Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

President Zelaya to President Obama: Walk the Talk

Office of the President of the Republic

From the Desk of the President

Tegucigalpa, 14 November, 2009

His Excellency

Barack Obama

President of the United States

Washington D.C.

Dear President Obama:

When we met for the first time the 8th of July with the Secretary of State Cinton after the Coup d'Etat there was made clear to me and to the world the position of the Obama administration of condemning the Coup d'Etat, not recognizing its authorities and demanding the return to the state of law with the restitution to the office of President elected by the people. The official position of your government and its representatives that sponsored and signed the resolutions of the UN, OAS. In which the third point demanded my immediate and secure restitution.

Beginning the 28th of June of 2009 my kidnapping by the military and expatriation to Costa Rica. The Congress of the Republic issued an illegal decree where it ordered "To separate the citizen José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from the office of Constitutional President of the Republic" without constitutional abilities to do so, and without due process without any legal ruling being cited.

From the first meeting with Secretary Hillary Clinton mediation by the president of Costa Rica Oscar Arias was proposed to me, despite the fact that I consider that it is counterproductive to engage in dialogue with persons that have a gun in their hands, I accepted considering the auspices of the US and the international community.

In a communiqué dated the 4th of September of the present year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed the following: "The positive conclusion of the process initiated by Arias will be the suitable basis to proceed with a legitimate election".

It is known by everyone that the de facto regime, without the visit to Honduras of the Subsecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Thomas Shannon, Daniel Restrepo and Craig Kelly, would not have signed the Accord. Everyone knows why they broke the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. The same president Oscar Arias for the sake of the truth declared that "Micheletti never had the will to collaborate and that on the contrary he was mocking the international community and only sought to extend the time to never turn over the power that he has".

Ex-president Ricardo Lagos, prominent member of the international Verification Commission in his declarations confirms this, by stating "Sr. Micheletti broke it", "Micheletti did things that he should not have done such as to say I will form a government of unity without Zelaya" which made this negotiated accord fail.

The same day that the Verification Commission of the accord was installed in Tegucigalpa, they were caught unaware by declarations of functionaries of the State Department where they modified their position and interpreted the accord unilaterally with the following declarations: "the elections will be recognized by the US with or without restitution"; the de facto regime celebrated this change and used these declarations for their objectives, and immediately ended by default and violation of the Accord. For the before expounded we declare in the following manner:

That the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord remains worthless and without effect for the unilateral default of the de facto government. This was conceived to be implemented in an integrated and simultaneous form; since it cannot be treated as twelve separate accords, it was one single accord with twelve points which had one sole goal, to restore the democratic order and social peace, and with this the coup d'etat would be reverted, which implies the certain return of the President of the Republic elected legitimately by popular vote. And with that, to bring about a climate of national reconciliation and a constitutional electoral process to follow, fair, with guarantees of equal participation and free for all the citizens of Honduras. That the upcoming elections should be developed in a framework of legality and international backing, especially by the OAS and UN and there would be the political conditions and conditions of minimum civil rights to guarantee a result that holds to liberty and transparency.

In this, I want to note that the new position of the functionaries of the Government of the US skirts the initial objective of the San Jose dialogue, relegating an accord with the legitimately recognized Government to a second place, and trying to move this accord toward a new electoral process without concern for the conditions in which it would be carried out. Among others, with public resources that are being authorized by public functionaries not legally recognized and attributed to a Budget document that has not been authorized by the legitimately recognized President.

In these conditions, this process, and therefore its results, will be subject to challenge and non-recognition; which will put in grave risk the future stability of relations between Honduras and the rest of the nations that might recognize its results.

As the Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza has pointed out, there does not exist a political environment for elections, as has been observed and pointed out by the North American Congress member [Jan Schakowsky] in her visit to Honduras, observing a veritable environment of violation of human rights in Honduras.

This past November 6, we communicated our refusal to continue with a false dialogue, and therefore on the expiration of the due date the text constitutes a dead letter that loses its validity, because an accord is fulfilled in time and form, the violation of this by the de facto regime is for us the condition that determines that the accord stopped existing. Undoubtedly precious time was lost in this unsuccessful attempt.

The presidential election is now scheduled for the last week of November. In this case, as Constitutional President of Honduras, and as citizen who represents and was elected by the democratic vote of the people of Honduras, I see myself obligated to state that under these conditions we cannot back it and we will proceed to challenge it legally in the name of thousands of Hondurans and hundreds of candidates that feel that this contest is unequal and does not present the conditions of free participation.

In Honduras due to the repression that the Honduran people today is subjected to, where there is no respect even for the highest authority of the President of the Republic, where they have not considered that in three years I achieved the best economic indicators and the greatest reduction of poverty in the 28 years of democratic life, where I was removed by force of arms, never was submitted to a trial nor to due process and today have 24 accusations and orders for arrest for drug trafficking, corruption, and terrorism, among others, and where the major part of the Ministers of my cabinet are the object of political persecution and are to be found fleeing the regime in different parts of the Americas.

3500 people detained in 100 days, more than 600 people wounded and beaten in hospitals, more than 100 assassinations and an unknown number of people subjected to tortures committed against citizens that dared to oppose and demonstrate for their ideas, for liberty, and for justice, in peaceful demonstrations, all that converts the elections of November into an anti-democratic exercise by an illegitimate state, due to the uncertainty and military intimidation, for large sectors of the people.

To carry out elections, in which the President elected by the people of Honduras, who is recognized by your Government and the international community, is prisoner, surrounded by military in the diplomatic mission of Brazil, and a de facto president, who imposes the military, surrounded by the powerful in the palace of government, would be a historic shame for Honduras and an infamy for the democratic peoples of the Americas.

This electoral process is illegal because it covers up the military coup d'etat, and the de facto state that Honduras lives with does not furnish guarantees of equality and liberty of citizen participation, for all the Hondurans, it is an antidemocratic electoral maneuver repudiated by large sectors of the people to cloak the material and intellectual authors of the Coup d'Etat.

The elections are a process, not just a day when you go to vote, they are a debate, they are the exposition of ideas, they are equality of opportunities.

In my status as President elected by the Honduran people, I reaffirm my decision that from this date on, whatever will happen, I WILL NOT ACCEPT any accord of returning to the presidency, to cloak the coup d'etat, that we know has a direct impact through military repression on the human rights of the inhabitants of our country.

Mr. President, in the Summit of Countries of the American Continent celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago at the beginning of this year, where I was present, you said

"That we should stop accusing the US for what it did in the past in the continent and that we should look toward the future". The future that today shows us the alteration of your position in the case of Honduras and thus favors abusive intervention by military groups in the civic life of our State (historical cause of the backwardness and stagnation of our countries in the 20th century). It is nothing more than the sunset of liberty and a deprecation of human dignity, it is a new war against the process of social and democratic reform that are so necessary in Honduras.

President Obama, each time that a legitimate elected Government is overturned in the Americas violence and terrorism win a battle and Democracy suffers a defeat.

We still refuse to believe that this military coup d'etat executed in Honduras, is now the new state terrorism of the 21st century. And that it will be the future for Latin America that you spoke to us about in Trinidad and Tobago.

We are firmly resolved to battle for our democracy without hiding the truth and when a people decide to peacefully fight for its ideas, there is no weapon, no army nor maneuver that is capable of stopping it.

In the expectation of your prompt response, I repeat my highest regards.


President of Honduras

For the Spanish original, see the posting by Adrienne Pine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One can all but smell the smoke rising from Obama's trousers. It's a very powerful letter. Let's hope it gets play in the Latin American (and North American) press.