LAWG: Report about elections in Honduras and what next
- The report by the Center for Justice and International Law (link below) is one of many reports I've seen yesterday and today about repression in San Pedro Sula before and during the election; this is an example of Washington's policy of equating "democracy" with "elections" no matter how crooked as long as they are won by Washington's choices.
I saw one headline proclaiming that the big loser is Brazilian President Lula da Silva because the election yesterday was a success. The percentage of abstentions that I've seen is 65 to 70 percent. In fact, Lula has taken the correct position about an illegal election and has shown real courage by allowing the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras to harbor President Zelaya whom the golpistas would like to obliterate. Let's hope the Brazilian president continues to be unintimidated by Washington about this and other issues.
The OAS faces extreme contradictions within itself. The countries that will definitely recognize the illegal government in January are Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and the United States, with Mexico and Canada "leaning" in that direction, according to media reports. It's worth noting that in Panama 20 years ago Washington installed its choice as president by outright invasion. There's transparency for you.
The Washington Post editorialized that Zelaya could peacefully retire. How can he peacefully retire when the golpistas have threatened to arrest him (or worse) if and when he emerges from the Embassy?
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 18:08:28 -0500
Subject: Elections in Honduras
Support Democracy in Honduras
Elections took place yesterday, November 29th, in Honduras with
National Party leader Porfirio Lobo declared the winner. But
elections carried out
*under a state of emergency
*with visible military and police presence
*by a government installed by a military coup
*with a significant civil society movement opposed to the coup
calling for abstention
*and with the deposed President still deposed and holed up in the
center of the capital city in the Brazilian Embassy are no cause for
With your help, we delivered a strong message to the State Department
before the elections. We and the Washington Office on Latin America
sent the State Department a joint memo about the lack of conditions
for fair elections, and we were backed up by over 800 messages sent
in by activists like you. But the U.S. government has chosen to
ignore the serious problems with the elections. So, we've adapted our
message and now you can send them a fax telling them what the next
steps should be.
We need to make sure that they can't ignore the restrictions of civil
liberties and human rights violations that marked election day and
the months leading up to it, chronicled here by the Center for
Justice and International Law. They need to hear reports like this
one that the Quixote Center's delegation sent out at 1:30 pm on
"A peaceful march of over 500 people was just culminating at the
Central Park of San Pedro Sula when a large armored tank with high
pressure water cannons mounted on the top pulled up at the rear of
the march--along with a large truck full of military troops. The 500
peaceful, unarmed protesters turned around to face the tank and
troops--and in unison, they sat down in the middle of the street. The
truck retreated 2 blocks. The soldiers got off the truck, and began
to put on gas masks. Everything went silent--and suddenly the crowd
was attacked with water cannons and gas. People are fleeing. There
are wounded and detained."
How can any government even pretend that under these conditions the
election could be fair?
We need to tell our government to stick to its principles, and not
lift the sanctions on Honduras until civil liberties and human rights
are respected, violations are investigated, and an inclusive national
dialogue is launched to strengthen Honduran democracy.
If the United States chooses to go ahead with business as usual, it
not only will be going against the majority of nations in the
hemisphere, but will also be sending a message to the whole world
that we will quickly trade in our principles for expediency when it
comes to democracy and human rights in our foreign policy.
Let's make them listen before it is too late.
The LAWG Team
(Lisa, Mavis, Paulo, Vanessa, and Brian)
Latin America Working Group 424 C Street NE, Washington, DC
20002 Phone: (202) 546-7010 Email: lawg@...