Monday, September 21, 2009

Background: Zelaya a self-proclaimed champion of the poor, a crook, or another run-of-the-mill dictator in the making (Part 2 of 4)

We understand that internationally the immediate reaction to the legal dismissal of the Honduran president Mr. Manuel Zelaya Rosales, is to adopt the point of view that this event was a run-of-the-mill coup d’état. However, this judgment is largely based on observations of the one day events that lead to Mr. Zelaya Rosales expulsion from Honduras and subsequent influence by parties with a vested interested in denying our rights as a democratic and free nation. Furthermore, this judgment completely disregards the previous legal proceedings that had already declared illegal and unconstitutional, including that of the so called “popular consultation or survey” and all the efforts by Mr. Zelaya Rosales and some members of his Cabinet to dissolve the Honduras Congress and to declare null and void our Constitution. These efforts are clearly illegal infractions that expose violators to legal charges of treason.

We recognize that in his speeches Mr. Zelaya Rosales presents himself as the “Champion of the Poor” and as the (still) legal president of Honduras. This portrayal completely ignores the legal decisions by the Supreme Court and the National Congress to dismiss him from his position as President of the Country, as Mr. Zelaya Rosales had illegally disregarded the condemnation of the other two constitutional powers repeated times. Furthermore, Mr. Zelaya Rosales had already changed the status of the June 28 consultation at the last minute, to one that became legally binding to the outcome of such exercise, with the further dissolving of our Congress and calling for a new “National Constitutional Assembly” that would rewrite the constitution. In fact, Mr. Zelaya Rosales, reaffirmed his intent of violating the Constitution by publishing a presidential decree in the official newpaper “La Gaceta” (see a copy in

The Honduran Supreme Court declared the process described in the Presidential Decree as illegal. This decision stem from a case brief filed by the Honduran Attorney General. This result agrees with other case filed with different aspect of the “consultation” in that all declare the process illegal and unconstitutional. Therefore, the competent courts ordered the “public consultation” to be halted and the voting materials destroyed at once. The voting materials were stored in the Honduras Air Force base in Tegucigalpa, as they were shipped a few days before from Venezuela. Mr. Zelaya and its supporters have not explained the reason why the boxes and ballots came from Venezuela in the first place. The (still) President Zelaya Rosales, disregarded the Supreme Court resolution, and while accompanied by a violent mob violated the integrity of the high security Air Force installations in Tegucigalpa, and took the boxes and ballots to the Presidential Palace. The image of Mr. Zelaya riding a public transfportation bus as if a "knight in shining armor" leading the mob, is so surreal it belongs in a Garcia Marquez book.

The night of Friday June 26, Mr. Zelaya finally admitted his intentions for re-election. Mr. Zelaya Rosales, fully completed the not-so-obscure (anymore) intentions “I will not seek reelection…..unless asked by my people”.

It is important to note that the Honduran Armed Forces received the command of intervening in order to carry out the judicial orders and the will of the National Congress and Supreme Courts. In the words of the political analyst, Margarita Montes the armed forces intervention to depose a democratic and constitutionally elected President, were to restore the “state based on the rule of law” rather than eliminating the “state based on the rule of law”.

As you can now see, these events happened over a long period and were not spur of the moment. This outcome is the results of a long period of tolerance of the evermore erratic and illegal behavior shown by Mr. Zelaya, and a strict support of Honduran law. The actions of the legally deposed president Zelaya were truly to destabilize the country, to break the constitutional order and to change the constitution that would allow him to be re-elected, probably as lifetime dictator. This of course would completely align himself to other members of the ALBA treaty including Venezuela and Cuba, and to a lesser degree Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia.

In essence, the actions of June 28, 2009 represented a major break with our erratic history respecting the rule of law in Honduras in favor of moving towards a true democratic and pluralistic society. A lot remains unresolved, especially to truly address our scandalous poverty and insecurity levels, but that will not happened with the demagoguery, mis-management and corruption shown by Mr. Zelaya and his band of immediate supporters (known as “the patricians”). Our ills will be resolved with intelligent and efficient plans that work to provide solutions.


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