Response the NYT article: Honduras: Vote Postponed on Deal to End Crisis.

November 13, 2009

For many years, I had held the opinion that The New York Times is a serious, impartial source of information on world events.  Alas, this opinion has been toppled by the politically-biased, nonfactual coverage of the Honduran Crisis, which I have lived closely.  Perhaps, nowhere is this partial nonfactual coverage more evident than in Elizabeth Malkin’s short report of November 3rd entitled:  Honduras: Vote Postponed on Deal to End Crisis.

The term used in the heading “postponed” for instance is written under the impression that a time or date had been set in which to make the decision whether to re-instate or not Mr. Zelaya, and that Congress “postponed” it.  This is false.  The Tegucigalpa Accord clearly states, and so have Mr. Victor Rico of the OAS, Mr. Thomas Shannon of the US State Dept and even the negotiators themselves, that there is no time frame set to make the decision.  Thus, the terms “postponed” and “delayed” used in the article are inappropriate.

In that context, the request for opinions from the Supreme Court and the Attorney General are presented as if these requests were a bureaucratic means to “delay” the decision.  On the contrary, the Accord itself recommends to Congress that their opinions be sought.

Since Congress is in recess, as occurs every 4 years at this time due to elections, Congress’ directors, including party speakers, held an emergency meeting to deal with the Accord.  They wrote out the formal letters requesting the Supreme Court’s, the Attorney General’s and the Human Rights Commissioner’s opinion and had the letters delivered immediately in order to advance with the Accord.  This act shows the importance that the Honduran Congress has attributed to the Accord.  It is not necessary to call all Congress from their campaigns in order to process an administrative action.

Ms. Malkin ends with this sentence:  “Foreign governments have said they will not recognize the presidential election on Nov. 29 unless Mr. Zelaya is reinstated first.”  That is completely untrue. Even the US State Department has already stated that they will recognize the elections and that they will send observers to oversee the elections.  The US State Dept has restarted processing common visas in their Honduran Embassy.  The OAS is already sending observers to the election and the European Community as well.

All of them have stated that they will accompany the electoral process and recognize the government that comes out, no matter what Congress decides on re-instating or not Mr. Zelaya.  That is a Honduran decision that will be made by Congress, not something that the international community should decide.

You should note, by reading the Accord itself, that the Accord doesn’t call on Congress to re-instate Mr. Zelaya, but to decide on whether he should be re-instated or not.  That is completely different from what Ms. Malkin seems to believe.

All the views presented by Ms. Malkin coincide with the misinterpretations that Mr. Zelaya wants to feed to the Honduran people, thus it is quite clear that she is partial to his views, doesn’t consider opposing opinions, hasn’t even read the content of the Accord and is not listening to other international leaders who have clearly stated these facts that I have pointed out in this letter.  It goes to show that her only source of information is from inside the Zelaya camp and she has become a spokesperson for that cause, instead of an impartial reporter set on bringing all the relevant information to your readers so they decide.

Once again, I am very saddened that the high esteem in which I had always held for the New York Times has been corroded by this type of partial and nonfactual reporting.

Bob Ostertag’s Magical Journalism

November 12, 2009

Response to Mr. Bob Ostertag’s article in the Huffington Post: Obama’s Magical Surrealism in Honduras, Posted: November 11, 2009.

To the people who swear that “Maria de los Angeles” rose to the heavens like the Holy Mother, the idea that she’s living happily in a northern town with the foot-soldier from Buendia’s army she ran away with, is totally incomprehensible.  So also with the “political analysts” who bought into the Chavez/Zelaya plot, scripted in the 1970’s “Open Veins of Latin America” that Mr. Obama received as a present.

When Zelaya entered the Brazilian Embassy, he expected 300,000 people (of 650,000 voters in Tegucigalpa) to carry him back triumphantly to the Presidential Office.  Magical!  According to the most optimistic pro-Zelaya media, 3,000 came, less than 1% of the city’s voters.  The other 99% went home in response to the government’s curfew, causing traffic jams in the major cities and towns of Honduras.  Reality.

When Carlos H. Reyes, Zelaya’s supporter and independent candidate, resigned from the election, he expressed the usual “no restitution/not legal” rhetoric.  Magic.  That he couldn’t gather enough support to establish even the 296 Municipal representatives he needed, much less the 16,000 needed at the voting tables that’s Reality.

That Zelaya’s ouster is considered legal by the vast majority of Hondurans, as the Legal study by the LOC report confirmed, is an unacceptable reality that doesn’t fit Mr. Ostertag’s Magical world.  Get it?