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Ousted President Manuel Zelaya’s Plane Not Permitted to Land in Honduras

Tegucigalpa airport today (Reuters)

Tegucigalpa airport today (Reuters)

A short time ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that

ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya tried to fly to this Central American nation on Sunday. The provisional government said it would turn the aircraft away, even as it signaled a new willingness to negotiate a solution to the region’s biggest political crisis in years.

Honduras’ civil aviation director said Mr. Zelaya’s plane was being redirected to El Salvador.

[….]

Mr. Zelaya…departed from Washington to Tegucigalpa on an aircraft believed to belong to Venezuela’s government. He =was accompanies by the U.N. General Assembly president, Miguel D’Escoto. Also along for the ride was Argentine President Cristina Kirchner in her official plane and another plane carrying journalists.

Newsday has a longer, more detailed description of events.

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya appealed to the Honduran military to return its loyalty to him as he prepared to land in the capital Sunday, facing warrants for his arrest by security forces defending the airport against a crowd of thousands.

Speaking live from the Venezuelan plane carrying him back to Tegucigalpa, Zelaya said he was just minutes away from landing in his high-stakes attempt to return to power.

He asked that soldiers return their allegiance to him, “in the name of God, in the name of the people, and in the name of justice.”

But the politicians who ousted him aren’t backing down, and violence broke out among the huge crowd surrounding the airport, with at least one person killed so far. The man was shot in the head by gunfire from inside the airport as people tried to break through a security fence, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene.

[….]

Interim President Roberto Micheletti refused to withdraw his order to prevent the plane from landing, and said he would not negotiate with anyone until “things return to normal.”

“We will be here until the country calms down,” Micheletti told a news conference. “We are the authentic representatives of the people.”

Honduras’ civil aviation director said Zelaya’s plane had been ordered not to enter Honduran air space. Police helicopters hovered over the airport. Commercial flights were canceled, and private planes were met by armed police.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, the interim government has said it would be willing work out a solution to the crisis and would form a commission to “negotiate in good faith.”

The move by Honduras’ provisional government to talk came a day after the OAS voted to suspend the country from the multilateral body, which has 34 active members. Earlier, Honduras’ provisional government said it would rather be kicked out of the OAS than allow Mr. Zelaya to return to the presidential seat.

More Information

The conservative blog Legal In sur rec tion is posting updates from another blogger, Hunter Smith, an ex-Marine who is in Honduras to try to understand the situation. Someone is also posting photos and updates on his blog, Honduras Abandoned.

Two killed and two injured in clashes between Honduran demonstrators and police.

New York Times: Deadly Clashes in Honduras as Ousted Leader Tries to Return.

Reuters: Honduran
interim government wants to talk to OAS.

BBC: Deadly clash at Honduran airport.

Honduras claims Nicaraguan Troops are massing on their border. Nicaragua denies it.

32 Responses

  1. Another mess. Is it armageddon yet?

    • It sounds like it may get worked out, but I’m no expert.

    • Article 239 of the Honduras Constitution: “No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will IMMEDIATELY cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.

      Zelaya was legally ousted. In fact, by proposing the reform, he triggered the constitutional safeguards against who would attempt to change term limits, and therefore IMMEDIATELY ceased from being president.

      Note: IMMEDIATE— no legal hearings needed.

      [the military, acting on orders of the supreme court- and who are also law-enforcement in Honduras- opted to take him out of the country, to avoid, as they say, a ‘blood-shedding’.

  2. Honduras under siege (TheRealNews youtube Channel)

  3. Corruption in Honduras 2 – Government of Mel Zelaya(Arcadia Foundation´s Video about Corruption 12/2007)

  4. aint it great that that obama is out of the country, so enjoy!! God, the air seems fresher, food tastes better and there’s a snap in my step when he’s out of the country

  5. On an NPR show yesterday, they talked with a woman minister from Zelaya’s government. She informed host Robert Siegel that they had given Zeyaya a choice to either go to jail and go on trial for his corruption and violations of their laws, or, to leave the country.

    Zelaya chose to leave the country. That seems an important fact that Newsday nor any other of our MSM mentioned.

    Wonder why! The female Minister ended by saying they are regretting that they did not simply hold him, and have a very public trial so that the rest of the OAS would be forced to acknowledge Zelaya’s numerous crimes.

  6. Honduras ‘to stop ousted leader’s plane’ (BBC)

  7. There is supposed to be a press conference soon with Zelaya and others in San Salvador. Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are playing reruns of junk programs.

    I didn’t even know Zelaya was in Washington, DC. Does anyone know if that was reported?

    • The NPR link above has Zelaya’s own appointed envoy to Washington saying that it was a constitutional removal and not a coup. So, I guess there might be some things that aren’t being made public?

  8. BOs 1st words to Vladimir Putin will probley be something like this ” ya know Vladimir im really more of a Communist that i am a fascist”

  9. Has it been confirmed that Obama won’t let Hill hire Sid Blumenthal as an advisor at State?

    • I suspect it is rumor and not confirmed… but the info seems to be coming from more than one quarter…

      for what it’s worth.

  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_American_States#Status_of_Cuba
    Status of Cuba
    Further information: Cuban relations with the Organization of American States

    The current government of Cuba was excluded from participation in the Organization under a decision adopted by the Eighth Meeting of Consultation in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on January 31, 1962. The vote was passed by 14 in favor, with one against (Cuba) and six abstentions (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico). The operative part of the resolution reads as follows:

    1. That adherence by any member of the Organization of American States to Marxism-Leninism is incompatible with the inter-American system and the alignment of such a government with the communist bloc breaks the unity and solidarity of the hemisphere.
    2. That the present Government of Cuba, which has officially identified itself as a Marxist-Leninist government, was incompatible with the principles and objectives of the inter-American system.
    3. That this incompatibility excluded the present Government of Cuba from participation in the inter-American system. [7]

    This meant that the Cuban nation was still technically a member state, but that the current government was denied the right of representation and attendance at meetings and of participation in activities. The OAS’s position was that although Cuba’s participation was suspended, its obligations under the Charter, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, etc. still hold: for instance, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights continued to publish reports on Cuba’s human rights situation and to hear individual cases involving Cuban nationals. However, this stance was occasionally questioned by other individual member states.

    Cuba’s position was stated in an official note sent to the Organization “merely as a courtesy” by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Raúl Roa on November 4, 1964: “Cuba was arbitrarily excluded… The Organization of American States has no juridical, factual, or moral jurisdiction, nor competence, over a state which it has illegally deprived of its rights.”[8]

    The reincorporation of Cuba as an active member regularly arose as a topic within the inter-American system (e.g., it was intimated by the outgoing ambassador of Mexico in 1998)[9] but most observers did not see it as a serious possibility while the present government remained in power. Since 1960, the Cuban administration had repeatedly characterized the OAS as the “Ministry of Colonies” of the United States of America.[10][11] On May 6, 2005, President Fidel Castro reiterated that the island nation would not “be part of a disgraceful institution that has only humiliated the honor of Latin American nations”.[12] After Fidel Castro’s recent retirement and the ascent of his brother Raúl to power, this official position was reasserted. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez promised to veto any final declaration of the 2009 Summit of the Americas due to Cuba’s exclusion. [13]

    On April 17, 2009, after a trading of warm words between the administrations of US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said he would ask the 2009 General Assembly to annul the 1962 resolution excluding Cuba. [14]

    On June 3, 2009, foreign ministers assembled in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for the OAS’s 39th General Assembly, passed a vote to lift Cuba’s suspension from the OAS. The United States had been pressuring the OAS for weeks to condition Cuba’s readmission to the hemispheric group on democratic principles and commitment to human rights. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Fander Falconí said there will be no such conditions. “This is a new proposal, it has no conditions – of any kind,” Falconí said. “That suspension was made in the Cold War, in the language of the Cold War. What we have done here is fix a historic error.”[15]

    [edit] Suspension of Honduras

    Honduras was suspended unanimously in the midnight of July 4–5, 2009, following the June 28 seizure of President Manuel Zelaya.[16] The de facto government had already announced it was leaving the OAS hours earlier, however this was not considered by the OAS as it doesn’t recognize that government as legitimate.[17] An extraordinary meeting had been conducted by the OAS in Washington, D.C., United States, with Zelaya in attendance.[16][18][19] The suspension of Honduras was approved unanimously by 33 votes—Honduras did not vote.[16][19] This was the first suspension carried out by the OAS since Cuba in 1962.[16] Zelaya, who was flown to Costa Rica by the Honduran Military, announced his intention to return to Honduras with the Presidents of Argentina and Ecuador.[19]

    Cuba is in, Honduras is out, all within the same week. What does this all mean since this is the first I heard about it?

  11. There still seems to be an awful lot of conflicting info and the situation seems fluid.

  12. I still can’t figure out what to think. The fact that Zelaya raised the minimum wage by 60% and is supported by the poor and middle class and opposed by the wealthy elites should make me sympathetic to him, but I’m still not sure….

  13. going over there now.thanks..

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