Sunday, September 27, 2009

Micheletti Blames Brazil for Excessive Honduran Police Violence

Give me a break.

Honduras is accusing Brazil's government of instigating an insurrection within its borders, and gave the Brazilian Embassy 10 days to decide the status of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge there.

"Since the clandestine arrival to Honduras by ex-president Zelaya, the Brazil embassy has been used to instigate violence and insurrection against the Honduran people and the constitutional government," the secretary of foreign affairs for Honduras' de facto government said in a statement late Saturday night.

Really? Brazil instigated the violence and insurrection? It should be clear how ridiculous this is. Brazil did not order Honduran troops to illegally remove Zelaya in the first place. Brazil did not order Honduran police to attack Zelaya's supporters. Brazil did not order Honduran police to punch handcuffed women in the face. Brazil did not order police to shoot and kill 18-year-olds who called the police what they in fact are ("golpistas"). Indeed, reports indicate that Brazil only knew about Zelaya an hour before he showed up at the embassy, and Lula's advisors believe Hugo Chavez "schemed" to help get Zelaya to Honduras and to the Brazilian embassy.

The plain and simple fact, as it has become increasingly clear, is that Micheletti is demonstrating the worst characteristics of an authoritarian leader who refuses to let go of his power. He's curtailed freedom of the press; he's established curfews; he continues to simultaneously insist that he's open to "negotiations" while declaring that he will have Zelaya arrested immediately. He has repeatedly sent the military to attack and repress protesters through brutal violence. To lay the blame for this at Brazil's doorstep is more than disingenuous; it's offensive, ridiculous, and absurd. It's yet another painful reminder that Micheletti and his administration are unable to either accept any responsibility for their actions or behave even remotely like adults.