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CRS on the Honduras "Coup":

The WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady cites a new report by the Congressional Research Service on recent events in Honduras:

a report filed at the Library of Congress by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides what the administration has not offered, a serious legal review of the facts. "Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system," writes CRS senior foreign law specialist Norma C. Gutierrez in her report.

The report also apparently says:

"The Supreme Court of Honduras has constitutional and statutory authority to hear cases against the President of the Republic and many other high officers of the State, to adjudicate and enforce judgments, and to request the assistance of the public forces to enforce its rulings."

I have yet to find a copy of this report on-line (it's not this one). When I do, I will post a link and additional excerpts if warranted.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. "CRS Report" on Honduras "Coup":
  2. CRS on the Honduras "Coup":
ruuffles (mail) (www):

In its actions toward Honduras, the Obama administration is demonstrating contempt for the fundamentals of democracy. Legal scholars are clear on this. "Judicial independence is a central component of any democracy and is crucial to separation of powers, the rule of law and human rights," writes Ahron Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel and a prominent legal scholar, in his compelling 2006 book, "The Judge in a Democracy."

So ... much ... irony ...
9.23.2009 9:15am
zuch (mail) (www):
The WSJ:
... [T]he judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system....
Glenn Greenwald has written about this kind of stuff here.

Cheers,
9.23.2009 9:15am
Steve:
I'm baffled by the same quote as zuch. Does the report really say that the judicial and legislative branches acted appropriately, according to the judicial and legislative branches?

It's difficult to analyze another country's constitutional law - imagine a foreign government trying to determine whether Bush v. Gore was a valid decision - but I would hope we could find at least some objective framework for our analysis.
9.23.2009 9:21am
martinned (mail) (www):

It's difficult to analyze another country's constitutional law - imagine a foreign government trying to determine whether Bush v. Gore was a valid decision - but I would hope we could find at least some objective framework for our analysis.

That's exactly the example I used the last time this came up on VC. Sovereign states stay out of each other's constitutional law. You stick with the guy who is democratically elected, and if he's really not getting anywhere, you slowly realign your position with the reality on the ground. Anything else would be sticking your nose where it doesn't belong.

(My sense is that Zelaya isn't getting anywhere, which is why I was surprised when the Obama administration recently stepped up the pressure again to get him reinstated. If I were them, I'd back away from Zelaya. But not because of any judgement regarding the Honduran constitutional propriety of his removal.)
9.23.2009 9:34am
MCMC:
In its actions toward Honduras, the Obama administration is demonstrating contempt for the fundamentals of democracy. Legal scholars are clear on this. "Judicial independence is a central component of any democracy and is crucial to separation of powers, the rule of law and human rights," writes Ahron Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel and a prominent legal scholar, in his compelling 2006 book, "The Judge in a Democracy."


So ... much ... irony ...




I'm positive I know irony, and I don't see anything ironic about that statement.
9.23.2009 9:42am
drunkdriver:
I recall the US sticking up for a deposed leader- Aristide. Few today consider that a decision we'd like to repeat. While Jesse Helms was an odious man, his expose of Aristide as a dangerous tyrant deserved serious inquiry from the press; it dropped the ball on that, presenting Helms as the embarrassing racist uncle trying to get in the way of Clinton's mission of freedom. I sense a similar reluctance to delve into Zelaya's dark side, lest that dampen enthusiasm for reinstating him.

While Clinton is not personally responsible for Aristide's many misdeeds after returning to power, the ordeal should be a lesson to Obama- there is a limit to how far we should stick out our neck in favor of shady foreign leaders.
9.23.2009 9:47am
Patrick216:
What is important is that Zelaya is a Hugo Chavez ally, and Obama has determined that being in Chavez's good graces is in America's national interest. Therefore, we are going to take whatever diplomatic action we can to placate Chavez and to try and get his buddy reinstated.

Is it bad that Obama is enabling Communist and Islamist dictators like Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong-il? Yes. But elections have consequences.
9.23.2009 9:47am
geokstr (mail):
Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution reads:


Article 239 — No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.

Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.

Yes, Bush v Gore would be tough for a foreign government to understand, given that hanging chads and butterfly ballots and supposedly mistaken votes for Pat Buchanan are not expressly mentioned anywhere in the US constitution, and the other legal issues involved are quite murky too.

However, comparing that to what happened with Zelaya is totally disingenous at best. It says right in their constitution that anyone who supports amending this clause forfeits his position immediately, no trial or impeachment necessary.

I do understand that those on the left will spin, twist and distort anything, anytime, to help another leftist, but this one seems a bit clear, non? Would any of you like to opine on how you would have treated this exact same fact situation if Zelaya was a right-winger?

I thought not.
9.23.2009 9:55am
Seamus (mail):
Isn't all this going to be moot in a couple of months, when Honduras has elections to pick its new president? (Or is Obama going to insist that, unless Zelaya is restored to office so that he can preside over the election, their outcome will be invalid and the Honduran government therefore illegitimate into the indefinite future?)
9.23.2009 9:58am
geokstr (mail):

Seamus:
Isn't all this going to be moot in a couple of months, when Honduras has elections to pick its new president? (Or is Obama going to insist that, unless Zelaya is restored to office so that he can preside over the election, their outcome will be invalid and the Honduran government therefore illegitimate into the indefinite future?)

Yes. The US has threatened to not recognize the results of the election.
9.23.2009 10:00am
martinned (mail) (www):

Is it bad that Obama is enabling Communist and Islamist dictators like Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong-il?

How, pray tell, is he doing that???
9.23.2009 10:02am
martinned (mail) (www):

Yes. The US has threatened to not recognize the results of the election.

That would be ill-advised, though threatening to do so now might be sensible.
9.23.2009 10:03am
Seamus (mail):
Yes, Bush v Gore would be tough for a foreign government to understand, given that hanging chads and butterfly ballots and supposedly mistaken votes for Pat Buchanan are not expressly mentioned anywhere in the US constitution, and the other legal issues involved are quite murky too.

However, comparing that to what happened with Zelaya is totally disingenous at best. It says right in their constitution that anyone who supports amending this clause forfeits his position immediately, no trial or impeachment necessary.


I think those pointing to Bush v. Gore are making the point that one country shouldn't try to second-guess the judiciary of another country when that judiciary makes constitutional rulings (assuming, of course, that the judiciary is at least trying to adhere to the rule of law and isn't obviously corrupt). That means they *agree* with you that we should defer to the judgment of the Honduran Supreme Court.
9.23.2009 10:04am
Angus:
For those of you painting this as an "Obama" position, here is the reality: Every other nation on Earth had sided against the Honduras coup. Not a single country supports the Honduras junta. This is not an "Obama" reaction, but a worldwide reaction to the military removal of an elected leader.
9.23.2009 10:10am
Steve:
My opinion is that the removal of Zelaya seems to have been legal, from everything I have seen. I don't particularly care whether he's right-wing or left-wing, nor can I even imagine why that would matter. Perhaps it is your view that conservatives always analyze the law objectively and dispassionately, while liberals just blindly align themselves with the closest America-hating leftist. If so, that's a perfectly marvelous opinion to hold.

My point is that I'd like to be able to cite this authoritative report on the subject, but if it truly says nothing more than that the people who removed Zelaya believe it was legal, I'd look rather silly. Sad as it may be, people don't really seem to care what you or I think about the legalities. Maybe if they read your comments and saw what a light unto the world you are, they'd feel differently.
9.23.2009 10:10am
Anton Sirius (mail) (www):
That's just it, geokstr. Zelaya didn't "propose its reform"; he proposed asking the Honduran people if they were even interested in reforming it.

The judiciary and military jumped the gun and kicked him out before he could do the thing that would have legalized their kicking him out. They also acted unconstitutionally in kicking him out rather than holding him for trial.

In short, they screwed up.
9.23.2009 10:12am
Ramiro (mail):
The president was kidnapped while he was sleeping, put in a plane and taken to a foreign country. Whatever he did, and whatever you guys don't know about Honduras ConLaw, I am sure that is not part of Article 1 § 5(a) (or whatever) of their Constitution.
9.23.2009 10:13am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Seamus: No, the point of citing Bush v Gore is that issues of constitutional law are tricky, and best left to the natives. Foreign countries should base their policy not on their best guess of con law, but on rules of thumb such as "Stick with the one who's elected" and/or "Stick with the one who didn't use military force". Ultimately, the only rule of thumb that works is "Stick with the one who's actually in charge on the ground."
9.23.2009 10:18am
David Mader (mail) (www):
That would be ill-advised, though threatening to do so now might be sensible.
Clearly the act would be ill advised - so why would the threat be sensible? Keep in mind that - as interim President Micheletti notes in the Washington Post:
The election is being convened by an autonomous body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, whose magistrates were selected by Congress in early 2009 and ratified by then-President Zelaya. The autonomous body began the electoral process with presidential primary elections — which were supervised by the Organization of American States — in 2008 also during Zelaya’s tenure.
There is no connection between the Zelaya imbroglio and the upcoming, regularly scheduled, legitimate presidential election. Merely to threaten not to recognize the outcome of that election achieves precisely what Zelaya sought to achieve in the spring - namely the erosion of constitutional democracy in Honduras.
9.23.2009 10:18am
Kevin!:
From everything I've seen, the answer here appears to be that 1) yes, the Honduras Constitution may have authorized this, but that 2) the Honduras Constitution is really poorly written and unfortunately vague. As such, while they may have followed form, the substance was a pretty shoddy military coup.

I doubt that conservatives would have become zealous defenders of the procedural forms of the Honduras Constitution if the President had been the Chavez opponent and the legislature his supporter.
9.23.2009 10:25am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
martinned: "You stick with the guy who was legally elected."

So, if Congress had impeached President Bush (convicted in the Senate based on a bill of impeachment passed by the House), it would have been appropriate for foreign nations to have continued recognizing him as the President until they saw that "he's really not getting anywhere"?

Nice to know that you oppose the rule of law.
9.23.2009 10:27am
Seamus (mail):

I doubt that conservatives would have become zealous defenders of the procedural forms of the Honduras Constitution if the President had been the Chavez opponent and the legislature his supporter.



I would have. You know, there are some conservatives who really kinda like the concept of the rule of law, and don't make decisions on the basis of whose ox is being gored.
9.23.2009 10:31am
Steve:
As such, while they may have followed form, the substance was a pretty shoddy military coup.

I think this is exactly backwards. I think the substance was perfectly legal, but the form of the removal was sloppy enough to carry the trappings of a military coup.

If our President was lawfully impeached by Congress but refused, for whatever reason, to give up his office, I assume at some point the process would end in his removal by force. That wouldn't make it a coup, though.
9.23.2009 10:31am
Angus:

There is no connection between the Zelaya imbroglio and the upcoming, regularly scheduled, legitimate presidential election. Merely to threaten not to recognize the outcome of that election achieves precisely what Zelaya sought to achieve in the spring - namely the erosion of constitutional democracy in Honduras.

The main problem here is that it tends to encourage the next coup. Hey, we don't like our leader, let's have the military overthrow him until the next election. Then, before you know it, there is no more "next election."

In other words, slippery slope.
9.23.2009 10:32am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Ramiro, former President Zelaya was arrested, then given a choice: go to jail, or go to Costa Rica. With the benefit of hindsight, I imagine that their Supreme Court, which ordered his arrest, wishes it had merely had him thrown in jail. However, they determined at the time that the country's stability would be better served by him being in exile rather than in jail, fomenting the trouble he had already started.

Steve, we're not talking here about the actions of individuals, but the actions of two branches of the government of Honduras. Even if you look at this as purely a dogfight between the three branches of Honduran government, you've got 2 against 1, and we chose to back the 1. What other authoritative source of Honduran law are you looking for, other than the Supreme Court of Honduras (in, as I understand it, a UNANIMOUS ruling).

And to point out a fact that people from the President on down keep forgetting, the interim President was the individual NEXT IN LINE OF SUCCESSION, who is a member of Zelaya's own party. They did not replace the entire government, this is not some military "junta" trying to stick its own guy in power. Zelaya broke the law, violated several court orders aimed at stopping his unconstitutional referendum which would have made him "president for life," and fired generals who refused to carry out his illegal orders. Arresting him was not a coup, and every single person who says otherwise is a liar or ignorant of the facts.
9.23.2009 10:35am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Angus, have you read NOTHING about Honduras and Zelaya's actions? HE was the one trying to prevent future elections, by illegally having a "referendum" to repeal the Constitution's express prohibition on presidents serving more than one term. The Honduran Supreme Court said the referendum was illegal. Zelaya ignored them. The generals refused to carry out his orders to distribute the referendum ballots, because it was an illegal order. Zelaya fired them.

They didn't throw him out because they didn't like him, the due process of law operated and determined that Zelaya had broken the law, repeatedly and flagrantly.
9.23.2009 10:37am
Angus:
I think this is exactly backwards. I think the substance was perfectly legal, but the form of the removal was sloppy enough to carry the trappings of a military coup.

Here's where I think the heart of the problem was. The justification for the coup wasn't given until after Zelaya was forced out of the country at gunpoint. That made it appear as though the justifications were created after the fact to make it appear legal. That, and the forged Zelaya resignation letter, made the rest of the world immediately distrust the situation.

Note that the temporary government in Honduras has not behaved very well in guarding the average person's rights in Honduras. They've engaged in some pretty unsavory activities.
9.23.2009 10:38am
David Mader (mail) (www):
... a pretty shoddy military coup.
From Micheletti's piece in the WaPo:
Underlying all the rhetoric about a military overthrow are facts. Simply put, coups do not leave civilians in control over the armed forces, as is the case in Honduras today. Neither do they allow the independent functioning of democratic institutions — the courts, the attorney general’s office, the electoral tribunal. Nor do they maintain a respect for the separation of powers. In Honduras, the judicial, legislative and executive branches are all fully functioning and led by civilian authorities.

Coups do not allow freedom of assembly, either. They do not guarantee freedom of the press, much less a respect for human rights. In Honduras, these freedoms remain intact and vibrant. And on Nov. 29 our country plans to hold the ultimate civic exercise of any democracy: a free and open presidential election.
Folks seem to focus on the facts that (1) it was the military that arrested Zelaya and (2) it was the military that subsequently forced him into exile. I think it's important to distinguish between the two acts - namely Zelaya's arrest and removal from office, on the one hand, and his subsequent removal from the country, on the other. As for the first - his arrest and removal from office - the folks empowered to adjudicate its legality, namely the Honduran judiciary, said (and continue to say) that it was kosher; and there appears to be no serious question that the army was acting as an arm of the judicial branch, not as a military institution, when it executed the arrest order.

As for the second act - Zelaya's removal from Honduras - it seems clear that the army acted on its own initiative, and that only after the fact was the exile ratified by the other branches of government. There is at least a colorable argument that the post-hoc approval was enough to make the action legitimate as a matter of Honduran law; but even if it wasn't - even if, in other words, Zelaya's removal from Honduras was unconstitutional or otherwise illegal, that doesn't affect the propriety or legality of his removal from office.

In short: Zelaya's removal from office was conducted according to the law as determined by those empowered to decide the question in the Honduran constitutional order; and while his subsequent forced exile by military force may have been illegal (not to say ill-advised), that military action did not affect the legality of Zelaya's removal from office - and therefore did not turn the ouster into a coup.
9.23.2009 10:39am
BillW:
Angus: Every other nation on Earth had sided against the Honduras coup. Not a single country supports the Honduras junta.

But not every nation has compounded their original reaction by ramping up their sanctions on Honduras, canceling visas, etc. And there is no "junta".

Anton Sirius: That's just it, geokstr. Zelaya didn't "propose its reform"; he proposed asking the Honduran people if they were even interested in reforming it.

And if he'd waited till his term expired to do that, he'd have been entirely within his rights.
9.23.2009 10:40am
Angus:
PatHMV,
I'm in good company, because the entire rest of the world apart from the American right wing has condemned the coup.
9.23.2009 10:40am
krs:
Miguel Estrada had a good op-ed about this a couple of months ago.
9.23.2009 10:42am
ShelbyC:

Does the report really say that the judicial and legislative branches acted appropriately, according to the judicial and legislative branches?



but if it truly says nothing more than that the people who removed Zelaya believe it was legal



Wait, didn't the military remove him, after the court said it was legal?

I mean, between the judiciary, the legislature, and the military, who the heck else is supposed to weigh in?
9.23.2009 10:42am
Steve:
Steve, we're not talking here about the actions of individuals, but the actions of two branches of the government of Honduras. Even if you look at this as purely a dogfight between the three branches of Honduran government, you've got 2 against 1, and we chose to back the 1. What other authoritative source of Honduran law are you looking for, other than the Supreme Court of Honduras (in, as I understand it, a UNANIMOUS ruling).

I think it's not much of a report if all it does is recite that the people who removed Zelaya say that they acted legally. I hope the report goes at least a little deeper in order to draw the conclusion that their position is, in fact, legally colorable.

There are plausible arguments that Zelaya's removal was not legal under domestic law. I don't happen to agree with those arguments, and ultimately it's the domestic authorities who get to interpret the domestic law, but I'd hope for at least some analysis of those arguments and the reason they were rejected.
9.23.2009 10:45am
Seamus (mail):

Every other nation on Earth had sided against the Honduras coup. Not a single country supports the Honduras junta.



Uh, huh. And every other nation on earth (or at least nearly every other one) restricts freedom of speech and freedom of the press more than the U.S. does. That doesn't mean they're right.
9.23.2009 10:46am
Angus:
BillW,
Did you ever stop to think that maybe Micheletti is lying? From the Congressional Research Service Report linked in the OP.

Despite Micheletti’s declarations that the country continues to function democratically, Honduran society generally has been under strict control since Zelaya’s removal. Following the ouster, a curfew was put in place, security forces have patrolled the streets, and a number of local and international television and radio stations have been shut down or intimidated. Additionally, members of Zelaya’s Administration, some members of the press, and at least one Congressional deputy have been detained or forced to go into hiding. Crowds of thousands of protesters have been dispersed—sometimes violently, and on July 1, the Honduran National Congress approved a decree suspending a number of constitutional rights. The decree allows security forces to enter private homes without a warrant, allows the detention of persons for 24 hours without charges, and suspends the rights of free association and free movement during curfew hours. While the curfew was lifted on July 12, it was reinstated on July 15, and remains in place in some parts of the country. Likewise, there continue to be reports of media censorship and political repression.


ShelbyC,
The problem is one of timing. The military removed Zelaya, and only afterwards did the Supreme Court announce that it was legal. Functioning democracies do not secretly use the military to remove elected leaders.
9.23.2009 10:48am
Steve:
That, and the forged Zelaya resignation letter, made the rest of the world immediately distrust the situation.

Angus, I agree with your analysis of why the world reaction occurred. And look, it's really weird for me to be agreeing with Miguel Estrada on something. But I just think, looking at the totality of the circumstances, this was a legal removal that was carried out in the utterly clumsy way that you sorta might expect from a nascent democracy. I think calling for his reinstatement at this point represents an elevation of form over substance, i.e. "there were legal grounds for his removal but we still don't like the way you did it."

I think our State Department has come around to the right position in that they are working towards a negotiated resolution that will de-escalate the situation and allow Honduras to move on with its democracy. I think people calling for a cessation of aid, etc. are making a mistake by trying to take this to the next level.
9.23.2009 10:50am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Angus, and that point is a fundamental distinction between the "right wing" and the left when it comes to international opinion. The "right wing" believes in analyzing each set of facts and determine what is the proper position, as well as what the American interests are. The "left wing," if you are any example, wants to do no thinking, and just go with whatever the consensus of the other countries are doing.
9.23.2009 10:50am
Cornet of Horse:
Angus,

"For those of you painting this as an "Obama" position, here is the reality: Every other nation on Earth had sided against the Honduras coup. Not a single country supports the Honduras junta. This is not an "Obama" reaction, but a worldwide reaction to the military removal of an elected leader."

That position is not taken without considering the one the U.S. has staked out. We're not known as a hyperpower for nothing. Given the low stakes involved, who knows where "the world consensus" would fall given a different U.S. approach.

Now if France and Russia had multi-billion dollar contracts with Micheletti, things might be different.
9.23.2009 11:04am
Cornet of Horse:
Pat,

The "left-wing" is no more monolithic than the "right-wing". See Steve on this very thread.
9.23.2009 11:07am
David Mader (mail) (www):
Angus, it seems clear that civil liberties have been curtailed at least in certain respects since the ouster, although by in large the suspension of civil rights appears to have been lawful. And it's certainly the case that in some instances security forces have acted beyond any legal mandate. But these excesses - which are deplorable - don't turn the Honduran government into a military junta any more than the invocation of the War Measures Act during the October Crisis turned Canada into a tyranny.

Perhaps Micheletti is lying; perhaps he intends to falsify the election results or to seize power himself. I don't think the largely lawful (if deplorable) suspension of certain civil liberties shows that to be likely, and in fact I'd submit that the ham-fisted international condemnation of the interim government outright has robbed our governments of the ability to effectively respond to these more minor (but serious) excesses.

In any case, the proof will be in the pudding. If Micheletti seizes power, I'll eat crow. If he doesn't, will you?
9.23.2009 11:08am
martinned (mail) (www):

So, if Congress had impeached President Bush (convicted in the Senate based on a bill of impeachment passed by the House), it would have been appropriate for foreign nations to have continued recognizing him as the President until they saw that "he's really not getting anywhere"?

Nice to know that you oppose the rule of law.

In that scenario, if President Bush had contested the legitimacy, etc. of the proceedings, it would be appropriate for the rest of the world to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, the more likely result in your hypothetical would be for the president to accept the outcome, in which case there is no problem.


David Mader wrote:

Clearly the act would be ill advised - so why would the threat be sensible?

Given that they want Zelaya back in office, why not threaten not to recognise the upcoming election, even if it would be ill-advised to carry out this threat? Normally, such a threat would not make a particular impression, but they're welcome to try it.
9.23.2009 11:08am
Steve:
That position is not taken without considering the one the U.S. has staked out.

I think we followed the lead of the Latin American countries on this one, rather than the reverse.

Our actions since the "coup" demonstrate, I think, that we are not exactly deeply invested in the proposition that Zelaya is the legitimate president and must be reinstated at all costs. But it would have been problematic, particularly given our historical relationship with Latin America, if the entire OAS had called it a coup and we were the only country to take the other side.
9.23.2009 11:09am
yankee (mail):
"Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system," writes CRS senior foreign law specialist Norma C. Gutierrez in her report.

The people who removed Zelaya say it was legal? What an insightful analysis!

Whatever you call this, it is not a "serious legal review of the facts." Hopefully the rest of the report is better.
9.23.2009 11:13am
geokstr (mail):

Anton Sirius:
That's just it, geokstr. Zelaya didn't "propose its reform"; he proposed asking the Honduran people if they were even interested in reforming it.

And why pray tell would he be interested in knowing the opinion of the people in reforming the Constitution if he was not also himself interested in doing so? Especially with the election campaign looming, and his buddy Hugo, who had just successfully rammed through similar constitutional changes in Venezuela after intimidating/nationalizing all opposition media, backing him to the point of printing the surveys for him and threatening an invasion?

The Honduran constitution has but a few clauses that are non-negotiable and non-amendable, like this one, probably all written in from justifiable paranoia over their own and other Central and South American countries past experience with "el presidente for life" leaders, of which Chavez and Fidel are prime examples. It is also my understanding that all other parts of their constitution are readily amendable and it would be uncontroversial to do so, so unless Zelaya was specifically interested in amending the parts that are non-amendable, what the hell would all this fuss be about?

Please, now you're just splitting hairs and doing the "is is" dance made popular by a former president of this country.
9.23.2009 11:18am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
martinned, if the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court declared that Bush were no longer the President, you still, seriously, claim that it would be appropriate for the rest of the world to give HIM, personally, rather than the other institutions of government, the "benefit of the doubt"?

That's bizarre, and it does confirm your lack of respect for the rule of law, and highlights an actual difference between those with a generally leftist ideology and those with a generally rightist one. To you (as to much of the world leadership, apparently), the individual elected President is very much the government itself. Thus, actions taken against that individual, regardless of the law, are actions taken against the government.

But the President is not the government. The government is multi-faceted, and acts through a number of different agencies, in accordance with the basic governing law of the particular country.

That's why this was not a "coup" in Honduras. By definition, a coup is a change in government, not merely a change in one or a handful of particular officials. President Bush was not himself the whole government of the United States, and neither is President Obama. Presidents are not kings. "L'etat, ce n'est pas eux." If you act otherwise, you are in fact in favor of despotism over democracy and the rule of law.

As for threatening to disregard the democratically expressed will of the sovereign people of Honduras, I'm appalled that you think it an appropriate thing to do.
9.23.2009 11:18am
Brian Garst (www):

Every other nation on Earth had sided against the Honduras coup. Not a single country supports the Honduras junta.


Who would have thought that world leaders don't like the idea of possibly being held to account for their criminal acquisitions of power?

Color me unimpressed by this argumentum ad populum.
9.23.2009 11:21am
zuch (mail) (www):
PatHMV:
HE was the one trying to prevent future elections, by illegally having a "referendum" to repeal the Constitution's express prohibition on presidents serving more than one term.
This sentence makes no sense.

Cheers,
9.23.2009 11:25am
U. Va. Grad:
Functioning democracies do not secretly use the military to remove elected leaders.

We can go back and forth over whether or not Honduras is, in fact, a functioning democracy, but it's worth noting that the military appears to be specifically empowered to do what they did in this case. Article 272 of the Constitution provides (my translation may be a bit off, so someone feel free to correct me):

"The armed forces of Honduras . . . are constituted to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic, to maintain peace, public order, and the primacy of the Constitution, and the principles of free suffrage and the orderly transition of the Presidency of the Republic."

To the extent that Zelaya's attempts to amend the constitution were really an attempt to amend the constitution's term limits (per Article 239, for the sitting president to even suggest such an amendment automatically disqualifies him from office), removing Zelaya from office appears to be one of the things the army was constituted to do (to maintain both the primacy of the constitution and the orderly transition of the presidency). Perhaps that's not what a functioning democracy does, but it's what their constitution seems to allow.
9.23.2009 11:27am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
zuch, what part are you having trouble with. The Honduran Constitution specifically provides that presidents can serve only one term, and that that provision is not subject to amendment through the constitutional amendment process. The reason for this is because many countries in Latin America had sad experiences in which they elected a president, who then demagogued themselves into becoming dictators-for-life, either never holding elections again or holding sham elections.

President Zelaya wanted to amend that constitutional provision (despite the fact that the constitution makes it illegal for the president even to advocate for amending that provision), because he wanted to be, himself, elected in perpetuity.

As I say, this is a pattern all to familiar to Latin Americans, and Honduras adopted that provision in its constitution to prevent the consolidation of great power in any one human being serving as its president.

Zelaya wanted to have precisely 2 more elections. One to amend the constitution, and one to elect him to one more term. After that, there'd be no way to vote him out.
9.23.2009 11:32am
ChrisIowa (mail):

I mean, between the judiciary, the legislature, and the military, who the heck else is supposed to weigh in?

IIRC The Attorney General also supported the action.
9.23.2009 11:35am
martinned (mail) (www):

martinned, if the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court declared that Bush were no longer the President, you still, seriously, claim that it would be appropriate for the rest of the world to give HIM, personally, rather than the other institutions of government, the "benefit of the doubt"?

If there is a conflict, yes. Any other course of action would involve foreign states pronouncing on whether or not the impeachment procedure was correctly applied.
9.23.2009 11:41am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
So, martinned, to the foreign states, the United States government IS the President, no matter what. The entire rest of the government is of no matter to them, and they should treat the one individual as the unremovable sovereign, unless and until that one individual himself acknowledges that he is no longer in office? Bizarre.
9.23.2009 11:48am
geokstr (mail):
I note that not one of the Zelaya supporters has taken up my challenge in a much earlier comment:

Would any of you like to opine on how you would have treated this exact same fact situation if Zelaya was a right-winger?

I'll go on record as seconding Seamus above:

I would have (supported this action if Zelaya was a right-winger). You know, there are some conservatives who really kinda like the concept of the rule of law, and don't make decisions on the basis of whose ox is being gored.

I don't think it's a coincidence that "Critical Legal Studies" was NOT invented by a rightwinger. Who needs steenken' constitutions anyway, right? After all, they're "just words."
9.23.2009 11:48am
martinned (mail) (www):

So, martinned, to the foreign states, the United States government IS the President, no matter what. The entire rest of the government is of no matter to them, and they should treat the one individual as the unremovable sovereign, unless and until that one individual himself acknowledges that he is no longer in office? Bizarre.

Diplomatically, a state's stance towards who is the legitimate head of state or government of another state should in time adapt to the "realities on the ground". Moreover, when it comes to negotiating and concluding international agreements, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, particularly art. 46, might suggest that such a disputed president should not be accepted at the negotiating table:


Article 46
Provisions of internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties
1.A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance.
2.A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.


If you want it any other way, you'd have to create some kind of dispute settlement body that can act impartially and hold hearings. Under art. 3 of the 1st protocol to the ECHR, for example, the High Contracting Parties have to hold regular elections. That puts various democracy-related issues within the jurisdiction of the ECtHR in Strasbourg. That is why they ruled, in 1999, that the people of Gibraltar should be able to vote for the European Parliament. (Matthews v UK)

Absent such a body of law, the rules of diplomacy apply. And the rules of diplomacy suggest that states avoid pronouncing on matters of domestic (constitutional) law.
9.23.2009 12:01pm
zuch (mail) (www):
PatHMV:

The part that said that he wanted to allow presidents to run for office more than once, in order to "prevent future elections". Regardless of whether you think that removing term limitations will lead to an effective "president-for-life", the fact remains that such a change would allow what you fear through the horrible means of repeated future elections (of arguably more or less democratic character), not the prevention of such.

Cheers,
9.23.2009 12:04pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
martinned... I'm fine with the rule of diplomacy which suggests that states avoid pronouncing on matters of domestic (constitutional) law. That's why I don't understand why you seem to be promoting the actions of President Obama and the Costa Rican president, two men who have done nothing but try to pronounce on matters of Honduran domestic law. When you pronounce this a "coup," you declare that the other two branches of Honduran government broke the law. Demanding that Zelaya continue in office is pronouncing that you consider him the legitimate president, and that you are pronouncing against other sources of authority in Honduras which have declared him no longer the president.

Avoiding pronouncing on matters of domestic (constitutional) law is a far, far different thing from continuing to recognize one man as president. In my U.S. example, you repeatedly said that other states should continue to recognize the impeached President (until realities on the ground become irreconcilable with that fiction). Continuing to recognize him IS taking a position, it's declaring that the other folks (Congress, in my U.S. example) acted unlawfully... because if they had acted lawfully, he really wouldn't be President any more.

So can I assume that your last post means you have reconsidered your earlier comments and retract them?
9.23.2009 12:08pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
zuch, you are clearly not familiar with the reality of the history of Latin America, so I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you. The people of Honduras have seen presidents become dictators before, and they decided that the best way to prevent that was to prohibit any single individual from holding onto power for too long. Zelaya's supremely selfish position is that he, and only he, can do what needs to be done for Honduras. Not his deputies, not other members of his party, only HIM, personally. That's a sure indicator of a dictator-in-waiting.
9.23.2009 12:11pm
Seamus (mail):

In that scenario, if President Bush had contested the legitimacy, etc. of the proceedings, it would be appropriate for the rest of the world to give him the benefit of the doubt.



And if Bush had refused to leave office, but holed up in the White House, and the military had gone in and arrested him and put him on a plane out of the country, would it *still* be OK for the rest of the world to give him the benefit of the doubt, continue to recognize him as president, impose sanctions on the U.S., etc., the way they are with Zelaya?
9.23.2009 12:15pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@PatHMV: I have certainly not retracted my earlier comments. Applying the sniff test, and the rules of thumb I mentioned earlier*, all suggest supporting Zelaya, at least for now. None of that involves any pronouncement on any legal issue. Supporting the new president, on the other hand, automatically implies endorsing the fact and method of impeachment, which is a statement of law.

* I forgot a rule of thumb: "Do whatever is most likely to get the arguing parties back to the negotiating table, so that they might work out their differences by themselves sparing you the need to pronounce on anything."
9.23.2009 12:15pm
martinned (mail) (www):

And if Bush had refused to leave office, but holed up in the White House, and the military had gone in and arrested him and put him on a plane out of the country, would it *still* be OK for the rest of the world to give him the benefit of the doubt, continue to recognize him as president, impose sanctions on the U.S., etc., the way they are with Zelaya?

Yes, but remember: all of this is diplomacy, not law. The goal is to spare everyone as much awkwardness as possible, to make sure that states don't stumble all over each other's domestic legal disputes. To the extent that there are also other interests at stake, the recommendation can turn out very differently.
9.23.2009 12:19pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
By treating Zelaya as President you ARE pronouncing on the legal issue. In fact, President Obama himself, within about a day of Zelaya's arrest, flat-out declared the actions of the Supreme Court, Congress, and the military "illegal." Other countries COULD take the position simply that they don't know who the president is, and that's an internal matter for Honduras to sort out. Granting him refuge, demanding that the other parts of the Honduran government recognize him, etc., is in fact taking a side, and making a pronouncement that all the other branches of Honduran government broke the law. Because if they haven't broken the law, then Zelaya is not the President, period.
9.23.2009 12:22pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@PatHMV: As I already mentioned in my very first comment in this thread, I think Obama is making a much bigger deal out of this than would be advisable. The US shouldn't throw this much support behind the guy unless they think he might "win". But demanding that they let Zelaya back into the country, and that they sort out their differences seems reasonable.
9.23.2009 12:25pm
wm13:
if President Bush had contested the legitimacy, etc. of the [impeachment] proceedings, it would be appropriate for the rest of the world to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This is quite, quite wrong, because it is in total violation of fundamental Anglo-American political principles. (Though it may be in accordance with fundamental Teutonic or Hispanic political principles, of which I know nothing.) If there is a single principle which animates Anglo-American political history, it is the principle of legislative supremacy. If Congress declares that it has removed the president from office, then he has been removed from office. No other power can judge Congress. (And if you don't believe me, ask Charles Stuart.)
9.23.2009 12:35pm
Anton Sirius (mail) (www):
"And why pray tell would he be interested in knowing the opinion of the people in reforming the Constitution if he was not also himself interested in doing so?"

So you accuse him of thoughtcrime. Nice.

He did not do the thing the Constitution prohibited him from doing.

The fact that the thing he did was a likely precursor to doing the thing the Constitution prohibited is rather irrelevant. He did not violate the Constitution. The Honduran Constitution doesn't prohibit thinking about reform.
9.23.2009 12:38pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@wm13: Wow, that's a new one. Parliamentary supremacy in the US? Since when?

But seriously, in normal international relations the only branch of government that matters is the executive, which is where foreign policy comes from. (But cf. art. 46 VCLT, that I quoted above.)

Realistically, I think if there were such a conflict about an impeachment, the EU would stay neutral as much as possible. They certainly wouldn't take Congress's word for it, unless it was obvious that Congress was in the right. (In which case there normally wouldn't be a conflict in the first place.)
9.23.2009 12:42pm
Blargh:
All this fluff about "respecting the rule of law" in Honduras is nonsense. Obama wants Zelaya in power, so he's doing what he thinks will achieve that. That's how it has always been, interfering with the internal affairs of poor countries is a grand tradition in the U.S. across the political spectrum.
9.23.2009 12:47pm
wm13:
martinned: I didn't say Parliamentary supremacy, I said legislative supremacy. If you don't think American constitutional law is rooted in the English experience of the 17th and 18th centuries, you don't understand American constitutional law.
9.23.2009 12:48pm
martinned (mail) (www):

I didn't say Parliamentary supremacy, I said legislative supremacy.

Which is different, how, exactly?


If you don't think American constitutional law is rooted in the English experience of the 17th and 18th centuries, you don't understand American constitutional law.

Sure it is. But it is even more rooted in Montesquieu's misunderstanding of "The English experience of the 17th and 18th centuries".
9.23.2009 12:51pm
Hans Bader:
Honduras's removal of its ex-president was legal, as many lawyers and foreign policy experts have noted, including attorneys Octavio Sanchez, Miguel Estrada, and Dan Miller, former Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes, Stanford's William Ratliff, and the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady.

It was clearly legal under Articles 239 and 272 of the Honduras Constitution.

Yet Obama falsely claimed that it was "illegal" and a "coup."

If it was legal, by definition, it cannot be a coup, since a coup is defined as "the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group."
9.23.2009 12:57pm
Bored Lawyer:
In other news, the Congressional Research Service released a report that, after much study, confirims that that the sun rises in the east, dogs bark and water is wet. As to whether cats meow, they are still working on it. They hope to release a report next month.
9.23.2009 1:22pm
Angus:
Hans,
Well, if one of Zelaya's political opponents, a random blogger, and a few conservatives say that everything was A-OK, then it must be so, right?

Seamus,
Your hypothetical isn't comparable. A better hypothetical would have been the military barging into the White House at midnight, and forcing Bush out of office and out of the country. The following day, the Supreme Court issues an order telling the military to do just that. Also on the following day, Congress votes to approve the action and puts forward a forged resignation letter from Bush.

In that case, which side deserves the benefit of the doubt?
9.23.2009 1:32pm
Steve:
The fact that the thing he did was a likely precursor to doing the thing the Constitution prohibited is rather irrelevant. He did not violate the Constitution. The Honduran Constitution doesn't prohibit thinking about reform.

My understanding is that he proposed a term-limits referendum, the courts ruled it illegal, so his reaction was to propose a non-binding referendum to see whether the people wanted to hold a constitutional convention to think about amending the term-limits provision.

At best, this strikes me as a cutesy workaround. But I think ultimately, the Honduran Supreme Court is exactly the correct body to determine whether this "non-binding referendum" violates the constitution. I'm amazed that there are people who want to declare themselves experts on Honduran law and proclaim that obviously, the Supreme Court was wrong and the referendum was perfectly legal.
9.23.2009 1:34pm
ShelbyC:
Angus:

The following day, the Supreme Court issues an order telling the military to do just that.


I've heard both versions, that the Supreme Court issued the order beforehand, and after. Why do you say the "after" version is correct?
9.23.2009 1:42pm
pmorem (mail):
martinned wrote:

Realistically, I think if there were such a conflict about an impeachment, the EU would stay neutral as much as possible. They certainly wouldn't take Congress's word for it, unless it was obvious that Congress was in the right. (In which case there normally wouldn't be a conflict in the first place.)


What I get from this, and other comments you've made...

... is that you're actually ok with trashing constitutions.

I find your comments deeply disturbing.

I also get the impression that you prefer negotiation over rule of law.

Looking at everything you've said, I have great difficulty trusting your motives.

Other people seem to be arguing the same way.

Do I need to be concerned?
9.23.2009 1:44pm
Hans Bader:
The ex-president's removal from office was perfectly constitutional, say newspaper commentaries by many legal scholars and foreign policy experts, including (to name just a few) attorneys Octavio Sanchez and Miguel Estrada, former Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes, and Stanford's William Ratliff.

Moreover, the ex-president's removal was not a "coup" because it was not committed by a "small group," as the definition of "coup" requires. (A coup is defined as "the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group.")

The removal of Honduras’s president was supported by the entire Honduran Supreme Court, an almost unanimous Honduran Congress, and much of Honduran society.

Honduras did not lose its government, but merely replaced one illegitimate part of it: its overbearing president. And his removal from office (as opposed to his subsequent exile) was clearly legally justified.

The fact that solders, not police, enforced the removal of Honduras's ex-president does not make it a coup. Because soldiers, "instead of the police," carried out the court's orders to remove the ex-president, the removal has been falsely called a "military coup" by liberal journalists, the Obama Administration, the Carter Center, and the leftist regimes that now prevail in much of Latin America. But soldiers' participation made sense. Only soldiers, not police, would have enough manpower to remove a would-be dictator who was the most powerful man in his country, with his own bodyguards. More importantly, the Honduran Constitution expressly vests the military -- not police -- with the power to enforce Constitutional guarantees like term limits, in Article 272. The president forfeited his right to rule by proposing an end to term limits (Honduras has had such a problem with elected presidents later becoming "presidents for life" through vote fraud and intimidation that Article 239 of the Honduras Constitution strips presidents of the presidency if they even "propose" an end to term limits). And soldiers have occasionally been used to enforce court orders, even in the U.S., such as in the 1957 Little Rock desegregation order.

Earlier, the Obama Administration blocked travel to the United States by the people of Honduras.

That was a foolish response to a recent ruling by the supreme court of Honduras refusing to approve the return to power of the country's bullying ex-president and would-be dictator, Mel Zelaya.

Zelaya was earlier arrested by soldiers acting on orders of the Honduras Supreme Court, which had ruled that he was no longer president. He was then replaced by his country's Congress with a civilian successor, and forced into exile. Zelaya's removal came after he systematically abused his powers: he sought to circumvent constitutional term limits, used mobs to intimidate his critics, threatened public employees with termination if they refused to help him violate the Constitution, engaged in massive corruption, illegally cut off public funds to local governments whose leaders refused to back his quest for more power, denied basic government services to his critics, refused to enforce dozens of laws passed by Congress, and spent the country into virtual bankruptcy, refusing to submit a budget so that he could illegally spend public funds on his cronies.

Journalists nonsensically refer to Honduras's removal of its ex-president as a "coup" even while admitting that it was approved by the country's supreme court. But if it was legal, by definition, it cannot be a coup, since a coup is defined as "the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group."

The fact that solders, not police, enforced the removal of Honduras's ex-president does not make it a coup. Because soldiers, "instead of the police," carried out the court's orders to remove the ex-president, the removal has been falsely called a "military coup" by liberal journalists, the Obama Administration, the Carter Center, and the leftist regimes that now prevail in much of Latin America. But soldiers' participation made sense. Only soldiers, not police, would have enough manpower to remove a would-be dictator who was the most powerful man in his country, with his own bodyguards. More importantly, the Honduran Constitution expressly vests the military -- not police -- with the power to enforce Constitutional guarantees like term limits, in Article 272. The president forfeited his right to rule by proposing an end to term limits (Honduras has had such a problem with elected presidents later becoming "presidents for life" through vote fraud and intimidation that Article 239 of the Honduras Constitution strips presidents of the presidency if they even "propose" an end to term limits). And soldiers have occasionally been used to enforce court orders, even in the U.S., such as in the 1957 Little Rock desegregation order.

The State Department staff are reported to have a ridiculous response to all this. The State Department is apparently well aware of the constitutional provisions that justify the ex-president's removal, but believes that they are irrelevant because they were supposedly not cited by the Honduran Supreme Court prior to the President's removal. The U.S. Embassy in Honduras argues that because the court did not cite Article 239 in its order removing the President, Article 239's provision stripping presidents of their office for proposing an end to term limits (as Honduras's ex-president did) is an irrelevant after-the-fact "post-removal" rationalization.

The State Department staff's position reflects a basic misunderstanding of how courts operate in the real world. It is quite common for courts to rule first, and issue an opinion explaining their reasoning later, especially in election disputes and other cases where courts need to rule rapidly (like removing a would-be dictator). Many of the court rulings in the Bush v. Gore litigation, for example, were issued first, with the court opinions explaining them following only later. When the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal government's bankruptcy plan for Chrysler, it ruled first on June 5, and issued its opinion explaining its order only two months later, on August 5. When the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Georgia Thompson's conviction and ordered her release from jail in United States v. Thompson, 484 F.3d 877 (7th Cir. 2007), it did so from the bench, "without waiting until completion of a written decision," and explained its decision only 2 weeks later. Thus, the fact that the Honduras Supreme Court did not explicitly cite Article 239 in its decisions leading to the ex-president's removal is of no consequence.

Confronted with the sound legal basis for removing the ex-president under his country's constitution, the Obama Administration has responded with a series of increasingly weak rationalizations for stubbornly seeking to force his return on the Honduran people.

For example, President Obama has erroneously suggested that people have a "universal right" to keep the presidents they elected in office -- even, apparently, if they violate their country’s constitution, as Honduras's ex-president did. That is certainly not true in the U.S.: Richard Nixon was reelected in a landslide in 1972, but was forced to leave office 2 years later after he attempted to cover up the Watergate burglary.

Obama's nominee for assistant secretary of state has erroneously argued that presidents should not be removed without unspecified “judicial process.” That argument is at odds with our own Constitution’s provision for legislative impeachment; Honduras’s constitutional provision automatically stripping presidents of their office if they even propose changes to constitutional term limits, without the need for impeachment or conviction; and the fact that Honduras's ex-president was in fact removed through a "judicial" order, that has now been reaffirmed in a "judicial process."

The Obama Administration earlier ignored bedrock constitutional principles by taking actions predicated on the erroneous idea that Honduran legislators and judges lost their right to hold office when Honduras's ex-president was removed. That’s like saying that after Richard Nixon resigned in Watergate, all of his judicial appointees (including the 4 Supreme Court justices he appointed, such as Harry Blackmun and William Rehnquist) should have automatically lost their posts, and the entire Congress should have resigned. In an effort to pressure Honduras’s legislature and courts, Obama's State Department earlier rescinded the visas of a Honduran Supreme Court justice, the leader of Honduras’s Congress, and its human-rights ombudsman, who had criticized human-rights abuses and intimidation by the ex-president. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly justified the taking away of the visas by saying that “We don’t recognize Roberto Micheletti as the president of Honduras. We recognize Manuel Zelaya.” U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens similarly explained the revocation of a supreme court justice's visa by saying that "the Supreme Court justice was part of the 'regime.'"

But Congress and the Supreme Court are co-equal branches of government that do not lose their right to hold office merely because the president leaves his office. Presidents are not emperors. They are not the government, but merely part of it. President Obama was not taught this bizarre theory of imperial power at Harvard Law School, which he and I both attended.

Obama’s demand that Honduras reinstate its would-be dictator has emboldened other elected leaders in Latin America to try to make themselves dictators. (Even the liberal Washington Post, which has not endorsed a Republican for president since 1952, admitted in an editorial by Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl that the Obama Administration has shown a “willful disregard of political oppression” by left-wing dictators in Latin America).

Obama's demand that Honduras's ex-president be returned to office has been supported by the Cuban communist dictator Castro and the Venezuelan socialist dictator Chavez, who counted Honduras's deposed president as an ally, despite his background as a wealthy and corrupt landowner.

But allying with Castro and Chavez to force the return of Honduras's would-be dictator has not even improved U.S. relations with their countries. The dictators Castro and Chavez continue to attack and oppose the United States at every turn, and oppose all of its Latin American initiatives, like its plans for bases in Colombia to fight drug trafficking. Obama has received nothing in exchange for his appeasement of Latin America's radical left.
9.23.2009 1:49pm
Steve:
I've heard both versions, that the Supreme Court issued the order beforehand, and after.

The document itself is dated before the coup, as anyone can see by clicking here, although that obviously doesn't preclude the possibility that it was backdated. Still, in a situation where the president has repeatedly defied the other branches of government, it's certainly plausible that such an order would be issued in secret.
9.23.2009 1:50pm
VC lurker:
9.23.2009 1:55pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@pmorem: Since you asked, how about a statement of principles:

International law is capable of providing a framework for resolving problems like this one. An example that I mentioned above is the jurisprudence of the European Court for Human Rights under art. 3 of the 1st protocol, which guarantees the right to free and fair elections. We should work towards establishing mechanisms like this at a global level.

Until we do, the question of "recognition of governments" is essentially a law-free zone. "Recognition of states" is an acknowledged element of international law, something you can look up in handbooks, etc. Recognising a new state has legal consequences. Recognising a government, on the other hand, is a purely diplomatic matter.

In the absence of law, diplomacy still works they way it was invented in the 17th century. The principle of state sovereignty reigns surpreme. States are treated essentially the same, regardless of whether they are governed by a military junta or a democratically elected government. For diplomatic purposes, the government is whatever person or persons are able to exercise effective control over the territory and the population.

None of this means that I don't prefer a democracy over a dictatorship. It just means that I don't exactly know what happened here, and that for the purposes of US foreign policy, it doesn't really matter.

If you (or the Obama administration) don't like such a diplomatic approach, the only thing that can be done right now is to take refuge in a little island of law that is always there: Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. If you can get the Security Council to say that what happened here is not OK, and that this is a threat to the peace, that triggers a body of law and custom to guide the rest of the process.

(And similarly, if it wasn't for the US veto, the Security Council could tell Obama to stop interfering in the domestic affairs of Honduras. In fact, the new government of Honduras could even file a complaint, assuming they can get the UN to recognise them. Cf. art. 35 Charter.)

Ultimately, this problem isn't very complicated. As far as I can tell, the Hondurans have solved their constitutional dispute in, at worst, a vaguely constitutional way. No shots have been fired. New elections are coming up. The only reason why we're even talking about this is that the US and the EU seem to be much more active in backing Zelaya than they should have been based on what I actually wrote above.

All the Hondurans have to do to avoid any trouble past the election is to invite everybody and their brother to send over observers to observe the election. You can't argue with a free and fair election.
9.23.2009 2:03pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Obama’s demand that Honduras reinstate its would-be dictator has emboldened other elected leaders in Latin America to try to make themselves dictators.

@Hans Bader: That's too bad. What you're writing makes sense, but then you end with this phrase and the sections that follow, which again create the suspicion that you would be less concerned if Zelaya wan't a Commie.
9.23.2009 2:06pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
martinned... you may not realize it, but you are continually contradicting yourself. You say looks like Honduras has more or less acted legally. Looks like the upcoming elections are going to be fair, let's just have observers. Looks like the U.S. and the E.U. have been more active than they should be. So why do you support blustering threats to disregard the election results and why aren't you criticizing President Obama and the E.U. leaders for being reckless and undiplomatic?
9.23.2009 2:17pm
Angus:
The document itself is dated before the coup, as anyone can see by clicking here, although that obviously doesn't preclude the possibility that it was backdated.
This is the heart of the issue. We know when the order was announced--after the fact. The secrecy argument does not fly. If you are legally following the constitution and have the army on your side, you don't need to engage in cloak and dagger stuff.
9.23.2009 2:29pm
pmorem (mail):
martinned

It appears to me that you are looking at this through a lens of power and international law. When I said "rule of law", I didn't mean international law.

I'm more concerned with constitutions.

I'm worried about the precedent this sets.

I recognize (and grudingly accept) President Obama because we have constitutional limits on what he can do, including term limits.

I think that Obama has probably not thought this question through all the way. I don't credit him that much. It still looks really ugly.
9.23.2009 2:32pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
pmorem... right. There's actually no such thing as "international law." There's international customs, and various busy-bodies which insert themselves (or try to) in things that aren't much of their business, but because there's no global sovereign, there is in fact no "international law" as such. There's treaty law, but that's not what folks like martinned mean when they talk about "international law."
9.23.2009 2:34pm
ShelbyC:

The secrecy argument does not fly. If you are legally following the constitution and have the army on your side, you don't need to engage in cloak and dagger stuff.


So you're saying the secrecy is conculsive proof that the order was issued after the fact? You're reachin', buddy.
9.23.2009 2:35pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@PatHMV: Ever since my first comment in this thread, I have consistently said that Obama and the EU are using excessive firepower here. But that's a matter of diplomatic tactics and little else.

And FYI, when I talk about international law what I have in mind is 99% treaty law. Like the UN Charter and the ECHR, both of which I already referred to several times. International law scholars spend a lot of time talking about international customs, but I think they are pretty unimportant for actual practice. (Just like common law is great, but relatively unimportant in domestic US law.)

@pmorem: I'm concerned with constitutions, too. But I have no knowledge about the constitution of Honduras and little desire to remedy that. What's more, in international relations, the constitutions of states are not very important. The only law that rules there is international law. (Hence the name.)
9.23.2009 2:40pm
Guest12345:
Angus:

Following the ouster, a curfew was put in place, security forces have patrolled the streets, and a number of local and international television and radio stations have been shut down or intimidated. Additionally, members of Zelaya’s Administration, some members of the press, and at least one Congressional deputy have been detained or forced to go into hiding. Crowds of thousands of protesters have been dispersed—sometimes violently, and on July 1, the Honduran National Congress approved a decree suspending a number of constitutional rights. The decree allows security forces to enter private homes without a warrant, allows the detention of persons for 24 hours without charges, and suspends the rights of free association and free movement during curfew hours. While the curfew was lifted on July 12, it was reinstated on July 15, and remains in place in some parts of the country. Likewise, there continue to be reports of media censorship and political repression.


The funniest thing is -- beyond the specific dates and locations -- all of these have happened within the last decade in the US. Assuming probable cause, police can enter homes without warrants. Whenever the President travels, airports are shutdown and roads are closed. Curfews are instituted during periods of emergency (see New Orleans.) People are kicked out of their homes (see LA fires.) And of course you will always have people complaining of media censorship and political repression.
9.23.2009 2:51pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
martinned,

B.S. Your very first post said: "You stick with the guy who is democratically elected, and if he's really not getting anywhere, you slowly realign your position with the reality on the ground. Anything else would be sticking your nose where it doesn't belong."

"Sticking with the guy who is democratically elected," regardless of actions by any other governmental body, is in fact sticking your nose in things, taking sides in an internal dispute. It's not merely preserving the status quo... unless you take the position, which seems to be your position but you deny holding it, that the government is the president, period.

Now, if you want to say that foreign governments should always persist in recognizing the president, because that's the tradition and the president of most countries is the head of state or head of government (or both), then that's fine, but that's in fact picking a side, and declaring that, from an external perspective, the people of Honduras have no right to set their own rules for determining who their leader is.

On the subject of international law, treaties cannot, generally, take precedence over the constitutions of the individual states, because the constitutions of the state control what agreements its agents can make with other states.

If you want to consider the U.N. Charter as binding treaty law, be my guest, but it's laughable to actually do so. With exceedingly rare exceptions, its provisions are never actually enforced within the confines of any member state.
9.23.2009 3:02pm
Matthew Carberry (mail):

The document itself is dated before the coup, as anyone can see by clicking here, although that obviously doesn't preclude the possibility that it was backdated.
This is the heart of the issue. We know when the order was announced--after the fact. The secrecy argument does not fly. If you are legally following the constitution and have the army on your side, you don't need to engage in cloak and dagger stuff.


Sure you do, if the person you are going to remove has a personally-loyal bodyguard and a propensity to call out armed supporters (illegally) for his defense.

You'd prefer a formal announcement with troops and tanks then having to potentially cut their way through a bought-and-paid-for mob to execute a legal arrest warrant?

That'd make GREAT television. =/

This was a police action carried out by soldiers per the Constitution, the best (and most rational) analogy is therefore not to a cloak-and-dagger military coup but rather a "no knock" warrant service by a SWAT team.

It's legal and can often reduce the danger to all involved.
9.23.2009 3:08pm
anomdebus (mail):
Although in spirit, I agree with those who think the Obama administration made a mistake in choosing the side they did, I see nothing wrong in principle with what martinned wrote.
There is nothing wrong with initially presuming that a democratically elected official has more legitimacy as head of state than an appointed official. The question becomes at what point do you shift from that presumption to the actual facts of the case.
Note that this transition need not happen in public. The first direct word from the administration could have been in consideration of the Honduran constitution rather than the general principals of democratic philosophy.
9.23.2009 3:13pm
Hugh:
Let's see, Zelaya's removal was supported by the Honduran Supreme Court, the legislature, the Attorney General, and the military. If Zelaya is reinstated as president, he can only serve for four more months. But, in order to reinstate him, you would probably have to remove all those who acted to remove him.

So, the country would be deprived of its Supreme Court, its legislature, its Attorney General, and its senior military leadership. If all those parties are removed, what are the chances that Zelaya will hold the elections in November for his successor?

More likely, Zelaya would find a reason not to hold the elections. Then he would hold his referendum on amending the constitution and he would get an amendment permitting him to be reelected. Great, another anti-American dictator for life in Central America.
9.23.2009 3:14pm
martinned (mail) (www):

On the subject of international law, treaties cannot, generally, take precedence over the constitutions of the individual states, because the constitutions of the state control what agreements its agents can make with other states.

And who, exactly, said differently? I certainly didn't. Not in this thread, nor anywhere else.

As for your take on my original comment, I assure you, "stick with" can cover a multitude of sins. A more specific assessment came in the next paragraph of that same comment.

(If Obama and I disagree on what the most wise diplomatic approach here is, I don't think that merits any harsh words on my part. That is probably why you were confused.)
9.23.2009 3:17pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
How did the generals in Burma and Khaddafi, for instance, take power?

Yet they get visas for the UN session and the Hondurans cannot.

Any of O's defenders here want to explain how we are bravely standing for principle of "rule of law" in Honduras but not in Burma.
9.23.2009 3:26pm
George Smith:
Must not offend Hugo, must not offend Hugo................
9.23.2009 3:37pm
pmorem (mail):
martinned

I'm not the least bit concerned with Obama's conduct under treaty, international law, or anything like that.

I'm concerned that as a matter of policy he is not recognizing impeachment or term limits.

I am concerned with the precedent that sets.

I am concerned that some people want him to do the same thing here.

It's not even about Honduras for me.

It's about thie US, our constitution, and attitudes, policies and precedents here.
9.23.2009 3:58pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Ruufles:

I have always been a fan of Ahron Barak. He has always seemed to be a decent sort.

Wasn't he the one who openly stated that the ICC could have jurisdiction over Israeli war crimes proceedings even if Israel was not a signatory to the Rome convention, though?

He does seem a bit further left of our left-wing though....
9.23.2009 4:38pm
thesnakeguy (mail):
>>If it was legal, by definition, it cannot be a coup, since a coup is defined as "the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group."

The fact that you looked up Merriam's Dictionary indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now.
9.23.2009 4:39pm
davod (mail):
As an aside. Zelaya couldn't get the Ballots manufactured in Honduras so Chavez produced them and shipped them into Honduras on a military aircraft. Zelaya ordered the head of the Honduran military to distribute the ballots. At the direction of the courts the Chief refused and was sacked. The next guy in line also refused, so Zelaya sent his supporters to the military base to liberate and distribute the ballots. They were repulsed.
9.23.2009 4:45pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Angus:

I hardly consider myself a part of the right-wing though I guess I am on some limited issues (and left-wing on others).

Initially, when news broke, I expected widespread condemnation of the military in Honduras and the restoration of the line of succession in a similar manner to what happened in Ecuador in 1999 following the coup there (which started out as a populist protest movement against dollarization). As facts came out, it became clear that the line of succession was in fact intact, and that it wasn't really a coup so much as a proper exercise of executive power on the part of the army. We can contrast this with Ecuador which was ruled by a Junta for all of three days following the 1999 coup.

Honestly, the Honduran Constitution strikes me as problematic in that it makes it impossible to change this provision regarding term limits. However, that is the Honduran people's problem, not our problem.

You can come up with all kinds of reasons to oppose Zalaya's removal but in the end, such international pressure undermines the Constitution and rule of law in Honduras. The fact of the matter is that Zalaya's removal was done according to Honduran legal principles and therefore is an internal political matter, not a military revolt.

BTW, I stand firmly against the trend embodied by Chavez, Fujimori, Uribe, and Zalaya to remove term limits from Constitutions in Latin America. I think minor and sensible reform is reasonable (as in Correa's push for a new Constitution allowing for a single re-election based on a US model). However, beyond this, it threatens to undermine the separation of powers in these countries and needs to be stopped. The next big test is whether the right-wing Alvaro Uribe gets a Constitutional amendment to allow yet another term.....
9.23.2009 5:11pm
martinned (mail) (www):

It's about the US, our constitution, and attitudes, policies and precedents here.

Exactly right. So let's start with the constitution and other written law: Does it actually require anything from the President here? I'd say no. The president is in charge of foreign policy, and he can support whichever side of this conflict he chooses.

Beyond that, your statement begs the question. When there's no reasonable argument for, say, Zelaya, then obviously the President should support Micheletti. But then, if there were no reasonable argument for Zelaya, presumably there wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

Your approach assumes that there is a clear right and wrong in this conflict, and that Obama is supposed to know which of these two is the good guy. Several commenters, though not you, have suggested that the good guy is the one who's not a communist. That's one way to go, one tried and tested by successive administrations for decades.

Absent a clear answer as to right and wrong, why not let one's choice of sides depend on strategic considerations? And absent any strategic interest in the conflict, why not stay relatively neutral?
9.23.2009 5:12pm
Seamus (mail):

Your hypothetical isn't comparable. A better hypothetical would have been the military barging into the White House at midnight, and forcing Bush out of office and out of the country. The following day, the Supreme Court issues an order telling the military to do just that. Also on the following day, Congress votes to approve the action and puts forward a forged resignation letter from Bush.



If by "votes to approve the action," you mean "impeaches Bush, then convicts him and removes him from office" (our constitution's analog to the operative provisions of the Honduran constitution), then yes. IIRC, that kind of congressional ratification of what was initially an illegal act was how the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War became retroactively legal. (The forged resignation letter is irrelevant. No one is claiming any more that it had any legal effect.)
9.23.2009 5:25pm
pmorem (mail):
Exactly right. So let's start with the constitution and other written law: Does it actually require anything from the President here? I'd say no. The president is in charge of foreign policy, and he can support whichever side of this conflict he chooses.


You persist in completely missing my point.

Substitute "Bush" or "Obama" for "Zelaya", and look at it the same way.

I'm not saying US law binds Obama on this.

I'm saying Obama is setting a very scary precedent.

Yes, my approach assumes there's a clear right and wrong.

I think the legal issue is pretty clear. I also note that Micheletti is not running for President. Among other things, the Honduran constitution will not permit him to do so (term limits).
9.23.2009 5:42pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
I couldn't tell which side screwed up worse before this question begging exercise of a report, and I can't still tell, after it.
9.23.2009 5:44pm
geokstr (mail):
I'll ask this question of all the Zelaya supporters one more time:

Would any of you like to opine on how you would have treated this exact same fact situation if Zelaya was a right-winger?

Come on now, at least one of you could lie and say you'd be for reinstating him even if he was a rightwinger?

And can I get a source as to what official honduran body exactly publicized this "forged letter" as a justification for the removal? I've googled this in several different ways and all I get is a copy of the letter and a whole bunch of leftist sites claiming this forged letter proves it was a coup, none of which say "forged letter put forth by the military/supreme court/legislature, et al".
9.23.2009 6:04pm
martinned (mail) (www):

I'm saying Obama is setting a very scary precedent.

Precedent how? Like Reagan/Contras? This is not a story about law, there are no precedents. Every president looks at every situation anew, and decides what morality and the interests of the United States require. In this case, I'd say they require more neutrality, but if Obama disagrees, I don't think that's a very big problem.

Yes, my approach assumes there's a clear right and wrong.

Then please explain why Obama and other world leaders don't agree. Is it because secretly they're all Marxists, looking to help the communist guy? Surely Obama has plenty of problems as it is, that he can do without having one more? He doesn't have to go out looking for trouble?
9.23.2009 6:07pm
pmorem (mail):
Then please explain why Obama and other world leaders don't agree. Is it because secretly they're all Marxists, looking to help the communist guy?


It's a convenient narrative. To my mind, the most likely explanation is a combination of groupthink and the one you offered:

Surely Obama has plenty of problems as it is, that he can do without having one more? He doesn't have to go out looking for trouble?
9.23.2009 6:35pm
Melancton Smith:
None of the Zelaya supporters here have even attempted to address the plain text of the Honduras Constitution. Partisan hacks!
9.23.2009 6:50pm
Angus:
None of the Zelaya supporters here have even attempted to address the plain text of the Honduras Constitution. Partisan hacks!
Nothing in the Honduras Constitution authorizes the Honduran military to remove the President based on secret backdated orders from the Attorney General or Supreme Court.

And can I get a source as to what official honduran body exactly publicized this "forged letter" as a justification for the removal?
I do not know who exactly introduced it, but the Honduran Congress voted to accept it as legitimate despite it being dated June 25, three days before Zelaya was surprised in the middle of the night.
9.23.2009 7:58pm
pmorem (mail):
Nothing in the Honduras Constitution authorizes the Honduran military to remove the President based on secret backdated orders from the Attorney General or Supreme Court.


In a previous thread it has been argued that the Honduran Constitution does indeed permit exactly that.

"all citizen invested or not with authority, must have to collaborate in the maintenance or reestablishment of its {the consitution's} affective use."


Zelaya's particular offense was attempting to remove term limits. Even indirectly supporting removal of term limits is grounds for removal.
9.23.2009 8:21pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@pmorem: Do you have a law degree from the University of Tegucigalpa, by any chance? It sure sounds like it, given how confidently you are making pronouncements on matters of Honduran constitutional law...
9.23.2009 8:58pm
pmorem (mail):
martinned,

Angus made an assertion. I presented evidence that it was arguably false. The analysis is not mine.
9.23.2009 10:25pm
martinned (mail) (www):
In case anyone still cares, an analysis of some of the international relations and international law issues here has just been posted on EJIL: Talk.
9.24.2009 7:07am
drunkdriver:
This discussion could benefit from today's Miami Herald story, in which Zelaya says "he is being subjected to mind-altering gas and radiation -- and that `Israeli mercenaries' are planning to assassinate him."

http://www.miamiherald.com/1506/story/1248828.html

This is the man we are supposed to go to bat for?
9.24.2009 9:46am
José María Rodríguez González (mail) (www):


Ms. Norma C. Gutierrez report at CRS is tinted.

The following document based on the Honduran Constitution and Penal Code already shows how the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress conspired against Mr. Manuel Zelaya.

(In its original Spanish)

You have the scoop!




Camuflaje legal del golpe militar en Honduras



Es difícil convencer al mundo de que el golpe militar contra la soberanía del pueblo hondureño es algo secundario, que la violenta detención y expulsión de la máxima autoridad de la nación ha sido un acto de justicia y que ambos hechos son constitucionales y que son incuestionables porque provienen de una Constitución con petrificaciones que solamente el gobierno montado después del golpe militar puede interpretar y que nadie en el mundo tiene las cualidades especiales para entender tal Constitución con petrificaciones. Pero no es así. Muchas naciones cuentan con expertos y con experiencias democráticas muy ricas de las cuales, paradójicamente, han sido extractados tanto la estructura como el contenido de muchos apartes de la Constitución de Honduras. Esta no es una Constitución sofisticada ni pionera de las democracias más avanzadas, por el contrario contiene anquilosamientos y petrificaciones que sorprenden a cualquier constitucionalista contemporáneo. La Constitución de Honduras es relativamente simple y fuera de sus vacíos e intangibles no tiene ningún misterio especial o alguna cláusula que el mundo no haya conocido ya.


Antecedentes:

El día de su posesión, enero 27 del 2006, el presidente Manuel Zelaya propone la Ley de Participación Ciudadana, ley 3-2006, que corresponde fielmente al Título I, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 2.- La soberanía corresponde al pueblo del cual emanan todos los poderes del Estado que se ejercen por representación. “ y al Título I, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 5.- El gobierno debe sustentarse en el principio de la democracia participativa del cual se deriva la integración nacional, que implica participación de todos los sectores políticos en la administración pública a fin de asegurar y fortalecer el progreso de Honduras basado en la estabilidad política y en la conciliación nacional.” Ambos artículos de la Constitución de la República de Honduras que garantizan la mayor participación democrática de los hondureños. De esta ley y de estos artículos constitucionales surgen los decretos presidenciales PCM-005-2009, PCM-019-2009, PCM-020-2009 y PCM-027-2009, procedimientos que desde un principio han sido claros en la mente, las palabras y las acciones de Zelaya y muy bien conocidas promesas de su campaña presidencial. No hay ninguna conversión al “Chavismo” ni las políticas de Zelaya, altamente democráticas, estaban haciendo de Honduras ninguna Siberia, por el contrario son pilares en la modernización y el avance de Honduras.

La demora en presentar el presupuesto, por las razones que haya tenido Zelaya, no es algo que nunca se haya visto en una nación democrática. En los mismos Estados Unidos se ha llegado a la parálisis temporal del gobierno, precisamente porque el presupuesto no fue presentado a tiempo. Sin embargo eso no se puso en la lista para allanar violentamente la casa presidencial y expulsar en piyamas al presidente, esto es algo brutal, vergonzoso y del más bajo cociente civil.

También el presidente se reserva el derecho de vetar cualquier ley que considere inconveniente para la nación o su proyecto de gobierno. Este derecho es parte de su ejercicio normal como presidente.

La potestad de aprobar o denegar el presupuesto siempre la tuvo intacta el Congreso Nacional de Honduras y nadie puede mostrar una ley propuesta por el presidente Zelaya o siquiera un decreto presidencial para quitarle al Congreso su potestad y sus funciones. Es muy fácil para los congresistas, juristas y militares golpistas aprovecharse de la poca información sobre el proceso legal de Honduras y decir que Zelaya le quitó potestad y funciones al Congreso y que usurpó su poder, pero otra cosa es mostrar los hechos, las evidencias y la documentación de que eso haya realmente sucedido así.

Zelaya no quería que el Congreso bloqueara las asignaciones hechas por la planeación ejecutiva y el forcejeo estaba allí, pero de convertir un normal forcejeo político en una criminalización del presidente y luego peor en el uso de la violencia para que el poder legislativo del Congreso Nacional y el poder judicial de las cortes y la Corte Suprema de Justicia se impongan sobre el poder ejecutivo del presidente, como quedó claramente a la vista del mundo, eso si son hechos, evidencia con una documentación amplia que demuestra cómo efectivamente los poderes judicial y legislativo se impusieron sobre el poder ejecutivo no solo jurídicamente, sino hasta el extremo de usar la violencia para expulsar el símbolo máximo del poder de Honduras, su legítimo presidente elegido constitucionalmente por el pueblo soberano, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. No caben las disculpas aquí, lo que importa y únicamente importante es que esa imposición de los poderes judicial y legislativo sobre el poder ejecutivo es inaceptable, vergonzosa y el peor abuso de los poderes que se pueda uno imaginar de una democracia.

Manuel Zelaya al contrario de atropellar la Constitución es un ejemplo en Honduras de su interpretación con la mayor brillantez y rigidez que haya tenido un mandatario hasta hoy. Su propia propuesta de la Ley de Participación Ciudadana, Ley 3-2006, es la más brillante y rígida interpretación de los artículos 2 y 5 de la Constitución hondureña, citados arriba.

El cuerpo del delito:


Es la pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 para una encuesta:*


“¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales del 2009 se instale una Cuarta Urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente?

Si___ No___ “


* Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-005-2009 nunca cumplió el requisito legal de ser publicado en el Diario Oficial La Gaceta, y fue anulado por el Ejecutivo.


Estas 29 palabras, que no dicen ni implican, ni insinúan ni conllevan la intención de que el presidente Manuel Zelaya se va a presentar para reelección el próximo 29 de Noviembre del 2009, o en el 2013, o en el 2017, o en el 2021 o en ningún otro año, que de ninguna manera promueven la re-elección del presidente Zelaya en ningún momento, que en ninguno de los significados de estas 29 palabras se puede establecer o deducir que su único o uno de sus propósitos es reformar el Título I, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 4.- (…) La alternabilidad en el ejercicio de la Presidencia de la República es obligatoria. La infracción de esta norma constituye delito de traición a la Patria.” o el Título V, Capítulo VI, “ARTICULO 239 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras que reza: “El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Designado.”, que con ninguna de las 29 palabras de la pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 se está quebrantando los susodichos Artículos 4 y 239 de la Constitución, que con ninguna de estas palabras se está apoyando directa o indirectamente que se reformen esos artículos. Es una pregunta clara y directa que para cualquier persona letrada del mundo, en cualquier idioma, entiende que lo que esta pregunta hace es indagar si se instala o no otra urna, una cuarta, para decidir si se convoca o no a una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.

Una Asamblea Constituyente trata sobre actualizaciones, adiciones y correcciones a la Constitución actual, que en conjunto se llaman reformas y que como tales crean un nuevo arreglo de la Constitución que normal y automáticamente se llamaría nueva, sin que por el hecho lógico de llamarla “nueva” cada artículo y cada numeral de la nueva constitución tenga que obligatoriamente ser absolutamente nuevo, jamás conocido anteriormente y de ninguna manera contemplado en la Constitución anterior.

No existió ningún delito de traición a la patria, porque los poderes judicial y legislativo no tienen ninguna prueba, ninguna evidencia, ninguna causa, ningún hecho, absolutamente nada que no les permita concluir que una nueva Constitución no pueda contener los artículos pétreos como el 4 o el 239.
El solo leer la pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 es suficiente para pulverizar todos los cargos, las impugnaciones, manipulaciones, mentiras y edificios jurídicos de paja que las diez familias poderosas de Honduras en mal habida mancomunación con las Fuerzas Armadas, el poder judicial, el legislativo y los cuerpos religiosos han hecho creer que son tabús exclusivos de Honduras e incomprensibles para el resto del mundo. Los golpes de estado son rechazados por el mundo democrático, pero no porque son solo inteligibles a quienes los cometen, sino porque el conocimiento detallado de ellos nos enseña lo cancerosos que son contra toda la democracia.

Si la pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 no es clara o puede prestarse para mal entendidos, entonces, lo que la experiencia de nuestra civilización nos enseña es solicitarle al ejecutivo con el mayor respeto que nos provea con todas las explicaciones necesarias. Por supuesto, los aferrados al poder hegemónico de Honduras que ven con titánico miedo que tienen que compartir con otros el poder se dedicaron a volver esa pregunta en el cuerpo de un delito que jamás se cometió y a construir alrededor de él, con la mayor diligencia y velocidad, todas las especulaciones imaginables para criminalizar al líder no solo de la nación, sino también de los cambios necesarios para Honduras.

Los amigos y el estilo de vida del presidente Manuel Zelaya él los ha puesto al servicio de Honduras, eso hace siempre una persona entregada a su nación, no solo a sus negocios. Las gentes de negocios pidieron al gobierno golpista que no terminara las relaciones con el ALBA, porque la exportación de legumbres y leche, entre otras, beneficiaban a Honduras, y eso es un ejemplo de cómo los intereses económicos, sociales y prácticos siempre deben estar defendidos de las pasiones ideológicos.

Las diez familias poderosas de Honduras tienen todo el derecho a oponerse y derrotar las políticas del presidente Zelaya, pero con la altura y la civilidad de la democracia no con la bajeza de absurdas piruetas jurídicas y la denigración cobarde de la violencia.

La pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 es la única y central evidencia factual que muestran las sentencias del Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo y la Corte Suprema de Justicia. La sola pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 deja limpio de todo cargo al presidente Manuel Zelaya y destruye por sí misma el nubelesco andamiaje jurídico que especulativamente se construyó alrededor de ella. Pero si ellos necesitan que se les deletree sus falacias ante el mundo, porque todavía no pueden ver sus crímenes, ya que no son inocentes errores, entonces espero que esta contribución los ayude.




Los cargos:


El Ministerio Público, el Fiscal general de la República y el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo no pueden esperar ser infaliblemente correctos y por eso existen otras instancias de la ley para corroborar los juzgamientos hechos. Fue una falla de la justicia misma que estas revisión y verificación no estén incluidas en su estructura, ¿cómo puede un sistema de justicia garantizar su juzgamiento si éste carece de revisión y verificación? La desobediencia de un fallo de la Corte exige la argumentación de quien desobedece y si la desobediencia tiene un asidero de razón debe reconsiderarse el fallo o llevarse a otra instancia donde una mayor gama de aspectos puedan ser considerados. El Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo y la Corte de Apelaciones del Contencioso Administrativo demostraron desenfoques jurídicos, y la desatención del presidente no puede interpretarse solamente como un error del presidente, como si la Corte no cometiera errores o no hubiera pasado por alto consideraciones que harían cambiar diametralmente su fallo. Era y es obvio y claro que las Cortes estaban en una misión de criminalización del presidente y no en una de hacer justicia y menos de escuchar la argumentación de la contraparte, y esta es la falla más grande e inexcusable del sistema de justicia hondureño.




(Cuerpo del delito:) Pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 para una encuesta:

“¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales del 2009 se instale una Cuarta Urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente?
Si___ No___ “


Cargo 1:

No existió ningún delito contra la forma de gobierno por parte del presidente Manuel Zelaya, porque el Código Penal de Honduras, Título XII, Capítulo II, ARTICULO 328 reza fielmente: “Delinquen contra la forma de Gobierno y serán sancionados con reclusión de seis a doce años, quienes ejecutaren actos directamente encaminados a conseguir por la fuerza, o fuera de las vías legales, algunos de los fines siguientes: 1)…, 2)…, 3) Despojar en todo o en parte al Congreso, al Poder Ejecutivo o a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, de las prerrogativas y facultades que les atribuye la Constitución.” En lo pertinente habla explícita y categóricamente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia no del poder Judicial tampoco de los Tribunales de Justicia y no especifica al Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo, lo que especifica con toda claridad es a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, aquí no hay margen de duda. El numeral determina y singulariza con toda nitidez a la Corte Suprema de Justicia.
Esto implica que el presidente Manuel Zelaya nunca tuvo ninguna culpa de la improcedencia y negligencia del Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo al usurpar las funciones de la Corte Suprema de Justicia con la aquiescencia de la misma. El Ministerio Público, el Fiscal General de la República y el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo asumen que el presidente Zelaya violó el Título V, Capítulo VI, “ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Designado.
El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos, y quedarán inhabilitados por diez años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.” Si el presidente Manuel Zelaya hubiera cometido la violación inapelable del artículo 239 de la Constitución, hubiera sido de inmediato que la autoridad máxima de la justicia de la nación, la Corte Suprema de Justicia, diera su sentencia urgente al presidente para que de esta manera se pudiera establecer el gobierno provisional y garantizar así la normalidad gubernamental. La Corte Suprema de Justicia nunca le dio esa sentencia al presidente Zelaya por la simple y llana razón de que el presidente Zelaya jamás cometió la inapelable violación del artículo 239 de la Constitución.
La Constitución es la Ley de la nación; y no hay un solo cargo contra el presidente Zelaya que no se refiera a una violación de un artículo constitucional, una materia obvia de la Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia por cuanto los lineamientos de estas infracciones han sido contestados, no se ven claramente definidos y son materia de discusión en el Congreso Nacional. La imposibilidad de los Tribunales de Justicia de sentenciar una inapelable violación del artículo 239 es ya una exigencia para la intervención urgente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia. Los decretos del presidente afectan la nación como la afectan la ley y la Constitución y solo la Corte Suprema de Justicia tiene la competencia para tratar este tipo de situaciones, no una corte de primera instancia. Como el presidente Zelaya no cometió nunca esa inapelable violación o si la cometió y la forma como se argumenta que la cometió es de por si un desafío jurídico, entonces la Corte Suprema de Justicia estaba obligada a tomar cartas en el asunto para evitar una crisis y un golpe de estado de gravísimas consecuencias para Honduras.
La situación jurídica llegó a un caso urgente de revisión de inconstitucionalidad, porque lo primario de determinar era si un decreto presidencial que funciona como una ley para toda la nación, era constitucional o no. Si era constitucional el problema quedaba resuelto y la solución pasaba al pueblo soberano y las convicciones de cada uno de los ciudadanos hondureños. Si no lo era, entonces el presidente Zelaya sería culpable de un decreto inconstitucional que lo destituye ipso-facto y sin apelación de su cargo. El argumento principal sería que el presidente quiere volver a una situación anterior a 1957,previa a 1982, cuando la actual Constitución fue escrita y que demanda la aplicación del Título IV, Capítulo II, “ARTICULO 186.- Ningún poder ni autoridad puede avocarse causas pendientes ni abrir juicios fenecidos, salvo en causas juzgadas en materia penal y civil que pueden ser revisadas en toda época en favor de los condenados, a pedimento de éstos, de cualquier persona, del ministerio público o de oficio.
Este recurso se interpondrá ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia. La ley reglamentará los casos y la forma de revisión.”
Por cualquier lugar que lo miremos la pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 era competencia única y exclusivamente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia.



(Cuerpo del delito:) Pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 para una encuesta:

“¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales del 2009 se instale una Cuarta Urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente?
Si___ No___ “


Cargo 2:

No existió ningún delito de traición a la patria, porque el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo no tiene ninguna prueba, ni ninguna evidencia ni ninguna causa, ni ningún hecho, absolutamente nada que no le permita concluir que una nueva Constitución no pueda contener los artículos pétreos. Y porque el Título II, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 373.- La reforma de esta Constitución podrá decretarse por el Congreso Nacional, en sesiones ordinarias, con dos tercios de votos de la totalidad de sus miembros. El decreto señalará al efecto el artículo o artículos que hayan de reformarse, debiendo ratificarse por la subsiguiente legislatura ordinaria, por igual número de votos, para que entre en vigencia“ se refiere a la aprobación de cualquier reforma de la constitución y no a cómo debe iniciarse una nueva constitución. El indiscutible punto central de la Constitución es la protección de los artículos pétreos, que son parte fundamental de la decisión, decreto o conclusión, y no cómo se inicie o proceda con el material reformatorio; por lo que el artículo 373 se refiere de una manera estricta y exclusiva a la decisión, a la conclusión, al decreto, a la aprobación que define los artículos de la reforma. Un decreto presidencial es una decisión y una conclusión del presidente, y un decreto del Congreso es también una decisión y una conclusión del Congreso. No existe una contradicción en el contenido del verbo decretar. El artículo 373 es muy claro al referirse a la parte conclusiva y definitoria de decretar la reforma de la Constitución por parte del Congreso.

La aprobación, por parte del Congreso, de una reforma es la preocupación central de la Constitución y hay una razón primordial para ello, porque es solo en la aprobación donde se puede detener efectivamente cualquier intento de tocar los artículos pétreos. Es imposible evitar que cualquiera quiera cambiar un artículo pétreo o referirse a dónde y cómo una reforma se pueda originar, pero si se puede evitar que llegue a afecto con la doble salvaguardia de votación en el Congreso, prevista y establecida en el artículo 373. Sería, absurdo que fuera al revés. Ya el artículo 239 se encarga de que los funcionarios públicos no lo intenten. La Constitución no se repite, sino que da respuestas a cada paso y el artículo 373 da respuesta al paso de la aprobación de una reforma con doble salvaguardia de votación.

Ya existe el caso reciente de diciembre del 2008 cuando los mismos miembros del Congreso Nacional dirigidos por Roberto Micheletti propusieron y desarrollaron reformas a los artículos pétreos 239 y 240, este última reza así: “ARTICULO 240.- No pueden ser elegidos Presidente de la República:
1. Los Designados a la Presidencia de la República, Secretarios y Subsecretarios de Estado, Miembros del Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, Magistrados y Jueces del Poder Judicial, Presidentes, Vicepresidentes, Gerentes, Subgerentes, Directores, Subdirectores, Secretarios Ejecutivos de instituciones descentralizadas, Contralor y Subcontralor General de la República, Procurador y Subprocurador General de la República, Director y Subdirector de Probidad Administrativa, que hayan ejercido sus funciones durante los seis meses anteriores a la fecha de elección del Presidente de la República;” Dos detalles importantes son de anotar aquí, que no fue el Congreso, sino la Corte Suprema de Justicia la que determinó que esas reformas a esos dos artículos pétreos, 239 y 240, eran inconstitucionales y que fue del señor Roberto Micheletti bajo cuya autoridad se propusieron y desarrollaron esas reformas a los dos artículos pétreos, de donde fue él y otros congresistas quienes violaron in-fraganti el Titulo VII, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 374.- No podrán reformarse, en ningún caso, el artículo anterior, el presente artículo, los artículos constitucionales que se refieren a la forma de gobierno, al territorio nacional, al período presidencial, a la prohibición para ser nuevamente Presidente de la República, el ciudadano que lo haya desempeñado bajo cualquier título y el referente a quienes no pueden ser Presidentes de la República por el período subsiguiente.” Micheletti y miembros de su Congreso jamás fueron destituidos ipso-facto de su cargo como funcionarios públicos, infringiendo con pruebas contundentes, evidentes y documentadas el pétreo artículo 374 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras, y tampoco su casa fue violentada, ni fue secuestrado exigiendo su expatriación a cambio de su vida.
El artículo 373 se refiere a la aprobación, conclusión o decreto de las reformas como es obvio que la Constitución no está poniendo una restricción de tiempo para que una reforma solo pueda hacerse entre dos periodos de sesiones ordinarias del Congreso. De ser así la Constitución lo establecería explícitamente diciendo que las reformas a la Constitución no se pueden hacer en sesiones ordinarias del Congreso, sino solamente en el lapso de tiempo entre dos periodos de sesiones ordinarias del Congreso. Es obvio que eso no es lo que está diciendo el artículo 373, sino que lo que está haciendo es definir la doble salvaguardia de aprobación para poner en efecto una reforma constitucional. Con lo que queda claro que el artículo 373 se refiere estricta y exclusivamente al proceso de aprobación de artículos reformistas y no a otra cosa.

Lo que la Constitución quiere es que sea el Congreso el que decida si un artículo reformista se aprueba o si un artículo reformista no se aprueba, porque atenta contra un artículo pétreo, y que esto lo haga el Congreso dónde deben estar todas las representaciones del pueblo hondureño. Y deja campo a que la aprobación también la haga otro poder, cuando usa la expresión “podrá” en lugar de decretará, y ya la Corte Suprema de Justicia lo hizo el pasado 19 de noviembre del 2008.

Si argüir que los decretos PCM-020-2009 sobre procedimiento y PCM-027-2009 sobre ejecución abogan por una asamblea constituyente para derogar el artículo fósil 239 no tiene ningún asidero, veracidad ni fundamento legal, pero especular que esos decretos también establecen la re-elección del presidente Manuel Zelaya es ya tratar de encontrar la amazonia en la luna. No existe ningún decreto del presidente Manuel Zelaya que reforme la Constitución. Fuera de los decretos PCM-020-2009 sobre procedimiento y PCM-027-2009 sobre ejecución no existe ningún otro decreto del Presidente Manuel Zelaya y menos uno que reforme la Constitución.

Es también inverosímil que se esgrima el argumento de que la votación de opinión del 28 de Junio intentaba llamar a una asamblea constituyente para reformar los artículos pétreos de la Constitución de Honduras. Eso es pensar con el deseo en lugar de tener la cabeza bien puesta en los hechos que tenían frente a ellos. Los decretos PCM-020-2009 sobre procedimiento y PCM-027-2009 sobre ejecución no establecen que después de la votación del 28 de junio se hará una asamblea constituyente y menos que el tema de esa asamblea constituyente sería anular los artículos pétreos de la Constitución hondureña. Esos argumentos solo existen en las cabezas de los golpistas, no en los hechos ni en ninguno de los documentos, PCM-020-2009 y PCM-027-2009, ni en la promoción de la votación del 28 de junio.

La argumentación para una violación del artículo 373 es vaga, insustanciada, insuficiente y especulativa por provenir de sesgada y maliciosa imaginación y no de evidencia factual.

Cualquier argumento penal aquí contra el presidente Manuel Zelaya es denunciante y condenante de quienes lo esgriman, pues, prueba evidentemente de la obstinada imposición de criminalización que motiva y mueve la irracionalidad de estos cargos.





(Cuerpo del delito:) Pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 para una encuesta:

“¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales del 2009 se instale una Cuarta Urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente?
Si___ No___ “


Cargo 3:

No existe ningún abuso de autoridad por parte del presidente Manuel Zelaya, porque el Título XIII, Capítulo III, “ARTICULO 349. Será castigado con reclusión de tres (3) a seis (6) años e inhabilitación especial por el doble del tiempo que dure la reclusión, el funcionario o empleado público que: 1) Se niegue a dar el debido cumplimiento a órdenes, sentencias, providencias, resoluciones, acuerdos o decretos dictados por las autoridades judiciales o administrativas dentro de los límites de sus respectivas competencias y con las formalidades legales;“ considera con el mismo rango a las autoridades judiciales y administrativas, y las administrativas se refieren al poder ejecutivo como son los decretos presidenciales con los cuales el presidente administra asuntos de la nación. Como este numeral no dicen que los decretos judiciales están por encima de los administrativos o a la inversa, esto es causa factual para una audiencia privada de las partes para conciliar sus diferencias o una intervención de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para resolver el conflicto. La Corte Suprema de Justicia volvió aquí a fallar en sus funciones y competencia.

La Corte debe limitarse a la ley y no aventurarse en expertas especulaciones que pueden ir en doble vía o en remedos psicoanalíticos que ridiculizan la seriedad y credibilidad de la Corte. Si una Corte no es capaz de sustentarse objetivamente en la ley y tiene que recurrir a argumentaciones subjetivas, sus sentencias no son confiables. Y realmente, si son dañinas para la nación.

Vale recordar que es completamente falso que un decreto conlleva ejecución per-se. Invito a que se haga un decreto ejecutivo prohibiendo el consumo de estupefacientes. Si la irresistible fuerza ejecutoria que se clama tiene todo decreto acaba con el consumo de estupefacientes, admito inmediatamente que esa teoría debe ponerse en primera línea de los productos hondureños de exportación.

Es inverosímil creer que el presidente Manuel Zelaya haya usurpado el poder legislativo cuando a todo el mundo le consta que el señor Roberto Micheletti nunca perdió el más mínimo control del Congreso Nacional y desde la elección bajo su dirección de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, en enero de este año, hasta la elección de él mismo como presidente de Honduras él fue el único presidente y poder absoluto del Congreso Nacional de Honduras.

Este cargo de abuso de autoridad es probablemente uno de los más especulativos, peor elaborados, con la mayor pobreza jurídica y la mayor alienación de los hechos. Y al mismo tiempo confirma la intención maliciosa y dolosa de la Corte en su propósito de criminalizar al presidente de la República.


Por demás, este cargo es en violación del Titulo III, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 64.- No se aplicarán leyes y disposiciones gubernativas o de cualquier otro orden, que regulen el ejercicio de las declaraciones, derechos y garantías establecidos en esta Constitución, si los disminuyen, restringen o tergiversan.”




(Cuerpo del delito:) Pregunta del Decreto Ejecutivo Número PCM-020-2009 para una encuesta:

“¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales del 2009 se instale una Cuarta Urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente?
Si___ No___ “


Cargo 4:

No existe ninguna usurpación de funciones por parte del presidente Zelaya, porque el Título II, Capítulo V, ARTICULO 51 de la Constitución reza: “Para todo lo relacionado con los actos y procedimientos electorales habrá un Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, autónomo e independiente, con jurisdicción y competencia en toda la República, cuya organización y funcionamiento serán establecidos por esta Constitución y la Ley, las que fijarán igualmente lo relativo a los demás organismos electorales.”

Lo que establece que el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones está encargado de “todo lo relacionado con los actos y procedimientos electorales” y que es “autónomo e independiente, con jurisdicción y competencia en toda la República”, es una lectura de la Constitución que debe servir de ejemplo para su correcta interpretación, porque es obvio que no se refiere a que toda votación y toda elección en la República de Honduras va a ser organizadaza por el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, sino que ese “todo” está limitado a funcionarios y asuntos de gobierno exclusivamente.

Es casi inverosímil que quienes están a cargo de los ramos de la justicia y el de las leyes en Honduras no distingan lo que es una campaña política atada a una elección y una promoción atada a una votación de opinión.

Comencemos por la básica distinción entre elección y voto. En la primera alguien o algo se beneficia; es nombrar, designar o preferir a alguien o algo para un fin cuyo efecto inmediato depende de esa elección, y en el segundo incluye desde un sondeo hasta una elección. La votación puede referirse a una opinión como a una aprobación. Votar no para rechazar otra votación o votar si para aceptarla son simplemente sondeos de opinión sobre una segunda votación y de cuya respuesta no se infiere ni se afecta ningún aspecto del gobierno. Otro ejemplo es que votar para que hubiese o no una Constituyente no es lo mismo que elegir una constituyente lo que requeriría tener dos Constituyentes y elegir entre una de las dos, como sucede con candidatos. Y para aclarar más aún el ejemplo, de aceptarse por votación una nueva Constitución, esa nueva Constitución nunca podría estar en las manos de la gente para elegir, sino exclusivamente estaría en las manos del Congreso Nacional, que es el único que podría elegir y de quien dependería una aprobación o un rechazo que si afectaría al gobierno y a la nación. Por lo que la Cuarta Urna nunca podría ser una elección sino nada más que otra votación de opinión. La elección real y verdadera sería realizada por el Congreso Nacional, que estaría exigido de mostrar dos terceras partes de elección para aprobarla con doble salvaguardia.

Hay que comprender que lo que tiene carácter político es la asamblea constituyente no la votación por Si se hace o No una asamblea constituyente. Esa es la diferencia entre un sondeo de opinión y un referendo o un plebiscito, de inmediata inferencia en la vida del gobierno y la nación. Por lo que la propuesta y programada votación del 28 de junio como la de la Cuarta Urna del 29 de noviembre, 2009, no dejan de ser sondeos de opinión. Opinión que por supuesto puede transformarse en el planteamiento de una nueva Constitución, como también opinión que puede ser usada por lo fabricantes de camisetas para una nueva ventura de mercado. Una opinión tiene un gran valor, pero no afecta al gobierno hasta que no se implemente en algún mecanismo que le de una existencia política.
La nueva Constitución puede ya estar escrita, pero sin una asamblea constituyente que la implemente y un Congreso que la apruebe es solo comprar el vestido de novia sin tener el novio todavía.

El decreto presidencial PCM-020-2009, publicado en el Diario Oficial La Gaceta y sin ninguna objeción legal posterior, firmado por el presidente Manuel Zelaya, constitucionalmente entiende que un voto de Si o No es un sondeo preliminar para otro y futuro voto de opinión sobre Si hacer o No una Constituyente y que esa votación, que no es ninguna elección de ninguna persona ni ninguna disposición del gobierno que afecte la composición y el ejercicio del gobierno después de sus resultados, no pertenece jamás al Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, sino natural y apropiadamente al Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Por lo tanto ordenar su ejecución no está contradiciendo ninguna ley ni ningún artículo de la Constitución de Honduras.

Las votaciones planeadas para el 28 de junio y el 29 de noviembre, 2009, son completamente constitucionales, lo anti-constitucional es prohibirlas, confiscar las boletas electorales, ordenar impropiamente al Ejército que vaya contra la votación del pueblo soberano si el Título II, Capítulo IV, “ARTICULO 45.- Se declara punible todo acto por el cual se prohíba o limite la participación del ciudadano en la vida política del país.” tiene algún significado para los que se autodenominan celosos defensores de la Constitución de Honduras.

La decisión del presidente Manuel Zelaya de llevar adelante la votación del domingo 28 de junio muestra su domino y autoridad en el conocimiento de la Constitución en oposición a la forma tan pobre con que la Corte Suprema trató las decisiones del Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo sobre dos decretos presidenciales opuestos uno inválido y otro no y sobre una votación que no elegía nada ni a nadie que cambiara la composición y el ejercicio del gobierno después de sus resultados.


El presidente José Manuel Zelaya Rosales actuó laudablemente en sus decretos y en su impecable lealtad a la Constitución y las leyes de Honduras. El tiene toda la razón al encargar al Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE, de una votación de opinión, que no elige nadie ni nada que cambie la estructura o función del gobierno como las elecciones de las cuales está constitucionalmente encargado el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones.

El constitucional primario es el pueblo soberano de Honduras.




El poder legislativo:


Es dudoso que exista una auténtica carta de resignación, como dice el Congreso Nacional de Honduras, de una persona acusada de que no quiere resignar a su cargo, sino eternizarse en él.

Y aquí cabe ver el papel del Congreso, que actuó en forma semejante a la del Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo, creando constantes mociones tanto para impedir el trabajo normal del poder ejecutivo como para fundamentalmente construir un edificio artificial de criminalidad de las actuaciones del legítimo y máxima autoridad de la nación, el presidente José Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Las acciones del congreso preparan el terreno de la rama legislativa para el golpe militar contra la República de Honduras que parece fijado para el 28 de junio, 2009, como punto final a cualquier intento de la votación no vinculante de opinión Si o No para otra votación de opinión Si o No.

El problema que enfrentaba el Congreso Nacional, en su participación del golpe militar de Estado contra Honduras, era no tener todavía ninguna conclusión válida ni suficiente que justificara legalmente la destitución del legítimo presidente de la República elegido constitucionalmente por el pueblo soberano de Honduras. Al último minuto y faltando dos días para el golpe militar contra Honduras, los congresistas se ven apremiados por el tiempo y citan urgentemente a una reunión extraordinaria del Congreso única y exclusivamente para nombrar una comisión que determine las razones por las cuales el presidente legítimo, que solo ha cumplido estricta y fielmente con la Ley y la Constitución de la República de Honduras, sea destituido de su cargo. Ese documento era indispensable para que el día del golpe militar contra Honduras el Congreso lo tuviera junto a otro documento dubioso como lo es la renuncia del presidente Zelaya a la presidencia, de la que se alega no quiere abandonar, para que sirvieran como coartadas y máscaras del golpe militar, es decir hacer creer que fueron esos documentos y no el golpe militar la causa de que el presidente del Congreso se volviera de la noche a la mañana el presidente de Honduras.

De esta forma la rama legislativa de Honduras, el Congreso Nacional, dio el paso complementario al paso inicial de la rama de justicia, el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo y la Corte Suprema de Justicia, para finalizar el camuflaje legal del golpe militar contra la República de Honduras.

El Congreso está en todo su derecho para criticar las actuaciones del presidente de la República, puede juzgarlo hasta el cansancio, puede hacerle un humillante juicio público, pero el Congreso cometió un abuso de autoridad al no tener ningún derecho constitucional para remover o elegir presidentes de la República, porque esa es una función única y exclusiva del soberano constituyente, que es el pueblo hondureño. Su violación es más grande cuando para ello ha usado documentos fraudulentos o de dudoso origen y su fuente es la opinión ligera de una improvisada y temporaria comisión.

El viernes 18 de septiembre la Sala de lo Constitucional dio un plazo de 24 horas al Congreso Nacional para que remita el decreto o un informe detallado de toda la información relacionada al derrocamiento del presidente legítimo y constitucionalmente elegido por el pueblo soberano de Honduras el señor José Manuel Zelaya Rosales y la elección del mismo presidente del Congreso Nacional como presidente de Honduras.
La Sala de lo Constitucional fue obligada a hacerlo por un recurso de apremio
interpuesto el 7 de septiembre, pues, ya en agosto la Sala de lo Constitucional le había tocado admitir el recurso de amparo. Si el Congreso Nacional no envía el decreto ni demás acciones que culminaron con la expatriación ilegal del presidente Zelaya Rosales en el término de 24 horas, entonces, se dará cumplimiento a lo ordenado por el amparo, otorgándole la nulidad de todo lo actuado por el Poder Legislativo y en ese caso se tiene que ordenar la repatriación y retorno a su cargo del presidente José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. El gobierno y la prensa mantienen el hecho en completo secreto y lo denuncio para que se adelanten las averiguaciones al respecto. La prensa libre ha sido negada de la información y amordazada en Honduras: las frecuencias de Radio Globo fueron clausuradas y Cable Color y Canal 11 allanados.

Es bueno recordarle al Congreso y poner en conocimiento de la opinión pública que Honduras contaba con un Vice-presidente y un Designado que tenían prioridad constitucional antes que el presidente del Congreso o el presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para que fueran considerados como substitutos del Presidente de la República, si su ausencia hubiera sido natural y realmente absoluta.

El Vice-presidente, señor Elvin Santos, que fue elegido por el pueblo soberano para que precisamente cumpliera esa función en caso de que el presidente Zelaya no pudiera cumplirla y quien además ha tenido la firme resolución de ser Presidente de la República para lo cual renunció hace un año para poder participar de los comicios electorales del 29 de noviembre próximo. Existía la razón poderosa de que el reemplazo constitucional y apropiado fuera el vicepresidente elegido por el pueblo soberano y quien no estaba en la vicepresidencia porque estaba cumpliendo el mandato legal que le permitiera ser presidente de Honduras. El Vice-presidente Elvin Santos ya no tenía que hacer más esfuerzos para ser presidente de Honduras un golpe militar contra el estado de Honduras le acababa de dar la presidencia de acuerdo a la Constitución de la República. Además, el Congreso contaba con el constitucional designado vice-presidente en ejercicio, quien automáticamente tomaba el poder si por alguna razón el Vicepresidente no pudiera aceptar la presidencia de Honduras.

El congreso nacional tiene que explicarle al mundo por que un país con dos reemplazos del presidente, ninguno de ellos fue el presidente constitucional de Honduras. Y por qué el Presidente del Congreso Nacional, Roberto Micheletti, y los miembros del Congreso Nacional infringieron el Código Penal Titulo XII, capítulo II, “Artículo 328, Delinquen contra la forma de Gobierno y serán sancionados con reclusión de seis a doce años, quienes ejecuten actos directamente encaminados a conseguir por la fuerza, o fuera de las vías legales, algunos de los fines siguientes: 1)…, 2)…, 3)…., 4) Variar el orden legítimo de suceder a la Presidencia, o privar al sucesor del Presidente de las facultades que la Constitución le otorga.”



El poder Judicial:

Es inverosímil que el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo estuviera actuado con toda improcedencia en las propias narices de la Corte Suprema de Justicia fabricando la misma sentencia una y otra vez impugnando y criminalizando a la máxima y más respetable persona de la nación en una materia que es original y exclusiva de la competencia de la Corte Suprema de Justicia. Aunque inverosímil la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras en lugar de guiar al Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo simplemente se arrodilló ante el y sin ninguna dedicación laboriosa sobre la materia termina aceptando las deliberaciones de revisión e inconstitucionalidad de una Corte menor a la que nunca le correspondieron deliberarlas y las deliberó mal.

. ¿Cómo pudo el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo ocuparse de un documento, PCM-005-2009, que no llenaba sus requisitos de procedimiento, dar una disposición sin causa sobre él y, peor aún, extender esa sentencia mecánica y artificial a otro decreto, PCM-020-2009, que si llenó los requisitos legales y que es diferente al primero en forma y contenido? La sola diferencia de palabras es importantísima, porque es en ellas que reside el significado legal del mismo. Y peor vergüenza debería tener el sistema judicial hondureño cuando nadie se percató que la sentencia no solo se extendía de un documento que la Corte no debería estar deliberando a otro que si debió deliberar, pero que la Corte llega al extremo de declarar que cualquier decreto presidencial sobre el tema de ahora en adelante es ilegal. ¿No hay un solo miembro de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras que haya podido dar una opinión de que no se pueden declarar ilegales a-priori ningún decreto y menos los presidenciales que son parte del ejercicio normal de ser presidente, y que sentencias a-priori no existen?

Cómo pudo ser posible que ni un solo miembro de la Corte Suprema de Justicia se haya puesto, aunque fuera por curiosidad en comparar los decretos presidenciales PCM-005-2009 y PCM-020-2009 y ver sus diferencias de contenido forma, validez y procedimiento y observar que el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo no podía extender la decisión sobre un decreto presidencial sin efecto, porque nunca fue publicado en el Diario Oficial La Gaceta a un decreto que si aparece publicado y que difiere del primero. Es decir, ningún miembro de la Corte Suprema de Justicia estuvo por encima del Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo para ver que una decisión innecesaria por insuficiencia de procedimiento, nunca fue publicada legalmente, no podía extenderse a otra que si había cumplido con los requisitos procedimentales y además preguntarse ¿por qué el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo estaba discutiendo documentos que no habían cumplido procedimiento legal para ser considerados legalmente?

La Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras se echó la responsabilidad de aprobar, sin ninguna deliberación donde los abogados del poder ejecutivo hayan tenido la oportunidad de hacer ampliamente su caso frente a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, y sin haber demostrado que han escuchado, preferible con audiencias públicas, la posición del ejecutivo, esta Corte decide ordenar el allanamiento de la Casa Presidencial sin nunca haberle dado la atención y deliberación respectiva a la inducción presentada por el poder ejecutivo a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, negligencia dolosa que viola flagrantemente la Ley.

¿Cómo pudo nada menos que la Corte Suprema de Justicia ordenar el arresto de un ciudadano, nada menos que del presidente de la República, sin prever el cumplimiento del Título V, “Articulo 411. Será sancionado con prisión de diez a treinta días: 1) Quien omitiere cumplir con la responsabilidad sobre las personas que la ley haya sometido a su vigilancia.” del Código Penal hondureño para que el arrestado respondiera ante la justicia hondureña por las acusaciones hechas contra él, y que hasta ahora nunca han tenido un juicio en la República de Honduras, donde se dice que fueron cometidos? ¿Qué clase de legalidad y competencia jurídica tienen estos quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia elegida en enero de este año por el Congreso de Roberto Micheletti?

La Corte Suprema de Justicia no tiene absolutamente ningún derecho constitucional para darles ninguna orden a las Fuerzas Armadas y éstas no pueden confundirse con las Fuerza Pública que es la Policía Nacional.

Es increíble la ignorancia dolosa de los quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia que nunca supieron que el Título V, Capítulo X , Artículos 272 a 293 se refieren a las Fuerzas Armadas como el Ejército, y jamás como Fuerza Pública, porque Fuerza Pública es una expresión reservada para la Policía. Con semejante error tan craso la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras le demuestra al mundo que lo que estaba siguiendo era el libreto de un Golpe Militar de Estado y nunca la Constitución de la República de Honduras. ¿Cabe en la cabeza de cualquier persona familiar con la Constitución que ningún miembro de la Corte Suprema de Justicia haya jamás conocido las palabras constitucionales para el Ejército de Honduras, deletreadas en el Título V de la Constitución de la República de Honduras? ¿Dónde queda la competitividad de cualquiera de sus miembros?

La policía está a la orden de la Corte Suprema de Justicia no el Ejército. Le corresponde solo a la Policía, familiar con el procedimiento penal, y no al Ejército el arresto de una persona que ha infringido la ley. ¿Qué argumento legal tuvieron los miembros de la Corte Suprema para pasar por encima la autoridad y responsabilidad de la Policía Nacional de Honduras?

No podría una persona conocedora de la mecánica de los gobiernos creer que la Corte Suprema de Justicia cayera tan bajo como ignorar los procedimientos gubernamentales del Estado y aceptar que un conflicto de interés existe entre el Jefe de la Policía y el Ejecutivo, porque éste eligió al jefe de la Policía, entonces la Corte Suprema de Justicia estaría impedida de dar cualquier orden contra el presidente Zelaya, porque los quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia fueron elegidos por la moción con la nómina de abogados presentada por Roberto Micheletti, presidente del Congreso, el pasado 25 de enero, 2009, y no podría haber peor conflicto de interés cuando exactamente el potencial beneficiado de esa orden sería precisamente Roberto Micheletti, jefe del poder legislativo.

Lo que queda con toda claridad es que lo que la Corte Suprema de Justicia estaba buscando y encubriendo no se trataba de ninguna aplicación del procedimiento legal, ningún seguimiento de la Constitución y ningún objetivo que uniera a la nación, sino simple y escuetamente un enmascaramiento del golpe militar contra la República de Honduras, y por eso la Corte Suprema de Justicia tenía que facilitar el Golpe Militar contra el estado de Honduras solo al Ejército, porque encargárselo a la Policía sería absurdo ¿un golpe policial de estado?

Lo que tenemos aquí no es ningún presidente que no está obedeciendo a las Cortes, sino unas Cortes enfocadas en la criminalización y no en la justicia y la concordia con la rama Ejecutiva del poder

Con todo respeto hay que reconocer que los quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia actuaron con dolo, ignorancia de la ley y la Constitución y de una manera desdignificante ante el mundo y principalmente pisotearon a sus anchas la credibilidad, función y objetivos de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la república de Honduras, facilitando ellos mismos un golpe militar de Estado y hundiendo al país en el caos legal que descarada y cínicamente han auto denominado “el respeto a las leyes y la Constitución de Honduras”, que dicen que el mundo ignora, pero que quitándole la máscara de legalidad de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras queda muy claro que quienes han ignorado la ley y la Constitución de Honduras han sido los quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la República de Honduras. Sus acciones y consideraciones no obedecen ni al procedimiento ni a lo que la ley ha establecido para estos casos ni a lo establecido por la Constitución de la República de Honduras.

La actuación de estas cortes es robótica y mecánica, no existe la más mínima reflexión sobre la ley y por eso han caído en los errores garrafales de hasta encubrir “constitucionalmente” un golpe de estado. Da vergüenza leer los documentos de estas Cortes, como ejemplo puedo citar uno de la Corte Suprema de Justicia sobre la certificación del auto de fecha 25/06/09 donde al proveer copias se hizo de una manera incompleta, por lo menos falta una página o quien sabe cuántas, aunque la numeración, a mano, es consecutiva y ambas muestran el sello de la Secretaría de la Corte Suprema y el sello y la firma del presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia en la primera página, y en el último párrafo dice: “…señor PRESDINTE” en lugar de señor PRESIDENTE y a la “REPUBLICA” la dejaron sin tilde. Uno se pone a pensar si los magistrados de la Corte Suprema de Justicia se tomarán la molestia de leer los documentos que reciben, o por lo menos leer los documentos que firman no solo para mostrar su agudeza, distinción y autoridad, sino también para que evitaran las barrabasadas que aparecen firmadas bajo el alto nombre de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la República de Honduras y que reparten por el mundo. ¿Qué ejemplo es esta Corte Suprema de Justicia para otros jueces, jóvenes abogados y personas que escriban documentos públicos?

Esta Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras es la misma que quiere que el mundo la aplauda y que la OEA, la ONU, la Unión Europea y el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos le den la razón y aprueben las elecciones del próximo 29 de noviembre que sellan el golpe militar? ¿Es esta ineptitud jurídica la que los miembros de la Corte le piden al mundo que les comprenda y apoye?

Por esta franca ignorancia interpretativa y de aplicación de la Ley y la Constitución los quince miembros de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras deberían renunciar por honor y por haber causado un golpe militar de estado y un malestar jurídico y económico que no solo dañó a la nación de Honduras, pero que ha ocupado vergonzosamente la atención internacional en hechos que nunca debieron suceder si la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Honduras hubiera hecho su trabajo honradamente y con conocimiento detallado de la Constitución y la Ley, y con sentido de conciliación y unión para todos los hondureños.

El desdén con que estas cortes tratan la democracia es asombroso.




Las Fuerzas Armadas:

El Ejército esta bajo el comando del poder Ejecutivo y su máximo Comandante General es el presidente de la República de Honduras José Manuel Zelaya Rosales y los generales de las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras le debe a su máximo jefe ejemplo de obediencia y lealtad como es lo normal y esperado de la disciplina y la conducta de un militar profesional. No es de ningún general la tarea de deliberar las órdenes de sus superiores eso sería el peor ejemplo que puede dar a su propios soldados. Los generales no reciben órdenes de la Corte Suprema de Justicia. La constitución no deposita la autoridad máxima de las Fuerzas Armadas en el poder judicial ni en el poder legislativo, sino única y exclusivamente en el poder ejecutivo. Hay razones prácticas y sabias para ello. Si el Presidente de la República le da una orden a su ejército, su ejército está en la doble obligación de obedecerlo, uno inmediatamente, después de confirmar que es una orden auténtica y real de su Comandante General y dos porque es además una orden del Presidente de la República de Honduras, el jefe máximo de la patria a la que ellos ha jurado defender y proteger. Las Fuerzas Armadas no son ningún poder independiente y la Constitución hondureña lo deletrea claramente en Título V, Capítulo X, “ARTICULO 278.- Las órdenes que imparta el Presidente de la República a las Fuerzas Armadas, por intermedio del Jefe de las mismas, deberán ser acatadas y ejecutadas.”

Es importante anotar que los generales de las Fuerzas Armadas de la República de Honduras, violando su propio código militar y con el mayor irrespeto a la autoridad y a la patria, deliberaron la orden de su Comandante General, decidieron convertirse en abogados y encontrarla ilegal y resolvieron renunciar a sus cargos por su propia voluntad. Cuando su Comandante General decide como lógica y necesaria respuesta aceptar, prácticamente, la renuncia del general en comando de las Fuerzas Armadas, Romeo Vázquez, como una destitución de su cargo como castigo, la Corte Suprema de Justicia, y esto es muy importante, que ha dejado que el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo empapele al presidente con resoluciones sobre una materia de revisión de inconstitucionalidad que original y exclusivamente le corresponde a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, esta Corte negligente ahora se auto extra-limita para invalidar una aceptación con castigo de la previa renuncia voluntaria del Comandante de las Fuerzas Armadas. Nada en la nación hondureña puede estar por encima de este artículo 280, constitucional, reformado el 19 de septiembre, 1998, por Decreto 245-98, y que dice “El Secretario (a) de Estado en el Despacho de Defensa Nacional será nombrado o removido libremente por el Presidente de la República; en igual forma será el jefe del Estado Mayor conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, quien será seleccionado por el Presidente de la República entre los miembros que integran la junta de Comandantes, de conformidad con lo que establece el Escalafón de Oficiales, prescrito en la ley Constitutiva de las Fuerzas Armadas”.

En perspectiva vemos claramente cómo la Corte Suprema de Justicia sale a la protección inmediata del general que ya tenía en la mira como ejecutor del golpe militar de estado contra Honduras, cuando ordenara que fueran precisamente las Fuerzas Armadas las que quitaran del poder al presidente constitucionalmente elegido por el poder soberano del pueblo.

Ni los hondureños ni la comunidad internacional pueden aceptar esta modalidad de golpes militares constitucionales. Sería inaudito.

Seguido al golpe militar contra Honduras la electricidad es cortada en casi toda la nación, los militares obligan que los medios de información alternativos paren su trabajo informativo y salgan inmediatamente de sus oficinas, se cometen detenciones de innumerables personas, incluida la Ministra de Relaciones Exteriores Patricia Rodas, y son privados de su libertad los embajadores de Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua y Venezuela. Y el toque de queda fue declarado desde ese día en todo Honduras. ¿Por qué sucedieron estas cosas si esto era una transición normal constitucional y no un golpe militar?

Si el presidente Manuel Zelaya no era presidente de Honduras y era sospechoso de delitos cometidos en Honduras ¿cuál es la lógica para expulsarlo del país si no es un golpe militar contra la patria hondureña?

Los militares, congresistas y juristas golpistas anti-patrióticamente infringieron la ley y deben recibir el cumplimiento del Código Penal de Honduras:

Título XII, Capítulo I, ARTICULO 323. “Quien ofendiere al Presidente de la República en su integridad corporal o en su libertad será penado con ocho a doce años de reclusión.”

Capítulo II, ARTICULO 328. “Delinquen contra la forma de Gobierno y serán sancionados con reclusión de seis a doce años, quienes ejecutaren actos directamente encaminados a conseguir por la fuerza, o fuera de las vías legales, algunos de los fines siguientes:

1) Reemplazar al Gobierno republicano, democrático y representativo por cualquiera otra forma de Gobierno.”

Se reemplazó al presidente legítimo, constitucionalmente elegido por el pueblo soberano, por la persona que dirigió el Congreso en la elección de la actual Corte Suprema de Justicia sin que para nada se haya tenido en cuenta al vicepresidente o designado, a quienes les correspondería reemplazar al presidente, y que nunca fueron tenidos en cuenta ni por el congreso del ahora llamado presidente de Honduras ni por la Corte Suprema de Justicia que se supone vigile el estricto cumplimiento de la ley y la Constitución. El nuevo gobierno no cumple ni con la ley ni con los requisitos de la Constitución y nace después de una acción violenta contra la máxima autoridad de la nación que incluyó la expulsión del presidente de la República para crear una falla o ausencia absoluta y así crear este gobierno espurio que hoy ha denigrado a Honduras y se ha ganado el desprecio del mundo.

Capítulo VI, “ARTICULO 336. Son reos de rebelión quienes se alzan en armas para derrocar al gobierno legalmente constituido o para cambiar o suspender en todo o en parte el régimen constitucional existente en lo que se refiere a la formación, funcionamiento o renovación de los poderes públicos.”

Alzarse en armas es usar las armas contra el símbolo de la autoridad máxima de Honduras.

“Articulo 333. Se aplicará la pena de reclusión de tres (3) a cinco (5) años y multa de cincuenta mil (L.50,000.00) a cien mil lempiras (L.100,000.00) al funcionario o empleado público que:

3) Haga víctima de vejaciones o apremios ilegales a las personas confiadas a su custodia;

4) No tramite o resuelva dentro de los términos legales una petición de habeas corpus o de amparo o por cualquier medio obstaculice su tramitación; y,

5) Ordene, ejecute o consienta la expatriación de un hondureño.”

La situación actual:

La Corte Suprema de Justicia de la República de Honduras actúo con plena culpabilidad, buscando una posición pasiva que no la delatara frente a la opinión pública y esto explica por qué permite que el Juzgado de Letras de lo Contencioso Administrativo, de primera instancia, trate un tema de revisión de inconstitucionalidad que le corresponde original y exclusivamente a la Corte Suprema de Justicia y por qué asume el papel soslayado de aceptar literalmente la completa propuesta del Procurador de la nación para facilitar el golpe militar de estado contra la República de Honduras.

El golpe militar contra Honduras buscaba la falta absoluta del presidente elegido y legítimo de Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, y de ahí que el presidente haya sido expulsado y que se le impida la entrada al país para ejercer el poder de Honduras, Esta es la constante fijada por el golpe militar contra la República de Honduras,
El plan quedó descubierto a la luz pública como un golpe militar de estado que expulsa al presidente de la nación para forzar una falta absoluta y que a toda costa tiene que impedir su regreso para que esa ausencia o falta no pierda su carácter de absoluta, esta es la parte central del golpe militar que hace creer con subterfugio y con el peor engaño jurídico contra los hondureños y el mundo que el gobierno usurpador actual, haciendo creer que sin ninguna causa de fuerza y sin ninguna premeditación está cumpliendo con hipócrita inocencia el Título V, Capítulo VI, “ARTICULO 242.- “Si la falta del Presidente fuere absoluta, el Designado que elija al efecto el Congreso Nacional ejercerá el Poder Ejecutivo por el tiempo que falte para terminar el período constitucional. Pero si también faltaren de modo absoluto los tres designados, el Poder Ejecutivo será ejercido por el Presidente del Congreso Nacional, y a falta de este último, por el Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia por el tiempo que faltare para terminar el período constitucional.”
Y sin escatimar cualquier excusa por ilegal e ilógica que sea, han llegando al cinismo de amenazar con violar el Título IV, Capítulo II, “ARTICULO 186.- Ningún poder ni autoridad puede avocarse causas pendientes ni abrir juicios fenecidos, salvo en causas juzgadas en materia penal y civil que pueden ser revisadas en toda época en favor de los condenados, a pedimento de éstos, de cualquier persona, del ministerio público o de oficio.”, si el elegido y legítimo presidente de Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, toca tierra hondureña. Este ha sido el plan maquiavélico del golpe militar de las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras, que el pueblo hondureño, los militares honestos, los ejecutores de cargos oficiales y la comunidad internacional tienen que desenmascarar y parar de inmediato.
La situación que actualmente tenemos en Honduras es sui-generis para el poder ejecutivo. Si el presidente legítimo constitucionalmente elegido por el constituyente soberano Manuel Zelaya Rosales no termina completamente el tiempo que le faltaba a su presidencia, sin ningunas condiciones “legales” y no legales, entonces su presidencia sería incompleta y como la Constitución de Honduras no incluye que presidencias incompletas, con el agravante de sufrir un golpe de estado, no son reelegibles es obvio que constitucionalmente estamos ante un caso de excepción que habilita al presidente Manuel Zelaya para ser re-elegido excepcionalmente. Nadie puede negar que la presidencia del legítimo y constitucionalmente elegido presidente de Honduras ha sido fracturada, nadie puede negar que un acto de violencia quitó de la presidencia al presidente legítimo y elegido por el pueblo soberano de Honduras, nadie puede negar que tal brutal acción fue consentido por el poder legislativo en coincidencia y aquiescencia del poder judicial y de ambos poderes contra el poder ejecutivo, nadie puede negar que las acciones sincronizadas de los poderes judicial y legislativo contra el poder ejecutivo de Honduras creo un galimatías legal alrededor de la legitimidad de la presidencia de Manuel Zelaya y que eso hace y convierte el caso del presidente Manuel Zelaya que sea un caso excepcional ante la Constitución, y que por lo tanto si su completo término presidencial no es reconocido el presidente Manuel Zelaya es constitucionalmente exceptuado para ser reeligido como presidente de la República de Honduras sin más discusiones bizantinas ni galimatías jurídicos.

Este cínico golpe militar contra la República de Honduras tiene la censura total del vaticano en las palabras del santo Pontífice Benedicto XVI, la censura completa suficientemente conocida de las Naciones Unidas, de la Unión Europea, de la Organización de los Estados Americanos y de los Estados Unidos, todas autoridades nacional e internacionalmente reconocidas. Lo que hace del mayor peso que la fracturada presidencia del presidente Manuel Zelaya sea una excepción constitucional y merezca su reelección si su completo término constitucional es negado.



Conclusión:

Hoy las elecciones del 29 de noviembre se han convertido en el sello del golpe militar contra la República de Honduras para que el Presidente legítimo de la nación y elegido constitucionalmente por el pueblo soberano, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, nunca termine su legítimo período presidencial. Las elecciones del 29 de noviembre son nulas si el completo término constitucional de la presidencia del presidente Manuel Zelaya no se ha cumplido o si su re-elección no es incluida como excepcionalidad constitucional en esas elecciones.

De lo contrario las elecciones del 29 de noviembre con toda la asistencia y legalidad relativa que puedan aparentemente tener están contra la normalidad constitucional al realizarse de una fractura de la constitución y por lo tanto tienen en sí el carácter de nulidad, y porque existe un gran movimiento nacional de Resistencia que se opone a ellas y un reconocimiento internacionalidad en contra de su incongruencia.

Es inconstitucional, violación del Título I, Capítulo I, “ARTICULO 4.- La forma de gobierno es republicana, democrática y representativa. Se ejerce por tres poderes: Legislativo, Ejecutivo y Judicial, complementarios e independientes y sin relaciones de subordinación.” de la Constitución hondureña, que dos ramas del poder, la judicial y la legislativa, se unan contra la tercera, la rama Ejecutiva.

En todo este caos legal la Corte Suprema de Justicia ha despreciado y negado su cumplimiento de los ARTICULO 89.- “Toda persona es inocente mientras no se haya declarado su responsabilidad por autoridad competente”.y ARTICULO 90.- “Nadie puede ser juzgado sino por juez o tribunal competente con las formalidades, derechos y garantías que la Ley establece.” de la Constitución, que en una situación que pudiera llevar al país a una crisis tenían que seguirse rigurosamente. Si ha habido una alta traición solo ha sido la de las Fuerzas Armadas contra su Comandante general y la patria hondureña, Si ha habido un abuso de autoridad ha sido el del Congreso Nacional y la Corte Suprema de Justicia. Y si ha habido una usurpación de poderes ha sido la del judicial y el legislativo comportándose como el poder ejecutivo de la nación, alegando que su seguimiento de la ley y la Constitución son los únicos válidos en la nación, desconociendo totalmente al real poder Ejecutivo.

El objetivo del golpe militar con toda su encubrimiento jurídico tiene como único fin quitar del poder ejecutivo desde el 28 de Junio hasta la eternidad al presidente legitimo y constitucionalmente elegido por el pueblo soberano de Honduras y por supuesto el triunfo de los militares, congresistas y juristas golpistas es impedir el retorno del presidente José Manuel Zelaya a la posición presidencial que le corresponde constitucionalmente, porque de aceptarlo se invalidan ipso-facto los golpes militares de Estado en el que los poderes judicial y legislativo se alían para derrotar al poder ejecutivo, lo que es antidemocrático, brutal y divisionista de la normalidad y la paz de Honduras y de las naciones del mundo.

El triunfo golpista, el objetivo del golpe militar, es que el presidente Manuel Zelaya no retorne a su cargo y así como se usó a la corte Suprema y al Congreso para quitarlo del poder ahora se quiere usar al Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, fuera de los poderes judicial y legislativo, para mantener al presidente legítimo, y elegido constitucionalmente por el pueblo soberano, fuera del poder.

La victoria golpista marcaría una herida letal a las democracias del mundo y una técnica de fuerza con encubrimiento legal para tumbar gobiernos con la fuerza de las armas.

Este precedente es inaceptable porque atenta contra cualquier presidente legítimo y constitucionalmente elegido usando “constitucionales” golpes militares para quitarlo arbitrariamente del poder y usar las elecciones para culminar el impedimento ilegal para que la víctima jamás sea rehecha y el poder del destituido jamás se restaure ni se alcance la normalidad constitucional que corresponde, evitando peligrosos resentimientos sociales, que solo se reparan con el retorno del presidente a sus funciones.

Los golpistas están usando hoy desde el estrangulamiento de la Constitución hasta las elecciones para sus propósitos.

De aquí solo queda la acción efectiva que lo impida severa y contundentemente.



José María Rodríguez González
9.24.2009 7:19pm

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