Honduras: A coup d’état concealed behind euphemisms
Author: ALBERTO NÚÑEZ BETANCOURT
Havana, July 7, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Honduras is living proof that, if describing the violators of democracy is up to powerful mass media, we’ll never see words such as ‘coup d’état’ or ‘usurping government’, let alone phrases like ‘legitimate, constitutional president acclaimed by the majority of the people’ to talk about Honduran dignitary José Manuel Zelaya.
Once again, injustice hides behind euphemisms: ‘coup’ is replaced by ‘forced succession’, a term often used by CNN in its Spanish broadcastings, as if to make sure it ends up engraved on the mind of its large audiences.
Since June 28th, when the coup took place, CNN News has reported that a new government ‘unanimously’ approved by Congress had been legally set up and was even ‘consolidating’ its newly appointed cabinet.
That day an anchorwoman kept proudly repeating that all e-mails received in the network stated their support of the de facto regime. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega was right when he said that CNN was the coup faction’s channel.
Just hours after the swipe, plenty of carefully edited footage showed a rally in support of Micheletti, whose actions enjoyed extensive coverage while the popular opposition was barely mentioned despite the fact that increasing numbers of people were gathering in the area around the Presidential House and all roads and highways were jam-packed with citizens who were heading for the capital city from all over the country. ‘Groups of Zelaya’s supporters’ is how CNN in Spanish prefers to call that great mass of citizens seemingly undeserving of many camera shots.
You’ve got to laugh at the argument initially employed by the CNN correspondent that she could not get anywhere near the Presidential House to take pictures of the first demonstrations in favor of the Honduran constitution. Nevertheless, she fought for, and managed to get in no time, an interview with Micheletti, whom she even called ‘President’, in clear recognition of he who had just taken the Presidency by force.
Meanwhile, a fearless Telesur network got by at best it could to transmit objective news from streets and rooftops at the cost of seeing its film crew arrested.
History repeats itself. Much like in Venezuela in April 2002, powerful media are now striving to do a real balancing act to justify the coup in Honduras. Everything goes, from blaming Chávez for the conflict caused by a stubborn Honduran oligarchy to presenting analysts who swear that Manuel Zelaya violated the Constitution, hinting at the convenience of a ‘political solution between the parties’ to help the country return to normal, or fabricating a climate in which Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba are portrayed as enemies of Honduras’s sovereignty.
No information monopoly is in the least interested in clarifying that Zelaya’s intention to hold a referendum is by no means in violation of his nation’s Magna Carta.
Why don’t they explain in one of their many news programs that the current chaos in this Central American country is a result of a crystal clear conspiracy planned by the brass hats, the judiciary and power-thirsty congresspeople? Why not remind us that the Hondurans were peacefully getting ready to take part in a plebiscite? Why not decry the gag order given since day one by the de facto government?
Countless questions come to mind on what the big media have to say now about their much-trumpeted concepts of democracy and freedom of the press, because their outrageous attitude makes their words sound empty or funny, to say the least.
No less noticeable is the fact that some networks would rather broadcast the latest jet-set gossip or cartoons for entertainment and misinformation than what’s going on in Honduras today.
Euphemisms as masks: that’s some lesson we’re receiving these days from the media at the service of oligarchs and liars!