Here's Beaubien introducing Mr. Coup himself, Micheletti:
"The de facto president, Roberto Micheletti, is a big, feisty, grandfather of a man with a crushing handshake."And here's Beaubien summing up Grandpa's explanation for being a coup tyrant:
"Micheletti insists that this was not a coup because Zelaya had violated the constitution. Micheletti was next in line to the presidency and he was quickly sworn into office. He says Zelaya was being controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was plotting to impose a communist dictatorship in Honduras."No factual attention is paid to these outright lies - debunked here and here. Instead Beaubien counters them with the standard, lazy "he said - she said" relativism: "Zelaya denies this." In fact that's the extent of the "other side" that NPR gives in this piece. That may be all we hear from opponents of the coup regime, but Beaubien is not about to deprive Grandpa his microphone. Micheletti gets quite a bit of airtime to make these laughable claims:
"The Zelaya people, they are our brother, our sisters, you know. We love them. But we're going to let them to rule this country because they believe in communist and we are not. We are democratic people and we're going to sustain our democracy."Finally Beaubien just makes up the idea that "both sides" are to blame for the conflict dragging on:
"...the Zelaya and the Micheletti camps. Two groups that appear unable to reach common ground....in every social conflict, eventually the parties come to a point where they sit down and work out their differences. The problem in Honduras...the parties aren't yet ready to do that."This last claim is simply a lie, since the Zelaya camp agreed to the proposals for resolving the conflict as set out by Arias over the summer. Something NPR conveniently failed to report on back when it happened.
Beaubien's piece may be a mish-mash of distortions and outright lies, but he can take consolation in the fact that Grandpa will be very proud of him.