 2009. continued

July 9, 2009 - Sydney Morning Herald
Honduran rivals to meet in Costa Rica
Deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya is to meet with the country's interim leader amid talk that a congressional amnesty could clear the way for Zelaya's return.
The two days of talks starting on Thursday between Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, who have both insisted that they will not "negotiate", are being hosted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, at his home in San Jose. continued

July 8th, 2009 -- Honduras News
Venezuela Suspends Shipments
Venezuela formalized the suspension of the delivery of 20,000 barrels of petroleum per day to Honduras, until Manuel Zelaya is restored to power. continued

July 7, 2009 - Associated Press - Freddy Cuevas
Honduras optimistic about finding solution
Showing more flexibility, Honduras' interim government on Tuesday backed the appointment of a high-profile mediator for negotiations and softened its stance on prosecuting a president ousted by a coup.
Roberto Micheletti, who took over following the June 28 coup that toppled President Manuel Zelaya and has resisted international pressure to reinstate him, applauded the announcement that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has agreed to mediate efforts to end the standoff. continued

July 7, 2009 - Matthew Lee, Associated Press
Honduras political rivals accept mediation
Both sides in Honduras' leadership crisis on Tuesday signaled willingness to forge a diplomatic solution to the deadlock over the fate of President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted last month in a coup.
Zelaya and interim Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti agreed to accept Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace laureate, as an international mediator. Arias' appointment was backed by the United States and announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton after she met privately with Zelaya at the State Department. continued

July 7, 2009 - Wall Street Journal
Zelaya to Meet Hillary Clinton, Try Second Return
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- The Obama administration heightened its support Monday for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya a day after his failed bid to re-enter his country by air, offering that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would meet the exiled leader in Washington as soon as Tuesday.
Canada and a handful of members of the Organization of American States -- which suspended Honduras from the group Sunday -- had also warned that Mr. Zelaya's attempted return would make a solution more difficult. continued

JULY 7, 2009 -- Jordan Fabian -- The Hill
McCain counters Obama on Honduras
Speaking about the recent coup in Honduras, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said President Manuel Zelaya clearly "was in violation of his country's constitution."
McCain's statement runs in direct conflict with the Obama administration's position on the coup. Last week, the president said that the coup was "not legal" and that Zelaya is still the president of the Latin American nation. continued

JULY 7, 2009
Honduras at the Tipping Point
Why is the U.S. not supporting the rule of law?
Mr. Zelaya's violations of the rule of law in recent months were numerous. But the tipping point came 10 days ago, when he led a violent mob that stormed a military base to seize and distribute Venezuelan-printed ballots for an illegal referendum. continued

July 6, 2009
US Senator Tom Colburn Republican from Oklahoma speaking out against Zelaya and Chaves on the floor of the US Senate. Speech
Thank you Senator Coburn!
Thank you for your interest in the affairs of Honduras. It is sad that we have politicians in the US who do not understand or do not care about democracy in Honduras.

July 6, 2009 - Council for a Community of Democracies
Statement by the Latin American & Caribbean Network for Democracy in response to the political crisis in Honduras
The Latin American & Caribbean Network for Democracy, comprised of activists and civil and social organizations that promote democracy in our countries and in our region, expresses its profound concern for the grave political crisis that the Republic of Honduras has experienced over the past few days.
Considering that the purpose of our network is to provide support and solidarity to groups and individuals in situations where democracy is in danger, we reject and condemn all actions aimed at breaking the constitutional order of the Republic of Honduras and the violent removal of the democratically elected President.
Likewise, we reject the anti-democratic positions promoted by the Honduran Government that led to this crisis, particularly the practice of changing the constitutional rules to favor the President. We ask for the cessation of persecution and imprisonment of political actors without the opportunity of a legal trial. continued

Jul 6, 2009 - Investors Business Daily
Hugo's Hands Are All Over Honduras
Leadership: The U.S. put on a halo of global citizenship in joining the OAS to condemn Honduras for its "coup." But it was an ill-advised move that will undercut American interests and democracy. Advantage: Hugo Chavez.
Never has the U.S. bent over so far backwards to accomodate an tyrant. After Honduran President Mel Zelaya was thrown out June 28 for trying to make himself dictator for life, the U.S. showered him with solicitude and support for his reinstatement. It even voted with the crowd Sunday to suspend Honduras from the Organization of American States, all in the interest of supposedly defending democracy against coups d'etat.
Zelaya's response was to blame the U.S., which shows how badly America is misreading events. Going along with the OAS crowd, it's in reality empowering Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator who is driving the entire circus. continued

July 5, 2009
To Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Dear Hillary,
As you so well stated in your message to Americans: "the 4th of July is a day to reconnect with loved ones, to remember our history, and to renew our commitment to democracy, tolerance, and justice."
Please help the people of Honduras keep their democracy. Support their provisional President Roberto Micheletti. Do not allow the likes of Manuel Zelaya, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chaves and Jose Miguel Insulza destroy their hopes and their faith in America.
Alex Majthenyi

July 4, 2009 -- Judy Weismonger PhD
John Batchelor: Honduras vs POTUS
Judy Weismonger PhD

You are correct—the Hondurans will not back down. Nor will El Salvador or Guatemala. I was in Guatemala in the 1980s when they refused to take any US money because they saw how the US would not allow them to fight and kill the thugs and Marxist rebels and instigators…

As a result, the Guats then set up their own weapons manufacturing companies, and bought weapons from the Israelis etc. and proceeded to fight the enemy from within. Not mentioned in the US media, was the fact that the Guats were being invaded by Marxist rebels from Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua…. continued
July 2, 2009 - Weekly Standard -- Jaime Daremblum
A Coup for Democracy
Yet upon closer examination, the removal of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya bears very little resemblance to traditional Latin American military coups. Indeed, it was not really a "coup." Rather, it was a response to a leader who had trampled the law and attempted to hold an illegal referendum on constitutional reform. Zelaya's ouster was approved by Honduras's Congress, Supreme Court, Electoral Tribunal, attorney general, and national prosecutor. continued

July 1, 2009
The reaction of the US government to the legal ouster of President Manuel Zelaya is important to all Americans and even the world.
The US has a choice: It can side with the people of Honduras and Roberto Micheletti or it can side with the likes of Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Jose Miguel Insulza and Daniel Ortega.
A choice between Democracy and Socialism.

July 1, 2009 - Huffingtion Post - Dan Taylor
Following the Rule of Law in Honduras
In accordance with the laws of Honduras as understood by the legislature and the Supreme Court, the Honduran military followed lawful civilian orders to exile President Zelaya to Costa Rica. Zelaya had aligned himself with regional leaders such as Chavez and Castro and was moving his country in the same direction as Venezuela. continued

June 28, 2009 -- Reuters
The Honduran army ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya and exiled him on Sunday, after he upset the army by trying to seek another term in office.
Following is international reaction to the first successful military coup against a president in Central America since the Cold War. continued
Note: Hugo Chavez and friends or followers.

June 26, 2009
To: President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the
United Nation and the Organization of American States:

President Manuel Zelaya attempted to end democracy in Honduras.
and to become the permanent dictator of the country.
The ouster of President Manuel Zelaya was followed the constitution
and was legal. It was not a military coup.
Roberto Micheletti should be recognized as the temporary leader of the country.
The UN, the OAS and the US should not interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
Please support democracy, Roberto Micheletti and the people of Honduras.

June 25, 2009
A message from Fidel Castro.
A gesture that will never be forgotten
The situation that might result from whatever occurs in that country will be a test for the OAS and the current US administration.
continued

November 8th 2008 -- Albor Ruiz
We warned them months ago, but they refused to listen. And on Nov. 4, the historic day Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, it happened: Voters sent them back to wherever they came from.
Yes, immigrant voters - the majority of them Latinos - not only delivered key battleground states to Obama and guaranteed the election of many members of the House and the Senate, but defeated quite a few rabidly anti-immigrant legislators.
OBAMA: YES, I'LL TAX THE RICH We had told them in this space that the majority of Americans do not support an enforcement-only policy and that immigrant citizens would vote them out of office. But they didn't believe it.
"Voting for Obama was a great feeling and to know that immigrants have shown their strength in this election was even better," said Jaime García, an Ecuadoran immigrant who has been a U.S. citizen for 10 years.
For García, a Woodside, Queens, resident and first-time voter, the war and the economy were the main reasons he chose Obama over John McCain. But immigration also was an important motivating factor.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/11/08/2008-11-08_voters_spoke_proreform_on_election_day.html#ixzz0mcP96T2i



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