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진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

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Washington & the Coup in Honduras: Here is the Evidence

Washington and the Coup in Honduras: Here is the Evidence

By Eva Golinger

15 July 2009

[aquí está

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• The Department of State had prior knowledge of the coup.

• The Department of State and the US Congress funded and advised the actors and organizations in Honduras that participated in the coup.

• The Pentagon trained, schooled, commanded, funded and armed the Honduran armed forces that perpetrated the coup and that continue to repress the people of Honduras by force.

• The US military presence in Honduras, that occupies the Soto Cano (Palmerola) military base, authorized the coup d’etat through its tacit complicity and refusal to withdraw its support of the Honduran military involved in the coup.

• The US Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, coordinated the removal from power of President Manuel Zelaya, together with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon y John Negroponte, who presently works as an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

• From the first day the coup occurred, Washington has referred to “both parties” involved and the necessity for “dialogue” to restore constitutional order, legitimizing the coup leaders by regarding them as equal players instead of criminal violators of human rights and democratic principles.

• The Department of State has refused to legally classify the events in Honduras as a “coup d’etat”, nor has it suspended or frozen its economic aid or commerce to Honduras, and has taken no measures to effectively pressure the de facto regime.

• Washington manipulated the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to buy time, therefore allowing the coup regime to consolidate and weaken the possibility of President Zelaya’s immediate return to power, as part of a strategy still in place that simply seeks to legitimate the de facto regime and wear down the Honduran people that still resist the coup.

• Secretary of State Clinton and her spokesmen stopped speaking of President Zelaya’s return to power after they designated Costa Rican president Oscar Arias as the “mediator” between the coup regime and the constitutional government; and now the State Department refers to the dictator that illegally took power during the coup, Roberto Micheletti, as the “interim caretaker president”.

• The strategy of “negotiating” with the coup regime was imposed by the Obama administration as a way of discrediting President Zelaya – blaming him for provoking the coup – and legitimizing the coup leaders.

• Members of the US Congress – democrats and republicans – organized a visit of representatives from the coup regime in Honduras to Washington, receiving them with honors in different arenas in the US capital.

• Despite the fact that originally it was Republican Senator John McCain who coordinated the visit of the coup regime representatives to Washington through a lobby firm connected to his office, The Cormac Group, now, the illegal regime is being representated by top notch lobbyist and Clinton attorney Lanny Davis, who is using his pull and influence in Washington to achieve overall acceptance – cross party lines – of the coup regime in Honduras.

• Otto Reich and a Venezuelan named Robert Carmona-Borjas, known for his role as attorney for the dictator Pedro Carmona during the April 2002 coup d’etat in Venezuela, aided in preparing the groundwork for the coup against President Zelaya in Honduras.

• The team designated from Washigton to design and help prepare the coup in Honduras also included a group of US ambassadors recently named in Central America, experts in destabilizing efforts against the Cuban revolution, and Adolfo Franco, ex administrator for USAID’s Cuba “transition to democracy” program.

No one doubts that the fingerprints of Washington are all over the coup d’etat against President Manuel Zelaya that began last June 28th. Many analysts, writers, activists and even presidents, have denounced this role. Nevertheless, the majority coincide in excusing the Obama Administration from any responsibility in the Honduran coup, blaming instead the lingering remains of the Bush-Cheney era and the war hawks that still pace the halls of the White House. The evidence demonstrates that while it is certain that the usual suspects who perpetrate coups and destabilization activities in Latin America are involved, ample proof exists confirming the direct role of the new administration in Washington in the Honduran coup.

The Department of State

The new form of diplomacy of the United States, known as “smart power”, has played a principal role before, during and after the coup in Honduras. During a press briefing on July 1, spokesmen for the Department of State admitted to having prior knowledge of the coup in Honduras, clarifying that US diplomats had been meeting with the groups and actors planning the coup to encourage a different “solution” to their discontent with President Zelaya. The State Department also confirmed that two high level representatives from the Department, which included Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelley, were in Honduras the week prior to the coup and maintained meetings with the civilian and military groups that later participated in the illegal overthrow of a democratically elected president. They state their mission was to “urge against” the coup, but evidently such verbal pressure was insufficient to discourage the actors involved in the coup, particularly considering the actions manifested by Washington contradicted those harsh words.

On the day of the coup, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published a statement regarding the situation in Honduras. Despite the fact that governments around the world were quickly condemning the actions as a coup d’etat, Clinton’s statement did not recognize the events in Honduras as a “coup d’etat” and also did not call for the return of President Zelaya to power. Curiously, Clinton’s statements from day one have referred to “all parties” of situation, legitimizing the coup leaders and somehow placing blame – publicly – on President Mel Zelaya for provoking his own overthrow: “The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.”

And ever since, despite different references to a “coup” having occurred in Honduras, the Department of State has refused to legally classify what took place as a coup d’etat. By doing so, the US government would be obligated to suspend economic, diplomatic and military aid to Honduras, which apparently they are unwilling to do, since such a measure would substantially affect US interests in the Central American nation and the region. On July 1, the spokesmen for the State Department explained their wavering on the coup question: “In regard to the coup itself, I think it would just – it would be best to say that this was a coordinated effort between the military and some civilian political actors. Obviously, the military was the entity that conducted the forcible removal of the president and has acted as the securer of public order during this process. But for the coup to become more than an insurrection or a rebellion, you have to have an effort to transfer power. And in that regard, the congress – the congress’s decision to swear in its president, Micheletti, as the president of Honduras indicates that the congress and key members of that congress played an important role in this coup.”

This position of ambiguity, that condemns the events in Honduras as a violation of constitutional order but doesn’t go as far as classifying the situation as a coup d’etat and also doesn’t call for the reinstatement of President Zelaya to the presidency, was ratified again after the meeting held between Secretary of State Clinton and President Zelaya on July 7. Clinton made the following statement, “I just finished a productive meeting with President Zelaya. We discussed the events of the past nine days and the road ahead. I reiterated to him that the United States supports the restoration of the democratic constitutional order in Honduras. We continue to support regional efforts through the OAS to bring about a peaceful resolution that is consistent with the terms of the Inter-American Democratic Charter…We call upon all parties to refrain from acts of violence and to seek a peaceful, constitutional, and lasting solution to the serious divisions in Honduras through dialogue. To that end, we have been working with a number of our partners in the hemisphere to create a negotiation, a dialogue that could lead to a peaceful resolution of this situation.”

Now it was clear, after this meeting, that Washington would no longer consider Zelaya’s return to the presidency as a necessary solution but rather would lobby for a “negotiation” with the coup regime, that in the end, favors US interests. Sources that were present at the Organization of American States (OAS) meetings that took place after the coup affirm that the presence of a high-level US delegation intensified the pressure against other States to urge for a “negotiated” solution that didn’t necessarily imply the return to power of President Zelaya.

This method of circumventing the main issue, manipulating the outcome and attempting to appear as though one position has been assumed when in reality, actions demonstrate the contrary, forms part of the new Obama doctrine of “smart power”, which purports to achieve imperialist objectives without demonizing the government. “Smart Power” es “the capacity to combine ‘hard power’ with ‘soft power’ to achieve a victorious strategy. ‘Smart Power’ strategically uses diplomacy, persuasion, capacity building, military power and economic and political influence, in an effective way with a political and social legitimacy.” Essentially, it’s a mix of military force with all forms of diplomacy, with an emphasis in the use of “democracy promotion” as a principal tactic to strongy influence the destiny of societies, instead of a military invasion. [Note: Beware that “smart power” places an emphasis on the use of agencies like USAID and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to do the ‘dirty work’ of silently penetrating and infiltrating civil society organizations in order to promote a US agenda. This explains Obama’s call for an additional $320 million in “democracy promotion” funds for the 2010 budget just for use in Latin America. This is substantially a higher sum than the quantity requested and used in Latin America for “democracy promotion” by the Bush administration in its 8 years of government combined.]

The Ambassador

Journalist Jean-Guy Allard has revealed the origens of the current US Ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens . Per Allard, Hugo Llorens, a Cuban national from birth who arrived in the United States as part of Operation Peter Pan, is “a specialist in terrorism…In 2002, George W. Bush’s White House strategically placed the astute Llorens as Director of Andean Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., which converted him into the principle advisor to the President on Venezuela. The coup d’etat in 2002 against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez occured during Llorens’ tenure, who was working together with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Otto Reich, and the very controversial Elliot Abrams. In July 2008, Llorens was named Ambassador to Honduras.”

On June 4, 2009, just weeks before the coup d’etat against President Zelaya, Ambassador Llorens declared to the Honduran press that “...One can’t violate the Constitution in order to create another Constitution, because if one doesn’t respect the Constitution, then we all live under the law of the jungle.” Those declarations were made in reference to the national opinion survey on the possibility of convening a constitutional convention during 2010, that would have taken place on June 28th if the coup d’etat against President Zelaya hadn’t occured. The commentaries made by Llorens evidence not only his position against the survey, but also his interference in the internal affairs of Honduras.

But Llorens wasn’t alone in the region. After his nomination as US Ambassador in Honduras – position that he was assigned to due to the urgent necessity to neutralize the growing presence of leftist governments in the region and impede the regional potency of ALBA - several other US ambassadors were also named in neighboring nations, all experts in destabilizing the Cuban revolution and executing psychological warfare.

The diplomat Robert Blau arrived first to the US Embassy in El Salvador, on July 2, 2008, named as second in command. In January 2009, Blau became the Charge d’Affairs at the Embassy. Before arriving to El Salvador, Blau was Subdirector of Cuban Affairs at the Department of State in Washington, after working for two years at the US Interests Section in Havana, Cuba, as a Political Counselor. His work with Cuban dissidents was so successful that Blau was honored with the Department of State James Clement Dunn Award for Excellence. Llorens and Blau were old friends, after working together as part of Otto Reich’s team in the State Department.

Soon after, Stephen McFarland was named as US Ambassador in Guatemala, on August 5, 2008. McFarland, a graduate of the National War College in the US, similar to Hugo Llorens and Robert Blau, and also a former member of Combat Team Number 2 of the US Marines in Iraq, was the second in command at the US Embassy in Venezuela during William Brownfield’s tenure. Brownfield is known for achieving a substantial increase in State Department funding and strategic support for the Venezuelan opposition. After Venezuela, McFarland was sent to the US Embassy in Paraguay to oversee the construction of the large US military base in that country that borders Bolivia. McFarland was also Director of Cuban Affairs at the State Department and his resumé claims he is an expert in “democratic transitions, human rights and security matters.”

Ambassador Robert Callahan arrived to Managua, Nicaragua, also at the beginning of August. Callahan has worked at the US embassies in La Paz, Bolivia, and San José, Costa Rica, and was a distinguished professor at the National War College. In 2004, he was sent to Iraq as press attaché at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Upon his return, he established the press and propaganda office at the newly created Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) in Washington, which today is the most powerful entity in the US intelligence community.

Together, these ambassadors – experts in coup d’etats, destabilization and propaganda – prepared the terrain for the coup against President Zelaya in Honduras.

Funding the coup leaders

Just one month before the coup against President Zelaya occured, a coalition of different organizations, business associations, political parties, high level members of the Catholic Church and private media outlets, was formed in opposition to Zelaya’s policies. The coalition was called the “Democratic Civil Union of Honduras”. It’s only objective was to oust President Zelaya from power in order to impede the future possibility of a constitutional convention to reform the constitution, which would allow the people a voice and a role in their political process.

The “Democratic Civil Union of Honduras” is composed of organizations including the National Anticorruption Council, the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP), Council of University Deans, Worker’s Federation of Honduras (CTH), National Convergence Forum, National Federation of Commerce and Industry of Honduras (FEDECAMARA), Association of Communication Media (AMC), the Group Peace & Democracy and the student group Generation for Change.

The majority of these organizations have been the beneficiaries of the more than $50 million annually disbursed by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for “democracy promotion” in Honduras. In fact, a USAID report regarding its funding and work with COHEP, described how the “low profile maintained by USAID in this project helped ensure the credibility of COHEP as a Honduran organization and not an arm of USAID.” Which basically means that COHEP is, actually, an arm of USAID.

The spokespeople for the Democratic Civil Union of Honduras representing, according to them, “civil society”, declared to the Honduran press on June 23rd – five days before the coup took place against President Zelaya – that they “trust the armed forces will comply with their responsibility to defend the Constitution, the Law, peace and democracy.” When the coup took place on June 28th, they were the first to immediately claim that a coup had not occured, but rather “democracy had been saved” from the hands of President Zelaya, whose crime was to attempt to give voice and visibility to the people. Representing the biased middle and upperclasses, the Democratic Civil Union has qualified Zelaya’s supporters as “hoards”.

The International Republican Institute (IRI), entity that receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), received more than $1.2 million in 2009 to work with political groups in Honduras. IRI’s work has been dedicated to supporting “think tanks” and “pressure groups” to influence political parties and “support initiatives to implement political positions during the campaigns in 2009.” This is a clear example of intervention in the internal politics of Honduras and evidence of NED and IRI funding to those groups involved in the coup.

The Washington Lobby

Republican Senator John McCain, ex US presidential, helped coordinate the visit of a coup regime delegation to Washington last week. McCain is well known for his opposition to governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries in the region considered “anti-imperialist”. McCain also maintains very close ties to the Cuban exile community in Miami. McCain is also Chairman of the Board of the International Republican Institute (IRI) that has funded the coup participants in Honduras. McCain offered the services of a lobby firm in Washington, closely tied to him, the Cormac Group, that organized a press conference for the coup regime delegation at the National Press Club on June 7th. McCain also helped set up several meetings in Congress with the traditional Cuban-American representatives and those general “Chávez-haters”, such as Connie Mack, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mel Martinez.

But beyond the Republican connection to the Honduran coup regime, there is a even more damning link to the current Democrat administration in Washington. Lawyer Lanny Davis was hired by the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL) to lobby in favor of the coup regime and convince the powers in Washington to accept and recognize the de facto government in Honduras. Lanny Davis was special counsel to ex President Bill Clinton from 1996-1998 and he is a close friend and advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Davis is organizing a diplomatic offensive and public relations blitz in favor of the coup regime, including the strategic placement of advertisements in important US media that seek to legitimize the de facto Honduran government, and he is organizing meetings and hearings with members of Congress, the State Department and the White House. CEAL represents the conservative business community in Latin America, including those that have promoted and participated in previous attempts to oust democratic governments via coup d’etats and/or other forms of sabotage. For example, the Venezuelan representative of CEAL is Marcel Granier, president of RCTV, the television station that heavily participated in the 2002 coup against President Chávez and that consistently has violated Venezuelan law in order to promote its political agenda.

As part of this offensive, Lanny Davis arranged a special hearing before the House Foreign Relations Committee, attended by high level members of Congress and overseen by Democrat Elliot Engel (congressman from New York). Testimonies were given at the hearing by representatives of the coup regime from Honduras and others who have supported the coup – directly and indirectly – such as Michael Shifter from the InterAmerican Dialogue, Guillermo Pérez-Cadalso, ex Honduran Foreign Minister and Supreme Court Judge, and the infamous Otto Reich, a Cuban-American well-known for his role in the majority of destabilization activities against leftist and progressive governments in Latin America throughout the eighties. Reich, who was named Special Advisor on Latin America to President George W. Bush, also played a key role in the 2002 coup against President Chávez. As a result of this hearing, the US Congress is currently trying to pass a resolution that recognizes the coup regime in Honduras as a legitimate government.

Another consequence of Lanny Davis’ lobbying efforts was the meeting arranged in the Council of the Americas Washington office on June 9th. This event included the participation of Jim Swigert, Director of Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), entity that receives its funding from NED & USAID, Cris Arcos, former US Ambassador to Honduras, and Adolfo Franco, ex USAID Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the director of the “transition to democracy” program for Cuba. These three characters are working as advisors to the Obama administration on the Honduran crisis. Franco, who was previously advisor on foreign policy to John McCain during his presidential campaign in 2008, has been accused of corruption for his mismanagement of USAID funds destined for the Cuba “democracy” program. Franco diverted a large quantity of these funds, totaling over $40 million, to groups such as the Committee for a Free Cuba and the Institute for Cuban Studies in Miami, without adhering to a transparent process of funds disbursement.

Negroponte and Reich, again

Many analysts and specialists on Latin American have speculated on the role of former Ambassador to Honduras John Negroponte, who directed the paramilitary forces and death squads known as the “Contra” against leftist movements in Central America during the 1980s. Negroponte held various high level positions during the Bush administration, including US Ambassador to Iraq, US Ambassador to the United Nations, National Director of Intelligence and lastly, Subsecretary of State, second only to Condoleezza Rice. After leaving the Department of State in January 2009, Negroponte entered the private sector, as is custom amongst former top government officials. He was offered a job as Vicepresident at the most influential and powerful consulting firm in Washington, McLarty Associates. Negroponte accepted the job. McLarty Associates was founded by Thomas “Mack” McLarty, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and also Clinton’s Special Envoy to Latin America. Since the end of the Clinton administration, McLarty has managed the most powerful strategic consulting firm in Washington, which until just last year, was called Kissinger-McLarty Associates due to the merging of Thomas McLarty and Henry Kissinger. This partnership clearly evidenced the bi-partisan unions that truly craft the most important policies in Washington.

In his new role, John Negroponte presently works as Advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Remember, the current US Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, has worked closely under Negroponte’s domain during the majority of his career. So it would not be a far jump to consider that John Negroponte, expert in crushing leftist movements in Central America, has played a role in the current coup against President Zelaya in Honduras.

Otto Reich has also been investing his energy during the last couple of years in a campaign against President Zelaya. The Honduran president actually threatened to sue Reich for defamation in April 2009, after Reich accused President Zelaya of stealing $100 million from the state-owned telecommunications company, Hondutel. These accustations were never backed by evidence, and the truth was revealed soon after that explained Reich’s interest in Hondutel. Through his consulting and lobbying firm, Otto Reich Associates, the Cuban-American was representing a multinational corporation that was pushing for the privatization of Hondutel, a move that Zelaya opposed. With President Zelaya out of the picture now, Reich is able to pursue the multi-million dollar deal.

Reich also co—founded an organization in Washington named Arcadia Foundation together with a Venezuelan, Robert Carmona-Borjas, a lawyer specialized in military law who is linked to the April 2002 coup d’etat in Venezuela, per his own resumé. Robert Carmona-Borjas was in the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, together with the dictator Pedro Carmona, on the days of the coup, from April 11-12, 2002, and escaped, together with Carmona, when the palace was retaken by the presidential guard and constitutional order was restored. He later fled to the United States after he was brought up on charges for his role in the coup d’etat in Venezuela, and became a university professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (nice to see the warm welcome coup leaders and violators of democracy receive in the United States). Since last year, Reich and Carmona-Borjas have been conducting a campaign against President Zelaya, accusing him of corruption and limiting private property rights. Through the Arcadia Foundation, they created a series of video clips that have been shown in different media, attempted to portray Zelaya as a corrupt president who violates the basic rights of the Honduran people.

Carmona-Borjas has traveled frequently to Honduras during the last few months, and even held public meetings where the coup against Zelaya was discussed openly. At one encounter where Carmona-Borjas was present, the Honduran Public Defender, Ramón Custodia, who was involved in the coup d’etat, declared to the press that “Coups are a possibility and can occur in any political environment.” After the coup took place, Robert Carmona-Borjas appeared at a rally in support of the de facto regime, on July 3rd, and received the honors and applause from the coup leaders who declared him “an important actor” that “helped make possible” the removal from power of President Zelaya and the installment of the dictator Roberto Micheletti as de facto president.

Military Power

The United States maintains a large military presence in Honduras in the Soto Cano (Palmerola) base, located about 50 miles from the capital, Tegucigalpa, that has been actively operating since 1981, when it was heavily occupied by the Reagan Administration and used for its operations in Central America.

During the eighties, Soto Cano was used by Colonel Oliver North as a base of operations of the “Contra”, the paramilitary forces trained, armed and funded by the CIA, and charged with executing warfare against all leftist movements in Central America, with particular focus on the neighboring Sandinista government in Nicaragua. From Soto Cano, the “Contra” launched terrorist attacks, psychological warfare (overseen by Otto Reich’s Office for Public Diplomacy), death squads and special covert missions that resulted in the assassination of tens of thousands of farmers and civilians, thousands of disappeared, tortured, wounded and terrorized all throughout the region.

John Negroponte, US Ambassador at the time in Honduras, together with Oliver North and Otto Reich, directed and oversaw these dirty operations. They later became involved in the Iran-Contra scandal once the US Congress cut the funding for the paramilitary groups and death squads used by the Reagan Administration to neutralize the leftist movements in the region, and the Negroponte-North-Reich team sold arms to Iran to continue funding their covert operations.

The Soto Cano base houses the US Joint Task Force-Bravo military group, composed of members from the Army, Air Force, joint security forces and the First Batallion Regiment 228 of the US Air Force. The current total presence of US forces on the base numbers approximately 600, and includes 18 combat planes, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, used for special warfare operations. The Honduran Aviation Academy is also located on the Soto Cano Base. More than 650 Honduran and US citizens also live inside the base installations.

The Honduran Constitution does not permit legally the presence of foreign military in the country. A “handshake” agreement was made between Washington and Honduras authorizing the “semi-permanent” important and strategic presence of hundreds – at times thousands – of US military personnel on the base. The agreement was made in 1954, in exchange for the multi-million dollar aid the US provides to the Honduran armed forces, which ranges from training programs, arms and military equipment and joint exercises and operations that take place on the ground in Honduras. The base was first employed by the US military and CIA to launch the coup d’etat against Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954.

Each year, Washington authorizes hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic aid to Honduras, which is the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti and Nicaragua. This “exchange” securing the US military presence in the Central American nation can be terminated at any time by the Honduran government, without much notice.

On May 31, 2008, President Manuel Zelaya announced that Soto Cano (Palmerola) would be converted into an international civilian airport. The construction of the airport terminal would be financed with a fund from the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA – of which Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominique, Honduras, Nicaragua, St. Vicents, Antigua & Barbados and Venezuela are members). This obviously was a huge threat to the future US military presence in Honduras.

The two generals that have participated in key roles in the coup against President Zelaya are both graduates of the US School of the Americas, famous for training dictators, torturers and repressors in Latin America, and they maintain very close ties with the US military forces based in Honduras. The Commander of the Honduran Air Force, General Luis Javier Prince Suazo, studied in the famous School of the Americas in 1996. The Head of the Honduran High Military Command, General Romeo Vásquez, who was fired by President Zelaya on June 24, 2009, for disobeying the president’s orders, and later appeared as the principal actor in the military coup just days later, is also a graduate of the School of the Americas. These two high level military officers also maintain close contact with the Pentagon and the Southern Command.

The US Ambassador in Honduras through September 2008, when Hugo Llorens was appointed to the position, Charles Ford, was transferred from Honduras to the Southern Command in Florida and charged with providing “strategic advising” to the Pentagon about Latin America, a position he holds today.

The Honduran military are funded, trained, schooled and commanded by the US military. They have been indoctrinated with the anti-leftist, anti-socialist, pro-empire mentality since the beginning of the Cold War. The Generals and high level officers involved in the coup in Honduras have publicly stated that they were “obligated” to remove President Zelaya from power because of the “threat” he posed with his “leftist” ideology and alignment to socialist nations in the region such as Venezuela and Cuba. Per one Honduran colonel, “'We fought the subversive movements here and we were the only country that did not have a fratricidal war like the others…It would be difficult for us, with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible. I personally would have retired, because my thinking, my principles, would not have allowed me to participate in that.''.

All of the above evidence – and certainly more to come in the future – proves the undeniable role of Washington in the coup d’etat aginst President Zelaya in Honduras.

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

베네수엘라 혁명적 맑스주의 그룹에서 낸 이란에 대한 성명서

Venezuelanalysis에서 퍼옵니다.

정말 중요한 글. 뭔가 답답하던 것이 좀 해소되는 느낌이네요. 강조는 제가.


Solidarity with the movement of the Iranian masses – Statement of the Revolutionary Marxist Current (Venezuela)


The Bolivarian Revolution and Iran


In Iran we have a situation in which the opposition denounces electoral fraud, in which this allegation gets support from the imperialist powers and in which there are street demonstrations against the election results. It is understandable that many revolutionaries in Venezuela will draw parallels between what is happening in Iran and situations we have lived through during the Bolivarian revolution. In Venezuela, more than once, the reactionary and oligarchic counter-revolution, with the support of imperialism, has attempted to create a situation of chaos in the streets with the excuse of an alleged “electoral fraud” in order to de-legitimise the election victories of the revolution (during the recall referendum, in the 2006 presidential elections, during the constitutional reform referendum in 2007, etc).

However these parallels do not correspond to reality.


The Islamic Republic – a revolutionary regime?


First of all, the Iranian regime of the Islamic Republic is not a revolutionary regime. The Iranian revolution which was victorious in 1979, was a genuine mass revolution, with the active participation of the working class, the youth, the peasantry, the soldiers, the women, etc. The decisive factor which brought down the hated Shah was the general strike of the oil workers. Millions of workers organisedshoras (factory councils) in their factories and took over control and administration of these, in a similar way to what oil workers did in Venezuela during the bosses lock out and sabotage of the economy in December 2002. Millions of peasants occupied the land of the big landowners (as they are doing now in Venezuela). The students occupied their schools and universities and proceeded to democratise them putting an end to the elitism that had dominated them. The soldiers also set up theirshoras (councils) and proceeded to purge the army from reactionary officers. The oppressed nationalities (Kurds, Arabs, Azeri, etc) conquered their freedom. The Iranian people as a whole threw away the yoke of imperialism.

However, the current Iranian regime of the Islamic Republic was consolidated, in the period between 1979 and 1983, precisely on the basis of the smashing of this revolution on the part of the fundamentalist Islamic clerics. Over a period of several years all the conquests of the 1979 revolution were destroyed. Land was given back to landowners, expelling the peasants which had taken it. The factory councils were destroyed and replaced by Islamic shoras, leaving the workers with no right to organise or to strike. A particular interpretation of Islam was imposed on the population as a whole, bringing the most ruthless denial of women’s rights and creating an atmosphere of ideological oppression for the majority of the population.


The kidnapping and smashing of the workers’ and peoples’ revolution of 1979 on the part of fundamentalist Islamic clergy was only possible because of the wrong policies of all left wing organisations who thought that they could form a united front with the Muslim clerics led by Ayatollah Khomeini. They paid dearly for their mistakes. Over a period of four years, with increasingly brutal attacks against the left, the power of the Islamic Republic was consolidated over what had been a working class and anti-imperialist revolution. In order to be able to achieve this, the Muslim clerics dressed themselves in anti-imperialist robes, organising the incident of the US embassy and skilfully exploiting the war with Iraq. By 1983, all left wing parties had been banned (despite their support for a united front with Khomeini), and some 30,000 militants of different groups of the reformist, nationalist and revolutionary left had been killed. These are the origins of the present day Islamic Republic of Iran. Not a revolutionary regime, but rather a regime born by smashing a revolution.


Was there electoral fraud?


Some argue that on June 13, 2009 there was no electoral fraud, but there are numerous examples of this. To start with, any candidate standing for election has to be approved by the Guardian Council, an undemocratic 12-person body.


Regarding fraud itself, let’s just give a proven example. Conservative candidate Hoshem Rezaei, who has not called for nor participated in the protests last week, alleged that in 80 to 170 cities, voter turnout had been more than the electoral census. That is, more people had voted than were registered to vote! In all of these cities, Ahmadinejad had won with a large majority, in some cases by 80 or 90%. On June 21, after a week of demonstrations with the participation of millions of people and the death of at least 12 in clashes on Saturday June 20, the Guardian Council was forced to comment on these allegations. On behalf of the Guardian Council, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei spoke on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2, and said that “statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate - the incident has happened in only 50 cities”!! He then went on to explain that a turnout of over 100% was a “normal phenomena because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute”. Finally he added that since this “only affected 3 million people” it would not have altered the final results.


Ahmadinejad – a revolutionary?


As the clerics did in 1979, Ahmadinejad has used anti-imperialist and pro-poor rhetoric, in an attempt to win support from the masses. But let’s have a look at what the real conditions of the Iranian people are under his presidency. First of all, in Venezuela, the Bolivarian revolution has unleashed a wave of trade union organisation and militant struggle on part of the workers. President Chávez has called on the workers to occupy abandoned factories and to run them under workers’ control. In Iran the workers have no right to organise or to strike and if they break these laws they face the most brutal repression. In the case of the Tehran bus drivers, when 3,000 of them attempted to organise a union, the company replied with mass sackings, and the police attacked the trade union leaders, including the general secretary Ossalou, whose tounge the police thugs attempted to cut off.


When trade union activists in Sanandaj attempted to organise a May Day celebration in 2007, the police responded with brutal repression. Eleven of the leading activists were condemned to receive 10 lashings and to pay a fine before they were released. When some 2,000 worker activists attempted to organise a May Day celebration in Tehran this year, the police responded with brutal repression and 50 of them were arrested (some are still in jail). Millions of Iranian workers are owed unpaid wages for months. When they try to organise they face brutal police repression.


While in Venezuela the Bolivarian Revolution has put a halt to the process of privatisation of state-owned companies and renationalised many that had been privatised, in Iran, Ahmadinjead has accelerated privatisation of state-owned companies (167 privatisations in 2007/08 and a further 230 in 2008/09), including the privatisation of telecommunications, of the Isfahan Mobarakeh Steel mill, of the Isfahan Petrochemical Company, of the Kurdistan Cement Company, etc. The list of companies to be privatised include the largest petrochemical complex in the country, most large banks, gas and oil companies, the insurance sector, etc.

Even though Ahmadinejad’s government criticises US imperialism in an attempt to divert the masses from their internal problems, it is not even consequent in its struggle against this enemy which it criticises. The US military intervention in Iraq could count on the passivity of the Iranian government and ruling class, which saw the weakening of the rival Iraqi regime as an opportunity to strengthen their power in the region. Instead of favouring a unified revolutionary struggle for national liberation in the neighbouring country, the Iranian regime played a key role in putting a break to this and dividing the struggle on religious lines.


Mousavi, the “reformist” candidate, is not better. He was prime minister in the 1980s, during the massacre of 30,000 left wing activists. Now he has suddenly discovered that, without opposing the principles of the Islamic Republic, it needs to be “reformed”, that is, cosmetics changes from above are need, so that in the end all remains the same and he and his cronies can continue in power. The division between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi is the split between two sections of the reactionary regime: one which wants reforms from above in order to prevent revolution from below, and the other which wants to maintain control from above to prevent revolution from below.

However these divisions at the top have opened the space for a genuine mass movement that has challenged the regime over the past week. If there was any doubt about the revolutionary and peoples’ character of the movement of the Iranian masses, let’s see what the position of working class activists has been. The majority of workers and trade union organisations (illegal under Ahmadinejad) before the elections correctly declared that none of the candidates represented the interests of the workers and that therefore they would not advocate a vote for either of them. However, faced with the mass popular demonstrations of the last week, both the Vahed Syndicate of bus drivers and the workers at Iran Khodro, the largest car factory in the Middle East, expressed their support for the movement, and in the case of Khodro, came out on strike for half an hour in each shift. Now revolutionary activists in Iran are discussing the calling of a general strike against the regime and for democratic freedoms.


Clearly, as revolutionaries, we must oppose any imperialist interference in Iran. President Chávez has correctly supported Iran in international forums in the last few years against imperialist bullying on the part of the US. However, it would be fatal to mix up revolution with counter-revolution. The Bolivarian revolution must be on the side of the Iranian people, the workers, youth and women, who are in the streets of Tehran and the other cities carrying out their own Caracazo, or their own April 13, against the hated counter-revolutionary regime of the Islamic Republic.


On June 18, president Chávez once again congratulated Ahmadinejad on his reelection as a president and added the “solidarity of Venezuela in the face of the attack by world capitalism against the people of that country”. The Revolutionary Marxist Current in Venezuela, disagrees with this position and we would like to contribute to the debate with the above observations.


The images of brutal repression against the youth and workers of Iran and the realisation that in Iran a young student or a worker can go to jail for the simple act of organising a strike, creating a trade union or demonstrating against the state or the bosses, has caused a massive outrage against the Iranian government on the part of workers and youth all over the world. Several counter-revolutionary intellectuals and the mass media at the service of imperialism, conscious of this, are attempting – with the cynicism and demagogy which characterise them – to identify Venezuela with Iran, and an honest anti-imperialist and revolutionary president like Chávez with Ahmadinejad. An example of this is the recent article in Spain’s El País, which quotes Chávez's latest Alo Presidente broadcast.


With this comparison they want to saw confusion amongst workers around the world, weaken the sympathy and support for the Venezuelan revolution and undermine it as a point of reference for millions around the world. It is precisely for this reason that Venezuelan revolutionary workers and youth can only counter this campaign by opening a serious debate about the real character of the Iranian regime, studying its history and the current situation, and showing our solidarity with our Iranian class brothers and sisters in their struggle to conquer, through mass action, the same rights that Venezuelan workers have today. At the same time we must fight and denounce both the government’s repression against our brothers and sisters as well as the demagogy and manoeuvres of imperialism.


The Revolutionary Marxist Current stands in support of the revolutionary movement of the Iranian masses against the Islamic Republic, and particularly the movement of Iranian workers for democratic rights and economic demands, while at the same time we reject any imperialist interference.



Venezuela, June 22, 2009


See also:
Venezuela and Iran, diplomatic relations, trade deals and revolutionary foreign policy by the International Marxist Tendency http://www.marxist.com/venezuela-iran-revolutionary-policy210706.htm (July 21, 2006)




진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

온두라스 쿠데타에 관한 좋은 글

전후사정과 전망에 대해 침착하게 설명하고 있는 좋은 글입니다.

출처: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4560



An Old Honduran Coup on a Different Stage
June 29th 2009, by Michael Fox

The Presidential residence is surrounded; the president is kidnapped and flown out of the country.  The opposition says the president has resigned and a conservative pro-business leader is appointed de-facto president, immediately shutting down the state television and cracking down on the dissidence. Unconfirmed reports say arrest warrants have been issued for all mayors in support of the defunct government. Thousands take to the streets, but the mainstream television stations report nothing.


No, this is not Venezuela in 2002.  Nor is it Haiti, 2004.  It's Honduras, 2009, but roughly the same story is once again being told, on a different stage with different actors.  But that difference could mean everything.


Even as of halfway through last week, both the Civic Council of Indigenous and Grassroots Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales had already denounced the impending coup (http://casacollective.org/node/74863?page=2).(http://www.tercerainformacion.es/?Movimientos-sociales-escoltan-a)


For months, Zelaya had been planning a non-binding consultative referendum to take place this Sunday that would have asked the Honduran people if the issue of a 2010 constitutional assembly should be added to the ballot of this November's upcoming elections.  


Then, last week, a politically motivated Honduran Supreme Court ruled the referendum "illegal."  General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, head of the Armed Forces, refused to distribute the ballot boxes.  Last Thursday, June 25th,Zelaya removed the general from his post, and accompanied by members of the country's grassroots social movements, Zelaya went personally to recover the 15,000 the ballot boxes.


But Defense Minister Ángel Edmundo Orellana resigned in solidarity with Vásquez Velásquez and soldiers took to the streets.  An emergency session of the Organization of American States (OAS) was called to evaluate the deteriorating situation.


Despite opposition in the National Congress, the Supreme Court, the majority of the major parties, the chamber of commerce, and the Catholic Church, Zelaya was steadfast.  Supported by the grassroots movements, the non-binding referendum would go on.


Just a day later, the world has changed. 


President Zelaya is now in Nicaragua, after having been "kidnapped", and thrown on a plane to Costa Rica in the early hours of Sunday morning.  The head of the National Congress, Roberto Micheletti was sworn in as de facto President of Honduras on Sunday afternoon, declaring, "I did not reach this position because of a coup. I am here because of an absolutely legal transition process."


Like Pedro Carmona-the head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce, Fedecameras, who took power when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was briefly ousted on April 11, 2002-Micheletti received a round of applause as he was sworn in.  Like Carmona, outside, the people protested.


But unlike Carmona, the rest of the planet doesn't buy it. That is the difference.  Not one country has recognized the de facto Micheletti government. On Sunday, the U.S. ambassador to Honduras declared, "The only president the United States recognizes is President Manuel Zelaya."


U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton declared, "The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all."


The OAS, which held an emergency meeting on Sundayafternoon, issued a resolution condemning the coup and calling for the immediate reinstatement of Zelaya as president. The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, called the Honduran military intervention a "criminal action."

Although the Micheletti government has not been recognized, that hasn't stopped the international media from acting as though it has.  CNN online is airing an interview with the conservative former Venezuelan Ambassador Diego Arria, who blames not the military, but Zelaya for "attempting a coup against the [Honduran] constitution."



The BBC asked their English-speaking readers in Honduras if they thought the Honduran Constitution should be changed.  By reading many of the comments, it would also appear as though Zelaya was the criminal: "The events that ocurred today ARE NOT an attack to the Honduran democracy. There is no coup in Honduras. Finally we have peace in our country."



Many in opposition to Sunday's non-binding referendum feared Zelaya was attempting to alter the constitution in order to eliminate term limits and be re-elected beyond the end of his term early next year.  Brazil's largest media chain, Rede Globo, echoed the fears in an article on Sunday evening.


Nevertheless, Sunday's non-binding referendum was simply meant to test the waters for the possibility for a referendum for a Venezuela-style Constitutional Assembly. Since the 1999 Constitution, Ecuador and Bolivia have followed, holding Constitutional Assemblies in each of their countries and passing democratically written constitutions with large participation. Zelaya's re-election was not on Sunday's ballot.


"Today's proposed referendum was non-binding and merely consultative. Thus no one could argue that allowing it to go forward could cause irreparable harm," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research on Sunday. "There was no excuse for the Honduran military to intervene, regardless of the constitutional issues at stake."


Meanwhile, in Honduras, thousands have been in the streets protesting.


COPINH wrote in a communiqué, "We tell everyone that the Honduran people are carrying out large demonstrations, actions in their communities, in the municipalities; there are occupations of bridges, and a protest in front of the presidential residence, among others. From the lands of Lempira, Morazán and Visitación Padilla, we call on the Honduran people in general to demonstrate in defense of their rights and of real and direct democracy for the people, to the fascists we say that they will NOT silence us, that this cowardly act will turn back on them, with great force."


Mexico-based reporter, Kristin Bricker, has been reporting for Narco News that according to Radio Es Lo De Menos, the military has set up road blocks all over the country in an attempt to prevent Zelaya supporters from reaching the capital.  The soldiers are also reportedly attempting to shut down public transportation.


Honduran labor leader Ángel Alvarado told TeleSUR that he has called a national strike for Monday in Honduras to protest the coup.  According to Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, the Honduran military has closed the border between the two countries. 


Only time will tell what course the next few days will bring, but the around the clock coverage by Telesur, and the immediate international solidarity echoed around the globe may have changed the face of military coup d'etats in Latin America. 


Only a few short decades ago, military dictatorships ruled much of the region, and in Central America, those that weren't, were steeped in brutal civil wars. In less than 24 hours after the Honduran coup, President Zelaya was joined by the countries of the progressive trading block, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, (ALBA) in Nicaragua for an emergency presidential summit. The Presidents of Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Venezuela, Hugo Chávez; Bolivia, Evo Morales; Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega and others joined together with Zelaya and demanded the Honduran president be returned to power.


This is the new face of Latin America, and only with this international solidarity, and overwhelming repudiation against the blatant disregard for the rule of law, will these actions be isolated, overturned and hopefully never again repeated.


That is the difference. It is the same story as before. Told with similar actors-some of whom even studied at the School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia (http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/06/key-leaders-of-honduras-military-coup-trained-in-us.html)-- only this time we live in a different age; under a shifting geo-political backdrop. On the presidential level, the coup has been denounced across the planet, and governments are standing behind Zelaya. On the local level, Honduras' Radio Es Lo De Menos has called on international activists to march on Honduran embassies across the globe.  There is a necessary active roll for all to play. The difference could mean everything.


Like in Venezuela, where the people remembering the way they flooded into the streets to demand the return of their President Hugo Chavez just two days after he had been taken from office, "Every April 11th has its April 13th".


For more information...

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Tags: Honduras

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

온두라스 쿠데타에 관한 ALBA 선언문

ALBA Declaration on Honduras Coup D'etat


Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)

Proclamation of the Extraordinary Presidential Council
Managua, Republic of Nicaragua 29 June 2009

On Sunday the 28th of June in early hours of the morning, when the Honduran people were getting ready to exercise their democratic will through a poll with a consultative character, promoted by the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to deepen participative democracy, a group of hooded soldiers, who affirmed they had received orders from the High Command of the Armed Forces, assaulted the residence of President Zelaya, in order to kidnap him, disappear him for a number of hours and later expel him violently from his homeland.

Immediately, the people of Honduras reacted like the noble heirs of the legacy of Francisco Morazán [1], in the streets of the cities and towns of Honduras. From the early hours of the morning hundreds of electoral booths received thousands of men and women who attended to exercise their right to vote, and on being informed of the kidnapping of their president, spilled out onto the streets to protest the coup d'etat, giving an example of heroism, to confront, unarmed, the guns and tanks.

Through the screens of Telesur, they managed to break the national and international silence that the dictatorship wanted to impose through closing the state television channel and cutting the electricity supply, aiming to conceal and justify the coup d'etat against their people and the international community - demonstrating an attitude that recalls the worst epoch of the dictatorships experienced in the 20th century in our continent.

With one single voice, the governments and peoples of the continent reacted condemning the coup d'etat, making clear that in Honduras there is only one President and one government: that of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. At the same time, we salute the declarations of condemnation, that from very early, other governments of the world began to issue.

In the face of the urgency of the situation, the governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America immediately convoke an Extraordinary Presidential Council, with the objective of agreeing on forceful actions to defeat the coup d'etat in Honduras, to support the heroic people of Morazán and to unconditionally re-establish the President Manuel Zelaya Rosales in his legitimate duties.

After analyzing the circumstances which have produced this coup d'etat, in the face of the gravity of the violations of International Law, the multilateral agreements and the accords of our countries with the Republic of Honduras, and in view of the categorical rejection that the international community has manifested in front of the dictatorial government that is trying to impose itself, the member countries of ALBA have decided to withdraw our Ambassadors and leave a minimum expression of our diplomatic representation in Tegucigalpa until the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is reinstated in its duties.

Likewise we recognise as the only diplomatic representatives of Honduras in our countries, the personnel designated by President Zelaya. Under no circumstances will we accredit personnel designated by the usurpers.

Equally, as full members of the various systems of integration of the continent, we insist that our brother countries of UNASUR, SICA, CARICOM, the Rio Group, the UN and the OAS proceed in the same way in the face of the assailants of the Honduran people.

On the other hand, we have agreed to declare ourselves in permanent alert in order to accompany the valiant people of Honduras in the actions of struggle that they have convoked, and we invoke the content of Articles 2 and 3 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Honduras:

"Art. 2: Sovereignty corresponds to the People from which emanate all the Powers of the State that are exercised through representation. The Sovereignty of the People can also be exercised in a direct manner through a Plebiscite or Referendum. The supplanting of popular Sovereignty and the usurpation of the constituted powers are classified as crimes of Treason against the Fatherland. The responsibility in these cases is imprescriptible and can be deduced to the role or petition of any citizen."

"Art. 3: No one has to obey neither a usurper government nor those who assume functions or public employment through the force of arms or using measures or procedures that break or fail to recognise that which the Constitution and the laws establish. The acts verified by such authorities are invalid. The people have the right to resort to insurrection in defense of constitutional order."

As well as the principles of International Law respect the acts of resistance and rebellion of the people confronting the attempts at domination. To the teachers, workers, women, youth, peasants, indigenous peoples, honest business people, intellectuals and other actors of Honduran society, we assure that together we will win a great victory against the coup plotters that aim to impose themselves on the brave people of Francisco Morazán.

Invoking the spirit and though of Francisco Morazán, together with him, we proclaim to the coup plotters: "Men, you who have abused the rights of the people for a sordid and stingy interest! With you I speak, enemies of independence and liberty. If our actions, aimed at acquiring a homeland, can suffer a parallel to those Central Americans that you have persecuted and exiled, I challenge you to present them. Those same people, who have been humiliated, insulted, debased and betrayed so many times, that today are the arbiters of their destiny and ask for our advice, those people will be your judge."

Those who are leading the coup d'etat must know that it will be impossible to prevail and to make fun of international justice, to which sooner or later they will be subjected. We call on the officials and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Honduras to rectify and to put their weapons at the service of the people of Honduras and their general commander, President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

The member countries of ALBA, in consultation with the governments of the continent and with various institutions that guarantee the fulfilment of International Law, we are bringing forward measures so that the grave violations and the crimes that are being committed aren't gotten away with.

The only path that remains for the coup makers to abandon their attitude and to guarantee immediately, unconditionally, and definitely, the return of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales to his constitutional functions.

The Republic of Honduras is a full member of ALBA, and likewise of other regional integration and multilateral organisations, whose membership demand respect of the sovereignty of the people and the constitution. These fundamental conditions, having been violated by the coup makers, the governments of ALBA have decided to maintain all the cooperation programs that we have pre-empted with Honduras through President Zelaya.

Likewise, we propose that punitive measures are applied by all the multilateral integration organisations and mechanisms, which would help to enforce the immediate return to constitutional order in Honduras and would bring about the principles of action that Jose Marti referred to when he said, "Each person does their duty, and nothing can defeat us."

The governments of ALBA declare ourselves in a permanent consultation session, with all the governments of the continent, in order to evaluate further joint actions that enable us to accompany the Honduran people in the re-establishment of legality and the restitution of the President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Two hundreds years since the historic gesture that our peoples have developed throughout the continent, following the timeless example of the General of free men Augusto Cesar Sandino, of Francisco Morazan and faithful to the word of The Liberator Simon Bolivar, we put our hope with the people of Honduras and the peoples of the world for the sureness of victory, as, "all the peoples of the world who have wrestled for freedom have, in the end, exterminated their tyrants."

[1] Central American statesman, lawyer, orator, and general born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 1792

Translated by Kiraz Janicke and Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com


출처: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4564

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

온두라스 사진

출처: Resistance and Repression in Honduras


The pictures above, from Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty, were taken outside the Presidential Palace following the kidnapping of President Zelaya.  More photos of outside the Presidential Palace:

(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

photos: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas


Zelaya supporters took to the streets in an attempt to prevent military reinforcements from arriving at the Presidential Palace:

There are protests all over Tegucigalpa, trying to impede military movements:

(photos: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas)


This man holds a banner in support of a referendum for a new Constitution (AP Photo/Esteban Felix).  So soldiers punched him:


People cast symbolic votes in today's controversial public opinion polls.  While soldiers seized ballot boxes in many locales, in some towns people managed to rescue the seized ballot boxes from the soldiers and cast their votes:

photo: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas


Soldiers have been incredibly hostile to the media that is trying to report the story from the ground:

The Washington Post reports: "Soldiers try to prevent journalists from filming as they patrol the area around the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Sunday June 28, 2009. Soldiers arrested Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn Sunday, his private secretary said. Protesters called it a coup and flocked to the presidential palace as local news media reported that Zelaya was sent into exile." (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) (Esteban Felix - AP).  Another angle of the same news crew:

(photo: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido)

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

온두라스 관련 기사 모음

온두라스에서 쿠데타 발생: 셀라야 대통령 군부에 의해 쫓겨남
Coup in Honduras: President Zelaya Ousted by Military



온두라스 군부, 좌파 대통령 후보 살해

 Honduran Military Assassinates Leftist Presidential Candidate


온두라스에서의 저항과 억압

Resistance and Repression in Honduras



온두라스 주재 베네수엘라, 쿠바, 나카라구아 대사 납치됨

Venezuelan, Cuban, and Nicaraguan Ambassadors to Honduras Kidnapped



온두라스: 원주민들 쿠데타 비난

Honduras: Indigenous people condemn plot



온두라스: 군부 쿠데타 민주주의에 타격

Honduras: Military Coup a Blow to Democracy


비아 깜빠시나 조직, 그리고 온두라스 민중과의 연대를 표명함

"In Solidarity with the Organizations of Via Campesina and the People of Honduras"



북미 제국주의와 극우파가 온두라스 쿠데타의 배후: 차베스

North American Imperialism and the Extreme Right are Behind Coup in Honduras: Chavez



온두라스의 셀라야 대통령 복권을 오바마가 요구하도록 합시다.

Demand a Call from Barack Obama for the Reinstatement of Honduran President Zelaya



우리는 침묵하지도 모욕당하지도 않을 것입니다.

"We Will Not Be Silenced or Humiliated"


온두라스 국회, 임시 대통령 내정

Honduran Congress names provisional president



6:45 pm 업데이트: OAS 방금 온두라스의 쿠데타 비난, 셀라야 복권 요구



RT - 온두라스의 군부 쿠데타

RT - Military Coup in Honduras



출처: Simon Granovsky-Larsen (GLOBAL-SOUTH@yorku.ca 메일링 리스트), Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 9:13 PM

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

오바마의 첫번째 쿠데타 - 온두라스 대통령 납치

President Zelaya of Honduras has just been kidnapped

By Eva Golinger (evagolinger@hotmail.com or evagolinger@gmail.com)
28 June 2009


Caracas, Venezuela - The text message that beeped on my cell phone this morning read "Alert, Zelaya has been kidnapped, coup d'etat underway in Honduras, spread the word." It's a rude awakening for a Sunday morning, especially for the millions of Hondurans that were preparing to exercise their sacred right to vote today for the first time on a consultative referendum concerning the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform the constitution. Supposedly at the center of the controversary is today's scheduled referendum, which is not a binding vote but merely an opinion poll to determine whether or not a majority of Hondurans desire to eventually enter into a process to modify their constitution.


Such an initiative has never taken place in the Central American nation, which has a very limited constitution that allows minimal participation by the people of Honduras in their political processes. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the Reagan Administration's dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure those in power, both economic and political, would retain it with little interference from the people. Zelaya, elected in November 2005 on the platform of Honduras' Liberal Party, had proposed the opinion poll be conducted to determine if a majority of citizens agreed that constitutional reform was necessary. He was backed by a majority of labor unions and social movements in the country. If the poll had occured, depending on the results, a referendum would have been conducted during the upcoming elections in November to vote on convening a constitutional assembly. Nevertheless, today's scheduled poll was not binding by law.


In fact, several days before the poll was to occur, Honduras' Supreme Court ruled it illegal, upon request by the Congress, both of which are led by anti-Zelaya majorities and members of the ultra-conservative party, National Party of Honduras (PNH). This move led to massive protests in the streets in favor of President Zelaya. On June 24, the president fired the head of the high military command, General Romeo Vasquez, after he refused to allow the military to distribute the electoral material for Sunday's elections. General Romeo Vasquez held the material under tight military control, refusing to release it even to the president's followers, stating that the scheduled referendum had been determined illegal by the Supreme Court and therefore he could not comply with the president's order. As in the Unted States, the president of Honduras is Commander in Chief and has the final say on the military's actions, and so he ordered the General's removal. The Minister of Defense, Angel Edmundo Orellana, also resigned in response to this increasingly tense situation.


But the following day, Honduras' Supreme Court reinstated General Romeo Vasquez to the high military command, ruling his firing as "unconstitutional'. Thousands poured into the streets of Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, showing support for President Zelaya and evidencing their determination to ensure Sunday's non-binding referendum would take place. On Friday, the president and a group of hundreds of supporters, marched to the nearby air base to collect the electoral material that had been previously held by the military. That evening, Zelaya gave a national press conference along with a group of politicians from different political parties and social movements, calling for unity and peace in the country.


As of Saturday, the situation in Honduras was reported as calm. But early Sunday morning, a group of approximately 60 armed soldiers entered the presidential residence and took Zelaya hostage. After several hours of confusion, reports surfaced claiming the president had been taken to a nearby air force base and flown to neighboring Costa Rica. No images have been seen of the president so far and it is unknown whether or not his life is still endangered.


President Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, speaking live on Telesur at approximately 10:00am Caracas time, denounced that in early hours of Sunday morning, the soldiers stormed their residence, firing shots throughout the house, beating and then taking the president. "It was an act of cowardness", said the first lady, referring to the illegal kidnapping occuring during a time when no one would know or react until it was all over. Casto de Zelaya also called for the "preservation" of her husband's life, indicating that she herself is unaware of his whereabouts. She claimed their lives are all still in "serious danger" and made a call for the international community to denounce this illegal coup d'etat and to act rapidly to reinstate constitutional order in the country, which includes the rescue and return of the democratically elected Zelaya.


Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela have both made public statements on Sunday morning condeming the coup d'etat in Honduras and calling on the international community to react to ensure democracy is restored and the constitutional president is reinstated. Last Wednesday, June 24, an extraordinary meeting of the member nations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), of which Honduras is a member, was convened in Venezuela to welcome Ecuador, Antigua & Barbados and St. Vincent to its ranks. During the meeting, which was attended by Honduras' Foreign Minister, Patricia Rodas, a statement was read supporting President Zelaya and condenming any attempts to undermine his mandate and Honduras' democratic processes.


Reports coming out of Honduras have informed that the public television channel, Canal 8, has been shut down by the coup forces. Just minutes ago, Telesur announced that the military in Honduras is shutting down all electricity throughout the country. Those television and radio stations still transmitting are not reporting the coup d'etat or the kidnapping of President Zelaya, according to Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas. "Telephones and electricity are being cut off", confirmed Rodas just minutes ago via Telesur. "The media are showing cartoons and soap operas and are not informing the people of Honduras about what is happening". The situation is eerily reminiscent of the April 2002 coup d'etat against President Chavez in Venezuela, when the media played a key role by first manipulating information to support the coup and then later blacking out all information when the people began protesting and eventually overcame and defeated the coup forces, rescuing Chavez (who had also been kidnapped by the military) and restoring constitutional order.


Honduras is a nation that has been the victim of dictatorships and massive U.S. intervention during the past century, including several military invasions. The last major U.S. government intervention in Honduras occured during the 1980s, when the Reagain Administration funded death squads and paramilitaries to eliminate any potential "communist threats" in Central America. At the time, John Negroponte, was the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras and was responsible for directly funding and training Honduran death squads that were responsable for thousands of disappeared and assassinated throughout the region.


On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS), convened a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Honduras, later issuing a statement condeming the threats to democracy and authorizing a convoy of representatives to travel to OAS to investigate further. Nevertheless, on Friday, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Phillip J. Crowley, refused to clarify the U.S. government's position in reference to the potential coup against President Zelaya, and instead issued a more ambiguous statement that implied Washington's support for the opposition to the Honduran president. While most other Latin American governments had clearly indicated their adamant condemnation of the coup plans underway in Honduras and their solid support for Honduras' constitutionally elected president, Manual Zelaya, the U.S. spokesman stated the following, "We are concerned about the breakdown in the political dialogue among Honduran politicians over the proposed June 28 poll on constitutional reform. We urge all sides to seek a consensual democratic resolution in the current political impasse that adheres to the Honduran constitution and to Honduran laws consistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter."


As of 10:30am, Sunday morning, no further statements have been issued by the Washington concerning the military coup in Honduras. The Central American nation is highly dependent on the U.S. economy, which ensures one of its top sources of income, the monies sent from Hondurans working in the U.S. under the "temporary protected status" program that was implemented during Washington's dirty war in the 1980s as a result of massive immigration to U.S. territory to escape the war zone. Another major source of funding in Honduras is USAID, providing over US$ 50 millon annually for "democracy promotion" programs, which generally supports NGOs and political parties favorable to U.S. interests, as has been the case in Venezuela, Bolivia and other nations in the region. The Pentagon also maintains a military base in Honduras in Soto Cano, equipped with approximately 500 troops and numerous air force combat planes and helicopters.


Foreign Minister Rodas has stated that she has repeatedly tried to make contact with the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens, who has not responded to any of her calls thus far. The modus operandi of the coup makes clear that Washington is involved. Neither the Honduran military, which is majority trained by U.S. forces, nor the political and economic elite, would act to oust a democratically elected president without the backing and support of the U.S. government. President Zelaya has increasingly come under attack by the conservative forces in Honduras for his growing relationship with the ALBA countries, and particularly Venezuela and President Chavez. Many believe the coup has been executed as a method of ensuring Honduras does not continue to unify with the more leftist and socialist countries in Latin America. 

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

온두라스 상황

요즘, 최원님 글을 읽다가 폭력 비폭력에 대해서 고민을 조금 다시 하고 있는데, 폭력이건 비폭력이건 전술에 불과하다는 조금 원시적(?)인 입장으로 돌아가고 있는 중입니다. 아옌데의 예를 들면서 비폭력적인 방법은 실패할 수밖에 없다고 말하는 것도 조금 공허하게 느껴지지만 쿠바나 사파티스타의 예가 폭력없이도 가능했을 것이라 생각하는 것도 순진하지요. 아래와 같은 온두라스 상황에서 반폭력을 외치는 것도 매우 순진해보입니다.


어쨋든 중요한 것은 지속가능성 아닐까요. 영민한 지도자(카스트로나 차베스)에 기대는 것이 아니라 사회구조적으로 지속가능한 그런 사회주의를 건설하는 것이 큰 과제인 것 같아요.


Dear Friends,


Honduras is reportedly quiet this evening as it prepares for a historic vote tomorrow on whether to schedule a referendum on the calling of a Constituent Assembly.


The right-wing campaign included moves by the armed forces high command to block the vote, which clearly constituted the first steps toward a military coup against the government. The vote was also challenged by the right wing-dominated supreme court and congress.


A strong outpouring of support for President Zelaya, including from the Bolivarian Alliance nations, forced the generals to back off sufficiently for the vote to take place tomorrow. According to CNN, President Zelaya concedes that because of supreme court and congress decisions, tomorrow’s vote will be indicative in character.


Here are two important statements of support to President Zelaya, issued while the military high command was defying governmental instructions. The first statement is from the broad alliance of Honduran popular and Indigenous organizations. The second is from the newly formed Bolivarian Alliance;.


Also for an extraordinary statement by Fidel Castro see



Honduras: Steps Toward a Coup d'Etat

Civic Council of People's and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)


The Civic Council of People's and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) condemns before national and world public opinion the attempted coup launched during the night of June 24, 2009 against the constitutional government of Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the Honduran people and its most important aspirations. This action is a desperate response by right-wing forces and their allies to frustrate the people's will to find a democratic path for national transformation.


The reactionary Right has been desperately trying to block a national referendum that will take place June 28 to ask Honduran society if it agrees to include in the November general elections a vote on the convocation of a national Constituent Assembly to draw up a new constitution.


This drive toward a coup was planned and carried out through collaboration between the fascist National Congress, the lords of the communication media, the Ministry of Public Safety, the country's strongest businessmen, and the Armed Forces, who have acted in open defiance of government decisions. We therefore denounce the army for playing a role similar to that of the 1980s, when it was an agency for destabilization and repression. This campaign, which culminated in an outrageous act of aggression against the Honduran people, was won support from some sectors of the Evangelical and Catholic hierarchy, who have encouraged, justified, and acted as middlemen for the coup-like actions.


We also denounce the interference and involvement of the United States government and its ambassador to Honduras. Informed in advance of these actions, they quit the country, and called on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and other institutions under their influence to do the same. This clearly shows their complicity with the pro-coup forces.


We call on the ranks of COPINH and the Honduran people as a whole, whether or not they are organized, to mobilize in their communities, villages, or cities, and especially in Tegucigalpa, to give expression to their defiance and indignation. We call on them not to be intimidated by the terrorist media campaign unleashed against the people's expressed will, and against its right to imagine and desire a new country with justice and equity.


We call on the international community to speak out decisively against this attack on the Honduran people and to express its solidarity with the people and support for their human rights.


We call for intensification of the organized struggle to establish a Popular and Democratic National Constituent Assembly now, at this historic juncture for our homeland.


Finally, COPINH recognizes Manuel Zelaya Rosales as the only constitutional president of the republic and reject any "substitute" imposed by de-facto and imperialist power.


With the power of our ancestors, Iselaca, Lempira, and Etempica, we raise our voices for life, justice, dignity, liberty, and peace.


Adopted in the city of La Esperanza, Intibuca, June 24, 2009, by the Civic Council of People's and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)


For Spanish text, see http://alainet.org/active/31224
Translated by John Riddell


Nine-Country Bolivarian Alliance
Condemns Coup Attempt in Honduras


Declaration of the member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America [formerly known as ALBA] condemning the coup d'etat now under way against the president of the Republic of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya.


The member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, represented here at the United Nations, are deeply concerned with regard to present events in the Republic of Honduras. They declare the following:

We emphasize that the coup d'etat now under way aims to block the achievement of a democratic vote by the people called to establish whether the people wish to convene a Constituent Assembly.


We condemn this coup-like action against the genuine aspirations of Honduran citizens who insist on being taken into account through democratic forms of expression and consultation.


We call on the international community to reject this effort to break with the democratic, constitutional order, and to reject any violent and destabilizing moves against the Honduran people and government.


We proclaim our unconditional solidarity with companero Presidente Jose Manuel Zelaya and the sister people of Honduras.


We reiterate our firm support of the declaration in support of the people's referendum in Honduras, adopted by the ALBA summit meeting that took place yesterday, June 24, in the city of Maracay, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

New YorkAntigua and Barbuda
Plurinational State of Bolivia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, June 25, 2009

The Central American republic was shaken this week by a series of efforts by right-wing forces to block the vote, initiated by President Jose Manuel Zelaya. The president has led Honduras into the Bolivarian Alliance (previously known as ALBA) and favours a Constituent Assembly as a way to open the door to social reform and social justice. (see http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94965&Itemid=1)

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

Refounding Bolivia through democratic means

 Dear Friends,

The article below is by Raul Burbano, a leading member of Toronto Bolivia

He discusses how Bolivia's proposed new constitution has become the focus of
a broader regional effort to determine who will benefit from the wealth –
the masses or the U.S. corporations. He also provides us with an excellent
summary of the main provisions of this constitution.

*Refounding Bolivia through democratic means*

By Raul Burbano

Bolivian President Evo Morales has called for a national referendum on the
country's new draft constitution on December 7. The demand of the Bolivian
people for a new and socially, politically and economically inclusive
constitution is at the heart of the present political upheaval in that

Right-wing forces representing the country's traditional ruling oligarchy
have launched a secessionist movement to Balkanize the country, in an
attempt to block the constitutional referendum. They have organized
murderous fascist gangs to terrorize the population.

They are backed by the U.S. government, whose ambassador, Philip Goldberg,
has recently been expelled from Bolivia for his support of the opposition
and openly admitted interference in Bolivian political life.

On the other side of the pendulum the vast majority of the Bolivians, more
than 67% of whom just voted support President Evo Morales in a recall

The constitutional struggle in Bolivia has thus become linked to the broader
regional struggle in Latin America of who will benefit from its wealth – the
masses of the continent or its traditional oligarchy backed by Washington.

The demand for a new constitution is not limited to Bolivia. In fact, over
the past 15 years there's been a demand for a Constituent Assembly to
propose such a document in virtually every Andean country in Latin America;
Colombia (1991), Peru (1993), Ecuador (1998), and Venezuela (1999). All
countries have written or modified their Constitutions. In contrast to some
of these experiences, the demand for a constitution in Bolivia emerged from
grassroots movements and has widespread national support.

*Lengthy constitutional struggle*

Bolivia's demand for a Constituent Assembly is not a recent development and
goes back to the early 1990s. It emanated from the Guarani people with their
"Great March" from the eastern lowlands of Bolivia to La Paz; their slogan
"Land, Territory and Dignity" was rooted in the demand for a Constituent
Assembly. Then in early 2000 we saw the demand for a Constituent Assembly
taken up by both urban and rural social movements who had suffered at the
hands of previous governments' neoliberal policies. This culminated in the
Water Wars of Cochabamba, where residents poured into the streets to protest
Bechtel's takeover of their water system and attempted nationalization of
their gas – hence the Gas Wars in La Paz. It was during this turbulent
period that the call for a Constituent Assembly merged with the call for a
referendum on the gas issue.

In 2005 the MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) under Evo Morales was elected
under a platform to "refound" the country's political institutions through a
Constituent Assembly. This was seen as the only way to bring about change
and address the endemic inequalities in the country. The magnitude of
inequality that the MAS is trying to rectify can be summed up by the issue
of land. According to the United Nations' Development Program, 25 million
hectares of prime farmland is controlled by 100 families. In contrast, the
remaining five million hectares of farmland in the country are shared among
two million campesinos. This profound inequality is endemic and represents
what is being challenged with the new constitution. **

*Constituent Assembly*

The Law Convoking the Constituent Assembly resulted from a negotiated
process between the political parties in the Bolivian Congress and the
executive branch headed by Evo Morales. Bolivians in each of the 70 voting
districts elected three delegates. The party that received the most votes
sent two representatives from the district and the second or third place
party sent one, thus guaranteeing that no party could monopolize the
assembly. The only condition was that a minimum of 30% of the delegates had
to be women. On July 2, 2006, Bolivians elected 255 delegates for the
Constituent Assembly. The MAS sent 137 delegates (64 were women), the
opposition 99, and the rest were independents.

There are 411 articles in the new constitution. Many are progressive and
outright revolutionary promising to refound the country to the benefit of
the majority. The new Constitution is controversial, but the majority of
Bolivians, the indigenous people, fully support it, as was seen in the
August 2008 recall referendum.

*Focus of controversy *

The following are articles or sections of articles from the new constitution
that are most important to the indigenous majority of Bolivia and also the
most controversial.

   - *Bolivia** is a unitary, plurinational, communitarian and democratic
   State*: This means that all 36 peoples, cultures, languages have the same
   rights and opportunities, and are recognized equally before the law,
   institutions, and society. It refers to a Bolivian unity that respects
   autonomy – i.e. municipal, departmental, regional, indigenous-originario,
   campesino and peasant autonomies. This guarantees the unity of the state
   and the democratic decentralization of power.
   - *Plurinational public administration*:* *This refers to all public
   functionaries and requires them to know the dominant indigenous language of
   the region where they work. This will enable them to be able communicate
   with the people they represent. They are also to know the Spanish language,
   to enable then to communicate with the rest of the Bolivians; and a foreign
   language, as a link to the outside world. **
   - *The nationalization of natural resources, renewable and non-renewable,
   under the control and ownership of the Bolivian people*:* *This would
   forbid the ownership of gas, oil, mining resources, water, land, and forests
   by foreigners. All natural resources will be the property of Bolivians, for
   use by Bolivians for the benefit of Bolivians, and administered by the
   - *Sovereign natural resources:* It is totally prohibited for non-state
   organizations to directly involve themselves in the administration,
   management, control and preservation of forests, parks, and natural
   reserves, as well as biodiversity, all of which are under the control of the
   - *Social and communitarian economy:* The state will participate in the
   strategic sectors of the economy. Foreign private investment will be
   subordinated to national development plans. Private property should
   guarantee that it plays an effective social function for the benefit of
   human beings. Ownership in the economy will be public, private and
   communitarian. Medium and small rural producers, agrarian communities and
   productive associations will receive state protection, economic support,
   credits, technology, and infrastructure in order to guarantee the well being
   of society. A mixed economy is proposed to reassure business interests
   and maintain market stability.
   - *Expropriation without indemnification of latifundios: *The goal is to
   redistribute land amongst producers including those from the countryside
   and city who are willing to produce for the benefit of society. This is a
   major blow to the giant landholders – the Ronald Larsens and Branko
   Marinkovics of the Media Luna (eastern) departments.
   - *Reelection and revocation by popular mandate of any elected authority:
   *Never again will authorities be untouchable owners of their positions.
   The people are sovereign and the people can ratify or change their
   authorities when they so desire.
   - *Election of all authorities of the Judicial Branch, including
the **Supreme
   Court: *This is a change from the current undemocratic model of
   appointment by congress, which has seen nepotism flourish in the courts. It
   looks to redress the balance of power that has for so long being in the hand
   of the elites.
   - *Recognition of communitarian justice** as an alternative,
   complementary and ancestral form of solving differences and conflicts:* The
   indigenous systems of justice would be given the same standing in the
   official hierarchy as the existing system.
   - *A plurinational Parliament with only one chamber: *In essence, this is
   a reengineering the political institutions. This would guarantee the same
   number of currents representative for each department and no more chambers
   of elites and privilege. The goal is to break the oligarchies'
   traditional monopoly in the Senate that has traditionally acted as an
   obstacle to all progressive governments.
   - *All Bolivians have the right to free health care and education in
   equal conditions.***
   - *Total elimination of illiteracy*.

Other articles in the constitution those are relevant and important to note:

   - *A new capital of Sucre**: *Sucre is to be acknowledged as Bolivia's
   official capital.
   - *Ban on sexual orientation discrimination*: Bolivia would be only the
   second country in the world, after South Africa, with this constitutional
   - *Bolivia** is a country of peace that promotes the culture of peace.
   Bolivia repudiates all war of aggression and prohibits the installation of
   foreign military bases on its national territory. *
   - *Water is considered a human right.*
   - *All the cultural rights for indigenous people are also accorded to the
   Afro-Bolivians. *
   - *A wide number of social rights are established for children, youth and
   older people, never before seen in 183 years of Bolivian history.*

*Ratification procedure*

The national assembly approved the new constitution in December 2007. The
country's main opposition party boycotted the assembly vote on the new
charter. The constitution now requires ratification by at least 51% of
Bolivian voters in a national referendum. If voters reject the draft, the
country's existing constitution will remain in effect. It's important to
note that a number of articles have to be approved directly by Bolivian

Among them is an article that would limit the size of individual land
holdings to a maximum of 10,000 hectares. This is bitterly opposed by the
country's agribusinesses and big landowners of the Media Luna region in the
East. If passed this would have a major impact on the lowland departments of
Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando, and finally address the historical injustice of
unequal land distribution.

The opposition claims the constitution proposes the creation of two
Bolivia's: "one for indigenous people and another for non-indigenous
people," as one opposition member said, "with separate and parallel judicial
systems and languages effectively making the indigenous people first-class
citizens and everyone else second class citizens." The opposition parties
claim that the government is trying to establish a Cuban-type
one-party-dominated state that will put an end to pluralism. They also argue
that the government is just following in the footsteps of Venezuelan
president Hugo Chávez. **

Those who support the constitution feel that its plurinational communitarian
aspect is a decolonization of the state that for centuries has discriminated
and marginalized the indigenous majority. They believe that it is designed to
give every citizen equal access to Bolivia's resources. Others see it
as confronting
the neoliberal doctrine and replacing it with a viable alternative – the
cosmovision of the indigenous people (communitarian land and rights for
nature) – thus creating a more humanist and just society.

Vice-President Álvaro Garcia Linera called it a first step in the new road
towards "*capitalismo Andino Amazónico*" (Andean-Amazonian capitalism) which
will "improve the possibilities of the emancipation of the worker and
community forces in the medium term". The Agencia Nodo Sur (South Node
Agency) explains that "Andean-Amazonian capitalism is neither socialism nor
neoliberalism, but a system catering to the contemporary realities of
Bolivia which recognizes communal, state, and private forms of economic
organization as being equal under the law"

*Intensified conflict *

The "refounding of Bolivia" with the new constitution and the reengineering
of the political institutions has widened the rift between the mountainous,
largely poor, and indigenous part of the country that backs Morales, and
rulers of the more prosperous Media Luna states, where the opposition has
their base of support.

The conflict is now rapidly coming to a head. The opposition has said they
would not allow the constitution to be imposed on them. They are instigating
a civil war in the country with the hope that direct U.S. involvement in the
conflict will turn the tide to their advantage. Meanwhile, the government is
pressing for a vote on the new constitution before the end of this year in
the hopes that it will, for once and for all, refound Bolivia.

*Raul Burbano** is a member of Toronto Bolivia Solidarity (
torontoboliviasolidarity@gmail.com) and the Latin American Solidarity
진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크