Manuel Zelaya, the ousted leftist leader of Honduras, is backed by Latin American Marxists Raul Castro, Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez and American President Barack Obama.
Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya poses with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro (L) and Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez (R) during the Central American integration meeting in Managua June 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Miraflores Palace)
A Jewish civil rights organization is expressing alarm over conspiracy theories claiming Jews and Israel aided the ouster of the Honduran president and attempts to dislodge him from his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy.
The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League cited statements made by ousted President Manuel Zelaya as well as the news director of a radio station that was closed by the interim government in Honduras and by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, among others.
Most of the comments repeat widely circulated rumors that Israeli soldiers — or in some versions, mercenaries — worked with the troops backing interim President Roberto Micheletti, allegedly supplying some form of tear gas used at the embassy and providing other assistance.
The interim government, which came to power after the military arrested Zelaya and flew him to exile in Costa Rico on June 28, has denied receiving any Israeli help or using any tear gas at the embassy. Journalists who have covered the political crisis say they have not seen any sign of Israeli involvement.
The Jewish group also criticized Chavez for claiming at the United Nations that Israel is the only country to recognize the coup-installed government, something Micheletti’s administration has denied.
The ADL also cited an interview with The Miami Herald in which Zelaya said that “Israeli mercenaries are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.”
“We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a convenient scapegoat,” ADL national director Abraham H. Forman said in a statement released Sunday. “And that is happening now in Honduras, a country that has only a small Jewish minority.”