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Porking Honduras

23 October 2009

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduras’ de facto leaders blasted loud music outside the embassy where Manuel Zelaya is sheltering on Wednesday and refused to buckle under increased pressure from Washington for the ousted president’s return.

Talks to resolve the political crisis in Honduras sparked by a June 28 coup are deadlocked over whether leftist Zelaya can be reinstated to power.

“One side of the dialogue has all the privileges and advantages and the other legitimately elected side is totally repressed,” Zelaya told local radio station from inside the Brazilian Embassy where he took refuge last month after returning from exile.

Overnight, the caretaker government sent the army to play loud rock music, military band tunes, church bells and recordings of pig grunts over loudspeakers outside the embassy, a Reuters photographer inside the embassy said.

While I might disagree with Mica Rosenberg of Reuters in her assessment that there is any particular new pressure from Washington “to resolve the political crisis” (a rather novel way of saying “wiggle out of initial support for a “coup d’etat”),  it is all to the good that Reuters has a person inside the Brazilian Embassy to balance out the media over-reliance on “official” sources in a country where “protests… must be authorized by the government…”.  And, based on Ms. Rosenberg’s generally accurate reporting from Mexico (her usual beat), she’s a good reporter, who is unlikely to be mislead by spin.

What she cannot report… or what her editors are leaving out… is calling the claim that there are serious negotiations what they are:  total bullshit.  Continual harassment of the legitimate government (annoying an embassy being a technique pioneered by the United States when they started disturbing the Papal Nuncio’s peace in Panama when Manuel Noriega took refuge there), and stalling this long (the elections… which will be recognized by absolutely no one… are scheduled for 29 November there is absolutely no time for anything resembling a free and fair campaign.  As has been pointed out before, Mel Zelaya is not that important.  His tenure ends (and would have ended without the coup) on 27 January 2010… or not, depending on how the pig oinks.

What matters, in a country where the Cardinal told David Agren of Catholic News Service, even “the Church is poor”  (His Eminence was complaining about having to pay the new minimum wage.. the raising of which many feel was the real reason for the 28 July coup), is that “There are people here starving to death because of the political crisis.”

“The electoral process for a new president doesn’t magically just resolve these problems,” [Mauricio Díaz Burdett, coordinator of the Honduras Social Forum on Foreign Debt and Development] said. “Many other things are required that have to do with the social and economic policies that the country needs.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 October 2009 12:16 pm

    Richard, why do you think Rosenberg is inside the embassy? The noise is audible from 20 blocks away, according to [people who have informed] Zelaya, and she wouldn’t have had to be inside to report a news conference that was audible on Radio Globo.

    The photographer who took the picture obviously was inside, but that was Edgard Garrido.

  2. 23 October 2009 2:18 pm

    No, I said (or though I said) she had a SOURCE inside the Embassy… that being the Reuters photog.

  3. 23 October 2009 3:05 pm

    Well, you didn’t say that the photographer was not the element of balance, so I suppose it’s accurate. It was just a little puzzling figuring out who you were referring to as “a person inside the Brazilian Embassy to balance out the media over-reliance on ‘official’ sources,” especially since photographers aren’t usually doing interviews.

    But Garrido is apparently a full time Reuters employee and he evidently does interviews. So he qualifies as a reporter, which I would rate as even better than a source.

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