Tag Archives: coup

Why Sweden took side for Zelaya?

Honduras president Manuel Zelaya was executing an autogolpe, a self-coup, and for that he was deposed by the Supreme Court and the Congress. Still Europe sided with Zelaya, not with the institutions charged with preserving democracy in Honduras. To understand why, let’s look at the European Union.

Recently the EU (UE in Spanish) has changed its “constitution”. The member states had to approve that change. Take Sweden as example. The organ within the parliament that has to evaluate the legality of proposed legislation is called “Lagrådet”. Their analysis can be found here, in Swedish.

In short, they conclude that the proposed legislation violates the Swedish constitution by enabling the parliament to pass laws that have the effect of neutralizing parts of the constitution, without following the procedure required for changing the constitution. This is tantamount to a self-coup, a coup d’état executed by the one in power at the time.

So why did they not stop it? Well, they gave an argument that this change had in effect already been made, why this was not new. The creeping changes of the constitution that had been made in 1994 and 2002 had, according to them, already foreseen that more would come. At what point does it become a coup d’état? That is the question. Some say that the decision to pass this law was in fact a coup d’état in Sweden. It would be interesting to have this tried before the Supreme Court, to see if they agree.

Of course, given that this very questionable creeping change had been made in Sweden, how could the Swedish government then with a straight face say that Zelaya was not allowed to do the same thing? In fact, Sweden supported civil organizations in Honduras, and may even have encouraged this creeping change, I don’t know. All I know is that the judicial system in Honduras acted correctly in stopping it at the doorstep.

First anniversary of Zelaya’s failed coup d’état

Update 2010-06-28: Today is the anniversary of the deposing of Zelaya. La Gringa in La Ceiba, Honduras, has written a very good blog article summing up the situation. She is unfortunately correct in that the hope and optimism under Micheletti has largely vanished under Lobo. It started when he went to Dominican Republic and signed a deal to let Zelaya leave Honduras, before he even took office. At that point Micheletti withdrew from the limelight, and the people raged against Lobo without the previous president to channel their feelings. That is, however, how democracy works; alternation at power. What those who liked Micheletti can do is to channel their frustration and their desire for change into creating a better political platform, and candidates that support that platform, for the next election. Create a platform that is grassroots-based, that is about realpolitik, concrete actions, not ideals.


Original post 2010-06-23: On June 24, 2009, the head of the joint chiefs of staff in Honduras, general Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, told his president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, that the military was unable to carry out the order they had been given to distribute ballots for a referendum on June 28, since the Supreme Court of Justice had issued an injunction against anyone in Honduras participating in that endeavor.

With that statement, Zelaya’s coup d’état came off its tracks. Without the support of the military he could not win. If the military took orders from the Supreme Court, he would not be able to throw out the constitution of the republic as he had planned.

“Mel” Zelaya’s response was to fire general Vasquez, but immediately he did so, the other chiefs of staff handed him their resignations, starting with the head of the army, general Miguel Garcia Padgett. This is public knowledge, but what happened behind closed doors is not.

In the face of this setback, Zelaya understood that he was, to put it bluntly, screwed. He decided to throw in the towel and resign, according to my sources. However, there were powerful business interests who had vested economical interests in him continuing in power. What exactly those interests are I do not know, but given the extensive misappropriation of public funds that has been revealed after his departure from office (he didn’t even have a budget the last year!), one may guess that there were those who wanted certain things to stay hidden. Others might have lucrative oil contracts related to the deal with ALBA (Chavez’s band of countries, who get to buy oil on loan on favorable terms) – they must have understood that if Zelaya left office, the oil would stop flowing, and thus the loans that allegedly didn’t have to be paid back. You all know what that is called in plain English.

The reason Zelaya did not hand in the resignation letter on June 25 was allegedly that he was persuaded not to. He was persuaded to stay and fight, to take a mob to the military to retrieve the ballots, and to completely run roughshod over all the democratic institutions. Whoever persuaded him managed to convince him that if he was only bold enough, the tepid public servants would not dare to stop him.

But they did.

The key persons were anything but tepid. They may have appeared tepid, but when faced with real and imminent danger to the democratic form of government, they stepped up to the challenge and acted like veritable heroes.

Honduras thus managed to preserve its constitution. As we all know, the actual act of removing Zelaya from office was, unfortunately, erroneously interpreted by the whole world as a military coup. An enormous pressure was put on the constitutional interim president, Roberto Micheletti Bain, to effectively abandon Honduras’s sovereignty.

He did not.

Micheletti turned out to be the right person at the right place at the right time. He fiercely defended Honduras’s independence and sovereignty, and made Honduras into a symbol of pride in Latin America. This image, which I first saw on a site in Venezuela, illustrates that beautifully:

Honduras’s President: They plan a coup against me

Honduras’s newly elected president, Porfirio Lobo, claimed Wednesday that there are forces within Honduras that are planning a coup d’état against him. He named no one, but the local radio chain HRN said that three leaders in the president’s own party, the Nacionalistas, are behind it.

Last year then-president Manuel Zelaya from the liberal party was deposed and replaced by another liberal, after he had failed to heed orders from the Supreme Court to cease and desist in trying to overthrow the constitution of Honduras. President Lobo is seen by some as pursuing the same path as Zelaya. His own party is totally against that policy, much more so than the liberal party.

The Union Civica Democratica, UCD, says that these are very serious allegations, and express surprise because if someone is planning a coup d’état it is because they have control of the armed forces, which seems not to be the case.

Or could it simply be that Lobo has read my blog? And maybe got scared over my warnings that the next time a president is deposed it may be in a real military coup, and a bloody one at that? After all, given how much trouble Zelaya has caused, why would any real coupster ever want to leave a president alive again?

If this is the case, then Mr. Lobo, pay attention: You are getting paranoid. Stop looking for ghosts, and start taking care of the business of Honduras instead. There are many things to do. The investment climate must be improved, and that means making investors feel that Honduras is a safe and predictable country. You have to make them certain that democracy and the rule of law are for ever, and that nobody ever will succeed in making a coup, neither a self-coup nor a military coup.

Mr. Lobo, what you just did was perhaps the most stupid thing you possibly could have done in a hundred years.

The World has Sown a Dragon-Seed of Military Coup

The irresponsible actions of the international community has set back the agenda of Human Rights by decades, and significantly increased the risk for military coups with all the classical connotations: murders of opponents, disappearances, and violations of people’s fundamental rights, to destroy an opposition that is perceived as a threat to the liberal democracy. The place where this was done was Honduras, and the time was the last 12 months.

The organization Union Civica Democratica, UCD, in Honduras is now getting active again after a time of relative obscurity. UCD was created just about a year ago, to protest the intent of self-coup that Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was carrying out. They organized mass demonstrations with participants wearing white shirts. They are thus the essence of the White side in Honduras’s recent politics, with the rebels supporting the efforts to overthrow the constitution being the Red side.

Why do the Whites get active again now? There is one obvious reason: to help build a better society, and one less obvious: to keep defending the constitution against a threat that – remarkably – is still there.

For those of you who mostly follow leftist media this may require a bit of explanation, since the story you have been fed is that there was a “military coup” in Honduras June 28, 2009, at which Roberto Micheletti was made president; and that this was followed by illegitimate elections on November 29, at which Porfirio Lobo was elected president to take office on January 27 this year. This is the story promoted by a group of communist-aligned countries in Latin America, but it has gained international traction since no country has challenged it officially. Except Honduras, of course.

These friends of Castro, Chavez, Correa, Ortega, and Morales – all having gained or perpetuated their rule through unconstitutional means – are further alleging that the Lobo administration is not legitimate, since he was elected during a “military coup regime”, and therefore the Organization for American States (OAS, or OEA in Spanish) is refusing to let Honduras back in. They claim that the alleged military regime perpetrated widespread violations of Human Rights, allegations that are very much over the top, apparently counting on that the world media will think “no smoke without fire” – and they have. Even though they have only swallowed a minute fraction of the allegations, it has been enough to give their readers the image of a brutal military dictatorship. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

The crimes of then-president Zelaya were dealt with extensively in court, and he was convicted repeatedly before a warrant for his arrest was issued. His violations of the constitution were grave enough to constitute high treason. The Supreme Court had every right to order the military to arrest him, as they did. Roberto Micheletti was next in the succession line to replace him, as he did.

On June 28, 2009, Honduras averted a coup that was being carried out by Zelaya, and saved its constitution by replacing him with Micheletti. The continued democratic Republic of Honduras did not change – it was the world around it that changed by condemning Honduras in the United Nations, and cutting off diplomatic relations to it. This gave encouragement to the communist rebels, who until Zelaya started using their rhetoric in his demagoguery in 2008, and adopted their agenda of overthrowing the constitution, had been an insignificant fringe group. They also got multi-million dollar funding from abroad, and many were pressured to get active in the rebel movement (for instance, Cuba used the threat of withholding education scholarships to pressure Honduran students on the island to become organizers of anti-government rebel activities).

While the rebels carried out widespread sabotage, causing multi-million dollar damage and even murdering people with bus bombs, the government stuck to the principles of human rights. Let it be said that Honduras has a less then perfect record, pretty abysmal actually, when it comes to the performance of the police and the justice system. Of course there were bad things done – you cannot change a poorly operating system overnight! These errors were reported oversees as evidence of repression, while in reality the interim government continued the work of trying to improve the standards of the police (and military, since they in Honduras are used to help the police, as stipulated in the constitution).

As far as I can judge, the Micheletti administration did their best to respect Human Rights and the norms of democracy.

They did this against a rather strong undercurrent in Honduras that believes that this method does not work; that the only thing that works is the methods of the early 1980’s: disappearances, terror, eliminations, dismantling of the rebel side by slowly and gradually picking off people in a seemingly random fashion until nobody is left who dares to pick up the stick.

Now think about it. When a constitutional regime is accused of being a military coup-facade, then what message does it send? When the international community (including the shameless Human Rights-organizations, with only one exception) accuse the government who tries to fight this culture of perpetrating it, then what message does it send?

What message does it send to be ungrateful to efforts to safeguard human rights? It sends the message that there is no point in trying to play by the rules of democracy and human rights.

Those who adhere to the old-school ideas of the hard-line approach have now got a much better argument. They can say, “we tried to follow their soft method, and look what it accomplished? Nothing!”

But I am getting ahead of myself now. I first have to update you on the situation in Honduras. President Lobo is so eager to get the recognition from the “international community”, which really means the OAS, which in turn means that he needs the support of a handful of communist-affiliated countries in Latin America, that he is prepared to sell out his country’s sovereignty for a plate of lentil soup. And not just that, pressure is being put on the democratic institutions of Honduras to violate their constitutional duties to accommodate the whims of those communist-affiliated countries.

Today the Supreme Court has been convened, says UCD, to try to reinstate justices who were dismissed for violating the laws, and to discuss dropping the legal cases against Zelaya. They try to do this today because some regular justices who are against these acts are unavailable, so their substitutes can rule differently. It is done under intense international pressure – including, I have heard, by the United States. Moreover, Lobo is talking about holding the same constituting constitutional assembly for which Zelaya was prosecuted.

In other words, the threat to democracy, the constitution, and the rule of law, appears to persist. Different actors have learned different lessons from the past year.

Chavez and his ALBA group of countries have drawn the conclusion that their communist strategy cannot be stopped.

The majority of Hondurans have drawn the conclusion that Chavez-style coups will not be tolerated in their country.

This, unfortunately, leads us right into the arms of a new confrontation. But this time, the right-wingers may have learned also a second lesson: the international community does not care if they follow the human rights rules or not; if they carry out a military coup or do a constitutional succession – the end result will be the same.

The danger of this precedent is thus that there will be a new attempt at overthrowing the form of government in Honduras, and that next time there will be no holding back of the violence in stopping that coup attempt. The risk is that the next time it will be a bloody military operation, as in a classic military coup, and that tens if not hundreds of activists will be murdered in it.

It would be a sad day indeed if that was to happen. That is why I implore the international community to stand up for the democratic republic of Honduras, to support its democratic institutions as they strive to uphold the law, and to not stand idly by when it is being attacked again. The time to engage in diplomacy is NOW. Don’t let it get out of hands a second time!

Dragon’s teeth sown in the UN now ripe

Things should be called by their right names. It is not just a tremendous injustice, and injury, to the people of Honduras to call the constitutional deposing of a president – who was violating the constitution and the other branches of government – a “coup”, but it is also a dangerous precedent.

This precedent has already been put to use in anti-democratic propaganda. In an article yesterday, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is reported as accusing “radical sectors of the opposition of planning an institutional coup to depose of president Hugo Chávez.” They accuse them specifically of attempting the “Honduran plan, which is nothing else than an institutional coup,” according to vice president of the party in the eastern region, Aristóbulo Istúriz.

Note that they are no longer claiming that it was a military coup in Honduras; not even in this Cuban news outlet. If neither Cuba nor Venezuela calls it a military coup, then at least that argument is won for Honduras.

From the ashes to the fire

This, however, just brings us from the ashes to the fire from the perspective of risk to democracy. Consider the PSUV argument closely:

According to [PSUV], the enemies of the government are waging a campaign to win the legislative elections of September 26, which would enable them to carry out their plan.” The plan is described as follows: “They want the Attorney General to press charges against Chávez, and the Supreme Court to convict him…

In other words, the alleged plan that they are warning for is simply to impose the rule of law through democratic means. The ruling party in Venezuela thus labels this constitutional procedure in a democracy a “coup.”

It is Orwellian newspeak; democracy and the rule of law is called a coup, and the auto-coup that it would be for Chávez or Zelaya to prevent this, is called democracy.

If the elected congress and the judicial system depose the president in agreement with the constitution, they call it a coup.

Does it sound lunatic? Does it violate your sense of justice? Does it make you think that if there is no democratic and legal way to depose of the president no matter what he does, it sooner or later leads to tyranny?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the world, this is what your own leaders opted for when they, in the United Nation’s General Assembly, condemned the legal removal of Zelaya from office as a coup.

The international community has set this precedent itself, by condemning Honduras in the UNGA.

One should not use strong language unnecessarily, because it undermines the power of the words. This is one of those occasions when that power is needed: A grave mistake was made in the United Nation’s General Assembly when they condemned Honduras. They took a hasty decision without access to relevant facts; through manipulation and newspeak they were deceived into legitimizing tyranny.

Every leader of every country in the world is guilty of permitting this mistake. Most through intellectual laziness, by voting as the group. Some have been actively involved, including Insulza of OAS, and some, like Obama, have unknowingly facilitated it through naiveté and lack of diplomatic experience.

Going forward, though, every leader that does not re-evaluate his or her position is doubly guilty, but no blame shall fall on the one who admits a mistake and tries to mitigate the harm caused by it. They need, however, to be made aware of the situation, since this is no longer in the news.

If democracy and the rule of law is dear to you, now would be a good time to take action to defend it. How? By speaking up, simply. Increase the awareness of this threat. When a critical mass is reached you will be successful, provided that you (still) live in a democracy.

Originally published 09:51, last edited 12:42.

English version of the PSUV statements in Brunei.

Honduras – the World, 1-0

After seven months of hardship, Honduras can today consider itself the victor in the drawn out struggle for the world to recognize its right to depose an omnipotent president.

This is the day the interim president gave his final speech to the nation from that position. He thanked the people, all the people, for the help they had given him, and he expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity destiny had given him to serve his fatherland in these the most arduous of times.

This is also the day that it was revealed that BCIE, Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, on January 18 decided to resume normal operations with Honduras again. Honduras is a partner in the bank and has sued it for breach of contract, since it for purely political reasons stopped making payments.

Also the Central American trade agreement with the European Union is back on track today, with Honduras included. It is expected to be signed in May.

As for the future of the deposed president, Zelaya, he has today decided conditionally to accept the free passage to the Dominican Republic that president-elect Porfirio Lobo has promised to issue on January 27, the day he takes office. There may also be legal problems due to the arrest warrants issued for him – including international ones. Logically, if Zelaya accepts the free passage he recognizes that Lobo was elected president of Honduras in a legitimate election (which he hasn’t done yet), which means that he also has to accept the validity of the arrest warrants from the Republic of Honduras. There are still some knots to untie. The easiest would be if Zelaya just walked out and faced his prosecutors like a man.

However, those are details now. The main thing is that Honduras democratic institutions saved the rule of law, enforced the separation of powers, and – when the entire world turned on them – stood up for what they knew was right, and won.

This is perhaps a first. History is full of countries that have had their democracy destroyed, from ancient tyrants to present-day chavism. Every time one wonders, why didn’t they stop it? Why didn’t they do this, or that? Why not?

Well, Honduras did to this and that. They had the right on their side, and executed it under extreme pressure, against an opponent that was acting fast. They had no time to plan; in fact, they barely had time to act. Most of all, they had no time to spin it for the media.

Their opponent had, though. He was well prepared for virtually all eventualities. Which forced the Hondurans to take some extreme and unexpected measures. Call it “pajamas diplomacy” if you like. Although in reality Zelaya was of course allowed to get dressed before they flew him to Costa Rica.

This left the impression of a military coup. Due to the circumstances, the country was already full of media ready to spread the story. Result: Instant saturation of the global airwaves with the spin that a military coup had taken place, while in reality they had prevented an autogolpe.

So now we know “why not”. It is very, very hard.

But they did it, and for that, the little country on the Central American isthmus, the former “banana republic” of Honduras will for ever be inscribed in the History of Democracy.

And so will president Roberto Micheletti Bain, and his last speech.

As a personal note, it has been an astonishingly interesting time to have had the privilege to be able to follow closely the fight of this government to preserve their nation’s freedom and democracy. I want to sincerely thank all those who have helped me with information, because it is they who have made it possible for me to get beyond the clichés. ¡Viva Honduras!

2010-01-22 11:40, corrected to Dominican Republic as the country accepting Zelaya.

Obama okayed leftist coup d’état for “peace”

It is easy to understand why the Obama administration was trying to isolate Honduras, by closing diplomatic relations, not letting them explain themselves in the UN, and revoking visas for everyone who knew what had transpired last june 28. It is easy to understand when you learn that the Obama administration had given a green light to Chávez-supported Zelaya to commit a coup d’état in Honduras.

Consider that it is not just decision-makers and influential persons in the private sector who have got their visas revoked lately. Also civil servants have now got their visas revoked, according to media reports from the country. These may have worked for the government for years, and their “crime” is not to have resigned, not to have given up their income. That is reason enough for the Obama administration to punish them by revoking their visas, so they can no longer visit friends and family in the U.S. It doesn’t make any sense – unless the true purpose of the revocation is, precisely, to prevent them from visiting friends and family.

It will not in any way, shape, or form alter Honduras’ foreign policy. So why do it? Why antagonize people both in the U.S. and in Honduras?

The simple truth is probably that the U.S. is ashamed of what it did in Honduras. Obama doesn’t want anybody from Honduras who knows what he did to visit the U.S., without first incriminating themselves, by forcing them to admit that they were at fault. Even though they weren’t. It’s like a Dan Rather-case all over again.

Maybe you ask, what stops them from talking to American visitors to their country? Simple, the travel warnings, the un-necessary travel warnings that keep most Americans away for no good reason – except to hide Obama’s shame.

I have written extensively about the events on this blog, but to sum up: The elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was carrying out a coup d’état that would have been completed June 28 last year. He did this with the support of Venezuela’s de facto dictator and former military coupster Hugo Chávez, and with Insulza from the Organization for American States, OAS. All of these approved of the blatant violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, and of ignoring the separation of powers. Obama through his ambassador Llorens also knew, and tried to convince Zelaya not to carry out the coup d’état. However, he made a fundamental diplomatic error, a blunder of the same proportions as Chamberlain with his “peace for our time.”

Obama refused to back up his words with force.

In fact, he went even further – he vowed that if the democratic institutions tried to stop the coup d’état, he would side with the would-be dictator Zelaya, and denounce the democratic institutions as coupsters. Exactly what happened.

Word in Honduras (from someone whose visa has been revoked) is that it was senator Kerry who set this policy. Obama has no foreign policy experience. Why he didn’t consult Hillary Clinton is beyond me, she seems to have a lot more balls than either Obama or Kerry. Regardless of who advised him, Obama is responsible.

So here we are, the Republic of Honduras as the champion of the rule of law and the defense of constitutional democracy, while the U.S. is so ashamed they are hurting innocent persons just to avoid having the facts get out.

What will happen next? The truth always gets out in the end. There are numerous court cases that in one way or another hinge on the legality of what happened June 28, 2009. When courts start making their decisions, the lies will crumble. That is why the U.S. is in such a hurry to get this case off the agenda, into the history books, where the truth can’t hurt them any more.

In case you wonder what the justification was for the U.S. to revoke the visas, such as for the cabinet members in this last round, it is another lie: That Honduras has not adhered to the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord that was signed as a result of the Guaymuras dialog.

Here is my challenge to Obama: You have a person in the verification commission that is overseeing the implementation of the agreement, Solis. Show me the minutes from that commission’s meetings, show me the complaints that it was not being implemented, and show me the decisions of the commission. Until you do that, your words are empty and lack credibility. There is a process established, and if you yourself do not adhere to it, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Show me the minutes or shut up.

The verification commission of the Guaymuras agreement. From left Corrales, Lagos, Rico (from OAS), Solis, and Reina.
The verification commission of the Guaymuras agreement. From left Arturo Corrales (representive for the government of Honduras), ex president Ricardo Lagos from Chile, Victor Rico (representing OAS which coordinates the commission), labor secretary Hilda Solis from USA, and Jorge Arturo Reina (representive for the deposed president Manuel Zelaya).

Footnote: Given that the verification commission is coordinated by OAS, an organization that supported Zelaya’s coup d’état, I have no illusions that it will be forthcoming with protocols that reveal that the agreement was broken by Zelaya, not Honduras.

Update 21:20 ET: The president elect, Porfirio Lobo, has today signed an agreement in the Dominican Republic that includes creating a unity government, letting Manuel Zelaya leave Honduras as a free man on January 27th immediately after he takes office, and working for amnesty for all. I suppose there are some who are genuinely afraid of what might be revealed in a court hearing. Hondurans have not forgotten that Lobo was for the plan for changing the constitution. It has been suggested that the inauguration gift from the Honduran people should be a pajamas, so that he never forgets who he works for. [See negative reaction in Guatemala]

The outgoing president, through the Minister of Indstria y Comercio, Benjamin Bogran, said, “la posición del Presidente Micheletti, es respetar las decisiones que tomé don Porfirio Lobo como nuevo Presidente, y el pueblo lo eligió como su presidente, por lo que confiamos que sus decisiones tomadas serán las mejores, pero las leyes también se respetan. Esperamos que sea lo mejor para Honduras.

In translation, “The position of president Micheletti is to respect the decisions taken by Mr Porfirio Lobo as the new president, given that the people elected him as their president, why we have faith that his decisions will be the best, but that the laws also will be respected. We expect that this will be the best for Honduras.”

Addition 21:40: Swedish news agency TT, together with AFP, continues to peddle the lie that the regular presidential election in November, held every 4 years since 1981, was an extra election. See, e.g., SvD, DN. It goes to show how far the propaganda has gone, that it is virtually impossible to get mainstream press to stop spreading a lie once some goon has managed to get it planted. AFP has clearly demonstrated a total lack of journalistic integrity when reporting about Honduras. It is noteworthy that these Swedish newspapers do not correct their text even when they are repeatedly being told that they are wrong.

Honduras Accuses OAS for Coup d’État

Honduras president Micheletti today accused Insulza, president of the Organization for American States (OAS), for being an accomplice in Zelaya’s failed coup d’état in Honduras June 28 last year.

The interview is published in the Tegucigalpa newspaper El Heraldo. When Zelaya, then president of Honduras, was preparing to hold a referendum that had been declared illegal by the Supreme Court, Insulza nonetheless sent official election observers, in open spite of the democratic institutions of Honduras. As then president of the Congress, Micheletti tried to talk some sense into Insulza, questioning how OAS (known as OEA in Spanish) could support an unconstitutional act by the president of Honduras, but the Chilean was unreasonable.

“I hold [Insulza] responsible for what happened in the country,” said Micheletti.

On the follow-up question “Was Insulza an accomplice to Zelaya?”, he replied, “He was an accomplice, he became an accomplice, and he remains an accomplice.” On an earlier question he had responded that “[Zelaya] was trying to do a coup d’état” (estaba tratando de dar un golpe de Estado).

The irony is that the purpose of OAS is to defend democracy, and here they were supporting a coup d’état.

Take a deep breath and think about it.

The interviewer continued, “How would the country be today if the intervention on June 28 had not taken place?”

“We would have had a dictator, a bunch of people taking away people’s rights and properties,” replied Micheletti. From a European perspective it might seem that this statement would need support, but from a Latin American perspective, all the support required can be found in the actual developments of the other countries where the same chain of events has taken place: Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador. Just the other day there was news from Chávez that he is expropriating a large chain of supermarkets because he doesn’t like their prices. All the tracks go in one direction.

“Are you convinced of this, Mr President?” continued the reporter.

“-Without a moment of doubt I respond: I am totally convinced, totally convinced.”

He recounts earlier in the interview how on 5 different occasions a number of people, including U.S. ambassador Llorens, tried to convince Zelaya not to go ahead with the illegal referendum, but to no avail. Micheletti interprets this to mean that Zelaya had made a promise, a commitment [to Chávez], that he couldn’t break no matter how illegal it was.

In that connection Llorens said that the U.S. would not recognize Honduras if they deposed Zelaya. This swayed some members of congress, whom Micheletti refers to as “cowards” rather than by name.

However, Zelaya’s acts grew increasingly criminal in the following days, and the decisions were taken at haste. What happened was not planned, it was an emergency decision to save democracy, he recounts.

After taking office Micheletti started calling people to set up a government. Although he warned them that their government would not be recognized by the world, not a single person turned down his request. As he puts it, he found himself surrounded by people who were prepared for a fight against wind and tide, “contra viento y marea”.

PS. Is it too far-fetched to suspect that Obama has withdrawn U.S. visas from leading personalities in Honduras just to prevent them from coming here and giving interviews, thus revealing what actually happened?

After Oscar Arias, new strategy required for Honduras

After Honduras president Manuel Zelaya was deposed on June 28th, and replaced by Roberto Micheletti, the Costarican president and Nobel Peace laureate Oscar Arias was entrusted with the task of facilitating talks between the two Honduran sides in search for a head of state that the world would recognize. After two months the tico president has not achieved the goal. Honduras remains diplomatically isolated and under increasing sanctions.

The problem seems obvious: Arias has been determined to achieve a preconceived outcome. He has acted as an arbitrator – and a judgmental one at that – rather than as an unbiased mediator. His stated goal has been the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya as president, and he totally ignores the fact that the democratic institutions of Honduras, including the supreme court, affirms that it would be unconstitutional.

In other words, Oscar Arias ignores the legal reality in search for an entirely political solution.

A Solution

Logically, there is only one way to defuse the situation and that is to go the legal path; to seek what is right, and not what is politically expedient. The question is only how to do it, given that there is no court that can determine if it was a coup or not.

Or is there?

There may actually be a court case before the Honduran courts that can, coincidentally, settle the question. The attorney general of the country is investigating, I’ve been told, the expelling of citizen Manuel Zelaya from the country by the military on June 28. It was a patently unconstitutional act, and the chief lawyer of the military has stated that the military took the decision since they did not have adequate facilities in which to imprison the deposed president.

This court case will hopefully enable all Hondurans to find out what actually happened, and what considerations were made.

Personally I have much more faith in that this court case will bring peace back to Honduras, than any talks involving Manuel Zelaya. Ultimately what matters is what the people of Honduras thinks, not what the world thinks. If there is a legal consensus forming in the country about what happened, tensions will defuse.

How could anyone possibly be against this? Except those who do not want peace, democracy, and the rule of law, of course.