The coup defenders are afraid, they say, of Honduras becoming another Cuba, or Venezuela, or Nicaragua, of losing their “freedoms” and their “democracy.” But yesterday, in one fell swoop their leaders erased those very freedoms, atop all the other ones they’ve already burned alive - freedom of the press, freedom to elect their own president, among them - and buried democracy with it.
The Micheletti regime in Honduras announced yesterday evening that the congress had passed a decree suspending all constitutional rights in the country indefinitely. This means the military can enter homes without warrants, detain anyone with no notice or justification, prohibit all public gatherings, such as marches, rallies, protests or meetings, and maintain censorship of the media. Due process rights are also suspended as are all other civil and political rights.
In the meantime, some American expats in the diving community on the Bay Islands, continue their irresponsible tacit endorsement of the coup while minimizing the current state of emergency:
"No worries, all is well in paradise. The curfew has permitted some to actually get a little more sleep. Utila was wonderfully quiet last night after 10:00."
I guess there is no need for civil liberties in paradise, since God is good and just.
According to Honduras' El Tiempo, the following constitutional guarantees have been suspended:
* Article 69, which guarantees the personal freedom.
* Article 71, which states that no one can be detained or held incommunicado for more than 24 hours without an arrest warrant.
* Article 78, which guarantees freedom of association and freedom of assembly.
* Article 81, which states, "Everyone has the right to free movement, to leave, enter and remain in national territory."
El Tiempo reports that with the aforementioned guarantees suspended, "no one can hold meetings, neither public nor private, be it in the streets, in churches, in their own homes, or in union or guild halls."
Anyone planning to travel to Honduras in the near future, should think long and hard about the risks involved.
(photo source: AFP - Orlando Sierra)