Exclusive Interview: Ex-President Manuel Zelaya – The Crisis in Honduras

Source:  Dear Kitty Some blog & The Real News
January 2 2020

Zelaya interviewed jan 2 2020

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a coup d’état in 2009, talks to Laura Carlsen about the origins and consequences of the crisis in His country

 

Story Transcript

LAURA CARLSEN: To talk about the current crisis in Honduras we’re here in the offices of the LIBRE party with the former president and leader of the LIBRE Party Manuel Zelaya. 

Thank you very much for talking to us, Mr. President.

There is very little coverage on the international level of what is happening now with these demonstrations –and they’ve been going on for months. 

What is your evaluation of this stage of opposition here in Honduras and what possibilities do you see for making a real change?

MANUEL ZELAYA: Well, we have to look at where we’re coming from, what we’ve gone through and what the demands and the expectations are in the short, medium and long term. I think that there’s a rupture in the democratic order from ten years ago– the constitution of the republic was broken. Instead of restoring the social pact, instead of seeking common ground between the opposing sectors, they imposed on us a single idea, a single tyrannical, dictatorial way of violently running the country.

Read more here

And now, Dominica

Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

December 2 2019

Honduras was a member of ALBA – then, in 2009, there was a coup and the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the military.

Bolivia was a member of ALBA  –   then, a few weeks ago, there was a coup led by the military and the democratically elected President Morales was ousted.  He is now in exile in Mexico.

Under their new leadership both Honduras and Bolivia have withdrawn from ALBA.

Related:  Honduras Coup 10 Years Later: Country in Crisis

chavez y maduro 2Venezuela is a founding member of ALBA.  There have been several failed coup attempts in this country since the days of President Hugo Chavez whose pro-people policies irked the US government.  There has also been a relentless economic war with savage US sanctions, and an ongoing international media campaign of deception against the democratically elected leadership of the country.

Related:  Venezuela Remembers Failed Coup Attempt against Hugo Chavez
Venezuela Rejects Coup-Mongering Calls From the US

miguel diaz 10cCuba is a founding member of ALBA.  Having faced decades of terrorism, including the famed Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of hotels and biological warfare, all while facing hostile US economic sanctions which have cost the country billions of dollars, the Trump administration now openly engage in regime change tactics in their vain effort to do what their predecessors have failed to achieve.

Related: Díaz-Canel: Cuba will not renounce its sovereignty or independence

daniel ortega May 2018Nicaragua is a member of ALBA – in the 1980s they were forced in a bloody war against counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, trained and financed by the US.  As noted by Noam Chomsky, “Ronald Reagan used them (the Contras) to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We (the US) also intimidated other countries so they wouldn’t send aid either.”

The Contras were defeated.  Only recently, modern day Contras took to the streets destabilizing the country for a few months until the situation was again brought under control by President Daniel Ortega.  Nicaragua remains a member of ALBA, but only after years of bloodshed and destabilization efforts similar to those we are now seeing in Venezuela.

correa slams new mental forms of colonialismEcuador was a member of ALBA until President Raphael Correa (photo) left office.  His successor, Moreno, vice president under Correa, turned back the gained made by Correa and openly embraced anti-people neoliberal policies.  So, there was no need for sanctions, destabilization or a coup. Moreno took on a self -imposed coup status.

The English-speaking members of ALBA are, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

roosevelt skerrit 4

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister Dominica

Recent events in Dominica on the eve of national elections; the blocking of roads, the burning of tyres, the use of social media promoting anti-government sentiments, the popularising of the call for free and fair elections prior to the elections, – all alien to Dominica’s culture – are standard tactics for US-backed coups in the region, and  suggest that the footprints of Washington, fixated on having their lackeys in power, will be seen if we look closely.

Related:  Skerrit calls on UWP and its leadership to end ‘lawlessness’ in Dominica

Related:  Dominica: What Is Behind the Conflict Over Friday’s Elections

According to Wikipedia, countries with observer status in ALBA include Haiti, Syria and Iran while Suriname  was admitted to the organization as a guest country at a February 2012 summit.

The Obsession with and Lies about Nicaragua

Source: brianwilson.com
December 17 2018

daniel ortega y esposa 2.gifThe intense focus on the “ills” of Nicaragua completely misses the deep issues of continued US intervention – imperial neocolonialism – into the sovereign lives of other countries, as here with Nicaragua. Whether you love or hate Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, their personalities and personal lives are not the issue, whatsoever.

For US Americans to be so closely scrutinizing clearly the most progressive government in Central America, ignoring the new US friendly but unpopular president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada; the systematic violence in the streets of El Salvador which is directly related to the US funded death squad governments of the 1980s; the repressive and illegal President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez; and the repressive and corrupt government of Guatemala under President Jimmy Morales, is very interesting, and disturbing.

US-orchestrated coup attempt

The elaborate, well-planned conspiracy behind the April-July 2018 US-orchestrated coup attempt against Nicaragua, included most of the church hierarchy, many wealthy ex-Somocistas, many NGOs including the European-funded CENIDH, the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and USAID, and a couple thousand young Nicaraguans trained over 4 years in the use of social media to blitzkrieg an agenda-loaded propaganda campaign when the right opportunity arose. It had been in the works since at least 2011 when Nicaraguan Felix Maradiaga teamed up with Colombian narco-trafficker Julio Cesar Paz Varela to develop a drug distribution network in Nicaragua, many of the proceeds of which were to be devoted to overthrow the Sandinista government.

Related:  US Government Admits It’s Making Fake Social Media Accounts to Spread Propaganda in Cuba

The facts are that the few NGOs (of over 4,000 NGOs in the country) who have recently been curtailed by the Nicaraguan government, are in this position because of their support of various criminal activities designed to overthrow the government. Their accountability to the law was long overdue. The same goes for several TV stations (funded largely by NED), the internet news outlet Confidencial (funded by the NED), and La Prensa (funded by NED) which have openly supported opposition “terrorist” activities (yes, that is correct), something that would never be tolerated in the US or in virtually any country. Many of the hundreds participating in dozens of murders, arsons, destruction of buildings, tortures, and destruction of equipment (including over 50 ambulances), etc., committed by Opposition members, are fortunately now on trial or in jail. Over 200 fugitives remain in Costa Rica.

US has no moral authority with 80000 prisoners in solitary confinement 

It is also ironical, that those people in the US who are so condemnatory of the Nicaraguan government, remain comfortably removed from the terror campaign, April-July, which was awful as I can attest as a resident, while I was forced to read and view, with rage and anger, the spew of scripted lies days after day on social media, and major media outlets, not based on any actual investigative reporting. Ironic, because the US is one of the most oligarchic, non-democratic countries on the planet, and its citizens possess no legal or moral authority to judge others. The US possesses the largest prison per capita population in the world, with 80,000 of prisoners in solitary confinement; it produces the most waste and pollution; it has military troops in 150 countries, and war  planes and ships everywhere; it is the wholesale terrorist force on the Planet; it has on average 3 citizens a day murdered by US police; it has a president who has been accused by over 15 women of sexual misconduct/assault, a president who lies multiple times each day; it is a country where student debt keeps graduates in a kind of servitude for life to the banks; it has thousands of homeless living in tents and abandoned cars in virtually every city; it is a country without accessible health care for millions of its citizens; etc. It has a political election process unreliable due to systematic voter suppression, gerrymandered Congressional districts every ten years, privatization of the voter counting process, while the process itself is literally owned by the millions and billions of dollars of the rich and mighty, headed by the military industrial complex that makes obscene profits on intervening everywhere.

Related:  Slavery in Libya: Thanks NATO

2009 US sanctioned coup of President Zelaya

So, Nicaragua is an easy center of focus. If any one of us, or any other Central American government, was subjected to the intense efforts to destroy us, or any country, then one can predict the likely consequences. Neighboring Honduras has not yet recovered from the 2009 US sanctioned coup of President Zelaya. The fear and the repression there is horrendous, but it seems that with those in the US, including in the government, nobody gives a shit? The NICA Act should be the HICA Act for Honduras instead of Nicaragua. But Honduras is a safe Cry Uncle government, despite the fact that the people live in constant fear.

And the idea of name calling people as usual is not helpful in the discussion. Catherine Cusic, who has called Camilo Mejia a liar, has called me several times as an idiot – then, in the past, and now.  Not too constructive for healthy debate.

Lies, lies, more lies

When will the issue of US imperialism be taken seriously, and a recognition that the US political economy is so destructive it is on a path to destroy the planet? And, yet, the most progressive country in Central America (where there really is NOT repression) – Nicaragua –  with no friends in the Senate or House of Representatives, very little support in the solidarity community, and only supported by the ALBA countries of Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, is targeted for destruction. Lies, lies, more lies. Disgusting beyond disgusting. The truth as I have documented is virtually the exact opposite of what most social media and major media organs spew as if reading from a script.

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, is famous for saying that a lie told enough times becomes the truth. Goebbels principle has come once again to haunt Nicaragua. And the US govt. has spent millions of dollars through NED, US AID, NGOs, etc., at least since 2014, getting ready for the overthrow of a progressive government, primarily because it IS progressive compared to the other Central American governments. It is not a Cry Uncle government. And despite the lies, the Sandinista government remains popular with a majority of the people, similar to Assad in Syria despite intense western media propaganda against him.

Preposterous yet it is official US policy

So, Libya, The Ivory Coast, the Ukraine, Venezuela, Russia, and on and on, are touted as enemies, subject to the “exceptional” US to seek their overthrow to “correct” matters,  if they haven’t already succeeded. It is interesting that Trump’s fanatical security adviser, John Bolton, has identified the Troika of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua (and soon Bolivia) to be targets as threats to the national security of the US. So preposterous yet it is official US policy.

Related:  George H.W. Bush, Luis Posada Carriles, and the dirty war against Cuba

Astonishing, absurd, and criminal. So continue, folks, focusing on the issues you have with Ortega-Murillo, while the US continues on an uncontrolled imperial savagery. Meanwhile, feel smug with your support of “humanitarian intervention” by the most dangerous country on Earth.

US Involvement in Central America Created Border Crisis

December 6 2018

by Victor Dixon

The current wave of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has its roots in six decades of US policies carried out by members of both parties.

monroe doctrine cartoon 3.jpgThe US has always seen Central America as its backyard with the resources of these countries being owned by US companies and under the Monroe Doctrine has seen itself as being free to intervene militarily in them in order to protect US interests.

Guatemala

For example, in Guatemala most of the arable land along with railroad infrastructure and a port are owned by the United Fruit Company, a US company. In 1954 when President Jacobo Arbenz developed a land redistribution program which threatened the interests of United Fruit there was a coup against his government, fully backed by the Eisenhower administration leading to a decades long civil war that claimed 200,000 lives in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

This set a pattern of military strongmen, juntas and military intervention to prop up right-wing governments including training the local military in methods of torture, scorched earth and terror which forced local populations to flee for their own safety.

El Salvador & Honduras

In El Salvador in the 1980’s the Reagan administration organized and funded the protracted war with the FMLN, a left-wing guerrilla movement and funded counterinsurgency efforts in Honduras, which became a staging ground for the Contras. More than 75,000 people died and civil society collapsed.

Between 1980 and 1991 one million people fled Honduras mostly to the US which refused to accept them and so they joined gangs like MS13 in order to support themselves.

In 2009 there was a military coup against the government of Manuel Zelaya who had introduced social and economic reforms to reduce the inequality between the rich and the poor such as raising the minimum wage, providing subsidies for education, school nutrition, public transportation and pensions for the elderly. These moves were too disturbing to the country’s economic and military elites.

hiliary clinton and porfilio lobo honduras

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and  Porfirio Lobo, who became Honduras’ president in a disputed election following a coup that removed democratically elected Manuel Zelaya. Reuters  Edgard Garrido

There is no evidence the Obama administration was involved in the coup but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted that it helped in preventing Zelaya’s return and aided the junta in consolidating its power, in the face of massive nonviolent protests.

In subsequent years, horrific repression and a murder rate increase of 53% (the highest in the world) led to tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to the US.

These refugees were not accepted by the US government and most were deported ironically by Hillary Clinton, the very person who had largely precipitated the crisis. Others joined gangs and were imprisoned prior to being deported back to their homeland where they grew stronger.

Colombia and Mexico

In the 1990’s the US destroyed the Cali and Medellin drug cartels in Colombia under “Plan Colombia” and in 2006 Mexico launched an all-out war against the Mexican cartels which left 70,000 people dead. The cartels sought a new pathway to transport their product and moved south into Central America where they encountered gangs ready to participate in a very lucrative trade.

With the drug trade comes violence as drug gangs compete to protect their territory and product as well as impose conscriptions on local populations, further adding to the forced migration.

Nicaragua

Interestingly Nicaragua is the one country in the region that successfully resisted US intervention and is now a stable society, free of drug gangs and a migrant problem.

US support for corrupt repressive regimes

Since the 1950’s the US has sown violence and instability in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras which are now dangerous places from which thousands of helpless people are fleeing. Decades of US support for corrupt repressive regimes that terrorize their people, its’ demand for illegal drugs transmitted through these countries and the war on drugs that was foisted on them have left the US with a moral responsibility to help these refugees.

Building a wall is not the solution because it addresses the symptom and not the causes of the problem. The solution requires the cessation of the policy of propping up repressive regimes in the region, combined with massive economic aid and the help of international and refugee organizations.

The End of Electoral Contests in Latin America?

Source:  La Santa Mambisa

March 12 2018

by Alfredo Serrano Mancilla

(Translated by Keith Ellis)

the end of electoral politics.jpeg The contest in Latin America is no longer primarily electoral. The conservative rollback has other mechanisms that are not necessarily the ballot box. The chosen route is almost always something else.  Each case is different: it all depends on the country in question.  They use one tool or another depending on the scenario and on what tools are available.

Each context determines the method of intervention chosen to block or eliminate the progressive forces.  If they still have control of the Judicial Power, that path is used to proceed against them.  If what they enjoy is Legislative Power, a parliamentary coup is what is resorted to.  And always, wherever it may be, Economic Power and the Power of the Media act in unison.  The first will use all its weapons to disrupt whatever economic and social equilibrium has been achieved; and the second will undermine the image with falsehoods or fake news that end up being part of the destructive common sense.  And from this list of powers the Power of the “International Community” is never missing, for it is always ready to apply all the possible forms of pressure to delegitimize progressive options, whenever they can, or legitimize undemocratic options that are suitable for their interests.

  • In Brazil, the stupid judicial excuse they are putting forward shows that they are clearly not going to allow Lula to take part in the elections. Before that, they had already removed Dilma from the presidency, by means of a parliamentary coup using the ridiculous pretext of “fiscal manipulation.”  Judicial and Legislative Powers, together with Economic and Media Powers, and with the power of international complicity, are all combined for a “win” without them having to go through polls.  Temer governs as a democrat despite not having to present himself as a presidential candidate.
  • Ecuador, a different scenario and different methods. Correa’s successor was used to prevent his party, the “Revolution of the Citizenry,” from continuing in power.  Thanks to a pact between the current president Lenin and the old democratic party, there was an agreement made, without consulting the Constitutional Court, that had the sole objective of preventing Correa from participating in a new presidential contest. Thus, a new model: the rollback from within.  The opposition took part in the elections and lost.  But that was no obstacle to its winning the political battle, thanks to the resentment—of Lenin and of a certain part of his party—against Correa.  The banking sector and all the media joined the new rollback consensus with the intention of ending the progressive cycle embodied in the figure of Correa.
  • In Argentina, there was quite a notable communicational and economic onslaught, but the electoral route was sufficient to put an end to the Kirchner period. The opposition had an advantage: Scioli, her successor, not Cristina, was the candidate.  The opposition just barely won.  And then quickly brought on judicial arrests, open trials, biased press coverage.  It is still too early to know how the presidential dispute will turn out in 2019.  But if it is necessary to prevent Cristina, or any other potentially winning candidate, from contesting the election, let no one doubt that the attempt will be made to do it in a judicial or parliamentary way.
  • In Venezuela everything is being amplified.  The latest development has been the most evident: the opposition has definitely decided not to participate in the elections.  It has thus demonstrated that it has no interest in the electoral route for achieving political power.  In fact, in this country, in 2002, an orthodox coup d’état was attempteda running unconventional coup has been tried, along with a sustained high-intensity economic war (via prices and shortages); there has been violence in the street causing many deaths; social uprising has been tried in order to overthrow the president; there have been US decrees, threats and a blockade; the whole gang has been deployed (OAS, European Parliament, Lima Group, Mercosur, Country Risk, International Banking). And now, finally, they have the idea of not participating in elections.  Strange democrats these, who do not believe in democratic rules when they anticipate losing.  The interesting thing about this case is that in Venezuela, the current government is fully aware that the field of dispute is as much in the electoral as in other areas.  And this allows Maduro to be a “survivor” in this new phase.
  • In Bolivia,something similar happened.  The recall referendum was obstructed by a reality show that hurt the popularity of Evo.  The heavy artillery will come ahead of the presidential election in 2019.  However, the president has understood for some time, since the attempts at democratic interruption at the stage of the Constituent Assembly, that this dispute is multifaceted. It does not mean that it will be easy, and everything is possible from now on.  But so far, Evo aims to be the other “survivor” to this rollback onslaught.  He has overcome the last great obstacle: finding the legal mechanism that would allow him to stand for re-election.  He was aware that, because of it, he would be criticized, but he preferred this to putting in jeopardy the continuity of the project.  It was a wise decision to continue moving forward with the approval of the Bolivian people.

We are definitely facing another historical phase of the 21st century in this “Contested Latin America”. The electoral aspect counts, but it is not the only path chosen in order to end the progressive cycle.  Some have always known it, and others have learned it by having suffered it in their own experience. The field of political dispute is more and more complex: votes are necessary, but so are economic, media, legislative, judicial and international power. And military power, although it seems a matter of the past, we should never ignore it, because it is always more present than we imagine.

Honduras: Zelaya Says OAS ‘Two-faced; UN is ‘Divisive’

Source:  TeleSUR
March 12 2018

oas two facedOpposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla greets his supporters
during a protest against President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa,
Honduras February 23, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is calling for an “urgent” meeting with the United Nations.

RELATED:  Honduras: Over 2,000 Nasralla Supporters Protest at UN Building

In a Twitter communique, the former president is calling for a meeting on March 13 with United Nations mediators leading dialogues between the opposition and the Honduran government.

Zelaya says that during the previous two meetings the U.N. mediators have been “divisive” and have “ignored the Nov. 26 Electoral Coup; the state of the nation; the assassinations at the hands of the repressive armed forces; and the taking of political prisoners.”

In his statement, the secretary general says that the opposition’s conditions – electoral reforms and an independent investigation into the presidential elections that the Opposition Alliance say were riddled with irregularities – have not been addressed.

The U.N. must “promote dialogue without traps,” accusing U.N. mediators of being aligned with the current president Juan Orlando Hernandez.

In a Twitter announcement from Friday, Zelaya accused Luis Almagro of the Organization of American States (OAS) of being “two-faced” for promising to push for fresh presidential elections in Honduras when, according to Zelaya, “he always had his agenda set to recognize” Hernandez as president, “ignoring, with complete cynicism, the assassinations committed by the regime.”

The crisis erupted after the electoral authorities awarded the Nov. 26 presidential victory to Hernandez, who ran for a controversial reelection after the first vote counts gave an advantage to the candidate of the Opposition Alliance Salvador Nasralla.

The aftermath of the election saw large opposition demonstrations which were confronted by a brutal government crackdown that left more than 35 dead and hundreds of prisoners, according to human rights organizations.

After the electoral result, the Opposition Alliance called for a “popular revolt” and Nasralla said the president was elected through “fraudulent” actions by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and thus he did not recognize the presidency of Hernandez, who was sworn in on Jan. 27 for a second consecutive term.

The U.N. mission is composed of Guatemalan Catalina Soberanis, Salvadoran Carlos Vergara, an expert in conflict resolution, and U.S. consultant Marcie Mersky, of the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Neither Almagro or the U.N. mission have responded to Zelaya’s accusations or requests.

Honduras: Open Letter to the American People – Zelaya

Source:  socialistprojectca.ca

Date:  December 22 2017

by   José Manuel Zelaya Rosales

People of the United States:

For the past century, the owners of the fruit companies called our country “Banana Republic” and characterized our politicians as “cheaper than a mule” (as in the infamous Rolston letter).

Honduras, a dignified nation, has had the misfortune of having a ruling class lacking in ethical principles that kowtows to U.S. transnational corporations, condemning our country to backwardness and extreme poverty.

zelata dec 2017.jpgWe have been subject to horrible dictatorships that have enjoyed U.S. support, under the premise that an outlaw is good for us if he serves transnational interests well. We have reached the point that today we are treated as less than a colony to which the U.S. government does not even deign to appoint an ambassador. Your government has installed a dictatorship in the person of Mr. Hernández, who acts as a provincial governor–spineless and obedient toward transnational companies, but a tyrant who uses terror tactics to oppress his own people. Certain sectors of Honduran private industry have also suffered greatly from punitive taxes and persecution.

You, the people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy, transparency, freedom and human rights in Honduras. But the State Department and Heide Fulton, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires who is serving as de facto Ambassador to Honduras, are supporting blatant electoral fraud favoring Mr. Hernández, who has repeatedly violated the Honduran Constitution and (as noted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) basic human rights. He is responsible for the scandalous looting of USD $350 million from the Honduran Social Security Institute and while he lies to you shamelessly that he is fighting drug cartels, he has destroyed the rule of law by stacking the Supreme Court with justices loyal to him.

The people of the United States have the right to know that in Honduras your taxes are used to finance, train and run institutions that oppress the people, such as the armed forces and the police, both of which are well known to run death squads (like those that grew out of Plan Colombia) and which are also deeply integrated with drug cartels.

People of the United States: the immoral support of your government has been so two-faced that for eight consecutive years the U.S. Millenium Challenge Corporation has determined that the Hernandez regime does not qualify for aid because of the government’s corruption, failing in all measures of transparency. With this record, the Honduran people ask: Why is the U.S. Government willing to recognize as president a man who the Honduran people voted against, and who they wish to see leave office immediately?

People of the United States: We ask you to spread the word, to stand up to your government’s lies about supporting democracy, freedom, human rights and justice, and to demand that your elected representatives immediately end U.S. support for the scandalous electoral fraud against the people of Honduras, who have taken to the streets to demand recognition of the victory of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship and of President-Elect Salvador Alejandro César Nasralla Salúm.

We can tolerate difference and conflict, seeking peaceful solutions as a sovereign people, but your government’s intervention in favor of the dictatorship only exacerbates our differences.

The electoral fraud supported by the U.S. State Department in favor of the dictatorship has forced our people to protest massively throughout the country, despite savage government repression that has taken the lives of more than 34 young people since the election, and in which hundreds of protestors have been criminalized and imprisoned.

We stand in solidarity with the North American people; we share much more with you than the fact that the one percent has bought off the political leaders of both our nations.

As descendents of the Independence hero Morazán, we want to live in peace, with justice and in democracy.

The Honduran people want to have good relations with the United States, but with respect and reciprocity. •

Tegucigalpa, December 21, 2017

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Consitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras 2005-2010
Chief Coordinator, Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is the Consitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras (2005-2010), and Chief Coordinator of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship.