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Another slow weekend in the Hemisphere

27 September 2009

Honduras:

(Update in bold italic)

Another overnight curfew in Honduras last night.  I’m writing this Saturday PM so have no idea if it will be extended into Sunday.

AFP reports today (Sunday, at 4:32 PM) that “five members of the Organization of American States were detained for six hours at the international airport in Honduras Sunday and four were expelled as they were attempting to enter the country, John Biehl, the only OAS official to enter the country.”

The French news agency also quotes Fr. Andres Tamayo (the priest and environmental activist threatened with deportation by the Micheletti regime, now holed up in the Brazilian compound) to the effect that there are farm workers and farmers descending on the capital for what Mel Zelaya calls a ““final offensive against the de facto government.”

An interesting development.  Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos, the Bishop of Santa Rosa de Copán, has called for a constituent assembly [which may be wishful thinking on my source’s part, per the comment by John Donahhy, who knows the Bishop personally]. Given that the justification for the coup was the claim that President Mel Zelaya MIGHT be able to call for such an assembly, had the non-binding referendum he was pushing been included with the November balloting… and passed… and been accepted by Congress as a persuasive argument to vote for such an assembly… and in turn was the rationale for rousting him from his bed at gun point and exiling him — it’ll be interesting how the “de facto” government deals with this meddlesome priest.

(source: Honduras Oye!)

Venezuela:

Al Jazeera obtained tape of a police investigation in Colombia, in which a  “paramiliary operative” from one of the rightist groups now in prison, claims that Manuel Rosales — an opposition candidate in the 2006 Venezuelan Presidential elections, and former mayor of Maricibo — who fled to Peru when he was charged with misuse of public funds and embezzlement — offered the paramilitaries $25 million to assassinate President Chávez by any means.   According to Al Jazeera, the conversation with Rosales took place at a secret meeting in 1999. Rosales said that he personally would be in charge of the plan to assassinate President Chávez, though the money would come from several sources.

It’s those “several sources” that open a whole can of worms.  Rosales’ business interests and bank holdings in Panama and the United States (Florida, in particular) received much attention from the Venezuelan press shortly before he fled the country.

(sources:  Al Jazeera, Venezuela Analysis, Inca Kola News)

United States:

You wonder whether this “politics by other means” initiative from Venezuela might have anything to do with one of the suspected financial backers of the … ah… Colombian unregulated agricultural market… like, oh, Allen Stanford.

Allen … er “Sir” Allen, as he likes to be called,  made his money the old fashioned way.  He stole it,  mostly from Latin American investors seeking to hide assets from taxing authorities, and used his Antigua bank.  It’s suspected that many of those investors had good reason to avoid tax authorities — having no way to account for the source of the assets (sort of like the money that Rosales invested in Florida).  There’s the usual way to make lots of untaxed money in Colombia, and it ain’t cocoa.

Anyway, Sir Allen is in the custody of the GEO Group… part of the Wackenhut family of fine private prisons… where he had, shall we say, an accident.

CONROE, Texas — A U.S. Marshals Service spokesman says jailed Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford is being treated at a hospital after being injured during a fight with another inmate.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez said Stanford was being treated Friday after a Thursday altercation at the private Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe about 40 miles north of Houston.

(Source: Huffington Post, Corp Watch, Detention Watch Network)

One Comment leave one →
  1. 27 September 2009 7:12 am

    I have not heard that Monseñor Santos has publicly and explicitly called for a constituent assembly but he definitely wants it to be considered. And I would not be surprised if he said so, but I’m waiting to talk with him or see a news report.

    The closest is in a CNS article (posted on my blog) that reads:

    “Bishop Santos said another agenda item for any dialogue should be planning a national constituent assembly that would consider rewriting parts of the country’s constitution.

    “The present constitution was created by the economic elite of the country, and for 27 years the two political parties have been incapable of resolving the basic problem of Honduras, which is social injustice. We’re one of the worst countries in Latin America in terms of inequality. Nor have they resolved the lack of education or health care for the poor,” he said.

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