Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cuba : Hemeroteca ( New York Times & more...)...

Fugitives have good reason to fear closer ties to Cuba

By DeWayne Wickham HAVANA — When you talk to Charles Hill, you sense that he knows more than what he says about how his time in Cuba will end.
A wanted man who has spent nearly two-thirds of his 59 years on the lam, Hill and two other men skyjacked a plane from Albuquerque to Cuba in November 1971. They fled the country after one of them (Hill won't say who pulled the trigger) killed New Mexico state trooper Robert Rosenbloom during a highway confrontation.

In the years since the three fugitives — members of the Republic of New Afrika, a black separatist group — arrived in Cuba, Ralph Goodwin drowned while trying to save another swimmer, and cancer took the life of Michael Finney. Hill is the lone living member of the trio wanted for the killing of Rosenbloom — a crime for which he thinks he has done his time.
"I paid my price for that. I paid for that with the 38 (years) that I've been here in exile," he told me Saturday.
Won't get off easily The murder and skyjacking charges he faces won't be satisfied that easily. In fact, the FBI and New Mexico prosecutors, no doubt, hope that the thawing relationship between the Obama administration and the government of Raul Castro will cause Cuba to ship him back to the USA.
At first, Hill told me he doesn't think that's going to happen. "Cuba is now my home, and the Cuban government won't turn its back on me after all these years. I have no worries about that," he said during an interview outside the Hotel Nacional, which was once a favorite haunt of the Cuban elite and American mobsters before Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.
But Hill has good reason to worry. Late last month, Bisa Williams, the deputy assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs, headed a U.S. delegation that was in Cuba for a one-day meeting to discuss re-establishing direct mail service between the two countries. Instead of returning to the U.S. after the talks ended, Williams quietly extended her stay for five days and held unannounced talks with a senior official of Cuba's foreign ministry — the first such high-level talks in seven years.
Normalization efforts Despite his denial, Hill knows that the movement towards normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba doesn't bode well for him and dozens of other U.S. fugitives in this Caribbean Island nation. It will ratchet up the pressure for his return to the USA to face murder and skyjacking charges. "If it happens, it happens," he said, just moments after assuring me that Cuba won't return him to the U.S.
"I need someone to write a book about my life,' Hill said. "I need someone to tell my story who understands what could happen back then when a cop stopped a car with three black men wearing Afros.
"I regret that a life was lost, but it had to be that way. He drew his gun and he was going to kill us," he said of the deadly encounter with Rosenbloom. That's his version of what happened, which New Mexico prosecutors would love to challenge in court.
I don't know whether they'll ever get that chance, but I think Hill does. I think, in his mind, he's already written the final chapter of his life. I think he's scripted his ending and is prepared for whatever will come.
"I'll be here forever," he said, with a glassy look in his eyes. "This is where I live and this is where I'll die."
DeWayne Wickham writes on Tuesdays for USA TODAY.
(Hill: Fled to Cuba after fatal shooting in 1971./Kyle Leverett)  
Source:USAToday-Posted at 12:15 AM/ET, October 06, 2009

A 1965 CIA cable summarizes intelligence on a demolition project proposed by Jorge Mas Canosa, head of a violent Cuban exile group. A source cited on page three had informed the CIA of a payment that Mas Canosa had made to Luis Posada to finance a sabotage operation against Soviet and Cuban ships in Mexico.

In the news
Related Postings
Terrorism Case of Luis Posada Debated on Capitol Hill
Archive Analyst Peter Kornbluh Shares Declassified CIA and FBI Intelligence Reports With House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee
Documents Linked to Cuban Exile Luis Posada Highlighted Targets for Terrorism
Bomber's Confessions Point to Explosives Hidden in Toothpaste Tube that Brought Down Civilian Airliner in 1976
Bombing of Cuban Jetliner 30 Years Later
New Documents on Luis Posada Posted as Texas Court Weighs Release from Custody
The Posada File: Part II
Posada Boasted of Plans to "Hit" Cuban Plane, CIA Document States
Luis Posada Carriles: The Declassified Record
CIA and FBI Documents Detail Career in International Terrorism; Connection to U.S.

CIA misjudged Posada as "not a typical boom and bang type" militant
Proposed Posada for "responsible civil position" in post-Castro government
Declassified Documents identify Posada's Agency Handlers
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 288
Posted - October 6, 2009
For more information contact:
Peter Kornbluh - 202/374-7281
Washington, D.C., October 6, 2009 - On the 33rd anniversary of the bombing of Cubana flight 455, the National Security Archive today posted recently obtained CIA records on Luis Posada Carriles, his ties to "the Company" and role as an informant on other violent exile groups. The documents provide extensive details on a collaboration between Cuban-American militant Jorge Mas Canosa, who rose to become the most powerful leader of the hardline exile community in Miami, and Posada—codenamed AMCLEVE 15—who volunteered to spy on violent exile operations for the CIA.
The documents include a July 1966 memo from Posada, using the name "Pete" to his CIA handler Grover Lythcott requesting permission to join the coordinating junta for four violent exile groups, including RECE run by Mas Canosa. "I will give the Company all the intelligence that I can collect," Posada wrote. "I will gain a more solid position between the exiles and, because of that, I will be in a better position in the future to perform a good job for the company."
Posada, the documents show, had been reporting to the CIA on Mas Canosa's activities since mid 1965. In July of that year, Posada reported that he had completed two ten-pound Limpet bombs for a Mas Canosa operation against Soviet and Cuban ships in the port of Veracruz, Mexico, using eight pounds of Pentolite explosives and a pencil detonator.
In a memo, Grover Lythcott described Posada as "not a typical 'boom and bang' type of individual" who was "acutely aware of the international implications of ill planned or over enthusiastic activities against Cuba."  A CIA personnel record suggested that Posada would be "excellent for use in responsible civil position in PBRUMEN"—a codename for Cuba—"should the present government fall."
Both CIA and FBI intelligence records identify Posada as a mastermind of the bombing of Cubana airline flight 455, also using a pencil detonator, that took the lives of all 73 passengers and crew on October 6, 1976. Posada has publicly admitted ties to a series of hotel bombings in Cuba in 1997; in November 2000 he was arrested in Panama City for plotting to blow up an auditorium where Fidel Castro would be speaking. He is currently living freely in Miami, awaiting trial in El Paso, Texas, early next year on charges of lying to immigration authorities about his role in the hotel bombings, and as to how he illegally entered the United States in the spring of 2005.
"The documents show Posada has a long history of trying to ingratiate himself with the CIA," said Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba documentation project at the National Security Archive, "perhaps attempting to buy himself a degree of protection as he engaged in a career of terrorism." He called on the CIA "to release its entire operational file on Posada Carriles and his activities, to clarify the history of anti-Castro violence and advance the cause of justice for Posada's many victims."
The documents were obtained from the CIA pursuant to a FOIA request for records on Posada and his code-name, AMCLEVE 15. In recent years, the CIA has declassified the documents as part of the Kennedy Assassination Records Act.

Read the Documents
Document 1: CIA, July 21,1966, Memorandum, "AMCLEVE /15."
This document includes two parts-a cover letter written by Grover T. Lythcott, Posada's CIA handler, and an attached request written by Posada to accept a position on new coordinating Junta composed of several anti-Castro organizations. In the cover letter, Lythcbtt refers to Posada by his codename, AMCLEVE/I5, and discusses his previous involvement withthe Agency. He lionizes Posada, writing that his ''performance in all assigned tasks has been excellent," and urges that he be permitted to work with the combined anti-Castro exile groups. According to the document, Lythcott suggests that Posada be taken off the CIA payroll to facilitate his joining the anti-Castro militant junta, which will be led by RECE. Lythcott insists that Posada will function as an effective moderating force considering he is "acutely aware of the international implications of ill planned or over enthusiastic activities against Cuba." In an attached memo, Posada, using the name "Pete," writes that if he is on the Junta, "they will never do anything to endanger the security of this Country (like blow up Russian ships)" and volunteers to "give the Company all the intelligence that I can collect."
Document 2: CIA, August 29, 1966, "TYPIC/INTEL/AMCLEVE-15, Source Authentication for AMCLEVE-15."
This document announces that Posada is officially "associated with the Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE) and the 'Coordination of Forces' which RECE is organizing." Moreover, the document explains that Posada, codenamed AMCLEVE-15, "will be reporting on this alliance of activist organizations."
Document 3: CIA, July 1, 1965, Cable, "Plan of the Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE) to Blow Up a Cuban or Soviet Vessel in Veracruz, Mexico." (previously posted in May 2005)

This CIA cable summarizes intelligence on a demolition project proposed by Jorge Mas Canosa, then the head of RECE. On the third page, a source is quoted as having informed the CIA of a payment that Mas Canosa has made to Luis Posada in order to finance a sabotage operation against ships in Mexico. Posada reportedly has "100 pounds of C-4 explosives and some detonators" and limpet mines to use in the operation.
Document 4: CIA, July 24, 1965, Cable.
Based on reporting from Posada, referred to as AMCLEVE-15, the CIA learns details about the limpet-type bombs Posada is building for. "A-15 working directly with Jorge Mas Canosa," the cable states. The CIA instructs Posada "to disengage from activities."
Document 5: CIA, September 27, 1965, Memorandum, "AMCLEVEI15, 201300985."
"PRQ Part II," or the second part of Posada's Personal Record Questionnaire, provides operational information. Within the text of the document, Posada is described as "strongly anti-Communist" as well as a sincere believer in democracy. The document describes Posada having a "good character," not to mention the fact that he is "very reliable, and security conscious." The CIA recommends that he be considered for a civil position in a post-Castro government in Cuba (codenamed PBRUMEN).

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Source:The National Security Archive

Cuba and human rights.
October 6, 2009 4:51 PM  

Cuba and human rights. Please ignore this if you think Cuba is a 1. Glorious Worker's Paradise or 2. 3rd largest prison on Earth (after Myammar and N. Korea) I would like to know more about human rights for the average person in Cuba. For instance, if a regular person (NOT a government employee, journalist, or someone w/ connections) could afford it, could they just leave and go to India for 2 weeks on vacation? Buy a computer and get full access to the Web? Visit a relative in Miami? Open a bookstore and import what they want? Start a blog discussing human rights in Cuba? What actually happens if they try sailing a boat to Miami or Mexico?
posted by ebesan to society & culture (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Cubans are paid very low wages so any average citizen (and even most of the better paid citizens) would be totally unable to afford foreign travel. Most essentials are heavily subsidized by the government, keeping the cost of living very low.
posted by phrontist at 5:02 PM on October 6

My Cuz was down there several years ago. There are 2 cubas. a small one very rich & the big one that is very poor & worn out. NO animals other than goats (for the milk) everything else gets eaten (even the rats), As in there were no rats to be seen.......or birds or fish. That's why some risk their life to cross to America. If they can make it they can stay. If not......I guess death must be a acceptable option.
posted by patnok at 5:42 PM on October 6

I'd recommend reading the archives of Generation Y, a blog about life in Cuba.

It's written by a group of young-ish Cubans and does a good job of conveying the frustration of trying to simply get by. Today's post is about H1N1 and soap:
I search, without success, for a bottle of detergent to wash the glasses smeared with grease and fingerprints, which don’t yield to water and the dishcloth. Looking for the soapy liquid, I have walked part of Havana today, as the television announcers call on us to strengthen our hygiene before the advance of H1N1. The alert occasioned by the epidemic, however, has not caused the shops to lower the price of cleaning products, not even the cost of simple soap which is the equivalent of the wages for a full day’s work. Instead, the opposite has happened. The collapse in imports has been most notable in those that are used to bathe and disinfect.
If you are interested, the original untranslated posts are here.
posted by stefanie at 5:45 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]
(I did study abroad in Cuba, am from the US, do not consider it a paradise or prison)

The key here often comes down to not just the Cuban policies, but, for better or for worse, US policies as well.

Travel... the low wages in Cuba are not so different from those in other parts of the world, except that more people are making them - the income is less stratified, with greater differentiation only from those getting remittances from overseas. The real impediment to the foreign honeymoon is that you need government permission to leave the country. But yeah, professionals who get the permission to leave for conferences, etc., often bring their own food on trips because they can't afford to eat out wherever they land. Visiting a relative in Miami? Well, good luck getting that US visa because they will assume you are not coming back and reject you flat out.

The bookstores... there are some great used bookstores, but most of those books have been there a very long time. The impediments are going to be 1) the cost of the books relative to what the market can bear and 2) the laws that prevent American companies from doing business with Cuba, and the pressure exerted on non-American companies who do business with American companies. Crap, but true. Most bookstores selling new books are selling domestically published public domain material or books written by Cubans, for Cubans.

Internet... when I was there (4 years ago now) internet access was only by cafe, slow, and required handing over your passport. The universities had internet, but it was a truly limited resource. This seems to be an infrastructural issue, rather than a censorship one. I never encountered blocked things on the internet, but didn't look that hard. Having your own personal computer at home? Never knew one.

Sailing a boat out... they get sent back to try again. This does not seem to cause many disappearances (i.e. persecution of people returned). Again, it is important to look at US involvement: in the case of Cuba, if they reach the US, they can stay. So the gap between the two countries is under close watch.
posted by whatzit at 5:46 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]

I should say that my Cuz was on the championship USA senior (over 50) baseball team. they played the Cuban equivalent. He got to see things most visitors wouldn't.
posted by patnok at 5:47 PM on October 6

A friend of mine is of Cuban heritage, and although he was born in the US, he still has extended family there. I've asked him similar questions in the past, although mine were more along the lines of "how can their government stay in power for so long?" The subtext is that (I assume) the general populace would rather have a different government and that propaganda couldn't be too effective if it has to compete with Spanish AM radio stations broadcast from Miami, Mexico or the Dominican Republic.

What I recall him telling me was that maybe the average person would prefer a different government, but you'd never know because people are afraid to talk candidly about these things — even to family or close friends — because government informants are widespread.

Since poverty is also widespread, making ends meet is a more pressing issue for most people. If you toe the party line, you might get better housing or similar perks. If you upset the government, you might get fired. That's a much more severe penalty there because it's generally a state-run economy and you're unlikely to find a new (legitimate) job.

Foreign travel is likely much too expensive for anyone but high-ranking government officials. I'd imagine anyone else would be unlikely to get approval to leave if they somehow found the money to pay for it. Even if someone was to manage a two-week trip to India, I'd expect that he or she would be afraid of what might happen to their family or friends back home if they spoke out.

Maybe the most important thing he told me is what his father told him: "Everyone needs a bogeyman." The US blames Castro for various things and likewise Castro blames the US. Political advantage seems to be the primary motive in either case, because both countries seem content to ignore others doing similar things. I guess that's easier to see for someone whose lived in both places.
posted by tomwheeler at 6:07 PM on October 6

What I recall him telling me was that maybe the average person would prefer a different government, but you'd never know because people are afraid to talk candidly about these things — even to family or close friends — because government informants are widespread.

This wasn't particularly my experience, and I should have mentioned it above. In general, people I talked to about these issues wanted modernization, internationalization, and for the Castros to hand off to someone else, though they liked the idea of the system overall. From what I have read/heard, this was a serious issue in the heyday of the CDR (committees for the defense of the revolution), up until the 1990s or so.

Everyone needs a bogeyman
Indeed, this is totally an issue, and part of the reason I chose to go live there for a while: you just cannot get good reports in the US news, and often even from Cuban-Americans. Finding out the reality is really, really tough. Should it seem like I am coming down hard on the US policies above, trust me, I'm not out there protesting an end to the embargo or anything. To be frank, I am not optimistic about a easy post-embargo transition. But, nonetheless, it really does complicate matters.
posted by whatzit at 6:26 PM on October 6

There are many schools of thought in Human Right discourse, one being that rights which do not follow a "violator, violated, remedy" formula cannot be considered a human right. This means that economic and social "rights" are not actually rights because who is to blame (legally) in a government for a citizen being poor?

However, if you are someone who believes that economic and social rights are indeed human rights, Cuba has a number of violations, including but certainly not limited to the right of expression, the right to information, and the right to (in some cases, legal) migration to remove oneself from a country if it cannot provide a self-defined good quality of life.
posted by msk1985 at 10:37 PM on October 6

You should take into account that the government did not decide they wouldn't import things. The USA punished Cuba for its political ideology with an embargo, which is the main reason why Cubans cannot get everyday goods, unless they manufacture them.
posted by Tarumba at 4:49 AM on October 7

Something not often mentioned in US reportage about Cuba is that the government still has very strong support from the rural parts of Cuba (that is, most of the country), because they were raised from dirt-poor serfdom to full, though still pretty poor, participants in society.

Landowners and the wealthy suffered from the revolution, of course (what else is new). Those families made up the majority of those who fled to Miami early, those who were tossed to Miami at the Mariana Boatlift. The descendants of both are the ones who have voice in the USA, and they're (naturally) from very anti-Castro families and upbringings.

In the time I have been visiting, I've seen the country open up quite a bit: citizens now own and run their own small businesses, computers can now (as of 2007) be purchased and owned by any citizen*, there's (government filtered) Internet available to all, and so on. Slow, but definitely more open than say, 20 years ago.

Managing a controlled transition to a more 'western' and market-oriented system is the challenge of the reformers active in government, and there are certainly many. Where they agree with the conservative Castro-types, though, is in their fear that Cuba could become a US slave state once again. They were burned very badly by Batista et al, and it's not forgotten. And naturally, the US sanctions and blockade don't help relations much.

(* they like Linux a lot. Naturally.)
posted by rokusan at 5:51 AM on October 7

In general, people I talked to about these issues wanted modernization, internationalization, and for the Castros to hand off to someone else, though they liked the idea of the system overall.

Seconded. That describes almost every Cuban I've ever met and spoken to at length.

The general feeling is that Castro's time is past, but they very much like the system in terms of government services, health care, and so on, and they do not want violent or dramatic changes.
posted by rokusan at 5:52 AM on October 7

The main reason why Cubans cannot get everyday goods, unless they manufacture them.

They get imports from Mexico, South America and Europe... but of course they're very expensive and coveted.
posted by rokusan at 5:53 AM on October 7

I was there about three years ago and I met one young and vocal anti-Castroist (who had an uncle living in the US), one young local who generally admired Castro for being intelligent but thought he was longwinded. This guy liked Castro insofar as he supported the initial ousting of Bautista but he also thought Castro had his faults. I met another older local who was a loud and proud Fidelista and claimed everyone in Cuba was. So it didn't seem like people were really that scared to talk about politics on a surface level.

I met the proud Fidelista as I was drinking a beer - he was sitting nearby and told me that his grandson was my size, that he liked my shirt, and could he have my shirt - a shortsleeve button-up that I was wearing over a tshirt. I gave it to him, we chatted, and he proclaimed his love for Fidel even while the failings of the country were obvious. And this was in Veradero too - a place that could easily make a local feel jaded or resentful about the situation.

So from all that, I basically think Rokusan has it right. There's a spectrum of opinion on Castro, and people just want more of the basic things.
posted by molecicco at 8:06 AM on October 7

Tossing my anecdotes in: the older couple I stayed with in a rural area seemed very much in favor of the Cuban system, which had improved their lives greatly. The younger guy I spent time with in Havana was less enthusiastic, cautiously mentioned some darker things. He was interested in going abroad (he had an Australian girlfriend, I believe) and was more worldly in general.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:48 AM on October 7

Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Walter E. Williams :: Columnist
Elites and Tyrants
by Walter E. Williams

Rep. Diane Watson said, in praising Cuba's health care system, "You can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met." W.E.B. Dubois, writing in the National Guardian (1953) said, "Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ... But also -- and this was the highest proof of his greatness -- he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate." Walter Duranty called Stalin "the greatest living statesman . . . a quiet, unobtrusive man." George Bernard Shaw expressed admiration for Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck
John Kenneth Galbraith visited Mao's China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Gunther Stein of the Christian Science Monitor admired Mao Tsetung and declared ecstatically that "the men and women pioneers of Yenan are truly new humans in spirit, thought and action," and that Yenan itself constituted "a brand new well integrated society, that has never been seen before anywhere." Michel Oksenberg, President Carter's China expert, complained that "America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values," and urged us to "borrow ideas and solutions" from China.
Even Harvard's late Professor John K. Fairbank, by no means the worst tyrant worshipper, believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, "Americans may find in China's collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one's neighbor that has a lesson for us all." Keep in mind that estimates of the number of Chinese deaths during China's Cultural Revolution range from 2 to 7 million people. Mao Tsetung was admired by many academics and leftists across our country. Just think back to the campus demonstrations of the '60s and '70s when campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao's little red book, "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung." Forty years later some of these campus radicals are tenured professors and administrators at today's universities and colleges, as well as schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.
The most authoritative tally of history's most murderous regimes is in a book by University of Hawaii's Professor Rudolph J. Rummel, "Death by Government." Statistics are provided at his website. The Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and those in nations they captured. Between 1917 and 1987, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tsetung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese.
Today's leftists, socialists and progressives would bristle at the suggestion that their agenda differs little from Nazism. However, there's little or no distinction between Nazism and socialism. Even the word Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. The origins of the unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism did not begin in the '20s, '30s and '40s. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for "social justice." It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, like many of today's Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for Hitler to take over.
Few Americans have the stomach or ruthlessness to do what is necessary to make their governmental wishes come true. They are willing to abandon constitutional principles and rule of law so that the nation's elite, who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, can have the tools to implement "social justice." Those tools are massive centralized government power. It just turns out last century's notables in acquiring powerful central government, in the name of social justice, were Hitler, Stalin, Mao, but the struggle for social justice isn't over yet, and other suitors of this dubious distinction are waiting in the wings.

“That was forty years ago!”

Watch as Michael Moore calls fidel castro's murder of Cubans ancient history:

I suppose, though, that wanting to sit down and dialogue with fidel and co, pretty much says the exact same thing.
Update: Jim adds another post to remind us all about that "ancient history."
H/T Jim.



Back to Cuba…

Anoche nos divirtió mucho una idea que animó la sobremesa en una latitud que nos tenía casi tan cerca de Cuba como de Miami. La de que Barack Obama arreglara con Castro II la devolución a Cuba de todos los cubanoamericanos. Materia jocosa e impensable, evidentemente, pero que reedita la pesadilla que han tenido muchos exiliados cubanos: verse de pronto retornados a un país en el que no saben qué hacer, porque ya ni lo conocen.

Lo más divertido es la cuestión de por quiénes comenzar ese tráfico de vuelta. Si seguir escrupulosamente el orden de llegada y subir al ferry los primeros a los pioneros del llamado «exilio histórico» o si, por el contrario, bíblicamente, hacer que los últimos sean los primeros, los que todavía hace nada eran pioneros, pero de la UPC.

Argumento y dilema –«el exilio traicionado por un presidente norteamericano», demócrata de preferencia, y la cuestión del merecimiento del exilio según el cronograma del arribo a la libertad– parecen tópicos que nos perseguirán siempre.

Y ambos son cosa de risa. La risa torcida de quienes saben, sabemos, que entre nosotros todo engolamiento merece trompetilla y todo augurio una carcajada.
Fuente:El Tono de La Voz


Honduras, un pulso de fuerzas

La deportación de la hija de Micheletti por el Gobierno de EE UU, la negación de la entrada de los embajadores de la OEA a Tegucigalpa, el ultimátum del Gobierno de facto a Brasil y la respuesta de éste comenzaron a convertir la crisis hondureña en una cuestión de pulso de fuerzas que aparentemente ha comenzado a corregirse.
    Manuel Zelaya

    Manuel Zelaya


    Roberto Micheletti

    Roberto Micheletti


    El Progreso



    7,639,327 (est. 2008)
La racionalidad política debe imponerse sobre el dogmatismo diplomático
Un pulso de fuerzas sólo conduciría a que la violencia entre los hondureños sea la forma de dirimir arrogancias nacionales e internacionales. Si ése fuera el escenario, la radicalización ideológica, la lucha callejera y la represión tomarían pronto los primeros planos. Hasta ahora la lógica más generalizada ha sido tomar partido por el "bueno", o por el "malo", en vez de actuar para evitar un conflicto.
Tanto Zelaya como Micheletti son personajes congruentes con el atraso de su país, de poco sirve medirlos por quién es el peor o el mejor.
Centroamérica está atrapada entre el dogmatismo de la formalidad diplomática y la pobreza de la racionalidad política. Ha habido una reacción desproporcionada de la comunidad internacional que olvida la intromisión de Chávez en Honduras como factor generador del golpe. El castigo que se ha aplicado es superior a la falta. El Gobierno de facto representa a una sociedad asustada, no es ni una dictadura real, ni una dictadura potencial. Es el miedo a Chávez y a verse como Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador o Nicaragua lo que provocó el golpe. La comunidad internacional no les ha ofrecido hasta ahora una solución a su miedo y a su desconfianza, sino que los continuó asustando y haciendo desconfiar más, y eso ni es político, ni es diplomacia, ni sirve para resolver conflictos, sino para hacerlos crecer.
Intentar sentar un precedente contra los golpes de Estado usando a un país tan pequeño y pobre como Honduras no tiene sentido. No se puede ejemplarizar con un hecho atípico a países que tienen realidades diferentes. Al igual que cuando Reagan pretendió usar a un país tan pequeño como El Salvador para sacar a EE UU del trauma de la derrota de Vietnam, ahora la izquierda quiere usar a Honduras para sacarse el trauma de los golpes de Estado. La política de la derecha de Reagan nos costó 75.000 muertos a los salvadoreños; ¿cuántos hondureños muertos quiere la izquierda para sacarse su trauma?
No hay posibilidad de contagio de golpes de Estado en todas partes, esto es tan cierto que los Gobiernos de izquierda de Chile, Brasil y Venezuela están rearmando considerablemente a sus ejércitos.
La idea de que si el Gobierno hondureño es ilegítimo las elecciones de noviembre serían ilegítimas es una barbaridad política; antes a los Gobiernos de facto se les demandaba realizar elecciones libres y todas las transiciones democráticas parten de Gobiernos ilegítimos, ésa sería la realidad si en Cuba se realizaran elecciones libres.
El problema es que la ilegitimidad de esas elecciones podría colocar a todo Centroamérica en una nueva, prolongada, contagiosa, desbordada y violenta crisis de gobernabilidad que se sumaría a todos los graves problemas de miseria e inseguridad que ya tiene la región. En Guatemala, además de una hambruna, hay una dualidad de poderes entre el Gobierno y el crimen organizado; en El Salvador hay tres poderes, el presidente Funes, el FMLN y la mara Salvatrucha; en Honduras no hay Gobierno y con ello se está fortaleciendo el narcotráfico; y en Nicaragua Ortega realizó un fraude electoral y está intentando relanzar un proyecto autoritario.
Centroamérica tiene una sola carretera que la comunica y Honduras está en su parte media; el comercio entre los países centroamericanos representa en promedio el 30% de sus exportaciones para cada uno. Es decir, que la inestabilidad de Honduras terminará afectando a todos. Cuando El Salvador invadió a Honduras en 1969 la consecuencia del cierre de la frontera hondureña fue una guerra civil en El Salvador.
En los años ochenta, el presidente Óscar Arias no se involucró en la pacificación de la región sólo por altruismo, sino porque Costa Rica había recibido 500.000 nicaragüenses, una sexta parte de su población. Igualmente, México promovió la pacificación porque por su territorio pasaron seis millones de centroamericanos hacia EE UU.
Si en la actual crisis hondureña se imponen las arrogancias y los dogmatismos diplomáticos sobre el pragmatismo y la racionalidad política, Centroamérica podría de nuevo expulsar a millones de personas, que no saldrían hacia Brasil, España, Venezuela o Chile, sino hacia México y EE UU, con todo lo injusto y triste que ese camino es para los más pobres.
Igual podrían surgir varios narco-Estados en la región como retaguardias de los carteles mexicanos y colombianos. Si Zelaya ya está en Honduras, son los hondureños quienes deberían resolver su problema mediante un diálogo nacional, la comunidad internacional debería observar las elecciones de noviembre y reconocer a quien resulte electo. Los centroamericanos no merecemos ser de nuevo usados para que otros se saquen sus traumas sólo porque somos países pobres y débiles.
Joaquín Villalobos, ex guerrillero salvadoreño, es consultor para la resolución de conflictos internacionales.
Fuente: El País

2009-10-07 | OEA definió misión que visita Honduras hoy
Adital - La Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA) divulgó la lista de los trece integrantes de la misión que visitará Honduras hoy. Esa es la segunda visita del organismo al país. La primera ocurrió en agosto, cuando la OEA ya tentaba la restitución del presidente depuesto, Manuel Zelaya, a través del Acuerdo de San José.

El secretario general de la OEA, José Miguel Insulza, encabezará el grupo que tiene como objetivo "promover el diálogo y el restablecimiento de la democracia en ese país".

La misión está compuesta por más doce autoridades, representantes de ONU (Organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas), de diez países americanos y de España, una de las naciones observadoras de la OEA.

Es casi la misma de agosto.

Los demás integrantes son los cancilleres de Costa Rica, Bruno Stagno; de Ecuador, Fander Falconí; de El Salvador, Hugo Martínez; de México, Patricia Espinosa; y de Panamá, Juan Carlos Varela.

Los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de Canadá, Peter Kent, de Jamaica, Ronald Robinson, y el viceministro de Guatemala, Miguel Ángel Ibarra, participarán de la misión, así como los embajadores de Argentina y de Brasil ante la OEA, Rodolfo Hugo Gil y Ruy Casaes e Silva, respectivamente.

El secretario de Estado español para Iberoamérica, Juan Pablo de la Iglesia, participará de la misión.

También va a componer el grupo un representante del secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki-moon.

OEA quiere equilibrar la misión regionalmente, ya que incluye a los presidentes del Sica (Sistema de Integración Centroamericana), de Unasur (Unión de las Naciones Suramericanas) y de Caricom (Comunidad del Caribe).

Aún se quisiera ampliar con la integración de España.

El objetivo de la misión de OEA es presionar para que el gobierno de facto acepte el Acuerdo de San José, lo único objetivo de OEA, según ella misma.

La medida ha sido propuesta por el presidente costarriqueño y mediador del conflicto hondureño, Óscar Arias.

Ella exige la restitución inmediata del mandatario legítimo, Manuel Zelaya.


HONDURAS: CANCILLER ARGENTINO OPTIMISTA ANTE MISION DE OEA BUENOS AIRES, 6 (ANSA) - El canciller argentino, Jorge Taiana, expresó hoy tener "expectativas" por la misión de la OEA que visitará mañana Honduras para restablecer la democracia en ese país.
    "Nosotros tenemos expectativas con la nueva misión de la OEA que comienza mañana" en cuanto a que "podamos avanzar en un restablecimiento pleno de la democracia en Honduras", expresó el canciller en un comunicado.
    "Creemos que ha habido algunas señales de que, quizás, podemos tener un mayor optimismo que el que teníamos hace unos días atrás", agregó en alusión a las gestiones varias a partir del golpe de estado del 28 de junio contra el presidente Manuel Zelaya.
    Taiana llamó a "tener la mayor apertura y disposición, y el esfuerzo para encontrar, definitivamente, el camino que permita el restablecimiento pleno de la democracia en Honduras".
    Argentina estará representada en la misión por su embajador ante la OEA, Rodolfo Gil, en el marco de "un esfuerzo grande" de los países americanos. JMG

Fuente: AnsaLatina :06/10/2009 22:43  

Abren en Honduras una nueva instancia de diálogo político

Seguidores de Manuel Zelaya se manifiestan en Tegucigalpa, para exigir su reinstalación al Gobierno. AP
  • Se reactivan manifestaciones
Manuel Zelaya nombra representantes para negociación. La OEA ve posible un acuerdo entre las partes
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS.- Las ventajas de un nuevo diálogo para cerrar la crisis en Honduras crecieron ayer, luego de que el depuesto presidente Manuel Zelaya nombrara delegados para una eventual negociación con el Gobierno de facto mediada por una misión de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), que llegará al país.

La delegación de la OEA)aterrizará hoy en Tegucigalpa liderada por su secretario general, José Miguel Insulza, que tiene el desafío de tratar de conciliar las posiciones entre el presidente de facto, Roberto Micheletti, y Zelaya.

En una muestra de apertura, pese a su declarado escepticismo respecto de una negociación con el Gobierno de facto, el líder destituido nombró a ocho delegados para participar en un eventual diálogo.

Pero condicionó su participación a que se pueda reunir con ellos en la embajada brasileña, donde permanece recluido.

“Primero deben venir a la embajada para hablar con el presidente, porque él ni siquiera los ha visto, y después estarían para el diálogo”, explicó Rasel Tomé, asesor de Zelaya que lo acompaña en la sede diplomática desde que se refugió allí hace dos semanas.

Los delegados de Zelaya son ex ministros y dirigentes sindicales que organizaron la resistencia contra Micheletti.

Se espera que el Gobierno de facto anuncie oficialmente en las próximas horas la instauración de una mesa de negociaciones. John Biehl, asesor de Insulza, dijo que la idea es que el mismo miércoles se celebre un primer encuentro entre las partes en pugna.

“Estamos bastante optimistas. Han habido avances muy significativos de ambas partes (...) Habría una primera sesión de diálogo formal mañana”, comentó dijo Biehl.

Se reactivan manifestaciones

El Gobierno de facto dio marcha atrás el lunes con un polémico decreto que restringía libertades civiles, cuyo fin fue acallar a algunos medios afines a Zelaya y detener las manifestaciones en favor del depuesto mandatario.

Pese a que el decreto no ha sido derogado oficialmente, ya que no ha sido publicado el diario oficial, ayer se reactivaron las protestas en favor de Zelaya.

Un centenar de personas se reunió frente a la embajada de Estados Unidos y marchó cerca de la representación brasileña para insistir en la restitución del poder al depuesto mandatario.

Otra protesta similar ocurrió en San Pedro Sula, la segunda ciudad del país, mientras que la llamada resistencia zelayista anunciaron al menos tres marchas más para las próximas horas.

El golpe desató fuerzas fascistas, alerta Menchú

La líder indígena guatemalteca Rigoberta Menchú, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1992, alertó que “de México a Panamá, la crisis es bastante clara”, porque el golpe de Estado del 28 de junio pasado en Honduras desató una cadena de fuerzas fascistas de la extrema derecha regional que estaban ocultas desde el final de los conflictos bélicos en Centroamérica en 1996.

Con énfasis, pidió a Washington que aplique presión “más contundente” sobre los golpistas hondureños para restituir al depuesto gobernante Manuel Zelaya y alertó que la salida tampoco debe construirse “en la impunidad” de los que “quebraron” el régimen de derecho.

“La democracia está en crisis”, insistió en rueda de prensa en esta ciudad. La crisis afecta desde México a Panamá, porque para comunicarse con cualquier país del área hay que pasar por Honduras, que es “estratégico”, aseveró. “Las huellas de las dictaduras del pasado, no están muertas en América Latina. Los retoños de las dictaduras tienen más fuerza política y económica”.

Tras el derrocamiento de Zelaya, en Guatemala, El Salvador y otros países resurgió la derecha con represión e impunidad.

“Los escudos de la Guerra Fría, a raíz del golpe de Estado en Honduras, han aflorado”, ya que “de repente nos salen voces” que se creían superadas con los procesos de paz que terminaron con las guerras en El Salvador, Guatemala y Nicaragua (entre 1990 y 1996) pero que ahora reiteran mensajes de anticomunismo y amenaza a los derechos humanos.

Antes del golpe, “nadie picaba el ambiente para esos radicalismos” que emergieron con la caída de Zelaya, recalcó. Al denunciar actitudes de “fascismo” en su país, relató que en Guatemala “se han radicalizado las posturas de extrema derecha, que se pensaba que ya no existían”. La derecha “se atrinchera para protegerse de los vientos del Sur, que para ellos son los gobiernos de Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador o Nicaragua”.

‘‘Mel’’ y Gobierno de facto, camino sembrado de incertidumbre

Una misión de cancilleres de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), llegará hoy a Honduras para abrir un diálogo que busca superar la crisis política, en medio de incertidumbre y la desconfianza que prevalece entre el presidente depuesto, Manuel Zelaya, y el Gobierno de facto.

Seis cancilleres de la región, tres vicecancilleres y el secretario general de la OEA, José Miguel Insulza, tendrán el reto de conciliar posiciones antagónicas en el punto medular: el retorno al  poder de Zelaya, depuesto en un golpe de Estado el 28 de junio.

Refugiado en la embajada de Brasil en Tegucigalpa desde hace dos semanas,  Zelaya pide la firma del Acuerdo de San José, que establece su restitución, mientras el presidente de facto, Roberto Micheletti, busca un camino que la evite y trata de ganar reconocimiento internacional para las elecciones del 29  de noviembre.

“Mel” afirmó ayer en un comunicado que desconfía de un diálogo con el Gobierno de facto y añadió: “La gran obstinación de no entregar el poder al legítimo presidente pone en peligro” las elecciones y profundizará la crisis política.

El jefe de una delegación de parlamentarios europeos, José Ignacio Salafranca, de visita en Honduras, dijo tras reunirse con ambos que el tema de la reinstalación de Zelaya “es el principal obstáculo” para llegar a un acuerdo.

No obstante, el mandatario de facto admitió el lunes por primera vez la posibilidad de una restitución después de las elecciones, a fin de asegurarse  que Zelaya no intentará —como teme— cambiar la Constitución para mantenerse en el poder.

Doce activistas del Frente de Resistencia contra el Golpe de Estado, entraron en la embajada de Guatemala en Tegucigalpa y pidieron asilo político, aduciendo que son perseguidos por el régimen de facto.

Fijan agenda y detalles para mesa de pláticas

Un funcionario de la OEA dijo ayer que ya se acordó una agenda para que representantes del Gobierno de facto de Honduras y del depuesto presidente Manuel Zelaya se reúnan hoy con mediación del organismo, en busca de superar la crisis política.

John Biehl, asesor del secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), José Miguel Insulza, sostuvo que las posiciones se han acercado bastante y que existe un ambiente propicio para que el Gobierno interino y enviados del derrocado Zelaya se sienten a negociar.

El diplomático explicó que la mesa de diálogo inicial, donde los cancilleres actuarán como observadores, tendrá a tres representantes de cada lado y que, en la eventualidad de una segunda reunión, podrían participar más delegados.

“Va todo muy bien. Ya hay una agenda definida para la reunión completa de cancilleres (...) El Gobierno en ejercicio autorizó a todos los que vienen”, comentó Biehl en referencia a la misión de la OEA que arribará al país hoy, encabezada por Insulza.

Estados Unidos se sumó a la misión internacional, integrada por cinco cancilleres, dos ministros y por el secretario general del organismo José Miguel Insulza.
Fuente:El Informador:CRÉDITOS: Reuters / RMP

No tomaré partido por Zelaya o Micheletti aunque me masacren: Lobo

El candidato a la presidencia de Honduras por el Partido Nacional, manifestó su seguridad en que va a ganar las elecciones del próximo 29 de noviembre, en el marco de la crisis política que vive su país.
Madrid. - El candidato a la presidencia de Honduras por el Partido Nacional, Porfirio Lobo, advirtió hoy que no tomará partido ni por el depuesto presidente Manuel Zelaya ni por el de facto, Roberto Micheletti, "aunque me masacren".
En una entrevista con el diario El País, en su mansión a las afueras de Tegucigalpa, el aspirante presidencial, conocido como Pepe Lobo, sostuvo que "no debemos seguir poniendo el destino de Honduras en dos personas que dentro de tres meses ya no van a pintar nada".
Lobo manifestó su seguridad en que va a ganar las elecciones del próximo 29 de noviembre, en el marco de la crisis política que vive su país.
El País sostuvo que las encuestas que maneja le otorgan un 42 por ciento de la intención de voto, frente a un 15 por ciento del candidato del Partido Liberal, Elvin Santos.
Los otros candidatos, incluido el sindicalista Carlos H. Reyes, el preferido de Manuel Zelaya, quedan a enorme distancia, añadió.
En la entrevista, Lobo afirmó que formará un gobierno de unidad nacional "porque si no lo hago así, no voy a poder gobernar. Esta crisis ha dividido a la población, ha polarizado al país terriblemente".
Expuso que de acuerdo con sondeos de su propio partido, el 83 por ciento de los hondureños no soporta la deriva que está tomando el país.
Además, el 63 por ciento desea un acuerdo entre Zelaya y Micheletti revisado por la comunidad internacional pero ni uno ni otro tienen, como presumen, el apoyo mayoritario de la población, más bien al contrario.
"Nos convendría a todos dejar de pensar tanto en ellos dos y mirar al futuro", insistió el candidato presidencial.
Lobo consideró que la manera en que Zelaya fue sacado de Honduras obligándole a dejar el cargo fue un error.
"A la vista está que fue un error, pero aquí todo el mundo ha pecado. Zelaya se enfrentó con todos, con los empresarios, con los jueces, con las iglesias evangélicas, con el cardenal", continuó.
Aseveró que muchos no tienen ni idea "de que hemos sufrido aquí con Zelaya" y refirió una reunión en su despacho, en mayo pasado, un mes escaso antes de haber sido depuesto en la que el general Romeo Vásquez le dejó muy claro que si convocaba un referéndum ilegal, sintiéndolo mucho no lo iba a poder obedecer.
"Le avisó. Lo que no quiere decir que estuviera bien que lo sacaran de su casa de la manera que lo sacaron. Por eso le digo que aquí pecamos todos", agregó.
El País resaltó que Lobo además de político es agricultor no sólo fue a buenos colegios de niño, sino que de joven tuvo la oportunidad de formarse en Estados Unidos.
El aspirante enfatizó que forma parte de una minoría pues en Honduras el 90 por ciento de los universitarios pertenece a un 20 por ciento de la población, que es la que tiene ingresos.
"En las ciudades, dos de cada tres familias son pobres. En las zonas rurales es aún peor. Cuatro de cada cinco familias no tienen nada. Y lo peor es que, a esos datos terribles, hay que sumarle otro no menos alarmante: Honduras es el país de Centroamérica con un mayor índice de exenciones fiscales", dijo.
Subrayó que hay grandes empresarios que no pagan nada por sus franquicias, pero "eso se va a acabar. En Honduras se va a acabar la fiesta".