Saturday, 5 December 2009

Election officials revise down participation rate

TEGUCIGALPA (AFP) - – Election officials in Honduras on Friday revised down the participation rate in controversial weekend elections from more than 60 percent to 49 percent.

Conservative Porfirio Lobo claimed a solid victory in Sunday's polls for a successor to ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

De facto leaders hoped the elections would turn a page on the June 28 coup.

The United States and European Union recognized the polls as a first step forward out of the five-month crisis, but the vote split the Americas, with Brazil leading claims that they would whitewash the coup.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) posted figures of 49 percent participation after two thirds of votes were counted, down from 62 percent given initially on Sunday.

The tribunal has 30 days to give final results for the general elections in which 4.6 million Hondurans were eligible to vote.

The impoverished Central American nation remains in limbo, with a de facto leader -- Roberto Micheletti -- in charge, while Zelaya is holed up in the Brazilian embassy, where he has been under threat of arrest since returning in September.

Honduran MPs vote for the coup

Honduran legislators have voted to uphold central America's first military-led coup in 20 years.

Some 111 members of the 128-member congress rejected the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, with only 14 members voting in favour following a seven-hour debate.

Right-wing MPs argued that they were right the first time when they voted to oust Mr Zelaya.

They maintained that he had ignored a Supreme Court order to cancel a referendum on whether to convene a constituent assembly to consider modernising the country's constitution.

That vote was held hours after soldiers had stormed into Mr Zelaya's residence in June and flew him into exile in his pyjamas.

Progressive MPs expressed outrage after Wednesday's vote.

Democratic Unification Party (DUP) MP Cesar Ham asked: "How can we call this a constitutional succession when the president's residence was shot at and he was taken from his home in pyjamas?

"This is embarrassing. He was assaulted, kidnapped and ousted by force of arms from the presidency," Mr Ham observed.

Fellow DUP MP Marvin Ponce warned that there was no chance of ending the constitutional crisis triggered by the coup unless Mr Zelaya was reinstated, saying that, until then, "we will be talking about a fictitious reconciliation."

While legislators debated, hundreds of Mr Zelaya's supporters protested behind police lines outside Congress.

The country's constitutional premier, who listened to the proceedings from his refuge in the Brazilian embassy, said even before the vote that he wouldn't return for a token two months if asked.

Mr Zelaya observed that he should have been reinstated before Sunday's presidential election and urged governments not to restore ties with the incoming administration of right-wing rancher Porfirio Lobo.

"Today, the MPs at the service of the dominant classes ratified the coup d'etat in Honduras," he declared.

"MPs with inadequate international backing are condemning Honduras to exist outside the rule of law, to keep afflicting the large impoverished majority," he warned.

Most countries in the Americas have indicated that they will not recognise Mr Lobo's new government and insist on Mr Zelaya's immediate restoration to the presidency.

But the US, Canada, Peru, Costa Rica, and Panama have decided to recognise the outcome of the election.

From Morning Star on Thursday 03 December 2009

Friday, 4 December 2009

Tragedy of Honduras appears lost in news

Albor Ruiz writes in the New York Daily News (December 3, 2009)

Lost in the wake of President Obama's dramatic announcement to send 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan is the tragedy of Honduras.

The tiny Central American country, one of the poorest in the hemisphere, had its democracy trampled on June 28 by a military coup. Legitimately elected President Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped at gunpoint, forcibly expelled from his country and replaced with Roberto Micheletti, who had tried and failed three times before to become president.

Zelaya urges region to reject vote

Legitimate Honduran President Manuel Zelaya sent a letter to Latin American leaders on Tuesday urging them to reject elections held under the coup-installed government and help restore him to power.

"I ask you not to recognize the electoral fraud and for your cooperation so that this coup d'etat does not remain unpunished," he said in a letter released from the Brazilian Embassy, where he is holed up under threat of arrest.

In the run up to the elections the United States has stated that it would recognise the elections and has given the strong impression it continues with this position. In contrast, most Latin American countries, led by Brazil, say they won't recognize a coup-backed government that resulted from the elections. In addition to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Venezuela have expressed their rejection of the elections. Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia and Panama have indicated that they will recognise the elections.

Colin Burgon MP welcomes Government description of Honduras election as not valid – Calls for non–recognition of Honduras government.

Colin Burgon MP has welcomed the comments by Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant that the Honduran elections held on Sunday could not be “valid” as they did not take place under elected President Manuel Zelaya.  He called on the government to not recognise the Honduras government.

In a House of Commons debate on Tuesday 1 December, Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Chris Bryant MP said:

“We made it clear before the elections that we believed that President Zelaya should not have been removed from power, and that if the elections were to be valid, they had to be engaged in under President Zelaya. “

Mr Bryant also added that “Without his return before the end of his term, which is at the end of January, it will be impossible to believe that those were proper elections. However, we recognise and welcome the fact that the elections that did take place did so in a peaceful situation.”

In response Colin Burgon MP said:

“The government is totally correct when it says that these elections can not be valid. They took place against a backdrop of brutal repression that has seen at least 20 people killed, more than 600 people wounded and beaten and 3500 people detained since June.”

He added: “Most Latin American countries, led by Brazil, say they won't recognize a coup-backed government. I encourage the British government to do the same.”

Regarding reports from Honduras of repression that took place around the election, Mr Burgon said:

“These elections were neither free nor fair. Many thousands of soldiers were deployed across Honduras to oversee the election and an official State of Emergency was enacted. The UN, the Organisation of American States and the US-based Carter Centre did not send observers to the Honduras election. In the run up to the election Amnesty International denounced the atmosphere of intimidation and election day itself was marred by reports of police violence and intimidation”.

Chris Bryant’s statement was made on 1 December and can be found here:

Voting figures not to be released for weeks

The exact turnout in Sunday's vote is still not known, with the country's electoral tribunal saying official figures may not be available for weeks!

The Electoral authorities claimed 62 percent of eligible voters participated. However at least one independent monitoring group also reported a turnout rate much lower than the official one. Hagamos Democracia, the local partner of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, said its count of 1,000 polling stations put turnout at about 48 percent. Hagamos Democracia's count had a low margin of error and successfully projected the vote's outcome: 56 percent for Lobo and 38 percent for Santos.

Amnesty International on the elections

In two separate statements around last week's elections Amnesty International (AI) denounced an atmosphere of intimidation in the run-up to election day and on voting day itself.

Javier Zuñiga, the head of the Amnesty International delegation in Honduras said basic voting guarantees were not being respected. 'Rights like the right to communicate and receive information, which are fundamental for an electoral process so that people have a perspective on what is happening, are constantly suffering limitations”.

On election day, referring to reports of police violence and intimidation, he added: "Justice seems to have been absent also on election day in Honduras".

EU does not regard Honduran elections as "normal"

Madrid (DPA) - The European Union does not regard this week's elections in Honduras as 'normal' - but wants to find 'a political solution' for the crisis in the Central American country, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Thursday.

Moratinos, whose country will take over the rotating EU presidency on January 1, said the EU had agreed on the basis for a common position on Honduras which will be finalized by foreign ministers in Brussels next week.

'A consensus has already been reached on a declaration in the sense that the elections proceeded peacefully, but in exceptional circumstances,' Moratinos said at a joint press conference with the EU's new foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The declaration would say that 'they were not normal elections, but with a will to seek a political solution in the future,' Moratinos said.

The EU was due to decide whether to recognize the victory of conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo.

The elections were staged by the de facto government which took power following a June 28 coup. Ousted president Manuel Zelaya called for an election boycott.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

International voices against coup elections

According to ABN news agency

The president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner described the Honduras elections as 'pseudo almost mock elections' that were “held in the framework of absolute illegality of democracy”

The same idea was conveyed by Brazilian counterpart Lula da Silva, who confirmed that his government will ignore the polls which he called a 'joke' (sp: ‘chiste’). Lula said 'Brazil will maintain its position of not recognizing the vote coordinated by a coup government, because we can not accept a coup'. 'If we do not condemn the coup, we do not know where there will be another’

Also, French President Nicolas Sarkozyis reported as saying that the elections "have not taken place within the constitutional order" and advocated a process of 'national reconciliation' as the 'only' way to give 'legitimacy' to the new authorities.

The president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, said Sunday that “these elections are not the solution” in Honduras”.

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, said 'We will not recognize any outcome of the election, the only president of Honduras to us remains Manuel Zelaya”.

In Uruguay, President Tabare Vasquez likewise condemned the illegal elections, reiterating that his government will not recognize the elections.

Also, Nicaragua flatly rejected the fraudulent conduct of elections. The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega said that it is clear that the aim of the elections “is to legitimize the coup”. He added that ALBA group of countries does not recognize the results of that spurious process.

The Bolivian Government Minister Alfredo Rada confirmed that the Evo Morales government will not recognize the new president of Honduras. 'We confirm that Bolivia does not recognize either the government or the electoral process held under the military boot, "said Rada.

The Republic of Ecuador reiterated on Sunday, through a statement from the Foreign Ministry: 'The government of Ecuador will not recognize the elections in Honduras' Foreign Ministry said, adding that "these elections are quite obviously flawed and should not be recognized by the international community'.

The fraudulent elections organized on Sunday by the de facto government, were also rejected by international organizations the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Economic System Latin American and Caribbean (SELA), among others.

Latin America rejects elections in Honduras under dictatorial regime

Tegucigalpa, Nov 30. ABN.- Several Latin American countries expressed this Monday their rejection to the presidential elections that took place on Sunday in Honduras under the dictatorial regime of Roberto Micheletti. Latin American governments warned about the bad precedent this process is setting.

“This electoral farce is a new chapter of the coup,” denounced the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, and reiterated that he will not recognize any Government emerging from that election.

The Brazilian Head of State Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated that if the election process is legitimated, it could set a serious precedent in the region, most of all in Central America, where many countries are still politically vulnerable, as informed Prensa Latina.

“Whether some countries can change their minds, Brazil will keep its position because we cannot accept a military coup dressed up as civilian, like the one in Honduras,” Lula added, in reference to the decision of four countries in the region accepting the results.

Brazil sheltered in its diplomatic building in Honduras the constitutional President of that country Manuel Zelaya, when he returned to Tegucigalpa after he was ousted by hooked military forces on June 28.

A dictatorship was imposed in Honduras, through a military coup with U.S. instigation and support, assured the Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez at the Nineteenth Ibero-American Summit, taking place in Portugal.

“To recognize the spurious Government emerging from these illegitimate elections would betray the principles of peace, democracy and justice, and this Summit should act adequately,” the Cuban foreign minister added.

The Sunday elections in Honduras were characterized by a high abstention level, which was estimated by the National Front against the Coup between 65 and 70%.

“Obviously, these elections are completely biased and should not be recognized by the international community,” said the foreign Minister of Ecuador Fander Falconi.

The elections will not put an end to the crisis created by the military coup, said Alfredo Rada, Bolivian Minister, and he added that under any circumstances Bolivia will recognize a Government emerged from a process marked by the force of the arms.

Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina also expressed their rejection to the general elections in Honduras, due to the lack of guarantees for free and transparent elections under a dictatorial regime.

Elections not observed by mainstream bodies - Amnesty reports abuse.

Unlike most elections, neither the UN, the Organisation of American States, the EU or the US-based Carter Center sent observers to the Honduras elecrion.

And Amnesty International reported:

"Justice seems to have been absent also on election day in Honduras," said Javier Zuñiga, the head of the Amnesty International delegation in Honduras. "It is essential the whereabouts of all people detained are made public and all incidents of abuse, investigated. The rule of law must fully be restored." The group urged the Honduran authorities to reveal the identities, whereabouts and charges against all people detained.

Domestic human rights groups have claimed that in the lead up to the vote, the government carried out intimidation, torture, illegal detentions and in some cases assassinations against those sections opposed to the coup regime.

Wide, the European network of women's organisations, accused the regime of engaging in "a systematic campaign of intimidation, physical and sexual abuse, and torture. Women have increasingly become target of this campaign." "Two women died of complications from tear-gas exposure; nine activist women were killed, their bodies showing evidence of torture."

Real news election day coverage

Zelaya: Honduran people don't accept electoral process as valid

TEGUCIGALPA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said the "winner" of the presidential elections in Honduras on Sunday is the abstention of the people.

    In an interview with local radio station "Radio Globo," Zelaya said the abstention was as high as 65 percent according to his information resources.

    "The Honduran people did not accept the electoral process as valid. They did not feel it belonged to them," Zelaya said.

    "Today we defeated (de facto leader) Micheletti at the voting ballots, we defeated the violence at the voting ballots," he added.

    Referring to the fact that the candidate of the opposition National Party Porfirio Lobo won the elections, Zelaya said he would give a statement once he got the official results.

    According to Rafael Alegria, the coordinator of the Resistance against the Coup, the winner is the mass movement supporting ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

    "The people answered the call of the Resistance to defeat the coup," Alegria said, adding that "we salute all the Honduran people, all the Resistance, tomorrow (Monday) we will continue with a people's assembly to make a caravan," Alegria said.

    "We are very happy with the answer of the people. We are in a good path and for a real power of Resistance as a great movement of the country," he said.

International opposition to coup elections

The Xinhuanet new agency reports that
Many countries, especially those in Latin America, refuse to recognize the new government and insist on Zelaya's immediate restoration to the presidency.Others, however, including the United States, Canada, Peru, Costa Rica, and Panama, have decided to recognize the outcome of the election so as long as the process proves to have been clean and transparent.
It gives statements by those who have come out against the elections:
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday in Estoril that his government would not recognize the results of the voting and would not "reconsider" its negative stance on Honduras' general elections. Zelaya has been staying in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa since returning to Honduras in late September.
    Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Mortatinos sided with Brazil, saying that Spain neither recognizes the elections nor "ignores them."
    Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez urged the Ibero-American countries (Latin America, Portugal, Spain and Andorra) to not recognize Honduras' "illegitimate government.""To recognize the illegitimate result of these illegal elections would be a betrayal to the principles of peace, democracy and justice," Rodriguez said.
    Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taina said "the elections cannot be valid if they are hosted without President Zelaya being restored to power."
    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said the elections in Honduras should not imply the validity of the coup because "it will set a grave precedent and bring a series of threats for Latin America."
    Bolivian Foreign Minister Alfredo Rada said his country would not recognize the new president of Honduras or the electoral process.
    Meanwhile, the presidents of Nicaragua, Uruguay and Guatemala also expressed their opposition to the election and the legitimacy of the new government.
In contrast, in a bizarre statement, 

   U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Sunday that the turnout "shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country,"
It also quotes Colombian President Alvaro Uribe saying: 
"Colombia recognizes the new government, and the new democratic election process in Honduras of high participation, which cannot be questioned."
And that: 

   The Costa Rican government hailed the election outcome as "the decision of the Honduran people of seeking an exit to the crisis by a pacific and civic route." Juan Carlos Varela, the vice president and foreign minister of Panama, said in Estoril that his government recognized the legitimacy of the election and considers "it is a very important step to overcome the crisis."Canada and Peru also said they recognize the outcome of Sunday's elections.

Honduran Elections Marred by Police Violence, Censorship, International Non-Recognition,

This article by US think-tank Center for Economic and Policy Research gives a good overview of how Honduras' elections were neither free nor fair.

Washington, D.C. - Elections conducted in a climate of fear, human rights violations, and international non-recognition won't resolve the political crisis in Honduras, said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"Only a few governments that the U.S. State Department can heavily influence will recognize these elections," said Weisbrot. "The rest of the world recognizes that you cannot carry out free or fair elections under a dictatorship that has overthrown the elected President by force and used violence, repression, and media censorship against political opponents for the entire campaign period leading up the vote, including election day."

In Tegucigalpa, the Washington-based human rights organization Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) noted: "On election day, November 29, there were a number of incidents that confirmed the climate of repression in which the electoral process took place, which represented the consolidation of the coup d'etat of June 28th."

CEJIL described "a climate of harassment, violence, and violation of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly" on election day, and called for the release of people arrested by security forces.

Amnesty International issued a press release noting that authorities detained various individuals under a decree prohibiting gatherings of more than four people, some of whom have been charged with terrorism, and called for the identities and whereabouts of those detained to be revealed. "Justice seems to have been absent also on Election Day in Honduras," Javier Zuñiga, head of an Amnesty International delegation in Honduras, said. "It is therefore essential the whereabouts of all people detained are made public and all incidents of abuse, investigated. The rule of law must fully be restored."

The election day was marred by reports of police violence and intimidation, including a crackdown on a peaceful march in San Pedro Sula where marchers were tear-gassed, beaten, and detained. Authorities also shot a man in the head at a checkpoint on the eve of the elections, and raided the offices and homes of various civil society groups, including a Quaker agricultural cooperative. Opposition broadcasters had their signals jammed, and the authorities threatened criminal charges for anyone advocating a boycott of the election.

Weisbrot noted that the elected President, Manuel Zelaya, still had nearly two months left in his term, and called for his restoration along with a democratic government that could hold free and fair elections. He noted that all of the major organizations that observe international elections, including the Organization of American States, European Union, and the Carter Center, had refused to send observer delegations to this election.

"First, you need to restore democracy, human rights, and civil liberties, which were violated throughout the campaign period," Weisbrot said. "Then there can be a legitimate election with official international observer delegations. You can't have free elections under a dictatorship."

The level of voter turnout appears to be in dispute; it clearly was lower than in past elections, but there are no reliable numbers available yet. The Washington Post and leading Honduran newspaper El Tiempo reported that while Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal cites a figure of 61. 86 percent voter participation, the independent group Fundación Hagamos Democracia stated that the number of voters was much lower - only 47.6 percent.

"Clearly the allegations made by the U.S. State Department regarding voter turnout have no factual basis," Weisbrot said, noting that the State Department claimed that "turnout appears to have exceeded that of the last presidential election."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Only 5 countries have said they will recognise elections

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti cites Honduran TV reports that Israel has said it will join the US, Panama, Peru and Costa Rica in recognising of the elections. 

Amnesty International denounces intimidation in Honduran elections

   Tegucigalpa - Amnesty International (AI) denounced Friday an atmosphere of intimidation in the run-up to controversial general election in Honduras.

In a statement, AI charged that the de facto government in Honduras has stockpiled anti-riot material such as tear-gas ahead of Sunday's elections.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has rejected the election results and called upon Hondurans to boycott it.

AI delegate in Tegucigalpa Javier Zuniga told the German Press Agency dpa that basic voting guarantees were not being respected, due to the limitations on personal freedoms that were imposed in the Central American country since democratically-elected Zelaya was ousted by a military coup on June 28.

   Zuniga noted that freedom of opinion, expression and association, among others, were being violated in Honduras.

'Rights like the right to communicate and receive information, which are fundamental for an electoral process so that people have a perspective on what is happening, are constantly suffering limitations,' Zuniga told dpa.

He said that intimidation is particularly significant in the provinces, while conditions are better in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

AI denounced in a statement that the de facto authorities in Honduras 'have stock piled 10,000 tear gas cans and other crowd control equipment, triggering fears of an increased risk of excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces around the presidential elections.'

'The past misuse of tear gas and other crowd control equipment, together with the lack of guarantees that the purchased equipment will not be used to attack demonstrators and the absence of investigations on past abuses paints an extremely worrying picture of what might happen over the next few days,' Zuniga said in the statement.

The AI delegation was to remain in Honduras until December 4. They were planning to meet with victims of human rights violations, representatives of human rights organizations, journalists, teachers and doctors, as well as soldiers and police officers.

Honduras Coup Regime Declares New State of Emergency Prior to Sunday “Election”

Al Giordano has posted on the Emergency Decrees the coup governemnt has launched this week ahead of today's elections.

The Gaceta Oficial, (“Official Gazette”) of the Honduras coup regime is now freshly printed and has three new decrees and two orders restricting freedom of the press, the right to bear arms and officially strips Catholic Father Andres Tamayo of his Honduran citizenship, ordering him expelled from the country (the good Padre left for El Salvador last week).

Here are a few of the regime’s greatest hits from this week’s barrage of repressive decrees which are expressly part of what the coup leaders call an "election" coming up on Sunday:

Decree PCM-M-029-2009

“Due to growing internal threats,” the Armed Forces will be deployed, in support of the National Police, to guard polling places, the custody and transport of ballots (before and after they are utilized by voters), and 5,000 members of the military reserve were deputized beginning on November 13.

Decree PCM-M-030-2009

This decree declares a “State of Emergency” nationwide, and places the regime’s “Secretary of State” inside the military command to oversee all activities related to the November 29 “elections.” This decree pretty much erases the previous order that the quasi-independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal would exclusively be in command of the Armed Forces in the month prior to the “election.” In other words, not even the window dressing added to give the vote a gloss of pseudo-independence could be tolerated by regime leader Roberto Micheletti, who has now placed a member of his Simian Council at that helm.

Decree PCM-M-031-2009

The November 29 “elections are under threat by groups that try to block their development with threats of all kinds, creating fear and disorder in the general population.” Therefore, says the decree, a nationwide ban on bearing all types of firearms went into effect on Monday, November 23, “until ordered otherwise.” (Memo to self: Make sure to write the National Rifle Association about Senator Jim DeMint's efforts in Honduras.)

Order number 2169-2009 of the Secretary of Government and Justice

“The conduct of Mr. José Andrés Tamayo Cortez is incongruent with constituional precepts and secondary laws of the Honduran State… that justify his characterization as UNWORTHY to have Honduran nationality and is ordered to be expelled to his country of origin.”

Executive Order 124-2009 authorizes the coup regime's media regulating organization CONATEL to close any media at will.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Military to oversee elections

The Guardian today reports:

“Thousands of soldiers have been deployed across Honduras to oversee a controversial election which will cement the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya. The de facto government has militarised the capital, Tegucigalpa, and other cities to deter pro-Zelaya protests and ensure that Central America's first coup since the end of the cold war prevails. The authorities blanketed media with patriotic footage of army manoeuvres and football matches – Honduras recently qualified for the World Cup – to try to stir passion for what it termed an "electoral fiesta"…. Security forces have suppressed dissent by beating and arresting hundreds of Zelaya supporters in recent weeks, leaving an edgy calm. A state of emergency has been declared for the vote and 5,000 army reservists mobilised.”

Friday, 27 November 2009

Leading voices in Britain call for non-recognition of Honduras coup elections.

The letter below was published in The Guardian  on Friday 27 November

Latin America faces the greatest threat to its democracy in decades. The military coup that overthrew elected president Manual Zelaya and seized power in Honduras in June is now seeking to legitimise its illegal government through the international recognition of elections on 29 November. Such recognition would give a green light to opponents of democracy throughout the continent that military coups will be tolerated. Free and fair elections on November 29 are impossible. Human rights, freedom of assembly and of the press have all been under attack in Honduras. Repression under the coup regime has seen at least 20 people killed, more than 600 people injured and 3,500 people detained.

The legitimate Honduran president, Manual Zelaya, has called for supporters of democracy not to recognise the elections under the military coup regime. Nearly all of Latin America's governments have declared that they will not do so. Worryingly the US has indicated it will recognise these illegitimate elections. We call on all governments, including the Obama administration, to not recognise the elections on 29 November under the military coup regime.

  • Colin Burgon MP Chair, All-party Parliamentary Group on Venezuela
  • Jon Cruddas MP, 
  • Ken Livingstone, 
  • Baroness Gibson Chair APPG on Latin America, 
  • Brendan Barber General secretary, TUC, 
  • Jamie Hepburn MSP (SNP), 
  • Adam Price MP (Plaid Cymru), 
  • Caroline Lucas MEP Leader, Green party, 
  • Bruce Kent, 
  • David Hare, 
  • John Pilger, 
  • Lowkey (Musician), 
  • Brian Eno, 
  • Dr J Buxton Centre for International Co-operation and Security, University of Bradford
  • Tony Lloyd MP Chair, Parliamentary Labour Party
  • Doreen Massey, Professor of Geography at the Open University
  • Johan Harri, commentator
  • Ann Cryer MP
  • Brian Simpson MEP 
  • Colin Challen MP
  • Clare Short MP
  • Dave Anderson MP
  • David Chaytor MP
  • David Drew MP
  • David Martin MEP
  • David Taylor MP
  • Diane Abbott MP
  • Gordon Prentice MP
  • George Galloway MP
  • Harry Cohen MP
  • Hywel Williams MP
  • Ian Davidson MP
  • Jeremy Corbyn MP
  • Jean Lambert MEP
  • John Battle MP
  • John Battle MP 
  • John Hemming MP
  • John McDonnell MP
  • Lord Nic Rea
  • Mark Fisher MP
  • Martin Caton MP
  • Michael Cashman  MEP
  • Neil Gerrard MP
  • Nigel Griffiths MP
  • Paul Flynn MP
  • Paul Holmes MP
  • Rob Marris MP
  • Steve Pound MP 
  • Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson Joint general secretaries, Unite the Union
  • Sally Hunt General secretary, UCU
  • GMB union
  • Alan Ritchie General secretary, Ucatt
  • Luke Crawley Assistant general secretary, Bectu
  • Mick Shaw President, FBU
  • Matt Wrack General secretary, FBU
  • Gerry Doherty General secretary, TSSA
  • Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
  • Steve Hart - Unite London & Eastern Regional Secretary
  • Chris McLaughlin Editor, Tribune
  • Sam Tarry National chair of Young Labour
  • Chris Weldon Labour party NEC
  • Kaveh Moussavi University of Oxford's Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Head of the Public Interest Law Programme
  • Professor  Keith Ewing
  • Professor Mary Davis
  • Dr Steve Ludlam Department of politics, University of Sheffield
  • Diana Raby Senior fellow, Latin American studies, University of Liverpool
  • Barry Cannon Postdoctoral fellow, school of law and government, Dublin City University
  • Hazel Marsh School of politics, social & international studies, University of East Anglia
  • Dr Michael Derham School of arts and social sciences, Northumbria University
  • Rod Stoneman Director of the Huston school of film & digital media
  • Dr Stephen Wilkinson Director, Centre for Caribbean and Latin American research and consultancy, London Metropolitan University
  • Professor Ernesto Laclau University of Essex
  • Cuba Solidarity Campaign
  • Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign 
  • Venezuela Solidarity Campaign 

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ousted Honduran president won't recognize 29 November elections

Ousted Honduran president won't recognize vote


TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya insisted late Saturday that he will not accept any deal to restore him to office if it means he must recognize elections later this month.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, Zelaya also repeated his accusation that Washington reversed its stance on whether the Nov. 29 vote should be considered legitimate if he was not in office.

"As the elected president of the Honduran people, I reaffirm my position that starting today, no matter what, I will not accept any agreement on returning to the presidency of the republic to cover up this coup d'etat," Zelaya said, reading from the letter on Globo radio.

Zelaya spoke from the Brazilian Embassy, where he has taken refuge since slipping back into the capital, Tegucigalpa, on Sept. 21. He was hustled out of the country at gunpoint by soldiers June 28, touching off a political crisis that has seen the U.S. and other nations cut off much of their aid to the poor Central American nation.

This past week, the United States sent Craig Kelly, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, to Honduras to try to move along a U.S.-brokered pact signed by both sides that calls for a unity government and for Congress to vote on whether to restore Zelaya to the presidency to serve out his term, which ends in January.

Zelaya declared the agreement a failure last week when Micheletti announced the creation of a national unity government even though Zelaya had not proposed any candidates.

Washington has said it supports Zelaya's reinstatement, but the pact set no deadline for his return to office. And after brokering the deal, U.S. diplomats indicated Washington would support the elections, which had been scheduled before the coup, as long the deal was implemented.

"The future that you show us today by changing your position in the case of Honduras, and thus favoring the abusive intervention of the military castes ... is nothing more than the downfall of freedom and contempt for human dignity," Zelaya said in the letter to Obama. "It is a new war against the processes of social and democratic reforms so necessary in Honduras."

Legislative leaders say they are waiting for an opinion from prosecutors and Honduras' Supreme Court, which ordered Zelaya's arrest for refusing to drop plans for a referendum on constitutional change that the court ruled illegal.

Key lawmakers have indicated there might not be a vote until after the Nov. 29 election.

Zelaya has urged the international community not to recognize the outcome of the election if he is not restored to power first.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Britain 'must get behind Zelaya'

Morning Star Wednesday 11 November 2009

A top adviser to Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has urged British MPs to step up the campaign for democracy in the coup-stricken country.

Minister counsellor Allan Fajardo visited Westminster to appeal directly for more awareness of the threat posed by the plotters who seized power from President Zelaya.

Mr Fajardo said that the situation in Honduras was not a simple difference of opinion between ideologies, but a fundamental struggle for democracy.

He urged Britain and other European governments to state clearly that they would not recognise the elections being staged on November 29 by the present unconstitutional regime.

Labour MP Colin Burgon condemned the "talking game" which had been conducted by the repressive regime in order to delay events until the elections.

He added: "They cannot be classed as legitimate elections, carried out as they are under a coup regime."

Mr Burgon is among 52 MPs who have signed a Commons early day motion calling for the restoration of full democracy in Honduras and demanding that the US government must suspend all financial support to the coup regime.

National Front of Resistance Against the Coup: The elections will not be recognized, the struggle continues

The National Front of Resistance Against the Coup declares to the Honduran people and the International Community

1. Since the midnight deadline of Thursday November 5th passed without the restitution of legitimate president Manual Zelaya, we declare we will actively not recognize the electoral process of 29 November of this year.

Elections which are imposed by a de facto regime that represses and violates the human and political rights of the citizenry would only validate nationally and internationally the oligarchical dictatorship and
secure the continuation of a system which marginalizes and exploits popular sectors in order to guarantee the privileges of a few.

Participation in such a process would give legitimacy to the coup regime and to its successor which would be fraudulently installed on January 27, 2010.

2. The refusal to acknowledge the electoral farce will remain firm between now and the elections even if President Manuel Zelaya is re-instated. A period of 20 days is too little time to dismantle an electoral fraud conceived to ensure that one of the representatives of the coup-making oligarchy will be put in place and therefore give continuity to its repressive and anti-democratic project.

The prior statement does not mean that we have renounced our fundamental demand that constitutional order be returned to Honduras, including the return of President Zelaya to the position he was elected to
fill for four years by the Honduran people.

3. Now more than ever it is clear that the exercise of participatory democracy through the installation of a Constituent Assembly is not just a non-negotiable right but also the only way to provide the Honduran people with a democratic and inclusive political system.

4. We denounce the complicit attitude of the US government, maneuvering to stall the crisis and now showing its true intention to give validity to the coup regime, thereby ensuring that the successor government will be docile in the face of the interests of transnational companies and their goal of regional control. Therefore, we consider correct the decision made by President Zelaya to declare the failure of the Tegucigalpa Agreement, an agreement which is part of the US strategy to stall Zelaya's restitution in order to validate the electoral process.

5. We call on all organizations and candidates in the November 29th elections to act in accordance with previously-stated commitments and publicly pull out of the electoral farce.

6. We call together the mobilized and as yet unorganized sectors of the population to join actions which reject the electoral farce and promote acts of civil disobedience, as supported by Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic, which gives us the right to disobedience and popular insurrection.

7. To the friendly nations and peoples of the world, we call on you to maintain political pressure to overthrow the military dictatorship imposed by oligarchy and imperialism, as well as commit to recognize neither the illegitimate elections of November 29 nor the spurious authorities who seek to pass as representatives elected by the people.

"We resist and we will win."

Tegucigalpa November 9th, 2009

Letter to the President: Honduras Human Rights Violations and Elections

An open letter to the US President, by 240 US academics and Latin America experts states:

Honduras now stands at the edge of a dangerous precipice. The coup regime remains determined – in the absence of significant pressure from the U.S. government – to move forward with the elections, in the hopes that the international community will eventually recognize the results. In so doing, they hope to legitimize their illegal and unconstitutional government.

Free and fair elections on November 29 are already impossible, as more than two-thirds of the campaign period allowed under Honduran law has already passed, under conditions in which freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press have all been under attack throughout the country. This repression has been widely documented and denounced by Honduran and international human rights organizations, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

The Rio Group of 23 nations, which includes nearly all of Latin America and much of the Caribbean, had forcefully declared that it will not recognize the November 29th elections if President Zelaya is not first re-instated. Thus the United States is at odds with the rest of the Hemisphere in its stated willingness to recognize these illegitimate elections.

Ousted president says U.S. lacks commitment to reinstatement

Mary Beth Sheridan. Washington Post. November 12, 2009.

Less than two weeks after U.S. diplomats announced a historic agreement to reverse a coup in Honduras, the accord is in danger of collapse and both Honduran officials and U.S. lawmakers are blaming American missteps for some of the failure.

Ousted president Manuel Zelaya, who was expelled by the military in June, said in a telephone interview that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had assured him as recently as last week that the U.S. government was seeking his return to the presidency. But he said that U.S. pressure had eased in recent days and that he no longer had faith in the agreement.

Brazil: Honduras is a "badly written soap opera, with sinister characters played by the de facto regime, which history will judge."

GINGER THOMPSON. New York Times. November 10, 2009.

WASHINGTON - Under fire from allies in Latin America and on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration moved Tuesday to try to salvage the American-brokered agreement that had been billed as paving the way for a peaceful end to the coup in Honduras. Instead, the accord seems to have provided the country's de facto government with a way to stay in power until a presidential election scheduled for the end of this month.

Honduran crisis 'threatens democracy'.

by Katherine Butler. The Independent. November 12, 2009.

A rash of military coups could be triggered across Latin America if the world fails to stand up to the illegal regime in Honduras, a close aide of the ousted president Manuel Zelaya warned yesterday.

"The fate of Honduras is not just the fate of Honduras, but of the Latin American continent," Mr Zelaya's special adviser Allan Fajaro told The Independent. "Dark forces," he said, were watching to see how the crisis ends. "If we resolve this constitutionally they will know they too have to respect democracy. If not, these dark forces will know they have a green light and the continent will become an erupting volcano. That will be a very bad outcome, not only for our continent, but for Europe and the world."

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Manuel Zelaya's backers: Boycott Honduran election

Manuel Zelaya's backers: Boycott Honduran election - 5-Minute Herald -

A U.S. brokered accord that was supposed to return ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to power has collapsed. And his supporters, who have been organizing street protests against his successor, are down to their final card: calling on Hondurans to boycott upcoming elections.
Carlos H. Reyes, the presidential candidate who was favored by the leftist Zelaya's hard-core supporters but had no chance to win, withdrew from the race Monday. ``For us to participate in the elections would mean following the strategy of the coup-installed government,'' Reyes said.
Zelaya pinned much of the blame Monday on the Obama administration.
The U.S. State Department helped broker a deal that called for the Honduran Congress to vote on whether to allow Zelaya to finish his term. But once Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon made televised comments last week that seemed to remove pressure from Washington, Honduras' Congress has made no plans to vote on whether to enact the agreement.

Public Prosecutor Threatens Congress

Luis Rubi, public prosecutor for the de facto government of Honduras, warned Congress today that they might face legal responsibilities if they vote to restore Manuel Zelaya to his Presidency. "Our legal opinion will go beyond pronouncing, if its necessary, to see if taking determined actions puts the Congress people in legal jeopardy," Rubi said.

OAS will not recognise elections

The ever informative Honduras Coup 2009 blogspot reports the following

While the Honduran press is full of Micheletti's calls for Zelaya to return to the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord that Micheletti willfully burlesqued, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, sees little or no hope that there will be a return to dialog, and has said the OAS will not send election observers unless there is a radical change in the situation.

"It is difficult for the Congress to rule on the restitution of Zelaya...any solution will have to come from decisions of the Honduran nation and the Congress to rule on the issue of the restitution of Zelaya."

While Lanny Davis fiddles for his fascist masters in a Wall Street Journal editorial, Miguel Insulza correctly notes that the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord was broken when Micheletti tried to form a government of national unity without the participation of Zelaya. This past Sunday, after Zelaya declared the accord dead, Micheletti offered to let Zelaya participate in the unity government, but remained adamant that he, Micheletti, would lead it.

Micheletti's response was to issue an 8 point communique Sunday that demanded that the international community send election observers (they aren't going to), remove all sanctions and restore foreign aid (which will continue frozen until there is full compliance with the accord) and stop interfering in the internal affairs of Honduras.

Other than the recognition which Thomas Shannon has guaranteed the de facto government, no government in the Hemisphere is likely to recognize the results of the November 29 elections if held under the current conditions. Honduras will remain diplomatically, and economically isolated.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Honduras' Congress says no guarantee it will vote on Zelaya before elections; candidate withdraws

The Associated Press November 09

The head of Honduras' Congress said Monday there is no guarantee lawmakers will vote on whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya before the Nov. 29 election that will choose his successor.

Washington and the rest of the international community — which cut off most foreign aid and diplomatic ties to Honduras after the June 28 coup — are pushing for a swift solution and Zelaya's reinstatement. A U.S.-brokered pact calls on Congress to decide whether to return Zelaya to office with Supreme Court input, but imposes no deadline.

Congressional leader Jose Alfredo Saavedra said lawmakers are still awaiting an opinion from the Supreme Court on whether Zelaya should resume the presidency. He said he could not say how much longer the court will take.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Spain believes that a government without representatives of Zelaya unit is "a flagrant breach" of the agreement

Translated excerpts from Europa Press. Original at

The Spanish Government considers that the creation of a unity government in Honduras without representatives of the ousted president Manuel Zelaya is "a flagrant breach of the agreement" that Roberto Micheletti and Zelaya signed last week to put end the political crisis in the Central American country since the coup of June 28.

"I believe that there is a flagrant breach of the agreement," the Secretary of State for Latin America, Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, told Europa Press, when asked about the announcement made on Thursday that the unity government does not include representatives of the deposed president.

"It seems clear that the government of national unity and a mere continuation of the situation following the coup," the secretary of state....[It] "at first sight appears to be contrary to the spirit and even the letter of the agreement".

...Regarding the return of Zelaya in power, De Laiglesia stressed that although the agreement between the opposing parties do not set "a date" for the country's Congress to rule on the return of the legitimate representative [this] does not mean that Congress "can not fulfil an essential element of the agreement."

The Secretary of State for Latin America stressed that the whole international community expects "the restoration of democratic order and the effectiveness of this political agreement and the holding of elections within a framework of reconciliation and return to normality"..

Honduras: Communiqué No. 33. Message from the National Front of Resistance.

Honduras: Communiqué No. 33.

Message from the National Front of Resistance
Friday, Nov 6, 2009.

The National Front of Resistance 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 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 OAS and the U.S. 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 12 midnight today, Thursday, November 5 -- at the latest -- President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is not reinstated, the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup will refuse to recognize the electoral process and its results.

2. We warn all organizations 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 legitimize the de-facto regime and the elections of November 29.

"We Are Resisting and We Shall Win!"
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C.
November 5, 2009

Talks over Honduras crisis crumble

Zelaya will not recognise elections

An AP article "Zelaya: US-brokered pact for Honduran crisis fails" reports that 
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said Friday that a U.S.-brokered pact failed to end a four-month political crisis after a deadline for forming a unity government passed.

"The accord is dead," Zelaya told Radio Globo from from the Brazilian Embassy where he has been hold up under threat of arrest. "There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans."
Jorge Reina, a negotiator for Zelaya, said the pact fell apart because Congress failed to vote on whether to reinstate the deposed president before the deadline for forming the unity government."The de facto regime has failed to live up to the promise that, by this date, the national government would be installed. And by law, it should be presided by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya," Reina said.
and that

Hundreds of Zelaya supporters gathered outside Congress on Thursday to demand his reinstatement. The protesters said they will boycott the elections if Zelaya is not returned to power beforehand to serve out his constitutionally limited single term, which ends in January.Reina accused Micheletti of preparing "a great electoral fraud this November." "We completely do not recognize this electoral process," Reina said. "Elections under a dictatorship are a fraud for the people."

Deal over Honduran crisis 'dead' - President Zelaya

Soldiers patrol in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, 5 November 2009
Honduras has been suffering from a political crisis for four months
A deal to resolve the political crisis in Honduras is "dead", ousted President Manuel Zelaya has said.

He was speaking after interim leader Roberto Micheletti said he was forming a "unity government" without Mr Zelaya's representatives.
Mr Micheletti acted as a deadline passed for putting a power-sharing agreement into effect.

Honduras has been shaken by a political crisis that began when Mr Zelaya was forced out of the country on 28 June.

The two rivals agreed to a US-backed power-sharing deal last week, with a deadline for it to be implemented by midnight on Thursday (0600 GMT Friday).
But Mr Zelaya had warned on Thursday that he would withdraw from the deal unless Congress held a vote on his restoration to power.

He has said elections planned for 29 November will not be valid unless he is restored to power first, though the agreement did not guarantee the ousted leader's restitution.

Interim authorities did not consider the Congressional vote demanded by Mr Zelaya to be an essential part of the agreement.

They said the agreement set a deadline for the formation of a government, but not for Congress to meet.

As the power-sharing deadline passed, Mr Micheletti said he had "finalised the process of confirming a unity government".

"Everybody, with the exception of Mr Zelaya, recommended Hondurans to lead the institutions of our country as part of the new government," he said.

Though Mr Zelaya had not submitted a list of names, Mr Micheletti said the government was "representative of a large ideological and political spectrum in our country and complies strictly with the agreement" signed last week.

Mr Zelaya, who has been sheltering in the Brazilian embassy since his return to Honduras in September, responded by pronouncing the accord "dead".

"It's absurd what they are doing, trying to mock all of us, the people who elected me and the international community that supports me," he said. "We've decided not to continue this theatre with Mr Micheletti."

Mr Zelaya was ousted after planning to hold a non-binding public consultation to ask people whether they supported moves to change the constitution.

His critics said the move was unconstitutional and aimed to remove the current one-term limit on serving as president and pave the way for his possible re-election.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

London protest demands immediate reinstatement of Zelaya

With backers of the coup regime in Honduras seeking to undermine the accord agreed last week that would see a return of President Zelaya to power, a picket was held on Wednesday 4 November in London outside the US Embassy.

The picket was addresses by Jeremy Corbyn MP, leading trade unionists Linda Perks (UNION) and Tony Burke (UNITE) and Jose Vallejo Villa, Justice for Cleaners.

Photos are below:

President Obama's Credibility on the Line in Honduras

By Mark Weisbrot

Last Friday an agreement was reached between the de facto regime in Honduras-- which took power in a military coup on June 28th -- and the elected president Mel Zelaya, for the restoration of democracy there.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in announcing what she called an "historic agreement, said: "I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that…overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue." Hopefully this will turn out to be true.

But the ink was barely dry on the accord when leaders of the coup regime indicated that they had no intention of honoring it. Some of them clearly saw the agreement as just another delaying tactic. They have talked of postponing congressional approval of the accord until after the November 29th elections, or even voting not to restore Zelaya.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Decision on Zelaya's return postponed

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The Honduran Congress won't convene a special session to consider returning ousted President Manuel Zelaya to power, a legislative committee has decided.

The panel of 13 lawmakers voted instead to wait until Congress receives non-binding legal opinions from the Central American country's Supreme Court, attorney general and others, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The lawmakers' decision puts a damper on Zelaya's chances of returning to power even temporarily under a deal brokered by the United States last week, the Journal says.

Both Zelaya and the interim government agreed to let the country's Congress decide the matter. In return, the United States promised to renew aid to Honduras and recognize the legitimacy of the upcoming Nov. 29 presidential election.

The election could take place before Congress decides on Zelaya's return.

Zelaya was ousted on June 28 just hours before an unpopular constitutional referendum.

Ousted Honduran leader asks Clinton stand on coup

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Ousted President Manuel Zelaya has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking the U.S. to clarify its position on the coup that overthrew him four months ago.

Zelaya sent the letter Wednesday, a day after assistant U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Shannon told CNN en Espanol that "the U.S. will recognize the outcome" of Honduras' Nov. 29 election even if Honduras' Congress does not restore Zelaya to power first.

Zelaya asks Clinton in his letter "to clarify to the Honduran people if the position condemning the coup d'etat has been changed or modified."

The Obama administration has said Honduras needs to restore the constitutional government.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Ongoing pressure needed to ensure return of President Zelaya

Elected Honduras President, Manuel Zelaya, yesterday called for ongoing international pressure to ensure the deal around his return to office is implemented, in the face of prevarication and delay from coup backers. A statement from the Constitutional Government on November 3 said:

    "We call upon the international community to remain vigilant so that [there is] compliance with the Agreement [and] Congress agrees the immediate return of the Constitutional President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales - the only way to return to Constitutional Order, full respect of Human Rights and Constitutional Guarantees, and full respect for international law."

The Zelaya government communiqué also called on the international community not to recognise the November 29 elections until the full implementation of the Accord.

Though a deal was reached last week in Honduras that would see the return of President Zelaya to office, this has so far this has not been implemented. The coup installed President of the Honduran Congress, Jose Alfredo Saavedra, yesterday deferred a vote on the reinstatement of deposed President Zelaya and instead asked the Supreme Court for its view. No date has yet been set fro Congress to meet to implement the reinstatement of President Zelaya despite the accord being agreed 6 days ago. The BBC reports that "Correspondents say the latest move may lead to the collapse of the agreement". Speaking on Monday, Congressional leader Jose Alfredo Saavedra said he would not rush Congress's vote on the accord, despite calls from foreign diplomats not to delay.

Organisation of Americas’ Secretary, Jose Miguel Insulza, has urged Congress to restore President Zelaya and has called for an emergency meeting of the OAS next week to lift the sanctions against Honduras on condition that they restore Zelaya. Insulza told Honduran MPs: "Stop the rhetoric and reinstate Zelaya".

Ricardo Lagos, a member of the Verification Commission that will implement the Micheletti-Zelaya agreement has made it clear that the spirit of the agreement involves the immediate restoration of Zelaya. Lagos together with Hilda Solis (US Labour Secretary) have visited Zelaya in the Brazilian embassy. Hundreds of candidates for elections scheduled later this month from the Liberal Party, the PINUSD Party (100 out a total of 125 candidates) and other political formations have stated unambiguously that they will withdraw from the election if there is no democratic restoration

There is a permanent mass vigil outside the Honduran Congress demanding the implementation of the agreement and the reinstatement of President Zelaya.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

PROTEST AT THE US EMBASSY - End all US economic, political and military support to the dictatorship in Honduras now!


Reinstate President Zelaya Now!
Defend human rights in Honduras!
* End all US economic, political and military support to the
dictatorship in Honduras now!
* No election without the restitution of Zelaya!

November 4, 5.30-7.30pm

US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A 1A.
(For a map click here)

Wednesday November 4, 5.30-7.30pm

At the US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A 1A.

A deal was reached last week in Honduras that should see the return of President Zelaya to office. But so far this has not been implemented. There are already many reports that this will be delayed by those opposed to the return of Zelaya, including in the Supreme Court and Congress, which both have to approve the deal.

President Manuel Zelaya has warned about a possible "manipulation" by the coup government after signing the agreement that could return him to power and end the crisis in his country. "There may be manipulation, so we must remain vigilant until compliance has been achieved," he said in a telephone contact with the channel Telesur, adding that "possibly some members are trying to impede the drive to complete this agreement."

We need to keep up the pressure to ensure the return of the elected President. Please join us on Wednesday!

Speakers to include:
· Jeremy Corbyn MP
· Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
· Linda Perks, Regional Secretary, Greater London UNISON
· Jose Vallejo Villa, Justice for Cleaners
· Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, Black Students’ Officer, NUS


This picket
is part of the activities of the Emergency
Committee Against the Coup in Honduras
The Committee involves Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Cuba Solidarity
Campaign, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, Labour Friends of Venezuela,
UNITE the Union, UNITE London & Eastern Regions, South East
Region TUC, and other bodies of the British Labour movement and Latin
American communities.
For more information email:

Letter from TUC regarding Honduras

Rt Hon. David Miliband MP,
Secretary of State Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

issued 2 Nov 2009

Dear David
Continuing crisis in Honduras
On behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) I ask you to increase the pressure on the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti to restore democracy and to strongly condemn the series of human rights violations that have taken place since the 28 June coup d'état removed President Manuel Zelaya Rosales from office.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which represents 170 million workers in 158 countries through its 316 national affiliates unanimously passed a resolution at its most recent General Council meeting in Berlin (attached) calling for the following actions to be taken;
suspension of Honduras's European Union GSP+ trade preferences until the country returns to genuine democratic control;
financial aid and all other financial co-operation with the de facto regime to be halted immediately; and non-cooperation by the international community with the bogus election called for 29 November, including a refusal to send election observers.
In relation to GSP+ we urge the British government to publicly support and push for a suspension of Honduras' trade preferences granted under this EU scheme.
In the 100 days since the coup, 20 people have been killed, 12 of whom were trade unionists, over 3000 people have been arrested, and the de facto regime has committed countless serious violations of human and trade union rights, including the suppression of the Honduran people's fundamental right to freedom of association and the closing down of media loyal to the legitimate government.
We ask you to call once again on the de facto government there to engage meaningfully in the talks held under the auspices of the OAS. Such talks must immediately result in the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya, returned to office, with a view to enabling the holding of free and fair elections and bringing an end the coup. The coup is something we hoped had been confined to history in Latin America. If it is not resolved it could set a very dangerous precedent for the future.
Yours sincerely
General Secretary
Berlin General Council Meeting

Honduras Congress not yet called back into session

The leadership of Honduras' Congress will meet Tuesday to begin consideration of an accord that could reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but no date has been set for bringing the issue to the floor.
Congressman Carlos Lara Watson told HRN Radio late Monday that he and other legislative leaders would decide when to submit the measure to the full Congress for debate. He said the leaders also would consult the courts and prosecutors.
Under the U.S.-brokered pact, lawmakers must decide on whether Zelaya should serve the remaining three months of his term, a decision that could end the country's debilitating, 4-month-old political crisis.
Congressional president Jose Alfredo Saavedra said earlier Monday he would not be rushed despite calls from diplomats not to delay the vote. He said he wanted to consult first with the Supreme Court, which ordered Zelaya's June 28 ouster.

Zelaya demads end to manipulation of the deal

Tegucigalpa, Nov 2, (PL).- Honduran Constitutional President Manuel Zelaya called putschists to stop manipulating the agreement reached to end the political crisis in this Central American nation.

Zelaya, overthrown in June by a coup, demanded that the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti stopped playing dirty games and delaying strategies to apply the pact signed on October 30, according to which National Congress must declare itself on the return of Zelaya, as part of measures to restore institutionality.

In Zelaya's opinion, it is a matter of urgency to make this analysis effective in Congress, as "we have stood enough harm already as a country, for anyone to try to continue manipulating the crisis."

"None of the parties must use dirty games, delaying strategies or measures that make us lose credit and respect we deserve as a country before the international community," he added.

Zelaya's remarks come as several sectors in the country think National Congress may delay the materialization of what was agreed during negotiations.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Otto Reich: Zelaya not automatically to be re-seated as President in Honduras.

In an article Otto Reich, who served under President Bush from 2001 to 2004, first as assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere and later in the National Security Council, states:
Contrary to press reports, Zelaya is not in any way automatically returned to office by the accord. First, there must be a vote by the entire Honduran congress on whether Zelaya is fit to return to office. Prior to that, the Honduran supreme court, which ruled against Zelaya in June by a vote of 15 to 0, must issue an opinion on the same.

Zelaya warns that deal must be implemented in full

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said he will refuse support to the country's reconciliation government if he is not be reinstated ahead of national elections next month, the EFE news agency reported on Monday.

The reconciliation government was agreed to be established during Friday's meeting between representatives of Zeleya and the country's de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti.

"The reconciliation government can only be established if we reach an agreement," Zelaya told EFE in a telephone interview.

"No agreement - no reconciliation government," he added.

According to the deal, the Supreme Court is to decide whether the ousted leader will be reinstated ahead of national elections next month. The issue has been the sticking point between the two sides.

Micheletti says the agreement contains no guarantee that Zelaya will return to power.

Many countries and international bodies had warned they would not recognize the results if the Honduran elections were held under the Micheletti presidency.

Micheletti has argued that Zelaya's removal was a constitutional transfer of power and not a coup.

Zelaya was bundled out of Honduras on June 28 by the military, acting on instructions from the Supreme Court and parliament, over efforts to seek an unconstitutional second presidential term. He was flown to Costa Rica, and his place was taken by Micheletti, the parliamentary speaker.

The ousted president secretly returned to the country on September 21 and took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Honduran National Front of Resistance to the Coup on deal to restore Zelaya.

The National Front of Resistance to the Coup d'Etát, facing the imminent signing of a negotiated agreement between the commission representing the legitimate President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the representatives of the de facto regime, communicates the following to the Honduran people and the international community:

1. We celebrate the upcoming restoration of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales as a popular victory over the narrow interests of the coup oligarchy. This victory has been obtained through four months of struggle and sacrifice by the people who, in spite of the savage repression unleashed by the repressive forces of the state in the hands of the dominant class, have been able to resist and grow in their levels of consciousness and organization and turn themselves into an irrepressible social force.

2. The signing on the part of the dictatorship of the document which mandates "returning the holder of executive power to its pre June 28 state," represents the explicit acceptance that in Honduras there was a coup d'état that should be dismantled in order to return to institutional order and guarantee a democratic framework in which the people can exercise their right to transform society.

3. We demand that the accords signed at the negotiating table be processed in an expedited fashion by the National Congress. We alert all our comrades at the national level so that they can join the actions to pressure for the immediate compliance with the contents of the final document from the negotiating table.

4. We reiterate that a National Constituent Assembly is an unrenounceable aspiration of the Honduran people and a non-negotiable right for which we will continue struggling in the streets, until we achieve the re-founding of our society to convert it into one that is just, egalitarian and truly democratic.

"At 125 days of struggle, nobody here surrenders!"
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. October 30, 2009

Translation by the Nicaragua Network

Friday, 30 October 2009

Zelaya set to return to power in Honduras

There are press reports that a deal has been reached in Honduras for President Zelaya to return!

According to Retuers elected President Manuel Zelaya said "We are satisfied. We are optimistic that my reinstatement is imminent" and that "Tomorrow will be the day that the plan will be signed to restore democracy to the country,"

He said "It is a triumph for Honduran democracy".

In a late night statement on October 29, Micheletti said, "I am pleased to announce that a few minutes ago my negotiating team signed an agreement that marks the beginning of the end," of the Central American state's political instability, AFP reported.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


There are 2,896 candidates up for election in November in Honduras, at all levels of government from President and Congress to mayors, and aldermen. While two of the presidential candidates, Cesar Ham (UD party) and Carlos H. Reyes (Independent), have said they will not run without a return to democratic order in Honduras, few at other levels of government have made public statements about the elections.

Earlier this week, the leadership of the UD party indicated they would not participate in the november elections without the restitution of Zelaya. The majority of the leadership of the Party of Innovation and Social Democratic Unity (PINU-SD) issued a statement rebuking their candidate for President, Bernard Martinez, for supporting the coup, and indicating that it would not participate in the November elections unless there was a restitution of democratic order in Honduras. This faction of the PINU-SD party indicated that 100 of its candidates for office would not participate in the November elections without a return of the democratic order.

Honduras: People to Not Approve Electoral Farce

Oct 27 (Prensa Latina) The National Front against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras stated Tuesday that it will not recognize the November 29 elections if constitutional order is not re-established and President Manuel Zelaya is not restituted.

"The people will not approve the electoral farce the putschists are preparing," rural leader Rafael Alegria told Prensa Latina.

Traditional parties and the de facto government insist that these elections are a solution to the dangerous crisis unleashed in the country after the breaking of democratic order.

"The only solution to the conflict in Honduras is the restitution of democratic legality and the president elected by the people," Alegria said.

Juan Barahona, general coordinator of the Front, stressed that if those objectives are not achieved, the future of elections is uncertain.

International community organizations and several governments, included the United States, stated that they will not recognize the elections results if they are not organized in the current circumstances.

The Lonesome Death of Pedro Munoz

A young Honduran activist was almost certainly tortured and killed by the military.

By Jeremy Kryt

A life-sized sketch of Pedro Munoz, in the offices of COFADEH; surrounding placards depict other victims of government violence. Such signs are carried by the nonviolent resistance during marches and rallies as a tribute to the fallen. (All photos by Jeremy Kryt)

The only clues left by Munoz's assailants were footprints—tracks identified as belonging to military-style combat boots were found in the rain-freshened mud around the body.

Poll Shows Growing Opposition to Coup

On Oct. 23 the Washington, DC-based polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner released the results of a survey involving face-to-face interviews held Oct. 9-13 with 621 randomly selected Hondurans; the firm didn’t give the margin of error. According to the survey, 60% of Hondurans disapproved of the June 28 removal of President Manuel Zelaya from office, while only 38% approved. Some 19% rated Zelaya’s performance in office as “excellent” and another 48% as “good”; the poll showed 57% personally disapproving of Roberto Micheletti, de facto president since Zelaya’s overthrow, while 28% approved.

The pretext for the coup was a claim that Zelaya’s purpose in calling for a constituent assembly was to end the Constitution’s ban on second terms for presidents. According to the survey, Hondurans favor allowing re-election by a solid 55% to 43%, while 54% support holding a constituent assembly as a solution to the current crisis, with 43% opposed. While the Honduran right depicts Zelaya’s supporters as backers of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frías, only 10% of Hondurans feel “warm” towards Chávez, while 83% have a negative impression, according to the survey. (Greenberg press release 10/23/09; Honduras Coup 2009 blog 10/24/09; Bloomberg 10/23/09)

The Greenberg poll, although based on a relatively small sampling, gives results similar to those from the two other polls published since the coup: a survey by the Costa Rican-based CID Gallup firm in early July and a poll the Tegucigalpa firm Consultants in Investigation of Markets and Public Opinion (COIMER & OP) conducted Aug. 23-29. The July CID Gallup survey showed a plurality of 46% opposing the coup, while the August COIMER & OP poll showed 52.7% against Zelaya’s removal, with only 17.4% supporting it (the rest didn’t answer). If the surveys are correct, opposition to the coup has grown steadily over the past four months, with large majority now rejecting Zelaya’s removal. (Daily Kos 7/12/09; Narco News 10/6/09; Honduras Coup 2009 blog 10/7/09)

Honduras: Talks Stall, Election in Doubt


On Oct. 23 negotiators for deposed Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales gave up on talks to end a four-month political crisis in Honduras. The negotiations had been “worn down” by the intransigence of de facto president Roberto Micheletti Bain’s government, Zelaya representative Mayra Mejía announced in Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya had already given up key points in the talks, which began on Oct. 7 with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS). His concessions included acceptance of a government of national reconciliation and the renunciation of calls for a national constituent assembly to rewrite the 1982 Constitution, a demand still strongly supported by grassroots organizations. But Micheletti’s representatives refused to negotiate seriously on Zelaya’s return to office before the scheduled Nov. 29 general elections, according to Zelaya’s representatives. Zelaya, who was deposed by a military coup on June 28, ends his four-year term on Jan. 27.

The de facto government’s intransigence was “a second coup d’état,” Zelaya said in an interview with the British network BBC on Oct. 25.

Friday, 23 October 2009


(Approved by the Permanent Council at its meeting of October 21, 2009)

The Permanent Council denounces and strongly condemns the hostile action by the de facto regime against the embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa and the harassment of its occupants through deliberate actions that affect them physically and psychologically and violate their human rights.

The Permanent Council calls on the de facto regime to put an immediate end to these actions, to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and international instruments on human rights, and to withdraw forthwith all repressive forces from the areas surrounding the Embassy of Brazil, without neglecting the due security of the Mission.

The Permanent Council appeals for guarantees for the right to life, integrity, and security of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales and of all persons in and around the Embassy of Brazil, as well as for the protection of their dignity, and it urges the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to follow up on this situation.

The Permanent Council issues a strong appeal for continuation of the dialogue already well under way in Honduras, under the terms of the proposal of the San José Agreement, without any attempt to open topics other than those contained in said proposal.ENDS