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Liveblogging the Pretend Elections in Honduras!

Are you ready to press the do-over button, people? Today's fake presidential "election" in Honduras is underway. Marked by brutality and fear, boycotted by half the political parties and overseen by a military junta backed by global business elites, Kissinger's dream of the perfect Latin American democracy may finally be realized!

We'll keep you posted through the day, with all the quality you've come to expect from a half-assed hobby blog thousands of miles away from the action, so CONSTANTLY HIT REFRESH!

  • Here's the official U.S. policy on all this: "'What are we going to do, sit for four years and just condemn the coup?" a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters in Washington."
  • Awesome.
  • Hey DC-area slacker: Hondurans for Democracy have organized a peaceful demonstration in Mt. Pleasant today. Why don't you pry yourself away from your computer screen for a change and join 'em?
  • FYI Al Giordano has rounded up and translated the decrees that Honduran coup leaders issued in the past week to ensure this vote is as insanely undemocratic as possible. Good times.
  • Basically everybody in Latin America hates the U.S. again over this: "They really thought he was different," said Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, referring to Latin America's view of Mr. Obama, adding, "But those hopes were dashed over the course of the summer."
  • The Quixote Center just published its first live update from Tegucigalpa: "'I don't know how they are going to legitimate these elections,' Bertha Oliva just told me, as she arrived to the COFADEH office. 'The polling places are empty.'"
  • The Real News just posted a creepy segment on the elections. Honduras is so fucked.
  • Oh, naturally: "Israel became the fifth country to officially announce that it would recognize the results of Sunday's elections in Honduras..." The others are Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and the U.S.
  • You know how the entire world (minus 5 countries) refuses to recognize the fake elections? Yesterday the WaPo ed board explained the important lesson here: "The lesson of the Honduran crisis is that the United States cannot always pursue such multilateralism and also support democracy." (The WaPo stylesheet recognizes "democracy," "capitalism" & "U.S. Interests" as interchangeable terms.)
  • Breaking! Mary Anastasia O'Whatzit has filed her report! And OMG HUGO CHAVEZ IS NO LONGER THE PRESIDENT OF HONDURAS. She also mentions the "almost 400 foreign observers from Japan, Europe, Latin America and the U.S.." Naturally at least 300 hundred of them are these Miami wingnuts.
  • Check it out: right-wing "election observers" are employing a "blog strategy" to promote their message--to comical results!
  • Pepe Lobo "wins" fake election, with no word yet on how many people actually voted. Orwellian think tank "anaylsis" begins: "'The average Honduran doesn't care one way or the other about the coup, it was a battle of political elites,' said Heather Berkman, a political risk analyst at the Eurasia Group in New York." Let that shit sink in.
  • Naturally the turnout figures are in dispute. As of Monday morning the junta claims it to be over 60% (higher than any other presidential election in Honduran history!) and the resistance sets abstention at an illegitimizing 65%.
  • WaPo Monday morning: "Turnout was 47.6 percent, several points less than the total in the last presidential election in 2005, according to projections released by the country's electoral tribunal. In addition, there appeared to be an unusually high number of null and blank ballots -- about 6 percent, according to projections."

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Comments (64)

Bosque Author Profile Page:

Utpal,

If there are 4.6 million voters, then with those posted counts per candidate (1.96 million & change combined)... that adds up to a 42.7% voter turnout.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Here's an interview with Jose Vicente Rangel on VTV about Colombia-Vzla business:

http://vtv.gob.ve/videos-emisiones-anteriores/26884

Utpal Author Profile Page:

The TSE webpage is acting funny. It was giving 70% counted numbers for sometime, and then suddenly it started going backwards, showing numbers for 10% of the booths counted. Weird.

http://www.tiempo.hn/secciones/politica/6701--consorcio-trata-de-explicar-por-que-sus-datos-son-diferentes-a-los-del-tse

http://200.107.126.222/

El Cid Author Profile Page:

Link to one of the scholars' web page, with downloadable PDF of the study titled "Bases, Ballots & Bullets".

El Cid Author Profile Page:

Two U.S. researchers discover the exact same thing which was proven during the 1980s: as U.S. military 'aid' to Latin American governments increases, this time to Colombia, military and paramilitary violence increases

This paper examines the effect of U.S. military aid on political violence and democracy in Colombia. We take advantage of the fact that U.S. military aid is channeled to Colombian army brigades operating out of military bases, and compare how changes in aid affect outcomes in municipalities with and without bases.

Using detailed data on violence perpetuated by illegal armed groups, we find that U.S. military aid leads to differential increases in attacks by paramilitaries (who are allied with the military), but has no significant effect on attacks by the guerrillas.

We also find that the aid shock results in more paramilitary political assassinations during election years, but has no significant effect on guerrilla assassinations.

Moreover, when aid rises, voter turnout falls more in base municipalities during regional elections and these effects are larger in politically contested municipalities.

To address potential endogeneity in the timing of aid, we use an instrument based on U.S. military aid to the rest of the world (excluding Latin America).

Our results are also robust across a wide variety of alternative control groups.

The findings suggest that foreign military aid may strengthen the capacity of armed non-state actors, undermining domestic political institutions...

This, of course, as always, is a completely unintended consequence, blamed on rogue criminal elements, and no one is responsible anywhere.

Except it's probably all Hugo Chavez' fault, and also Manuel Zelaya and Fidel Castro etc.


A taste of where Brazil is headed, after Lula:
_____

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jAkMGKIUDg_ngUiZboxQbYj5_DPwD9CAR1G00

Marco Aurelio Garcia, foreign adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, told reporters Monday night that the elections appeared to show strong "popular participation, and we can't be indifferent to that political fact," Brazil's O Globo newspaper reported Tuesday.

But at a summit in Portugal, Silva maintained Brazil's position against recognizing the election.

"We can't pretend nothing happened," Silva said Tuesday before leaving the gathering of leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. "If this state of affairs is allowed to remain, democracy will be at serious risk in Latin and Central America."
_____

Bosque Author Profile Page:

So I take it that scam given the name "election" is over now?

Whaddya know. Mel and those crazy kids at Honduras Coup 2009 might just be onto something with their low estimates...

Utpal Author Profile Page:

From a blog, about Honduras:

Update: Official Honduran turnout continues to drop. Now down to 1,527,969 with 70% count completed as of 1:50PM Eastern.

(If this is representative, we are already down to 47.45% participation. I think the the final result will be worse)

El Cid Author Profile Page:
Well, that's hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt, but it's consistent with the evidence :)

Maybe, but imagine it was any other nation, particularly one the USA foreign policy establishment didn't like, doing the US' policy in Colombia.

If Plan Colombia was being administered by, say, Bolivia, and Colombia was a Bolivian ally rather then a U.S. ally, would it be surprising if the U.S. concluded that the purpose was to maintain or increase drug production and justify continued involvement?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Well, that's hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt, but it's consistent with the evidence :)

El Cid Author Profile Page:

Uh oh. Evo says the purpose of U.S. involvement in Colombia is to increase narco-trafficking in order to justify their own military presence.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, claimed Tuesday the U.S. encouraged drug trafficking and terrorism in Colombia to justify it's military presence there.

In press conference Morales indicated his view that Colombia had maintain anti-drug accords with the U.S. since 1952, yet they have not been able to eradicate the country's drug trade.

"I am convinced that the United States encouraged drug trafficking in Colombia to justify a military base there," stressed Morales, reported newspaper El Espectador Tuesday.

The Bolivian president also indicated that although he did not have information on the status of the FARC guerrillas in 1952, the U.S. also "promoted terrorism in order to justify North American presence [in Latin America]."

"Wherever the empire is present there will never be integration, nor peace, nor the assurance of democracy, nor the development of that country. The empire always comes accompanied by military bases," Morales further declared.

Clearly this is just crazy leftist paranoia failing to recognize the benevolent contribution to peace and drug-free-ness to which the USA is contributing in Latin America through its direct military intervention and also helpfully providing electronic surveillance equipment to Colombia's state intelligence agency.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Was ist ihr passiert?

Meanwhile, re: the coup...guess who's been massaging their numbers rather hard?

http://hondurascoup2009.blogspot.com/2009/11/numbers-dropping.html

Extrapolating by counting ONLY the votes from the oligarchs' part of town? Yeah, that's kosher.

Well, my friend the troll was back. I got my BFF to help me block it, but not before I clobbered it. It went to my syndicator after that and left a whole stream of impotent Hungarian drivel.

I think I've made it snap. LOL!

Utpal Author Profile Page:

W a s v e r g e h t?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

So what is happening?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Can they really pull this off?

LOL, and I'm the Queen of Sheba.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

TSE is now claiming 61.3% participation.

Oh, and of course, look who calls it all "legitimate" and "inobjectionable"...

http://www.aporrea.org/internacionales/n146263.html

As though HE would know from legitimate...

I'll bet that figure is a gross overestimate.

Still pathetic, though...

Utpal Author Profile Page:

So that's about 45% voting for someone. (44.744)

Utpal Author Profile Page:

The TSE claims 60% participation.

otto Author Profile Page:

Nice catch Bina. i just nominated Boooorev

Nolan Author Profile Page:

Also how do you drink scorpion? Do you use a blender for that one?

Crap, I'm all out of scorpions. BRB, I'm out to bag me a Massassauga Rattler...

Nolan Author Profile Page:

Speaking of La Gringa, it looks like she is the overwhelmingly favourite nominee for this years weblog awards! Other nominations include other such objective sources as Babalu.
http://2009.weblogawards.org/nominations/best-latino-blog/

Seriously Otto, how did you stand a legitimate chance of winning this thing again?

You gotta hand to the creative minds at the Washington Psst. While the whole world cries out for democracy to lose and tyranny to win, Washington stands virtually alone in unilateral defense of ... freetradeforthericholigarchacydom!

(That's a new drink in Costa Rica: 3 parts rum, one scorpion.)

otto Author Profile Page:

And did YOU know that a Lumumba is a mixed drink in Spain, made with chocolate milk and dark rum. I recommend Bollycao, Utpal. Goes well with a nice slice of pie.

Meanwhile, a 65% abstention would mean a tad over 1.5m votes cast... EpicFail material, methinks.

And of course, we know that La Gringa isn't the least bit biased (she said, dripping snark all over her blouse...)

Nolan Author Profile Page:

That hilariously transparent hondurasnews fake blog is interesting in that if you look at the "members" column on the side you notice 81 people who joined the blog (pretty impressive for a poorly designed site with at most 2 comments per entry), and if you look at those people's profiles, of the few who don't only seem to be following this site, all seem to be following "La Gringa's Blogocito", the horribly named propaganda outlet/gardening blog.

El Cid Author Profile Page:
"'The average Honduran doesn't care one way or the other about the coup, it was a battle of political elites,' said Heather Berkman, a political risk analyst at the Eurasia Group in New York." Let that shit sink in.

Well, at least they could have had comments from the Eastasia or Oceania political risk analysts.

Nolan Author Profile Page:

I love the picture of "Pepe" that the BBC is using for the story.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46824000/jpg/_46824666_008350987-1.jpg

More than 65% abstention, according to YVKE Mundial:

http://www.radiomundial.com.ve/yvke/noticia.php?37971

No wonder the world doesn't want to recognize this as an election.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Apparently a couple of days ago Hillary called up Lula and Jorge Taiana, and both said, no thanks, pretty much.

Uh-oh. Lula doesn't want to play nice:

http://www.aporrea.org/tiburon/n146240.html

What's this about a good left and a bad left, again?

OMG, so it is. It's the Bingo Bandit! Now I have to go change my pants AGAIN!

Utpal Author Profile Page:

One of those "international observers" in Honduras is Carlos Ortega:

http://aporrea.org/actualidad/n146244.html

I'm sorry, I couldn't finish that Bloomie piece. As soon as I read "peaceful", I began to laugh uncontrollably. Now I need to go change my pants!

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Didya know that "Pepe" Lobo studied at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow during the old Soviet Union?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

The "official" participation figure is around 45%. Lobo has 38%, the Liberal Party guy 31%. (not final results yet)

Utpal Author Profile Page:

@Al: it seems the Japanese gave some financial aid in arranging the "elections" in some kind of official capacity. It surprised me, because the new Japanese govt. is working for more independence from the USAmericans.

The Honduran resistance claims participation is at most 35%, possibly lower. The international press doesn't seem to have ventured out of the posh areas of Tegucigalpa.

Big Al Author Profile Page:

I'm sure it's just one or two Japanese people, not an officially sanctioned delegation.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

The rest are European and Latin American wingnuts. Wtf are the Japanese doing there? Is it some kind of payback to have the Murrkins leave them Japanese bases?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Centros electorales desolados en Honduras:

http://aporrea.org/tiburon/n146239.html

Utpal Author Profile Page:

VTV claims turnout no higher than 35%.

In Uruguay, Lacalle concedes.

No word on it yet. But with more than 50% absenteeism, it's beginning to look a lot like Farce-mas...

Utpal Author Profile Page:

How much lower, Bina?

Less than 50% voter participation in Honduras. Hmmmm, whatever could it mean?

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Exit polls give Pepe Mujica 51.2% in Uruguay.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

So the tribunal electoral in honduras has extended voting by an hour. Is it because of a "heavy" turnout?

Big Al Author Profile Page:

Bina--yeah there was "campaigning". State workers were required to attend rallies or lose their jobs: http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/3632/memo-honduras-state-employees-forced-attend-santos-campaign-rally

Let the people decide...at gunpoint. BTW, was there any campaigning? I bet not...

otto Author Profile Page:

vote pie

Utpal Author Profile Page:

Reuters:

Los comicios, considerados ilegales por Zelaya, se realizaban sin incidentes y con buena afluencia de votantes en las primeras horas, con centros de votación vigilados por militares con armas automáticas.


TeleSur:

Fuertemente custodiados por las fuerzas militares de facto, se dio inicio este domingo al cuestionado proceso electoral hondureño caracterizado por la mínima afluencia de votantes en los centros comiciales.

Las mesas se caracterizan por la ausencia de electores, colas y ambiente comicial. En un reporte la enviada especial de teleSUR a Honduras, Adriana Sívori, destacó la poca cantidad de personas que ha salido a votar, dijo que "algunos colegios no han podido abrir sus puertas porque no ha llegado gente".

Agregó que en los barrios se puede observar el rechazo del pueblo a las presentes elecciones, en contraste con las zonas donde viven personas de alto nivel económico donde los centros sí han abierto y hay personas votando.

Okay, let people decide.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

So what are the MSM news agencies saying about the elections?

@Utpal: Wasn't there also a waffle iron with a Jesus on it? I could swear I saw one somewhere...

otto Author Profile Page:

i made it through the rain and found myself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it through

Utpal Author Profile Page:

@Bina: tsk tsk. They never learn.

Something offtopic, but funny:

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/11/jesus-on-iron-picture.html

They are so desperate, they're even trying to use Facebook to silence my blog:

http://www.hollow-hill.com/sabina/2009/11/faceless_facebooker_singles_me.html

Epic. Fucking. FAIL.

Utpal Author Profile Page:

"I don't know how they are going to legitimate these elections," Bertha Oliva just told me, as she arrived to the COFADEH office. "The polling places are empty." Oliva is the founder and head of COFADEH, the Honduran Committee of the Families of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, and the premier non-governmental voice for human rights in Honduras. "I'm now worried about what will happen at mid-day, when they see that this is not working for them...I'm worried they'll take people out of their homes to force them to vote. That's where the danger is."


Right on: that's where the danger is.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2009 10:11 AM.

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