Friday, November 20, 2009

Phoenix: Honduras Protest Nov 20/Shut Down School of Americas

Contact: Tupac Enrique (602) 466-8367 (602) 466-8367

International Solidarity for Honduras


Protest Action at Phoenix Honduran Consulate

“An Election Farce is in the making in Honduras with U.S. State Department Support!”
US National Committee in Solidarity with Honduran Resistance to the Coup Regime

When: Friday November 20, 2009
Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Where: 4040 E. McDowell (Honduran Consulate of Phoenix)
Re: Phoenix Honduras Solidarity Committee joins international action at the gates of the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, Calls Again for End to US Support for Illegal Military Coup Dictatorship in Honduras

Honduras Solidarity Committee of Phoenix will join the movement to close the infamous "School of the Americas" that will bring together thousands of human rights activists, torture survivors, veterans, faith-based communities, union workers, students, musicians and others from across the Americas for a Vigil, Rally, Funeral Procession and Nonviolent Direct Action to close the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA from November 20-22.

The action in Phoenix in front of the Honduran Consulate is a call on the U.S. Government and the Obama administration specifically to the Reject the Honduran Election Farce being prepared for November 29, 2009.

There can be no legitimate, fair elections under the violence and threats of violence of the de facto, unconstitutional government, and its repressive police and military forces who have been brutally violating the rights of peaceful Honduran protesters for the past four months. Opposition candidates at national, provincial and municipal levels have withdrawn from the electoral process.

The action in Phoenix is part of a national and international series of solidarity actions across the U.S. which will continue on Friday November 27th, followed by solidarity protests in support of the Honduran people’s untiring, courageous resistance on November 28th and 29th, as they justifiably boycott the bogus and farcical elections.
The equivocating of the U.S. position as regards Honduras is spinning heads around the U.S. and the world and contributes to setting the stage for a return to failed policies of the past, legitimizing via US power brokering an illegitimate and illegal regime of the military coup now in power in Honduras. The failure of the October 30 agreement between Micheletti and Zelaya clearly stems from a plot to delay or impede altogether the restoration of President Manuel Zelaya to power.

This represents nothing less than a capitulation, or worse the outright endorsement of the Obama administration to the illegitimate usurper coup regime in Honduras.

Organizers for justice in the Americas have been gathering at the gates of Ft. Benning since 1990, and as the demonstration against the SOA has evolved into one of the most vibrant anti-militarization convergences in the United States, as we learn from one another's stories, tactics, ideas, information, theater, friendships, trainings, workshops, films, and more, click here to see the schedule of events!

Bertha Oliva, the founder and coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared (COFADEH) will travel from Honduras to join the mobilization. Bernardo Vivas from the Cacraica Community for Self-Determination, Life, and Dignity is coming from Colombia to speak out at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based worker organization whose members are largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants are traveling up from Florida. Celebrity entertainers such as the Indigo Girls and Rebel Diaz will attend as well.

Recalling the period in history from 1865-1867, when the US government applied diplomatic pressure in favor of Mexico’s legitimate president Benito Juarez and against the illegal right wing usurpers of power, the battle for constitutional government in Honduras takes place during new era of democratization across the hemisphere. The developments in the central part of the continent also are framed by the constitutional recognition for the first time of Indigenous Peoples, as declared by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13th, 2007.
Also calling for investigation of the role of the US based School of the Americas at Ft. Benning Georgia in the military coup in Honduras, the Honduras Solidarity Committee of Arizona is also calling upon congressional support for House Resolution 630 before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, demanding the reinstatement of President Zelaya.

For more information please contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta (602) 466-8367 (602) 466-8367 in Phoenix or consult the School of the Americas Watch website at:

School of the Americas Watch

Quixote Center

Americas Program

Embassy of the Indigenous Peoples


United States backs illegal elections in Honduras – Betrays process to restore Constitutional order.

November 20, 2009

After five months of political chaos in Honduras, repeated attempts to reach a negotiated agreement for restoration of Constitutional order have failed due to the defiant recalcitrance of the Micheletti coup regime and the complicity of the State Department. Given this impasse and the deepening human rights crisis, it is widely recognized that conditions for holding free, fair and transparent elections on November 29th, just days from now, do not exist.

Recognizing this dilemma, in late October the United States rushed a high level State Department delegation to Honduras, bringing Micheletti back to the table and brokering the October 30th “National Reconciliation Agreement” requiring the reinstatement of President Zelaya by November 5th. However, in a move paralleling the behavior of the Micheletti regime, a few days later, State Department officials reversed their position, stating that the elections would be recognized by the United States with or without restitution of President Zelaya, effectively breaking the accord.

In a press release on November 5th, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint who had been using a procedural tactic to hold up the Obama Administration nominations of Arturo Valenzuela and Tom Shannon, suddenly announced that he was withdrawing the hold because he had reached an agreement with the Administration relative to the situation in Honduras: “I am happy to report the Obama Administration has finally reversed its misguided Honduran policy and will fully recognize the November 29th elections… Secretary Clinton and Assistant Secretary Shannon have assured me that the U.S. will recognize the outcome of the Honduran elections regardless of whether Manuel Zelaya is reinstated.”

A subsequent announcement by Senator Lugar confirms that in fact the United States intends to recognize elections sponsored by the coup regime without prior restitution of Zelaya. Lugar also announced that the State Department is funding election observer missions from the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.

Lugar also used his statement to encourage Brazil in particular to consider that “recognition of the election will be the only way for Hondurans to look beyond the 5-month-old crisis”. Just a few days ago, the Brazilian foreign minister warned of a “deterioration” of U.S. relations with South America. Brazil is one of 25 countries in the Rio Group which issued a declaration on the same day of DeMint’s statement, declaring that this important group of countries will not recognize a government resulting from Honduran elections if Zelaya is not previously restored.

Late last week, President Zelaya announced that he will not accept restitution at this late date in order to not be used to legitimize elections. In a letter to President Obama renouncing the possibility of a return to office in the days prior to the election, Zelaya wrote, “…3500 people detained in one hundred days, over 600 people beaten and injured in hospitals, more than a hundred murders and countless numbers of people subjected to torture directed against citizens who dare to oppose the regime and express their ideas about freedom and justice in peaceful demonstrations. All this converts the November election into an anti-democratic exercise under an uncertain state of lawlessness with military intimidation for large sections of our people…”

Zelaya’s assessment of the illegitimacy of elections under current condition is shared by large majorities in Honduras and the international community. The broad based national resistance movement has called for a total boycott of the elections. Participation in the elections has become a kind of ethical litmus test for all candidates. Candidates who run are widely considered to be supporting the coup, placing tremendous pressure on candidates to withdrawal.

The first candidate to withdraw was Carlos H. Reyes, a well know Independent Party candidate for President and leader of the resistance movement against the coup. His popularity has surged as revulsion to the violence perpetrated by the coup regime has impacted communities and homes throughout the country. Some strategists believe that had a reinstated President Zelaya endorsed Reyes, he could have won the vote, but would have lost due to fraud. After consulting with grassroots assemblies in different parts of the country, Reyes announced his decision to step down.

Last week, the popular Liberal Party mayor of San Pedro Sula announced that he was stepping down as a candidate, in spite of his healthy lead in the polls. Another 110 mayoral and 55 candidates for Congress are reportedly pulling out of the election, and the number continues to grow. Both the leftist UD and the PINU parties are split, with many Congressional candidates stepping down, but the party leadership wanting to stay in the race. These small parties have the most to lose, as they risk losing the position of their party on the ballot.

The UD party has suffered severe criticism for not withdrawing. Their active involvement in the resistance movement morally obligates them to withdraw, but some party leaders see this moment as an opportunity to win more contests than they normally could. However, as the pressure mounts it seems that withdrawal from the elections by the party is imminent, although not yet certain.

With just days to go until the elections, tensions are mounting in Honduras. Micheletti has threatened those encouraging abstension with lengthy prison terms. The resistance movement has called a civic strike for the entire week prior to elections, widespread protests beginning on Friday and a full boycott on Election Day. This comes in a context of heighten levels of state terrorism.

Recently, the military issued a letter to every mayor in the country instructing mayor’s offices to compile lists of inhabitants of the municipality who have been working against the coup. The letter asked for the list to be compiled immediately and stated that each mayor would receive a follow up visit. Mayors who do not comply with this order also risk consequences. This systematic profiling of the population is a blatant violation of human rights and dangerous signal of the levels of repression to come.

In declaring that it will recognize the coup regime sponsored elections on November 29th without prior restitution of Constitutional order, the United States has embolden the coup regime, betrayed a lengthy negotiation process and endangered the lives of millions of Honduran citizens who are committed to democracy, human rights and the rule of law who will boycott elections they consider to be illegal.

Tom Loudon
Quixote Center

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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