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Honduras: Deal to restore Zelaya collapses under weight of US-coup regime's duplicity

Real News Network report, November 5, 2009: `US-brokered agreement looks to have strengthened coup instead of reversing it'

See also ``Honduras: Why the resistance will boycott the November 29 election; Zelaya on accord''

By Stuart Munckton

November 8, 2009 -- The accord signed on October 30 to resolve the crisis that has brought Honduras to a standstill since the June 28 military coup has collapsed. The coup leader Roberto Micheletti has continued to refuse to accept the accord’s insistence that elected President Manuel Zelaya be reinstated. 

On November 6, the AFP wire service reported Zelaya said the deal had collapsed because the regime had violated it by forming a “national unity” government without his participation. “The accord now has no value”, Zelaya said. He urged his supporters to continue protesting in the streets.

As a result of the accord’s collapse, Zelaya and the mass-based National Resistance Front against the Coup have both said they will not participate in, nor recognise the results of, the November 29 elections being organised by the coup regime. AFP reported Zelaya saying: “I’m not ready to legitimise a fraud ... nor to whitewash this coup.”

The mass movement of the poor majority of Honduras against the elite-organised coup has now exceeded 130 days of street protests, strikes, road blockades and occupations. It continues to face brutal repression from the police and military, with thousands detained and dozens killed or disappeared.

With the economy losing millions of dollars every day and the regime nearly totally isolated internationally, the coup leaders finally signed an accord after weeks of negotiations on October 30 that included agreeing to Zelaya’s reinstatement as president.

The regime was also under pressure because no government or international institution had said it would accept the outcome of the November 29 polls unless the legitimate president was restored.

The accord committed Zelaya and the coup regime to forming a government of “national unity” with Zelaya as its head. But it also excluded any moves to call a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, the issue that sparked the coup and that the mass resistance strongly supports.

The accord had still needed to be approved by the Honduran congress.

US backs coup makers

The United States, which refused to cut off all aid or military ties to the coup regime, did not even wait for Congress to vote or for the accord to be implemented before it announced an agreement was struck for it to recognise the November 29 polls.

US-Venezuelan lawyer and author Eva Golinger said in a November 2 article at that, as soon as the accord was signed, the US “lifted the few restrictions it had imposed on the coup regime”.

For its part, the National Resistance Front against the Coup, while welcoming the agreement for Zelaya to be returned, insisted it would still push for a constituent assembly and for an end to the repression. The National Resistance Front against the Coup issued a statement on November 5 (see below) saying that it would continue with its planned boycott of the November 29 polls unless congress agreed to Zelaya’s reinstatement by midnight.

In a November 4 statement, Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH), which is part of the National Resistance Front against the Coup, described the accord as “a trap” (see below). It said it had “no faith in the negotiation commission of the coup regime” and denounced “the malicious and intentional attitude of the government of the United States of America”.

It said the US took “ambiguous positions but behind the scenes have supported the coup-makers and if not how can they explain that in the kidnapping of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales they used the [US-run] Palmerola base?”

[This article first appeared in Green Left Weekly, issue #817, November 11, 2009.]


Communiqué No. 33 of the National Resistance Front against the Coup

November 5, 2009 -- The National Resistance Front against the Coup wishes to inform the Honduran people and the international community of the following:


1. During the 131 days of continuous struggle, we have pushed for a peaceful solution to the political crisis in our country as a result of the coup d’état carried out by the Honduran oligarchy. In this period we have supported the efforts promoted by various national and international sectors, putting forward three key demands: (a) the return to constitutional order with the reinstatement of the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales; (b) respect for the sovereign right to establish a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of refounding our nation; and (c) punishment for those who have violated human rights.

2. The Tegucigalpa-San Jose agreement [signed on October 30] underscores the priority of returning to constitutional order and affirms, literally, the need to “return the holder of executive power to its pre-June 28 state through to January 27, 2010, which marks the end of the term of the current government”.

3. The National Congress, co-author of the break with the constitutional order on June 28, is using delaying tactics by refusing to convene the full assembly of the Congress to revoke the decree that set up the de-facto regime.

4. The Organization of American States and the US government, which we consider to be an accomplice in the military coup, do not show an interest in the definitive departure of the coup perpetrators from political power.

Therefore, we resolve that:

1. If by midnight November 5 — at the latest — President Manuel Zelaya is not reinstated, the National Resistance Front against the Coup will refuse to recognise the electoral process and its results.

2. We warn all organisations of the national resistance that if President Zelaya were not to be reinstated within this time frame, they should be ready to carry out the actions necessary to deny any legitimacy to the electoral farce.

3. We call upon the international community to maintain its position of refusing to legitimise the de-facto regime and the elections of November 29.

“We Are Resisting and We Shall Win!”


Statement by Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

From the Desk of the President Tegucigalpa

November 6, 2009

Translation by Patricia Adams, the Quixote Center.

Agreement failed because of Micheletti's failure to comply.

In the face of the mockery that Mr. Micheletti has made of the Honduran people and the international community: boycotting the Tegucigalpa/San Jose Agreement; letting the deadline for the creation of the Government of Unity pass without convening the National Congress, as is within his power and responsibility to do per the written agreement; the lack of a will to fulfill the agreement in both letter and spirit is clear; ignoring the Plan Arias proposal, as well as the OAS and the UN resolutions; we declare that the agreement has been a failure, because of the failure of the de facto regime to comply with the commitment to organise and install a government of unity and national reconciliation by this date; a government which should by law be presided over by the president elected by the People, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

1. We are not willing to give up the rights of the people by legitimating this coup d'etat.

2. We do not accept the militarisation of society nor that the President of Honduras be named by the elite of the armed forces.

3. Democracy is the highest good of society and is the only path for confronting the problems of the third-poorest economy in Latin America, and therefore we are not willing to be cheated nor that our democracy be robbed from us.

4. The permanent violations of human rights, the cancellation of public freedoms, the confiscation of communication media, as well as the status of the president elected by the people who is surrounded by the military inside the Brazilian embassy and the political witch hunting, is all proof of the preparation of an enormous political-electoral fraud on November 29.

5. We announce that we will completely ignore this electoral process and the results of the aforementioned evils, elections under a dictatorship are a fraud for the people.

6. We invite the ministers of the OAS to make immediate pronouncements about the actions of the government legitimately elected by the people of Honduras, and to continue to condemn and ignore this de facto regime.

7. On behalf of the people, we thank the international community, the OAS, Secretary Insulza, the ex-president of Chile, Mr Ricardo Lagos Escobar, and the US Labor Secretary Mrs Hilda Solís.


COPINH: The trap of the accords of the Guaymuras-Tegucigalpa-San Jose Dialogue

November 4, 2009 -- The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH), in the face of the signing of the accords to seek a solution to the crisis generated by the military coup d'etat against the people of Honduras, submits the following communiqué:

1. We have no trust in the negotiating commission of the coup regime given that they have never demonstrated a willingness to reinstate the constitutional president of the republic, and its only purpose is to buy time to consolidate the objectives of the coup d'etat in looting the national treasury and imposing neoliberal projects of privatisation of natural resources and state institutions.

2. We denounce the malicious and intentional attitude of the government of the United States of America, which takes on ambiguous positions but behind the scenes has supported the coup makers. If not, how can they explain that in the kidnapping of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales they used the [US] Palmerola base?

If the yankees had so much will to contribute to the resolution of this crisis, why so much tolerance, patience and complacency with the coup makers in lending themselves to a dialogue where they present deceiving agreements as a solution?

3. We call on our people not to rest until we achieve the convoking of a popular and democratic national constitutional assembly, which should be made up of the different social sectors of the country such as women, youth, Indigenous and black peoples, workers, the LGTB community, community councils, representatives of marginalised neighbourhoods, teachers, artists, peasants, honest business people, intellectuals, professionals, the informal economy sector, alternative media, among others.

4. We urge the National Front of Popular Resistance to raise an initiative of dialogue and negotiation towards more dignified agreements in which the mediation shouldn't be [tied] to the liking and oversight of the yankee government, which has helped drive the coup d'etat against our people, but instead by people like Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, democratic countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA) and UNASUR, foundations like the Carter Foundation, social movements of the countries of Latin America and the world like the Landless Peoples Movement of Brazil, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo of Argentina, the Scream of the Excluded, Jubilee South, the Convergence of Popular Movements of the Americas, the School of the Americas Watch, the platforms of solidarity with the Honduran people and others. For this the front should name a negotiating commission that understands that the coup-makers are perverse and that the

US State Department, the Pentagon and the US government in general are driving the coup d'etat and proposing as key points the restoration of the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to govern for the time that the coup makers robbed of his governing period, the installation of a national constitutional assembly and the dissolution of the coup congress, of the coup supreme court, of the coup public ministry, the reduction and purging of the armed forves, the definitive purging of hte national police and the punishment of the people involved in the coup d'etat and the violation of human rights.

5. We urge once again to the candidates of the Democratic Unification Party, the Popular Independent Candidacy, the PINU party and the Liberals who are in resistance to be consistent and renounce once and for all participation in the electoral farce set up by the coupmakers. To our people we urge you not to participate in the electoral circus and to boycott that act of the coup makers.

6. To the international solidarity movement we invite you to strengthen the support to the Honduran people not just as a principle of solidarity but for reasons of self-defence since if the coup makers consolidate in Honduras the democratic spring of the peoples of the world and particularly the peoples of our America will end.

With the ancestral force of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices filled with life, justice, dignity, freedom and peace.


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