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Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Statement on Situation in Honduras *UPDATED*

June 28, 2009
Clinton arrives in Honduras in early June, 2009

Clinton arrives in Honduras in early June, 2009

The Secretary of State issued the following statement regarding the detention of President Zelaya of Honduras:

“The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.

More on the situation there:

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the action taken against Honduras’ president should be condemned by everyone.

She says Honduras must embrace the principles of democracy and respect constitutional order.

The president, Manuel Zelaya, was flown to Costa Rica after being taken into military custody at his house outside the Honduran capital.

He was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding. The Supreme Court had ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it.”

UPDATE: According to recent news reports, US officials have spoken directly with deposed President Zelaya. Also, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, an ally of Zelaya, has put his military on high alert.

UPDATE II: More on the situation in Honduras:

“The faith of the ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, is still in limbo. Zelaya remains in Costa Rica after a 12-member military team went into his residence, detained him, and exiled him on Sunday. The United States along with all other countries members of the Council of Organization of American States (OAS) have condemned the coup d’Etat and have called for Zelaya’s return as president of the Central American country.

The OAS adopted a resolution stating that it “rejects and repudiates” the coup d’etat and is “concerned with the break-down of the constitutional order in the Republic of Honduras.”

[snip]

But despite the statements from the OAS and the Obama Administration, the Honduran government went ahead on Sunday afternoon to swear in a new president, Roberto Micheletti Bain. Supporters of Micheletti, the head of the legislature, claim that Zelaya signed a resignation letter after he was detained.

“The nation’s congress according to its constitution agrees to: reprimand the conduct of president Manuel Zelaya, due to his repeated violations to the Constitution of the Republic and its laws and for not observing the resolutions and ordinances of the judicial system,” read a decree by the Legislature’s Secretary, Jose Alfredo Saavedra. (Remarks translated to English)

One of Micheletti’s first mandates was declaring Martial Law for the next 48 hours. Honduran’s must stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to La Prensa, a Honduran newspaper.

Still, a U.S. State Department senior administration official stated on Sunday that the United States would only recognize Zelaya as Hondura’s President. He also said that the “resignation letter” shouldn’t be taken seriously given the situation Zelaya was in.”

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. SteveR permalink
    June 28, 2009 4:02 pm

    It would be nice if there were some news coverage of this. I guess CNN, MSNBC are more interested in Michael Jackson and Billy Mays

  2. fantasm permalink
    June 28, 2009 4:03 pm

    What does issuing a statement do about it? How does that help?

  3. Juan Carlos permalink
    June 28, 2009 4:36 pm

    Why doesn’t Hillary get the truth before she speaks? Why not see if the President was impeached legally by congress and why not see what the Supreme Court of Honduras says? We didn’t condemn the USA when they impeached their president. Why does she just listen to the leftist EX president and his side of the story? Honduras wants Democracy and not a leftist Hugo Chavez wannabe.

  4. still4hill permalink
    June 28, 2009 4:39 pm

    @fantasm: I guess she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t! Last week’s pot shots at her were over her not speaking up enough about Iran. Now she makes a statement and you want to know what good it does! What exactly do you expect her to do? Fly down there and reinstate Zelaya? SHEESH!

    Well it’s important, I guess, to know the CDS is alive and well.

    (N.B. This is the second Sunday in a row that press releases have gone out from her – Last week’s release only on day after surgery)

    • Lin-Dai permalink
      June 29, 2009 12:44 am

      Clinton is a Secretary of State. Do not excuse her lack of information. She should hear and know both sides of the issue before speaking. I just flew back from Honduras late Thursday. Zelaya is a leftist hack receiving monetary and political support from Hugo Chavez. In complete opposition w/ US libs, people there can smell the stink of Socialism a mile away. So he was ousted legally by the Honduran Congress, impeached and removed to prevent further wrong doing. The people have a right to remove their government.
      It would be refreshing to see our House representatives have some “cojones” and impeach the incompetent socialist hack who is taking our country down the drain at laightning speed. Honduras is teaching us a lesson!

  5. stacyx permalink*
    June 28, 2009 5:02 pm

    to Still4Hill: I agree totallly

    To Fantasm: Given that Secretary Clinton represents US foreign policy, I’d say issuing a statement does a great deal, particularly given her recent trip to Honduras where she attended the OAS. What exactly did you expect her to do? Get in her invisible jet and lasso Pres. Zelaya to safety?

    To Juan Carlos: I understand that people are sensitive to the issue of the US possibly meddling in other nation’s affairs, but I think the issue, in part, is the way in which the situation in Honduras is playing out. While the US probably appreciates other countries not interfering in Bill Clinton’s impeachment, they certainly expressed their opinion about it and while many took issue with the actions of Henry Hyde, Ken Starr and the other hypocritical ideologues, the military wasn’t sent out to detain Bill Clinton.

  6. terri permalink
    June 28, 2009 5:22 pm

    Wow, fantasm is a real cynic. Does he or she have any suggestions for what Hillary could do to “help”?

    Don’t mess with our Hillary!

    • Lin-Dai permalink
      June 29, 2009 12:48 am

      tsk, tsk…Be serious. This woman should be doing better. Don’t make excuses for her…unless you are in favor of leftist hacks supported by Chavez, Castro, Ortega and their ilk, you can’t possible be against what the people were demanding from their representatives: FIGHT comunism and socialist agendas that promise to keep the country enslaved to poverty and lack of deveopment .

      Up until Thurdsay people were witnessing Zelaya’s trampling of the constitution and his overt buying of votes to hold an un-constitutional referendum to re-write the Constitution.

  7. Joaquin permalink
    June 28, 2009 6:24 pm

    Brave!!! this is how US have to talk always loud and clear defending democracy of others!!! United we can!!

  8. Carlos Muñiz permalink
    June 29, 2009 2:44 am

    6. The events happening today were caused by an attempt by Manuel Zelaya to manipulate our country and its constitution to fulfill his ultimate goal of remaining in power indefinitely.

    7. The world should be proud of Honduras as we are the first Latin-American country to stand against a tyrannical leader who has tried to topple democracy and peace in our country.

    8. Declarations made by Hugo Chavez should be discredited immediately. He should, as President Obama said, allow Hondurans to solve this issue through open communication following LEGAL processes.

    9. It is NOT ONLY in the interest of Honduras and its citizens that democracy prevails (supported by the events today and Manuel Zelaya’s arrest) but also in the interest of the UNITED STATES that no other countries align with Hugo Chavez (and his puppets) to build his empire against democracy and peace.

    10. In case Hugo Chavez tries to use military force in Honduras, we hope and pray we can count on the United States to stand along side Honduras in the fight against tyranny and oppression.

  9. Carlos Muñiz permalink
    June 29, 2009 2:45 am

    THE CURRENT SITUATION IN HONDURAS
    Today at 12:29pm
    1. The event this morning should be taken as an arrest against a Honduran citizen, Manuel Zelaya, who broke the constitutional Honduran law in multiple occasions over the last few days.

    2. This SHOULD NOT be taken as a Coup d’état.

    3. The vast majority of Hondurans firmly oppose Manuel Zelaya and are in favor of his arrest.

    4. The current news being portrayed in international networks appear to be heavily tilted toward a contrarian view of most Hondurans.

    5. The majority of Hondurans are not in favor of Manual Zelaya and are extremely proud of our congress and military for their stance in favor of democracy and peace.

    6. The events happening today were caused by an attempt by Manuel Zelaya to manipulate our country and its constitution to fulfill his ultimate goal of remaining in power indefinitely.

    7. The world should be proud of Honduras as we are the first Latin-American country to stand against a tyrannical leader who has tried to topple democracy and peace in our country.

    8. Declarations made by Hugo Chavez should be discredited immediately. He should, as President Obama said, allow Hondurans to solve this issue through open communication following LEGAL processes.

    9. It is NOT ONLY in the interest of Honduras and its citizens that democracy prevails (supported by the events today and Manuel Zelaya’s arrest) but also in the interest of the UNITED STATES that no other countries align with Hugo Chavez (and his puppets) to build his empire against democracy and peace.

    10. In case Hugo Chavez tries to use military force in Honduras, we hope and pray we can count on the United States to stand along side Honduras in the fight against tyranny and oppression.

  10. NICOLE permalink
    June 29, 2009 11:28 am

    WELL…WHAT DO THEY WANT FOR US TO HAVE ANOTHER FIDEL CASTRO OR CHAVEZ…THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN HE HAVE WOULD HAVE STAY IN OFFICE!!

  11. Gloria H permalink
    June 29, 2009 2:27 pm

    Thank you Lin-Dai agree with your comments 100%
    How about we all support the will of the people of Honduras who in spite of the lack of international support are standing strong against Fidel Castro and his puppets. Talk about a brave bunch.

  12. NICOLE permalink
    June 29, 2009 3:08 pm

    Before judging that “The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter¨ please get the facts straight Mrs. Clinton…with all do respect I have admire you forever because I do believe you are a ¨LADY¨ with the true meaning of the word…please, please…HELP US…before judging so harshly…we do not want to be under Chavez, Ortega, Castro Or Zelayas dictatorship, things have not happened as he says…ask yourselves: why so much interest from Chavez? is it truly because of the ALBA? investigate, PLEASE….the images shown are not real, here things are calm and for the first time in weeks we feel we can breath and vote as ¨OUR CONSTITUTION¨ demands….he calls it a poll…and the truth is he wants to remain in power…is that democratic? be imposed of a dictator because of hunger of power and money wants to sell my country? I am HONDURAN and proud to be….please again search, investigate and inform yourselves of the truth.

  13. stacyx permalink*
    June 29, 2009 6:01 pm

    Thanks to those who left comments, I appreciate your point of view, particularly as most seem to be from Honduras. I understand that this is an extremely important and even emotional, issue.

    For those of you from Central America- is the OAS siding with Zelaya because the OAS is overwhelmingly left-leaning? Because I assume that is a big part of it.

    Again, after reading the statements of our govt officials, it would seem the primary issue to the US (and others in the international community) is a concern that the democratic process was undermined in Honduras by sending the military to detain Zelaya. Were there other means available, legally, to impeach or remove the President?

    • July 6, 2009 3:01 pm

      The military in Honduras is used for high level police…like the FBI. So it was the appopritate action and because of the danger to society issue (civil war) he was removed from the country for his safety and the safety of the country in general. Look up what happened when a drug trafficker Ramon Mata was arrested and you get an idea.
      He violated article 239 of the Honduran Constitution and revoked his office of president and he removed himself essentially. The Supreme Court ruled him no longer president and ordered him arrested. Of course they didn´t order him removed from Honduras…this was a decision the military made. However, it was for safety reasons. Also, elections will be held in November or if negotiated before hand…so this was not a coup.

  14. nina permalink
    June 29, 2009 6:33 pm

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124623220955866301.html

    Maybe Hilary should of read this report before she opened her big, uninformed mouth. The people of Honduras do not want Zelaya and Chavez in Honduras. Zelaya pushed thru a motion to join ALBA, something the Honduran people were against. ALBA is an anti-american group. Zelaya has gone running to Chavez for help. So why are the US now supporting this non democractic alliance. Wise up folks, this is not about Zelaya and Honduras, it’s really all about Chavez and his desire to take over the world. There was not a military coup, the military acted on behalf of Congress and the Supreme court in upholding the Honduran Constitution. The military are not in power now, a new president has been appointed. The Honduran people just want freedom and democracy and this is what Zelaya and Chavez want to take away. Look what happened in Venezuela!

  15. June 29, 2009 8:06 pm

    I have been reading and hearing the misinformation of all international news channels and, it is with profund sadness, that I see how our country and her institutions has been vilified by the international press. I feel it is my duty to set things straight and beg you to continue praying that we may be respected in the international community.

    Ex president Zelaya has, since the beginning of the year, been trying to copy Hugo Chavez’ example. He refused to render into Congress, the National Budget saying that he, the president, did not have to comply with such “stupid” petitions — since then, the budget has been in his desk drawers. He has given money away to whomever would come out and support his non-compliance with congress and the Judicial System. He then invented a “fourth box” to appear the same day as general elections, the 29th of November, but which had to be “petitioned” by the people thru a referendum to be voted on today. This referendum was declared illegal by our Supreme Court because it seeked to abolish our Constitution. Let me explain what the term “fourth box” means: we have a box for each of the officials to be elected: one box for president, one box for mayors, and one box for congressmen/congresswomen. The “4th box” would be to vote for an illegal assembly which would re-write our constitution. This constitution would allow him, as it does Chavez in Venezuela, to become the sole ruler of our country. Our current Constitution does not allow for re-election after serving one term as president — this is what he wanted changed. When a new Extraordinary General Assembly comes to power, Congress, Supreme Court, and all the legal apparatus of the State are disolved — all unions, all legal groups, as well as civil rights are done away with and unique absolute power is granted to the Assembly, which then would name a “president”. This is what is happening in Venezuela, whereby the Assembly named Chavez as president and he is there forever and ever — just like Castro in Cuba. Both Castro and Chavez dissolved the assembly and there was nobody left to object……..those who dare, are disappeared.

    This explained, our Attorney General and all the legal apparatus of the State, demanded from the president, to stop all these illegal actions or else he would be impeached and would have to respond for breaking the law. He has continued on this path for the past 6 months, even name-calling the Supreme Court and Congress. The last straw was last Friday when he took about 500 of his feroceous supporters and entered by force into the AirForce building where the voting ballots had been collected since arriving by airplane, from El Salvador where these had been printed……..this material had been labeled illegal by the respective courts. The president and his people tore into the building and removed this material which was then transported in government vehicles, employees, and gas to various cities in the country. Of course, this was documented by the attorney general as another illegal act. Let me state that the money used for the campaign and printing of this material was taken illegally from the moneys of the state — of course, arbitrerally approximately $500 million!!! from taxes and donations from the international communities!!He kept vouching that HE was the president, that HE was in charge and that HE could get away with whatever HE wanted. Since no respectable newspaper, tv channel nor radio would put him thru, he then opened his own newspaper (which was given away, not sold), tv and radio stations paid for by the moneys collected from taxes paid by us all.

    Oh yes, the president had ordered the Armed Forces to move, guard, and distribute this voting material throughout the country, as well as to vouch for the legality of the voting procedure. The Supreme Court had previously instructed and ordered all concerned to not contribute to this illegal process, precisely because it was against every law in our Contitution. Taking this into consideration, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, did not comply with the president’s order and explained that his obligation was to the Constitution and the rule of Law and that he had to comply with the instructions given by the Supreme Court. Well, this was the last straw for the crazy president who, on TV and radio, proceeded to publically oust the Chief of Staff (he now appears on TV saying that he never ousted him – that he just said he “would”). This firing was declared illegal by the Supreme Court and Congress, both of which reinstated his condition of Chief of Staff and hailed him as a hero for defending the rule of law. Our president and his Secretary of State (unfortunately my first cousin), screamed to Chavez, who then came on television from Venezuela, saying that he, if necessary, would invade Honduras with his and all the Alba countries’ forces and demand respect from our “USA-puppet congress and puppet Supreme Court”!!!, Chavez then proceeded to insult the USA for tampering with our “democracy” and called us names for being “sub-serviant to the ruling oligarchic USA government”. As a matter of interest, our main international airport in the capital was closed in order to stop many airplanes with the Venezuelan flag from landing with military personnel dressed in civil clothes — supposedly as “observers” of today’s ilegal “referendum”. Our border to the south, Chavez-friendly Nicaragua was sending inumerable people as well — all of them, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan, appeared in the last press conference of last night – after which we saw the USA ambassador leave in a hurry. Chavez insulted our institutions and our country……..I, as a citizen, felt totally abused by such a gorilla!!!!

    While the president was only concerned with his “4th box”, the physical, emotional, and geographic conditions of Honduras have been in shambles: 2 major earthquakes, now, landslides, rain in gigantic quantities, swine fever — bridges down, levees destroyed, homes and roads destroyed, hospitals in dire need of medicines, entire cities in serious and extreme conditions……….and the President and his cabinet? Very well, thank you!!! He kept on with his project of the 4th box…………To this day, he continues to say that it is the right of the people to be consulted!!! Our constitution has the right to be consulted by means of plebiscite and referendum……..but of course, he did not want this — he needs to dissolve all the other powers of government and rights of people in order to become a second Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia!!! All of us in every walk of life, have been marching dressed in white to demand peace and the respect of the rule of law!! I personally have attended two large marches here in San Pedro Sula. There have been very large ones in Tegucigalpa — the last of which was Friday in demand of the same thing! All civil groups and churches– the entire society has walked against the injustices and ilegal actions carried on by the expresident!

    Well anyway, this morning, in the weehours of the day, the president (now ex) was captured in his home and put in an airplane towards Costa Rica……the major actors of all these above-mentioned illegalities were also put into house arrest (some) and in military bases (others). These military actions were instructions given by Congress and the Supreme Court (all the judicial system). We do not have a National Guard, so our army is the one called to take over the actions which, in your country, would be done by your National Guard: mainly the safety of the state. — Congress reconvened, impeached, and ousted Mr. Zelaya from the presidency of our country. Before impeachment procedures were carried out, they read a letter from the president where he resigns……..now he swears he did not write it (like he also swears he did not oust the Chief of Staff) — on a funny note, I remembered the famous Clinton phrase: I did not…….and Mr. Reagan’s: I do not recall…. Anyway, in the meantime, all the international news channels have been villifying our institutional actions — the rule of law and democracy have not been broken even one minute: Congress has been in session and in power — they ordered the armed forces to come into our cities to guarantee peace and order (just like your National Guard)…….all their actions were in compliance with orders from Congress. The president was impeached and ousted with legal “proof-without-a-doubt” and, in the absence of a vice-president (precisely because Mr. Zelaya had ousted him too!), the next in command was the President of Congress………He is now our President — a new president of Congress has been elected and they both now have taken their respective Constitutional vows. Our democracy and the Rule of Law have prevailed!!!!!!!!!!! He has promised a government open to a national dialogue between the 5 political parties and groups of citizens from all walks of life; as well as to hold national elections on the date they have been called to: November 29th — for authorities which are to take office January 2010.

    The road ahead is difficult — the USA Ambassador has come out publicly to say that the only government your country recognizes is that of Mr. Zelaya; so has the government of Costa Rica. It is unbelievable that they are both taking sides with Hugo Chavez and Castro……..so has Europe!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully, when things calm down, they will come to their senses. Honduras, even though a tiny country in the realm of larger and more powerful ones, has her own laws and Constitution — has the same right to impeach any president who is acting outside the law. Unfortunately, the misinformation that prevails in the international realm is totally against us — hopefully, somebody will take the time to follow the circumstances without bias.

    • stacyx permalink*
      June 30, 2009 2:58 pm

      ac- Thanks for your thorough response. You said this, above:

      “Well anyway, this morning, in the weehours of the day, the president (now ex) was captured in his home and put in an airplane towards Costa Rica……the major actors of all these above-mentioned illegalities were also put into house arrest (some) and in military bases (others). These military actions were instructions given by Congress and the Supreme Court (all the judicial system). We do not have a National Guard, so our army is the one called to take over the actions which, in your country, would be done by your National Guard: mainly the safety of the state. — Congress reconvened, impeached, and ousted Mr. Zelaya from the presidency of our country. Before impeachment procedures were carried out, they read a letter from the president where he resigns…….”

      *******
      Here is my question- in Honduras, can a sitting President, originally elected by the people, be forcibly removed from office and taken to another country by the military and then be impeached without some sort of trial or formal proceeding where *both* sides are present and available to present evidence? Because I think that’s the part I am having a hard time understanding (and probably the US govt is too) and I am also having a hard time finding a straight forward answer in the news coverage.

      Also, I have read that many people in Honduras happen to be pro-Zelaya and should their voice be heard? Zelaya is portrayed in the US media as a populist with a lot of support from people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and that the wealthy resented Zelaya. If that is indeed the case, doesn’t it play a role in all of this?

      With respect to your comment about the role of our US National Guard- They absolutely do not serve the same purpose as the military did in Honduras in removing the President. They would not be able to remove a sitting President even if the Supreme Court or Congress declared the actions of the President illegal- if the National Guard did this it would be called a “coup” and an absolute affront to our democratic system.

      Let me make a couple of things clear as an American and also as the person who runs this blog:

      1. I totally understand that Zelaya was making a power-grab which in essence, was undemocratic at it’s very core. By questioning the military removal of the President, I am NOT by implication saying that I agree with what Zelaya did/was doing.

      2. I also understand why many in Honduras don’t like the expanding influence Hugo Chavez is attempting to exert over Zelaya and the Honduran people and I agree with that concern, but to me, that isn’t the primary issue.

      3. I don’t disagree with the claim that Zelaya was engaging in (alleged) illegal activities.

      Again, my concern was with the *process* (or lack thereof) by which the President was removed from office.

  16. Janeth permalink
    June 29, 2009 10:22 pm

    I am a HONDURAN citizen. Born and raised with moral, and democratic beliefs. My country is not in a good situation right now, but I have faith in GOD and that our new President ROBERTO MICHELETTI with all his staff in government, with his pure democratic ideals can undo all the bad actions perpetuated by this monster Manuel Zelaya. Who has been only satisfying his need of power. Joined by Hugo Chavez.
    Please don’t judge our country if you have no clue what is going on, if you haven’t lived what we have lived.
    Manuel Zelaya is a corrupt, socialist, liar. Is a pupil of Hugo Chavez.
    Wouldn’t you do something if a criminal commits a robbery in a bank? or would you let him do it again? Would you tell the criminal when is he going to be captured? Just for him to be prepared???? OF COURSE NOT!!!

    The military did what they did, because there was no other way… Manuel Zelaya was committing illegal actions, and because of that, by our law stated in our constitution, something had to be done.
    Please take all this in consideration, and be informed, trully informed of what is happening.

    AMO A HONDURAS! AMO MI CONSTITUCION!
    QUE VIVA LA DEMOCRACIA!

  17. yvonne davis permalink
    June 30, 2009 11:51 am

    I am very concerned about the conditions that Latin Americans have been forced to endure. I pray for them, that the Lord will help the people to rise up against tyrants who have thoughts only of their power and authority in their souls and minds. Hugo Chavez is the prime example of a manical dictator who cares nothing for the people of his country. If he cared for the people, he would get down on his knees in prayer before the Lord, God almighty and beg for forgiveness for his sins against his fellow man. Tears should stream down his face as he faces his mortality. Those who live by evil usually go down hard. The lord allows righteous armies and godly people to triumph over evil. These dictators live by the designs of the devil, but there is a price to be paid, and in the end, these people will have to face the consequences. God bless these people in their struggle to be free and live without fear of torture and retaliation.

Trackbacks

  1. xamanu's status on Monday, 29-Jun-09 07:45:49 UTC - Identi.ca
  2. Secretary Clinton Gives Update on Honduras « Secretary Clinton
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