BTS 6/29/09: Honduras Coup; Iran Protests

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On tonight’s BTS we look at expressions of popular anger against attacks on democracy in Honduras and Iran. Honduras’ democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup yesterday – Zelaya was kidnapped and flown to Costa Rica, ousted by the military, economic and political elites in Honduras on the eve of a referendum asking voters whether his term should be extended. The coup was condemned around the world, by the Obama administration and most Latin American heads of state. Popular anger in Tegucigalpa – burning vehicles, huge demonstrations and calls for justice – resembles what we have been watching in Tehran for the last few weeks. In both countries the will of the people has been violated. We begin our coverage with Joy Olson and Nelson Valdes on the Honduran coup.

The similarities between the political situation in Honduras and Iran are obvious – the democratic will of the people has been subverted. Setting the stage for even more protests and clashes, Iran’s powerful Guardian Council certified the results of the disputed Presidential election today after a partial recount was undertaken and apparently completed, resulting in even more votes for President Ahmadinejad in one district. Protestors again have taken to the streets, independent coverage has been banned and hundreds of journalists jailed amidst a continuing crackdown on dissent. We talk to UCSB Professor Janet Afary, who has just published Sexual Politics in Modern Iran, and Ali Javadi, who broadcasts an international daily TV program on Iran called “For A Better World.”

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Joy Olson, Executive Director of the human rights advocacy organization WOLA, (Washington Office on Latin America) is a Latin America human rights expert who has directed non-governmental human rights, A policy strategist and a partner in dialogue with U.S. policy and opinion makers in both Washington DC and Latin America,  She co-founded the “Just the Facts” project and co-authored its three books on US military programs with Latin America.

2. Nelson Valdes is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico and Director of the Cuba-L Project, a daily service on Cuba since 1986.

3. Janet Afary holds the Mellichamp Chair in Global Religion and Modernity at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she is a Professor of Religious Studies and Feminist Studies. Previously she taught at the Department of History and the Program in Women's Studies at Purdue University, where she was appointed a University Faculty Scholar. Her books include: Sexual Politics in Modern Iran (2009); Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism, (with Kevin B. Anderson); The Iranian Constitutional Revolution: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy, and the Origins of Feminism (1996).

4. Ali Javadi broadcasts a daily TV show called “For a Better World” on an Iranian satellite channel.