The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) released a statement on Monday reaffirming its commitment to the Honduran people’s struggle for a return to democracy one year after the coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.
The ALBA reiterated its “solidarity with the Honduran people and its denunciations of massive human rights violations” committed by the coup regime.
“The member states of the ALBA demand respect and guarantees for the democratic struggle of the Honduran people and that the repression and political assassinations cease,” the ALBA stated.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed its backing of the statement.
In the early hours of the morning of June 28 2009, Zelaya was arrested by the army, thrown out of his country and exiled to neighbouring Costa Rica.
The coup plotters, led by politician Roberto Micheletti, accused Zelaya of acting unconstitutionally by scheduling a referendum on the reform of the constitution so he could serve two consecutive presidential terms.
Zelaya and a majority of Hondurans disagreed as did most countries in the region.
While the Obama administration in the US spoke out against Zelaya’s expulsion, it has done nothing to bring about a return to democracy and there are suspicions in progressive governments across Latin America that the US supported the coup.
Yesterday, Zelaya accused the US government of being behind the coup outright.
Speaking from exile in the Dominican Republic, he said: “Today we know that what we suspected at the time has been confirmed. The United States was behind the coup de etat.”
Zelaya added that “everything points to the fact that the coup was planned from the Palmerola military base.” The base is a US installation established in 1984, 50 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa.
Zelaya also said that it was the progressive changes he had made during his time as president from the beginning of 2006, such as the plan to “recover the Palmerola military base and convert it to a civil-military airport,” and “the signing of the ALBA,” and the fact that “in the Organisation for the American States assembly in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we managed to revoke the expulsion of Cuba [from the OAS], that occurred in 1962.”
The regime held elections on November 29 2009 and Porfirio Lobo was elected “president.”
Lobo has refused to recognise the ALBA, so Hondurans no can no longer take advantage of cheap oil, low-interest credits, eye operations from the Cuban-led Mision Milagro, a national literacy campaign and many social and economic development programmes.
Speaking of the possibility of Zelaya returning to his country, Micheletti said: “If Zelaya returns, the tribunals will be waiting for him, in order to take him to trial for the crimes he committed during his government.”
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This post was written by Steven Mather