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Response to Lanny Davis

In response to Davis' recent attempts to vindicate the coup on the pages of the Wall St. Journal, Simon Rios reaffirms the validity of the resistance.

Dear editors,

In his article concerning recent developments in Honduras, Lanny Davis skews the situation in that country, perpetrating outright untruths that serve only the military/empresario coup he is being paid to represent.
While it is wise for those of us who oppose the coup to refuse the bait of Davis’ sophistry, we must call out the absurdity of arguing that this unconstitutional act—the ordering of the arrest of President Manuel Zelaya, and the subsequent violation of Costa Rican airspace that led to his forced exile—was done in the name of that very constitution.
If Zelaya had indeed violated the Honduran magna carta, and if all the high offices in the land agreed on this point—including the congress, the united business leaders, and the supreme court—then why couldn’t they depose him by legal means? Why not put it to a referendum? Why not afford the president his right to due process?
The simple answer is that there never was a case against him. Not once did Zelaya mention reshaping the constitution so to be reelected, as the coup-plotters claim, and as Lanny Davis has repeated on these pages without a shred of evidence.
For four months now, the Honduran people have struggled against the brutal, albeit tempered military rule of Roberto Micheletti. Some thirty members of the resistance have been assassinated, thousands of Hondurans have been illegally detained, and media have been shut down, in addition to curfews at the whim of the regime & dozens of rapes at the hands of the military. All of this is well documented by COFADEH, Honduras’ leading human rights organization.
With the signing of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose accords, Micheletti finally appeared to have broken the impasse centered around the restitution of Zelaya, which has been called for not only by the United States and the United Nations, but also by the EU, the OAS, and virtually every country in the hemisphere. But when Micheletti informed the country that he himself would lead the “reconciliation government,” and it became clear that the congress had no intention of putting the accord to a vote until after the November 29 elections, Zelaya announced that the deal was dead. Elections can not take place until the rule of law is restored in Honduras.
Perhaps President Zelaya erred in signing the accord, and in trusting the people who overturned him. But this formality, a product of the manipulation of the illegal regime, should not fool us into recognizing the results of elections carried out under dictatorial circumstances.
In the words of Zelaya: “We trust that the United States, as it has done until now, continues to accompany the Honduran people and the Latin American community in this pacific process of reconstructing democracy and the rule of law, refusing to recognize the use of the armed forces to resolve political conflicts by means of the coup d’etat.”
The tyrant will always have a pretext for his tyranny. But if we really believe in democracy and the sovereignty of nations, we will refute that pretext and support the Honduran people in their struggle for a more just country.