WHAT SHOULD BE DEMANDED FROM THE UNITED STATES by FIDEL CASTRO
The meeting in Costa Rica didn’t, nor could it, lead to peace. The people of Honduras are not at war, it’s just the perpetrators of the coup who are using weapons against the people. One should demand that they cease their war against the people. That meeting between Zelaya and the coup was only good for discrediting the constitutional president and wearing away at the energies of the Honduran people.
World public opinion learned about what was happening in that country through the images broadcast by international television, basically Telesur, which without losing a single second, faithfully broadcast each one of the events happening in Honduras, the speeches made and the unanimous agreements of the international bodies against the coup.
The world could watch the blows that rained down on men and women, the thousands of tear gas bombs thrown into the crowd, the rude gestures with weapons of war and the shots intended to intimidate, wound or murder citizens.
The idea that the US ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, didn’t know about or discouraged the coup is absolutely false. He knew about it, just like the American military advisors who didn’t stop for a minute in their training of Honduran troops.
Today we know that the idea to promote a peace process from Costa Rica arose from the offices of the State Department, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the military coup.
The coup was conceived and organized by unscrupulous characters on the far-right, who were officials in the confidence of George W. Bush and had been promoted by him.
All of them, without exception, have a thick file of activities against Cuba. Hugo Lorens, the ambassador in Honduras since the middle of 2008, is a Cuban-American. He is part of the group of aggressive US ambassadors in Central America, made up of Robert Blau, the ambassador in El Salvador, Stephen McFarland in Guatemala and Robert Callahan in Nicaragua, all appointed by Bush in the months of July and August of 2008.
The four of them follow the line of Otto Reich and John Negroponte who, together with Oliver North, were responsible for the dirty war against Nicaragua and the death squads in Central America that cost the peoples of the region tens of thousands of lives.
Negroponte was Bush’s representative at the United Nations, the US intelligence tsar, and finally under-secretary of State. Both he and Otto Reich, using different routes, were behind the coup in Honduras.
The base at Soto Cano in that country, home to the Joint Task Force-Bravo of the US Armed Forces, is the main point of support for the coup d’état in Honduras.
The United States has the dismal plan to create five more military bases around Venezuela, with the excuse of replacing the one in Manta, Ecuador.
The absurd adventure of the coup d’état in Honduras has created a really complicated situation in Central America that cannot be resolved with trickery, deceit and lies.
Every day we learn about new details in the US implication in that action that will also have serious repercussions in all of Latin America.
The idea of a peace initiative from Costa Rica was transmitted to the president of that country from the State Department when Obama was in Moscow and he was declaring at a Russian university that the only president of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya.
The perpetrators of the coup were in a predicament. The initiative transmitted to Costa Rica was seeking the goal of saving them. It is clear that every day of delay has a cost for the constitutional president and tends to dilute the extraordinary international support he has received. The Yankee manoeuvre does not increase the possibilities for peace, just the opposite, it decreases them, and the danger of violence grows, since the peoples of our America will never resign themselves to the fate that has been programmed for them.
With the Costa Rica meeting, the authority of the UN, the OAS and the other institutions that committed their support to the people of Honduras is being questioned.
When Micheletti, the de facto president, yesterday announced that he is willing to step down from his position if Zelaya resigns, I already knew that the State Department and the military in the coup had agreed to replace him and send him again to Congress as part of the manoeuvre.
The only correct thing to do at this moment is to demand that the government of the United States ceases its intervention, stops giving military aid to the coup and pulls out its Task Force from Honduras.
What they want to demand from the Honduran people in the name of peace is to deny all the principles for which all the nations of this hemisphere have fought.
“Respect for the rights of others means peace”, said Juárez.
Reflections by Comrade Fidel
A SUICIDAL MISTAKE
Three days ago, in the evening of Thursday 25th, I wrote in my Reflections: “We do not know what will happen tonight or tomorrow in Honduras, but the courageous behavior adopted by Zelaya will go down in history.”
Two paragraphs before I had indicated that: “The situation that might result from whatever occurs in that country will be a test for the OAS and the current US administration.”
The prehistoric Inter-American institution met in Washington the following day and in a halfhearted and spiritless resolution promised to immediately make the necessary efforts to bring about harmony between the contending parties; that is, a negotiation between the putschists and the Constitutional President of Honduras.
The high ranking military chief who was still in command of the Honduran Armed Forces was making public statements different from the President’s position while recognizing his authority in a merely formal way.
The putschists needed barely anything else from the OAS. They couldn’t care less for the presence of a large number of international observers who had traveled to that country to bear witness to a referendum and who had been talking with Zelaya until late into the night. Today, before dawn, they launched on the President’s home about 200 well-trained and equipped professional troops who roughly set aside the members of the Guard of Honor and kidnapped Zelaya –who was sleeping at the moment– taking him to an air base and forcibly putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.
At 8:30 a.m. we learned from Telesur of the assault on the Presidential House and the kidnapping. The President was unable to attend the initial activity related to the referendum that was to take place this Sunday and his whereabouts were unknown.
The official television channel was silenced. They wanted to prevent the early spread of the news of the treacherous action through Telesur and Cubavision Internacional, which were reporting the events. Therefore, they first suspended the broadcasting centers and then cut off electricity to the entire country. At the moment, the Supreme Court and the Congress involved in the conspiracy had yet to make public the decisions that justified the plot. They first carried out the indescribable military coup and then legalized it.
The people woke up to a fait accompli and started to react with growing indignation. Zelaya’s destination was unknown. Three hours later the people’s reaction was such that we could see women punching soldiers with their fists and the latter’s weapons falling off their hands as they were nervous and confused. At the beginning, their movements resembled a strange combat with ghosts; later, they tried to cover Telesur’s cameras with their hands and nervously aimed their guns at the reporters. Sometimes, when the people advanced the troops stepped back. At this point, armored vehicles carrying cannons and machineguns were sent in as the people fearlessly discussed with the crews of the armored vehicles. The people’s reaction was amazing.
Approximately at 2:00 in the afternoon, a tamed majority in Congress –in coordination with the putschists—toppled Zelaya, the Constitutional President of Honduras, and appointed a new head of State announcing to the world that the former had resigned and showing a forged signature. A few minutes later, from an airport in Costa Rica, Zelaya related everything that had happened and categorically refuted the news about his resignation. The plotters had placed themselves in a ridiculous situation in the eyes of the world.
Many other things happened today. Cubavision took all of its time to expose the coup and keep our people informed.
Some events were purely fascist in nature and even if expected they are still astonishing.
Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was the putschists’ main target, second only to Zelaya. Another detachment was sent to her residence. She was brave and determined, and she acted quickly; she did not waste time and started denouncing the coup in every way possible. Our ambassador contacted Patricia to learn about the situation; other ambassadors did likewise. At a given moment, she asked the diplomatic representatives of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with her since she was being fiercely hounded and required diplomatic protection. Our ambassador, who from the first moments was authorized to offer the minister all the constitutional and legal support, proceeded to visit her in her own residence.
When the diplomats were already in her house, the putschist command sent Major Oceguera to put her under arrest. The diplomats stood between the woman and the officer and claimed she was under diplomatic protection and could only be moved accompanied by them. Oceguera discussed with them in a respectful fashion. A few minutes later, 12 or 15 men in uniform and covering their faces with ski masks rushed into the house. The three ambassadors embraced Patricia but the masked men using force managed to separate the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan ambassadors; Hernandez held her so strongly by one arm that the masked men dragged them both to a van and drove to an air base where they finally separated him and took her away. As he was there in custody, Bruno, who had news of the kidnapping called him to the cell phone; one of the masked men tried to violently snatch the phone out of his hands and the Cuban ambassador, who had already been punched in Patricia’s home, shouted: “Don’t push me, cojones!” I don’t remember if the term was ever used by Cervantes, but there is no doubt that ambassador Juan Carlos Hernandez has enriched our language.
Later, he was abandoned in a road far from the Cuban mission not before being warned that something worse could happen to him if he talked. “Nothing can be worse than death,” he answered with dignity, “and still I’m not afraid of you.” Then people from the area helped him to return to the embassy and from there he immediately called Bruno again.
There is no way to negotiate with that putschist high command. They must be asked to abdicate while other younger officers, uninvolved with the oligarchy, take charge of the military command; otherwise, there will never be in Honduras a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
There is no hope for the cornered and isolated putschists if the problem is faced with determination.
Even Mrs. Clinton stated this afternoon that Zelaya is the only President of Honduras and the Honduran putschists can’t even breathe without the support of the United States of America.
Zelaya, a man who was in his pyjamas just a few hours ago, will be recognized by the world as the only Constitutional President of Honduras.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 28, 2009