Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Coup Talk

More stories have been printed in Honduras today about a coup being planned against Porfirio Lobo Sosa, with articles in all the daily newspapers. Here's a summary of what's new.

During the Cabinet meeting yesterday Lobo Sosa issued a directive that La Tribuna specified was directed at the military and police, suggesting where a threat may be coming from. Proceso Digital reported the directive was to all ministries.

What both sources agree is that the order was not to align themselves with either the far right or the far left, represented by the Unión Cívica Democratica on the right and the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular for the left:
"Minister of Security, Minister of Defense, I don't want members of the National Police or the Armed Forces participating with either of the two sectors; our mandate is with the Honduran people,"

Lobo is quoted as saying.
"It isn't possible that one is elected with a clear mandate and takes another route; I ask you to absent yourselves, and we greatly restrict participation in meetings or praise for either side; our function is not to be part of the confrontation for either side, rather part of the process of reconciliation,"

Proceso Digital reports him continuing.

La Prensa reported that Lobo Sosa flashed the number "3" with his hands, interpreting it as indicating that it was 3 highly placed individuals in the Nationalist Party that were plotting against him.

With unfortunate timing, yesterday the US military resumed military aid to the Honduran Armed Forces. Lieutenant General Ken Kleen presented the Minister of Defense, Marlon Pascua, and head of the Joint Chiefs, General Carlos Cuéllar, with the keys to 25 all-terrain vehicles in a public ceremony in Tegucigalpa. The vehicles will be assigned to the Special Forces units in Francisco Morazán and Colon.

The US Military Commander in Honduras, Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Ott, said the presentation completed military aid promised last year. Then he added,
"The government of the United States has come to realize training missions as a key initiative to identifying the potential problems in the region."

In return, General Carlos Cuéllar spoke of how the gift from the US government would help them carry out "the established constitutional mission."

In light of the press reports implying that the military may not be entirely under the control of Lobo Sosa, we can't be blamed for hearing echoes of last year's Armed Forces statements that equated their role in the coup with their constitutional role.

1 comment:

Boehmaya said...

I wonder how Pepe Lobo, especially the Foreign Minister from his own party can tell to the OAS that "Honduras has complied with all requirements" if he is being himself threatened with a coup d'état? Sounds like bogus to me, though I do find an object of concern in the fact that the US military aid links with Honduras have been strengthened over the past couple of days, and even the head of SOUTHCOM was in Honduras a little while ago.
But Honduras still lives under constitutional breakdown, so how is it possible to carry out a coup when the country already lives under such chaos and the same circumstances?

I also find interesting that Lobo has ordered his ministries to forbid taking buildings or roads or anything that "violates the rights of others". Micheletti used that as an excuse to repress anti coup protesters and send them the army. What's mostly interesting about this is the timing, taking in consideration, that soon the country will meet its first anniversary of the June 28th coup from last year and people are about to take the streets to protest fiercely to demand a Popular Constituent Assembly to restore constitutional order and especially, that the resistance is undergoing the most critical points in gathering signatures for this. Forbidding taking roads and buildings and whatever they see as protests that "violate other peoples' rights"sounds like a sound justification to repress in the near future with the excuse that both the far right and the "far left" want to destabilize his government (which echoes the Llorens' continuous claims to the press)and he must prevent this, because his government doesn't take sides and seeks to "unite".