Demonstration to condemn the military coup and in solidarity with the peoples of Honduras
Immediately Reinstate Democratically Elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya
As Demanded By The People Of Honduras & The International Community
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
South Blvd & Archdale Dr
(On the Lynx Blue Line train)
Bring signs, etc.
The Action Center For Justice (affiliated with The International Action Center, founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and based in the United States) and Students For A Democratic Society – UNCC, condemn in the strongest terms, the criminal coup d'etat at the hands of the Armed Forces of Honduras against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya and the country of Honduras that took place on Sunday, June 28.
The military coup was led by School of the Americas (SOA) graduate Romeo Vasquez. In the early hours of the day, members of the Honduran military surrounded the presidential palace and forced the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, into custody. He was immediately flown to Costa Rica.
The Honduran state television was taken off the air. The electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa, as well telephone and cellphone lines were cut. The people of Honduras are going into the streets. From Costa Rica, President Zelaya called for a non-violent response from the people of Honduras, and for international solidarity for the Honduran democracy.
The military coup took place at dawn on Sunday June 28, on the day there was a scheduled referendum, which is not a binding vote but merely an opinion poll, to determine whether or not a majority of Hondurans desire to eventually enter into a process to modify their constitution.
The crisis in Honduras began when the military refused to distribute ballot boxes for the opinion poll in a new Constitution. President Zelaya fired the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Romeo Orlando Vasquez Velasquez, who refused to step down. The heads of all branches of the Honduran armed forces quit in solidarity with Vasquez. Vasquez, however, refused to step down, bolstered by support in Congress and a Supreme Court ruling that reinstated him. Vasquez remains in control of the armed forces.
Vasquez, along with other military leaders, graduated from the United States' infamous School of the Americas (SOA). According to a School of the Americas Watch database compiled from information obtained from the US government, Vasquez studied in the SOA at least twice: once in 1976 and again in 1984.
The head of the Air Force, Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo, studied in the School of the Americas in 1996. The Air Force has been a central protagonist in the Honduran crisis. When the military refused to distribute the ballot boxes for the opinion poll, the ballot boxes were stored on an Air Force base until citizens accompanied by Zelaya rescued them. Zelaya reports that after soldiers kidnapped him, they took him to an Air Force base, where he was put on a plane and sent to Costa Rica.
The Ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela, & Nicaragua were also beaten and kidnapped and have since been released. Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas has been released by the coup military officers who beat and detained her. She was forced into exile in Mexico, where she is now and is expected to fly later today with Mexican president Felipe Calderon to Nicaragua.
The coup government in Honduras has issued arrest warrants for members of Zelaya's cabinet that are still in the country. There is widespread repression throughout the country. A curfew was imposed by the coup government last night from 9pm to 6am this morning and the military have thoroughly barricaded the presidential palace to prevent protesters from getting close.
Today there are several meetings in Nicaragua - the Rio Group is meeting (comprised of all Latin American and Caribbean nations), ALBA countries have been meeting since last night (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominica, St. Vicent, Antigua and Barbados and Honduras) and the Central American nations are also all going to meet later today to discuss the situation in Honduras.
All multilateral organisms, like the OAS, UN, European Community, ALBA, UNASUR, etc, have all condemned the coup and convened emergency meetings to discuss solutions.
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has made a statement unilaterally condemning the coup in Honduras and calling for President Zelaya's immediate reinstatement. All have said so far they will only recognize Zelaya as the legitimate president of Honduras.
The US Military Group and Embassy in Honduras have been directly involved with the coup leaders. USAID and the Pentagon have backed this coup, there is just really no question. The Honduran military would never have moved without consent from their commanding officers, the US Military Group in Honduras and those stationed on the Soto Cano base.
The United States maintains a military base in Soto Cano, Honduras, that houses approximately 500 soldiers and special forces. The U.S. military group in Honduras is one of the largest in U.S. Embassies in the region. The leaders of the coup today are graduates of the U.S. School of the Americas, a training camp for dictators and repressive forces in Latin America.
The US Military Group in Honduras trains around 300 Honduran soldiers every year, provides more than $500,000 annually to the Honduran Armed Forces and additionally provides $1.4 million for a military education and exchange program for around 300 more Honduran soldiers every year.
Please join us Tuesday, June 30 at 6pm at the busy intersection of South Blvd & Archdale Dr in Charlotte to call for the Immediate Reinstatement of Democratically Elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya & Stand In Solidarity with the People of Honduras.
Sponsored by Action Center For Justice & Students For A Democratic Society (SDS) – UNCC.
Info: 704-492-5226 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Updates on the situation in Honduras will be posted on our website at http://charlotteaction.blogspot.com.
(Sources: School Of The Americas Watch; Postcards from the Revolution; the narcosphere; The Narco News; Venezuelanalysis.com; Americas MexicoBlog)