For up-to-date coverage of these events, check out Narco News.
As the demonstrations in Iran continue despite mounting repression, another dramatic showdown between military and public has broken out in Honduras after a violent coup organized by the country’s wealthy elites kidnapped left-leaning president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya and removed him from the country. This action has not only been condemned by much of the international community, it was immediately resisted by Hondurans taking to the streets in large numbers.
Even before the coup had taken place, anxious pedestrians shouted and cursed the approaching soldiers. In this video, one woman hits every soldier passing her. The surging protesters than begin to block military vehicles and surround a tank!
I’ve also reposted an article giving some background on the situation, this one from the School of Americas Watch. The “School of Americas”, now called the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” is a combat and torture training institute in Fort Benning, Georgia that has trained thousands of Latin American paramilitary soldiers to return to their countries and terrorize peasant and student movements. Many of these “graduates” have gone on to become fascist generals or dictators in their home countries, as in the current coup in Honduras. The institute remains open to this day, but every year SOA Watch organizes large protests to shut it down.
Military Coup in Honduras
A military coup has taken place in Honduras this morning (Sunday, June 28),
led by SOA graduate Romeo Vasquez.
In the early hours of the day, members of the Honduran military surrounded the presidential palace and forced the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, into custody. He was immediately flown to Costa Rica.
A national vote had been scheduled to take place today in Honduras to consult the electorate on a proposal of holding a Constitutional Assembly in November. General Vasquez had refused to comply with this vote and was deposed by the president, only to later be reinstated by the Congress and Supreme Court.
The Honduran state television was taken off the air. The electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa, as well telephone and cellphone lines were cut. Government institutions were taken over by the military. While the traditional political parties, Catholic church and military have not issued any statements, the people of Honduras are going into the streets, in spite of the fact that the streets are militarized. From Costa Rica, President Zelaya has called for a non-violent response from the people of Honduras, and for international solidarity for the Honduran democracy.
While the European Union and several Latin American governments just came out in support of President Zelaya and spoke out against the coup, a statement that was just issued by Barack Obama fell short of calling for the reinstatement of Zelaya as the legitimate president.
Call the State Department and the White House
Demand that they call for the immediate reinstatement of Honduran President Zelaya.
State Department: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339
White House: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414