Saturday, July 18, 2009
Meanwhile, the Hondurans are continuing to take things into their own hands, having recognized, as noted here on Tuesday, that the mediation process only serves to legitimize the coup. According to the Honduras Resists blog:
The official mediator of the Honduras conflict, President Oscar Arias, further alienated Honduran anti-coup groups by saying he will propose a coalition government and try to disuade elected President Manuel Zelaya from returning to his country. Arias also mentioned offering “amnesties”, although he did not specify for whom or on what terms. With talks scheduled to begin tomorrow, conflicting statements regarding Zelaya’s return, the terms of talks and the positions coup leaders will take make for an uncertain, and unpromising, scenario.
For leaders of the grassroots movements risking their lives to break the coup’s grip on power in their country, the news comes as proof that the mediation holds little prospect of solutions for reinstating the democratically elected president, ousted by the military on June 28.
Predictably, US media coverage of these events, in marked contrast to the eruption in Iran, is non-existent. But Narco News confirms much of the Honduras Resists report:
The Central American unions announced that they will block passage at the Honduran borders in protest against the coup.
International Federation of Dock Workers of the Wold has agreed not to unload merchandise coming from Honduras.
The National Front Against the Coup d'Etat has taken the highway between Choloma, San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés.
Nine military commands attack protesters is Juticalpa, Olancho. They are detaining cars driving towards Tegucigalpa.
The main institutions of the country are paralyzed. Access to the National Autonomous University of Honduras has been taken over by students.
The European Union has re-affirmed that the only solution to the crisis is the restitution of President Zelaya and has cut off all economic aid.
The coup media is announcing repression and death against the protests taking place around the country.
Two are reported killed by a military command in Catacamas, Olancho. Repression is strongest in rural areas of the country.
In strategic points around the country the national paralization has started. Thousands are in the streets.
Evaluated in this context, the Arias proposal for mediation comes across as desperation, an attempt to impose a solution that disempowers Zelaya and the social movements so as to prevent them from organizing a permanent, effective resistance. Especially when you consider that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now making public statements that implicitly oppose the mobilizations against the coup. If the US is going to successfully impose a purported democratic solution from above, then it must act quickly to terminate the risk of a real one from below.
Union organizations in Nicaragua and El Salvador have announced that they will close the border routes with Honduras in solidarity with the Honduran blockades.
If you study the map, above, of the few highways in Honduras that connect its commercial centers, the confirmed reports indicate that the popular protests have already shut down the veins and arteries of country's economy. It is highly likely that other roads and highways are also now under blockade, but we are taking great pains to report only those ones upon which we have been able to confirm. Readers unfamiliar with the condition of secondary roads in Honduras may not be aware that once one of these main highways is shut down, there are no alternate routes.
This is the strategy that, from 2003 to 2005, toppled three repressive presidents in the nation of Bolivia, one after the other.
These current blockades in Honduras have been called, initially, for 48 hours, beginning this morning. Check back here for around-the-clock updates.
This is a major news story. It doesn't matter that the rest of the English language international media is slow to report it. Maybe their correspondents are caught in traffic? Honduras under the coup has now ground to a halt.