Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coup d'etat in Honduras

On Sunday, June 29, the Honduran military awakened the Honduran president, Mel Zelaya, and forced him on a plane to Costa Rica in an illegal coup d'etat. The coup occurred on the day that Hondurans were to vote to hold a Constitutional Assembly in November which could allow Mr. Zelaya to run for a second term. The coup was led by General Romeo Vásquez, a graduate of the infamous School of the Americas, who opposed the vote for the Constitutional Assembly, and is supported by the Honduran Congress and the Supreme Court.

The coup in Honduras echoes Central America's violent history of military coups. As phone lines are cut and national TV channels are taken off the air, Hondurans are taking to the streets to denounce the military's actions and are calling for international support. There are reports that demonstrators have been beaten, arbitrarily detained, and assassinated by the Honduran military.

Demonstrations against the coup in Honduras have taken place across the United States. Yesterday, demonstrators gathered in front of the White House and the Honduran Embassy to demand that the US Government not recognize the Honduran coup government and that the United States cut off all aid to Honduras until Mr. Zelaya returns to office. President Obama stated, "We are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically-elected president." He added, "It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition rather than democratic elections....we don't want to go back to a dark past."


The SHARE Foundation urges you to:
  • Call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111.
  • Send an email to President Obama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT.
  • Call the State Department comment line at (202) 647-4000.
Sample message:

President Obama, I urge you to suspend all aid to the Honduran coup government. President Zelaya is supported by Honduras' poor majority, including members of labor and social movements, tens of thousands of whom have come out in the streets to support his return.

Give your name, city and state.

- Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

*Photos from El País and AP.

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