Honduran "Foreign Minister" calls Obama a 'plantation n*gger'

In the latest charm offensive coming from the right-wing junta that ousted the elected president of Honduras, El Tiempo quotes Enrique Ortez, the new foreign minister of the Honduran government, talking about his great diplomatic skills:
He negociado con maricones, prostitutas, con ñángaras (izquierdistas), negros, blancos. Ese es mi trabajo, yo estudié eso. No tengo prejuicios raciales, me gusta el negrito del batey que está presidiendo los Estados Unidos."

"I have negotiated with queers, prostitutes, leftists, blacks, whites. This is my job, I studied for it. I am not
racially prejudiced. I like the little black sugar plantation worker who is president of the United States."
Charming. Clearly he's not prejudiced -- he says so! If the rightfully elected president of Honduras comes back to power, Mr. Ortez could run for Governor of Arkansas or work as an aide in the Tennessee State Legislature.

In all seriousness, the coup in Honduras is a depressing example of how right-wing oligarchies work -- and what happens when folks try to reform the system even from within. The pro-oligarchy spin is that Zelaya wanted to change the constitution in order to get re-elected. Given that the constitutional convention wasn't to take place until after the next election, that seems rather unlikely. Zelaya had begun paying more attention to the rights of family famers, Afro-Hondurans, and landless workers, however -- the kind of progressive work that under the oligarchy gets you shipped out of the country at gunpoint. In your pj's. (By the way, anyone know what kind of pajamas Zelaya wore? I think it might be a good insight into whether he was a true reformer, or just using the Left for his own political gain...)

Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Delahunt (D-MA) have sent out a Dear Colleague letter to the other members of the House of Representatives asking them to sign on as original co- sponsors to a House resolution calling for the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. I've quoted it below. If you're reading on Thursday 7/9 and want to call in to your rep and ask them to co-sponsor the McGovern/Delahunt resolution on Honduras, the Captiol swichboard number is 202-224- 3121.

For the curious, here's the resolution:
The Resolution:

Condemning the June 28, 2009 coup d'état in Honduras, calling for the reinstatement of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and for other purposes.

Whereas Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales was elected President of Honduras in November 2005 in elections that were deemed free and fair by international observers;

Whereas President Zelaya and other political actors in Honduras became embroiled in a political dispute over whether to hold a non-binding referendum asking Honduran voters whether they wanted a constituent assembly to be established to amend the Constitution;

Whereas on June 28, 2009, the day that the non- binding referendum was to take place, Honduran military forces stormed President Zelaya's residence, apprehended him, sent him out of the country, and seized the materials for the referendum;

Whereas the Honduran Congress named Roberto Micheletti, the head of the Congress, as President and subsequently suspended a number of constitutional rights, including the freedom of association and of movement;

Whereas the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has expressed its concerns regarding human rights abuses by the de facto Micheletti government, including the arbitrary detention of Zelaya supporters;

Whereas the Organization of American States, the United Nations, and the European Union - representing governments from across the political spectrum - have condemned the coup d'état, refused to recognize the de facto Micheletti government, and demanded the unconditional return of President Zelaya to office;

Whereas on July 1, 2009, the Organization of American States voted unanimously to suspend Honduras from participation in the OAS unless President Zelaya was returned to office within three days;

Whereas, on July 4, 2009, the OAS unanimously voted to suspend Honduras;

Whereas the Administration of President Barack Obama has condemned President Zelaya's removal, supported the OAS resolutions regarding Honduras, and demanded that he be returned to office;

Whereas the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank have suspended aid and loans to Honduras;

Whereas national elections are scheduled in Honduras for November 29, 2009;

Whereas President Zelaya has said that he will only serve until his term ends in January 2010;

Whereas it is critical for the stability of Honduras that the November 2009 elections be free, fair, and transparent; and

Whereas U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on July 7, 2009, that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias would seek to negotiate a solution to the crisis, and President Zelaya and the de facto Micheletti government have agreed to the mediation of President Arias.

Therefore, the House of Representatives:

1) Condemns the June 28, 2009 coup d'état in Honduras and refuses to recognize the de facto Micheletti government installed by that coup d'état;
2) Calls on the Obama Administration to continue to refuse to recognize the de facto Micheletti government;
3) Calls for the reinstatement of President Zelaya as President of Honduras;
4) Urges the Obama Administration to suspend non-humanitarian assistance to the de facto Micheletti government as required by U.S. law and as it deems necessary to compel the return of President Zelaya to office;
5) Calls for extensive international observation of the November 2009 elections once President Zelaya is returned to office to ensure that his successor is elected freely, fairly, and transparently; and
6) Welcomes the mediation of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and encourages the Obama Administration to provide any assistance President Arias requests in his efforts.


  1. You should post the number to the Honduran govt. offices so that they may get flooded too.

  2. Interesting. Honduras is like a lot of places where the current ruler says he'll serve only until his term ends, so it is safe to hold a constitutional convention. But I'm reading that only referendum approved by the Honduran Congress can be put to the voters -- the Congress rejected this one. After the AG filed suit and the court ruled the referendum illegal, the President renamed it an opinion survey, which also was ruled illegal by the courts, and then the President proceeded to order the militayr to conduct the survey; firing the head of the military when he refused. Prez. Zelaya then seized the impounded ballots, restating his intent to proceed, which lead to the AG filing suit to arrest Zelaya.

    Somehow, this sounds more complex and nuanced than the simplistic "Zelaya was only trying to help the poor" argument. It is hard to tell from here which side is in the right, but given Mr. Obama's track record with the truth, I'll go with the AG, Congress, and Courts of Honduras for the moment.