Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduran dictatorship, day 322

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2010

Via Adrienne, the conscious involvement of the US in the establishment of a dictatorship in Honduras has been unmasked by Wikileaks. This cable from US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens was published in El Pais:

1. (C) Summary: Post has attempted to clarify some of the legal and constitutional issues surrounding the June 28 forced removal of President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya. The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the
constitution. There is equally no doubt from our perspective that Roberto Micheletti’s assumption of power was illegitimate. Nevertheless, it is also evident that the constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by the President and resolving conflicts between the branches of government. End summary.

2. (U) Since the June 28 removal and expulsion of President Zelaya by the Honduran armed forces, the Embassy has consulted Honduran legal experts (one cannot find a fully unbiased professional legal opinion in Honduras in the current politically charged atmosphere) and reviewed the text of the Honduran Constitution and its laws to develop a better understanding of the arguments being parlayed by the coup’s supporters and opponents.

Arguments of the Coup Defenders

3. (SBU) Defenders of the June 28 coup have offered some combination of the following, often ambiguous, arguments to assert it’s legality:

— Zelaya had broken the law (alleged but not proven);

— Zelaya resigned (a clear fabrication);

— Zelaya intended to extend his term in office

— Had he been allowed to proceed with his June 28 constitutional reform opinion poll, Zelaya would have
dissolved Congress the following day and convened a constituent assembly (supposition);

— Zelaya had to be removed from the country to prevent a bloodbath;

— Congress “unanimously” (or in some versions by a 123-5 vote) deposed Zelaya; (after the fact and under the cloak of secrecy); and

— Zelaya “automatically” ceased to be president the moment he suggested modifying the constitutional prohibition on presidential reelection.

4. (C) In our view, none of the above arguments has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution. Some are outright false. Others are mere supposition or ex-post rationalizations of a patently illegal act. Essentially:

— the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the country;

— Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a Honduran president;

— Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process;

— the purported “resignation” letter was a fabrication and was not even the basis for Congress’s action of June 28; and

— Zelaya’s arrest and forced removal from the country violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the
prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and right to due process.

(emphasis added)


According to DK poster m16eib, Wikileaks has requested:

How to discuss the US Embassy cables: If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for so…cial networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference

Blogged at DK. Lord, give me patience for dealing with some of the Kossacks, who simply refuse to read the detailed analysis I prepared before telling me that there’s no evidence of US involvement in the coup.
Note to self: Relevant US law forbidding the provision of aid to a country in which there has been a military coup is HR 2764

5 Responses to “Honduran dictatorship, day 322”

  1. Thanks for this, Charles!

    • Charles II said

      You’re welcome!

      I only hope that the other ca. 150 cables that flowed between May and July get released.

      • The current take by many progressives on the Wikileaks dump is that it’s all about Iran. Nice to see that other issues were indeed addressed.

        Of course, as Jane says, there’s a reason that Assange sent the dump to several different media outlets worldwide. He knew that some would reveal more than others.

  2. jo6pac said

    Wow who are those people at the orange site. I guess that’s why I stopped going there and commenting. Thanks for covering this and yes Amerikas finger prints are over this, just like all the other strange happening in SA lately. I see we even include Brazil in some of the leaked papers. Oh well nap time and then time to do something outside.

  3. Charles II said

    Jo asks, “Wow who are those people at the orange site.”

    I think mostly misguided Democrats who think that they have to express disapproval for anything that seems leftish. There are a few who might be State Department shills but, if so, State isn’t drilling them very well on talking points.

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