EU criticizes the Honduran “resistencia’s” use of violence

The Swedish presidency has issued a statement which criticizes the use of violence by the self-labeled resistance movement in Honduras. It does so in this sentence:

“The European Union … calls upon all political groups in Honduras to abstain from acts of violence.”

While triggered by a murder of a relative to a journalist, the statement is a clear indication of dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the regime critics. Before the November 29 elections, several buses belonging to interim president Micheletti were bombed, resulting in passengers being brought to hospital with injuries. Furthermore, the president’s nephew was murdered, several electrical power poles were destroyed, and dozens upon dozens of bombs and grenades were exploded. Recently the general in charge of fighting drug smuggling was murdered, shot dead in his car in broad daylight in the middle of the capital.

It is a sad fact that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, the smallest police force in Latin America, a completely under-resourced judicial system, a huge problem with gang violence and drug smuggling. The country is in a critical situation and needs all the help it can receive, to get the upper hand on criminals, and those who take the law in their own hands. Sweden has helped with this until recently (although it now seems that the previous president was playing a double game by also helping the smugglers), and one can only hope that Sweden and the EU continues to support democracy and the rule of law.

This should include respecting the democratic institutions of Honduras, the constitution of the country, and the will of the people as expressed in the general elections. It should also include respecting the agreement between the various parties in Honduras, signed by Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti. The agreement said that it was for the Congress to decide whether Zelaya should be re-instated or not, and Congress has confirmed that their original decision stands. Therefore, if Sweden and the EU respect the sovereignty of Honduras, they will acknowledge that the government of the country is democratic, constitutional, and legitimate.

Osakligt i radions Ekot om den så kallade kuppen

Nu tycker jag att det går lite för långt med etermedias osakligheter. Här är en anmälan jag gjorde till granskningsnämnden för ett inslag av Palmgren 2009-12-20:

Palmgren påstod att den tillträdande presidenten Porfirio Lobo inte har bjudit in (den avsatte men ändå utgående presidenten) “Manuel Zelaya eller den motståndsrörelse som stödjer honom” till “en nationell dialog för att komma ur det låsta läge som kuppregeringen har försatt honom i.”
Detta påstående är direkt felaktigt vad gäller att några inte skulle vara inbjudna. Genom hela valkampanjen talade Lobo om att alla skulle vara inbjudna. Det var kärnan av hans kampanj, en nationell samling, försoning, återförening. I så motto var inslaget direkt falskt.
Vidare lever inte inslaget upp till erfoderlig standard vad gäller opartiskhet. För det första: Det sätt som Palmgren nämnde Lobo och ordet “kuppregering” antyder ju att Lobo är kritisk till den nuvarande regeringen och anser att det är en “kuppregering”. Det är totalt missvisande. Lobo har klart uttalat att han anser att avsättandet av Manuel Zelaya INTE var en kupp, utan en grundlagsenlig avsättning av en president som hade brutit mot grundlagen och försökte sätta sig över de andra statsmakterna (vilket de dock till sin heder inte tillät; jag syftar förstås på högsta domstolen och den folkvalda kongressen).
För det andra: Palmgren sa att då USA och Brasilien kom med ett förslag till normalisering så “viftade (Honduras president Roberto Micheletti) sorglöst bort det”. Förslaget innebar enligt Palmgren att Micheletti skulle avgå. Palmgrens rapport är vilseledande genom att utelämna väsentlig information, och vinkla de fakta som ges. Faktum är att en överenskommelse har ingåtts mellan Zelaya och Micheletti, i den så kallade Guaymuras-dialogen, vilket var en väg till normalisering. De skrev under detta avtal. Enligt avtalet skulle kongressen besluta om huruvida Zelaya skulle återinsättas eller ej. De röstade nästan enhälligt för att stå fast vid sitt beslut från i somras (jag följde hela debatten och omröstningen via web-TV, det var mycket intressant). Palmgren, USA och Brasilien låtsas som om denna överenskommelse inte existerar. Zelaya bryter öppet mot den. De som är satta att övervaka implementationen lyser med sin frånvaro (bland dem USAs arbetsmarknadsminister). Med andra ord, den ena parten – Zelaya – har brutit mot sitt ord; omvärlden låtsas som det regnar; och Palmgren är en av dem. Det är osaklig rapportering att helt negligera de fakta som inte passar in i ens politiska agenda, vilket synes vara det som SR här gjort.
För det tredje, maktskiftet i Honduras kallas för en “kupp”, vilket är ett politiskt, inte juridiskt, ställningstagande. USAs kongressbibliotek har kommit fram till att processen var laglig (inte att utvisa medborgaren Zelaya, men att avsätta presidenten Zelaya). Honduras samtliga demokratiska institutioner är oförändrade, bortsett från presidenten och hans regering, och samtliga antingen deltog aktivt eller håller passivt med om att processen var laglig. Det kan inte kallas en “kupp” med någon rimlig definition av order kupp.
Att Sveriges Radio (och TV) kallar maktskiftet i Honduras för en “kupp” är därför osakligt. Jag anhåller att granskningsnämnden uttalar att de ändrar språkbruket till att tala om “avsättandet av president Zelaya”, “den olagliga utvisningen av Zelaya”, “den så kallade kuppen”, och liknande uttryck som klargör att SR inte tar ställning för att det var en kupp, utan förhåller sig neutral i frågan.

Joe “Judas” Lieberman’s health care bill

In the middle of the night I watched the U.S. Senate vote for cloture on the health care bill. It means that they decided to cut off debate, which requires a 60% majority. Which is exactly what they got, 60-40. The final vote on passing the bill is now just a formality, since it only requires a simple majority, 51 votes.

The bill that passed is, however, quite horrible, and a light-year away from the reform that the American people need. For instance, the health care insurers in the U.S. – private for-profit companies – have since WWII had an exemption from the anti-trust laws. The bill contained a clause that would remove that would make it illegal to fix prices. However, to get the 60th vote, they had to take that clause away.

Another crucial provision that was removed was to make it legal for states to set up not-for-profit, public health insurance systems. They had already a long time ago had to abandon the idea of a universal health insurance like the ones that every other developed country in the world has. The public option was all that remained. However, to get the 60th vote they had to remove even the possibility of public competition with the price-fixing private industry.

The 60th vote came from Joe “Judas” Lieberman. He was the one to sell out the American people to the insurance companies.

What remains in the bill is a provision that makes it a crime not to buy health insurance from the price-fixing private for-profit companies. In other words, the way to get coverage for all ended up not being a universal health insurance system like the other 42 highly developed nations have, but to force people by law to buy a product from an industry that is free to set whatever price they want, that is free to avoid private competition by price-fixing, and that is protected from public competition by law.

Today 40,000 Americans per year die since they have no money and no insurance to pay for life-saving medical procedures. Nobody will sell them health insurance since they have a “pre-existing condition”. If they loose their job, they loose their insurance. If they got a disease such as cancer while under the previous insurance, no new insurance will be sold to them. So if the cancer comes back, they’re dead. Cancer is just one example.

Even those who have insurance today are not protected. The insurers are happy to collect the fees for years, but when the customer becomes a patient and is headed for an expensive operation, then the insurance company makes an investigation to find out if the person had some pre-existing condition. If they find something, no matter how insignificant, then they drop the insurance immediately since the form was filled in fraudulently. Even if it was an honest mistake due to poor memory. Therefore, in my book the health insurance is organized crime; morally speaking, although it is legal since they have bought enough Congressmen to make their moral crime legal. But what they do is an abomination to God and to Human Rights principles alike.

The bill that now will be passed, it is just a formality, bans denying coverage based on pre-existing condition. That is a huge improvement, although I don’t think it will work in practice. You see, the companies will create such a bureaucracy to renew the coverage every year that it will take about half the year to renew, during which time the person will be uninsured, and (hopefully, in the eyes of the company) die. Simple logic says that you cannot run health insurance for profit without violating Human Rights. Those in Congress who argue otherwise have either sold their souls to Mammon, or they are naive. I’ll excuse the Republicans, but Lieberman is not naive.

So why did the Democrats pass this bill in spite of these sell-outs? Because the House bill is much better, so when the two reach the reconciliation committee the compromise will for sure be better than the Joe “Judas” Lieberman Bill.