Day 5: Mass Protests In Honduras Against Coup; Tens Of Thousands Marching On The Capital To Await President Zelaya's Return

By Eva Golinger, Postcards from the Revolution, July 2, 2009

Despite the suspension of constitutional rights in place as of yesterday, per a decree by the Honduran congress in support of the coup government, tens of thousands of Hondurans are mobilizing throughout the country and participating in nationwide marches in route to the capital, Tegucigalpa. Demonstrators are protesting the illegal coup d'etat that ousted the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, on Sunday, after kidnapping him from his bedroom and forcing him into exile. Hondurans in support of President Zelaya are marching on the capital to await President Zelaya's return, scheduled as of now for Saturday, July 4th, after the Organization of American States (OAS) 72-hour ultimatum, that was issued to the coup government on Wednesday, calling on them to step down or face severe sanctions, has expired.

Hondurans are still denouncing the media blackout in place in their country, preventing the majority of people in the country from receiving news from independent and international sources. The only media permitted to broadcast or publish since Sunday's coup are those supporting the illegal takeover of the state.

Hondurans are also reporting food and medicine shortages in the country, resulting from the border closings imposed by neighboring nations Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, in reaction to the coup. Central American nations have adamantly condemned the coup and refused to recognize the illegal government in place, led by Roberto Micheletti, former head of congress. Nations around the world have expressed they only recognize Manuel Zelaya as the legitimate and constitutional president of Honduras.

It is still unsure how things will play out over the next few days, since the coup government is defiantly holding its power in Tegucigalpa and still has the military on its side. If they refuse to step down by Saturday, further sanctions could be imposed that would severely harm the already third poorest nation in Latin America's economy and infrastructure. As it stands today, the coup government appears ready to bear the consequences of months of isolation from the world community. The US may determine next Monday that sanctions should be in place against Honduras, resulting from the military coup, but it is unlikely that substantial aid will be cut, which will allow the illegal government to ride out the next 6 months until elections are held in November.

Governments in Latin America have stated they will not recognize any government elected during the November elections if the coup government remains in place until then, since such a process would not be considered legitimate or constitutional.

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