OMPP WOFP MR. RODOLFO ROADE. Buenos Aires 18.07.2009

The world population has grown, the world today is well interconnected and we can easily know what is happening in our house and in our neighbours’ houses, as a consequence of the integration and the defense of human rights, which should not only be a personal concern of the citizens but a commitment of all of us.

The United Nations has 193 member countries, based on a common agreement to comply with the Magna Carta of San Francisco, which set the foundations for an integrated world, respecting human values, justice, democracy and Peace between people.

Early in the morning on the 28th June, a group of soldiers with violence and arms, forced from power the president of Honduras Mr. Manuel Zelaya, expelled him from his house and took him to an air base in the capital Tegucigalpa. He was then taken to the neighboring country Costa Rica, only wearing his underwear. The same happened to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Honduras, Ms. Patricia Rodas, and this second episode made clear it was a coup, led by the Commander in chief of the army of Honduras, General Romeo Vásquez, denying the fundaments of the OAS, in particular the article 19 of the Inter-American Democratic Chart which deals with the break of the democratic order, that is exactly what the decision of the Court and the Armed Forces reached, also causing the loss of innocent lives.

This crisis was originated by a referendum that President Manuel Zelaya was planning for his reelection, which is not provided for by the constitution of Honduras, which dates back to 1982. The article 374 states that any constitutional reform shall be ordered by the Congress by a two-third majority, and be later ratified by the legislation. All countries deal with impartiality, a result of different political approaches that are discussed and debated and then resolved with agreements. But violence and coups are not acceptable, a coup destabilizes a country and even a continent. At the time of the coup, all this information were kept in the museums of the memory and Latin American citizens had already forgotten those catastrophes that for many years delayed the development of their countries, creating internal divisions and reinforcing, as a result, hatred and resentment.

Following the constitutional procedure, lacking a leader the Congress of Honduras, in view of the impossibility of the Vice-President to deal with the situation, nominated Roberto Micheletti head of state of the government of Honduras, who became the first de facto-president in America in the first decade of the new millennium, established by a coup by a military troop.

Honduras has a long suffering history and was victim of many armed attacks as that in 1933, which imposed a military dictatorship until 1948. With military uprisings and coups, this country holds the record, along with other Latin American countries. It suffered coups in 1956, 1963, 1972, 1978 and the last on the 28th June 2009, marking that the old era of mistakes and horror was back.

The world community was not able to understand this situation, nor was the Latin American countries which ended up to be aggressors, as their history full of negative memories, crimes and unlawful appropriations against the organized humanity.

The Organization of the United Nations (UN) approved unanimously a resolution which condemns this coup by the military forces in Honduras.

The Organization of the American States (OAS), during a General Assembly in the headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the morning of Saturday 4th July, after the term of 72 hours given to the government which led the coup to leave the place to the democratic president Mr. Manuel Zelaya, suspended Honduras from the OAS, following the approval of 33 out of 34 member countries of this organization that includes the three Americas and the Caribbean.

The Organization of the United Nations (UN), The Organization of the American States (OAS), the European Union (UE), the World Organization for Peace (OMPP WOFP), the government of the U.S.A., the ALBA countries, the Andean Community, the Non-Aligned Movement (NOAL o MPNA), the Latin American Journalists Federation (FELAP), the Rio Group and other countries and world organizations clearly condemned the coup in Honduras which took place on the 28th June of 2009.

The overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya was condemned by the whole world and many ambassadors accredited by the government of Honduras in Tegucigalpa were withdrawn, while the government of the United States and the countries of the European Union immediately protested against the coup.

The government of the United States of North America (U.S.A.) represented by Mr. Barack Obama, during the summit of Moscow where he was signing an agreement with the Russian President on nuclear weapons reduction, expressed his support to the democratic President dismissed by the armed forces of Honduras and stated: “We respect the universal principle that people should chose their leaders, regardless our agreement”. He also added that his country “will not try to impose any government to any country in the world” nor will it try to say which party or leader should govern a country”…

Military forces who led the coup remained isolated as no one recognized their government, whereas OAS and UN are joining efforts to give back the democratic and legal government to the President elected by the majority vote, Mr. Manuel Zelaya, who will complete his mandate in the next 6 months.

The chancellor of Brazil Celso Amorín declared to the media that the military troops who led the coup could resist the call of International organizations but will not be able to resist an economic embargo from the U.S.A., the World Bank and the BID.

This situation is no longer in the hands of the authors of the coup, how and when the economy of their country will stabilize, an embargo to a not recognized country is only one more suffering for the people of Honduras, who for years have been bearing the burden of a bad economy, and could lead them to a worse situation, even though they are not the responsible of it. Blocking funds, as international governments or credit organizations might suggest, could result in a deeper destabilization specially for the people in need.

In an attempt to enter his country, President Manuel Zelaya, backed by authorities from the UN, OAS and others as guarantors, among them the president of OMPP WOFP, while flying was informed by the control tower of the airport of Toncontín in Tegucigalpa he could not to fly over it nor land, as he could be intercepted (or shoot down) by fighter-bombers of the Air Force of Honduras…

As asked by common consent by the OAS and the U.S. government with the total approval of many international organizations, the President of Costa Rica Mr. Oscar Arias was chosen to act as mediator, for representing a key country in the world and for his pacifist ideals, for rejecting arms and for being the head of state of this nation, an expert in the negotiation of Peace and reconciliation.

President Oscar Arias, as leader of the mediation, read a message stating that “international community has unanimously supported this mediation, hoping that the conflict in Honduras could be resolved by diplomatic and peaceful ways”.

The mediation of President Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1987, is supported by the Organization of the American States (OAS), the Organization of the United Nations (UN), and the government of the United States, as well as with the approval of international organizations and the international community.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and current President of Costa Rica Mr. Oscar Arias announced one of his main proposals to the parties about the establishment of a government of national reconciliation, under the presidency of President Manuel Zelaya and with ministers related to the unconstitutional president Mr. Roberto Micheletti, who would be in charge of key roles.

President Mr. Manuel Zelaya should as well renounce to his intention to call a referendum to reform the constitution, which has been declared illegal by several institutions of the government and by the current constitution.

The Democratic President himself, Mr. Manuel Zelaya, will have to call presidential election as provided for the constitution of his country, as scheduled, without participating in a new reelection, as the constitution of his country states.

Force is the cause of this issue and will never be its solution", highlighted the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President of Costa Rica, Mr. Oscar Arias, who reiterated its commitment to give back to the President of Honduras its charge and to settle peace in this country of Central America.

The World Organization for Peace OMPP WOFP completely agrees with the messages of the President Oscar Arias, acknowledging that the only pacific way is the dialogue and that agreements are the only successful way to reach national reconciliation, specially in a very small country like Honduras, whose population is devoted to Peace and is integrated like one big family where everyone knows each other. The OMPP WOFP on the 6th July 2009 declared through its President Carlos Peralta that, “Those episodes must be condemned by everyone, being the only possible way to impose democratic laws on any action altering the activities of the governments elected by the majority of their citizens. These are crimes against the population of a country and no coup can be accepted in any country of America or the world, accordingly to the fundaments of the United Nations, that state that democracy is the first principle of the liberty of humankind”.

In 2009, we can repeat this sentence that will never lose its meaning, “the force is only the power of the beasts”…

We really hope in a prompt pacific agreement and the immediate re-establishment of the President of Honduras, Mr. Manuel Zelaya.

Rodolfo Roade
World Organization for Peace