Eruption In Ecuador

Is it a coup attempt or just police protests against salary cuts? The 24 hour rule is in effect.

Ecuador ‘coup’: 50 injured in clashes

“We’ve treated 50 people in Quito for medical emergencies due to asphyxiation due to tear gas and impacts from pellets and teargas canisters,” said Jorge Arteaga, a Red Cross spokesman.

Most of the injured had been involved in clashes outside the hospital where president Rafael Correa is being held.

Mr Arteaga said that injuries were also reported in other Ecuadoran cities where rebel police took to the streets.

Mr Correa was holed up at Quito’s National Police Hospital, where he was taken after a tear gas canister exploded near him when he addressed rebellious police at a barracks nearby.

Although the police are surrounding the hospital and preventing him from leaving, Mr Correa told ECTV television that he is still running the country.

“They’re not letting me out,” Mr Correa said. “They’ve got all the hospital exits surrounded.

“Obviously, it’s a kidnapping, when you kidnap the president,” he added.

Mr Correa said he would not negotiate with the officers while he remains a captive.

“I’d rather die,” he said.

Ecuador’s president defiant after hospital rescue

A defiant Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa returned safely to the presidential palace late Thursday after spending hours held by police inside a hospital room outside Quito.

Minutes earlier, members of the Ecuadorian army — wearing gas masks — rescued him, a reporter for Ecuadorian Television reported.

Speaking from a balcony, Correa told thousands of jubilant supporters that he saw one person who was shot during the rescue, which he regretted.

He thanked his supporters — in particular his bodyguards — for standing behind him and said the rebel police effort to oust him had failed.

“Nobody has supported the police as much as this government, nobody has increased their salaries as much,” he said about police protests about what they thought were salary cuts. “After all we’ve done for the police, they did this!” he said, adding that he was held inside the room and not allowed to leave.

“Supposed national police!” he spat. “Shame on you!”

See also:
Ecuador coup attempt? President Rafael Correa attacked in police revolt.
Ecuador’s president attacked by police
State of Siege Declared Over Ecuador Coup
Coup d’état continues in Ecuador
Ecuador’s leader trapped after ‘coup attempt’
Ecuador President Hurt During ‘Coup Attempt’
Correa Claims Ecuador Coup Attempt After Scuffling With Police
Unrest In Ecuador: Protesting Security Forces Seize Airport
Protesting police, soldiers seize Ecuador airport
Ecuador Declares State of Emergency
Ecuador declares state of emergency as country thrown into chaos
Ecuador state of emergency: Your emails
Peru closes border with Ecuador after coup attempt
Colombia Seals Off Border with Ecuador
Colombia joins Peru in closing borders with Ecuador
Troops free Ecuador president
Ecuador president rescued amid police, military clash
Ecuador unrest: Rafael Correa returns to presidential palace
Ecuador’s President Freed From ‘Police Siege’
Troops storm Ecuador hospital and free Correa

Obviously, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on in Ecuador at the moment, although it seems that it might be a failed coup attempt.

/if so, all I can say is better luck next time, Rafael Correa is a close protégé of oppressive socialism poster boy and enemy of the United States, Hugo Chavez

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Coup In Kyrgyzstan?

Whatever is happening, it’s not helpful to the U.S. war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, seeing as one of our main resupply bases is located at the Manas International Airport, about 19 miles northwest of the capital of Bishkek.

Dozens killed in Kyrgyzstan unrest

The small, mountainous Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, a vital conduit for supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, plunged into chaos Wednesday as thousands of protesters ransacked government buildings and riot police fired on crowds, killing dozens of people.

The unrest left the fate of the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in doubt. Bakiyev has led the country since 2005 when he headed the so-called Tulip Revolution that deposed autocratic leader Askar A. Akayev. In the wake of Wednesday’s violence, Bakiyev’s government declared a state of emergency, even as opposition leaders claimed to have assumed power and Kyrgyzstan’s border with Kazakhstan was closed.

Although officials reported that at least 40 people had been killed and 400 wounded in the violence, opposition leaders put the death toll at 100. Neither claim could be verified.

The violence was being watched closely by Washington, which uses the Manas base at the airport in the capital, Bishkek, to ferry supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

Manas is the only remaining American base in Central Asia and is considered vital to the Afghanistan war effort. Military officials said the violence had not affected operations there.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the base was “functioning normally,” adding that the Obama administration was urging a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Kyrgyz opposition leaders have called for closure of Manas because, they say, the base could put the country at risk if the U.S. becomes involved in a military conflict with Iran. And at least twice in recent years Bakiyev has threatened to end U.S. use of the airport, but reconsidered after negotiating larger payments.

Ex-foreign minister says she’s Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader

A former foreign minister claimed to be in control of an interim government in Kyrgyzstan early Thursday after a wave of protests that left at least 40 dead and appeared to have driven President Kurmanbek Bakiev from office.

“We must restore a lot of things that have been wrongly ruled,” said Roza Otunbayeva, who called herself the country’s interim leader.

No independent confirmation of the claim was immediately available. The U.S. State Department said earlier that it believed Bakiev remained in power, but Otunbayeva said he had fled Bishkek, the capital, and his government had resigned after a day of clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

See also:
Kyrgyzstan: Coup in a U.S.-Allied Country?
The day Kyrgyzstan’s anger boiled over
Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan Could Imperil Key U.S. Base
Opposition says it leads Kyrgyzstan after uprising
Kyrgyzstan opposition sets up ‘people’s government’
Roza Otunbayeva New President of Kyrgyzstan After Government Collapse, 100 Dead in Extreme Violence
Uprising in Kyrgyzstan leaves dozens killed
Unrest in Kyrgyzstan Prompts U.S. to Limit Flights at Base
Centerra Shares Plunge After Kyrgyzstan Opposition Claims Power
Kyrgyzstan protests: What it means for US role in Afghanistan war?
Factbox: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan
Q&A: What’s causing the unrest in Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Roza Otunbayeva
Manas International Airport
Transit Center at Manas
Transit Center at Manas

One thing the United States cannot afford to lose is use of the Transit Center at Manas, it’s vital to our resupply of Afghanistan and there really isn’t any viable substitute. Hopefully, if the apparent new government threatens to kick us out, we’ll be able to bribe our way into maintaining the base, as we did when the old government threatened to kick us out.

/however, given our foreign policy comedy team of Clinton and Obama, I have my doubts as to their diplomatic prowess in dealing with this delicate and immensely important situation

Intifada At Isfahan

Iran protests intensify, prompting state of emergency in Isfahan

Iran security forces and opposition protesters stepped up clashes on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan, the birthplace of Iran’s top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Montazeri’s death this past weekend, and the rituals marking his passing, coincide with a new push by regime opponents during a 10-day religious commemoration.

The government has responded by harassing two reformist clerics who could replace Montazeri, as well as stripping the opposition’s top political figure – Mir Hossein Mousavi – of his sole official post.

In Isfahan, pro-regime basiji militiamen used batons, chains, and stones to beat mourners who gathered at the city’s main mosque to remember Montazeri, the spiritual mentor of the Iranian opposition, whose websites reported the clashes.

“While people were reciting the Quran [in the mosque], plainclothed forces attacked them and threw tear gas into the mosque yard and sprayed those inside with pepper spray after they closed the doors,” reported the reformist Parlemannews. “They severely beat the people inside,” then doused the clerical speaker with pepper spray and arrested him.

“Tens of thousands gathered outside for the memorial but were savagely attacked by security forces and the basijis,” witness Farid Salavati told the Associated Press. He said that dozens were injured as riot police and vigilantes clubbed and kicked men and women alike – some in the face – and arrested 50 people who had gathered to mourn the grand ayatollah.

Montazeri – the chosen successor of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, until a falling out in 1989 – had been unrelenting in his criticism of the officially declared reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, as well as of Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid,” protesters shouted on Wednesday, referring to violence since June, in which severe force has been used against Iranians who marched to reverse the official result. They wanted to see the “Green Movement” presidential candidate, Mr. Mousavi, elected. Scores died in June and thousands were arrested; protests have flared repeatedly around the nation since then.

In Isfahan, the clashes on Wednesday portend more violence, as protesters and pro-government forces alike prepare for the religious peak of the Shiite calendar, Ashura, which falls on Sunday. By the end of the day on Wednesday, it was reported that the governor had announced a state of emergency and reportedly called in the military for help.

“The regime has no alternative but to try to block the commemorations of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, because it has been state policy to demote him,” says Mehrdad Khonsari of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London. “But given the events of the last six months, this only aggravates the situation [and] becomes a catalyst for more protests and is counter-productive.

“Every demonstration is a dress rehearsal for the next demonstration. Once Ashura is over next week, there will be more demonstrations,” says Mr. Khonsari. “The fact is there is no likelihood that these protests are going to come to an end anytime soon.”

See also:
Police, protesters clash in southern Iran
Iran forces clash with cleric’s mourners: websites
Iran: unrest reported in Isfahan
Iran warns that it will deal ‘fiercely’ with protesters
Iran security forces clash with protesters in Isfahan
Iranian security forces suppress new wave of opposition protests in Isfahan
Isfahan beset by violence
Iran behaves increasingly like a ‘police state’: US
Iran Beats Mourners, Signaling Harder Line
Esfahan / Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center N32°40′ E51°40′
Esfahan (Isfahan) Nuclear Technology Center
Could This Be A Tipping Point?

It looks like this coming weekend might be shaping up as the largest nationwide Iranian opposition protest yet and, judging by recent events, it could also be the bloodiest. I can only hope, especially after reading this, that all the Green Movement pain won’t be in vain and these protests eventually reach the point of no return, critical mass, the overthow of the Iranian mullahs, regime change.

/Go Green!