FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Zelaya in Nicaragua

by BELEN FERNANDEZ

Arriving at Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras last week, I asked the customs official processing my US passport how long I was permitted to stay in the country. The woman looked up from her desk at me and replied icily: “One day.”

Fearful that this was a sign of diminishing US influence in Latin America, I squeaked: “Por qué?”, at which point the woman burst into  laughter and welcomed me to Honduras for 90 days. Other versions of the Honduran welcome had been experienced by ousted President Manuel Zelaya in early July, when the Honduran military blockade of Toncontín airport had not been removed amid a fit of laughter and the military had instead fired at the crowd of Zelaya supporters that had gathered to watch his plane circle overhead.

Zelaya has since transferred his intended point of homeland penetration to the Nicaraguan border, where the “reckless behavior” of which he has been accused by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has included stepping briefly into Honduran territory. According to Clinton, an elected president’s attempts to remain president do not at the moment “contribute to the broader effort to restore democratic and constitutional order in the Honduras crisis.” She refrains from discussing whether the prohibition of public consultations on the issue of constitutional reform is a more effective contribution to democracy.

The danger of public consultation has been spelled out to me by a number of citizens in Tegucigalpa, one of them a taxi driver who announced that he shared the name of a popular Venezuelan musician but quickly clarified that the musician had no ties whatsoever to Hugo Chávez. Chávez’ intention, according to the musician’s namesake, was to convert Honduras into a narcotrafficking outpost.

Zelaya’s conversion of Nicaragua into an outpost of insurrection has meanwhile been addressed in Thursday’s edition of the Honduran daily La Tribuna, which has managed to confine Zelaya’s name to the bottom left-hand corner of the front page, with more prominent space reserved for the swine flu and a large picture of a murder in the city of San Pedro Sula. An entire column on page 67 is, however, devoted to explaining that Zelaya and his followers are now violating the Nicaraguan constitution in addition to the Honduran one.

The allegation is based on Article 27 of the Nicaraguan document, which states that foreigners in Nicaragua have the same rights as nationals except when it comes to derechos políticos. The column lists nine constitutional articles pertaining to the political rights of Nicaraguans, from which we can infer that itinerant Honduran presidents will not be considered Nicaraguan citizens at age 16, nor will they be entitled to the right of “reunión pacífica.” Zelaya has presumably violated the ban on the latter right for foreigners by calling for peaceful resistance.

An article to one side of the Nicaraguan constitutional analysis consists of the testimony of ex-Sandinista military officer Víctor Boitano Coleman, who takes advantage of article 52 of his country’s constitution authorizing constructive criticism of authority by denouncing abuses of power by President Daniel Ortega and violations by Zelaya of the ley de Migración y Extranjería. According to the ex-officer, violations include the maintenance of a foreign base of operations on Nicaraguan soil, although he does not delve into what sort of violations took place when the US converted Honduras into a base of operations against Nicaragua.

Belén Fernández can be reached at belengarciabernal@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Belén Fernández is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso, and Martyrs Never Die: Travels through South Lebanon.

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail