Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Ousted in Coup

Oh great. Is it me, or are presidents having a tough time these days? The Iranians are still pissed about their presidential election, and now the President of Honduras has been ousted in a dawn coup, after he angered the Congress, the army and the judiciary by trying to change the Honduras constitution. President Zelaya wanted to hold a referendum that could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term. A simple version of the story is:

Zelaya, in office since 2006, was overthrown in a dawn coup on Sunday after he angered the judiciary, Congress and the army by seeking constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election beyond a four-year term.

The Honduran Congress named an interim president, Roberto Micheletti, and the country’s Supreme Court said it had ordered the army to remove Zelaya. (Reuters)

As the removal of President Zelaya was not done through the democratic process (ie. democractic elections), President Obama has proclaimed the coup illegal,  basically requesting a reversal of today’s coup. And it’s not just the United States asking for President Zelaya’s return to office. Venezuelan President Hugo gathered today with a group of Latin American leaders to draft a response to Roberto Micheletti and the Honduras coup. Chavez said he would “overthrow” Micheletti. Micheletti responded with “nobody scares us.” (Breitbart)

Personally, I would take the words of Hugo Chavez seriously. Chavez means business. He has already put his troops on high alert for a military response if his ambassador to Venezuela is killed en route to the Central American country:

Chavez said on state television if his ambassador to Venezuela was killed, or if troops entered the Venezuelan Embassy, “that military junta would be entering a de facto state of war. We would have to act militarily … I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert.” (Reuters)

Furthermore, the president of the United Nations General Assembly invited President Zelaya to address the world gathering, and the Organization of American States also weighed in:

The Organization of American States (OAS), a group of 34 countries, of which the United States is a member, late yesterday passed a strongly worded resolution in which it condemned vehemently the coup d’état of Honduras President Zelaya. It demanded his immediate and unconditional return to power. It declared that no government arising from this coup would be recognized. It further instructed the Secretary General of the OAS to transmit this resolution to the Secretary General of the United Nations. (Examiner)

As if that wasn’t enough, the European Union is also weighing in on the coup d’état of Honduras President Zelaya:

“I regret the recent events which have taken place in Honduras,” E.U. External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said after the Honduran army ousted elected President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile. “The European Commission attaches the greatest importance to the respect for the rule of law, democracy and the democratically elected institutions,” she stressed. “Therefore, we urge all parties involved to resolve their differences peacefully, in full respect of the country’s legal framework, and to promptly engage in a dialogue,” Ferrero-Waldner added. (Nasdaq)

And don’t look now, but it turns out that Cuba is also condemning the coup in Honduras:

Acting in the style of the most violent and ruthless Latin American dictatorships of the past, the military troops attacked the President Manuel Zelaya´s residence taking advantage of the night darkness and under the violence of weapons, said the ambassador. “Such action was aimed at choking the popular expression and preventing the carring out of an important democratic referendum to be held in Honduras on Sunday,” he added. Moreno believed that the coup in Honduras “is also a blow against us all. It is against the sacred values that the United Nations Organization defends. ” (Radio Guantanamo)

Meanwhile, back in Honduras the new interim president Micheletti has ordered a 48-hour curfew (BBC News). Micheletti claims that he became the new president “as the result of an absolutely legal transition process,” and he will only be serving the remainder of Zelaya’s current term, which ends of January 27, 2010.

President Obama has condemned the coup, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not formally designated it a military coup. A military coup would force a cut-off of most United States aid to Honduras. It’s interesting to note here that President Zelaya was removed from his house by Army troops and then forced onto a plane that flew him out of the country. I’m not sure about the exact definition of ‘military coup’, but that scenario sounds a to be a little on the military side. Regardless, I sincerely hope that this event doesn’t harm our relations with Honduras.

With major events in North Korea, Iran and now Honduras, I’m not feeling too good about the rest of 2009. Let’s all pray that things settle down a little bit.

10 Replies to “Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Ousted in Coup”

  1. I just want to say, I feel extremely ashamed of the new government that rules my country. Its unacceptable the way these guys have taken control of the situation and even worst, its embarrassing that there is no freedom of speech here in Honduras. This new rulers have manage to block several international new channels such as CNN who are just as worried and that are trying to open the eyes of everybody. I’m just 17 years old and myself and as well thousands of students are scared to face the fact that we might give up the chance of one day being in college due to all these mess. I encourage you to have faith in God and that hopefully once more we might have a new beginning for our country. God bless Honduras and all of the nations that are making a great effort to help us in such difficult times.

  2. p.s. please don’t believe the LIES that the new government wants you to believe, they are just trying to scare as much people as they can…no matter at what cost. PLEASE SUPPORT DEMOCRACY AND NOT OLIGARCHY we the HONDURANS have a voice but need an honest voice since I know it would be louder than a bunch of people that are defending saying things based on lies.

  3. Si fuera cierto que este señor Manuel Zelaya estuviera interesado en el pueblo, no estuviera pidiendo intervencion militar de otros paises. Señor Zelaya ojala y pudiera leer esto porq si su raciocionio le trabajara bien sabria q si vienen tropas de otros paises van a venir en contra de “su querido pueblo”, solo hay que analizar que este señor no le importa que jovenes hondureños mueran en una guerra inciada por sed de poder y avaricia que tiene este señor. a nuestros paises vecinos les pido que no se dejen envolver y analicen bien la situacion.

  4. If outside certain that this Mr. Manuel Zelaya was interested in the town, he were not requesting armed intervention of other countries. Mr. Zelaya hopefully and could read this porq if his main worked know to him q well if troops come from other countries are going to come against “their beloved town”, single it is necessary to analyze that this gentleman does not matter to him that young Honduran they die in a war star by thirst of being able and avarice that east gentleman has. to our neighboring countries I request to them that they are not let surround and they analyze the situation well.

  5. To the uninformed American reporters, and the world in general let me tell you this. If you want to do some serious reporting, get off of your desks and come to Honduras, gather the necessary evidence, and then report. There is a decree published in our legal newspaper were this martyr as you have baptized him, was planning on using the poll as his weapon for instituting a national assembly and thus dissolving congress in a real coup de Etat. On top of this millions of dollars have reported to been found in Mr. socialists office and residence, which i would ask you the experts to carefully explain. Moreover, given you are so knowledgeable about international affairs and our constitution i would appreciate it if you mention which articles were broken by upholding one of congress’ rights, to remove a president who is found to be unfit..

  6. Primero que todo, como el anterior a mi lo dijo, en Honduras estamos bien. Yo soy Hondureño y vivo aquí. Las cadenas como C.N.N. están parcializadas y no ven los dos lados de la moneda, solo muestran lo que está a favor de el EX presidente Manuel Zelaya. Cuando los el 90% de los Hondureños estamos totalmente a favor con lo que ha sucedido que ha sido unicamente defender nuestra democracia y libertad como hoy 30 de junio del 2009 lo demostramos en la plaza central.

    Segundo, quiero explicar brevemente lo que paso en realidad. Manuel Zelaya había estado cometiendo una serie de ilegalidades en el pais con fin de seguir los pasos de Chavez de Venezuela para poder hacer un gobierno absolutista. Por ejemplo: congelacion de fondos, una “encuesta” disfrazada, ya que requería tarjetas de identidad, urnas, papeletas, y tinta indeleble para los dedos. ESTO, es un VOTO lo cual se debería llevar a cabo por el TRIBUNAL SUPREMO ELECTORAL y no Manuel Zelaya para que lo pueda manipular. Ahora les doy la definicion de “encuesta” : Conjunto de preguntas tipificadas dirigidas a una muestra representativa, para averiguar estados de opinión o diversas cuestiones de hecho. Una encuesta simplemete es una reunion de opiniones, y por eso, lo que Manuel Zelaya quería hacer era un VOTO. La corte Suprema de Justicia, un poder del estado, le ordeno a Manuel Zelaya que la “encuesta” era ilegal ya que no era una encuesta, era un VOTO disfrazado de encuesta para engañar a la gente. Manuel Zelaya desobedeció esto y las Fuerzas Armadas simplemente acudieron a su DEBER y defender la constitucion. Simplemente hicieron su trabajo y le dejaron el resto al otro poder del estado, el congreso nacional de Honduras, quien de acuerdo con nuestra constitucion coloco al presidente del congreso Micheletti en el puesto de Manuel Zelaya. Manuel Zelaya estaba haciendo cosas CONTRA la ley. Las Fuerzas Armadas NO golpearon a NADIE.

    Tercero, las manifestaciones que muestra C.N.N. son grupos pequeños que lo hacen con violencia pero las autoridades responden. Ellos tienen derecho de manifestarse pero no con violencia. En cambio, la manifestacion MASIVA de miles y miles, hoy a favor del nuevo gobierno de Honduras fue pasifica.

    Creo que la comunidad mundial esta cometiendo un ERROR, aquí en Honduras lo que hicimos fue defender nuestra democracia cuando Manuel Zelaya nos llevaba a un camino de Socialismo como el de venezuela. Por favor, sepan la VERDAD, vean el otro lado de la moneda que no muestran en las cadenas internacionales, no hagan decisiones presipitadas antes de ver LA VERDAD porque LA VERDAD ESTA AQUI EN NUESTRAS MANOS, EN HONDURAS. Se tienen pruebas de 18 delitos de Manuel Zelaya y sera castigado de acuerdo a la LEY como cualquier otro ciudadano hondureño.

    QUE VIVA HONDURAS, HICIMOS LO CORRECTO, MANTENGAMONOS FIMRES Y SIN MIEDO. y les pido, comunidad mundial que POR FAVOR, queremos PAZ. y que no hagan decisiones sin antes saber LA VERDAD, porque la VERDAD sera revelada y esta aquí en HONDURAS.

    Por favor, no aislen a Honduras economicamente, somos un pais pobre que necesita mucho sus relaciones internacionales y comerciales. Nosotros solo hemos defendido nuestra democracia, somos un país libre, hemos hecho lo correcto, vean la verdad. Por favor, si nos hacen eso morira mucha gente de hambre solo les pido que miren la verdad.

  7. Could someone explain why the UN and OAS has not condemned Chavez, for his ugly threats to the people of Honduras and intervention in our internal affairs. Oh! I forgot, you see we are bugs that can be smashed (Patricia Rodas), public statement in Venezuela recently. Better yet PITIYANKEES as Chaves called us when we had the pleasure of his visit (Alba signing). Sorry folks how could we forget….All of us that oppose his policies or dare to.
    Hopefully our Congress will be smart enough and cancel all signed contracts and rid us for once and all of his evil regime and influence.
    As poor as we are we dont need his dirty money, nor his fuel, please keep it, the price tag is too high. Our freedom worth more!
    I do feel sadden for MZR relationship with Chavez,It is so unproductive, just give it up Mr Zelaya, don’t you know by now, that he is not only up to no good, he is just no good for nothing. It is my humble opinion that if you choose to be a leftist, fine. You are free to make your own choices, please do us the favor and dont show them down our throat. Can you consider helping the people of Honduras by not promoting from abroad the so called peaceful protest (supporters with clubs and rocks), please move on, have a new begining, the challenge is ahead of you and allow us to live in peace, heal and hopefully start learning to work together as a nation to build a better future for all our people. Can you free yourself of personal gain, interest, selfishness or whatever and let all Hondurans move ahead, free of hate, selfishness, distractions, jealousy and all the evils that erodes us as humans. I do pray that MZR may become humble enough to learn from this experience. May God bless us all.

  8. Who are you people? A public referendum on an additional presidential term for Zalaya was about to begin when him was arrested and sent out of the country. This democratic process was thwarted by a coup (yes, it’s a coup, and you can call it anything else you’d like) but it just a coup, an illegal takeover of power, the Honduran Supreme Court notwithstanding.


  10. Well if Manuel Zelaya had committed crime why not take him to court, everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Why threat his life and take him to exile? Didn’t the new “government also violated the constitution? No Honduran citizen can be expedited? Michelleti and his group made a big mistake, they people in Honduras were the same as in the old times! Besides Honduras belongs to ten families and these families wrote the constitution and one of these families is you guessed it is the Michelleti family.

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