Come Saturday Morning: The Coup Next Door
What do you think would happen if somebody tried doing this to a US Embassy anywhere in the world?
The noise/light war against the Brazilian embassy continues. General Vasquez says that “it might be mariachis sent to entertain the troops.” and then adds a bit more ominously, “the OAS shouuld be grateful that in Honduras, it’s music and not bombs.” Brazil will file a human rights complaint with the UN [which they should have done a month ago]. The sentiment was echoed by pretend-Defense Minister Sevilla, who also says that the military doesn’t want Zelaya re-installed. The Permanent Council of the UN condemned the actions of the pretend-government.
Why is the Brazilian embassy in Honduras under siege? Because it’s sheltering Honduras’ rightful president, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, and his family.
This sonic torture, combined with other, subtler assaults like working to jam cell phone communication and the golpistas’ efforts to starve out the embassy’s residents, has been going on for a month now. Here’s some of what’s been happening to the people in the embassy as a result:
Additionally, around noon today, President Zelaya called a press conference inside the embassy, during which a medical doctor testified that two of the people staying inside the embassy displayed symptoms of bleeding from the nose or the stomach, and that a larger number of them displayed symptoms of nausea, throat and sinus irritation and related problems that can be caused by neuro-toxic gases used in chemical warfare that are also prohibited by international treaties.
Zelaya said, calmly and deliberatively, that upon awaking at 7:30 a.m., he had felt an unfamiliar irritation, “first in the mouth, next in the throat, and later a small pain in the stomach. I drank water and milk. And I came out to find others feeling sick. Since then we’ve been trying to figure out where it is coming from.”
Understanding the dramatic nature of this kind of warfare and its capacity to generate panic, fear and anger, Zelaya urged members of the anti-coup civil resistance, “Please, do not attack the police. Maintain yourselves at a respectable distance. Don’t come near enough to be beaten. Protest your grievances peacefully.”
Displaying the cell phone jamming device, President Zelaya said, “This apparatus is installed to interfere and practically act against all telephones inside the Embassy. We practically have a sonic intervention that could also be affecting the health and nerves of people inside.”
“They have also aimed frequencies of high intensity against the Embassy. This is also to affect our psychological state. Other machines are installed in the neighboring houses, where the owners have been kicked out and the military has occupied them.”
Emptywheel has discussed how musicians are protesting the use of their work, played at (literally) earsplitting volume, to torture people. And sonic weapons — such as the ones being trained on the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa — have been used by the US and its allies throughout the world, including against G20 protesters in Pittsburgh. Yet the Miami Herald’s Frances Robles chose to take Zelaya’s straightforward, honest statements and worked to give them a paranoid and even anti-semitic spin — which is ironic as Zelaya’s presidential administration is noted for the large number of Jewish Hondurans that were employed within it. (Robles still refuses to provide the full quote she chopped into bits and rearranged.) Then again, the golpistas have so far spent over $400,000 on US lobbyists like Lanny Davis, so it’s not surprising to see writers like Robles writing pieces like hers.
The attempts of the coupmeisters and their fellow travelers (paid and otherwise) to claim legal justification for their coup (the “Evil Zelaya wanted to change the Constitution and make himself dictator!” gambit) have been blown apart conclusively by both RAJ of the Honduras Coup 2009 blog (see here and here) and (of all places!) Forbes magazine.
In fact, while the golpistas and their paid shills may have successfully bamboozled the US snooze media, they haven’t come close to fooling the Honduran people. Two separate polls, done two weeks apart (here and here), show that the vast majority of Hondurans do not want the coup or anyone associated with it. Furthermore, the most recent one shows that, when asked their opinion of the (non-binding) referendum Zelaya was about to hold before he was kidnapped and forced out by the coup plotters, 55% of Hondurans say yes to what the golpistas have (falsely) depicted as the consulta‘s central question: Should the Honduran Constitution be amended to permit presidents to be re-elected?