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July 2009 Archives

July 1, 2009

Why Did Hugo Chavez Overthrow His Friend, In Honduras?

ottoreich.jpgSo like two weeks ago, cartoonish evildoer Otto Reich was (we're guessing) advising Honduran coup plotters how to do the overthrow thing. Reich, a master of the sinister cold war art-form, "Public Relations," was (most likely) explaining that the key to a well-received putsch is to divert people's attention to something else, and that this relatively easy what with people being complete morons. You know what? It totally works!

In the days leading up to the coup, the military was whispering all kinds of ominous gossip to their friends and neighbors, like "Hugo Chavez is supplying the ballots for this referendum", and "President Zelaya is secretly replacing his security team with VENEZUELANS." These are, of course, exactly the same rumors Reich advised Venezuelan coup plotters to spread in 2002, only then it was about Cuban infiltrators (who actually might made believably efficient security guards, I mean God gave Venezuelans many gifts but "being organized" is not among them. Whatever).

Ok then--and this was the stroke of genius--Reich (probably) advised them to be sure to kidnap/ rough up the Venezuelan ambassador during the scuffle, and actual act of war which would obviously trigger a bellicose response from Hugo Chavez. And voila! Four days into a coup in Central America, the first of its kind in 16 years, and all Simon Romero and the Wall Street Journal want to talk about is Chavez.

Bonus Fun Coup Fact of the Day:
The U.S. Ambassador to Honduras RIGHT NOW is Hugo Llorens, a Cuban refugee who served as President Bush's security advisor to the Andean region during the 2002 Venezuelan coup, "just sayin'."

Titulares & Asininity

  • This awesome new Honduran government is just detaining journalists and censoring the press left and right, for freedom.
  • It also just passed a fabulous new law indefinitely suspending former constitutional guarantees such as "freedom from unjust detention," "movement" and (swear to god) "individual liberty." (Spanish only, sorry)
  • Holy crap the U.S. just cut off all military aid to the coup government.
  • Even in the middle of a coup d'état, there's one thing reporters just can't stop talking about: themselves!
Hot, Throbbing 11 pm Update: On the civil liberties thingy, Otto translates & Al Jazeera reports. English at last!

July 2, 2009

The "Perfect Idiot's" Guide to Coups and Democracy

Idiot.JPGAlvaro Vargas Llosa is famous for exactly two things: 1) being the son of a brilliant Peruvian novelist, and 2) co-writing a book once about how poor people are stupid.

Naturally this qualifies him a thousand times over to be the authentic voice of the Honduran coup in the U.S. media, and so he is. The New York Times ran some crap piece of his on Tuesday, explaining how exiled president Mel Zelaya actually plotted his own violent overthrow, and in today's Washington Post op-ed, we learn how this particular coup is really just democracy in disguise:

The crisis in Honduras should bring to people's attention this truth about Latin America today: The gravest threat to liberty comes from elected populists who are seeking to subject the institutions of the law to their megalomaniac whims.
Yes, darn those "elected leaders" and their "whims". Fortunately Honduras has finally imposed the fuck out of democracy on its people, military style! In the capital, civil liberties have been officially suspended, reporters have been detained and beaten, news outlets shut down, and at least one Catholic priest is in hiding, because the democracy enforcement squads want to kill him.

Screwing the Putsch

RobertoMicheletti.jpgEvil Honduran coup empress "Roberto Micheletti" held his first ever press conference yesterday evening and it was a Holy. Disaster. O. My G.

Dude opened the session explaining to the press what their role was going to be: ''You will help me change the opinion of the world." (I know what you're thinking! But the reporters were largely not from the U.S., so they didn't oblige) Here's how it went:

Micheletti said he looked forward to welcoming a team of four or five countries, including Canada, Mexico and Guatemala, that he heard plan to visit Honduras in the coming days.

''But, you just said a couple of minutes ago that trip hasn't been confirmed; it's just a rumor on an Internet page,'' a Salvadoran reporter shot back.

After a brief pause, Micheletti responded: ``That's fine, then I have the hope and faith in God that they will come. Israel and Taiwan have said they support us, and I have faith that other governments will follow.'' The reporters pressed: Had Taiwan and Israel formally expressed their support?

''I don't have an official declaration, but that is the rumor I've heard."

So how's that coup working out for you, numbnuts? Somebody go demonstrate in front of the Israeli embassy and DEMAND they follow through on their promise to recognize this delusional crackpot.

(H/T: IKN)

Hmm Turns Out the Whole Freakin' Planet Is Appalled by this Coup

hondurasgunlady.jpg

Shoot me before I turn into Andrew Sullivan, but here's a roundup of all your coup d'état related statements and actions from just about everybody in the whole wide world. Or, as the Washington Times put it, everybody "ranging from Venezuela to Cuba," whatever. Know Hope, bitches!

Political Bodies: Far as I can tell, every international organization has called for Zelaya to be reinstated to the presidency, including: the UN General Assembly, OAS, the EU,Caricom and Mercosur. Individual countries have made specific statements calling for his reinstatement too: Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Spain. Latin American countries and all European Union member states have withdrawn their ambassadors.

Lending Groups: Countries and institutions are suspending aid and/or trade with the coup regime, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank as well as the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, which have indefinitely cut overland trade.

Human Rights Groups: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced the coup govenrment. Hell even the fake human rights group "The Human Rights Foundation" felt like they'd better get with the program.

Press Organizations: Reports Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Inter-American Press Association have all condemned the censorship under the coup government.

Trade Unions: These guys have all denounced the coup and called for Zelaya's immediate reinstatment: The AFL-CIO, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Workers Uniting.

Who'd we miss? Discuss in the comments or whatever.

Titulares & Asininity

  • The US "hit the pause button" on $$$ aid to Honduras today, whatever that means.
  • Did you know that Honduras in this "Latin" part of America, and that so is Venezuela? Voice of America would like to talk to you more about that connection.
  • "Despite having its cameramen beat up, its signal blocked in Honduras, its staff arrested and harassed [teevee news network Telesur] has provided the best up-to-date coverage of the crisis."
  • Oh man even the Cato institute is surprised by the repression on the streets. This isn't the coup they signed up for!
  • Um...Zelaya's wife and son are staying at the U.S. ambassador's house in Tegucigalpa? Weird.

July 3, 2009

It's A Hat Trick Of Fail, For The Washington Post Editorial Page

jacksondiehl3.jpgGod bless 'em, the Washington Post remains quite devoted to making this insanely bungle coup go well. Today they published their third opinion piece defending the military takeover, bringing the tally to, um, 3-0. They are officially far, far to the right of the Obama administration, every world institution, and every single country in Latin America and Europe, including Silvio freaking Berlusconi.

And for every gasbag pundit out there still making the comical argument that this was somehow a constitutional process, you'll probably want to revisit your talking points, now that the coup government's top military lawyer has acknowledged the whole thing was totally illegal but, in his professional opinion, was like fuck it.

July 4, 2009

Honduras Pulls Out of the OAS

robertomichelettigrits.jpgFreedom's savior, the Honduran coup dictatorship of Roberto Micheletti, just dropped out of the Organization of American States. It happened late last night so we'll have to wait a full day for the Washington Post to explain all of the hidden democratic undertones. In the meantime let's speculate on why this is a such great moment for constitutional democracy:

• The OAS was trampling all over Honduras' newly militarized system of checks and balances.

• Sometimes a country needs just to "find itself" through a period of introspection and deep diplomatic isolation.

• By uniting the hemisphere in consensus, the multilateral institution was "acting unilaterally" against a sovereign nation.

Haha that last one is Micheletti's official position. This guy is a moron.

July 5, 2009

Melvis Has Left the Building

Zelaya!Mel Zelaya, the democratically elected president of Honduras, is leaving the U.S. today, en route to Tegucigalpa, where things will get batshit crazy. Last night, after Zelaya made a televised address to the Honduran people, roughly 200,000 supporters made the pilgrimage to the capitol airport and camped out to await the return of constitutional democracy.

The Latest: Late last night the OAS unanimously voted to suspend Honduras so long as the coup government remains in place. You'll remember that yesterday interim-emperor/douchebag Roberto "Pinocheletti" Micheletti attempted to quit the world body preemptively, but couldn't because HE'S NOT THE PRESIDENT.

The Landing: Zelaya is scheduled to arrive this afternoon, escorted by journalists but no presidents [Update: he'll be accompanied by a UN official. The Presidents of Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay will fly to El Salvador, for some reason.] Up til yesterday the coup government said they'd be so thrilled to have him back, in jail, that they apparently weren't sure why they ever flew him out of the country at gunpoint on the first place. Now of course, they've announced they won't allow his plane to land at all. But they'll be snipers waiting, just in case.

Democracy Watch: The coup government has maintained its fierce commitment to democracy since yesterday by, let's see, repressing demonstrators, assassinating journalists, and charmingly, referring to Barack Obama as "a stupid little black man," on national teevee. Pro-coup demonstrators have been equally classy, scrawling Third-Reich slogans, in the original German, on their stupid signs for no apparent reason.

Also, the mayor of Honduras' second city, San Pedro Sula, "disappeared" on Friday, and Micheletti's nephew, William, has been instated in his place. William actually ran for that office last fall, but came in third, but through Honduras' unique system of checks and balances, he's in! Another win for Jeffersonian democracy.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Zelaya's flight seems to have been diverted to San Salvador.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Oh lord Micheletti just held a press conference denouncing the "media attack" from Venezuela and the "invasion" from Nicaragua, and "When asked if Nicaragua was preparing an invasion, Micheletti replied that It is a psychological invasion.'" Hey drama queen.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: Police in Tegucigalpa are teargassing thousands of Zelaya supporters. AFP is reporting 1 dead, three injured in the standoff. Australian news is reporting 2 dead, at the hands of the Army. Telesur reports (in Spanish) 3 dead, including one minor.

Tegucigalpa Nights: Mel Zelaya's Triumphant...Return?

This is getting weird. We'll do our best to keep you updated.

  • The constitutional president of Honduras, accompanied by the president of the United Nations General Assembly, is circling the Tegucigalpa airport right now, in a Venezeulan plane, b/c the crazy ass coup government has stacked tanks in the runway to prevent landing.
  • Headfake! Telesur reports that the plane just landed in Nicaragua.
  • A Times photographer reports from the Tegucigalpa airport: "'I saw a kid being shot in the head, I think he is dead,' Mr Ferry said. 'There are lots of injured -- I don't know how many. They just opened fire -- it was completely unprovoked.'"
  • Ugh: photos from the ground.
  • Conservative (relatively) blogger Greg Weeks sayz Zelaya's attempted return "...highlights the fact that, despite the many charges (I believe eighteen, at last count) levied against Zelaya, the coup government really does not want to proceed with formal charges against him." Ya think?
  • Famous Wall Street Journal nut M.A.O. tells us how much this reminds her of the time Hugo Chavez tried to blow up the Venezuelan oil fields or whatever the voices are saying to her today.

July 6, 2009

Roger Noriega Would Like To Explain This Coup To You, Using His Imagination

rogernoriegaimagining.jpgLest you think this whole coup business is all very cut and dry, Iran-Contra douchebag Roger Noriega would like you to know that it is a lot more complex than it may seem. But complexity is so confusing, so why don't we let him break it down for you with a nice metaphor:

If a traffic cop roughs up a drunk driver at the scene of an injury accident, I doubt anyone would argue the importance of getting the drunk back behind the wheel as the best way to chastise the policeman.
Ok, I think I get it. The driver is President Mel Zelaya, the cop is the military, the car is Honduras, and the alcohol is..."non-binding referendums," maybe? So sure, the cop may have been overzealous when it overthrew constitutional democracy a little, but what are you gonna do, Let Mel get behind the wheel of Honduras again? He's DRUNK, remember? In this analogy Costa Rica is detox, I guess, and this is the kind of drunk that never actually sobers up. And besides the cop already gave the car away to a buddy of his, who's been using it to run over teenagers at the airport.

Gawd remember the Reagan era, when everything was this awesome?

"There's Very Little Truth to Anything You've Read About the Coup in American Newspapers"

Ken Silverstein is no joke, umkay?

July 7, 2009

Hillary Clinton to Explain Democracy to Democratic President We (Mabye?) Helped Overthrow

zelayaclinton.jpgOusted Honduran President Mel Zelaya gets to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today, hooray! Finally, the United States can join the rest of the world in declaring his violent overthrow an "official" coup d'état, and cut off all aid to the coup government once and for all. Haha, not really. The Miami Herald says she just wants to tell him to stay away from Hugo Chavez. Seriously this is how we roll?!

And hey now that we're on the subject, how unaware do you think the U.S. was of the plot to overthrow Zelaya in the first place? Let's recap: the U.S. military has closer relations with their Honduran counterparts than just about any other country on the planet, two of the top coup leaders are graduates of the notorious School of the Americas, a veritable birthing ground for Latin American dictatorships, and Obama's current ambassador to Honduras was also President Bush's security advisor to the Andean region during the very similar 2002 coup in Venezuela. Eek.

You've got to love this, too: In an interview with the Miami Herald, the Honduran military's top legal advisor explains that all branches of the Honduran military had been trained, by the U.S., not "to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible." So there you go. We just spread democracy around, like manure.

Great Moments In Coup Reporting

GolfCourseDevelopersUnworried.png

Awesome headline! But you know what would be really funny is if the developers turned out to be hilarious, impossibly racist sleazebags. Oh right:

"[As Americans] it's like, 'Oh my god, people are rioting in the streets!' But they're doing that every Saturday night. I hate to be so crass about it all, but it's just the way their culture works. My job is build golf course -- to get others to invest in the country so they quit acting like like crazy people. Of course it's not crazy to them, just to us."
Thanks for the scoop, Broward-Palm Beach New Times!

You Say Illegal, I Say De Facto

michelettijail.jpgSo Mel and Hil had their meeting this afternoon, which resulted in OMG BREAKING NEWS: celebrity sexytime Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will mediate "talks" between the democratically elected president Honduras and its illegal coup parasite regime. Whatever.

The point is that "illegal coup parasite regime" is sort of an awkward phrase to use over and over again, but what other word strings convey the same feeling? Let's take a look at what others are calling these evil golpistas, and figure out What It All Means™...after the jump.

Continue reading "You Say Illegal, I Say De Facto" »

July 8, 2009

Titulares & Asininity

  • Well you knew this was coming, South Florida dingledorf Connie Mack has formed a new Congressional Coup Caucus.
  • Hmm here is some advice, on Honduras, from wife of the sick fuck who covered up hundreds of Honduran murders in the 80s.
  • Coup leader Enrique Ortez apologized to Obama yesterday for calling him the N-word on national teevee, but in his defense he was only a racist jackass the day before he became a fake foreign minister.
  • Rush Limbaugh would very much like to have one of them Honduran coups, right here at home.

Enrique Ortez Isn't Racist, He Likes that little Sambo In the White House

OMFG The Honduran junta's pretend "foreign minister" is just in rare form this week:

"I have negotiated with queers, prostitutes, leftists, blacks, whites. This is my job, I studied for it. I am not racially prejudiced. I like the little black sugar plantation worker who is president of the United States."
And it seems like only yesterday this guy was apologizing to Barack Obama for another racial slur (it was). Enrique Ortez is a bag of crazy.

Republicans Strangely Intrigued By This "Coup" Idea

In the past week the Honduran coup regime has suspended civil liberties, revoked the free press, disappeared enemies, detained protesters by the hundreds, and oh, hi, opened fire onto mass demonstrations to kill young children. Naturally, House Republicans have formed a massive caucus to back these measures, which favor unpopular leaders often marginalized by Jeffersonian democracy.

So now we've got a video with some slave state Senator comparing the coup regime to Gerald Ford (?), seventeen Senate Republicans demanding we stop using the phrase "coup d'état" altogether, and beloved congressman Connie Mack asking us reclaim the word "coup," for democracy. Oh also Cubo-Floridan wingdiddy Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has introduced a bill to disband the OAS for some reason. Republicans will regain the White House, never, until the coup, the end.

July 9, 2009

Otto Reich Won't Rest Until the Real Coup Plotters Are Found

OttoReichIfIDidIt.jpg

Another day, another Honduras Op-Ed from some washed up Iran Contra shitbag. Only this one is different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems somehow more...defensive. Nah! Probably just me.

(First rule of public relations, mister "office of public diplomacy," when you argue your opponents' frame, you lose. Loser.)

It's a Bloodless Coup After All!

HondurasPhotoDoctored.jpeg Who says the Honduran press corps isn't free (These guys don't count)? Tell me, in how many other countries would newspapers feel FREE enough to blatantly Photoshop an iconic photo and pass it off as reality?

Here's that kid killed by the Honduran military, only in this version, which ran in Honduran dailies, he is miraculously blood free... perhaps even alive? The real photo is here. No wonder Connie Mack likes these Orwellian fantasyland juntas so much--nothing bad ever happens!

H/T: Inca Kola News.

July 10, 2009

Titulares & Asininity

The Honduran coup regime's latest reasoning for overthrowing democracy: it was to save lives (???)

After a fun-filled tenure of one week, bigmouth racist coup leader Enrique Ortez has been fired.

Sure the Washington Post loves them some right wing juntas, but even they have some questions when it comes to media repression.

Two weeks into this stupid coup and the U.S. has taken the bold step of "undertaking a comprehensive review" of its funding to Honduras.

US academics: "Each day that the illegal coup regime remains in office further jeopardizes the capacity for Honduras to enjoy free and fair elections in November."

Pinochet Daughter Becomes Latest Member of Global Coup Caucus

picnochetandfriends.jpgSo far this little junta thingy has racked up quite the international following, although mostly just among Miami Cubans and tragic old Iran Contra figures. But step back! Because the P.R. geniuses in Tegucigalpa have brought a delightful new face on board, perhaps a game changing endorsement? Haha, no. The coup regime thought it would be a good idea to publicize the effusive support of Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, daughter of late Chilean dictator and walking human rights disaster Augusto Pinochet. Honestly what goes through these morons' heads is anybody's guess.

July 11, 2009

Racist Honduran Wingnut Enrique Ortez Gets a Lateral Promotion

spanishmex.jpgWell we hope misunderstood Honduran sociopath Enrique Ortez is settling in to his new job ok. You'll recall that a couple of days ago this sad clown was fired from his important post as "foreign minister" of an illegal coup government, after publicly referring to the president of the United States as, alternately, "that little black boy who don't know nothing," "the little black man who doesn't know where Tegucigalpa is," and, charmingly, "the little plantation negro."

Clearly he's been a victim of "reverse racism," but don't cry for Enrique just yet! According to coup leader Roberto Micheletti, he technically wasn't fired for being an international embarrassment, he's merely been transferred to a new position as "Minister of Government and Justice," where he will be presumably responsible for things like civil rights. It's a win-win, for nobody!

WaPo Cites Biased Honduran Press Stats in Story About Biased Honduran Press

On Thursday the Washington Post ran a story about how Hondurans can't get accurate information about their country these days because the coup regime has shut down the media outlets that don't toe the party line. In the very same story, reporter Juan Forero cites results of a recent opinion poll indicating that Hondurans support the the coup:

According to results of a Gallup poll published here Thursday, 41 percent of Hondurans think the ouster was justified, with 28 opposed to it.
Sounds like quite a split, right? And with tons of undecideds. Curious! Forero chalks it up to the fact that Hondurans are only getting one side of the story. But, ridiculously, he seems to have plucked those numbers straight from those same biased media outlets, which were, of course, just making them up, because that's what they do, according this Juan Forero story I'm reading. As the Associated Press and the New York Times report, the poll results actually tell a different story:
And a new CID-Gallup poll showed the extent of the polarization there. According to a face-to-face survey of some 1,200 people, 46 percent of Hondurans disagreed with Mr. Zelaya's ouster and 41 percent said they approved of it.
Well the Post got the "41" right I guess. True Fact: "cognitive dissonance" is worth 78 points in Scrabble.

Update: For you foreign-speakers, this link's got audio to an original interview with the pollster who clarifies that it was indeed 46-41 in Zelaya's favor. And for the record, the Honduran media lie was repeated (so far) in the Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, UPI and Reuters.

July 12, 2009

Titulares & Asininity

  • "Human rights violations" have officially disappeared in Colombia (well technically they've been dressed up in fake FARC fatigues and buried in an unmarked grave like everybody else), hooray!
  • Pat Buchanan would like us to kill all the Indians before they rise up against us like in Bolivia and China.
  • When he's not busy being a right wing commentator in favor of coups, Edward Schumacher-Matos is allowed to be the Miami Herald's "ombudsman" for some reason. Today he criticizes the Herald for being too anti-coup.
  • Two weeks after the military brought everlasting freedom to Honduras, the coup government is finally letting people walk around at night again, like they used to.

July 13, 2009

Otto Reich Wants to Know Where You Were on July 5th

Otto & Me 2.JPGBy Revolter

We all already knew Otto Reich is an insufferable twat. After all, he headed the illegal domestic propaganda outfit that planted fake stories about the Sandinistas in the U.S. press during the 1980s. And just last week, Reich wrote that weird op-ed about how he did not orchestrate the coup in Honduras. But does he still approve of the murder of children when it serves his ideological goals?

On Friday, I stood through the agonizing 2.5 hour House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Honduran coup. After being blinded by the orange glow emanating from Connie Mack and enraged by the inanity of Lanny Davis and almost everyone else involved, I had my chance to get Otto on the record. I handed him a flyer featuring the iconic picture of the murdered teenage protester, Isis Obed Murillo (you know the one that the "free" press of Honduras has, um, sanitized).

The Honorable Reich had earlier stated, under oath, "I will not justify the restrictions of civil rights by any government, period." So I asked him since he doesn't support governments that suppress human rights, what does he think about governments that kill protesters. He responded by asking, "Do you know who is responsible for that?" At first I thought he was trying to say that Zelaya was responsible for the death with the whole trying to fly back into the country that he is president of thing. When I asked for clarification, he asked, "Were you on the ground?"

Now I'm not that dim, but I was shocked that this guy and the coupmongers' story is that it's not clear who shot Murillo - despite the fact that the Honduran police - who were on the ground - have said that it was the army who killed Murillo. So I kept on saying, "Yes, the protesters shot at themselves, is that what you're saying?", and the red-faced (not from shame) cold warrior kept repeating that "No one knew" over and over again before walking away. The scumbag didn't even have the balls to verbalize the ridiculousity that the fuckwit former de facto Foreign Minister had said then, and that he was now insinuating - It was the protesters that shot at each other.

So that's the kind of reality-denying, schooled in Satan's PR academy, right-wing lunatics we are dealing with folks. What else did we learn at the hearing? Join us after the jump.

Continue reading "Otto Reich Wants to Know Where You Were on July 5th" »

July 15, 2009

Correction of the Day

From the Wall Street Journal:

This article on Honduras reported the results of a poll by CID-Gallup that was commissioned by the Honduran newspaper La Prensa. The newspaper reported that 41% of Hondurans thought the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya was justified given the president's attempts to reform the constitution, while 28% didn't think so. However, the newspaper didn't publish the results of a second question that found that 46% objected to the action taken to remove Mr. Zelaya from power, while 41% agreed.
Turns out that relying on the junta's press corps gets you bad data. "Who knew"? (us). You're up, WaPo, Reuters, UPI & CSM.

UPDATE: Oh lord in lieu of a correction the Christian Science Monitor reflects on how complicated these Honduran polls can be. How very "Christian Science Monitor" of them.

July 16, 2009

Venezuelan Officials Chased By Naked Man in Chicago!

VenezuelanPride.JPG

OMG run, Venezuelans! Haha kidding it's just a parade. The Venezuelan consulate brought their revolution to the streets of Chicago last week, participating for the first time in the city's annual Pride extravaganza. As the official press release put it, "Venezuelan officers felt the happiness and solidarity of these groups that fight in the US to get recognition for their right to be married." Suck on that, Peru.

Titulares & Asininity

  • Honduran coup leader says he'd be willing to step down...so long as he's replaced by some other unelected slimeball, compromise!
  • The Peruvian press corps got caught making stories up to help the government whitewash the Bagua massacre.
  • Colombia's first official investigation based on, um, "evidence?" obtained by the magic laptops has been dropped on account of it's all based on fabricated hooey.
  • We're all going to hell when the best Honduran coup coverage (yesterday) came from Wonkette.
  • The Guardian lives up to its reputation for fine investigative journalism with this super duper indispensable dispatch from Colombia.

Great Moments in Coup Reporting

By Revolter

We already know that racist golf developers are cool with the coup since it will lower property prices. But how are other American pillars of Honduran society taking it? Some missionary groups are upset because they have had to cancel their delegations:

"When you think of the impact that each one of those teams has to the kingdom of Christ in Honduras, it's just a huge loss for them to lose these teams. The needs are overwhelming and with an unstable situation like this, it only increases the needs."

How will poor Hondurans handle their loss of democracy and civil rights without white people there to soothe them with Jesus? Protesting? That's so kingdom of Earth.

Well, that sentiment is better than these guys'. Here's hoping the TORCH mission group never gets back to Honduras, or anywhere for that matter.

July 18, 2009

Here's An Interesting Question About Journalism...

CJRadSmall.png

Um, "yes"?

Man oh man, how bad does AP reporting have to get before a group of Latin American studies professors from top U.S. universities decides they need to take out a FULL PAGE AD in the Columbia Journalism Review to respond? Bad bad. Click on the picture to see the whole thing.

July 19, 2009

Apparently, Carmona Is Spanish for 'Coupmonger in Expensive Suit'

Carmona = Douche in Spanish.JPGBy Revolter

Earlier, I had posted about my encounter with Otto Reich after last week's Congressional hearing on the Honduran Coup. Right after Reich blamed Isis Obed Murillo's murder on his fellow protesters, this dude tried to save Otto's (dis)honor by getting in my face and talking some gibberish about who shot protesters during the 2002 Venezuelan coup. I was like, "Whateva, golpista." But after seeing this awesome video about Honduran resistance to the coup, I recognized him as Venezuelan lawyer and coupmonger extraordinaire, Robert Carmona. Carmona supposedly authored the Carmona Decree that dissolved the constitution, congress and all other major democratic institutions in Venezuela, ushering in the dark 2-day regime of Skeletor, AKA Pedro Carmona.

So what does Carmona (Robert) have to do with the Honduran coup and what is he doing hanging out with Reich in Washington? The U.S. granted Carmona asylum after he fled Venezuela to avoid prosecution for his role in that coup. Carmona later established a "nonpartisan" nonprofit, the Arcadia Foundation, whose mission is allegedly "to create awareness of the importance of democracy, good governance, and democratic institutions." But as Nikolas Kozloff points out, Carmona and his 'civil society' organization have dedicated themselves to conducting a massive public relations campaign against Mel Zelaya over the last few years. The only links in Arcadia's media section are to over 70 articles Carmona has had published in Honduran and other Spanish-language media regarding the supposed corruption of Zelaya's family and the state telecom company, Hondutel. Carmona was at a pro-coup rally in Tegucigalpa on July 3rd where organizers recognized him as "the first to denounce" the alleged corruption and said "thanks to him" Zelaya's nephew was arrested the previous day.

The activities of Carmona and Arcadia raise many serious questions: What are Arcadia's funding sources? (The donate link on their site does not seem to work. Hmm.) Who's on their board of directors? Have they done anything else besides smear Zelaya? And most importantly, what the hell is "The Notebook" actor Ryan Gosling doing in their homepage promotion video?

Despite having 9 international branches, there is no physical address listed for Arcadia in the U.S. (only a P.O. Box in DC), a requirement for a U.S. nonprofit. Pretty shady for an organization that's all about "transparency" and fighting corruption. Nonprofits here are also required to make available IRS Tax and other records to the public. Who wants to help us expose this coupmongering "nonprofit"?

Titulares & Asininity

  • Honduran President Mel Zelaya just cold agreed to everything the mediator asked for, but the coup leaders are still all screw you. It's as if repressive right-wing regimes who take power through violence will never learn to respect compromise.
  • Oh look the coup leaders just now "found" laptops with "incriminating evidence" against Zelaya. Always with the laptops...
  • Colombian pop-throb Juanes pulled out of some pretend Honduran peace concert after it turned out it was all some lame attempt at pro-coup propaganda.
  • Two weeks after the U.S. cut off military relations with Honduras, we're still training them at Fort Benning, awesome.

July 20, 2009

Everybody Hates Lanny

lanny-davis_office.jpg

Race-baiting troglodyte Lanny Davis spent 2008 explaining why Hillary Clinton deserved exactly 108% of all Democratic presidential votes on account of obscure parliamentary manipulations plus "basic fairness" divided by the three-fifths compromise, which is IN THE CONSTITUTION and therefore TREASON to change. So naturally he is spending 2009 as the public relations voice of Honduras' illegal coup regime, which is founded on pretty much exactly the same logic.

Anyway. Today activists from the United Students Against Sweatshops wasted valuable time hanging this hilarious banner across from his office window rather than just walking across the street and pushing him out of his. Way to go, kids!

July 22, 2009

OAS: No Thanks. We're Gonna Keep Trying This New "Consensus" Thing

ledezma.fail.jpgBy Revolter

As if there wasn't enough Latin American pond scum floating around Washington DC these days, Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and the rest of the Venezuelan opposition are in town to whine to the OAS about how Chavez has established a narcissist-Leninist-coup-dictatorship or something. Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza basically rolled his eyes and told them to go win an election:

"What has happened here is simply that the government has passed laws that are deemed illegal by the opposition. These laws are enacted by the Executive Office and the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan courts have not repealed them."
Burn. Obviously, the situation in Venezuela has nothing to do with the Honduran coup, but that hasn't stopped the right-wing from pathetically trying to blackmail Insulza and the OAS into becoming their puppet like in the olden days.

The threats and high school gossip aren't quite having their desired effect on the OAS. After brushing aside Grandpa Munster yesterday, Insulza had a new label for the de facto Honduran government: Dictatorship.

Honduras Gets "Left Behind"™ as Top Coup Leader Bails for Miami Weirdo Conference

ThyKingdomCome.jpg


Hey look it's a wingnut fiesta in Florida this weekend, as all of the biggest "prophets," "psalmist'" and "apostles" from some fucktard religious sect all descend on Miami at once to pray for the end times and await the second coming of, um...Special Guest Generalisimo Romeo Vasquez??

The presence of the Honduran coup regime's A-#1 top human rights ballbreaker in Miami poses about a zillion fascinating questions, such as:

  • This guy can get into our country?
  • He's prioritized taking time off from his demanding dictatorship to meet with this loon squad?
  • The same weekend that Zelaya is maybe returning?
  • Will he finally beat out insanely racist Honduran "justice minister" Enrique Ortez for most embarrassing coup official?

Obviously this will be the awesomest conference of all time. Confidential to Miami operatives: stories, pictures, go.

July 25, 2009

Republicans' Alter Egos Support Coup Government

Micheletti-senadores-Senadores-republicanos-llegan-a-Honduras-a-reunion-con-funcionarios-del-gobierno_noticia_full.jpgBy Revolter

Congressional simpleton Connie Mack is in "Honduras this weekend to find a peaceful, democratic resolution to the crisis." His grand proposal is for "[A] coalition-form of government that would administer the inner-workings of Honduras." What a statesman.

Speculation swirled as to who else would be joining the "bipartisan" fact-finding delegation. Dan Burton? Jeb Bush? Charlie "Not Gay" Crist? The other members were too embarrassed to publicly announce how they were undermining US foreign policy before the trip. Apparently, they still are.

The coup backing El Heraldo has identified the other dimwitted peace-brokers as Senators Brian Bilbray and . . .somebody named Tom Dime. The first one is actually a Republican Congressman, and the other guy? Who knows!

Was it actually Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)? Maybe Mack and Bilbray brought some random guy and started referring to him as Senator Dime? Is the Honduran propaganda machine really that incompetent?

There is no mention of Connie Mack in the article, but that's definitely him on the left. A little less orange than usual, but that douchey haircut is unmistakable. Wait, is he Tom Dime?!? Did his brain cell realize halfway through the meeting with Micheletti, "Geez, this was a bad idea. Fuck it, I'm using the 'rendezvous with the mistress' name"? What the hell is going on?!?

UPDATE: Honduran newspapers El Tiempo and La Prensa are also reporting that Micheletti met with the slippery Senator Dime. So are Spanish news agency EFE, Brazil's Globo, Argentina's La Nacion and Mexico's SDP. The Honduran papers are desperate for any semblance of legitimacy, even if provided by fake US Senators. As for the others - guess a lot of editors started their August vacations early.

UPDATE II: The remaining major Honduran paper, La Tribuna, correctly reported that Micheletti, the Supreme Court, etc. are to meet with Rep. Mack . . . along with imaginary Congressman "Feneton Biltreid"!

Thank you Cornelius McGillicuddy IV, or Tom Dime, or whatever your real name is. You have proven not only your own malevolent idiocy, but that of the coup regime and it's IAPA apologists.

July 27, 2009

And You Thought Our Drug Laws Were Draconian

Crowd - Pedro Magdiel Munoz.jpgBy Revolter

Stop me if you've heard this story before:
1) Honduran coup government's security forces kill pro-Zelaya protester.

2) Honduran police anonymously admit to reporters that they or the military are responsible for the murders.

3) Micheletti and the gorillas tell police to STFU, officially deny any involvement, shamelessly blame own protesters for killing.

4) English language press somehow gives the coup regime the benefit of the doubt, even though they are proven pathological liars. They lightly report on the homicides, but bury part about how the coup government is responsible.

First it was Isis Obed Murillo. Despite the fact that the Honduran police blamed his shooting on the military, disgraced coup Minister Enrique Ortez and Otto Reich somehow managed to accuse his fellow protesters while maintaining straight faces. The English language press has still not called them out.

Pedro Madriel Muñoz avoided roadblocks to travel from Tegucigolpe and try to reach the border where Mel Zelaya is camped out. He didn't quite make it. On Friday, he and thousands of other Hondurans were stopped by police with tear gas and live bullets in El Paraiso, 7 miles from Nicaragua. Then Muñoz somehow showed up tortured and murdered on the side of a road (which also happens to be next to a military base) where the rest of the protesters could see his body. Central Americans know what this means. The US press thinks, "Gee maybe it wasn't the police/military. Let's wait for an investigation. Zelaya will be gone by then anyway. Muahahaha."

AFP's story in English: "Supporters of the ousted president accuse Honduran police of murdering the man."

AFP's story in Spanish (translated): "A Police official - who did not want to be identified - admitted to protesters and journalists in El Paraiso that the man was detained on Friday, but said it was for smoking marijuana, and maintained that he had been released afterwards."

The point? Fuck off AFP. And Reuters, AP, The NY Times, Miami Herald all of you, the end.

UPDATE: There are reports of a second murdered protester in El Paraiso, and another protester says that he was also tortured by the military.

UPDATE II: 200 activists, including 3 leaders of the resistance against the coup, have been detained by the military upon crossing the border from the Zelaya camp in Nicaragua back into Honduras.

July 28, 2009

Great Moments In Coup Reporting

by Revolter

Cigar aficionados, you may have heard about some sort of disturbance in Honduras or "the second largest exporter of premium cigars to the United States," and gotten a little worried. Relax, and take a deep smoke-filled breath. Generalissimo Romeo Vasquez won't let a little thing like martial law stop you from getting Honduran stogies (and blood) in your hands:

Eiroa said the cigar and tobacco industry--by far the largest employer in the area--is allowed to operate via special permit. "The city is still under curfew, but there's a special permit for tobacco companies."

July 29, 2009

"Change We Can Believe In" Watch

mybloodyalvaro.jpgEek:

"Ambassador Brownfield says Colombia is the best investment of U.S. taxpayer money this century. 'It has been the most successful nation building exercise that the U.S.A. has associated itself with perhaps over the last 25-30 years,' Brownfield said.

The U.S. is looking to Colombia as it struggles to make headway in Afghanistan.

As one top U.S. official said: "'The more Afghanistan can look like Colombia, the better.'"

So apparently now the entire nation of Afghanistan will be dressed up like terrorists and buried in a shallow grave, which is pretty much 100% what's been happening there since 1979 anyways I guess.

July 31, 2009

Sen. Tom Dime (R-FL) Rep. Tom Dime (R-IPF) Gets to Know Honduras's Scary Reality

Miniprod - ration.jpgBy Revolter

On Saturday, Honduras's pro-coup El Heraldo somehow reported that (first version):

"The Republican Senators Tom Dime and Brian Bilbray arrived today at noon in Tegucigalpa to get to know the political reality of Honduras, which has plunged into crisis after the separation of Manuel Zelaya last June 28.

. . . Six other U.S. Senators are expected this afternoon."

After realizing that there is no Senator Tom Dime, and hence Saturday's article was malreported, the Honduran Ministry of Truth came up with this, um, improvement:
"Three members of the U.S. Congress arrived today at noon in Tegucigalpe to get to know the political reality of Honduras, which has plunged into crisis after the separation of Manuel Zelaya last June 28.

The Republican legislators are Brian Bilbray, representative for California; Connie Mack for Florida; and Tom Dime, political consultant for the Israel Policy Forum.

. . . Other U.S. legislators are expected this afternoon"

No need for "corrections" or "editor's notes" when you have a memory hole.

A Tom Dine does serve on the U.S. Advisory Council for the Israel Policy Forum. But according to this journalist, Mack and Bilbray claim that their entire Honduran delegation consisted of them and 2 staffers. No "Tom"s. No "Dime"s.

After El Heraldo's modification, Honduceanians (and us) report being more confused, yet somehow more unified, than ever.

UPDATE: Speaking of shady nonprofits, Tom Dine was also the long-serving director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Freedom House, authors of the politicized global Freedom of the Press study. Wonder how Honduras will do in their 2010 edition.

Rise Lord Vader-Borjas

rcb2.jpgBy Revolter

You may know this smug-looking ex-Venezuelan, Robert Carmona Borjas, because lately he's been all over the place. In Bogota with his hero, in Washington with his sith master, and in Tegucigolpe with the coup-plotters. He's also in the current issue of the legendary progressive monthly In These Times.

But to really get the low-down on how Carmona, Otto Reich, sketchy nonprofits, and telecom companies so did not orchestrate the Honduran coup, or any other coup, check out Part One of Machetera's two-part expose on Carmona's Washington D.C.-based NGO, the Arcadia Foundation.

The woman with the big knife put together (with a tiny bit of research monkeying from myself) a boatload of English and Spanish language sources to offer a detailed look back at just how Carmona and friends utilized a civil society organization and the media to conduct a 2-year destabilization campaign against Manuel Zelaya. In These Times may have Naomi Klein, but we've got Aristide, front groups, and forbidden gay romances (maybe).

Part I; Part II

About July 2009

This page contains all entries posted to BoRev.Net in July 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

August 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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