A Letter to the Presidents of the Hemisphere from Honduras

“Legalizing Coups d’Etat by Means of Spurious Electoral Processes Divides the Unity of the Nations of América”

By Manuel Zelaya Rosales, President of Honduras

November 22, 2009

Honorable Presidents
Nations of América

Dear Presidents,

I write you in my role as President of Honduras, valuing the excellent relations between our countries and in defense of the democracy violated in Honduras as consequence of the Military Coup d’Etat perpetrated June 28 of this year, when soldiers invaded my home and at gunpoint kidnapped and took me to Costa Rica.

The National Congress forged my resignation letter and, abusing its power, emitted an illegal decree which “separated me from the charge of Constitutional President” without Constitutional backing to do so. The same was the case for the arrest order that the Court had emitted without having received any legal complain and without my having been cited to appear before any tribunal or trial. It has been condemned and described by all the countries of the world as a violent and surprising rupture of democratic order, a Military Coup d’Etat.

At this moment in Honduras we are in a de facto State. There is no Constitution. Nor are there Constitutional powers because they have been destroyed by force by the military Coup d’Etat on that ominous day of June 28, 2009.

The Constitution of the Republic establishes in Article 3: “No one owes obedience to an usurper government, nor to those who occupy public positions or jobs by the force of weapons or using means or procedures that bankrupt or fail to recognize what the Constitution and the law establishes. Those actions by so-called authorities are null and void. The people have the right to insurrection to defend the Constitutional order.”

In reading that article, you can understand that the Honduran people are legally empowered to act using all means, styles and forms that they consider necessary to restore democracy. We have consciously taken the path of peaceful resistance, with the goal of establishing noncooperation and nonviolence like methods of civil disobedience and twenty-first century popular struggle against the rise of military force.

We thank the entire international community for your support for our labor to reconstruct the State of Law, that being the last effort of the poorly reached Tegucigalpa-San José Accord, backed by the OAS and the US Department of State. Its letter and spirit has as its proposal the “return of the title the executive branch to what it was prior to June 28.” And it was openly violated by the de facto regime which in which Mr. Micheletti pretends to head a government of reconciliation, refusing to convene the National Congress, in definitive noncompliance of the timeline and text.

Now, unilaterally, he seeks to utilize the aborted accord by convening the National Congress on December 2, a date upon which the political actors of the accord will have been substantially modified, in the sense that by then they will have already been submitted to the opinion ofthe voters without having restored Constitutional order.

The elections of November 29 and their use of public funds under a de facto regime, without having previously restored democracy and the State of Law as OAS and UN resolutions demand, without even having installed the government of unity and reconciliation, are illegal, illegitimate, and constitute a criminal act.

At the moment that the de facto regime with its soldiers convenes a spurious electoral process under repression, without legal guarantees, and without a political agreement, in which the military dictatorship is the guarantor of the law, it only strengthens its actions of force and impunity.

Precisely today, Channel 36, property of journalist Esdras Amado López, the only television chain that has opposed the regime, has had its signal blocked and taken off the air by the dictatorship.

The de facto regime has frontally disregarded the resolutions of the OAS, the UN and the European Union. It has also violated the Democratic Charter of the OAS and its resolutions while some of Honduras’ friends among countries demonstrate ambiguity and support for the electoral process without having restored democratic order and without political dialogue. That permits the de facto regime to impose its will by force.

As President of Honduras, I communicate with you to say that below these conditions I will not back the electoral process and will proceed to challenge it legally in the name of the men and women of my country and of hundreds of community leaders that suffer the loss of democracy, the repression, the unfair circumstances and the suppression of freedom.

These elections have to be annulled and rescheduled to when the sovereign will of the people is respected.

In these difficult moments for our brother countries of América, we ask for your solidarity with Honduras.

  • That you accompany us based on the facts that you know, reiterating the position of not supporting a unilateral intent to give validity to an accord that was quickly rescinded by the violations consummated by the dictatorship.
  • Reaffirming the condemnation of the coup d’etat of the military State and not supporting a de facto regime whose existence today shames all the peoples of Latin América Latina, that after all the attempts by the international community to reverse the coup d’etat have ended in a total failure for everyone.
  • Appealing to maintain your firmness in the execution of the resolutions passed by the OAS and the UN and not adopting ambiguous and imprecise positions like those displayed today by the government of the United States of America, with whose final posture has weakened the process of reversing the coup d’etat, demonstrating division in the international community. By feeding this coup d’etat the democratic security in the hemisphere and the stability of the Presidents of América is put at risk, with the resurgence of military castes over civil authority. Legitimizing coups d’etat by means of spurious electoral processes divides and does not contribute to the unity of the nations of América.
  • I ask for your cooperation so that this Military Coup d’Etat its bloody violations of human rights do not go unpunished. Already, the International Criminal Court has received complaints and allowed them to proceed to trial to obtain justice for our people and apply the corresponding sanctions to those who committed treason to the Nation and crimes against humanity in Honduras.
  • We voice our energetic rejection of those who support the maneuvers to launder the coup d’etat, covering up for the golpistas to leave their crimes protected.
  • With our full attention, we invite all the nations to recognize our government and that they abstain from supporting the actions of the illegal regime that usurped power by force of weapons.
  • We cordially demand and exhort your representatives to the OAS and the UN to continue defending and supporting the rights of the people and of the legitimately elected governments, since when one of our nations suffers an assault it is an affront to all América; and, each time a government elected by the peoples of América is toppled, violence and terrorism win and Democracy suffers a defeat.

In wait of your response, I appreciate the invaluable support demonstrated until now for these principles and I send you greetings reiterating my esteem and my highest consideration.

JOSE MANUEL ZELAYA ROSALES
President of the Republic of Honduras

cc: Sr. José Miguel Insulza, Secretario General de la OEA
Sr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretario General de la ONU
Sr. José Barroso, Comisión Unión Europea
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