September 27, 2009

Tegucigalpa is bracing for violence

Mel Zelaya
Photo: El Heraldo, Honduras

Former president Mel Zelaya is calling for his supporters to come to Tegucigalpa from all over the country for a huge protest on Monday, September 28. He supposedly is asking for a peaceful protest to call for dialogue − at least that is what he says publicly to the media.

This call for dialogue is a 'show' for the OAS delegates who may arrive this week and the international community, which seems to readily 'buy' whatever story Zelaya is selling, no matter how outrageous or ridiculous.

However, talking directly to his followers and through his 'sub-commanders,' a much different message is sent. There is much talk on various resistance websites and blogs about violence, weapons, and assassinations. Reportedly, gangs have infiltrated the zelayistas' marches. Zelaya continues to incite his followers with chants of "Restitution or Death!", "Out with the golpistas", and tells them to "maintain the battle" on daily local radio and television interviews.

Zelaya has been offered dialogue. The presidential candidates talked with him. A representative of Micheletti has talked with him. But it seems that the only thing he wants is to return as President and continue with the constitutional assembly without any regard for what he is doing to this country or for the San José Accord which specifically prohibits the constitutional assembly. Zelaya does not care if the country is destroyed in the process. He refuses to consider or talk about anything else. Micheletti has offered several times to resign if Zelaya would do the same − in the interests of the country − but Zelaya will not consider that proposal.

Despite demands during the week from Brazil, the US, Oscar Arias, the OAS, and several other member countries of the UN, Zelaya renewed his call for insurrection on Friday, September 25.
"We urge the resistance to maintain the battle until together, people and president, we achieve the constitutional reforms and the fall of the usurpers," Zelaya said.

"No pardon or forgetting! Death to the coup leaders!" shouted some of his followers in response.

Even more ominous, the well rewarded pro-Zelaya Radio Globo is today touting tomorrow as the "final offensive".

If more people die in the days and weeks to come, then we know who to blame.

Update 9:15 p.m.: AP reports that Zelaya is now calling for the protest, on the three-month anniversary of his ouster, to demand his reinstatement. AP also confirms "the final offensive" comment I made above.

Honduran President Micheletti has responded with a national cadena (radio and television announcement) prohibiting any public demonstrations without prior permission. It is a wise move to prevent violence and protect life and property, but mark my words: he will be damned by the human rights groups for doing this.
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