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Press Release
The CADTM denounces the coup orchestrated by the reactionary oligarchy in Honduras and demands President Zelaya’s return to power
8 July 2009

On Sunday 28 June Manuel Zelaya, President of Honduras, was sequestrated then expelled by the army. The CADTM condemns this coup orchestrated both by reactionary sectors of society (the army, the oligarchy, the Church, the judiciary power, the dominant media) and by the Pentagon. This coup aims at brutally bringing to an end the Hondurian people’s aspirations to change, that were taking shape with the launch of a popular consultation to open the way to a Consitutant Assembly process.

Ideed on that very day the President had consulted the Hondurians on setting up a fourth ballot during the general elections to be held in November 2009, a ballot devoted to the election of a national Constituant Assembly that would draft a new Constitution. The first three ballots were for the election of the President, of MPs, and of mayors respectively. In order to justify the unjustifiable in the eyes of international public opinion, the Congress and the Supreme Court decided that this consultation was illegal. Now it so happens that it is part of the law on social participation [1] voted by the Congress on 27 January 2006, and more largely relies on the right of peoples to self-determination as stipulated in such major legal texts as the UN Charter. Moreover, to validate their coup and designate de facto a new government, his opponents mentioned a resignation letter by Sr Zelaya, which the President says he never signed.

It is also to be noted that contrary to what the major media have been repeating, Manuel Zelaya was in no way trying, through this consultation, to extend his presidential mandate on the occasion of the next elections. Indeed, these are to be held in the context of the current Constitution within which presidential mandates run for four years and cannot be renewed. In fact, though himself a member of the local oligarchy and a member of the Liberal Party President Zelaya had started confronting the Hondurian oligarchy in that he had shifted to the Left and joined ALBA (the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America), which also involved taking a number of progressive measures to support the lower classes (such as establishing minimum wages). The proposal to elect a Constituant Assembly in order to change the current Constitution, which is hardly conducive to in-depth social transformations, was obviously one step too far. Indeed the ruling classes are afraid of losing their priviledges, as was the case in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, where constituant assemblies led to adopting new progressive Constitutions that radically affected their position in that they gave representatives of the population control on natural resources, legalised the rights of minorities and of indigenous peoples, and set up measures to fight indebtedness.

With the military coup the people had its right to self-determination taken away through illegal and criminal manouevering by the Hondurian riling classes, a traditional stronghold of neoliberal orthodoxy and of the Washington Consensus, firmly decided as they are to prevent the needed social reforms and to maintain a neoliberal order which can only generate poverty and inegalities.

Fortunately the popular resistance and the support of several Latin-American presidents to President Zelaya are leading to divisions within the army. We can only hope that the combinaison of protests within Honduras and of international solidarity will promptly bring President Zelaya back to power.

The CADTM insists on voicing its complete solidarity with the Hondurian population as it firmly rejects the coup, and demands the end of the repression directed against demonstrators and leaders of social and trade union movements.

The CADTM supports the resistance of the people who organise vigils and a general strike to demand the return of democratically elected President Zelaya and the restoration of constitutional order.

Lastly, the CADTM along with the Hondurian people, calls for a referendum on the process of the Constituant Assembly. This is the only way of giving Hondurians as all other peoples in the North and in the South a right to self-determination.

For the CADTM, the solidarity between citizens and social movements is absolutely necessary. It must grow into a large popular movement to bring down the letal neoliberal logic and replace it with a radically different logic based on the guarantee of fundamental human rights. To this end, the complete and unconditional cancellation of the debt owed by all countries of the South is a first necessary condition.

Translated by Christine Pagnoulle

Footnotes :

[1“ley de participación ciudadana”