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Those interested in Mexico and Central America might read the Puerto Limón, Costa Rica thread. Here is an update on Honduras Coup, with references to US Embassy warnings. At this time no warning for July has been issued.
Harelydan, here is the very latest from the US Embassy. Based on my experience in the area, I would follow very closely the suggestions from the US Embassy. I am in Spain, not Honduras. But, if it were my decision, I would wait until the curfew passes and then some. You can always get up to date bulletins from US State Dept web sites. Now is the time to kick back and enjoy where you are now.
When you do travel through Honduras, please post reports here. Thanks
Here is the latest:
This information is current as of today, Tue Jun 30 2009 20:36:42 GMT-0400 (AST)
Curfew is still in place in Honduras, with suspension of civil rights for suspected dissidents.
From NY Times article referenced below...
"Even so, a resolution appeared to be a long way off in Honduras on Wednesday. Demonstrations for and against the new government continued in Tegucigalpa and other cities across the country. Then, in a move to crack down on the opposition, the nation’s Congress approved a decree on Wednesday that applies during the overnight curfew and allows security forces to arrest people at home and hold them for more than 24 hours."
To those of you in or around Honduras please post reports. The news is so very slanted and spun it is very difficult to understand the true nature and extent of the Coup and potential danger to moto tourists.
My contacts in country give conflicting descriptions of potential dangers. It seems protests are localized, but deadly. More information is needed here for anyone one the ground in Honduras.
Here is a "doctored" historical analysis of President Zelaya's rule over a country targeted by drug traffickers, the United States and various South American countries as being ripe for exploitation for a number of different agendas.
This article does not report the complex situation accurately, but does indicate that the US trained ad funded Honduran military: "Honduran military officers stopped taking calls from U.S. officials." are at odds with their handlers.
For more info read news articles referenced in my previous posts on this thread.
Meanwhile, President Obama has gained some respect and admiration from Central and South American Presidents, by his demand that President Zelaya be restored to power. Most latin countries agree that a military coup is not the way to gain control over the strategic position, wealth and natural resources a country might have.
The question remains regarding future actions of the United States and especially Venezuela. One or the other is or will be overtly or covertly pulling the strings on the big brass now running the show. The situation remains stressful for all involved and leaves us, moto tourists, with a big question mark regarding the possibility of a safe ride through Honduras.
As a matter of background inforrmation, it seems that calling these problems of Honduras a "coup" is a bit of a mistake.From reading political analyst and comentator Gwynne Dyer it is revealed more realistically that pres.Zelaya was trying to do an end run on the constitution by attempting to set up a referendum , to permit in future elections that a president could run more than one term- hoping that he himself would be the first beneficiary in the upcoming fall elections. In this he was copying the tactics of his friend Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela . The supreme court repeatedly informed him that such a referendum was against the law , not constituional , and to desist. When he kept at it they did what the constitution required and put him out of office, but in a bit of a clumsy fashion.They ought to have arrested him and put him on trial instead of sending him to Costa Rica.
The USA was not thinking straight in immediately jumping in with demands that Zelaya be reinstated- they are just compounding the problems , more Chavez. The elections coming up in a few months would solve the problem of who is president .
Gwynne Dyer' article in the Salt Lake Tribune and his inane tale of the US backed Honduran military acting to protect and preserve the the rule of law and the Constitution of Honduras is just another "sleep tight tonight for your military is awake" horror story, a kin to the weapons of mass destruction and President Bush's debacle in Iraq.
I agree that President Zelaya should remain President until the end of his term. He wanted a referendum, and Dryer's description of why the military exited President Zelaya to Costa Rica in his pajamas is an oxymoron, having more to do with being a cover story than to do with Honduran law, or imagined justice... President Zelala was exiled because he legally fired the commanding general of the army! Has anyone taken the time to research the General's recent exploits leading to his firing?
This is what Dyer wrote:
"Alas, the president of Honduras does not have the right to organize a referendum all by himself, and the country's Supreme Court ordered him to stop. Congress also condemned the maneuver, but Zelaya plowed ahead regardless. When the army, obedient to the Supreme Court's orders, refused to help Zelaya run the referendum, he fired the army's commanding general and got his own party activists to distribute the ballot boxes."
I am very heartened that anyone is searching for something real in this fairy tale dream, so dreamlike that President Zelaya was indeed exited from his country in his pajamas. What a wake up!
Here is another wake up call for you and the other 5% willing to take the time to do the research.
This Baltimore Sun article of June 11, 1995, all 9 pages of it, is real. These dedicated reporters, report the news acurately, and did not need the advantage nor want to use anyone as Dryer uses President Chavez, all but calling him a half wit, whipping boy, which he is not... and Dryer displays very little knowledge of Latin American politics and obviously nothing about the Honduran intelligence unit know as Battalion 316. Hello!
"I (the author) found that the legal and logical deficiencies were so obvious that no neutral observer could conclude that Manuel Zelaya received anything remotely resembling due process."
"First of all, President Zelaya did not, as Mr. Estrada claims, promote a referéndum, but an encuesta, a survey. Proposition 8 was a referendum, an electoral process supervised and tabulated by a legally constituted election authority. The opinion polls about it were surveys. The official title was "Encuesta de Opinión Pública Convocatoria Asamblea Nacional Consituyente (Survey of Public Opinion Convoking a National Constitutional Convention) and it was to be carried out by the National Institute of Statistics, not a legally authorized electoral body, using a survey form, not a ballot."
Perhaps those of the HUBB riding Honduras might not report because they choose anonymity over disclosures via the very public HUBB. Having weathered a coup myself, I certainly understand.
But, to anyone on the ground in Honduras I agree with DLbiten.
"I trust what people see and live more than reporters and governments."
So, a "relay" of on the ground observations from anyone in country, might be appropriate. And, if anyone believes they are in danger and do not want to report on the HUBB, directly, use friends, family or reliables via privates to alert others reading here.
This seems obvious, but during my travels sometimes I neglected to keep in touch and later discovered that neglecting to keep friends and family updated caused a whole lot of worry.
xfiltrate Eat, Drink, Be Careful, and always have a contingency plan
Here is a 09 July interview of President Zelaya by Al Jazeera. After sharing his views on the position of the United States, and near the end of the interview he clearly states, "I Never Sought Re-Election." He claims the charges against him were fabricated.
One gets a glimpse into the character of the man and his beliefs. Gun Boat Diplomacy of the United States appears to be over, perhaps not by choice, but because of other regional "powers" like Brazil and Venezuela.
The Monroe Doctrine of the United states...mostly aimed at the Europeans influence, led to the Good Neighbor Policy, etc... that set up the United States as the "police" of the western hemisphere. Since 1900, United States Marines were repeatedly assigned to the region as "beat cops," but the neighborhood has changed and I believe, the United States would now rather work with and through the Organization of American States (OAS).
I hope the USA stays out.
Looks like a bit misunderstanding got blown up way more than it need to. A sit down and a few s clear this right up between people but it is governments so it gets dragged out like 2years old after a piece of candy.
Monroe Doctrine was made up in 1823 and at that time the USA had no way of enforcing it. The USA just hoped the UK back them up on it and they did!
Bolivar used it to help get the British on his side in his search for freedom. The British were the world power of the time and this was boon for them as it let them sell there goods in the Americas and giving them grounds to sink ships of France and Spain, or any one they did no like just like the USA dose now. And (after the US civil war) used as a reason to invade French held Mexico giving the time for Mexicans to hunt down old Max. get Spain out of Cuba (no idea why the USA moved in after that).
After that used for less the tasteful things like NA, CA and SA taking loans from the now EU (and others) and not paying them back and the USA continued isolation and ill treatment of Cuba. It dose not give the USA police powers (the USA just waves it around and dose what ever they want) and the USA seems to use it some times and sometimes not like the Falkland islands and others.
We all hope that the USA gives the OAS time and funding and power to do this. The leading EU nations have passed the torch to the EU now let us see if the USA can pass it along as well. Let us hope the wold is ready.
Perhaps my last post was not as clear as it could be regarding my position on the Coup in Honduras.
I believe, any unilateral proclamation or law regulating a "sphere of influence," beyond the borders of the USA has got to offend other governments, otherwise they would have signed on to an agreement.
I am with all those who oppose direct US intervention in Honduras, and I hope that any Central and South American conflicts now or in the future are handled via the OAS, the UN or some other multilateral organization.
Everyone of the ill conceived so called "police" operations by the US marines and other US or contracted agencies or contracted groups, individuals, or make believe "freedom fighters", etc... including official and "covertly" sanctioned operations against Cuba, have been justified by the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. Few have had the intended results.
The problem has been that the protection of US Business Interests (Banksters) in the Western Hemisphere have always overshadowed any real concern for democracy or human rights. And, not only political, but economic assassins have been employed to assure big profits for the Banksters.
Today, the US government has created a similar Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, of course with a different cover name, and aimed it directly at the People of the United States of America. The hard won Freedoms and Bill of Rights, once the rule of law in the United States, have now taken a back seat to Business Interests, the Banksters, as represented by AIG, and any other institution claiming to be "to big to fail."
Wake up America. We need Main Street, not Wall Street in control of our economy, we need small family farms, not agricultural conglomerates, and ma an pa stores instead of Wal-Marts. Sorry for the rant, but I believe the US is eating itself up with it's own ill conceived foreign policies.
The 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine
"This (1904) amendment (to the Monroe Doctrine) was designed to preclude violation of the doctrine by European powers that would ultimately argue that the independent nations were “mismanaged or unruly”.
Critics[who?], however, argued that the Corollary simply asserted U.S. domination in that area, essentially making them a "hemispheric policeman." To this day, it is hard to argue that the Western Hemisphere is not entirely a United States sphere of influence.
NOTE: Leaked to Buenos Aires daily "La Nacion," and some wire services... is the possibility that President Zelaya would be entering Honduras from the south with an international "armed" escort. I do not know the validity of this report. but I would advise all to stay clear of all borders on this Saturday
Here are a couple reports found on internet. There are many more.
EDITED NOTE: A more objective analysis, by Roger Burbach is the director of the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and author of The Pinochet Affair may be found here:
17 Jul 2009 - Supporters of ousted president block highways across country; further protests scheduled for 17 July
Supporters of ousted president Manuel Zelaya on 16 July blocked several highways across the country, including the northern and southern entrances to the capital Tegucigalpa, in the cities of Comayagua and Copan, and at border crossings with neighbouring El Salvador. Traffic disruption was also reported on roads connecting the north-western city of San Pedro Sula with the cities of Puerto Cortes and Santa Rosa de Copan, as well as at El Durazno, near Tegucigalpa. While the roadblocks in Tegucigalpa were lifted after several hours, Zelaya's supporters have vowed to repeat the protests on 17 July.
Earlier on the same day, the interim government announced that it would be reimposing an overnight curfew, after claiming that Zelaya's supporters were rearming themselves. The curfew will be enforced from 00.30 to 04.30 (local time). Unconfirmed reports had indicated that Zelaya would attempt to return to the country on 16 July; interim president Roberto Micheletti earlier warned that Zelaya might attempt to cross into the country on 18 July from Nicaragua. Additionally, the second round of talks between representatives of Zelaya and Micheletti are scheduled to resume on 18 July in Costa Rica. Meanwhile, the US State Department on 16 July extended its recommendation to defer non-essential travel to the country until 29 July. Comment and Analysis
The latest incidents indicate that protests in support of Zelaya are likely to continue for as long as the political crisis persists. However, a genuine popular uprising in his favour is highly unlikely. Although the curfew has been reimposed, the overall security situation remains relatively calm. Indeed, while the curfew may be reflective of growing concerns over possible renewed violence, its reinstatement will probably help diminish the risk of widespread violence. Despite the government's claim that protesters were arming themselves, violence linked to the recent political crisis has remained isolated and small in scale.
Protests have been occurring on an almost daily basis since Zelaya was ousted on 28 June; these have mainly focused on government buildings. Demonstrations and associated clashes involving the security forces or rival political groups will become increasingly likely if Zelaya attempts or manages to return to Honduras, appears publicly or is arrested. The security forces are not averse to using heavy-handed measures, including the use of tear gas, water cannon and batons, which will pose an incidental risk to bystanders. Precedents also indicate that Zelaya's supporters may attempt to erect roadblocks in other areas, especially in San Pedro Sula. The authorities had on 5 July closed Toncontín International Airport in Tegucigalpa following fatal clashes there as a plane carrying Zelaya attempted to land, and only announced its reopening three days later; renewed attempts by Zelaya to return to Honduras may trigger a similar response from the authorities and subsequent travel disruption should be expected.
Congress appointed Micheletti interim president following Zelaya's arrest and deportation from the country on the day on which a controversial referendum on constitutional reform was scheduled to be held. The legislature had reportedly unanimously voted in favour of Zelaya's removal, accusing him of violating the constitution and disregarding the orders of the supreme court, which had declared the referendum illegal. Talks between Zelaya and Micheletti's interim government have reached an impasse, though it is unlikely that the ousted president's supporters will seek to incite widespread violence as that would alienate moderate supporters in the international community. The military has thus far shown relative restraint in curbing the political unrest and there is no indication that there will be any significant changes in the country's security environment in the short term.
While, hundreds of conflicting reports on Honduras and the Coup, are available by searching: Google News, Al Jazeera, travelsecurity.com, etc. or the ramblings of hundreds of university professors. It is difficult to ignore the obvious slants and agenda based camps, and their rants.
Some are portraying President Zelaya as another Fidel Castro, many, including Wall Street Journal, complain that the USA is wrong to support his return to Honduras as President. Others are in favor of the USA policy and the Organization of American States.
The efforts of OAS and President Arias of Costa Rica to find agreement between the interim government and President Zelaya have made little progress.
My impressions, and I warn here, only my impressions based on my own personal experiences in the region and my intuition, is that more violence between the interim government and the populous movement for Zelaya's return, is imminently possible.
If you are in Honduras, talk with knowledgeable locals, consult the advice of your embassy and have supplies of gasoline.... food, water and create several plans, where you will stay and how you will get out. Stay clear of past areas of protests and as always,
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