June 28, 2009

Honduran Congress ousts president Mel Zelaya

Military in the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

The national congress has just unanimously approved the destitution of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. The President of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, will assume the position of President of the Republic of Honduras.
written at about 2 p.m., just before the power went out! ;-{


La Prensa, Honduras: The Supreme Court explains in an official statement that the actions of the armed forces was legal. President Manuel Zelaya was violating a judicial order of the Supreme Court. The article has received more 500 reader comments if you would like to see a sampling of Honduran opinions on the action. (Please use a translator if you need one, I just don't have time to summarize the article!)


Zelaya supporters have protested in the streets, including in La Ceiba, while the anti-Zelaya factions seem to be staying at home, which is probably a good thing and will help to avoid violence. Some protesters have exhibited violence toward the military by hitting them and throwing rocks, etc., but so far, the military has shown great restraint with the public.

El Heraldo has a photo array of various sights around Tegucigalpa.

La Prensa also has a photo array.


Statements from the international community are primarily against the "coup". They urge support for democracy, the constitution, and the rule of law, which can be taken in different manners depending upon which side you are on. Warnings and threats from other countries of possible intervention in Honduras are scary.

A group called Union Civica Democrática has a message for the world.


Mel's words from Costa Rica from CNN en Español (translated and paraphrased):

This was a kidnapping, violent and brutal.
I have not asked for asylum in Costa Rica.
They (the military) told me they were only following orders.
The US could have prevented this terrible strike against our democracy.
I will not recognize any replacement.
The US should step in to restore my position.
My supporters should peacefully protest this illegal action.
I'm waiting for the support of all of the pueblos of Latin America.
I have not resigned and have no intention of doing so.


Hugo Chávez's statements from TelesurTV (translated and paraphrased):

I have spoken with Fidel. We are with Honduras.
This is a coup d'etat against all of us.
We are going to give another lesson to the Honduran military.
We are in full battle and en contact with Honduras.
I have put the Venezuelan armed forces on alert.

El Heraldo has videos of some of these interviews/speeches, in Spanish of course. Likely they are available on YouTube as well. I haven't had time to check.


Zelaya kept saying that all of Honduras is without electricity, telephone, television, or any sort of communication, including CNN, which he calls a crime. This is obviously false as I am watching him on TV right now and have been all morning. El Tiempo reports that radio stations were restored at 11:20 a.m. after approximately 10 hours off the air.

Parts of Tegucigalpa (the capital) and a few other parts of the country have been without power, but rather than assuming a conspiracy or purposeful act of the government or military, I am assuming that it is no different than any other day in Honduras where power problems are the norm! Just this week, here in La Ceiba we had an entire day with no electricity and at least four other short outages. When the power goes out, so goes our cable TV and internet. That's normal!

As of noon, Channel 10 and 12, which generally have had the most political news lately, were off the air and the other Honduran stations have only normal sports, cartoons, etc. programming. Channel 7 in La Ceiba was currently showing a rerun of yesterday's news.

Around 1:45 p.m., all the Honduran TV stations returned and were broadcasting the same feed live from the Honduran national congress.


I'll stop now as my tired brain is not capable of reading in Spanish, writing in English, while listening in Spanish at the same time on only 3 hours of sleep last night. I haven't even gotten dressed yet today! El Jefe woke me up at 7-something to say that Mel had been kidnapped and removed from the country.


5:23 p.m.: Well, I pushed my luck. Roberto Micheletti had no more than hit the gavel to close the congressional session, shouted "Viva Honduras!!", and I was 5 seconds away from clicking the publish button, went the power went out and I've waited 3 hours for it to come back. Arrrgh!

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