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Honduras: (Updated July 3) Solidarity and left movements condemn coup, demand elected president be returned to power

Solidarity protest in Sydney, Australia, July 1, 2009. Photos by Peter Boyle.

Below are just some of the statements released by solidarity groups, left parties and governments, and international organisations demanding the return to power of Honduras' elected presidet Manuel Zelaya. They have been compiled by Australia's Green Left Weekly.To view the complete list, click HERE.

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Statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN)

July 1, 2009 -- The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) strongly condemns the undemocratic coup conducted by a small group of military, members of the oligarchy and their political agents in Honduras. The violent kidnapping and expulsion to Costa Rica of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya is a ruthless attack on the rights of the Honduran people to freely elect their own leaders, and decide their own political future.

The pretext for the coup was no more than the president's plan for a non-binding national poll to determine support for a future referendum on the convening of a Constituent Assembly to recommend changes to the undemocratic Honduran constitution, which was imposed on the country during the US Reagan administration's puppet regime in Honduras in 1982. Now the congressman who organised the poll has reportedly been assassinated by the military.

The assault on the Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan ambassadors, who were trying to protect the foreign minister of Honduras from arrest by the military, is a further threat to the international Bolivarian movement for unity and social change throughout Latin America. AVSN declares that an attack on any progressive Latin American government -- especially a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for Latin America (ALBA), as Honduras is -- is a danger to all people's governments in the region.

This return to the era of military coups is a throwback to the dark past of Latin America of decades ago, and must be firmly rejected by all the peoples and governments of the world.

In particular, we call on the governments of the United States, Europe and Australia to resolutely condemn this coup, to refuse any recognition to the new, fraudulent regime in Honduras, and to cut off all military, economic and political ties with the Honduran junta.

We salute Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez when he warned of CIA involvement in the Honduran events, and when he called on US President Barrack Obama to "reject the coup right from the marrow". We also fully support the moves by the nine governments of ALBA to prepare a plan of action to combat the coup. We also note the vigorous condemnation of the Honduran coup by the Organization of American States.

Moreover, we call on the United Nations Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to condemn the coup and completely isolate the coup plotters internationally until President Zelaya is returned to his rightful presidential office, all Honduran military forces are sent back to their barracks and the coup plotters arrested and put on trial for their crimes.

We pledge the full solidarity of the AVSN and the Latin American solidarity movement in Australia until the coup is overturned and democratic rights reinstalled in Honduras.

ALBA declaration on Honduras coup d'etat

By the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)

Proclamation of the Extraordinary Presidential Council

Managua, Republic of Nicaragua, June 29, 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.]

Raul Castro: Cuba strongly condemns the coup in Honduras

HAVANA, Cuba, June 29 (acn) On behalf of the Cuban people, President Raul Castro strongly condemned on Monday the brutal coup d’état perpetrated early on Sunday against the constitutional Government and President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

Speaking during a meeting of the Rio Group in Nicaragua, the Cuban leader sent a message of solidarity to the Honduran people. Raul recalled the aggression by the military against President Zelaya and Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas along with the ambassadors of Venezuela, and Cuba and he added that this attack against the political constitutionality of the Central American nation has to be unanimously and strongly condemned by the Rio Group.

As President Chavez said last night, it is a moment to act according to our principles and to immediately expose those who condemn but, under the table, applaud, as has happened so many times in the past, Raul said.<

In Honduras, there is and there can only be one President, Jose Manuel Zelaya, who must unconditionally be reinstated, he added. There cannot be any negotiations with the coup supporters and no demands or conditions can be imposed on the legitimate government of President Zelaya.

The Cuban head of state recalled that the confrontation in Honduras is between the people’s aspirations to a better future and the interests of the oligarchic sectors that seek to perpetuate an unjust and unsustainable order.

Raul stressed that this conflict goes beyond the Honduran borders and is an expression of the danger of returning to the past, when military dictatorships, with the support of the United States, terrorised Latin America, particularly, the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean.

Recalling past coup attempts in Bolivia and Venezuela, Raul wondered if it is a coincidence that these two countries, plus Honduras are all members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), a regional integration and cooperation bloc.

These three examples show that the oligarchies and their forces have many means to resort to in order to hold back the course of history. Raul Castro affirmed that the fascist coup against President Zelaya is an insult to all the nations and governments of Latin America and the Caribbean and cannot remain unpunished. Its perpetrators will have to accept the consequences of their crimes in the sister nation of Honduras, he said.

The Cuban leader praised the work of Telesur television network and criticised media outlets that have worked in favour of those who staged the coup in order to misinform the people.

Finally, after saying he believes in the sincerity of US President Barack Obama and its State Secretary Hillary Clinton, he urged them to act in accordance with their statements. But they have to prove it with facts, not only with words, he stressed.

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs statement

Caracas, June 28, 2009 -- The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela condemns the coup d’état that the Honduran oligarchy is attempting to perpetrate against the constitutional government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the people of Honduras.

President Manuel Zelaya Rosales was kidnapped, removed from his home by force, rendered incommunicado for several hours, and violently expelled from his country by a group of unpatriotic, coup-mongering soldiers. The hooded soldiers kidnapped Chancellor Patricia Rodas and also arbitrarily detained and beat the Ambassadors of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. These shameless soldiers are responsible before national and international laws for the crimes that they are committing and for the violation of the constitution and its laws.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela strongly urges the international community to condemn this situation and urges that the necessary measures be taken by us to defeat this coup d’état in Honduras and to reestablish the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

We will not be silent or humiliated! 

By the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)

June 28, 2009 -- The COPINH condemns the cowardly and dirty coup d'tat against the Constitutional President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales. We denounce the fascist and terrorist role of the armed forces, of the national congress headed by Roberto Michelleti Bain, of the communications media of sectors of the ultra-right, and the rest of the institutions submissive to the interests of the oligarchy and imperialism that this morning kidnapped the president, prior to the initiation of the popular consultation.

The people are still participating in the non-binding referendum--even faced with repression, even as the campaign of fear continues, and even when confronted with the butt of soldiers' rifles. There is practically a state of siege in the capital and the rest of the country; electricity is cut off, they have a list of leaders to be captured, and Hondurans who are bravely demonstrating in front of the presidential residence are surrounded by tanks and helicopters.

Even so they have installed the polls and are exercising their right to participate in the consultation as a form of rebellion. The Honduran people are mobilizing.

Since early morning, our organization is calling out its members and has already begun the journey with representatives of the Lenca People on the way to Tegucigalpa.

We tell everyone that the Honduran people are carrying out large demonstrations, actions in their communities, in the municipalities; there are occupations of bridges, and a protest in front of the presidential residence, among others.

From the lands of Lempira, Morazán and Visitación Padilla, we call on the Honduran people in general to demonstrate in defense of their rights and of real and direct democracy for the people, to the fascists we say that they will NOT silence us, that this cowardly act will turn back on them, with great force.

We state that we do not recognize any "substitute" and WE WILL STRUGGLE FOR OUR PEOPLE, FOR OUR RIGHT TO DREAM OF A COUNTRY WITH JUSTICE, EQUITY, LIBERTY AND LIFE.

With the ancestral force of Iselaca and Lempira we raise our voices for life, justice, liberty, dignity and peace.

Restore democracy in Honduras!

Statement by the Socialist Alliance, Australia

July 2, 2009 -- The Socialist Alliance strongly condemns the June 28 coup d’etat by the military, members of the oligarchy and their political agents in Honduras. The violent kidnapping and expulsion to Costa Rica of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is an attempt to deny the people of Honduras their fundamental human rights to determine their own government and political future.

The coup took place as millions of Hondurans were preparing to exercise their right to vote for the first time in a consultative referendum on the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform Honduras' constitution. The Zelaya government's proposal to draft a new constitution is the culmination of other measures under his presidency that have come under attack by conservative forces, including a significant increase in the minimum wage, measures to renationalise energy generation plants and telecommunications, signing a bill to greatly improve labour conditions for teachers, joining the Venezuelan Petrocaribe program, and delaying recognition of the new United States ambassador after the Bolivian government implicated the US embassy in supporting paramilitary groups destabilising Bolivia.

The Socialist Alliance also condemns the June 28 assassination by the armed forces of Honduran congressperson Cesar Ham, the organiser of the consultative referendum on a new constitution, and the abduction of Honduran foreign minister Patricia Rodas. The assault and attempted kidnapping on the Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan ambassadors in Honduras, who were trying to protect Rodas was a direct attack on the Bolivarian movement for unity and progressive change in Latin America.

The Socialist Alliance is very concerned for the safety of the human rights organisations that have supported the president and the efforts for constitutional reform. Reports of the military pursuing civil society leaders in the street and of leaders of the National Council of Indigenous Peoples being forced into hiding must be responded to by all who support freedom.

We applaud and stand in solidarity with the thousands of brave Hondurans who have mobilised to defend democracy by demonstrating in the streets and attempting to exercise their right to participate in the referendum despite intimidation and assault by the armed forces. We also solidarise with the Honduran trade unions and social movements calling for a general strike in support of their ousted president.

The Socialist Alliance congratulates the nine governments of ALBA, the Organization of American States and the UN General Assembly president Miguel D’Escoto for their immediate condemnation of the coup and support for Zelaya as the only legitimate president of Honduras. We note that the European Union and numerous governments have condemned the coup, and call on the Australian government to:

  • Refuse to recognise the congressional appointed ``de facto'' government of Roberto Michelletti;
  • Demand the immediate, safe return of the President Zelaya and foreign minister Rodas, and the reconstitution of the elected government;
  • Demand the immediate release of all political and social movement organisation leaders who have been detained by the military;
  • Insist on respect for the safety and human rights of all Hondurans; and
  • Support calls from the Honduran people for the coup leaders to be arrested and tried for their crimes.

We pledge the Socialist Alliance's active solidarity with the Honduran people’s fight for democracy and justice, and will continue to protest until the coup is overturned and democratic rights are reinstalled in Honduras.

COSATU condemns the coup in Honduras

By Patrick Craven

July 2, 2009 -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions calls on all democrats, workers and revolutionaries to condemn the coup in Honduras which has overthrown leftist President, Manuel Zelaya.
He was abducted from his official residence by the Honduran army and forcibly taken to Costa Rica on Sunday morning. It followed a growing controversy over a vote over term limits between the President and General Romeo Vasquez, who is reportedly in charge of the armed forces that abducted the President.

According to the US-based Institute for Southern Studies (ISS), "At least two leaders of the coup launched in Honduras on June 28 were apparently trained at a controversial Department of Defence school based at Fort Benning, Georgia, infamous for producing graduates linked to torture, death squads and other human rights abuses."

Also at stake is the life of Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas, whose whereabouts are unknown. She was with the ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in Honduras when 15 soldiers wearing ski masks broke into their meeting place. The soldiers pushed and beat then, stole their cell phones and took them to an air base.

These cruel acts are reminiscent of past dictators in Latin America, such as Pinochet, who were in the active service of US imperialism. These brutal dictatorships were used against to attack and kill communists and other revolutionary activists who were defending the people's natural resources and democratic rights.
This is a dastardly act of cowardice against a democratically elected leader of the Honduran people, who have chosen to follow the path of Cuba, Venezuela and other countries that have opted out of the clutches of neo-colonial imperialism supervised by the US.

This coup has lessons for Africa, where we also struggle daily with the reality of underdevelopment, neo-colonial plunder of our natural resources and destabilisation through proxy forces killing our people. We call on the global trade union movement to condemn this act, and defend democracy and the right of the Honduran people to choose their own leaders freely.

[Patrick Craven is national spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions.]

Labor Party Pakistan flays coup in Honduras

By Farooq Tariq

July 2, 2009 -- The Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) condemns the military takeover in Honduras. The LPP considers the coup an attack on democratic values not only in the country but all over the world.

The LPP is in solidarity with those peasants and workers in Honduras who are struggling to overthrow the generals and sacrificing their lives. It calls on all the progressive forces to unite for the restoration of the democracy.

The LPP thinks the ruling classes along with country's Supreme Court joined hands to put an end to pro-people reforms that President Manual Zelaya was implementing. The coup is a response by anti-democratic forces to changes benefiting the working classes.

The efforts of the President Zelaya to amend the constitution was a right step in a right direction. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the US administration's dirty war in Central America, was designed to fortify ruling classes. Those in control of economic and political power do not want even a little interference by the masses.

President Zelaya's proposal for a referendum on the issue was his constitutional right. The support lent by a majority of labour unions and social movements in the country shows that his move had widespread support among the people.

The LPP condemns the fact that the military takeover in Honduras has not been mentioned very much in the mainstream media in Pakistan. The government has not issued any statement to condemn this takeover. The LPP demands the Pakistan government, led by Pakistan Peoples Party, condemn the coup and side with the forces striving to reverse the military takeover.

The LPP also condemns the American imperialism for its hidden support to the coup plotters and demands an immediate stop to violence against the pro-democracy activists taking to streets to agitate for the cause of democracy.

No to martial law! Reinstate President Zelaya! The anti-coup mass movement must be supported

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines

July 2, 2009 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines, adds its voice in strong condemnation of the coup attempt by the Honduran military hierarchy, the elite and other vested interests, to oust the legitimately elected President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. We also condemn the attack on democratic and human rights by the coup leaders, including the killing, arrests and intimidation of our Honduran comrades leading the mass movements and social movements against elite interests, now protesting in the streets against the coup leaders.

We are extremely concerned about reports that the coup government in Honduras has passed a decree indefinitely suspending all constitutional rights in the country. We understand that this means the coup forces can enter homes without warrants, detain anyone with no notice or justification, prohibit all public gatherings, such as marches, rallies, protests or meetings, and maintain censorship of independent media.
This is the declaration and imposition of martial law in Honduras.

The imposition of martial law further confirms that the coup is anti-people and was engineered by elite interests in Honduras. The coup took place as the Honduran people were preparing to exercise their right to vote for the first time in a consultative referendum on the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform Honduras' constitution, a process similar to that which took place in Venezuela, paving the way for the Bolivarian revolution in that country. It was also in response to several progressive measures taken by the Zelaya government, such as a significant increase in the minimum wage, measures to renationalise energy generation plants and telecommunications, signing a bill to greatly improve labour conditions for teachers and joining the regional formation ALBA spearheaded by Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia.

The coup also represents a desperate attempt to stop the rise of the revolutionary and progressive movements in Latin America, a trend that US imperialism has been desperately trying to reverse. A coup against the Zelaya government can only serve elite and US imperialist interests in the region.
We applaud the solidarity demonstrated by the governments of Latin America, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and others, who have mobilised against the coup, demanding the reinstatement of President Zelaya.

The Venezuelan revolution has shown the way of how to defeat elite-managed, pro-imperialist coups, when the masses mobilised and reinstated Hugo Chavez in a matter of 48 hours. The Honduran masses know this lesson well and have taken to the streets in defence of their rights.

We stand as one with this mass movement in the streets, demanding the reinstatement of President Zelaya. We demand the immediate lifting of martial law imposed by the coup regime, an end to the violation of human rights and the release of all political prisoners. The coup leaders and plotters must also be brought to trial for crimes against the people.

Only the masses, mobilised and united, can defeat the coup plotters.

Urgent call In solidarity with the organisations of Via Campesina and the people of Honduras

International Coordinating Committee (CCI) of Vía Campesina

Mali, Africa -- June 28, 2009 -- With the objective of deepening democracy and achieving broader democratic participation, for several months the social organisations of Honduras along with President Manuel Zelaya Rosales have promoted holding a survey (non-binding referendum) this June 28, 2009.

To our great surprise, today at 5 am, the armed forces carried out a coup d'etat against President Zelaya, blocking in this way, the democratic aspirations of the population that was preparing to carry out the popular consultation.

On hearing this news, the social organisations of of Honduras, including those of Via Campesina, have gone out into the streets to repudiate this deed and demand the return of President Zelaya to that functions that they law mandates.

The government of President Zelaya has been characterized by its defense of workers and campesinos, it is a defender of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), and during his administration it has promoted actions that benefit Honduran campesinos.

We believe that these deeds are the desperate acts of the national oligarchy and the hardcore right to preserve the interests of capital, and in particular, of the large transnational corporations. To that end, that have made use of the military forces and the institutions of the country such as the parliament, ministers, neoliberal press and others.

Faced with this unacceptable situation, Via Campesina International demands:

1. Re-establishment of the constitutional order, without bloodshed.

2. We call on the army not to repress the population of Honduras that demands a return to democracy.

3. That the physical integrity of social leaders, including Rafael Alegria -- international leader of Via Campesina -- is respected.

4. We demand the return of President Zelaya to his functions in Honduras.

5. That the authorities guarantee the full democratic exercise of the popular consultation, which is clearly a form of free expression.

From Via Campesina International, we are concerned for the safety of our leaders and organisations of Via Campesina, as well as what could happen to the people of Honduras, in these difficult times.

We also call on campesino organizations and other social movements to protest in front of the Honduran embassies and send letters rejecting the coup d'etat to the embassies in each of their countries.

We express our solidarity with our campesino organisations in Honduras.

Globalise the struggle! Globalise hope!

Socialist Party of Malaysia: No to coup in Honduras! Restore demoracy! Reinstate the democratically elected president!

June 30, 2009 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemns the coup d’etat organised by military and right-wing political elite in Honduras on June 28, 2009, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.

The coup took place just hours before the people of Honduras go out to vote on a consultative referendum concerning whether to rewrite the constitution. The current Honduran constitution, which was written in 1982 during the height of the US administration’s dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure the ruling elite who have closed ties with the imperialist US to consolidate their powers with little interference from the ordinary people.

The consultative referendum proposed by President Manuel Zelaya is merely an opinion poll for the Hondurans to determine whether they are prepared to enter into a democratic process to modify their constitution. The referendum though is a not-binding vote, has been viewed by many unions and peasant groups as a necessary precursor to economic reforms favoring Honduras's poor majority. Yet, the right-wing political elites are threatened by it and used every mean to stop the people of Honduras to determine their future by themselves.

President Manuel Zelaya, elected in 2005, has increasingly come under attack by the right-wing forces in Honduras for his growing relationship with the ALBA countries. The coup is clearly a cowardice act by the right-wing political elite and US-backed economic interests which in fear of losing their grip on this Central American country when it move closer with countries which are now undergoing revolutionary process like Venezuela.

The PSM demands:

1) Restore democracy in Honduras

2) Immediately reinstate the democratically elected President Zelaya

3) People of Honduras have their right to determine whether to re-write the out-dated imperialist influenced constitution in order to restructure its society for the benefit of ordinary vast majority.

No to coup! Power to the People!

Military coup in Honduras condemned – Sinn Féin

29ú Meitheamh 2009 -- June 29, 2009 -- Sinn Féin international spokesperson Raymond McCartney MLA has condemned the military coup in Honduras and demanded the immediate release of the democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya.

Speaking from Stormont this afternoon Mr McCartney said: “I want to condemn the kidnapping and military coup against the democratic President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya. The military coup against the President is an illegal attempt to overthrow the progressive social agenda chosen by the Honduran people.These type of military coups have inflicted decades of suffering and pain upon peoples across Latin America and the Irish Government must add its voice to those calling for the immediate release of President Zelaya. The democratic wishes of the Honduran people must be respected and must be protected from this illegal move.” 

Latin American Committee and Wellington Zapatista Support Group

June 29, 2009 -- The Latin American Committee and the Wellington Zapatista Support Group strongly condemn Sunday’s military coup against the Constitutional President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

We also strongly condemn the assassination of Honduran congressman Cesar Ham, organiser of the Opinion Poll on a New Constitution, and the abduction of Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas on the same day.

We are deeply concerned by reports that there is a virtual state of siege in the capital Tegucigalpa, where electricity and telephones have been cut off, radio and state television stations shut down, Hondurans demonstrating in front of the presidential residence are surrounded by tanks and helicopters, and members of opposition parties are being rounded up and detained.

We note that:

  • the United States ambassador to Honduras has stated that "The only president the United States recognizes is President Manuel Zelaya",
  • the Organization of American States (OAS) has unanimously backed President Manuel Zelaya as the only legitimate president of Honduras,
  • US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said “The action taken against Honduran Presdient Manuel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all”,
  • the United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto “clearly and strongly condemns the attempted coup d’etat that is currently unfolding against the democratically elected Government of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras”,
  • Numerous governments have condemned the coup, including those of Cuba, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and the European Union'
  • and request that the New Zealand Government immediately condemn the coup in Honduras, and demand the return of President Zelaya to his country.

Latin America Solidarity Committee, lac [at] apc.org. nz, http://www.converge .org.nz/lac/ index.htm

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (Britain) statement on military coup in Honduras

By Francisco Dominguez, secretary Venezuela Solidarity Campaign  

Today (Sunday, June 29, 2009) there was to be non-binding national consultation as to whether the people of Honduras agreed to hold referenda at the end of the year for a new Constitional Assembly and for a new constitution. Just on Saturday June 28, President Zelaya was meeting international observers regarding details of today's referendum.

Early this morning -- June 29 -- (about 5:45 am Honduran time) heavily armed units of the military (according to eyewitnesses, about 200 soldiers) occupied the presidential palace, arrested democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in his personal residence, kidnapped him, taking him to an unknown destination. Eyewitnesses inform that President Zelaya's personal residence is surrounded by soldiers. Telesur report that President Zelaya confirmed by phone that he is in Costa Rica.

The military then proceeded to close down Channel 8, the state TV channel to prevent it from informing the population.

President Manuel Zelaya's supporters are congregating in the streets of the capital and are moving to surround the presidential palace to demand the return of their president.

We totally and absolutely condemn the coup against democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya and demand his immediate and unconditional release as well as the immediater release of anybody else that might have been arrested by the plotters.

We demand:

1. The immediate restitution of the constitutional order interrupted by the military coup underway in Honduras.

2. No violence of any kind to be unleashed against the civilian population, or any of the those arrested by those carrying out the coup d'etat. There are worrying reports emerging from Tegucigalpa -- Honduras' capital city -- of military violence against civilians.

3. We also urge the UK government to unequivocally condemn the coup and demand the release of President Zelaya, and the immediate return to the constitutional order.

4. We also call upon President Barack Obama to demonstrate with acts his expressed desire to inaugurate a new period of respectful relations with the republics in Latin America, by also unreservedly condemning the coup d'etat, stating that the US will not recognise any other government in Honduras except that of the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.

Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, and president of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, has condemned the military coup in Honduras and demanded the release of the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

Ken Livingstone said: ``I totally condemn the military coup and kidnapping of the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. President Zelaya was working to free his country from decades hunger and poverty. This military coup is an illegal attempt to use armed force to overturn the course of democracy and social progress chosen by the Honduran people at the polls. The world should unite to stop this attempt to return Latin America to the bloody past of military coups to block the will of the people.

``I call particularly upon the British government to unreservedly condemn this military coup and to demand the immediate release of President Zelaya and to urge President Obama, who has promised a new era of relations between the US and South America, to do everything in his power to support the release of President Zelaya and restoration of democracy in Honduras.''

Bolivarian Circle of the Netherlands statement

www.circulobolivariano -- July 1, 2009 -- The Bolivarian Circle of the Netherlands joins the solidarity with the people of Honduras and the democratic and legitimate government formed by President Manuel Zelaya.

We openly reject the kidnapping of the president of Honduras, as well as the agression against the embassadors of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

We condemn the kidnapping of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Rodas, and we empathise with the pain the coup has caused for the family of the victims.

We call out for the international organisations to demand freedom of speech and mobility for the people of Honduras.

We request the democratic countries not to acknowledge the temporary government that has been installed by the ones who inflicted the coup and to demand the return of democracy.

We strongly support the unity of the ALBA countries; this Bolivarian unity, which is a regional proposal for integration with a new economic moral, with the aim of banishing poverty.

These fraternally united countries today take their responsibility and support the democratically chosen president Zelaya and his people who mobilise at this moment to save their president and the Democracy.

The noble ideals of President Zelaya we see today being limited with brutal effort by a powerful, social sector from the army, a sector of the legal power and a group within the government, that wants to give a false impression of the constitutional state.

We call up the soldiers of Honduras not to shoot at its own people.

We summon the international community not to be deceived, the military coup is illegal and antidemocratic.

We show our deep concern for the prisoners and the persecuted. We condemn the killings which have been caused by the fascistic oppression of the unarmed people.

The people of Honduras and their president Manuel Zelaya are not alone. Our rejection of this coup d'etat corresponds to the demand for justice expressed all over the world.

The peace of Latin America is in danger. It is legitimate and justified to break with the economic dependance.

The capitalistic crisis manifests itself in new ways, let us not accept the fact that the unprotected people have to pay the bill of the capitalistic system.

Yes to participative democracy, to the right of the Honduran people to be consulted.

For the sake of democracy and peace. Let us condemn the injustice going on in Honduras. 

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