Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.

×

OAS meeting concludes and Zelaya plans his return

James Wilde reports from Honduras

July 5, 2009
4 min read

Sunday 12:40 am Honduras … The OAS session in Washington has just concluded. The session was broadcast live on the internet and CNN Espanol carried the debate. Essentially, the entire membership agreed to suspend Honduras from the OAS following the refusal of the Honduran government to reinstate president Mel Zelaya.

The Canadian ambassador expressed concern about president Zelaya returning at this time because his safety could not be guaranteed. The Canadian ambassador proposed that rather than Mel Zelaya return at this time, a delegation of OAS members and diplomats should try once again to negotiate with the acting Honduran government. There seemed no clear response to the Canadian ambassador’s proposal and the session was concluded.

CNN conducted a live interview with Zelaya immediately after the meeting. He appeared determined to return as planned sometime on Sunday. Zelaya said the delegation accompanying him was voluntary (presumably that meant the group was not selected or mandated by the OAS) but he believed it would include, as previously announced, the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador.

From the perspective inside Honduras, the proposed return of Zelaya today seems extremely risky not only for Zelaya but for the country as a whole. The acting government of Honduras has continued to be obdurate and unprepared to compromise. There appears to be a lack of objectivity and the junta has lost any sense of proportion. The statements of Mr Micheletti and the acting government official are increasingly strident, reckless and belligerent, seemingly acting without any regard for International concern about their actions.

Today I reviewed amateur footage of Honduran army troops shooting the tyres off yellow school buses that were allegedly part of a convoy of buses attempting to transport Zelaya supporters to the capital. The incident was claimed to have taken place within the past two days at Limones, 112 kilometres northeast of Tegucigalpa. If this was an actual incident, it demonstrates the ill discipline of the soldiers and the lack of effective control of the security forces by the acting government.

I have also read reports in the British media; the BBC and the Guardian that hand grenades have been thrown at government buildings and businesses over the past several days. I live above the historic city centre and work just inside the barrio of Comayaguela, immediately across the river from the congress building. I can state categorically that no acts of violence, particularly hand grenade attacks, have occured anywhere in the Centre over the past five-days. I cannot, however, attest to what may have occurred around the presidential secretariat on Blvd Juan Pablo Segundo or other areas of the city. Many of the government building are spread all over the city.

It is important to emphasise that other than one act of alleged vandalism on a fast food restaurant, the pro-Zelaya demonstrators have been peaceful with the exception of the stone throwing and tyre burning in front of the presidential secretariat earlier in the week, which the police countered with rounds of teargas. On Thursday, the congress enacted emergency legislation that suspends fundamental rights, specifically; arrests without warrants, individuals detained up to 24 hours without access to legal counsel and restrictions on freedom of assembly.

Mr Micheletti and the congress continue to insist that they have acted in order to protect the Honduran constitution and preserve democracy while at the same time suspending fundamental rights and providing the acting regime with draconian and authoritarian powers.

Given the present volatility of internal debate within the country and the unpredictable character of the acting Honduran government, I am deeply concerned about the potential for confrontation and violence at Toncontin airport in the event of Zelaya’s return today. I am not confident that Micheletti and the congress will act with due restraint, respect for diplomatic conventions or exercise adequate control of the Honduran security forces.

Red Pepper is an independent, non-profit magazine that puts left politics and culture at the heart of its stories. We think publications should embrace the values of a movement that is unafraid to take a stand, radical yet not dogmatic, and focus on amplifying the voices of the people and activists that make up our movement. If you think so too, please support Red Pepper in continuing our work by becoming a subscriber today.
Why not try our new pay as you feel subscription? You decide how much to pay.

Contribute to Conter – the new cross-party platform linking Scottish socialists
Jonathan Rimmer, editor of Conter, says it’s time for a new non-sectarian space for Scottish anti-capitalists and invites you to take part

Editorial: Empire will eat itself
Ashish Ghadiali introduces the June/July issue of Red Pepper

Eddie Chambers: Black artists and the DIY aesthetic
Eddie Chambers, artist and art historian, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali about the cultural strategies that he, as founder of the Black Art Group, helped to define in the 1980s

Despite Erdogan, Turkey is still alive
With this year's referendum consolidating President Erdogan’s autocracy in Turkey, Nazim A argues that the way forward for democrats lies in a more radical approach

Red Pepper Race Section: open editorial meeting – 11 August in Leeds
The next open editorial meeting of the Red Pepper Race Section will take place between 3.30-5.30pm, Friday 11th August in Leeds.

Mogg-mentum? Thatcherite die-hard Jacob Rees-Mogg is no man of the people
Adam Peggs says Rees-Mogg is no joke – he is a living embodiment of Britain's repulsive ruling elite

Power to the renters: Turning the tide on our broken housing system
Heather Kennedy, from the Renters Power Project, argues it’s time to reject Thatcher’s dream of a 'property-owning democracy' and build renters' power instead

Your vote can help Corbyn supporters win these vital Labour Party positions
Left candidate Seema Chandwani speaks to Red Pepper ahead of ballot papers going out to all members for a crucial Labour committee

Join the Rolling Resistance to the frackers
Al Wilson invites you to take part in a month of anti-fracking action in Lancashire with Reclaim the Power

The Grenfell public inquiry must listen to the residents who have been ignored for so long
Councils handed housing over to obscure, unaccountable organisations, writes Anna Minton – now we must hear the voices they silenced

India: Modi’s ‘development model’ is built on violence and theft from the poorest
Development in India is at the expense of minorities and the poor, writes Gargi Battacharya

North Korea is just the start of potentially deadly tensions between the US and China
US-China relations have taken on a disturbing new dimension under Donald Trump, writes Dorothy Guerrero

The feminist army leading the fight against ISIS
Dilar Dirik salutes militant women-organised democracy in action in Rojava

France: The colonial republic
The roots of France’s ascendant racism lie as deep as the origins of the French republic itself, argues Yasser Louati

This is why it’s an important time to support Caroline Lucas
A vital voice of dissent in Parliament: Caroline Lucas explains why she is asking for your help

PLP committee elections: it seems like most Labour backbenchers still haven’t learned their lesson
Corbyn is riding high in the polls - so he can face down the secret malcontents among Labour MPs, writes Michael Calderbank

Going from a top BBC job to Tory spin chief should be banned – it’s that simple
This revolving door between the 'impartial' broadcaster and the Conservatives stinks, writes Louis Mendee – we need a different media

I read Gavin Barwell’s ‘marginal seat’ book and it was incredibly awkward
Gavin Barwell was mocked for writing a book called How to Win a Marginal Seat, then losing his. But what does the book itself reveal about Theresa May’s new top adviser? Matt Thompson reads it so you don’t have to

We can defeat this weak Tory government on the pay cap
With the government in chaos, this is our chance to lift the pay cap for everyone, writes Mark Serwotka, general secretary of public service workers’ union PCS

Corbyn supporters surge in Labour’s internal elections
A big rise in left nominations from constituency Labour parties suggests Corbynites are getting better organised, reports Michael Calderbank

Undercover policing – the need for a public inquiry for Scotland
Tilly Gifford, who exposed police efforts to recruit her as a paid informer, calls for the inquiry into undercover policing to extend to Scotland

Becoming a better ally: how to understand intersectionality
Intersectionality can provide the basis of our solidarity in this new age of empire, writes Peninah Wangari-Jones

The myth of the ‘white working class’ stops us seeing the working class as it really is
The right imagines a socially conservative working class while the left pines for the days of mass workplaces. Neither represent today's reality, argues Gargi Bhattacharyya

The government played the public for fools, and lost
The High Court has ruled that the government cannot veto local council investment decisions. This is a victory for local democracy and the BDS movement, and shows what can happen when we stand together, writes War on Want’s Ross Hemingway.

An ‘obscure’ party? I’m amazed at how little people in Britain know about the DUP
After the Tories' deal with the Democratic Unionists, Denis Burke asks why people in Britain weren't a bit more curious about Northern Ireland before now

The Tories’ deal with the DUP is outright bribery – but this government won’t last
Theresa May’s £1.5 billion bung to the DUP is the last nail in the coffin of the austerity myth, writes Louis Mendee

Brexit, Corbyn and beyond
Clarity of analysis can help the left avoid practical traps, argues Paul O'Connell

Paul Mason vs Progress: ‘Decide whether you want to be part of this party’ – full report
Broadcaster and Corbyn supporter Paul Mason tells the Blairites' annual conference some home truths

Contagion: how the crisis spread
Following on from his essay, How Empire Struck Back, Walden Bello speaks to TNI's Nick Buxton about how the financial crisis spread from the USA to Europe

How empire struck back
Walden Bello dissects the failure of Barack Obama's 'technocratic Keynesianism' and explains why this led to Donald Trump winning the US presidency