Right-Wing Honduran Coup Plotters Squelch Last Free Radio and TV Stations
One of the favorite themes of the golpistas and their paid American apologists like Lanny Davis is that when they kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya and forcibly exiled him for the crime of raising the minimum wage, they did it to protect democracy and the constitution.
This was always a bit hard to believe, and has become even more so:
Earlier, Honduran troops raided two media outlets that had been critical of the interim government.
Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur TV were closed after authorities issued a state of emergency suspending key civil liberties for 45 days.
The interim government’s decree – broadcast on national television – allows unauthorised public meetings to be banned and news media to be temporarily closed down.
Radio Globo journalist Carlos Lopez said soldiers had "confiscated everything", including cameras and the keys to vehicles when they raided the station early on Monday.
And the US response? Well, the initial response from our OAS representative, Lewis Anselem, was pretty horrible, essentially blaming Zelaya for the coup chaos even as Micheletti and his fellow golpistas were shutting down media and shredding the constitution. That is no doubt why a second, much better response, one blessedly free of wrongheaded and tone-deaf "blame the victim" attacks, was soon issued:
The United States views with grave concern the decree issued by the de facto regime in Honduras suspending fundamental civil and political rights. In response to strong popular opposition, the regime has indicated that it is considering rescinding the decree. We call on the de facto regime to do so immediately.
The freedoms inherent in the suspended rights are inalienable and cannot be limited or restricted without seriously damaging the democratic aspirations of the Honduran people.
At this important moment in Honduran history, we urge all political leaders to commit themselves to a process of dialogue that will produce an enduring and peaceful resolution of the current crisis.
We also urge the de facto regime and President Zelaya to make use of the good will and solidarity extended by President Arias of Costa Rica, the Organization of American States, and other members of the international community to help facilitate, within the framework of the San Jose talks, such a resolution.
In this regard, we remind the de facto regime of its obligations under the Vienna Conventions to respect diplomatic premises and personnel, and those under their protection. Abiding by these obligations is a necessary component of the dialogue between and among nations, and builds the practices of engagement, tolerance, and understanding necessary for the peaceful resolution of disputes.
And lo and behold, this bit of pressure — combined with the decree’s deep unpopularity — may well cause Micheletti to back down, as is already being indicated. When even the probable front-runner in the fake election the golpistas have set for November is attacking their trashing of the constitution, you know that the golpistas have own-goaled themselves. Stay tuned.
(Crossposted at Daily Kos.)