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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Cedar Lounge
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Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

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Honduras: Anti-Chavez ‘free speech’ warriors linked to coup

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday July 22, 2009 13:12author by Federico Fuentes General Joe and friends Report this post to the editors

"Ironically, the only time in Venezuela that a TV channel was taken off air, constitutional rights suspended, and journalists arrested and assaulted since Chavez’s 1998 election was during the two days when he was removed from power in a short-lived coup in April 2002."

"While it “condemns” some of the attacks on freedom of speech, it has little to say about the coup regime itself.

This is because, for the IAPA, there was no coup.

Its July 14 statement said the democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was simply “stood down” — not kidnapped and dumped in a different country by balaclava-clad soldiers."

Honduras: Anti-Chavez ‘free speech’ warriors linked to coup

July 21st 2009, by Federico Fuentes - Green Left Weekly
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is well known for its mission to expose the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez as a threat to free speech “all over the continent”.
These brave free speech warriors made a big deal this year about how they “dared” to hold a meeting in the Venezuelan capital, “defying” the repression of Chavez’s “dictatorial” regime.
It turns out that the IAPA has found little to condemn in regards to the dictatorship that has installed itself by military force in Honduras.

This regime has closed many media outlets, threatened and detained journalists, suspended constitutional rights, imposed nation-wide curfews and expelled the broadcasting teams of Latin America-wide station Telesur and Venezuelan state TV channel VTV from Honduras at gunpoint.

While it “condemns” some of the attacks on freedom of speech, it has ittle to say about the coup regime itself.

This is because, for the IAPA, there was no coup.

Its July 14 statement said the democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was simply “stood down” — not kidnapped and dumped in a different country by balaclava-clad soldiers.

And if anyone can recognise a dictatorship, it is the IAPA. After all, as it points out, the IAPA has been fighting off dictatorships “for a long time” — in the form of the Chavez administration.

Ironically, the only time in Venezuela that a TV channel was taken off air, constitutional rights suspended, and journalists arrested and assaulted since Chavez’s 1998 election was during the two days when he was removed from power in a short-lived coup in April 2002.

Rather than wait for the IAPA freedom fighters to save them, the Venezuelan people took to the streets, and together with most of the military, defeated the coup regime and restored Chavez to office.

So why are these free speech crusaders so soft on the coup regime in Honduras?

Probably because IAPA representatives in Honduras have been central to the coup.

For instance, Roberto Micheletti, who was installed by the coup as de facto president, is the owner of various companies, including the newspaper La Tribuna.

One of his associates at the newspaper is Edgardo Dumas Rodriguez, a Honduran representative to the IAPA.

Then there is Jorge Canahuati. Two of the most pro-coup newspapers are La Prensa and El Heraldo. Together, they control 80% of newspaper circulation.

Both are majority owned by Canahuati, also president of the IAPA international commission.

So it is no surprise that Dumas Rodriguez told Venezuelan newspaper El Universal on July 5 that “no military coup has occurred” in Honduras.

Not that he is unconcerned with democracy. Dumas Rodriguez said he had information of a lawsuit being filed against a threat to Honduran sovereignty — not his friend and military-installed dictator Micheletti, but Chavez “for the crimes he has committed by intervening in the internal affairs of Honduras and for threatening to overthrow the existing government”!

For this free speech crusader, the real criminal is Chavez and not the coup plotters that overthrew an elected government and suspended all democratic rights — including free speech.

Asked why the IAPA was not criticising Honduran media outlets openly supporting a regime that crushes free speech, IAPA president Enrique Santos said on July 4 that while there may “possibly be newspapers that have been partisans of the change of government”, this was no reason for IAPA to “tell them what to think ... IAPA is not a monolithic organisation, where all partners have to have the same political criteria.”

Within the broad church that is IAPA, fascist coup plotters are more than welcome.

Keep this practice in mind next time the IAPA issues a blistering denunciation of the Venezuelan “dictatorship” — which has closed not one media outlet and where the large majority of the media are vehemently anti-government.


Venezuela Reviews Relations with Colombia as More US Bases Established

July 21st 2009, by Kiraz Janicke

Chavez announces revision of Venezuela-Colombia relations (Prensa Presidencial)
Caracas, June 21, 2009 ( - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced on Monday night that bilateral relations with neighbouring Colombia are being fully reviewed following the decision by Colombia to allow the United States to use five military bases in its territory. A high-level bilateral meeting of the Colombia-Venezuela Commission, which was set to meet Tuesday July 21st, was also suspended.
Chavez said he had instructed Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolas Maduro to conduct a full review of bilateral relations, including diplomatic relations because Colombia's decision represents a threat to Venezuela.
"We very much regret the situation, but we have to review relations with the government of Colombia because they are opening the doors to those who attack us constantly, to those who are preparing new attacks and who have overthrown governments and are supporting the coup in Honduras - the State Department and the Southern Command," said the Venezuelan head of state.
The new military accord between the US and Colombia comes as the US has been forced to pull out of its Manta military base in Ecuador, after the government of Rafael Correa refused to renew an agreement allowing US military personnel to operate there.
The full details of the agreement have not been released, but in early July, Colombian magazine Cambio reported that in the framework of increased "cooperation" between Colombia and United States, the US will begin to operate in five Colombian military bases in Palanquero (center), Alberto Pouwels (north), Apiay (south), and two Navy facilities: in Cartagena de Indias, on the Caribbean coast and Malaga on the Pacific coast.
The central point of operations will Palanquero, a base located between the departments of Caldas and Cundinamarca, which has capacity for 60 aircraft and a runway of 3,500 meters and where the take off and landing of three aircraft can occur simultaneously, Cambio reported.
Colombian Defence Minister Gen. Freddy Padilla confirmed the information, but said there may be some changes.
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe defended the decision on Monday saying it was justified by the fight against drug trafficking and guerrillas. Uribe said the United States will only have "limited access to military facilities in Colombia."
However, Senator Piedad Cordoba, from the opposition Liberal Party in Colombia, told the Venezuelan-based news channel, Telesur, on Saturday that it was "shameful" that Colombians had to find out about the decision through a magazine.
The proposal has not even been put to the Colombian parliament for debate, "the government has been making under the table agreements" so that the US can use Colombian military bases, she added.
Responding to Uribe, the senator argued that the Colombian government's "war on drugs" is a "total failure," and the agreement constitutes a "threat to the region."
Moreover, Cordoba declared, a clear majority of Colombians support a political and negotiated solution to the war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), not a policy of escalation "that jeopardises the safety of our neighbours."
"Fundamentally, it is very shameful because we are left as some servants of the empire, doing errands, acting as scabs, handing over territory and losing dignity," she emphasised.
In 2008 Venezuela and Colombia, a key US ally in the region, clashed over a cross-border attack by Colombian military forces on a FARC encampment in Ecuador. The attack was condemned by all Organisation of American States (OAS) member nations apart from the US and Colombia.
Former Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos justified the actions as "legitimate self-defence", saying Colombia would strike at "terrorists" wherever they are. However, Chavez countered that Colombia's actions were a "threat to peace in South America."
At the time Chavez charged that Colombia, acting as a US proxy, was carrying out a dress rehearsal for a possible future attack on Venezuela.
Other Latin American leaders have also raised concerns about the role of US military bases in the region.
During a ceremony to celebrate Bolivian Independence Day in La Paz on July 16th, Bolivian President Evo Morales said that the US aims to install military bases in the region under the guise of the ‘war on drugs', but in reality trains military personnel to carry out coups, such as the coup in Honduras, that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya on June 28.
"Those who accept them [US bases] are traitors to the Homeland...never again should [foreign] military bases exist in Latin America."
Ecuador's Defence Minister Javier Ponce also described an increased U.S. presence in neighbouring Colombia as "worrying."


This hemispheric awakening is being fostered by independent media artists/sources who you can easily follow. Some are: Spanish

Join this struggle for justice and true freedom. Our brothers and sisters across the Americas are doing their parts from conditions of extreme hardship and danger. Surely it is time for us to “step up” from here. We may be on the verge of an historic victory. Spread the news everywhere. jamie

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author by Peter Sutherland's Nemesispublication date Thu Jul 23, 2009 14:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An article in last Sunday's (London) Independent newspaper lays out biographies for some of the coup leaders in Honduras. And very helpfully reminds us of what current US diplomats and advisors were doing in Central and South America back in the '70s, '80s and '90s during the days of dictatorships.

The article claims that "The international group of right-wingers who staged the coup d'état against the democratic government of Honduras on 28 June are watching their plot fast unravel."

Check out the article yourself:

Here's a brief summary:

Who’s involved:
For some of the plotters it is their second attempt to overthrow an elected reformist government in Latin America: the group includes prominent figures involved in the 2002 ousting of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who was kidnapped for 48 hours and sent to a Caribbean island before being restored to office after widespread popular protest.

Enrique Ortez Colindres:
the supremely undiplomatic octogenarian appointed foreign minister by Mr Micheletti, has had to resign, but not before he called Barack Obama "a negrito who knows nothing about anything", on Honduran television.

Robert Carmona-Borjas:
a Venezuelan active against Mr Chavez in 2002, who later fled to the US. He runs the Washington-based Arcadia, which calls itself "an innovative 'next generation' anti-corruption organisation". …Behind Arcadia are the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), the well-funded overseas arm of the Republican Party. Currently active among the Uighurs of western China, the NED has this year funnelled $1.2m (£740,000) for "political activity" in Honduras.

John McCain (the failed US presidential candidate):
Mr McCain's former legislative counsel, John Timmons, arranged the visit of Micheletti [coup leader] supporters to Washington on 7 July where they met journalists at the National Press Club "to clarify any misunderstandings about Honduras's constitutional process and ... the preservation of the country's democratic institutions".

Who’s financing it:
Financial backing for the coup is identified by some as coming from the pharmaceutical industry, which fears Mr Zelaya's plans to produce generic drugs and distribute them cheaply to the impoverished majority in Honduras, who lack all but the most primitive health facilities.

Others point to big companies in the telecommunications industry opposed to Hondutel, Honduras's state-owned provider.

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author by hmmmmpublication date Thu Jul 23, 2009 23:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The link with the pharmoceutical corporations was explained one day after the coup d'etat on this newswire in this comment : which noted that ALBA membership meant Hondurans had for the first time access to generic drug and pharmaceutical products made in Cuba which are cheaper than the patented pills, potions and sorceries made by such global pharmo-giants as :-

* Glaxo, Sanofi & Smith Kline in sunny neighbouring Panama,
* Pfizer and Stein just a short kidnapped president flight away in Costa Rica.
* Just over the mountains in Guatemala we find Novartis, Bristol Myers and Aventis.

Every drug from viagra to prozac to valium to AIDS treatments to the as of yet not worth making malaria cure is made within a 900km radius of the capital city of Honduras. & so we ought not be surprised that amongst the corporations who welcomed the usurping regime of Honduras one day after the coup d'etat were found the Central American representatives of the global pharmo-corps.


The links with John Mc Cain are tenous but with the Rumsfeld / Cheney old guard are very clear.


Colindres certainly described Obama as negrito but beyond allowing the mask on the confederate states of America empire nature of the backers of the coup, he really isn't important. Much more attention ought to have been given to the clear links with the Cali drug cartel which are on record from various sources ranging from Latin American security services to Interpol.

In fact Interpol rejected the warrent sought by the usurpists on Zelaya on the basis of these connections to the usurping cabinet.


the most interesting minister in the cabinet is he who has no official brief. In the days when the Irish state can't afford junior ministries and hard working cabinet members have to justify their seat at the table in a way which would have broken a sweat on Henry Kissinger's sex appeal - that man, his family and his investments really were the ones to examine.


alas the English "Independent" didn't quite make that quantum leap of speculation, which is fine and noble in the tradition of fair and balanced journalism especially concerning places which don't have topless beaches or offer decent food.


complete coverage with very carefully filtered and considered updates on the Honduran coup d'etat "situations" since June 26th may be read here :-

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