Tag Archives: CVR

OTP report clears Honduras; attack by Axis of Evil continues

The Office of the Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (yes, I know that you guys followed this blog from Sept 2009 to Feb 2010) has now released a report on preliminary examination activities in Honduras. In paragraph 61 it says that Porfirio Lobo “instituted a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación) to cover events between 28 June 2009 and 27 January 2010” (CVR is the abbreviation). Here’s the problem: The conflict did not start June 28th, 2009, and the CVR’s mandate does not start with the events June 28th, 2009. As I have reported on this blog, over and over again, the CVR was a condition in the Guaymuras dialogue introduced by interim president Micheletti, and approved by the deposed president Zelaya; it was to cover the events before, during, and after June 28th, 2009. This is important, because every serious legal analysis until date has concluded that it was not a coup d’état; that the label coup d’état is entirely political with no foundation in the legal facts.

The OTP report talks about a “crisis room” that was installed in the presidential palace on July 6th. In fact I proposed the installation of it to Micheletti, and I stayed in contact with it during his entire interim presidency. It was a way of finding out the other side of the story, since virtually all media reporting represented the spin from the chavizta propaganda machine in Venezuela (Telesur being the main source of video footage). The purpose of the crisis room was to counter this massive propaganda machine, but it was still a modest effort: Six persons, against a global network of interconnected media, from news services to satellite TV to state employed bloggers – with messaging controlled by the president and minister of information in a totalitarian dictatorship that wished to take control over Honduras: Venezuela.

The Honduras crisis 2009 was not a “coup d’état”. It was the legitimate defense by one nation against a non-military aggression by another nation, with the intent of annexation. We now know the true intentions of the aggressor nations thanks to an audio recording retrieved from the computer of a Cuban military in 2012. At the meeting they talk about Cuba Grande Socialista, which will start with annexing Venezuela and Nicaragua, and for that reason they have decided to murder Hugo Chávez (which they did in December 2012 and then tried to conceal), and replace him with Maduro who is docile and manageable. From their point of view it was necessary to murder Chávez since he wanted to create Gran Colombia Bolivariana instead of Cuba Grande Socialista, to annex Colombia and Ecuador rather than Nicaragua, and to make himself the leader rather than Fidel.

It’s easy to see why they want Venezuela, the petroleum wealth, but the reason for desiring Nicaragua is more interesting in relation to Honduras: They want an alternative to the Panama Canal, one that they control. In Nicaragua there is an old project, older than the Panama Canal, that still is kept alive: The ECO canal, via Lake Managua, Lake Nicaragua, and San Juan River. It’s main drawback is the aridity of the Lake Managua drainage basin, some years not providing enough water for the necessary sluices to the Pacific Ocean. Another drawback is the shallowness of the San Juan River. Economically it cannot compete with the Panama Canal, but that’s not the point: Cuba wants it for political reasons, if they are shut out from the Panama Canal. In 2012 they were not, so one must ask oneself what were they up to, since they expected to be shut out from the Panama Canal? After the seizure of Cuban military material on a North Korean freighter it does seem, though, as though they may become shut out now…

Over to Honduras. There is a project being promoted there called the “canal seco”, the “dry canal”. It consists of a harbor in each end and either a railroad or a motorway in between, and the purpose is exactly to provide an alternative to the Panama Canal. Who is interested in financing it? China, an ally of Cuba. Nicaragua and Honduras are the only two countries that can offer an alternative to the Panama Canal. Nicaragua is already a dictatorship, and Ortega might not be such an easy nut to crack as the weak Honduran democracy. The newly elected president in Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, has proved to be very amenable to corruption, and that is how the enemy gets his foot in. There are already thousands of Cuban agents in Honduras, disguised as medical personnel, but whose real purpose is psychological operations in preparation for a possible annexation such as the one just being carried out in Venezuela after the assassination of Chávez.

Returning to the OTP report, they conclude: “While there were victims of killings, torture, sexual violence, detentions of longer duration and/or in conditions of a severe nature, or serious injuries, the commission of these crimes did not seem to have occurred in an organized and regular pattern.” This is the same thing that I heard during the crisis from the above-mentioned situation room, or “war room” as we called it at the time since it was in effect an act of aggression against Honduras: There was an accidental shooting of a civilian, there was someone found dead after having been detained and released, there were cases of sexual violence, but none of it was neither ordered nor sanctioned from the top; they did what they could to stop it, since it put them in jeopardy (and the OTP report is proof of that; they have been investigated until now).

In paragraph 74 of the report the “crisis room” is mentioned:

“Although not necessary, given the findings on the lack of either a widespread or systematic attack, the Office also considered whether there was any evidence of a policy to attack opponents of the de facto regime. …the establishment of a “crisis room” designed to plan operations to repress the opposition could also be an indicator of a policy … However … As regards the “crisis room”, it is not clear that emanating from this coordination there was a policy designed to attack, on a widespread and systematic basis, the civilian population…”

Again, let me spell it out: It was my idea to create this situation room, I proposed it to Micheletti through intermediaries, and the purpose was to provide the truth about what was happening to the media, population, and the international community, since the world media were totally dominated by the enemy propaganda (from Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, and other members of the Axis of Evil). Again, the situation room was devised to get the TRUTH out, and to the best of my knowledge all who worked there (six of them) were all communicators, none were involved with security issues. Of course they talked with the heads of security, that’s where they got their information from, but they did not direct security, they only reported the facts. For instance, it was through that channel that I found out how Telesur was staging “news” stories (the Telesur video has been taken down, I guess they didn’t like to get exposed so they reported it for copyright infringement).

The attack by the Axis of Evil against the sovereignty of Honduras continues, however. A week ago Manuel Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, was defeated in the presidential election. The interesting fact is, however, who financed her campaign: Venezuela and Cuba! Since a couple of years Cuba ceased to be the number one threat to Latin America, according to USA. It is now Russia. Russia is for all intents and purposes a Nazi regime, a criminal enterprise, and Cuba is, too; there is no significant difference between the Nazi and the communist ideology as clearly described by this documentary from Latvia (a nation that has suffered both Nazism and Russian communism): The Soviet Story. It’s a very upsetting film, especially the recent events since they show that the Empire of Evil still exists – and it wants to build a navy base in Venezuela, where it already has a significant military presence. Honduras is not out of the woods, and the “canal seco” is surely of high strategic value to the axis of evil.

PS. The Truth Commission was also my idea, so I know very well that the purpose was to cover the before as well as during and after June 28th, 2009. And let me add, I did give advice to Micheletti, but I did so protected by Free Speech – by writing it on this blog – and never accepting any payment for it.

Truth Report in Honduras misses the Big Picture

The CVR report [since that site went dead I have uploaded the report here: CVR report] from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Honduras (Comisión de la Verdad y la Reconciliación) was released July 7, 2011. Their most serious error is in the apparent omission of the Trotskyist Cold War aspect, which has led them to draw erroneous conclusions.

Although the report was released July 7, it is not until today that I have had a chance to read it, since I have been on a well-deserved vacation. So far I have read Chapter 6, “the events of June 28, 2009.” As regards the documental evidence there is nothing new, but the testimonies at the end are new – and interesting – to me, since they reveal just how incompetent the persons pushing for the Constitutional Assembly really are. Take Cesar Ham, who said “Miércoles antes de la cadena nacional y entonces Kike que no hallaba cómo explicar, que no, que mirá, me decía, que no sé qué, que esto, vamos a la consulta o vamos a la consulta le digo” (“Wednesday before the national address and Kike who didn’t find how to explain, that look, he said to me, that this, and that; are we having the poll or having the poll, I asked him”). There is nothing more revealing for who has something on his feet and who hasn’t, than their own declarations in this report. But the real dynamite comes in the omissions in the following chapter.

In Chapter 7 they enter into the territory of analysis of the legality of the events. Although I have only read part of the text, I have already discovered that they have made a serious error of judgment. By failing to take into account the international nature of the conflict, treating it as an internal Honduran affair, they have landed on the completely wrong foot. To exemplify, they consider it wrong by the Honduran Attorney General and Supreme Court to accuse Manuel Zelaya of treason, and that the Honduran Constitution defines treason in way too wide terms. However, nowhere in Chapter 6 did I see any reference to the well-established fact that Zelaya was a quisling for Hugo Chávez, and that Chávez – a president in a foreign nation – was bankrolling not just Zelaya’s efforts to hold the illegal referendum, but also the “civil society organizations” who were pushing Zelaya to go ahead against his own expressed doubts that it was politically possible.

There has been ample denouncements ever since before June 28 that Chávez was behind this, but in Chapter 6 this is only mentioned very casually, by referring to a joint TV appearance of Zelaya and Chávez. Nowhere is it mentioned that the Honduran society was very well aware of the unconstitutional, yes unconstitutional, Constituting Constitutional Assembly that Hugo Chávez had arranged in Venezuela shortly after being elected president in 1999, thus effectively carrying out a self-coup, an autogolpe; and that Chávez had proceeded to bankroll other president’s election campaigns in other Latin American countries, and their unconstitutional Constituting Constitutional Assemblies (e.g., Ecuador, Bolivia).

They knew in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula that the international community, lead by OAS and Insulza, would be most accommodating in welcoming such a coup d’état also in Honduras. They knew that Insulza effectively is a golpista apologist, and that OAS is a threat to democracy, especially after allowing Cuba back in without easing up one inch on their communist dictatorship.

They knew that nobody was going to save democracy if they didn’t do it. It was not a political battle in a country in peace. It was a state of Cold War, exactly the kind of cold war that Adolf Hitler referred to when he coined that term. The play by Hugo Chávez, himself a quisling of Fidel Castro, was as taken from the playbook of the Führer: Take over a foreign sovereign nation without using military force, simply by intimidation, bribes, and lies. But after having used the strategy successfully in a handful of Latin American countries, the Hondurans had taken note that many tracks led into the lion’s lair, but none led out.

Thus it is with sadness that I am forced to conclude that CVR, a commission that I myself promoted in the San José talks, have failed to cast the net large enough to capture the real truth about what happened in Honduras. They have steered clear of the most important issue: The threat that Trotskyist Communism poses to Latin America, and thus to the rest of the world through their methods. These methods include infiltration (taking power in democracies under false flag and then converting them to communist dictatorships), terrorism, and drug violence (spreading chaos and havoc in democracies to make them ripe to fall for their manchurian candidates).

Trotsky clearly promoted lies and crimes in order to take power in all major nations first, and then to introduce communism with all that it entails in the form of getting rid of private ownership. Hugo Chávez is a confessed follower of Trotsky, whose vision is the ultimate tyranny, with absolute world-wide concentration of power. The failure of making this connection by CVR is absolutely devastating for the usefulness of the report’s conclusion in a political context, although in its factual findings it is still relevant and valuable in a narrow context, and for that I congratulate the commission.

Published 2011-07-15 19:34, last edited 2011-07-16 07:52

Truth Report on Honduras

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman has, together with co-authors, written a report to the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR from its Spanish name) regarding the constitutionality of the events before, during, and after June 28, 2009, when the president of the republic, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was removed from office and flown to Costa Rica. Following this blog’s tradition of archiving a copy of all important documents related to that event, the report is duplicated here: Reporte a la Comisión de la Verdad y la Reconciliación de Honduras: Asuntos constitucionales (English version). It is with a special interest that I read this report, since I proposed a truth commission back in July 2009, and Micheletti’s negotiators brought it up in their counter-offer.

After reading the executive summary I find the report to contain exactly what I had expected. First, that a lot of people kept their silence and didn’t reveal what they knew (the fact that CVR requested a meeting with me, whose only involvement has been writing this blog after the fact, amply illustrates that they have grasped at straws for getting to the truth). They have not been able to determine if the secret arrest warrant was issued the day it was dated, or afterwards in a CYA effort. This means that the report does not add any new facts, which is a pity. As for the legal analysis it is as could be expected, given that no new facts came out. Finally, since this is a legal and not a political study, they wisely refrain from evaluating what it means in political terms – something that I don’t have to refrain from here.

They identify three risks to modern democracy, not just in Honduras but generally, all exemplified from Honduras 2009. They are first that the executive office-holder abuses power and usurps powers from the other branches of government (it is clear that they see “modern democracy” as synonymous to “presidential republics”, because this is obviously something that cannot reasonably happen in a parliamentarian democracy). The second is that of an unconstitutional transfer of power, e.g. by military intervention. The third is the lack of clarity as regards the roles that the different institutional actors should assume in a crisis, due to poorly defined constitutions and laws. The report is structured along these three lines of analysis.

Zelaya made an “autogolpe”

In the executive summary they clearly state that president Mel Zelaya violated direct court orders before being deposed, and that the Supreme Court had a constitutional and legal method of deposing him. Having said this, they seem careful not to say that the president was obligated to obey the Supreme Court. In any constitutional democracy it is self-evident that the president is obligated to obey the Supreme Court, so by not stressing that point they are in fact implying that there is something wrong with the constitution of the Republic of Honduras – i.e., that it may give the president a position equivalent to an elected king with a one term limit. This is what I mean with them sticking to the legal and refraining from opinions on the political. Put in plain English: Anyone who is defending Zelaya’s actions and claiming that he should have been restored to power is implying that Honduras is not a constitutional democracy, since if it is a constitutional democracy, then Zelaya de facto made a coup d’état, an “autogolpe”. That is the political conclusion that the legal scholars refrain from expressing, but which can be read between the lines.

When it comes to the act of Congress to depose Zelaya, they stick to their task and discuss only the constitutionality or not thereof. Their conclusion is that Congress most likely did not have that authority, although the Constitution is vague and fails to clearly indicate which institution has what authority in this situation. Therefore it becomes necessary to make a political evaluation of intent, given the basic premise that Honduras is a constitutional democratic republic. At least in the executive resumé they do not consider the fact that Congress is the highest representative of the people between elections, given that Honduras is a representative democracy. In a constitutional crisis where the executive has violated the Constitution and failed to obey the Supreme Court, and there is a lack of clarity in the Constitution and laws of how to proceed, the one and only institution that can act independently is the Congress, since they “are” the people between elections, and all power emanates from the people.

Although the authors do not make this point, they imply it in the recommendation section. An important idea with the commission was to make recommendations of how to avoid a repetition of such a crisis, by strengthening the legal framework of the country. They recommend that the Supreme Court gets a clearer role as arbitrator between the different branches of government, and a stronger position visa-vi the executive. They further suggest that Congress should get an express role in the removal of the President.

It is interesting to note this, since the interim presidency all the time claimed that it already was that way. Here is a philosophical question: Does the relative power have to be set by laws, or can it be set by precedent? In the case of USA it was set by precedent, in 1803 (see “From strengthening institutions to a coup: Explaining the ouster of President Zelaya as an outcome of a game of institutional emergence“). All that it takes for this to become precedent is that it is accepted. To first say “no we don’t accept it because the law is not explicit” and then say “we should change the law so it explicitly becomes that way” is hypocritical. As long as the law is not explicitly forbidding it, it can be established by precedent, as was the case in Honduras 2009.

What will CVR say?

Their report is due any day. They ought to include the political analysis to the legal study. In this blog post I have indicated how I think their analysis should go. But the question is if they have the balls to challenge the entire global community, who called this a coup d’état. Do they dare? Can their careers survive it? That’s the question.

Some quotes

Reading the main text of the analysis, the report appears even more in line with the thinking of the supporters of the interim presidency. Could it be that the executive summary is adopted for political reasons to agree more with the official opinion of OAS and others? If so it is a shame. A truth commission should not look over its shoulder, but be the standard-bearer for independent analysis. In my humble opinion their conclusions are precisely what I have concluded since the very first posts on this blog. But now it is official.

About Zelaya

Concluimos que la utilización del Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas para el propósito previsto en estos decretos fue ilegal bajo las leyes de Honduras.” (We conclude that the use of the National Institute of Statistics for the purpose of these decrees [holding a referendum] was illegal under the laws of Honduras.)
Adicionalmente el Acuerdo 027-2009 violaba la normativa constitucional y legal relacionada a la utilización de la Fuerzas Armadas.” (Additionally the agreement 027-2009 violated the constitutional and legal norms for the use of the armed forces.)
También concluimos que los Decretos Ejecutivos y el Acuerdo llamando a la “consulta” o “encuesta” probablemente no fueron conforme a derecho.” (We also conclude that the executive decrees and agreement calling for the referendum or poll probably were not in agreement with the law.)
Estos artículos parecerían prohibir una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente bajo el orden constitucional actual.” (These [constitutional] articles would seem to forbid a national constitutional assembly under the present constitution.)
Nosotros concluimos que el Presidente Zelaya Rosales ilegalmente incumplió con las órdenes judiciales del Juzgado Contencioso Administrativo.” (We conclude that president Zelaya Rosales illegally disobeyed the judicial orders from the contentious-administrative court.)

About Congress

Al menos algunos de los cargos contra Zelaya Rosales parecen estar bien fundamentados.” (At least some of the accusations against Zelaya Rosales appear to be well founded.) [They exemplify with abuse of authority for disobeying a court order.]
Nuestro análisis aquí concluye que el intento legislativo de destituir a Zelaya Rosales de su cargo probablemente violó la Constitución.” (Our analysis here concludes that the legislative intent to depose Zelaya Rosales probably violated the Constitution.)
Por lo tanto el nombramiento [de Roberto Micheletti Bain] siguió lo establecido en la sucesión constitucional especificad en el artículo 242.” (Therefore the appointment [of Roberto Micheletti Bain] followed the constitutional succession order established in article 242.)

About the Armed Forces

Por lo tanto, los comandantes de las Fuerzas Armadas observaron la ley cuando rehusaron a asistir con la Cuarta Urna.” (Therefore, the commanders of the armed forces were following the law when they refused to assist with holding the [referendum].)
Las Fuerzas Armadas violaron el artículo 102 de la Constitución cuando expatriaron a Zelaya Rosales.” (The armed forces violated article 102 of the constitution when they expatriated Zelaya Rosales.)
También dejamos nota que los oficiales militares fueron exonerados de su acusación penal en enero de 2010. No expresamos ninguna opinión con relación a este caso penal. Nuestro caso está limitado a la discusión de la legalidad de las acciones. La pregunta sobre si los oficiales militares son responsables criminalmente por la expatriación de Zelaya Rosales es distinta a la pregunta de si la expatriación fue legal.” (We also take note that the military officers were exonerated from their criminal accusations in January of 2010. We are not expressing any opinion in relation to this criminal case. Our task is limited to discussing the legality of the actions. The question of whether the military officers are criminally responsible for the expatriation of Zelaya Rosales is a different question from that of whether the expatriation was legal.)

My Comments

After reading the analysis of the constitutionality of the events, it appears to be the conclusion of the authors that president Zelaya Rosales was clearly acting outside the Constitution and the laws, as were the military when they expatriated him, but that the Congress was balancing near the margin of the Constitution (“probably violated”). Note again that this analysis is strictly based on the constitutional legality, and does not include neither a political analysis, nor a criminal analysis.

For a political analysis one has to evaluate the alternatives, and consider what they would likely have led to – in this case, and as a precedent. Failure to stop Manuel Zelaya Rosales would have led to the executive being above the law. He had amply demonstrated that he was not going to accept any order from anyone. There was no other tool at the disposal of Congress and the Courts than the use of force. The report finds that the Supreme Court had the legal right and due cause for having Zelaya arrested, and that the arrest order to the military was constitutional.

The point where the constitutional order was broken (after it was broken by Zelaya) was when the military expatriated him. It left the Congress and the Supreme Court with a very difficult situation to handle, in which both the president, and those charged with arresting the president, were acting unconstitutionally. It was a fundamentally political crisis, not legal, at that point. Consider the alternative to allow Zelaya back as president. He would surely not have agreed to return without having all his adversaries arrested first. The legal case against him would have been dead. The expatriation of him put the entire establishment before a fait accomplis: the military had figuratively burned the ships. From their perspective this was desirable, since they had openly defied him, refused to obey his orders. They knew that if he remained president their careers would be over. They had a personal interest in making sure that there was no chance for Zelaya to survive the crisis in office.

Personally I would not be surprised if they got tacit support from different individuals, within and even outside the country. It is no secret that Zelaya is allied with one of the greatest threats to peace in the Western Hemisphere: Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. It is furthermore no secret that Chávez Frías has conspired to overthrow a number of democracies using the same unconstitutional method as Zelaya Rosales attempted in Honduras (starting with Venezuela in 1999). In none of the other cases has the democratic checks and balances managed to defend the constitutional order. Although one would have preferred that Honduras’s military officers had stuck to the legal route of actions, one must therefore have a certain sympathy for their reasoning that “attack is the best defense”. There is no guarantee that the law would have prevailed if they had followed it.

Whatever one thinks about the military’s actions they did not assume power, and the actions of Congress are defensible under the circumstances as a precedent for a case not contemplated under the Constitution. That is the bottom line that emerges from a political analysis of this legal report, and that makes it perfectly clear that the deposal of Zelaya Rosales was not a coup d’état. (While the authors of this report have not been able to determine if the secret arrest orders were issued the days they are dated, or created when they were made public in order to cover up a military coup, I am assuming that they were for real, for 3 reasons: First, because they had legal backing and it would be illogical to use extra-legal methods when one has legal methods at ones disposal. Second and third, because I have it from two different sources, who don’t know each other, that they knew about the secret arrest order already June 25 or 26; both are family members of people involved in the events. Of course they could be lying, but what sense would that make when they had the law on their side? Therefore I consider it far fetched to believe that it was a military coup that they were trying to cover up.)

Summing up

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report is published, the last chapter of the events of June 28, 2009, will be written. That marks the end of the political events, the final step in the implementation of the Guaymuras-dialogue agreement, the San José-Tegucigalpa Accord. It has been implemented meticulously by first interim president Micheletti, then president Lobo, even though ex-president Zelaya backed away from it when he realized that Congress would not vote him back as president.

What remains is to learn from this event. Honduras has already amended its constitution as regards popular referendum, but as this report points out in its recommendation section, also the new wording is insufficiently clear. The recommendations in this report should be taken very seriously by the Congress in Tegucigalpa, both those regarding crisis solution, regarding the removal of a high office-holder especially the president, those regarding changing the constitution, and those regarding popular referendum. All of those parts were involved in the crisis of 2009, and all of them are important to protect the democracy against the kind of attacks launched by Hugo Chávez and his Cuban allies; their goal is to take over all countries in Latin America, installing Quisling regimes that are beholden to “Socialism of the 21st Century” (i.e., communism).

The strategy of Castro and Chávez is to win democratic elections with the financial backing of the Venezuelan state (oil revenues), and then once in office call for a national constitutional assembly to rewrite the constitution, creating a structure that will enable their Quisling to stay in power indefinitely. Only when the power is secured will they complete the transformation to communism, as they appear to follow Trotsky’s strategy of spreading their power first before consolidating communism. (In fact, in 2007 Chávez himself confessed to being a Trotskyist!)

Honduras was the first major set-back in their plan. The attacks continue unabated, and the war is not yet won. Millions of dollars are still being spent to try to bribe their way in. It is a dangerous and volatile situation, and the more the world punished Honduras economically after the alleged “coup”, the more they pushed Honduras into Castro’s and Chávez’s fold. The wise thing to do now, when this legal report is out, is to acknowledge that Manuel Zelaya Rosales was in clear violation of the Constitution, that he had to be arrested and removed from office to preserve constitutional democracy, and that while a clear error of judgment was made in expatriating him it, it does not change the equation: Zelaya could not be left in office. We have to separate the two issues, the expatriation and the removal from office. We can condemn one while applauding the other. It was, frankly, stupid to expatriate Zelaya Rosales, but the action of Congress can be defended as attempting to find a way out of an impossible situation not contemplated by the Constitution, setting a precedent that can well be codified in a constitutional amendment now, following the recommendations of this report.

Published 13:37 June 9, last updated 07:59 June 10.