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Honduras timeline

This timeline is based on previously published information on this blog, with only some minor new facts taken into account. The tentative chain of events has been recreated by combining pieces of the puzzle from different witnesses and documents. Updated 2009-09-22 08:30 ET.

June 24 – President Manuel Zelaya dismisses the head of the armed forces, Velasquez, because he – correctly – obeys the court and refuses to obey illegal orders from the president.

June 25 – Zelaya issues decree PCM-019-2009 about the vote that has already been declared unconstitutional, and thus violates article 239 in the constitution which leads to immediately loosing his elected post. Zelaya’s act is a crime against the form or government, i.e. the constitution, and this high crime is aggravated by the fact that he accepted help from a foreign power.

ditto – the Supreme Court of Justice declares the dismissal of Velasquez illegal and that he thus remains in duty.

ditto – the Supreme Court of Justice seizes the illegal voting material and charges the military with guarding it.

ditto – the Attorney General requests  that the Supreme Court of Justice issue an arrest warrant for Zelaya.

evening – leading persons in the business community are informed about the secret arrest order, confirmed by several witnesses (its existence was even implied to yours truly on that date, why I know this is not a post facto construction). Nobody has been able to say for sure that the US ambassador Llorens was informed, but he reasonably must have been, given that he was informed on 4 to 5 occasions during these days about what was going on,* and he was the single most important person to inform to avoid diplomatic problems.

late evening – a businessman and friend of Zelaya visits him and reveals the existence of the arrest order. Zelaya is acting in despair, says “I’ll resign” and, according to this eye witness, writes a letter of resignation.

night – Chávez finds out about the arrest order, presumably because Zelaya calls him after his friend has left. Judging from what happens next, Chávez persuades Zelaya not to resign after all.

June 26 – Zelaya gathers a large mob and leading it he breaks into the military base and physically takes the impounded voting material from the military base. The military refrains from shooting to avoid a blood bath.

ditto – the Supreme Court of Justice issues a new arrest warrant, after decree PCM-019-2009 (and PCM-020-2009) becomes known by the prosecutor. Source.

ditto – Chávez went out in a frontal assault in the media accusing the US of conspiring to carry out a military coup in Honduras against Zelaya. These media charges continued for days using extremely strong words, including threats of intervention in Honduras, until Zelaya wasa arrested, and for days afterwards.

June 27 – by nightfall the military has planned how to execute the arrest order. They inform the speaker of the Congress, Micheletti, about 5 to 6 hours in advance. The military decides to send Zelaya in exile instead of arresting him (knowing full well the illegality of it, but motivating it by necessity).

June 28 – in the early morning Zelaya is arrested and sent into exile.

ditto – the resignation letter that Zelaya wrote on the 25th is found and shown in Congress. They decide almost unanimously to accept his resignation. The one in turn to take over according to the order of succession, the speaker of the Congress, is nominated. He is elected interim president with almost no opposition.

ditto – since Chávez was warned and threatened intervention, extreme precaution was exercised in arresting Zelaya. They had information that armed foreign agents were present in the country. To make it hard for them to mobilize, the communications were shut down. This included shutting down or controlling media so no mobilization message could be broadcast. It also included shutting off power so that phone systems or internet could not easily be used by them. The task was accomplished without any loss of life, but the precautions amplified the impression of a military coup. Within hours the international public opinion was cemented, diametrically opposite to what actually happened: That the freedom and democracy of the country had been saved from a Quisling.

June 29 – the entire UN General Assemply, under the chairmanship of D’Escoto, a veteran from the Sandinista revolution, votes to condemn the “coup” and to demand that Zelaya is returned to power. In spite of the US reasonably being aware of the arrest order from the court, Obama chooses to play along and call it a coup. One can only guess that he has realized that Chávez has the upper hand in the propaganda war, and chooses to bide his time, hoping that Honduras’s democracy will survive for a few months without the support of USA.

*Footnote: Ambassador Llorens told the fathers of the constitution that Honduras should allow the vote to go forward even though a court had found it unconstitutional. USA thus not only did not help to conduct a non-existent coup, they actually helped Chávez undermine the constitutional democracy of Honduras.