Chavez: U.S. and Venezuelan Right Wing Support Coup in Honduras, a Challenge to Obama
By James Suggett
July 3rd 2009 - Venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez accused the "extreme right wing" of the United States and Venezuela of being involved in last Sunday's military coup in Honduras, perhaps behind U.S. President Barack Obama's back.
"It could be that Obama did not know. But I am sure the ambassador of the United States in Honduras [Hugo Llorens], who is the same as [former U.S. President George W.] Bush's, knew about the coup," Chavez said on a special edition of his weekly talk show, "Hello, President."
The "horrendous military, industrial, financial, terrorist, and drug trafficking complex is supporting the coup leaders and challenging Obama," Chavez explained.
Chavez said the Obama administration has so far been "soft-hearted" in response to the coup, because it has not yet called for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was kidnapped by the military on Sunday. "Define yourself, or you are a mollusk," Chavez said to Obama, urging the U.S. president to follow the lead of the Latin American fair trade bloc ALBA and the Organization of American States (OAS) and take "a firmer stance."
The U.S. government has admitted the military actions in the coup were a violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and recognized Zelaya as the legitimate president. However, it has stopped short of putting economic pressure on the coup leaders, withdrawing its ambassador, threatening to close its military base in Honduras, and demanding the restoration of Zelaya to power without conditions.
Also Thursday, Chavez defended the Venezuelan government's response to the coup against accusations of interventionism by the right wing Venezuelan opposition. "We are obligated to respect [Honduras's] sovereignty... We are not an interventionist government but we are in the process together with other countries and international organizations, of doing everything we can to avoid a bloodbath," he said.
The Venezuelan government has suspended oil shipments to Honduras until Zelaya is reinstated, Chavez confirmed. Venezuela has also called for an investigation of the coup by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and advocated possible multi-national military intervention if diplomatic means fail to restore Zelaya to power.
Chavez said those who accuse him of interventionism are the same groups who accuse him of being a dictator and violating freedom of expression, such as the conservative Inter-American Press Society (SIP). "Why don't they say anything with regard to this issue in Honduras?" Chavez asked rhetorically.
Since the coup on Sunday, the coup government led by the former president of the Congress, Roberto Michelleti, has raided and shut down television and radio stations, arrested domestic and international journalists, imposed a nation-wide curfew, and suspended the constitutional rights of citizens, including the right to due process and protections against illegal search and seizure.
Meanwhile, the heads of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, National Assembly, Supreme Court, Attorney General, and Public Defenders Office released a joint statement condemning the coup and demanding the immediate and unconditional return of Zelaya to the presidency.
Venezuela's minister for indigenous affairs, Nicia Maldonado, described the coup as an attack against Latin American integration, a project that the Chavez government has taken on its shoulders and named "Bolivarian" after the South American independence fighter Simon Bolivar.
"All the government leaders who express the voice of the people are going to be attacked," said Maldonado in an interview on the state television channel VTV. "Chavez is the enemy, they see him as a spectre, because he carries the flag of Bolivarian ideals against the empire."
On Tuesday, the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a 72-hour ultimatum for the coup leaders to restore Zelaya to power. On Friday, OAS General Secretary Jose Miguel Insulza arrived in Honduras to meet with the coup leaders. "We are not going to Honduras to negotiate. We are going to ask that what is going on now be stopped, and look for avenues that permit a return to normality," said Insulza of his visit to Honduras.
According to the New York Times, "OAS officials" have begun "informal discussions" to negotiate a compromise that could include amnesty for the coup leaders and Zelaya's abandonment of a constitutional reform initiative in return for his reinstatement.
Kae: July 03, 2009
"According to the New York Times, 'OAS officials' have begun 'informal discussions' to negotiate a compromise that could include amnesty for the coup leaders and Zelaya's abandonment of a constitutional reform initiative in return for his reinstatement."
It can no longer be tolerated that anytime a government extends its right to sovereignty and self-determination by openly going against the manipulations of Washington DC and the rich elitists of the nation, that government is destabilized then ousted against the will of the common people.
Any compromise is not the solution. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is the elected leader of his country and should be reinstated immediately and Hondurans should be exercising their right to register their opinion in the planned poll.
Those involved in planning and executing these acts of aggression against the government of Manuel Zelaya should be tried for the crimes they have committed against the people of Honduras. All outside individuals, governments or organizations involved in this coup should also be held accountable either by the local government or an International Court.
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