Trouble in Honduras and Other News

may also include historical analysis and perspective
Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 30 Jun 2009, 22:01 #1

Protesters demand return of ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya
Demonstrations in capital after 56-year-old ruler removed from power in military coup

* Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent, and agencies
* Image, Monday 29 June 2009

Protesters in Honduras yesterday put up roadblocks in the capital, Tegucigalpa, as they demanded the return of the president, Manuel Zelaya, hours after he was ousted in a military coup.

Hundreds of people, some wearing masks and armed with sticks, put up barricades near the presidential palace as governments across the region condemned the first military overthrow in central America since the end of the cold war.

What has so far been a bloodless coup could yet turn lethal.....

Soldiers seized Zelaya, who was in his pyjamas, early yesterday and took him to neighbouring Costa Rica by plane.

The 56-year-old president, looking dishevelled but calm, said he had been expelled by "rightwing oligarchs" and promised to return to Honduras.

Zelaya, who had been in office since 2006, was ousted after clashing with the judiciary, congress and the army over proposed constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election.

The US and European Union joined Latin American governments in denouncing the coup.

In Honduras, however, the establishment rallied around the army's action.

Congress named an interim president, Roberto Micheletti, who announced an immediate curfew for Sunday and Monday nights. The country's leading court said it had authorised the toppling of the president....

Iraq War Troop Withdrawal:

This thing could have been over already. How long has it been since Murtha called for the end of the illegal occupation? Why in 2007 were so few politicians willing to stand up against the Bush Administration?

This is what Obama said in February courtesy of Peter Baker of Image.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — President Obama declared the beginning of the end of one of the longest and most divisive wars in American history on Friday as he announced that he would withdraw combat forces from Iraq by August 2010 and all remaining troops by December 2011.
This is what he has said recently.

Calgary Herald
'We know that the violence in Iraq will continue': Obama
By Sheldon Alberts, Washington Correspondent,
Canwest News Service
June 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — It was an Iraq war milestone marked by street celebrations in Baghdad, but with little more than passing notice in the White House.

While Iraq's government called a national holiday to mark the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from the nation's towns and cities, President Barack Obama offered only brief remarks about a signal event that Americans hope marks the beginning of the end of the six-year war....

The relatively muted recognition of the U.S. withdrawal appeared to reflect Obama's eagerness to shift the focus on America's military operations from the war in Iraq to Afghanistan. It was also an acknowledgment that, for all the symbolic importance to Iraqis of regaining military control of their urban centres, the U.S. still has more than 130,000 troops in Iraq.

In Baghdad, Iraqis poured into the streets in celebration of the June 30 deadline — declared National Sovereignty Day — for the departure of U.S. troops....

Obama has announced a timeline for withdrawal of American forces that would reduce overall U.S. troop levels to 50,000 by the middle of 2010. All American troops are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

More than 4,300 American military personnel have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, including four on Monday, as the U.S. was handing over security to Iraqis.
Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini