`WikiLeaks expose shows US complicity in Honduran coup’

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tegucigalpa, Nov 30 (IANS/EFE) Ousted Honduran president Mel Zelaya has said that one of the US diplomatic cables published by whistleblower website Wikileaks demonstrates Washington’s “complicity” with the June 2009 coup against his government.

The cable shows the US government knew the true nature of the events of June 28, 2009, Zelaya said Monday in a statement issued from exile in the Dominican Republic.

“The embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch,” US Ambassador Hugo Llorens said in a July 24, 2009, message from Tegucigalpa to Washington.

“No matter what the merits of the case against Zelaya, his forced removal by the military was clearly illegal, and (congress speaker Roberto) Micheletti’s ascendance as ‘interim president’ was totally illegitimate,” the US envoy wrote.

Zelaya was overthrown hours before a non-binding referendum he called on convening an assembly to overhaul the Honduran Constitution, a charter imposed in the early 1980s by the armed forces.

The Honduran Congress, Supreme Court, military and political establishment claimed the plebiscite was illegal.

“The coup’s most ardent legal defenders have been unable to make the intellectual leap from their arguments regarding Zelaya’s alleged crimes to how those allegations justified dragging him out of his bed in the night and flying him to Costa Rica,” Llorens said in his appraisal.

Zelaya said the WikiLeaks document demonstrates the US government was fully aware that the events of June 28 constituted a military coup.

“This document implicates … the US, which, knowing of the crime, justified it and supported the criminals,” the former Honduran president said.

While criticising Zelaya’s ouster, Washington did not cut off aid to Honduras and subsequently deemed the November 2009 elections administered by the Micheletti regime to be free and fair, despite low turnout and widespread repression prior to the balloting.

The US recognised the winner, Porfirio Lobo, as Honduras’ legitimate president and has pressed other nations to do the same, but several Latin American countries - including Brazil - have refused.

Given Llorens’ assessment, “why did Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton and (President Barack) Obama support holding elections with the dictator (Micheletti) and why are they now white-washing the coup?,” Zelaya asked Monday.


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