I sent this letter to Georgia Senators and Congress and also to the Foreign relations committe in both areas as well.
This describes the laws and Zelaya´s violation of that law.
July 5, 2009
Dear Foreign Relations Senate :
I am very concerned about the position of President Barak Obama and the position of the US ambassador to Honduras on the present situation in Honduras.
I am an American citizen living in Honduras at present. I am married to a man who was born in Honduras. I am writing you about the attitude he has taken toward Honduras without consideration of what is going on at present here and his sudden classification without investigation that what has occurred here is a coup.
Let me explain to you a little bit about what is going on here at present that seems to be virtually non existent or misreported in US media sources. I wrote to President Obama and to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on this issue. I got a courtesy letter from the Department of State but got absolutely no response from President Obama. I feel it urgent to contact you about it since I am also a resident of the state of Georgia.
First of all I feel that Honduras is a sovereign state with laws and a constitution. Even though it is a small and very poor country it is proud of its democratic institutions and the Constitution that has been in force since 1982. The constitution of Honduras is written in very simple language and is not very hard to understand for even a common person. The rights are spelled out in pretty much black and white. It includes both responsibilities and rights. I will provide you with some reference to which articles that I will refer to here that are part of what is occurring here and why this should be of importance to the United States government. At present there are 15,000 Americans living in Honduras.
Honduras has been an ally of the US for more than one hundred years. Honduras is a democratically elected government and a constitutional republic just like the United States is. In fact, much of the government here is modeled after the US system of government. Corruption for a very long time has been an issue here. Since the government of Ricardo Maduro the government has been trying to get a hand on the corruption and violence in the country. To do this requires absolute obedience of people to the laws including all civil servants.
1. Ex President Manuel Zelaya was elected by a very narrow majority in 2005. When he took office he swore to obey the constitution and to submit to the laws of the land.
2. Ex President Manuel Zelaya did not obey the laws and in fact was blatant that he was going to ignore them including the constitution and the Supreme Court and Congress orders to obey the law.
3. He was offered an opportunity to come before Congress to discuss the issue the night before his removal and he refused. He said clearly that he was not going to obey the rulings because he was the law.
4. In Honduras, the president is not the law he is a representative of the people.
5. He wanted to rewrite the constitution and follow in a similar pattern to that of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.
6. He had consulted with the same person that assisted in the writing of the new Venezuelan constitution to write ours. There he established his desire to re write the whole constitution not just parts of it.
7. As President he does not have the authority to call a constitutional assembly or even a consult on a constitutional assembly. The only government body permitted to do this is the Congress and it is only by 2/3 majority as is true in the US. It is a dangerous precedent to allow a president to step on the rulings of other bodies of power set up to keep the Executive branch in check and balanced with the other branches.
8. The Supreme Court of Honduras ruled against his executive order and told him the consult and the 4th ballot was illegal. They ordered him to cease all advertisements related to this project. He refused.
9. The Supreme Court, other legal advisors, the religious institutions, even the Congress called upon him to obey the rulings of the court that he was breaking the law and violating the constitution. He refused to obey those orders.
10. On June 26, 2009 the Supreme Court and Elections Tribunal ordered that all of the ballots and boxes be seized and held for further investigation of the illegality of the actions of the president.
11. There were several complaints to the Attorney General and to the court that the president was violating the constitution. He was committing treason by violating article 239 of the Constitution; he immediately lost his position as president upon his actions of the violation per the constitution. It doesn’t provide for an impeachment proceeding since the article clearly states that they immediately lose their position by simply committing the act.
12. Congress convened and placed a complaint before the Supreme Court for abuse of power, treason, and several other violations on the Constitution and his power.
13. The Supreme Court ordered for Manuel Zelaya Rosales to be arrested. At this point he was no longer president as per article 239 of the Constitution.
14. Manuel Zelaya Rosales was arrested at about 5 in the morning and was removed from the country to prevent violent uprisings from supporters of the president. The decision was not ordered by the Supreme Court but by military brass that assessed that the protesters could try to break into military installations to remove him or into prisons to free him. This is proven by the situation that occurred today where protesters tried to break into the airport in defiance of the law. They felt that the security of the nation outweighed the rights of Manuel Zelaya Rosales and he was removed to Costa Rica.
15. While perhaps the process was a little awkward and the US sees it as unusual the US also has very little experience with impeachments or the legal removing of a president. When President Nixon ordered the break in at Watergate he was investigated just like Zelaya. However, what if Nixon had been ordered removed and refused to leave? How would this be dealt with? Wouldn’t he be arrested since he is no longer president and refusing to be removed.
16. What is clear is there was a process so therefore this cannot truly be called a coup because another branch of government invalidated his presidency and ordered the military to remove him.
17. The Constitutional order has not be violated as elections will be held normally November 29, 2009 and a new president will take office in January 2010. Interim president who was the former Speaker of the House will not be on the ballot. There is no military holding office and the military in Honduras is used just like a national police force to deal with certain issues.
18. This could not be a military coup because the military didn’t take over the government. Furthermore, Democratic order has not been interrupted because there are still the three normal branches of government operating.
19. At present entrance to the country by Manuel Zelaya has been forbidden even though there is an arrest warrant out for him because of the desperately dangerous political situation the country. Civil war could very easily break out if he is returned at present. It is much more recommended that an independent group get involved in this issue to mediate the situation.
20. Had President Zelaya not been removed Constitutional order indeed would have been interrupted as a Constitutional assembly would have triggered the dissolve of the Congress and the Supreme Court leaving no one to overrule him and balance the power.
21. There is some serious questions as to whether Zelaya was involved in drug trafficking assisting his ally President Hugo Chavez. In this year, no less than 16 Venezuelan planes have landed in Honduran territory with drugs. Many of those planes were burned upon removal of the drugs. Since the removal of the president not a single Venezuelan plane has landed in this fashion.
22. Hugo Chavez has raised all sand about the removal of Zelaya and insists that he will not even recognize any government except that of Zelaya not even a democratically elected one.
23. The interim government has offered to hold elections early to prove their dedication to the upholding of law. No one seems to acknowledge that this in itself disqualifies this as a power grab.
24. The OEA and the department of State were unconcerned with whether Zelaya violated the constitution they were only worried about the rules of the Inter American charter.
25. This brings into question the stability of the US and their sovereignty as well. If the US does not support the Constitution being upheld in another country where will it find itself internationally when the need comes about to remove a president for being tyrannical and trying to change the Constitution by force in the US?
26. How can any government the US or any other international body completely ignore the sovereign laws of a country?
27. Instead of President Obama praising the country of Honduras for standing up for the rule of law and the constitution they are reprimanding them and not taking into account that there is a healthy distrust of presidents becoming despots in the region for very valid reasons. Furthermore, the Department of State admitted that he violated the Constitution of Honduras but said they didn’t care about that. I was floored when I read that communication.
28. Please ask President Obama if he is going to condemn a country for defending the rule of law and demand presidents not abuse power or if he is going to side with despots and dictators like Chavez and Castro.
I ask that you ask other Senators to come to the country of Honduras and mediate and investigate the situation completely to determine what is really occurring here. Look at the evidence and talk to Congress and the Supreme Court as well as take a look at the Honduran Constitution. Please call attention to the fact that President Obama is meddling in Honduran internal affairs involving the impeachment and removal of a president and daring call it a coup when it is not defined as a coup or even coup lite. It is an impeachment and removal plain and simple. It just was done in a single meeting and with an arrest warrant. In Honduras the military has the duty to protect the constitution and its integrity to the death. Therefore it was their duty to remove President Zelaya and allow the constitutional order of naming the Speaker of the House as president since there is not a vice president at present. Please do all you can to help save this democratically elected government that is an island in the middle of socialist regimes.
References to articles of the constitution
42 Anyone who violates the 1 term 4 year president limit loses their citizenship
239 President can serve one term of four years. Anyone who tries to reform this article immediately revokes their public seat and is subject to administrative and criminal action.
321 Public servants have no greater interest than the law. Everything they do outside of the law is void and implies responsibility upon them.
322 All public functionaries that hold authority are legally responsible for their official conduct. They are subject to the law and never above the law.
No functionary, military or civil can obey an illegal order to do so is a crime.
324 If a public servant (including president) disobeys the law in exercising their power they immediately become a civilian and solely responsible for their actions of the State.
State institutions in their capacity can act against the servant without punishment in cases of fault or nullity of position.
326 It is a public obligation to pursue violators of the Constitution and they can exercise this pursuit without any formality and by simple complaint to the court.