Monday, June 29, 2009

Defeat the reactionary military coup in Honduras – Mass mobilisation in the streets and general strike!

By Jorge Martin
Monday June 29, 2009

The coup in Honduras highlights once again that even mild reforms within the capitalist system cannot be tolerated by the local oligarchies in Latin America and their imperialist masters. But Venezuela teaches that if the masses mobilise reaction can be stopped. Now is the time to mobilise the full force of the Honduran workers and poor.

Early in the morning on Sunday, June 28, a group of 200 soldiers surrounded the residence of the Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, and after a 20-minute gun battle with his 10-man personal guard he was arrested. He was then taken by plane to neighbouring Costa Rica where he gave a press conference denouncing a military coup by “right-wing oligarchs”, calling on the people to mobilise in the streets and promising to come back to the country.

The immediate origin of this reactionary military coup was the conflict over plans by Zelaya to call a referendum on the need for a Constituent Assembly, which was opposed by the right wing dominated Congress, the high command of the Army, and the tops of the judiciary.

Zelaya, popularly known as Mel, won the presidential elections in 2005 as candidate for the Honduras Liberal Party, narrowly defeating his main opponent from the National Party. Despite being a wealthy landowner, the political polarisation in this small and poor Central American country pushed him to take some measures in favour of the poor, the peasants and the workers, adopting “Bolivarianism” as his model. He soon lost the support of his own centre-right Liberal Party and was forced to ally himself with the organisations of workers and peasants. In an interview with Spain’s El País he describes his political evolution:

“Look, I thought of making changes from within the neoliberal scheme. But the rich do not make any concessions, not even a penny. The rich are not prepared to give up any of their money. They want to keep everything for themselves. Then, obviously, in order to make changes one has to bring the people on board.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with over 50% of the population living below the poverty line and with a rate of illiteracy of over 20%. More than one million of its 7.8 million inhabitants have had to emigrate to the US in search of jobs. In these conditions, even the most moderate and reasonable measures in favour of the majority of the population are bound to be met with brutal opposition on the part of the ruling class, capitalists, landowners, the owners of the media, the local oligarchy.

Among the measures taken by his government are a number of progressive reforms, including a national literacy campaign modelled on the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, an attempt to improve healthcare for the poorer sections of society (including access to cheaper drugs, grants for medical students to go to Cuba), a cut in interest rates for small farmers and a significant increase of 60% of the minimum wage.

He also moved to cut some of the most glaring privileges of the Honduran oligarchic ruling class. He broke the monopoly of the multinational companies in the importation of fuel, through an agreement with Venezuelan based Petrocaribe. Zelaya also took measures against the pharmaceutical multinationals which control 80% of all drugs sold in Honduras, all of them imported at high costs for the national health service, by signing an agreement with Venezuela and Cuba to import cheap generic versions of the most commonly used drugs. The president also denounced the monopoly of the oligarchy over the mass media and put an end to government subsidies for the big media groups.

In the international arena Zelaya sided with the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), the regional alliance promoted by Venezuela which Honduras has now joined.

All these actions contributed to increase his popularity and social base amongst the poorest sections of the population and enraged the oligarchy which has ruled the country in close alliance with US interests for nearly 200 years. Honduras for most of the 20th century was a classic “banana republic”, dominated by United Fruit, which controlled the overwhelming majority of the country’s best agricultural land and ran it like a private fiefdom with no reference to the official government of the country. There were periodic interventions of US marines to remove governments which attempted to curtail the power of United Fruit. The country’s formal “independence” was just a smokescreen, since it was firmly ruled by US imperialism for the United Fruit Company. The US marines landed in Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, and 1925. In 1911, the new “Honduran” president was directly appointed by a US mediator. In 1930, when United Fruit faced a solid strike in its banana plantations on the Caribbean coast, a United States warship was dispatched to the area to quell it.

In the words of Major General Smedley Darlington Butler of the US Marines:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. (...) I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.(...) I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903"

Honduras also has a long history of Liberal presidents attempting to implement timid reforms and then being overthrown by the military and the oligarchy with the support and direct participation of the US. This was the case of president Vicente Mejía (1929-33), who was replaced by the dictatorship of general Carías Andino, supported by the banana companies which lasted until 1949. The same happened to president Villeda Morales, who attempted a mild agrarian reform and was overthrown by the US-sponsored coup of López Arellano, which ruled the country between 1965 and 1974. And of course, in the 1980s, Honduras became the main base for the operations of the US-organised contras, the counter-revolutionary thugs fighting against the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.

Faced with the firm opposition of the capitalist class and imperialism, Zelaya thought that he could get around that by calling a referendum for a Constituent Assembly, following the model of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. He proposed that on Sunday June 28 a referendum would be organised to ask the population whether, as part of the November general elections, a referendum would be organised to call a Constituent Assembly. He had collected 400,000 signatures to back his proposal. On Tuesday June 23, the oligarchy, using its majority in the National Congress, passed a law declaring the proposed consultation illegal. The Supreme Court and the High Command of the Army also made similar statements. They were already preparing a military coup, in case the “constitutional coup” should fail. On the same day, left wing mayoral candidate for Tocoa local council suffered an attempt on his life when four hired thugs armed with AK47 assault rifles fired on his car.

On Wednesday 24, president Zelaya met with the High Command of the Armed Forces which refused to offer any logistical support for the consultation. Zelaya removed general Romeo Vasquez from his position as the head of the joint command of the Armed Forces. The other members of the Joint Command also resigned and Zelaya accepted their resignation. The Minister of Defence was also removed. On Thursday 25, troops were out on the streets of Tegucigalpa and the Supreme Court reinstated Romeo Vazquez to the high command of the Armed Forces. Zelaya made and appeal to the people to come out on the streets and thousands of workers and peasants gathered around the presidential palace to protect Zelaya. The troops withdrew.

On Friday, Zelaya, with a large number of supporters went into the military base where the ballots and the ballot boxes were being kept and took them away with no resistance before officials from the judiciary could seize them. Zelaya declared: “All the power of the bourgeois state was used to prevent it [the distribution of ballot boxes]. They used the judges, they used the military, the media groups. They could not prevent it.” And he added:

“We are talking about the bourgeois state. The bourgeois state is made up of the economic elite. The tops of the army, the political parties, the judges, and that bourgeois state feels threatened when I start to propose that the people should have a say.”

This initial resolution of the conflict in favour of the president and the people lured Zelaya into a false sense of security. On Saturday he declared to the Spanish El País that “I think I have control of most of the country… I control the Army... as long as I do not give orders which affect the rich.” He even added that he was confident that the US had intervened to stop the coup. A few hours later he had to jump from his bed when armed soldiers came for him.

The Honduran ruling class has lost no time. A state of emergency and curfew has been declared, Congress has quickly appointed a new president, Roberto Micheletti, who until now was president of the Congress and a wave of arrests of left-wing, worker and peasant activists was unleashed. According to some sources, Cesar Ham, the presidential candidate of the left-wing Democratic Unification Party was killed when he resisted arrest. Congress has ordered the arrest of the following mass movement leaders amongst others: Juan Baraona (Peoples’ Block leader), Carlos H Reyes (Peoples’ Block leader), Andrés Padrón (Human Rights Movement), Luther Castillos (trade union leader), Rafael Alegrón (Via Campesina peasant leader), César Han (Civic Council of Peoples and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras, CCOPIH), Andrés Pavón (CCOPIH), Marvin Ponce (CCOPIH), Salvador Zúñiga (CCOPIH) and Berta Cáceres (CCOPIH).

The Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan ambassadors were detained by masked military men while they were visiting foreign affairs minister Patricia Rodas. They were later released, not before having been beaten however. The whole script of the coup follows closely that of the April 2002 coup in Venezuela against Chavez, down to the role of the media, the taking off the air of government TV channel 8, and even details like the appearance of a forged letter from Zelaya resigning as a president! Obviously the same forces are involved in both countries.

It is clear and public knowledge that the US knew that a coup was being organised. They had had conversations with the leaders of Congress in which the coup had been discussed. The advice from the US had been against taking the step of arresting Zelaya. Probably the US administration, faced with the mass mobilisation on Friday and having learnt some lessons from Venezuela, was not very confident in taking what might be seen as an illegal step and were more in favour of continuing with the script of the “constitutional coup”, leaving the removal of Zelaya for another, more favourable, moment.

Obama’s statement on the coup was certainly very mild. He called on “all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” and added that the situation "must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”

We have a situation in which the democratically elected president has been illegally arrested by military forces and taken abroad and Obama calls on “all political and social actors” to respect democratic norms and the rule of law. This clearly leaves the door open to the arguments of the oligarchy that Zelaya was breaking the law by calling the consultation. A few hours later, after strongly worded statements by Chávez and a condemnation on the part of the Organisation of American States, the US administration came out publicly to say that they still recognised Zelaya as the legitimate president of Honduras.

Washington might have had some tactical disagreements with the oligarchy in Honduras, but they both share their opposition to any government that is seen as channelling the aspirations of the masses. We should not forget that the main characters in the coup are all military men trained in the infamous School of the Americas, and that the US still has 500 troops stationed in Honduras.

The same position seems to have been adopted by the Spanish El País, which has become the mouthpiece of Spanish multinational and imperialist interests in Latin America, waging a vitriolic campaign against the Venezuelan and Bolivian revolutions and against all left-wing mass movements on the continent. In a cynical editorial today their line is: We reject the coup, but we support its aims. (La vuelta del golpe, El País). They say that at the end of the day, “the truth is that on Sunday, either the president or the military, one oo the other, were inevitable going to violate legality”! So, while formally rejecting the coup they are blaming Zelaya for “violating legality” for calling “a consultation which is not allowed by the Constitution and which had been opposed by Congress, the electoral authority and the Supreme Court.”

There are two lessons that must be clearly learnt from the events in Honduras. One is that even the most moderate progressive reforms in favour of the workers and peasants cannot be tolerated by the ruling class. The struggle for healthcare, education, land reform, jobs and houses can only be solved as part of the struggle for socialism. The second is that one cannot carry out a genuine revolution while leaving intact the apparatus of the bourgeois state, which will sooner or later be used against the will of the majority of working people.

El País, from the other side of the barricade, clearly identifies what was at stake in Honduras on Sunday: “What was being decided, at the end of the day, was the balance of forces in Latin America. If Zelaya got his way in the re-election consultation, chavismo would have won terrain in Central America.” The opinion of El País is very clear. This had to be stopped; it is just that the method was not of the best.

Venezuelan president Chávez, described the situation correctly when he denounced the military coup: "It is a brutal coup d'etat, one of many that have taken place over 10 years in Latin America. Behind these soldiers are the Honduran bourgeois, the rich who converted Honduras into a Banana Republic, into a political and military base for North American imperialism."

But, as in Venezuela in 2002, thousands of Zelaya supporters have come out onto the streets to fight against the coup and to demand the reinstatement of the president.

The trade union organisations, including the CGT national confederation, have called a general strike for today Monday. This is the way forward. Only through the mass mobilisation of the workers and peasants can the coup be defeated. Such a mass movement must also make an appeal to the rank and file soldiers to refuse to follow orders from their officers. Hugo Chávez posed it thus: “Soldier, empty out your rifle against the oligarchy and not against the people.”

We must give our full support to the workers and peasants of Honduras in their struggle for the reinstatement of the president. We call on the international labour movement and solidarity organisations to demonstrate their opposition to this reactionary coup. A particular role must be played by workers and peasant organisations in the neighbouring countries of Central America and Mexico. Mass demonstrations and pickets of the embassies in these countries would serve as encouragement for the masses in Honduras.

Down with the reactionary coup in Honduras!
Mass mobilisation on the streets and a general strike!
Soldiers, turn your weapons against your officers and join the side of the people!


RENEGADE EYE

63 comments:

FJ said...

Still pushing for a mobocracy, eh, Ren? What is it about Constitutions and the rule of law that you people hate so much?

FJ said...

I don't suppose anyone here would consider the other side of the story?

FJ said...

I can hardly wait for Hugo Chavez to begin his threatened continental battle to restore the deposed Zelaya to the presidency. Especially since Colombia is blocking his land approaches.

Here's a lesson Hugo needs to learn. Never declare a "continental battle" against an opponent with air and sea superiority.

tony said...

Sorry Ren, I know bugger all about Honduras so i will have to sit out of this dance.However I will read the comments with interest to see if all the people who supported the downtrodden masses of Iran pay the same courtesy to the masses of Honduras.

The Sentinel said...

"What is it about Constitutions and the rule of law that you people hate so much?"

Its most likely the fact that no one really supports them in numbers and they don't stand a hope in hell's chance of democratic election - especially with the cat out of the bag with the long tyrannical, failed and murderous history - so they are left with trying to set fires wherever there is an opening.

This latest development in Honduras is not a coup but the military protecting the constitution as they are sworn to, and as the highest Honduran courts have mandated.

FJ said...

The 2nd half of today's background briefing by State Dept. officials is particularly relevant. They acknowledge that Zelaya's actions leading to his resignation and subsequent expulsion were "extra-Constitutional."

FJ said...

So much for background briefers... State is no longer demanding Zelaya's restoration.

jams o donnell said...

I had hoped that Central and South America had seen the end of military overthrow of elected leaders.

Even if Zelaya had acted unconstitutionally, the military should not have been used. It has not ben long since Latin America saw the back of its military dictators. I hope this is not the slippery slope back those vile times

FJ said...

I agree, Jams. Zelaya should have been arrested by civil authorities and then impeached and punished for his attempted subversion of the Honduran Constitution. Instead, they allowed him to resign and leave the country, which opened them up to this "pandora's box" of Bolivarian accusations.

The Pagan Temple said...

I don't know anything about Honduran politics, but when Obama came out in support of the deposed Zelaya, that told me all I needed to know. Yep, he's a leftist. If he was from the right, and it was the same situation, God Jr. wouldn't have opened his fucking mouth.

Larry Gambone said...

The Constitution is just an excuse. The oligarchs fear reform, so they held a coup. They are perfectly happy to tear up the Constitution when it is their interest. And what ws sought was an end to term limits. No term limits in Canada, UK, FR., NZ, Australia etc. So what's the big deal.

One good outcome is that the Latin American Left has had a wake up call and will be less tolerant of the reactionaries in their midst.

Had Zelaya been backed by a mobilized and armed people there would have been no coup and the scum would be swimming to Miami where they belong.

Renegade Eye said...

Tony: By the end of the week, you'll know more about Honduras, than you want to.

FJ: It's not about mobs. The working class can make it, so that the oligarchy, can't turn on the lights. They can restore Zelaya.

Chavez is guilty of bluster. He is not sending troops.

I agree with Larry G, about the constitutional issues. It's coup, not a legalese battle.

The US government has ties with the oligarchy, and will only unless pressured denounce the coup by rhetoric. They are playing both sides.

Pagan: You're off base. Obama came out against the coup, because his advisors believe Bush made a grave error, by quickly supporting the 2002 coup in Venezuela. Obama doesn't want Chavez to be louder. The extreme right and the extreme left, don't seem to understand nuance. I don't believe Obama wanted this coup. It's an albatross to US policy.

Sentinel: Overturning an election is not a coup?

Jams: I have to agree.

Larry G: I think the coup had rogue elements involved. I doubt if Obama wanted this. He is not opposing it.

Desert Mystery said...

Its good to see all OAS members united in the support for Zelaya. But seriously, all that's needed to persuade the puppet government is to blockade Honduras and I guarantee you that the govt will collapse in a week. Honduras depends too much on exports to sustain itself for the long haul (its not Cuba btw).

I believe Nicaragua and El Salvador are closing all trade for 24hrs. This should be made indefinite till Zelaya is restored.

Renegade Eye said...

Desert Mystery: I agree.

I recommend the route of a general strike.

Huge-O Chavez said...

Ren, the "workers" in Honduras are unskilled agricultural serf variety, not industrial. They cannot "turn out the lights" as the skilled technicians work for the land owners.

The Pagan Temple said...

This is a lot of nonsense. There was nothing democratic about what Zelaya was trying to do, it was pure populist crap. There needs to be a check on executive power. The fact that some countries don't have term limits is absolutely, totally irrelevant. What does Canadian electoral law have to do with anything?

If things were so bad in Honduras, and if the left has so much stacked against them, and in favor of the so-called evil "oligarchy", then how in the hell did this clown manage to get himself elected president to begin with?

Bottom line-he and his people want to do away with any and all constitutional limits on their power, and they want to do so under the guise of a populist referendum, which, if successful, is what would make it "mob rule", to the extent that all minority rights and protections would be out the window.

Of course, later on, when everything went to hell in a hand basket, you would have your typical police state tactics to retain power, involving political prisoners and an oppressive Oprichnina style secret police system.

Nobody but the left is buying into this, and yes, Obama spoke out against the coup and in support of Zelaya, and I will reiterate, he would not have done so had Zelaya been a rightest politician.

Under that scenario, and if large numbers of people who supported the right took to the streets, then you would have heard him urging for calm and to refrain from violence. I haven't heard that from him yet in this situation. No, he has not threatened sanctions against the current military regime, but give him time, and he will at least support it behind the scenes. If it ever gets off the ground, it will be with his tacit support, and maybe even his open and wholehearted support. Of course he'll use some alleged oppressions of the civilian population to excuse it.

For people to go on with nonsense about how Honduras should be more like Canada and other countries that don't have constitutional term limits on executive power is simply more leftist drivel and worse, it's a backwards reflection of white, European style racist assumptions that everybody should be like whitey, cos us white people from Europe and of European descent are just so much more evolved than these South American monkeys, you see.

Aside from the token Chinese, how many non-white nations make up the United Nations Security Council again? Why is France even a member? Why in the hell is Canada a member, a country that makes up roughly two or three tenths of one percent of the worlds population, at best? Why not Turkey? Egypt? India? Japan? South Africa? Nigeria? Brazil?

Mainly though, I want to know how Zelaya got elected to begin with if things are so undemocratic and unfair in Honduras?

THR said...

Jesus, Ren, you get some of the stupidest commenters of any site anywhere.

If Zelaya did something wrong, constitutionally speaking, let him face the parliament or a court. This is justice. Kidnappings, murders, and military coups are not. This should be perfectly clear to anybody with a brain cell or two left.

As for the US - officially, they have condemned the coup. Nonetheless, let them speak by their actions.

tony said...

Letter In Today's Guardian

Mehmet Çagatay said...

THR wrote:

"This should be perfectly clear to anybody with a brain cell or two left."

I recalled an old cartoon by Gary Larson which exemplifies the recurring situation here:

http://www.spsu.edu/htc/bseabolt/3903/pics/larsoncartoon.jpg

tony said...

by The Way Renny, have you ever had a post here where everybody agreed?Meanwhile......My Education Continues......

FJ said...

I love it when the Left is reduced to sputtering ad hominems!

"Your commenters r stoopid! You've only got half a brain!"

LOL!

FJ said...

Ever wonder how Chavez flipped Zelaya from being a right winger into a left wing Bolivarian zealot? Simple. They offered him a piece of the action.

I wonder if Kirchner's gonna be packin' the heaters on Thursday's return flight...

Huge-O Chavez said...

It's great when you've got an unlimited supply of cash to pay out to buy off the left wing true believers.

FJ said...

Hey, shut up and fly right, Huge-O!

Renegade Eye said...

Huge-O-Chavez: I agree with your link. It takes more than association with Chavez to be a revolutionary. Chavez himself is not a Marxist. Heck nobody is accusing the Argentine government of being revolutionary.

In Honduras as in other poor countries, you see combined and uneven development. To illustrate that concept think of a Pakistani with no shoes and cellphone. Still the working class can paralyze Honduras.

Pagan: Zalaya got elected on a rightist platform. His conversion to Bolivarianism is recent. His own party is to the right. The oligarchy is against him for being a class traitor.

Your ranting is off the wall. Obama doesn't support Zalaya, he supports himself. He didn't withdraw his ambassador. Obama doesn't want people to rally around Chavez. The ruling class learned lessons from 2002.

THR: Their actions show the US is playing both sides. All they care about is stability.

Tony: The US obviously knew about the coup, and didn't stop it. At the same time they don't want it. It stirs up the working class all over Latin America. Again Obama did learn from 2002 Venezuela. Bush endorsed the coup quickly. That was political suicide for the US.

I would say 90% of my posts stir combat. My recipe posts are the only peaceful ones. In the early days of the blog, fights moved to others blogs. Sonia's blog is a rightist blog, that leftys like.

Mehmet Çagatay: I might soon be picking a fight with the local Maoists, by printing and commenting on their Iran position. They say there is no evidence of fraud, and everything is a CIA plot.

FJ: Zalaya will be back in power by the end of the week. The Honduran oligarchy is politically sloppy. Obama didn't stop the coup, but doesn't like it. He wants stability to undo the damage Bush did. His goals are the same.

Venezuela will not be at war with Honduras, or any country any time soon.

Anonymous said...

I love it when the Right is reduced to sputtering ad hominems!

"Socialism is baad, m'kay?"

LOL!

ROFL!

LMFAO!

FJ said...

Venezuela will not be at war with Honduras, or any country any time soon.

Chavez has asked the OAS to intevene militarily if Zelaya gets arrested upon his return to Honduras. And he WILL be arrested. Honduras is now considering total withdrawl from ALBA in retaliation.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: I'd be very surprised if the government stays in power past Monday. Zalaya not only has the support of Chavez, he has the support of Lula, and other moderates. Neighbors as El Salvador are going to shut down the border.

Renegade Eye said...

Anonymous: LOL

FJ said...

I'd be very surprised if the government stays in power past Monday.

Micheletti will be in power for the next seven months, and Zelaya will be a persona non grata in Honduras for the remainder of his hopefully very short life. You can bank on it.

The Pagan Temple said...

I'm starting to wonder if the US military should follow Honduras's example. Sixty percent of the shit that goes on in this country is blatantly unconstitutional, and at least half of the rest is dubious at best. We have liberal judges who decide cases based on hack partisan loyalty to the party who put them on the bench, and we have Senators and House members who sign legislation, seemingly in some cases reams of pages long, without reading a fucking word of it.

I've fucking had it. If the military were to do the exact same thing here as happened in Honduras, and enforced the constitution as written and amended, I wouldn't have one single fucking problem whatsoever with it.

So I sure as hell ain't about to agonize over what's going on in Honduras.

Czarny Kot said...

@ A good, heartfelt piece.

I do broadly agree with it, but I also think that there is more to this than a simple Left, Right, US-sponsored coup.

I'm a bit disappointed with El Pais as i've always thought of it as one of the best centre-left papers in Europe.

For 2 very different opinions on the Honduras situation, from a former Salvadoran guerrilla and a Honduran poet, go to:

http://czarnykotblog.blogspot.com/

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: After this debacle you'll have more respect for a class analysis.

Pagan: Your idea is unconstitutional. It's a destroy the constitution to save it idea.

Czarny Kot: Thank you for visiting.

My browser doesn't open at your comments section. The pop-up comment box is more universal.

I read your blog's post on this subject. It was accurate.

I don't think anything is simple left/right. I don't believe the US wants a coup in Honduras. They didn't stop it. The ruling class did learn lessons from 2002, where Bush managed to isolate the US as never before. Obama wants stability. He doesn't care which side is on top.

Desert Mystery said...

Some interesting developments-Quote from a newspaper in Tegucigalpa: "Buena noticia. Embajadas de Taiwán e Israel reconocen al nuevo
gobierno de Roberto Micheletti."

Translation: "Good news. The Embassies of Taiwan and Israel recognize the new
government of Roberto Micheletti."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ren, you know me...

The Pagan Temple said...

No, like I said, most of the crap that goes on now is unconstitutional. I don't even know where to begin. It's just all so blatantly over the top, it would almost take an emergency action like a military take-over to set things right.

I would go even further than that. I would impose term limits on Supreme Court judges, I would do away with the Seventeenth Amendment, raise the voting age back up to twenty-one, secure the borders, and limit voting to tax-payers and property owners.

Does that sound unfair and undemocratic? Not really, because under my system, anybody that worked would be a taxpayer, for the simple fact there would be no tax refunds at the end of the year for anybody.

Does that sound like it would be a little rough on the working class? Not really, because after a few years, tax refunds would be unnecessary, for the simple fact people would not be inclined to vote for politicians who implemented programs that would require inordinately high taxes.

Why should some schumck who doesn't pay a dime in taxes (other than as a grant to the treasury that he gets back at the end of the year), have the same say regarding national policy as somebody who is paying more than a third of his income that he never sees again?

Half the people in Washington should be charged under the same Ricco statutes they passed against the Mafia. In some cases they should be hanged. That's one public hanging I would take my children to see.

Renegade Eye said...

Desert Mystery: In the end Israel and Taiwan won't matter.

Pagan: This from Desert Mystery's blog: Articles of the Honduran Constitution suspended by Micheletti Govt
The so called "Constitutional" Government of Michelleti decided to somehow support the Constitution by suppressing the following fundamental rights: the freedom of association, the right to peaceful protest, the "inviolability" of the home, the right not to be detained for more than 24 hours, and the freedom to enter and leave the country.

Specific articles from the Constitution:

Artículo 69.- La libertad personal es inviolable y sólo con arreglo a las leyes podrá ser restringida o suspendida temporalmente.

Artículo 71.- Ninguna persona puede ser detenida ni incomunicada por más de veinticuatro horas, sin ser puesta a la orden de autoridad competente para su juzgamiento.

Artículo 78.- Se garantizan las libertades de asociación y de reunión siempre que no sean contrarias al orden público y a las buenas costumbres.

Artículo 81.- Toda persona tiene derecho a circular libremente, salir, entrar y permanecer en el territorio nacional.

Artículo 99.- El domicilio es inviolable. Ningún ingreso o registro podrá verificarse sin consentimiento de la persona que lo habita o resolución de autoridad competente. No obstante, puede ser allanado, en caso de urgencia, para impedir la comisión o impunidad de delitos o evitar daños graves a la persona o a la propiedad.


Anonymous: Still LOL.

The Pagan Temple said...

What difference does it make? Zelaya was trying to trash the constitution anyway, and if he had succeeded, it would have been just a worthless piece of paper. It would have taken an eventual coup from the right to restore it. The military just hastened the inevitable, and by doing so, made the probability of success on their part that much faster, and that much surer. And maybe, for that matter, possible.

The infringements you speak of are to be expected on a temporary basis, as state of emergency measures. Lincoln had to do much of the same things during the Civil War, and had to take much the same flak in the process.

It's Zelaya who is the offender here.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: The constitution of Honduras has nothing to do with the coup. The oligarchy is punishing a class traitor. Zalaya is hardly a socialist. This is a case of the oligarchy proving Trotsky's permanent revolution correct. In a third world country, it is impossible to even give democratic or national demands as meager as what Zalaya proposes.

This was a COUP. C-O-U-P. Not a legalese fight, but class struggle.

The Pagan Temple said...

Of course it was a coup, and it was a damn good one. The legalese struggle didn't work. They tried that. They went to the courts to try to get Zelaya to desist from his blatantly unconstitutional actions. The judges wouldn't listen. You see the results. What, you think people are going to give up their property, and their rights, because a small number of black-robed freaks say they have to? Evidently, the powers that be in Honduras had other ideas, and I say good on them.

FJ said...

Viva la Revoluccion Hondureno. La OAS y el UN son curroptos! Viva Micheletti. Que el sin verguenza Manuel Zelaya se muere pronto!

FJ said...

A Constitution is NOT a mutual suicide pact. When a constitutionally empowered branch of government begins to commit national suicide and cede their power to Hugo Chavez, it's up to the other constitutionally empowered branches to stop them. That's what the Honduran Supreme Court and military authorities did to Zelaya. He resigned and was therefore permitted to leave the country. He then proceeded to lie about his resignation and pretend there had been a coup d'etat. There was NEVER any coup. That is a Bolivarian fabrication.

FJ said...

Was Zelaya forced to sign a resignation? It was either that or be tried for high treason and be put to death. Zelaya chose the cowards way, so let him now die the cowards death.

Gert said...

Funny blog headline I read:

'Honduras v. Iran: Coup we can believe in!'

Ren: care to substantiate what you wrote at mine? That Israel is supporting the coup? Just curious...

Renegade Eye said...

I think by later today, we'll know when Zalaya will be back in power.

Pagan: Zalaya is no socialist or any kind of revolutionary. He threatened nobody. If he did he'd still be in power.

FJ: That was a coup. Even Ray Charles could have seen that. They annulled an election.

Chavez has different politics than Zalaya. He is more moderate. Moderation is not what's useful against the oligarchy. This is similar to attempts to destabilize the Bolivian government.

When Zalaya returns, the first thing he should do, is dismantle the army for a militia.

Gert: See desert Mystery's early comment.

The Pagan Temple said...

Whether he is or is not a socialist is irrelevant, what is relevant is that he was trying to force through an unconstitutional change in the constitution by way of popular vote, which the constitution does not allow. He was told by the Supreme Court to stop, but he stubbornly refused and went on his way. Honduras is a sovereign nation. Chavez and Obama don't get a vote on how they conduct their affairs, or at least they shouldn't.

The OAS sent a representative to Honduras to demand Zelaya be reinstated. His ass was sent packing. The current Honduran government has made it clear that if Zelaya returns to Honduras, he will be arrested. I hope they stick to that, and string his ass up.

FJ said...

The only way Zelaya will ever return to power in Honduras is if Chavez militarily defeats the Honduran military, and Chavez is too much of a pussy to try.

FJ said...

But if Zelaya should try and return to Honduras today, I'm sure that the reception committee will find suitable accomodations for the traitor and his entourage.

The Pagan Temple said...

There isn't any danger of an invasion, at least not right away. What I'm worried is that the OAS will conduct trade sanctions against Honduras, and Obama will probably support such action, as will the EU. That is the real danger. If they do that to that small country, I hope it comes back to bite them all on the ass, in a big, bloody way.

FJ said...

Nicaragua has mobilized it's troops, which are massing on the Honduran border, and will follow up with an invasion if Zelaya's privately owned (PDVSA) Venezuelan plane is allowed to land at 7 pm tonight in Teguchigalpa

But then, Obama has given Chavez, the UN and OAS the international green light to make all the trouble they want.

I'd shoot it down if it came into my air space... it'd save Honduras a ton of future meddling.

The interim government had planned early elections. Now, they won't be needing them. Obama and Chavez have granted the people of Honduras a right to maintain a permanent dictatorship, should they decide to do so.

The Pagan Temple said...

Obama should be battered with this from now until the mid-terms. If the OAS and Obama get their way I hope there's not a fucking day goes by that a Zelayan government officials head isn't found stuck to a pike on the city streets. They are welcome to gang-rape their wives from the top of roof tops too. I've had it with these ass-hats.

FJ said...

Two people supposedly died during the airport demonstrations in Tegucigalpa. Zelaya has announced that he plans another attempt tomorrow. Let's see how many more people he can get killed this time.

The Pagan Temple said...

The more the merrier. For that matter, from what I hear, those rickety old planes they use down there aren't in the best of shape a lot of times. I've heard these rumors that they have been known to fall apart in mid-flight. All it takes is a sudden change in altitude, or a descent toward an airport, and they just break up. I've even heard that when this happens, it strangely resembles something being struck by a rocket in mid-air.

By the way, what kind of fucking moron takes a kid to a demonstration knowing there could be violence? What do these people think they are, Palestinians or something?

Renegade Eye said...

The 200,000 people who came to the airport, should set up a representative committee, with delegates from each workplace, school etc. to form a coordinating committee. Since the institutions are under oligarchy control, they should have the representatives become the new government.

By the way, what kind of fucking moron takes a kid to a demonstration knowing there could be violence? What do these people think they are, Palestinians or something?

Keep your racist crap on your own blog.

You don't expect to be shot at, when you're with 200,000 people. The damn babysitter was sick.

Obama doesn't support Zalaya. The US only cares about stability. Obama doesn't want a reputation like Bush's. Chavez called it right, blaming Obama.

Unfortunately Trotsky was right. Reform is impossible in a developing country. The democratic and socialist stage need to be combined.

This is going to be ended diplomatically. The coup is isolated by most governments, and Honduras depends on imports.

FJ said...

It will be ended politically. Fresh elections in 7 months. Once the new elections take place, Zelaya will have ZERO street cred ANYWHERE in the world.

The Pagan Temple said...

First off, sorry about the "racist crap", as you put it. The point was, that was no place to bring a young kid.

If the "damn babysitter was sick", then maybe the parents should have kept their asses home. If there was 200,000 people there, they would not have been missed.

As for not expecting to be shot, I call bullshit on that too. Anytime a crowd amasses for the purpose of overthrowing a regime, you can expect there to be at least the strong potential for violence.

Finally, Obama may or may not support Zelaya, but he has in no uncertain terms denounced the coup, and I have no doubt he is doing so to kiss up to the OAS. He should keep the hell out of it if he can't find his way clear to support Honduran sovereignty. Which that is what he should do, especially during the Independence Day holidays.

Because that's what this is all about, the right of a small nation to define its own policies and uphold the laws in its own consitution, which Zelaya, again, for the umpteenth time, was trying to trash by his actions, actions, which, also again, were denounced by the country's Supreme Court.

The military was acting on the orders of the Supreme Court. They were not acting arbitrarily, on their own initiative.

This is about national sovereignty and independence, and for Obama to oppose that, over the Fourth of July weekend of all times, for the purposes of kissing up to the likes of Chavez and the other members of the OAS, is beyond the pale, and goes a long way towards showing just in what little regard he holds the US Constitution and our own national sovereignty.

FJ said...

Hugo is busy keeping the OAS focused on Honduras so that they won't turn their attention to Antonia Ledezma's hunger strike. Antonio Ledezma was elected Mayor of the Metropolitan District by a majority of Caracas residents. Hugo then "appointed" a new mayor for the federal district, and transferred all the metropolitan mayor's resources to the "new office". Talk about a coup d'city... but then, Hugo remembers how Yeltsin as Mayor of Moscow was able to depose Gorby and fears the office Ledezma holds...

Renegade Eye said...

See the new post.

FJ: There was no truth to the Nicaraguan troops on the border stuff.

Chavez isn't worried about the mayor of Caracas.

Zalaya's best chances of taking power come, if the coup plotters stick to their guns. A nudered Zalaya returning won't do much for his program.

Pagan: There was about a half a million people in the streets.

The new posts accurately explains Obama's role.

FJ said...

FJ: There was no truth to the Nicaraguan troops on the border stuff.

They would have come over had Zelaya's plane been allowed to land all right... and they would have supervised Zelaya's purge of Honduras officer corps.

Anonymous said...

Good to see Pagan still gets racist when he loses his cool and that FJ likes comment ping-pong.

Cool.

FJ said...

...and that the whine from the UK still flows falsetto.

Anonymous said...

Silly boy, wine is spelt with no h or e and comes from either Georgia or Iran.

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