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[Nettime-nl] Correctie Negroponte
kees/ventana on Wed, 19 Sep 2001 01:03:38 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-nl] Correctie Negroponte



Sorry, in het vorige bericht stond geschreven dat dhr. Negroponte
voorgedragen zou zijn als ambassadeur bij de VS. Moet natuurlijk zijn VN
(zoals in het artikel zelf wel juist vermeld stond). Ondertussen kwam
onderstaand bericht binnen: de senaatscommissie heeft de nominatie
goedgekeurd, nu zal het wel een hamerstuk in de senaat zelf worden.

Van relativerende parallellen met andere gebeurtenissen distantieer ik
me nogmaals, want sommige dingen kun je nu eenmaal beter nergens mee
vergelijken, of mee in verband brengen (behalve met Pearl Harbour, tot in den treure...)

kees

By REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters)--The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, anxious
to fill the post of United States ambassador to the United Nations,
approved the nomination of John D. Negroponte for the job today.

After some tough questioning on his attitude toward human rights abuses
when he served as ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980's, the
committee voted 14 to 3 in favor of the nomination.

The nomination now moves to the full Senate.

Senators said the United States needed an ambassador in New York as soon
as possible to mobilize international support for President Bush's
campaign against terrorism.

The position has been vacant since Mr. Bush took office Jan. 20,
possibly contributing to Washington's embarrassing failure to keep its
seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The United States, which remains hundreds of millions of dollars in
arrears on its dues, has also failed under President Bush to
dominate the agenda at big conferences like the racism conference in
Durban last week.

Another incentive for moving Mr. Negroponte into place now is the
expected opening of the General Assembly later this month.

Republicans and moderate Democrats praised Mr. Negroponte's long record
of public service but three Senate liberals -- Russell D. Feingold of
Wisconsin, Paul Wellstone of Minnesota and Barbara Boxer of California
-- said he had not given satisfactory answers regarding his embassy's
reporting of human rights abuses and on his contacts with right-wing
contra guerrillas.

Mr. Negroponte, pressed on various human rights cases in Honduras and on
what he discussed with the contras, told the Senate committee he could
not remember.

Mr. Wellstone, the senator most strongly opposed to the nomination,
said that as ambassador in Tegucigalpa between 1981 and 1985 Mr.
Negroponte had denied the existence of government-sponsored killings
in the Central American country, contrary to evidence subsequently
accepted by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

"I just can't understand why you were not more outspoken," Senator
Wellstone said, "why you were not more public and why, even today,
you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that the state was involved,
that the government was involved, that it was widespread that people
were murdered."

Mr. Negroponte, 62, a career diplomat who has also been ambassador to
the Philippines and Mexico, replied: "Could I have been more vocal?
Perhaps in retrospect I could have been but that's the way I handled
it."

But he again denied any knowledge that the government killed
civilians or that he tried to restrict or tone down reporting of
human rights abuses to the State Department.

Senator Boxer said she was worried that Mr. Negroponte wanted to
ignore the history of what the United States did in Central America.
"It's just this nagging feeling I have that you don't really want to
look at this," she said.

She challenged him on his meetings with leaders of the contra
guerrilla movement, which the Reagan administration covertly financed
in an attempt to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government in
neighboring Nicaragua.

Senator Boxer had campaigned for the Boland amendment, which made it
illegal to finance the contras.

"I certainly didn't discuss anything that would have been contrary to
the Boland amendment. The specific tenure of our conversations I
don't recall," Mr. Negroponte replied.

Senator Feingold said his objection to the nomination was based on the
accuracy of Mr. Negroponte's reporting to the State Department on human
rights, a duty mandated by Congress.

Republican senators supported the nomination and said it was time for
the United States to put the past behind it. The committee chairman,
Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Delaware Democrat, said he was willing to give
Mr. Negroponte the benefit of the doubt because he had not found enough
evidence against him.

                                   *

                  Please write to your U.S. senators!!
   Urge them to oppose the Bush administration's nomination of John D.
          Negroponte as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Human rights organizations oppose Negroponte's nomination because of
his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Honduras during the Reagan
administration. During his 1981-85 ambassadorship, Honduras became a
base for a covert military operation for the Contras to unseat the
Sandinista government in next-door Nicaragua and death squad activity
escalated.

* A CIA inquiry (1997) found that Ambassador Negroponte was aware of
Honduran military involvement in death squad activities

*  Negroponte concealed from Congress the murder, torture and
kidnapping abuses of the CIA-equipped and trained Honduran death
squad called Battalion 316. Honduran General Luis Alonso Discua
Elvir, trained by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency to form
Battalion 316, later moved to the U.S., serving as a U.N. diplomat. 
In an apparent move to silence Gen. Discua about Negroponte's past,
the U.S. revoked Gen. Discua's diplomatic visa, deporting him back to
Honduras--just three weeks before Negroponte's nomination.

* Victims of human rights abuses in Honduras claim that Negroponte
created a climate in which Honduran officials knew they could act
with impunity.

Write your U.S. senator:

Senator _____________________ 
U.S. Senate 
Washington, DC 20510

Capitol Switchboard: 202/224-3121

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