Coup d’Etat in Honduras

Former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, having confronted various sectors of the country, has been taken out of the country yesterday by force.

Early morning, elements of the Armed Forces forcibly entered the house of the former president , neutralizing his security team, putting him in the presidential plane and sending him to San Jose, Costa Rica, where he was received by President Oscar Arias.

There Zelaya claimed he had received a coup d’Etat.

Yesterday Sunday it was intended to conduct a popular consultation that the judiciary had ruled illegal. This consultation was designed to legitimize the call for a Constituent Assembly which the current Constitution deems illegal. The military had gone to arrest the president with a court order.

In early hours of the morning there were power outages throughout the country and many radio and television stations left the air. Information was scarce, even in Radio America, which was one of the few stations that were transmitting.

In the morning, in an urgent session of Congress, was read a document signed by Manuel Zelaya in which he resigned as president. However, in Costa Rica Zelaya said he had not resigned.

In the afternoon, the National Congress decided to destitute the president for a number of irregular acts executed by the president, whom disobeyed court orders regarding this popular consultation. Soon Roberto Micheletti, former president of the Congress, was invested as new constitutional president of the Republic, because according to the Constitution, he was in order to take the presidency, being vacant this position.

Also, Congress proceeded to call as new president of Congress Jose Saavedra and as Secretary Carlos Lara.

Today the new president has appointed Enrique Ortez Colindres as Foreign Minister, Lionel Sevilla as Secretary of Defense and Gabriela Nunez as head of the Secretariat of Finance.

Lack of information

Many people did not know what was happening. Even today there are doubts in the air. False rumors spread quickly. It was said this was a coup d’Etat launched by the military, however, the fact that civil authorities have taken power in the nation denies this.

In Costa Rica former President Zelaya was devoted to misinform and lie about what had happened, taking advantage of the ignorance of the local known facts of the political crisis in Honduras in the international community. Former president Zelaya stubbornly continued with his confrontation campaign that threatened to make the blood run in the country, and led to this unexpected outcome we all wanted to avoid.

The international community echoed the president’s claims, and strongly condemned the supposed coup. One of the main challenges of the new president Micheletti will face is the possibility of international isolation.

Was it Coup or not?

The new authorities deny this has been a coup, they assure the constitutional order is intact, functioning in the three branches mandated by the Constitution: Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

What happened yesterday was allegedly not a coup d’Etat but a constitutional succession. All constitutional guarantees remain in force.

Hugo Chavez has warned yesterday he does not recognize this government, which he says will be overthrown.