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Opinion and Analysis: International

ALBA Declaration on Honduras Coup D'etat

Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)

Proclamation of the Extraordinary Presidential Council
Managua, Republic of Nicaragua 29 June 2009

On Sunday the 28th of June in early hours of the morning, when the Honduran people were getting ready to exercise their democratic will through a poll with a consultative character, promoted by the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to deepen participative democracy, a group of hooded soldiers, who affirmed they had received orders from the High Command of the Armed Forces, assaulted the residence of President Zelaya, in order to kidnap him, disappear him for a number of hours and later expel him violently from his homeland.

Immediately, the people of Honduras reacted like the noble heirs of the legacy of Francisco Morazán [1], in the streets of the cities and towns of Honduras. From the early hours of the morning hundreds of electoral booths received thousands of men and women who attended to exercise their right to vote, and on being informed of the kidnapping of their president, spilled out onto the streets to protest the coup d'etat, giving an example of heroism, to confront, unarmed, the guns and tanks.

Through the screens of Telesur, they managed to break the national and international silence that the dictatorship wanted to impose through closing the state television channel and cutting the electricity supply, aiming to conceal and justify the coup d'etat against their people and the international community - demonstrating an attitude that recalls the worst epoch of the dictatorships experienced in the 20th century in our continent.

With one single voice, the governments and peoples of the continent reacted condemning the coup d'etat, making clear that in Honduras there is only one President and one government: that of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. At the same time, we salute the declarations of condemnation, that from very early, other governments of the world began to issue.

In the face of the urgency of the situation, the governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America immediately convoke an Extraordinary Presidential Council, with the objective of agreeing on forceful actions to defeat the coup d'etat in Honduras, to support the heroic people of Morazán and to unconditionally re-establish the President Manuel Zelaya Rosales in his legitimate duties.

After analyzing the circumstances which have produced this coup d'etat, in the face of the gravity of the violations of International Law, the multilateral agreements and the accords of our countries with the Republic of Honduras, and in view of the categorical rejection that the international community has manifested in front of the dictatorial government that is trying to impose itself, the member countries of ALBA have decided to withdraw our Ambassadors and leave a minimum expression of our diplomatic representation in Tegucigalpa until the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is reinstated in its duties.

Likewise we recognise as the only diplomatic representatives of Honduras in our countries, the personnel designated by President Zelaya. Under no circumstances will we accredit personnel designated by the usurpers.

Equally, as full members of the various systems of integration of the continent, we insist that our brother countries of UNASUR, SICA, CARICOM, the Rio Group, the UN and the OAS proceed in the same way in the face of the assailants of the Honduran people.

On the other hand, we have agreed to declare ourselves in permanent alert in order to accompany the valiant people of Honduras in the actions of struggle that they have convoked, and we invoke the content of Articles 2 and 3 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Honduras:

"Art. 2: Sovereignty corresponds to the People from which emanate all the Powers of the State that are exercised through representation. The Sovereignty of the People can also be exercised in a direct manner through a Plebiscite or Referendum. The supplanting of popular Sovereignty and the usurpation of the constituted powers are classified as crimes of Treason against the Fatherland. The responsibility in these cases is imprescriptible and can be deduced to the role or petition of any citizen."

"Art. 3: No one has to obey neither a usurper government nor those who assume functions or public employment through the force of arms or using measures or procedures that break or fail to recognise that which the Constitution and the laws establish. The acts verified by such authorities are invalid. The people have the right to resort to insurrection in defense of constitutional order."

As well as the principles of International Law respect the acts of resistance and rebellion of the people confronting the attempts at domination. To the teachers, workers, women, youth, peasants, indigenous peoples, honest business people, intellectuals and other actors of Honduran society, we assure that together we will win a great victory against the coup plotters that aim to impose themselves on the brave people of Francisco Morazán.

Invoking the spirit and though of Francisco Morazán, together with him, we proclaim to the coup plotters: "Men, you who have abused the rights of the people for a sordid and stingy interest! With you I speak, enemies of independence and liberty. If our actions, aimed at acquiring a homeland, can suffer a parallel to those Central Americans that you have persecuted and exiled, I challenge you to present them. Those same people, who have been humiliated, insulted, debased and betrayed so many times, that today are the arbiters of their destiny and ask for our advice, those people will be your judge."

Those who are leading the coup d'etat must know that it will be impossible to prevail and to make fun of international justice, to which sooner or later they will be subjected. We call on the officials and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Honduras to rectify and to put their weapons at the service of the people of Honduras and their general commander, President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

The member countries of ALBA, in consultation with the governments of the continent and with various institutions that guarantee the fulfilment of International Law, we are bringing forward measures so that the grave violations and the crimes that are being committed aren't gotten away with.

The only path that remains for the coup makers to abandon their attitude and to guarantee immediately, unconditionally, and definitely, the return of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales to his constitutional functions.

The Republic of Honduras is a full member of ALBA, and likewise of other regional integration and multilateral organisations, whose membership demand respect of the sovereignty of the people and the constitution. These fundamental conditions, having been violated by the coup makers, the governments of ALBA have decided to maintain all the cooperation programs that we have pre-empted with Honduras through President Zelaya.

Likewise, we propose that punitive measures are applied by all the multilateral integration organisations and mechanisms, which would help to enforce the immediate return to constitutional order in Honduras and would bring about the principles of action that Jose Marti referred to when he said, "Each person does their duty, and nothing can defeat us."

The governments of ALBA declare ourselves in a permanent consultation session, with all the governments of the continent, in order to evaluate further joint actions that enable us to accompany the Honduran people in the re-establishment of legality and the restitution of the President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Two hundreds years since the historic gesture that our peoples have developed throughout the continent, following the timeless example of the General of free men Augusto Cesar Sandino, of Francisco Morazan and faithful to the word of The Liberator Simon Bolivar, we put our hope with the people of Honduras and the peoples of the world for the sureness of victory, as, "all the peoples of the world who have wrestled for freedom have, in the end, exterminated their tyrants."


[1] Central American statesman, lawyer, orator, and general born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 1792

Translated by Kiraz Janicke and Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com

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Comments

ARMED UPRISING

As head of state, president Zelaya retains the right to raise an army in defense of the constitution, and to include within that army any allies, both domestic and foreign, necessary to the task. The people of Honduras also retain that right.

Will ALBA member Nicaragua make its territory available so that an army of liberation, both Honduran and allied, can be gathered? The chances are that if such an army were gathered, it would not have to be used. The generals would have to find some way to escape, and the United States can spare neither the troops nor the international opprobrium to actively defend the usurpers.

Will ALBA really find a way to defend democracy? Compromising with the generals, or allowing them to go "back to the barracks" will not suffice. The traitors have to be removed. If they are not the whole ALBA enterprise will dissolve in bombastic and futile rhetoric.