ALBA countries condemn coup, refuse Honduran diplomats

Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) issued the following statement by its Presidential Council. ALBA was formed as an alternative trade pact to the 'free trade' agreements like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) ALBA member states include Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (June 29) -- In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 28, when the Honduran people were ready to exercise their right to vote in a democratic manner in relation to a survey promoted by the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to deepen participatory democracy, a group of uniformed masked men that declared they were following orders of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, waged an assault on the Presidential Residence in order to kidnap President Zelaya, and later violently throw him out of his country.

Immediately, the people of Honduras reacted as faithful heirs to the Legacy of Francisco Morazán, on the streets of several cities and towns in Honduras. In the early morning hours, hundreds of electoral tables were receiving men and women that wished to exercise their right to vote and upon hearing of the kidnapping of their President, turned to protest in the streets against the Military Coup, setting an example of heroism as they faced, unarmed, the tanks and weapons of their aggressors.

Through the transmission of Telesur the national and international media silence was broken. Again a failed attempt by the dictatorship who was trying to hide and justify the Coup d’Etat in front of the Honduran people as well as the International Community by closing the state-owned television channel and cutting power, demonstrating an attitude that reminds us of the worst dictatorships in the 20th Century in our continent.

In unison, the governments and people of the Americas reacted, condemning the Coup d’Etat and leaving it very clear that in Honduras there is only one President and only one Government; that of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Likewise, we salute the declarations that have risen from other governments of the world, which condemn this act as well.

Due to the urgency of this matter, as member States of the Bolivarian Alliance of Our Americas (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America or ALBA) we have summoned an urgent meeting of the Presidential Council, with the goal of reaching a consensus on the actions to be taken to defeat the Honduran Coup d’Etat, support the brave people of Morazán, and unconditionally reinstate President Manuel Zelaya Rosales in his legitimate role.

After analyzing the circumstances that have arisen due to this Coup d’Etat, and the serious violations of human rights, the existing multilateral agreements of our countries with the Republic of Honduras, and in view of the total rejection that the International Community has expressed towards the dictatorial government that intends to take power, the member States of ALBA have decided to order our Ambassadors to leave their posts, leaving the minimal diplomatic representation in Tegucigalpa instead, until the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales has been reinstated.

Accordingly, we will recognize only the Honduran diplomatic representation appointed by President Zelaya in our countries, and under no circumstances will we accredit any personnel appointed by usurpers.

Also, as member states of the different integration systems of the continent, we call upon our brother nations of UNASUR, SICA, CARICOM, The Rio Group, The UN and OAS to act against the aggressors of the people of Honduras, as we have.

Likewise, we have decided to declare ourselves to be on permanent alert, to accompany the brave Honduran people in the fight they have called forth, as well as invoking articles 2 and 3 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Honduras:

Art. 2: “Sovereignty corresponds to the People, from which the Powers of the State are executed through representation. The sovereignty of the people is also executed directly, through the right to vote and referendum. The elimination of the citizens’ sovereignty and the appropriation of the constituted powers will be regarded as treason. In this case, the responsibility is expected and allowed and may be deducted from office or through the request of any citizen.”

Art. 3: “No one owes obedience to an usurper government, neither to those that assume public jobs by force. The actions verified by such authorities will be null. The people have the right to disobey in defense of the constitutional order.”

Furthermore, we invoke the principles of International Law to support the efforts of resistance and rebellion of the Honduran citizens. To the teachers, workers, farmers, women, youth, honest businessmen, natives, intellectuals and the rest of the actors of the Honduran society, we assure you that together we will work for victory over the rebels that are trying to impose themselves upon the brave people of Francisco Morazán.

Invoking the spirits and thoughts of Francisco Morazán, beside him we sentence the rebels when proclaiming:

“To the men who have abused the rights of the people for a sordid and vicious interest! It is you who I talk to, enemies of freedom and independence. If your actions, in attempts to obtain a motherland, will bring suffering to those Central Americans that you persecute or have expatriated, I, in their name demand you to present them. The same people you have humiliated, insulted, defeated and betrayed so many times that it makes you today a referee of their destiny and limits our advise, those peoples will be your jury.'

Those who directed the coup should know it will be impossible to impose themselves and evade international justice, which sooner or later they will be subjected to.To the officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Honduras, we call upon you to offer your weapons to the service of the Honduran people and of their commander-in-chief, President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

The Republic of Honduras is a full member of ALBA, and a member of other regional integration and multilateral organizations whose membership demands respect for the sovereignty of the People and the Constitution. Once the military rebels violated these fundamental principles, the ALBA States decided to maintain all programs of cooperation with Honduras, which had been initiated through President Zelaya.

Also, we propose that exemplary sanctions should be applied in all multilateral and integration mechanisms and instances, which will contribute to make effective the immediate restitution of Constitutional order in Honduras, and that would validate the principle action of José Martí when he proclaimed: “Each one should do their share of duty, and nothing or nobody will be capable of beating us”.

The ALBA member states declare ourselves in permanent session of consultation, with all governments of the continent, to evaluate other joint measures that will allow us to aid the people of Honduras in the reestablishment of legality and the restitution of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Two centuries after the historic battle that our people fought throughout our continent, and following the ever present example of the General of the free man, Augusto Cesar Sandino, of Francisco Morazán and faithful to the words of the Libertador Simón Bolívar, we remain confident, with the people of Honduras and the people of the world, of our victory and success, because “...all the people of the world that have fought for their liberty have finally extinguished their tyrants...”

Managua, June 29th, 2009

Presidential Council of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas



(Translation by the Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States/ June 29, 2009)