July 20, 2009

What the world is overlooking in Honduras

Mel Zelaya: Nobody is going to stop me
with a mob to take control of the confiscated ballots
(photo taken from my TV!)

Marco Cáceres wrote an excellent summary of the events of June 25 through June 28, 2009 in Honduras. The world focused primarily on the vision of a president in his pajamas calling it barbaric, while only giving a cursory glance at Honduras' constitution. Very few have reported or investigated all the prior events that led up to that day, because that was back during the time that the world had no interest in Honduras.

The Civil Coup the World Overlooks

By Marco Cáceres

Contrary to the popular view that has developed during the past couple of weeks, the "coup" in Honduras did not occur on Sunday, June 28, 2009, but rather on Thursday, June 25. What the world witnessed on Sunday morning in Tegucigalpa was a police action ordered by the Supreme Court of Honduras to put down a coup perpetuated by President Manuel Zelaya three days earlier.
Please read the rest of Marco's article here.

To go back even further, President Zelaya was informed by the Attorney General of Honduras in March 2009 that his proposal for a
cuarta urna was illegal. The Attorney General couldn't stop Zelaya. The Election Tribunal also informed him that his proposal was illegal but they couldn't stop him.

The Congress couldn't stop Zelaya, even with a resolution of disapproval of the conduct of the president (sort of a vote of no confidence) on June 3, 2009 which asked for an immediate rectification of his actions.

The lower court decision against the referendum was ignored by Zelaya. When the top general informed his good friend Zelaya that the military could not be involved in distributing election material for an illegal election, Zelaya fired him. The Congress and the Supreme court ordered the general's return. Zelaya at first ignored that order but then reinstated the general.

The Supreme Court decision that the referendum was illegal was not only ignored, but was mocked on public television in speeches by Mel. With coverage on his own government TV channel, he referred to the court as the "Supreme Court of Injustice", said they did not know what they were talking about, and declared that only "God and the Virgin Suyapa could stop him". Zelaya used public funds to hire fleets of taxi drivers to deliver the election materials in direct defiance of the Supreme Court order to confiscate all the election materials.

Throughout all these months, public opinion was strongly against the cuarta urna. People believed that too much money was being spent on campaigning and publicity and objected to public officials being on campaign tours rather than doing their jobs. Public polls have shown that crime, corruption, health care, education, unemployment, and poverty are the high priorities for the people of Honduras.

Huge public marches against the cuarta urna were held, first early in June and again the week before June 28 by people who believed that the problems in the country stemmed from the actions or lack of actions of the government, not the constitution. Zelaya and his cabinet refused all demands to account for the funds being used to support the cuarta urna from the Tribunal Superior de Cuentas (similar to IRS), the Attorney General's Office, the Congress, the media, and many sectors of civil society.

Marcos ends his article with this:
Unfortunately, the international community tuned in late as the coup was ending and instead assumed that it was viewing the start of the show. This late arrival by world governments and media has led to a tragic misperception of the truth.
How do you control a president who ignores the laws, the constitution, other sectors of government, and the wishes of the people?
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