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Honduras -- Democracy at Work
September 2009

Sept. 30, 2009
Greta Van Susteren Interview with Gingrich
Excerpt (discussion relating to Honduras):
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And we'll switch gears to Honduras, this part, this neck of the woods in Latin America. What about the situation in Honduras? Is that big deal or not?
N. GINGRICH: I think it's a very big deal because, you know, as a lawyer, the Honduras Supreme Court followed the Honduran constitution. Zelaya is in fact the president of the country, was in fact trying to become a strong man in the Chavez tradition. The Honduran constitution specifically blocks that from happening and says if you try to extend your term, you automatically have to resign.
The Supreme Court voted 15 to 0, with the majority of the court coming from Zelaya's party. The person who is appointed the interim president was the Speaker of the House from Zelaya's party, source

Sept. 29, 2009 -- The Arcadia Foundation
Contempt for Sovereignty and Self-Determination
The Arcadia Foundation has long been a champion of democracy and an advocate for rule of law. When the President of any nation illegally attempts to prolong his or her executive position, it is a clear indicator of a disregard of constitutional law and in this case indicates corruption at the highest branch of government. Robert Carmona-Borjas and the Arcadia Foundation believe that democracy is crucial for the effective exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights in their universality. The OAS charter further states that ' representative democracy is an indispensable condition for stability, peace and development ' within the regions of the Americas.
On Sunday, June 28th, the world learned that Manuel Zelaya was no longer the President of Honduras. Prestigious courts and tribunals alike had declared his intended referendum illegal and by decree, deposed him from office. Article 239 of the Honduran constitution states that “…the citizen who has served as head of the Executive Branch shall not again serve as President or Vice President of the Republic. He who violates this disposition or proposes its reform…shall be immediately separated from his post.” more

Sept. .29, 2009 -- Associated Press Published:  Israel News
Gaddafi, Chavez sign anti-terrorism declaration
Venezuelan, Libyan leaders decry what they call attempts by powerful Western countries to equate struggles against colonialism with terrorism
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi signed a declaration Monday night decrying what they call attempts by powerful Western countries to equate struggles against colonialism with terrorism. continued

Sept 29, 2009
Zelay Irresponsible and Idiotic Says USA
United States Alternate Representative to the OAS, Lewis Amselem, said, The return of Zelaya to Honduras is irresponsible and idiotic and serves neither the interests of his people nor those who seek the peaceful restoration of democratic order in Honduras. source

Sep 29, 2009 -- Raymond Colitt -- REUTERS
Lula faces criticism in Brazil over Honduras role
BRASILIA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's government is facing growing criticism at home over its handling of the Honduran crisis as senior lawmakers accuse it of allowing the ousted president to use its embassy as a political platform.
Manuel Zelaya, who was toppled as Honduran president by a coup on June 28, has set up camp in the Brazilian embassy with dozens of supporters and has given numerous interviews to foreign and domestic media.
His surprise return from exile a week ago triggered violent protests in the capital Tegucigalpa and placed Brazil at the center of the Honduran power struggle and an international diplomatic crisis. source


Sept. 29, 2009
To Hon. Jose Miguel Insulza,
Secretary General, OAS
Re: OAS Press Release dated September 27, 2009
The "current political conflict" in Honduras was caused by the return of Mr. Zelaya and his illegal use of the Brazil Embassy for political purposes. Brazil is in violation of the OAS Charter Chapter II, Article 3 and Chapter IV, Article 19.
The de facto Government of Honduras had agreed to a visit by an OAS delegation before the arrival of Mr. Zelaya when it appeared that the OAS was acting as a neutral party. It now appears that the purpose of the OAS visit is not to promote "social peace" but to intervene in the in the election process. We are not surprised that Honduras is forbidding a hostile OAS delegation to enter.
Mr. Zelaya was deposed legally following the constitution of Honduras. A new election will be held in November and Honduras will have a new President. Please advise your member countries to abide by the OAS Charter and allow a peaceful election to take place.
continued

Sep 28, 2009 -- Mary O'Grady -- Wall Street Journal
Honduras Just Wants an Election
The U.S. demand that Mr. Zelaya be returned to power before a vote is destructive.....
Last Monday former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was arrested, deported and legally deposed from office on June 28, made a stealth return to Tegucigalpa and sought shelter at the Brazilian Embassy. Mr. Zelaya told a Honduran radio station that his plan to return was hatched in consultation with Mr. da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. Brazil says it had nothing to do with smuggling Mr. Zelaya into the country, which is tantamount to calling the former Honduran president a liar. On that point, many Hondurans would agree. continued

Sep 27, 2009
Honduras issues deadline to Brazil over ousted president
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) -- Honduras is accusing Brazil's government of instigating an insurrection within its borders, and gave the Brazilian Embassy 10 days to decide the status of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge there. Ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya talks to reporters Thursday at the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras.
"Since the clandestine arrival to Honduras by ex-president Zelaya, the Brazil embassy has been used to instigate violence and insurrection against the Honduran people and the constitutional government," the secretary of foreign affairs for Honduras' de facto government said in a statement late Saturday night. source
NOTE: "Some host agreements contain a so called "national security clause" which permits the host state to take precautions should it perceive a direct threat to its' national security."
from: "International organizations and their host states" By A. Sam Muller

Sep. 27, 2009 -- IAN JAMES - Associated Press
Chavez makes diplomatic inroads in Africa
PORLAMAR, Venezuela -- Hugo Chavez made diplomatic inroads in Africa on Sunday at a summit of South American and African leaders where he offered Venezuela's help in oil projects, mining and financial assistance.
Chavez and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi led about 30 leaders in agreeing to strengthen "South-South" ties at the two-day meeting, where Gadhafi proposed the two continents form a NATO-like defense alliance.
"With this summit, a new era begins in the unity of South America and Africa," the Venezuelan president said.
Gadhafi, who is making his first visit to Latin America, said the two regions should unite to wield more influence and form a defense bloc, a "NATO for the South," calling it "SATO."
continued      source

September 26, 2009
  Brazzil Magazine -- Written by Newsroom
Brazil's Lula Hosts Ahmadinejad, Goes to Iran and Doesn't Care What You Think
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, confirmed his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to visit Brazilian capital Brasília in November, while he plans to travel to Teheran in May.
"I have nothing to do with what other presidents think. I do not know whether they like him (Ahmadinejad) or not. I am meeting with him because he is the president of a great nation and we talk as heads of state. This is not a friends' club" Lula told the daily O Globo. Lula said that Ahmadinejad had assured him that Iran's nuclear program only sought peaceful goals. source

Sep. 25, 2009 - US Library of Congress
US Congress report argues Zelaya's ousting was "legal and constitutional"
A report from the US Library of Congress legal branch released this week concluded that the ousting of elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was "legal and constitutional".
The conclusions of the report were revealed by House member Aaron Schock, Republican from Illinois, who took the opportunity to request that the US State Department resume foreign aid to Honduras and lifts the ban on extending visas to Honduran citizens.
Schock said that the CRS report concluded that the removal of president Zelaya "was constitutional and we must respect this opinion". continue

Sep 25, 2009 -- Brazzil -- Written by Newsroom
Opposition Wants Lula to Explain Interference in Honduran Affairs
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya activities in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa has triggered controversy in Brazil's political establishment and uncertainty about diplomatic jargon such as the extent of the "refuge" condition.
According to Brazilian experts and analysts the irruption of Zelaya last Monday in the Brazilian embassy has caused an unprecedented and difficult to explain conflict since there is no technical definition of "asylum" or "refuge", and the embassy is at the heart of the Honduran internal political crisis, which can also be described as "interference in internal affairs". source

September 25th, 2009
OAS Ministers Won't Be Allowed in Honduras
Oscar Arias made an announcement on the Costa Rican radio program, Nuestra Voz, that President Roberto Micheletti has told the Organization of American States not to send their ministers because they will not be allowed to enter the country.
Rene Zepeda, spokesperson for the Honduran government, said the leaders want Arias to visit Honduras first so they can explain the current situation to him. They would welcome the OAS ministers next week, but Arias said he has no immediate plans to visit Honduras. source

September 24th, 2009
Ambassadors Return to Honduras
EU and OAS diplomats return despite warnings issued by Micheletti's de facto government
Faced with the police and military siege around the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, and alleged threats against the life of deposed President Manuel Zelaya and his family, the U.S. and the European Union reminded Roberto Micheletti's de facto government to respect the inviolability of embassies. At the same time, diplomats from European countries and the OAS returned to the Honduran capital, a measure justified as a means of easing tensions and facilitating the negotiations. source
US and EU please note:
"Some host agreements contain a so called "national security clause" which permits the host state to take precautions should it perceive a direct threat to its' national security."

from: "International organizations and their host states"
By A. Sam Muller

September 24th, 2009
Foreign investment in Chile grew 76% in first half
Chile has been chosen by major multinational companies as a safe country to invest in. That is why foreign investment grew 76% during the first half of 2009, an amount equivalent to $2,711.7 million, the highest recorded since 2004 when investment reached $3,091 million. According to the Foreign Investment Committee (CIE) report, source

September 24th, 2009
Brazil Confirms Chavez Was Behind Zelaya's Arrival
Brazilian President Lula da Silva and the Foreign Ministry stated that the infrastructure, logistics and orientation of Zelaya's arrival at the Brazilian Embassy was orchestrated by Hugo Chavez. source
To President Lula: Brazil is a sovereign country. You do not have to take orders from Mr. Chavez.

Sep 23, 2009
By Raymond Colitt -- REUTERS
ANALYSIS-Brazil's risky role in Honduras crisis
BRASILIA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Brazil may not have invited ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya to take refuge in its embassy there, but opening its door to him is a high-risk bet that could harm its regional leadership ambitions………..
"The government had time to evaluate the situation and it took a huge gamble," said Rubens Barbosa, Brazil's former ambassador to Washington. "We bought into a fight that isn't ours and now the risk is getting caught in the cross-fire -- it's a hot potato," said Barbosa. ….. "This will likely drag on and could become violent. It's hard to see a win situation," said Barbosa. source

September 22nd, 2009 (Reuters)
US urges calm in Honduras, respect for Brazil Embassy
The U.S. government on Tuesday called for calm in Honduras and urged the de facto government to respect the diplomatic immunity of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where ousted President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge.
"The United States calls on all parties to remain calm and avoid actions that might provoke violence in Honduras and place individuals at risk or harm," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. "We urge that all parties refrain from actions that would lead to further unrest." source

September 22nd, 2009
Brazil Responsible for Zelaya's Subversive Activities
There is no doubt that career diplomats in Brazil, where there is the most technical and serious Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latin America, must be ashamed knowing that now that ministry is encouraging or organizing a violation of international law, with the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras having former President Manuel Zelaya as a guest and acting as a political agitator. source

September 21, 2009 -- The Wall Street Journal Hillary's Honduras Obsession
The U.S. is trying to force the country to violate its constitution.
"The Supreme Court of Honduras has constitutional and statutory authority to hear cases against the President of the Republic and many other high officers of the State, to adjudicate and enforce judgments, and to request the assistance of the public forces to enforce its rulings."
Congressional Research Service, August 2009 continued

September 22, 2009 -- Jorge Martín -- Marxist.com
Mel Zelaya back in Honduras! Now mass action needed to overthrow the coup!
Yesterday morning it was confirmed that Mel Zelaya was in the capital Tegucigalpa. He made an appeal to the people to come out to protect him. The masses responded by the tens of thousands. The next few hours will be decisive. The balance of forces is on the side of the masses. They can deal the last blow to the coup regime and start the building of a new political regime based on the organisation of the masses. continued

September 21st, 2009
Clinton to reporters: "It's also imperative that the return of President Zelaya does not lead to any conflict or violence."
To Mrs Clinton: You wanted Zelaya to return to Honduras. If you are afraid of the consequences get him out of there.
Alex

Micheletti Holds Press Conference
September 21st, 2009
President Micheletti held a press conference on Honduran television stations. He stated his support for the constitution and said the police and armed forces are ready for any irregularities that Zelaya's supporters may entertain.

September 21st, 2009
Honduran Ministry Issues Statement
Honduras' government condemned the Brazilian government for hosting former President Manuel Zelaya at the Brazilian embassy where phone calls were made to call for his support.
It is "unacceptable" that the Brazilian government allowed phone calls from its embassy in Tegucigalpa to "call for the insurrection and mobilization of support" for the former president Zelaya, who is wanted by Honduran justice, the Honduran Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "This interference on issues exclusive of the Honduran people is condemnable, so we strongly protest against them, it is a clear violation of international laws."
Those phone calls made from the Brazilian embassy are against the diplomatic laws and made the Brazilian embassy and its government directly responsible for the violent events that may occur in Honduras, the Honduran Foreign Ministry explained. The ministry also said Honduras will install security for the people and property inside the Brazilian embassy as a preventive measure.

September 16th 2009, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela: U.S. Criticisms of Venezuelan Arms Purchases Lack "Moral Weight"
Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolas Maduro (Ministry Website)
Mérida, September 16th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - In response to the United States's criticisms of Venezuela's recent arms purchases from Russia, Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolás Maduro said the purchases were a sovereign decision and that the U.S.'s criticisms "have no political or moral weight."  
"Any government of the United States that does not plan to dismantle its industrial, military, and technological apparatus has no moral standing from which to express an opinion about any government of the entire world," said Maduro. "Today, Venezuela is a free and sovereign country." continue

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
from Preamble:
"Believing that an international convention on diplomatic intercourse, privileges and immunities would contribute to the development of friendly relations among nations, irrespective of their differing constitutional and social systems,
Realizing that the purpose of such privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions as representing States,
Affirming that the rules of customary international law should continue to govern questions not expressly regulated by the provisions of the present Convention," source

Clinton Meets with Arias over Honduras
September 21st, 2009
"It's imperative that dialogue begin (that) there be a channel of communication between President Zelaya and the de facto regime in Honduras," Clinton said after she meet Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.
Arias described Zelaya's return as a moment of opportunity for the two sides to try to come to an agreement and said he was willing to go to Tegucigalpa if both sides wished. "I would be willing to go if both sides, both parties asked me to," Arias said.
Clinton spoke to reporters, "It’s also imperative that the return of President Zelaya does not lead to any conflict or violence but instead that everyone act in a peaceful way to try to find some common ground."
source

September 12th, 2009 -- Honduras News
Micheletti's Visas Revoked
Roberto Micheletti says the United States has revoked his diplomatic and tourist visas, but that he expected it was just a matter of time before that was to going to happen.
Speaking on HRN radio Saturday, Micheletti said he is at peace and without the least bit of resentment or anger at the United States because it is a right that country has for being big and powerful. continue

Sept. 8, 2009 -- The Arizona Republic
U.S. support for ousted Honduran leader baffling
Much about the Obama administration's unyielding support for ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya is simply baffling.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clearly want Zelaya back in office. They just have never explained exactly why.
Zelaya was ousted and banished to Costa Rica in June by the Honduran military on the order of the national Supreme Court - with the blessing of the national Congress, the attorney general and even Zelaya's own party leaders. They saw their president as an unstable, manipulative dictator-in-the-making. continue

September 4, 2009 -- Susana Londono -- AP
Multi-city protests call for 'No More Chavez'
BOGOTA - Opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez held protests Friday against the leftist leader in cities across Latin America, in an effort coordinated through Twitter, Facebook and a Web site titled "No More Chavez!"
They grasped banners and signs with images of Chavez in a straitjacket and wearing a red clown nose. "Chavez, the shame of Bolivia," read a banner in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
Police in Colombia estimated more than 5,000 marched in Bogota waving flags. Thousands also took to the streets in the capitals of Venezuela and Honduras. Some said they were protesting what they called Chavez's growing authoritarianism, while others said he should stop meddling in other countries' affairs. continue

September 4, 2009
Election Time "Not Ripe" Says Insulza
General Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, who was on a visit to China yesterday, said that all parties concerned in Honduras needed to discreetly and properly solve the ongoing Honduran political stalemate. "The time is not ripe and conditions are not mature for holding a presidential election in Honduras in November," he said. continue
Mr. Insulza: Do not violate the OAS Charter.

September 4, 2009
Hillary v. Honduras by Elliott Abrams
The Obama administration declares it won't recognize the results of a free and fair election.
Honduras's ejected president Mel Zelaya saw the Secretary and apparently persuaded her that the outcome of Honduras's next elections must be rejected. On what basis? None was stated, and no logical basis exists. The next elections will be entirely constitutional and held on time; and the term of office of the ousted Zelaya would end naturally and constitutionally when a new president is sworn in, in January. The candidates were selected before the current crisis began, and all the parties--including Zelaya's Liberal Party, one half of Honduras's essentially two party system--are participating. There is no reason whatsoever to doubt that the election can be monitored by international observers (and we could have demanded more of them than usual) and fairly conducted. Honduras's vote for a new president on November 29 was the obvious way for everyone to dig out of the current mess without hurting the Honduran people and without damaging Honduras's democratic institutions. continue

September 3rd, 2009
IMF Funds Sent to Honduras
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent $150 million to Honduras on August 28th, 2009, according to the Central Bank President, Sandra Midence. She added that IMF plans to grant another $13.8 million in aid in a few weeks, despite objections from the international community. continue
Thank you IMF for listening to the truth.

September 3rd, 2009
US to Halt All Non-Humanitarian Aid
At the end of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's meeting with Mr. Manuel Zelaya, former President of Honduras, the State Department announced today it will stop $22 Million in Non-Humanitarian Aid to Honduras, and stated that Restoration of the terminated assistance will be predicated upon a return to democratic, constitutional governance in Honduras.
In addition to the terminated $22 million, as much as $200 million in Millennium Challenge funds could be halted as well. Mrs. Clinton is the chairperson on the board, who will discuss its funds earmarked for Honduras in next week's meeting. continue

September 3, 2009 Termination of Assistance and Other Measures Affecting the De Facto Regime in Honduras
Ian Kelly -- Department Spokesman -- Washington, DC
The Department of State announces the termination of a broad range of assistance to the government of Honduras as a result of the coup d'etat that took place on June 28. The Secretary already had suspended assistance shortly after the coup. continue

September 3, 2009
U.S. Department of State
Senior Administration Officials on Honduras
"Welcome to our teleconference call on the visit of President Zelaya of Honduras. " source

September 2, 2009
Clinton - Zelaya meeting
After two months, the State Department is poised to formally declare what was obvious to most of the world: on June 28, Honduras experienced a military coup.
State Department staff have recommended to Secretary of State Clinton that the ouster of Honduran President Zelaya be formally declared a "military coup," which could cut off as much as $150 million in U.S. funding, Reuters reports. continue

September 2nd, 2009
Elections Are Coming
Campaigning for the presidency has begun in Honduras, regardless of the fact that other countries claim they will not recognize the results. One Liberal candidate, Elvin Santos, is a former vice president under Zelaya. Another candidate is Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo of the National Party. Pepe Lobo stated that, We have a real problem that only will be resolved when the people elect a new leader. source
"Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system" OAS

September 1st, 2009 (AFP)
Clinton to meet Zelaya Thursday on Honduras situation
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to meet Thursday with Manuel Zelaya to discuss the deadlock (1) following his ouster as president of Honduras in a June 28 coup, her spokesman said Tuesday. .
After the first day of closed door meetings with the OAS on Tuesday, Zelaya said he had received assurances (2) that member states would not recognize the results of elections later this year. .
The US State Department said it was ready to take further measures after already halting most visa services in Honduras, revoking visas for the interim regime and suspending 35 million dollars in military aid. . . continue
Hillary, remember your message to Americans: "the 4th of July is a day to reconnect with loved ones, to remember our history, and to renew our commitment to democracy, tolerance, and justice."

September 1st, 2009
US supporting Socialism
Honduras has had a democracy since 1982. Former president Manuel Zelaya of aligned himself with Chavez and Castro and took steps to move his country toward Socialism. In June he decided to change the constitution. Specifically, he wanted to change the provision limiting the president to a single term. In addition, he had voiced support for nationalization and wealth redistribution as in Venezuela continue

September 1st, 2009
Venezuelans Ask Same Treatment as Honduras
A commission of the democratic opposition, Unity Panel of Venezuela, appeared in the office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Caracas and handed a letter requesting President Hugo Chavez to allow the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Venezuela. source


Honduras News in English
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