U.S. Cable Reveals Honduran Resistance Sought Weapons In Nicaragua After 2009 Coup

June 27, 2011 1:11 pm 0 comments

Honduran police square off against protestors after the 2009 coup.

After the ouster in 2009 of then-Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, the country’s resistance movement sought to obtain weapons from neighboring Nicaragua, according to a confidential cable released by Wikileaks.

According to Honduras’ El Heraldo newspaper, a U.S. diplomatic cable from October 2009 describes a meeting between the former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon and Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos, held on September 29, 2009, eight days after former President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras.

During the meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York, Santos told Shannon that Honduras’ National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) were actively looking for weapons, ostensibly to fight in Honduras to restore Zelaya to power.

Shortly after sitting down with Shannon, Santos also received an “unexpected” phone call from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who reaffirmed to Shannon that the FNRP was looking for weapons and raised a broader concern over arms trafficking in the region.

“Ortega said growing frustration in Honduras could lead  to violence, and noted that members of the pro-Zelaya  resistance were in Nicaragua looking for weapons,” The cable said. “Ortega said his government had deflected these overtures, but he was very worried about increasing radicalization of the popular sectors in Honduras.”

The Honduran coup took place on the morning of June 28, 2009 when about 100 soldiers stormed the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, forcibly removed Zelaya from the premises and flew him to San José, Costa Rica. Citing a plot by Zelaya to eliminate presidential term limits and create a socialist state in the vein of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, the National Congress later that day voted to remove him from office and swore in Speaker of Congress Roberto Micheletti as president.

For his part, after unsuccessful attempts to mediate the crisis the ousted Zelaya encouraged his supporters to perform acts of civil disobdience before he secretly returned to Honduras.

While at the meeting, Nicaragua’s Santos also brought up the idea of economic sanctions against the de facto regime to “bring Micheletti to the bargaining table.” Shannon, however, rebuked the idea, claiming that sanctions would do more harm to the average Honduran worker than the regime and that U.S. companies would also be hurt by sanctions.

Shannon added that the U.S. government was instead focusing on sanctions aimed at those in the private sector and military who supported the coup.”

Earlier this month, the Organization of American States (OAS) voted to allow Honduras back into the regional group, ending a two-year diplomatic hiatus that began with the June 2009 coup.

To read the entire cable, follow the link here.

Photo: Codepinkhq @ Flickr.

No Comments

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →
  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Top Story — Chilean authorities have arrested a former aide to Gen. Augusto Pinochet, accusing him of committing various atrocities under the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of retired military colonel Cristian Labbe on charges of “unlawful association” with a group that ultimately became the DINA secret police force. Labbe was allegedly involved in the murder of 13 people under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Those 13 people, investigators found, were tortured and executed at the notorious Tejas […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Top Story — Top health officials from several Latin American countries are meeting today in Havana, Cuba, to discuss joint efforts to combat Ebola, as fears grow over the virus’ potential to spread to the region. Leaders from the socialist ALBA bloc, which includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and several Caribbean countries, will meet to coordinate efforts following unilateral travel bans by several countries in the region. On Saturday, retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro penned a column in the […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Top Story — A Brazilian man confessed to committing at least 39 murders after police arrested him in the city of Goiânia on Thursday after a 70-day investigation. Thiago Henrique Gomes de Rocha, a 26-year-old security guard, seems to have targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals. De Rocha, who committed the murders over three years, approached his victims on a motorcycle before demanding their belongings and then shooting them. Police noted de Rocha’s “coldness” and extreme rage when recounting his […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Top Story — Analysts are worried about a new phase of economic chaos in Venezuela as falling oil prices continue to take their toll. Insurance rates on the country’s debt shot up Wednesday to a new high, more than three times the size of the rate in late June, after a drop in oil prices raised worries the country may fail to pay off its obligations to foreign bondholders. The spike in Venezuela’s bond insurance rates means it costs investors […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti North America Today in Latin America U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    Top Story — The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be renewed for another year, the U.N. Security Council announced on Tuesday. The council, composed of 15 nations, unanimously decided to renew the MINUSTAH mandate, though the number of military personnel in Haiti will be reduced from 5,000 to 2,370. The number of police personnel will remain unchanged. MINUSTAH was initially created in 2004 after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, leading to violence and […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Top Story — Mexican activist and radio host Atilano Roman Tirado was shot on-air during his weekly program Oct. 11 in the state of Sinaloa. Two gunmen forced their way into the radio studio of Fiesta Mexicana where Tirado hosted his Saturday morning program “Así es mi Tierra.” Listeners of the program could hear a shot fired around 10:40 a.m. followed by a co-worker’s voice saying, “he killed him.” Programming on the station did not resume for another 30 minutes. […]

    Read more →