PRESIDENT ZELAYA LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
From the Desk of the President,
Tegucigalpa, November 14, 2009
His Excellency, BARACK OBAMA
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington D. C. 20520
United States of America
Dear President Obama:
When I first met with Secretary of State
Clinton on July 8 after the coup d'etat, the position of the Obama
administration was made clear to me and to the world regarding its
condemnation of the coup d'etat, non-recognition of the coup regime
authorities and urging the return to the rule of law with the reinstatement of
the President elected by the people.
The official position of your government
was consistent with your representatives who sponsored and signed the
resolutions of the UN, and the OAS and the third point that requires my
immediate and safe restitution.
On June 28, 2009, the military abducted
and forced me into exile to Costa Rica. The Honduran Congress issued an illegal
decree ordering "The separation of citizien José Manuel Zelaya from
the post of Constitutional President of the Republic" without
constitutional authority to do so, no due process and without being summoned to
Secretary Hillary Clinton proposed
mediation with President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica at our first meeting.
Even though I consider it counterproductive to dialogue with people who are
armed, I accepted the mediation taking into account the sponsorship by the U.S.
and international community.
In a September 4, 2009 statement,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed the following: "The positive
conclusion of the process initiated by Arias would be the basis for proceeding
with a legitimate election."
It is well known that the de facto regime
would not have signed the Accord without the visit to Honduras by Assistant
Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas Shannon, Daniel
Restrepo and Craig Kelly. We all know why the Tegucigalpa - San José
agreement was breached.
Faithful to the truth, President Oscar
Arias declared: "Micheletti never had the will to work together.
Instead, he ridiculed the international community, stalling for time and never
returning power to where it belongs." Former President Ricardo
Lagos, a prominent member of the International Verification Commission,
confirmed this by stating: "Mr. Micheletti broke it,"
"Micheletti did things he should not have done like saying 'I'll
form a unity government without Zelaya’ which is what caused the failure
of this negotiated agreement.”
The very day that the Accord's
Verification Commission was installed in Tegucigalpa, State Department
officials made surprising statements in which they changed their position and
interpreted the agreement unilaterally with the following statements, "...
the elections would be recognized by the United States, with or without
The de facto regime welcomed this change
and used these statements for their own purposes. This noncompliance and
violation resulted in an immediate termination of the Accord.
Therefore, we express the
The Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord is null
and void because of unilateral noncompliance by the de facto government.
The Accord was designed to be implemented comprehensively and simultaneously;
it was not to be seen as twelve separate agreements. The single agreement
with twelve points had a single purpose, to restore democratic order and social
peace, and reverse the coup d'etat with the safe return of the legitimately
elected President of the Republic by popular vote. This would foster a climate
of national reconciliation and a subsequent constitutional electoral process,
guaranteed to be free fair with the participation for all Honduran
The forthcoming elections should take
place within a legal framework and with international support, especially from
the OAS and UN. Without the political conditions which ensure the most
basic rights for citizens, there can be no guarantee for free and fair
elections with transparency.
With this, I note that the new position
of the U.S. Government officials eludes the initial goal of the San Jose
dialogue. It relegates the Accord with the legitimately recognized
government into the background and attempts to shift the agreement toward a new
electoral process regardless of the circumstances in which it develops. Among
others, public resources are being approved by government officials who are not
legally recognized and they are justified with budget documents that have not
been authorized by the legitimately recognized President.
Under these conditions, this electoral
process and its results will be subject to legal challenge and
non-recognition. This seriously jeopardizes the future stability of
relations between Honduras and other nations who recognize its
As noted by the OAS Secretary General
Jose Miguel Insulza, there is no political climate for elections. This was also
pointed out by U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) who observed in her
recent visit to Honduras that there is a proven climate of human rights
violations in Honduras.
On November 6, we stated our refusal to
continue with the false dialogue. With the passing of the deadline on November
5, the text of the Accord becomes a dead letter that has lost meaning.
Agreements need to be followed in a timely and correct fashion. The violation
of this one by the de facto regime is the condition which determines that the
agreement ceased to exist.
Undoubtedly, precious time was lost in
this failed attempt.
The presidential election is currently
scheduled for the last week of November. In this case, as Constitutional
President of Honduras, and as a citizen elected by democratic vote to represent
the people of Honduras, I feel obliged to report that under these conditions we
can not support the election. We are proceeding to legally challenge
the election on behalf of thousands of Hondurans and hundreds of candidates who
feel that this competition is unjust and that the conditions for free and fair
elections do not exist.
Current repression in Honduras is
widespread against the Honduran people as well as against the highest authority
of the President of the Republic, overthrown by armed force and never subjected
to a trial or due process. Instead of considering my achievements, three
years of the best economic indicators and the largest poverty reduction in 28
years of democracy, I currently have 24 indictments and arrest warrants for
corruption, drug trafficking and terrorism among others. Most of my
cabinet ministers are subjected to political persecution and have fled the
regime to different parts of the Americas.
3500 people detained in one hundred days,
over 600 people beaten and injured in hospitals, more than a hundred murders
and countless numbers of people subjected to torture directed against citizens
who dare to oppose the regime and express their ideas about freedom and justice
in peaceful demonstrations. All this converts the November election into
an anti-democratic exercise under an uncertain state of lawlessness with
military intimidation for large sections of our people.
To hold elections in which the President
elected by the people of Honduras, who is recognized by your government and the
international community, is a prisoner surrounded by soldiers in the Brazilian
embassy, while the de facto president who was imposed on the country by the
military is surrounded by the powerful in the governmental palace, would be an
historical embarrassment to Honduras and a disgrace to the democratic peoples
of the Americas.
This electoral process is illegal because
it covers up the military coup and the de facto state which Honduras has been
subject to. It provides no guarantees for Honduran citizens for a free
and fair election. It is an undemocratic electoral maneuver repudiated by
large sectors of the population to cover up for the perpetrators and
masterminds of the coup d'etat.
Elections involve a process with debates
and a presentation of ideas with equal opportunity for all. They do not
just occur on election day
In my capacity as President elected by
the Honduran people, I reaffirm my decision that from this date onward,
whatever the case, I DO NOT ACCEPT any agreement to return to the presidency to
cover up the coup. We know that the coup has had a direct impact with the
military crackdown on the human rights of the inhabitants of our
I was present at the Summit of the
Americas held in Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year, where you said:
"Let's stop accusing the United States for what it did around the
continent in the past and let's look toward the future."
The future that is revealed to us today,
with the policy shift in the case of Honduras favoring abusive intervention by
the military castes in the civilian life of our nation (which historically
caused our countries in the twentieth century to go backward and to stagnate)
is not more than the decline of freedom and the disdain for human
dignity. It is a new war against the processes of social and democratic
reforms which are very necessary in Honduras.
Each time that a legitimately elected
government in the Americas is overthrown, violence and terrorism achieve a
battle victory and Democracy suffers a defeat. We still refuse to believe
that the military coup in Honduras is now the new state terrorism of the
twenty-first century, and that it will be the future for Latin America that you
spoke about in Trinidad and Tobago.
We are firmly determined to fight for our
democracy without hiding the truth and when a people decides to fight
peacefully for their ideas, no weapon, no army nor any maneuver is capable of
I await your prompt response and I
reiterate my highest consideration,
José Manuel Zelaya Rosales,
President of Honduras