NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • The siege of Tegucigalpa


    Repression ordered to the neighborhoods of the Honduran capital, forcing the poor to fight or starve -   October 26, 09
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    I support TRNN because it is the closest expression of the ideal of a free press I have seen. - Daniel
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Al Giordano is an investigative journalist based in Chiapas, Mexico. He has spent most of the summer of 2009 reporting from post-coup Honduras. He is originally from the Bronx, New York. Since 2000 he has been the publisher of Narco News, which reports mainly on the US War on Drugs effects on the people of Mexico and Central America. He is also the founder of the School for Authentic Journalism and writes a blog called The Field which focuses on US politics.

    Sandra Cuffe is an independent journalist and photographer from Montrťal, Canada. She contributes regularly to The Dominion magazine in Canada, and Latin American political newsletter, Upside Down World.

    You can find her photos from Honduras at: http://flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda

    Precis

    As the anti-coup resistance approaches 90 consecutive days of civil disobedience, it counts itself a new international ally. The government of Brazil has replaced the United States as international organizer in bringing down the coup government of Roberto Micheletti. The Real News gets an update on the situation in the capital from independent journalist Sandra Cuffe, and a fresh analysis from Al Giordano.

    Produced by: Jesse Freeston

    Transcript

    The siege of TegucigalpaJESSE FREESTON, PRODUCER, TRNN: The Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa has been under varying degrees of military siege ever since deposed President Manuel Zelaya appeared at the Brazilian embassy on Monday. A violent 88-day standoff has caused a new force to step in and take leadership over the international response to the situation: the government of Brazil. The newest chapter in the crisis was set in motion when the coup regime imposed a nationwide curfew on Monday afternoon. Thousands of anti-coup protesters were defiant in camping out around the Brazilian embassy, only to be driven away at sunrise on Tuesday by the police and military, with the help of batons, water cannons, and teargas. The regime then sealed a large perimeter around the embassy, cut off the power, water, and phone service to the building, and tried to force out the occupants with sound weaponry. Brazil's leadership reminded the regime about the responsibility to protect foreign missions encoded under the Vienna Convention, and eventually the utilities were reconnected and UN workers were allowed to bring food to those inside. But for many Hondurans without UN support, the military-enforced curfew has made food hard to come by, evoking a powerful reaction. The Real News spoke to independent journalist Sandra Cuffe, who joined us by phone from Tegucigalpa.

    SANDRA CUFFE, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: The vast majority of Tegucigalpa's population are extremely poor. They live on a day-to-day basis. And so when there's an ongoing military-imposed curfew, it means literally that many people can't eat. And so in a lot of the neighborhoods people have been sort of defying the curfew, going about their business. And when police came in to enforce the curfew, in some cases people started organizing and fighting back. In well over 20 neighborhoods around the city, there was huge movement yesterday and into last night. In some neighborhoods, that included, you know, thousands of people from the neighborhoods setting up barricades, literally street-fighting off the police. Some neighborhoods actually managed to get the police and army out of their neighborhood. There was really serious repression in a number of neighborhoods¬ókicking people's doors open, throwing teargas into their homes, regardless of the elderly, small children. And so a lot of Tegucigalpa was pretty much a war zone yesterday and into the night. There's dozens of people who were wounded, including by live bullets, who've been taken to the hospital. There's unconfirmed reports of several deaths.

    FREESTON: Numerous declarations of torture were received at the Honduran human rights monitor the Community for the Families of the Detained and the Disappeared, with many individuals sporting visible evidence of their treatment by authorities. Meanwhile, much of the international media has singled out the poor in Honduras as the situation's antagonist, publishing stories about looting and rioting.

    CUFFE: In terms of looting, there's been a little bit of looting, mostly of a couple of supermarkets, and that looting happened over a day after military curfew, and literally people need to eat. It's very, very targeted to businesses that are owned by coup supporters, not like your mom-and-pop store on the corner. And in terms of riots, it depends how you define "riot". If the police or the army are coming into a Tegucigalpa neighborhood and there's a lot of repression, yeah, the response in some neighborhoods probably could be classified as a riot or an uprising or insurrection.

    FREESTON: Jesus Canahuate, one of Honduras's wealthiest businesspeople and a key player in the coup, told Bloomberg News on Wednesday that Honduras business owners were losing $50 million per day under the curfew. The Real News spoke to longtime investigative journalist and publisher of the Narco News, Al Giordano, who recently returned from spending most of the summer in post-coup Honduras.

    AL GIORDANO, PUBLISHER AND JOURNALIST, NARCO NEWS: This is what happens when you back an undemocratic coup that does things like curfews. If there's a curfew, your workers can't work at your sweatshop. And if they can't make a living and the stores are closed, they can't buy your products, either. So eventually this comes back and bites the oligarchs.

    FREESTON: The events in Honduras have coincided with the opening of the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and many of the heads of state in attendance used the opportunity to call for international action in reinstating President Zelaya. Of the countries that have spoken so far, Columbia President √Ālvaro Uribe and US President Barack Obama were the only representatives from the Western Hemisphere to refrain from commenting on the issue. Obama's silence was a major theme on radio call-in shows in Honduras, as the US has previously imposed its leadership over the crisis by sponsoring the as-yet ineffective San Jos√© Accords. The US government continues to send economic aid to the regime, maintains an active military base in the country, has yet to impose trade sanctions, has not frozen the assets of the coup plotters who operate in the US, and has yet to criticize the regime for his ongoing human rights abuses, even applauding it for implementing the curfew on Monday. On Wednesday, the State Department made another in a series of statements that have equated the attackers with the attack.

    IAN KELLY, SPOKESPERSON, US STATE DEPT.: We do have concerns about the possible impact it may have on the situation on the ground, especially the possibilities for clashes. And for this reason we've called on both sides to exercise restraint with this new situation.

    FREESTON: The unwillingness of the US government to acknowledge facts on the ground created an international leadership vacuum, which Brazil has now filled. Brazilian President Lula da Silva has asked the UN Security Council to hold a special session on the Honduran crisis. Lula was also the first head of state to speak at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

    LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Without political will, we will see more coups like the one that toppled the constitutional president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya has been granted refuge in Brazil's embassy in Tegucigalpa since Monday. The international community demands that Mr. Zelaya immediately return to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of the Brazilian Embassy in the Honduran capital.

    GIORDANO: Brazil was the victim of a coup d'état in 1964 and of a brutal military regime for many years afterwards. Its interests are the same as those of every other country in America that doesn't want to return to that era where a bunch of people, just because they have the uniforms and the guns, can somehow dictate what kind of government you can or can't have.

    FREESTON: With an increasingly repressive coup regime holding tightly to power, many are looking forward for events that might serve as turning points in the crisis. Giordano believes that the defining movement may come down to Honduras's favorite pastime, soccer.

    GIORDANO: Well, there's a big game scheduled between the United States team in the Honduras team for October 10. But, you know, the coup regime has just shut the airports, they keep calling these arbitrary curfews, there's police violence in the streets, and the folks from FIFA, the international soccer association, are going, "Whoa! We're not sure we can conduct a soccer game in full safety and all the other conditions we need for it to be a moneymaker under these kinds of conditions, when we can't fly our equipment into the country." And so they're thinking of pulling out and maybe putting the game in Guatemala instead or maybe putting it in the United States. But this is a mortal psychological blow. On the road to the World Cup, in which Honduras's team is going to be in the game, and they pull that out of Honduras, a lot of people who are not political are going to begin to say, you know, this coup thing isn't really working out.

    FREESTON: With internal and external pressure increasing on the coup government to begin discussions of how to hand over power, de facto president Roberto Micheletti released the following statement through his foreign minister on Tuesday night.

    CARLOS L√ďPEZ CONTRERAS, DE FACTO FOREIGN MINISTER OF HONDURAS: I am ready to discuss how to resolve the political crisis under the framework provided to us by the Honduran Constitution, and I am ready to do so with Mr. Zelaya as long as he explicitly recognizes the constitutionally mandated presidential elections scheduled for November 29.

    GIORDANO: How are free and fair elections possible in a country that can't even host a soccer game right now, in a country where on a day when the opposition comes out to peacefully protest, he calls a curfew? Now, tomorrow they've called out the pro-coup people for a protest, and of course the curfew's going to be lifted and the blockades by police that keep people from getting to the capital will be removed. There is no fair play. There's no spirit of fair play. It's an atmosphere of violence and intimidation.

    FREESTON: According to Giordano, elections aren't the only unviable option being put forward to resolve the crisis. A negotiated settlement is also unlikely to bring peace to Honduras.

    GIORDANO: This is now a raw power struggle. It's a regime trying to hold on to power, and it's an increasingly organized people. It's a very different Honduran people today than it was on June 28. Three months later, every sector, every neighborhood, every workplace is much better organized, and there's a tremendous consensus of what they want, which is a new constitution.

    CROWD (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Constitutional assembly! Constitutional assembly!

    GIORDANO: I mean, whether Zelaya's back in the Brazilian embassy or whether he's back in the presidential palace, the central goal doesn't change, and that's to remake the country. And to do that, you need a new constitution. And after past coup d'états in Honduras, it wasn't negotiations or agreements that solved the political crisis. Each and every time, they drafted a new constitution. And I think that's going to be the only way out of this crisis, not elections under a regime that doesn't know how to hold them, not negotiations that are dictated by Washington or Costa Rica. The constitutional convention, the constituent assembly, is, I think, the only possible path out of this stalemate.

    DISCLAIMER:

    Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting