Tuesday, November 24, 2009

OAS Fails Again

The OAS had an emergency meeting behind closed doors. The subject of course was Honduras. The meeting was held in secret, but it is clear that their goal was to convince countries to unite against the elections and to not recognize them until Zelaya is returned to power. (Oh what to do with those naughty citizens in Honduras that just do not want to do as they are told by papa Insulza...)

They were unable to move people from the idea of elections being the right thing to do. Not recognizing elections before they are held is extremely unusual and as far as I know has never occurred. This is the same as telling the public they have no right to decide for themselves who will lead them. It almost feels like the OAS thinks that Hondurans are too ignorant to fix this situation via elections.

The US however has changed their posture a lot since the signing of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord and so far the US government has honored their deal with Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Elections will be recognized as long as there is no funny business in the electoral process. They finally recognized in the sensible fashion that these elections had been scheduled by Constitutional provisions and not by the present government. They recognized that the previous government oversaw the primaries so to not recognize them would essentially mean they had not recognized the primaries that were held under Manuel Zelaya. I actually think that the US woke up and smelled a rat and they were looking for a way to change their position. When DeMint contacted them he gave them an out and a way to change their position without losing face. I probably would have respected it more if they had just said that they had reviewed evidence and that the evidence suggested that they had been holding the wrong position and were changing their minds, but either way I will take the change of heart gladly.

Instead of the OAS worrying and wringing their hands over Honduras they should really be directing their attention at Venezuela and the situation that is threatening to spin out of control there. They also need to be taking a closer look at what is going on in Nicaragua and stop worrying about Honduras as Hondurans are about to resolve the conflict for themselves and the OAS has further destabilized their legitimacy for their posture on the elections.

Thank goodness that more than the US came to their senses. There are 5 and maybe 6 OAS members that are going to recognize the elections. The US, Columbia, Peru, Canada, Panama, and we are still waiting on word from what the official position of Mexico is going to be, but it appears at this point that they are going to recognize the electoral process in Honduras as a legitimate one. It is about time people came to their senses.

How Badly the Media Duped Americans and Europeans

I often had wondered how the misreporting had affected the international community and in particular Europeans and Americans.  I know that it is easy to dupe people via the media and generally while the media may report half truths it converts into outright lies when it is passed from one person to another.

Yesterday, on another group in a discussion about free speech a poster from the US came out and said you want to just convince us that your military junta and military coup de tat is legal and ok.  Then she went on to say , ¨The military removed your president at the point of a gun at the beheadst of the Elections tribunal with no formal process whatsoever. ¨ She also said ´whatever happened to that agreement that Micheletti signed that was to allow Zelaya to serve out his last months in office.´
She further went on to say that Zelaya was elected by a landslide.  She told us we didn´t know what we were talking about when someone from Venezuela and myself corrected her positions.

Now for those of us living here we know that absolutely none of what she was saying is true.  Zelaya was certainly not elected by a landslide.  He was involved in the closest election in recent history and he was elected by the lowest electorate turnout ever.
We also know that the Elections tribunal had nothing to do with his removal that would be the Supreme Court that issued the arrest warrant against him and the Congress who removed him.  I wanted her to explain why that is not a formal process since it is the way it is defined in the Constitution that the Supreme Court has the authority to issue arrest warrants against politicians.  What was even more sad is she claimed that we(people who live in Honduras and Venezuela) didn´t know what we were talking about and that she knew more about what had occurred than we did.  Yet, she didn´t even know that the agreement did not say that Zelaya was going to return or how he was actually even removed or why.  This is an American who is of the Progressive persuasion.  I can only shake my head at how misinformed people can be about issues that affect Latin America. 

Her and another poster complained about the CIA funded and trained military.  I pointed out that in Senate testimony no proof whatsoever has been provided that suggests that the CIA either funded or trained the Honduran military ever.  Testimony further goes to suggest that while the 3-16 might have had something to do with some of the disappearances it was not at the orders of the CIA and that most of the disappearances were caused by the Contras and not military forces in Honduras and that further there was absolutely zero proof that this had occurred at orders of the Honduran government.  Ambassador Negroponte testified to this information before the Senate and he was the ambassador during the 80´s in Honduras.  He investigated claims and could find no proof of the allegations yet groups like SOA Watch repeat these claims, Media Matters, CNN, Democracy Now, Democratic Underground and so forth in the progressive loops all repeat these claims...not once do they consider looking at testimony or proof that soldiers in Honduras were trained not by School of Americas(which isn´t CIA, it is Army), but they were trained by Ft Bragg, North Carolina soldiers.  Furthermore, I find it incredible that the SOA Watch continues to make claims that soldiers are still being trained by a school that no longer exists...yet they never mention Daniel Ortega...hmmm
The media should present the facts with zero slant...if it is an allegation it should not be included until they have the facts to prove what they claim...allegations are what causes false perceptions and accusations against the innocent.

Why Recognizing Honduran Elections Is Right

Recognizing the electoral process in Honduras is recognizing the fundamental rights of the people to have a voice.

The elections were programmed by the Honduran constitutional process which dictates that they occur every four years and the last president was elected on November 29, 2005. That candidate was liberal party candidate José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. I will not go into whether fraud did or did not occur then as it is not important to this electoral process which clearly does not include him.

The preliminary vote for the candidates that we have today was held last year in November. The election was held late due to a natural disaster that occurred then. However, while I recognize that there was serious flooding and good reason to delay the primaries many felt that Zelaya wanted to do away with them all together at that time and there was a feeling of uneasiness growing in the population at that time as to his plans of turning over the presidency when the time came. The vote was held though and out of that primary came the following candidates: Nationalist Candidate: Porfirio Lobo Sosa, Liberal Party Candidate: Elvin Santos, Christian Democracy Candidate: Felicito Avila, PINU Candidate: Bernard Martinez (and the first Garifuna candidate ever), and UD Candidate: Cesar Ham. At that time Honduras also had their very first independent candidate: Carlos H Reyes. However, Carlos H Reyes has resigned his aspiration to the presidency. It is clear that on November 29, 2009 elections were scheduled to be held and during that same time frame Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales still held the presidency. So the process is legitimate even though he claims it is not.

The US and some other countries have decided it is difficult to not recognize the voice of the people and to also not admit that the process was one that was scheduled previous to the present government of Roberto Micheletti Baín. One cannot argue that the electoral process has come out of his government with a straight face, because in reality the electoral process commenced during the government of Zelaya. The US and others recognize this complicated situation as well as the recognition of the voice of the people as being a solution to the crisis. It is important to observe the elections because a government cannot determine if they are fraudulent or not if they have not observed the actual process and whether it was a clean election. So the observers are arriving at rapid pace…and we all welcome this. If anything these elections should be closely observed by every country that is involved in this situation to determine the legitimacy of the process and reserve preconceived notions. My only exception to this is that I do not believe it to be beneficial to have observers from the ALBA countries. ALBA has a predefined interest in the elections not being recognized and therefore has an interest in not recognizing the process as legitimate.

In just 5 days and 5 hours we will hold elections to select a new president and move forward from the crisis that has surrounded Honduras since June 28, 2009. However, there are many questions that remain. Many say what happens after elections? Where do we go from here? What happens to Zelaya who is still huddled in the Brazilian embassy and complaining profusely about the situation he has found himself in and the elections? A few months ago he was praising the US and now he is complaining bitterly about their decision to recognize the elections and their decision to respect the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord and the decision of Congress regardless of what that decision might be. Congress has decided to wait until December 2, 2009 to debate on Zelaya and what happens to him. I believe that he has discovered that the vote is not going to be in his favor and therefore he is complaining bitterly about the agreement and backed out of it when he discovered that he could not manipulate the Congress into returning him to the presidency. His ranting has surely not assisted in giving anyone the desire to return him to the presidency or to be convinced that he has repented from previous actions. If anything he seems more determined than ever to continue on with his illegal actions that he had previously undertaken and ended with him being removed from the presidency he held. The Honduran constitution worked and with a united government it has held strong.

It does not really matter whether you are from the right or left at this point, voting is the only thing that matters. Everyone should vote so that the democracy is strengthened instead of weakened. Voting is a duty of every citizen regardless of their political stances and that includes the Resistance. If they hope to have a voice in government and attain their goals…I have to question how they plan on doing those things if they have boycotted the process and have no voice in the government.