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“The Background, Myths, and Ironies of the Current Political Situation in Honduras”

Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado São Paulo, Brasil September 21, 2009 1

Objectives and Agenda for Today My Objectives  To

give the audience the chance to hear the opinions and perspectives of a Honduran regarding the recent events in my country


expose you to a perspective that might not be totally similar to what you might have seen in CNN, O Globo, Folha de São Paulo, and other media


give you further information so you can draw your own conclusions

Agenda on Honduras and key events leading to June 28th

 Background • Honduras, • The

1982 Constitution

• Who • The


is Manuel “Mel” Zelaya

“poll” of June 28, 2009

 Key events

after June 28th

 Understanding  Dispelling  The

the key players and their real interests

the Myths


 Conclusions  Q&A 2

Background on Honduras Republic of Honduras 112k m2 (slightly larger than Santa Catarina, Brazil) 7.8M (similar to Cearรก) Tegucigalpa 15/09/1821 from Spain Democratic constitutional republic 33.6 billion (2008 est.) bananas, sugar, shrimp, coffee, beef, timber, textiles, clothing, wood 2nd poorest country in Central America, economy relies heavily on a narrow range of agricultural exports. Economy dependent on US imports and remittances

 Area:  Population:  Capital:  Independence:  Government:  GDP:  Main exports:  Economy:

Source: CIA World Factbook:


What Led to the 1982 Constitution? Continuismo in Honduras  From 1933-1949, Tiburcio Carias Andino ruled Honduras as dictator  From the mid 50’s to the early 80’s, Honduras experienced three military

power longer than a presidential term 1. In 1955, military reformists stage a coup (#1) against president Julio Lozano Díaz and pave way for constituent assembly elections in 1957. This assembly appoints Dr. Ramon Villeda Morales as president


3. A civilian president, Ramon Cruz of the National Party, takes power briefly in 1971 but proves unable to manage the government. In December 1972 Lopez stages another coup (#3)


2. In October 1963, conservative military officers preempt elections and depose Villeda in a bloody coup (#2). The armed forces led by Gen. Lopez Arellano governed until 1970, as his government is legalized in 1965 by an elected constituent assembly


coups and leaders clinging to

5. President Roberto Suazo Cordoba of the Liberal Party assumes power in 1982. New constitution created!


4. From 1972 to 1982, the military rules Honduras. Following the overthrow of Somoza in Nicaragua in 1979 and general instability in El Salvador, the military accelerates plans to return the country to civilian rule. A constituent assembly is popularly elected in 1980 and general elections occur in Nov. 1981 4

What Led to the 1982 Constitution? Preventing Modern Day Continuismo The New Constitution  In1982, amendments created a Constitution that would protect Honduras from future leaders trying to perpetuate themselves in power, as happened in the previous 50 years. A four-year term is the maximum time allowed for a president, and no re-election is permitted. Period. Simple.  Seven Articles can not be repealed or amended because they are considered “petreos” or cast in stone. Those Articles include: • the form of government; democratic republic • the number of years of the presidential term • the extent of our borders Article 239: "No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years."  The

article speaks about intent and that it also stresses "immediately" – as in "instant," as in "no trial required," as in "no impeachment needed." Honduras has no impeachment process.  The instant sanction of the Carta Magna has prevented the possibility of modern Honduran continuismo. From 1982 to 2009, all presidents have been elected and completed their terms; up until Zelaya dared to challenge two of the three unchangeable Articles (form of gov. and length of term) (1) For the entire 1982 Constitution of the Republic of Honduras:


Who is Manuel Zelaya? Zelaya’s Record  Mel

was elected in Nov. 2005 as the leader of the Liberal Party, a center-right organization. A member of the “oligarchy” he now despises, he is an heir to the family fortune of agriculture/forestry business, supported the C.A. Free Trade Agreement with USA, and ran for president on a conservative platform


after assuming power in Jan. 2006, he started shifting Honduran policies to the left by aligning with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, causing division within his own party and supporters


the Chavez guidebook, he tried to nationalize the oil industry so all fuel distributors would buy from one company so he could control the price. USA reminded him that their oil companies had a lot invested there and this would not be a smart idea, so he changed his mind


raised the minimum wage from L3,500/month to L5,500 (roughly US $290) in Dec. 2008. This 60% increase was 3x what the labor unions were requesting (20%) and 6 times more than the business organizations had offered (10%). This increase caused significant layoffs as payrolls soared


under Mel joined ALBA (“Alternativa Bolivariana para las Americas” –Hugo Chavez’s coalition to counteract US trading blocs). Supposedly this was to get financing for Venezuelan oil. This oil-for-obedience program comes with conditions to install communist ideology across gov. and society: one key aspect is the perpetuation of a president in power. Mel was soon to find out that what worked in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, would not work in Honduras because he had no support base(1)


focusing on his plan, he neglected tackling major issues in Honduras. The severity of his corruption would not be known until after June 28th, with a full investigation underway

(1) He failed at implanting cronies in key positions such as Supreme Court of Justice in Jan. 25, 2009. He threatened to dissolve Congress


What Led to June 28? What’s all this about a simple poll? 1. Zelaya issues executive order PCM-005-2009, ordering the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas to conduct a “popular consult” on June 28, 2009 to ask Hondurans if they wanted to add a fourth voting station (“cuarta urna”) at the November national presidential, municipal, and congressional elections. Intention: a national constitutional assembly (NCA), consisting of a special representatives who would dissolve the current constitution and Congress, essentially empowering Zelaya above other branches March


3. Mel issues a new Executive Order PCM-020-2009, ordering a “popular poll” with the same question alleging that article 5.1 of the Citizen Participation Law. The Administrative Law Tribunal concludes that such law does not give the president, or any other citizen, powers to make any consultations in violation of the Electoral and Political Organizations Law. May

2. Mel’s constitutional law experts advise that the popular consult is illegal and that the Ministerio Público would be authorized to prosecute criminally against its proponents. Attorney General petitions the annulment of PCM-05-2009. Also states that any attempt to convene a NCA would violate the tenets of the current constitution. The same office also contends that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal is the only organism authorized to conduct consultations or polls with electoral purposes


Video 1

4. In addition to direct judicial processes, all other State institutions declare the poll illegal, including the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the National Congress, and the National Commissioner for Human Rights. Most private organizations, including lawyers, commerce, industry, even churches, oppose the poll


What Led to June 28? What’s all this about a simple poll? 5. Mel orders the Chief of the Joint Military Council of the Armed Forces, Romeo Vazquez, to take care of the logistics of the poll. Vasquez expresses to Mel his reservations about commanding the Armed Forces to obey an illegal order. Mel fires him.

7. The Office of the Prosecutor and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal confiscate the poll material flown from Venezuela, in compliance with the orders of the Judge of the Administrative Law Tribunal. However, Mel defies the confiscation, leads a mob, enters an Air Force warehouse, and seizes the poll materials by force

June 22-27

6. Upon learning of the dismissal, the Office of the Public Prosecutor immediately petitions the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) to declare the removal unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Justice agrees with this claim, upholding that the refusal to obey an illegal order is not legal grounds for dismissal

9. Armed Forces arrests Zelaya the morning of June 28. He was escorted to a plane, and flown to Costa Rica

video 2

June 28

8. SCJ concludes that Zelaya committed various crimes (including treason) as a result of the poll and issues an order for his arrest by the Armed Forces

10. National Congress unanimously approves a law removing Mel from office. Because the VP resigned in 2007, the Constitution states that it is the president of Congress who must assume the office of President. Consequently, Roberto Micheletti, from Zelaya’s own Liberal party, is sworn in as President of the Republic through Jan. 2010 8

Post June 28th Inside Honduras

Outside Honduras



protests from few pro-Zelaya followers (probably what you saw in CNN: guys with masks burning tires, buses, restaurants, etc)


teachers, and infiltrated foreigners hold strikes; many paid for their support (1)


peaceful protests across all cities in favor of the new government and against Zelaya


government working to restore the previous administrations mess (creating a budget for ‘09 as Mel’s gov. never submitted one in ‘08 for ‘09)


counts of corruption, fraud, untraced Central Bank withdrawals, and many other crimes are uncovered, linked to Mel and staff


start flowing again to hospitals, townships, earthquake recovery efforts, after neglect due to Mel’s prioritization of the “cuarta urna” more Venezuelan airplanes land in Honduras filled with drugs or money

yells “Golpe de Estado!” and tries to reinstate Mel through threats of military invasion


and CNN do a great job at misinforming the world through biased reporting

 Zelaya  OAS

kicks Honduras out just weeks after reinviting Fidel’s anti-democratic Cuba  UN, FARC, ALBA, USA, OAS, UN and many countries pressure for Mel’s return to power, by: • Interrupting diplomatic relations • Freezing financial aid • Interrupting trade and commerce  Costa Rica pres. Arias to mediate a solution • Strange mediation; he prescribes the solution

rather than let the sides negotiate





all, 4 deaths were attributed to the crisis (some of them are believed to have been perpetrated by Zelayistas themselves to create martyrs)

 Zelaya (1)

fights to discredit upcoming elections

calls for supporters to turn violent

June 28, Zelaya has traveled around the world demanding sanctions against his country not giving visas to Honduran citizens, cuts all non-humanitarian aid, plus further sanctions

 Many say Nov.

elections will not be recognized, although the election process has been unaltered

Financed by Chavez and FARC. Black market sees spikes of US$ to be exchanged to local currency for payments. See 6th video on pg 20, min. 2:36-2:59


Key Players Involved in the Honduran Crisis & Their Interests Mel Zelaya ex-president Perpetuate himself in power at any cost, join Chavez’s harem, victimize himself

Barack Obama Needs no description

Roberto Micheletti Interim Honduran Pres. Prevent Honduras from falling into Chavez’s grip. Temporary leader

Hugo Llorens US Ambassador in Honduras

Oscar Arias Costa Rica pres., mediator Relive mediator days, continue in power through his brother or re-election

Hugo Chavez Venezuelan pres.

Appease US enemies, teach L.A. a lesson of “no coups allowed”

US Ambassador has professional and friendly ties to Mel, misinforms US

Control L.A, spread communism, ally w/US enemies, Honduran drug route

Jose Manuel Insulza OAS Secretary

Raul & Fidel Castro Cuban Dictators

Correa, Morales, Ortega Chavez’s harem (ALBA)

Leftist Chilean wants OAS reelection, needing ALBA’s votes so sides w/ Mel

The yodas of all L.A. dictators want their obsolete ideology to live on

Perpetual power, exploit their country’s resources in the name of the poor


Dispelling the Myths Myth

Reality in Honduras



was a coup (golpe de estado)



is a military



is a

wasn’t overthrown by a small group, but by the entire system after he knowingly violated the constitution. This was a legal constitutional succession(1)


military arrested him following judicial orders, not by their own will. The new gov. established immediately after is 100% civilian. They broke no laws


was rightfully appointed as the next runner-up to succeed the president (our VP had quit, next in line is the Congress president). Micheletti has stated from day one that elections will occur as planned, or before if necessary


was trying  Handing out money in exchange for support is not exactly a good proposition to help the poor (research how Venezuelans are faring with Chavez). Zelaya, like most corrupt leaders, was using the poor to get power, not power to help the poor


are reliable

hates US intervention


can shape our views with incomplete or simply biased information. Telesur, owned by Chavez, fed footage to CNN which misinformed the world.









world must be right is a blow to democracy in LA he was elected, he should finish

and his harem clamored for Obama to intervene and condemn Micheletti. They only hate it when the US goes against their interests constitution is different from others (for example, we have no impeachment process). We acted in accordance to it. That is our only frame of reference is demonstrating an exercise in democracy protection. Unfortunately, everyone is focused on HOW Mel was removed from power, not WHY he was not going anywhere after modifying the constitution (ask the Venezuelans how that goes). By the way, Hitler was also democratically elected

(1) Maybe he should’ve been jailed, not exiled. The military stated they wanted to prevent mobs from trying to free him, causing confrontations and death. Paid mobs are commonly used by Zelaya (ex. Air Force warehouse invasion for seized ballots).

video 3


The Honduran Situation Has Unlocked Many Ironic Events Isn’t It Ironic?  That

Latin American armed forces are protecting the constitution and democracy from the president?


Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, and Hugo Chavez condemn the “golpe” after they themselves used force to get to power (1959 and 1992, respectively)? Are these the new defenders of democracy?


OAS invited dictatorial Cuba back as a member, and weeks later kicked out Honduras for protecting its democracy and constitution?


the US receives constant insults from leftist Latin American rulers and then decides to join their cause?


USA relaxes sanctions against Cuba, while imposing sanctions against Honduras?


Hugo Chavez urges the US to intervene in Latin American affairs?


Latin American dictators requested help from the world to protect L.A. democracy from a new dictator called Micheletti?


Hugo Chavez publicly threatened to invade Honduras with military forces, and OAS/UN/USA say absolutely nothing?


the US and many countries choose to ignore a country’s upcoming, programmed, unaffected, transparent November elections to elect a new democratic president?(1) TIMES ARE CHANGING! video 4

(1) The candidates are the same, the timeline is the same, the process is the same. But wait, there are no chavistas in the ballot (because none were needed as Zelaya was going to stay a little longer than we elected him for without the help of new candidates… get it?), so free elections as planned would mean an end to chavismo in Honduras.


What We Want, and Why You Should Care Honduras…  …wants

our president and leaders to respect the law, not to act above it


not want “socialism of the XXI century” or anything related to Chavez and Castro


not want Mel and his lies return to power; he can come back to pay for his multiple crimes


back to normal except for sporadic road blockades and strikes by Zelaya supporters


astonished that other countries, especially USA, demand we ignore our constitution and Supreme Court rulings, and reinstate a criminal with dictatorial aspirations


its future should not be in the hands of 1 man; let us elect a communist president if we so desire


6 months of hardship and isolation, than 30 years under a chavista dictatorship

Why We Should All Care About the Outcome  What

happens in Honduras, doesn’t stay in Honduras; it will affect the direction of Latin America

You are witnessing a struggle between a country protecting its freedom and constitution from a wave of leftist dictatorships consolidating across L.A.

Will more countries allow their presidents to become dictators by deforming democracy?


expanding empire encountered a wall in Honduras; will this strengthen or weaken him?


is trying too hard to appease his enemies, and maybe forgetting his allies; what can Latin America expect from this change in US foreign policy?


these events in Central America have an impact in Brazil? How? 13

Interesting Quotes

“The U.S. approach to friends and foes is completely backwards. While appeasing the enemies of freedom worldwide, we punish those in Honduras struggling to preserve the rule of law, fundamental liberties, and democratic values" -Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)

“Sometimes, the whole world prefers a lie to the truth. The White House, the UN, the OAS, and much of the media have condemned the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this past weekend as a coup d'état. That is nonsense. In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law.” -Octavio Sanchez, Honduran lawyer

“Los eventos acaecidos en Honduras han desnudado la falta de objetividad de la OEA. Ésta no ha escondido sus preferencias ideológicas. Con mucha lastima hay que decirlo, pero el Secretario General de la OEA parece una marioneta del circo en que el chavismo ha convertido a la organización.” -Raúl Lombana, writer

“É realmente um evento único um golpista ser contido na sua ação e correr para pedir socorro a outros golpistas — enquanto algumas entidades, hipocritamente, falam em defesa do candidato a ditador. Honduras tem uma Constituição votada pelo regime democrático. O que aconteceu no país até agora segue o que está previsto na Carta.” -Reinaldo Azevedo, Veja

“From now on HONDURAS must be written with all capital letters, in large, as what it is: an extraordinary, grand nation; noble, worthy and beautiful. A nation giving the world, with each day that passes, a huge lesson - a lesson in courage and honor. HONDURAS is teaching the peoples of the world what respect to the Constitution and to its sovereignty is.” -Dr. Álvaro Albornoz, Doctor in Constitutional Law (Venezuela)




What The Media Showed (Violent Pro-Zelaya Rallies, As If They Represented the National Reaction)


What The Media Tried to Ignore (Peaceful Pro-Constitution, Anti-Zelaya Marches)


How The World Sees Zelaya: The democratically elected President of Honduras, victim of a coup

How We(1) See Him: A corrupt ex-president who tried to further the chavista agenda for his benefit and Chavez’s, ejected by the same constitutional process he tried to violate

Viva la revolución Bolivariana de papi Chavez!

(1) The vast majority of the Honduran population


Want to Know More? Just In Case You Wonder What has happened to the Organization of American States (OAS)? Unfortunately, 15 presidents of Latin America belong to the São Paulo Forum, and seven other governments (especially from the Caribbean Islands dependent on Chavez’s oil shipments) support it. We could say, then, that 22 of 34 of the votes in the OAS are controlled by Chavez. Insulza, OAS Secretary, belongs to the Chilean Socialist Party, a member of the São Paulo Forum. What is the Foro de São Paulo? In 1990, after the collapse of communism in Europe, Lula and the PT hosted in São Paulo the largest meeting of leftist parties and terrorists ever held in the Continent. It would become a broad and effective alliance of communist parties and guerrilla movements that would soon make spectacular progress towards recovering lost ground and advancing the Marxist cause throughout the Continent. Along with the Colombian Communist Party, the FSP includes the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), the Peruvian Communist Party, the MRTA guerrillas and similar combinations in other countries. How do these leftist hold on to power? The governments try to give the impression that they are following democratic procedures, but electoral fraud is used blatantly, and all power is concentrated eventually in the executive branch. A new constitution is drafted - one that concentrates power in the executive branch and allows repeated reelection. Violent militias or pressure groups, outside formal government control, are organized to intimidate the opposition –along the line of Hitler’s infamous “brown shirts”. For example, “los circulos bolivarianos” in Venezuela How much freedom is left in Venezuela? There is very little room left for freedom and democracy in Venezuela. There are elections, but allegedly rigged. Freedom of press and speech took a serious blow with the closure of dozens of radio stations recently. Some if not all of Chavez’s adversaries are persecuted, enough to spread fear among the rest of the opposition. All three branches of power are controlled by Chavez. The Constitution has been rewritten to allow Chavez to stay in power indefinitely. Why has the world allied against the new Honduras government? In part, because of disinformation, and in part, because Chavez and his allies have been conducting a black propaganda operation against the new government, as means to defend their friend Zelaya. Unfortunately, some authorities in the U.S. have fallen for that version, without really knowing or investigating what went on. Source: “Behind the Socialist Consensus on Honduras: Obama Joins Hugo Chavez and the São Paulo Forum”


Want to Know More? Interesting Videos MUST SEE!  Union Cívica Democrática - Democracy is Alive and Strong in Honduras  WNO Asks DeMint About Honduras  Fox News Great American Panel  Why is Obama Squirming Over Honduras?  Hugo Chavez Una Amenaza Real (1/5)  Documental de lo Sucedido en Honduras  Honduras, ¿golpe o contragolpe? Panel in Spain GOOD TO SEE  Senator DeMint on Honduras  Peace March July 7  Honduras: Defendiendo Nuestra Democracia!!!  Jaime Bayly July 6 (1/5)  Glenn Beck: Barack Obama a Hypocrite on Honduras, Iran (Fox News)  Honduras Rebukes Barack Obama: Ex-President Zelaya to Be Arrested Upon Return (Fox News)  Michael Savage - Obama, Hillary Support Honduras Dictator - Side with Chavez and Castro  Charles Krauthammer on Obama Defending Honduras' Dictator/Chavez Wannabe  Tres Mentiras Hugo Chavez a Jorge Ramos  Debates en Libertad: Honduras, el golpe -04/07  AP: Bolivia, Venezuela Supplying Iran With Uranium For Nuke


Want to Know More? Interesting Articles ANTI-CHAVEZ VENEZUELA  Mostesquieu Vive en Honduras  La OEA, la ONU, y Honduras  Todos Somos HondureĂąos  Honduras, You Are Not Alone  Honduras Patria Grande  Honduras Dicta Catedra en Derecho  Venezuela en la Penumbra, Grita Por Su Libertad


WALL STREET JOURNAL  Honduras Defends Its Democracy: Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton object  Honduras at the Tipping Point: Why is the U.S. not supporting the rule of law?

 Why Honduras Sent Zelaya Away: The former president threatened to use force against the Congress and other institutions

 The U.S. Steers Left on Honduras:Why would Hugo Chavez expect Obama to help him?

 The FARC’s Honduran Friend (video)

 Anti-American Amigos: Why is the Obama administration trying to help Hugo Chavez?

 Obama vs. Honduran Democracy: The Obama administration is using its brass knuckles to support Latin American thugs


Want to Know More? Interesting Articles VARIOUS  Obama Should Support Honduras Coup  Honduras's Coup Is President Zelaya's Fault  Democrats in Need of Defense: Why defend the rule of law in Honduras but not in Venezuela?  Honduras and Iran: Obama Betrays Freedom Again  Obama Punishes Small Country for Court Ruling Refusing to Reinstate Bullying Ex-President and Would-Be Dictator  The Constitution of the Republic of Honduras 1982  Behind the Socialist Consensus on Honduras: Obama Joins Hugo Chavez and the São Paulo Forum  The Foro de São Paulo. A Threat to Freedom in Latin America  El verdadero miedo de Chávez;cat=Opinion;id=57564  US Cuts Aid to Honduras in Support of Ex-Leader  A 'coup' in Honduras? Nonsense.  Por qué falló el Acuerdo de San José? BRAZILIAN BLOG  Eis Aqui: Isto É Uma Democracia:  Honduras Está Sozinha, Agarrada a Democracia.


 Quem é Mesmo O Golpista em Honduras? Por Enquanto, Forças Armadas Garatem Constitiução Democtrática

 Honduras Derrota o Chavismo Apesar de Barack Hussein, Não Por Causa Dele



Want to Know More? Interesting Articles Days Leading to June 28 

News brief June 25:

News brief June 26:

News brief June 27:

News brief June 28: Some Articles About Accusations Against Zelaya: 009/07/08/Noticias/200-millones-salieron-del-BCH-para-la-cuarta-urna 009/07/21/Noticias/Ex-ministros-de-Zelaya-son-investigados 009/07/21/Noticias/La-Policia-esta-lista-para-capturar-a-Manuel-Zelaya 009/07/22/Noticias/No-hay-marcha-atras-en-acusaciones-contra-Zelaya 


The Whole Situation Summarized With Humor


Political Situation in Honduras by  

Hola amigos, les mando la presentacion que hare por mas de 1 hora en una universidad en São Paulo. Creo resume la situacion en mi pais. P...

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