08 July 2009

Honduras, Journalism, Government and Social Media

While most of the English-speaking blogosphere continues its obsession with dead pop stars, there have been a number of very important developments in foreign policy - even aside from the historic preliminary agreement between the US and Russia to cut their nuclear weapon stockpiles by a third. I'm finally seeing very strong integration between mainstream journalists, social media mavens, political entities and technology.

If you know where to look, you can find a wealth of information about Honduras, a Central American nation with about 7.5 million people. Shortly after President Manuel Zelaya tried to hold a non-binding referendum that would potentially change the country's constitution to let him remain in office beyond 2010, military leaders placed Zelaya under arrest on June 28 and shipped him off to Costa Rica, and swore in a new president from Zelaya's political party. Zelaya has tried to return, but his plane was prevented from landing in Honduras.

There has been some debate over whether this is a coup d'etat or not, and the best breakdown of it I've found is at, not surprisingly, Global Voices Online. They've assembled videos from people on the ground on both sides of the issue.

The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras' membership and demanded the President be restored to office. Further, Secretary Clinton made a point of attending the State Department's daily briefing personally to raise the issue. The journalists in attendance asked some very insightful and important questions. Here's the video of the briefing:

Now if we could only let the dead rest and move on with our lives...

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