A little country stands up for what is right

Ignore for a moment the salacious details of Manuel Zelaya’s attempt to destroy democracy in Honduras and his affiliations with the most despicable despots in South America. Look only at the country and its people and you can clearly see something quite heroic by a very small and poor nation. With the weight of world opinion bearing down on their shoulders, Honduras has refused to bend to the pressure and has stood up for what they believe to be right: their Constitution and the rule of law.

In this open letter from the Foreign Minister of Honduras, Carlos Lopez Contreras, we see the courage and the determination of the Honduran people. They will not violate their Constitution or the rule of law in order to please the rest of the world.

SECRETARIA DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES DE LA REPUBLICA DE HONDURAS

An Open Letter to the Citizens of the World from Carlos Lopez Contreras, Foreign Minister of Honduras

As citizens of an increasingly smaller and interconnected global community, we are all responsible for respecting one other and for creating a better world together. Our diverse cultures, religions, and forms of government must continually search for ways to understand one another and work together.

In Honduras, we have always worked diligently to uphold this responsibility as inhabitants of a global village. We have always remained steadfast in our commitment, and this past month is no exception. In fact, it is an example of what we must all vow to do from time to time: hold true to the principals of democracy and the rule of law while protecting the human and civil rights of our fellow citizens in the face of criticism and misunderstanding by certain sectors of the international community.

Let me be clear about what we as Hondurans believe. We believe in the rights of every person to freely express themselves and their beliefs so long as it is done in accordance with the rule of law. We encourage full and equal participation in political discourse and believe that a free and unfettered press is a valuable part of that discourse. We believe that the Honduran government must act in accordance with the Constitution that establishes and limits its power to govern.

As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am charged with representing the Honduran government and its people before the world. Now more than ever, my job is to bring an understanding to our shared global community of our dedication to uphold these beliefs, and ask each of you to consider our views as we consider yours.

Yes, Manuel Zelaya was democratically elected as the Honduran President. We cherish democracy.

Yes. as President, he did abuse his power and violate the Constitution. We respect our Constitution.

Yes, his powers as President were automatically forfeited after our Attorney General investigated the violation and our Supreme Court ruled that the violation had occurred. We respect the rule of law.

Yes, the military was ordered to arrest him as part of their Constitutional duty. We know this appearance might seem troubling to some, but it is clearly written in our Constitution — and has always been a part of our Constitution.

Yes, it was a mistake to remove Manuel Zelaya, a Honduran national, from the country. We admit the error and are aware that there are consequences.

Those consequences are that the Constitution and rule of law must be upheld. And so, the Attorney General opened an investigation into the expatriation of Manuel Zelaya on July 4th, and we await the findings of this investigation.

We, the Honduran people, firmly believe that those consequences are not any of the following:

  • The restitution of the Presidential powers of Manuel Zelaya. This is not an option the Honduran Constitution grants to the government. In fact, it is clear that the exact opposite must take place. No powers under any circumstances.
  • The granting of amnesty to Manuel Zelaya by the executive branch. This is a proscribed duty of the Congress, and the Congress alone. This is their power, and theirs alone.
  • The unilateral decision to negotiate breaking articles of the Constitution in order to satisfy some members of the international community. Popular opinion by powerful nations does not rule our nation, and should not rule any country.

Please consider what is being asked of our country: Break the Constitution. Ignore the rule of law.

We simply can not do this because of a mistake in expatriating a Honduran national who had been Constitutionally stripped of the powers that democracy provided to him only to have him abuse them.

We would never ask another nation to ignore its Constitution and trample on the rule of law much less purposely violate its Constitution to please our opinion.

Each day, our citizens wake up and hope that through our insistence and dedication that we can bring understanding to others. We are thankful to friends who have courageously spoken up on our behalf. We are grateful for their support, and are humbled that they have chosen to work selflessly alongside us to bring other nations to understanding our commitment to democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law.

We are a little country among the community of nations but our nation’s larger mission is to protect human rights, democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. We are confident that these are values worth standing firmly in order to uphold. We invite the world to examine our true intentions and decide for themselves. As we prepare to hold free and fair elections this coming November, our faith in these principles could not be more clear.

They may be a small country, but they are a huge example of how a country stands up for what is right.

h/t Andy S.

6 thoughts on “A little country stands up for what is right”

  1. A good piece of writing stating clearly what the country will and will not do.
    I loved that popular opinion by powerful nations does not rule Honduras. That is a well earned dig. This is one case where I agree when a country scorns our country.
    But I was worried about that bit that it was a mistake to remove Zelaya, a Honduran national, from the country. Oy. Give your enemy one tiny victory and you may lose all. I hope that admission does not become a game changer.

  2. Mr. Lopez does not seem to realize that according to leftists every where ‘the Constitution’ be it the Honduran Constitution, the American Constitution, or the Venezuelan Constitution, is a ‘living, breathing, document’ (in the case of Venezuela this might be a literal description). Thus if the left says that Honduras should restore Mr. Zelayas of course it is Constitutional because the left says it is. You see Mr. Lopez it depends on how you define the word ‘Constitution’.

  3. Zelaya was taken out of the country for good reason.
    Since it is illegal many governemnt officials chosen to acknowledge it as a mistake. The night Z´liar was given his get out of jail ride to Costa Rica we were briefed by a Honduran military analyst as to what happened. Truth is we expected him to be removed based on everything that happened prior to the morning of the 28th.The analyst has been studying Chavez. If Zelaya was left in a prison to face trial there would have been a riot to spring him out. Intelligence knew that Venezuala sent many agents to the country the week before. These agents have been using Nicaraguans to do there dirty work. They rtried to get the same riot when they flew Z´liar back to the airport. The reason they couldnt get the civil war going was that the paid propagandist simply cant recruit enough Hondurans to take up arms over the issue.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124744094880829815.html
    ogrady why they put zelaya out of the country
    http://hondurasabandoned.blogspot.com/2009/07/did-chavez-have-influence-on-sundays.html
    chavez playbook to provoke riot at airport
    http://honduransforfreedom.blogspot.com/2009/07/higo-chavezs-plan-for-honduras.html
    hugo chavez plan for civil war in honduras
    http://eng.laprensa.hn/Ediciones/2009/07/28/Noticias/Leaders-of-pro-Zelaya-protests-are-paid-in-dollars
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRGCkac8FlU
    coburn video stating 1000 venezuelan enter with honduran passports(fake)
    and argument against the white house position

  4. Alberto thank you very much for the post.
    By the way I am an American citizen living in Honduras. America is violating my rights. By denying visas. My wife and I used to live in the States and she had a opermanent residence. At our choosing we moved to Honduras with 3 of our American born children. Our oldes is a permanent resident working in Texas. We have three American born children with us in Honduras. I cant get mom a visa so the kids can visit there brother for xmas. Arent my rights being violated? Where is amnest intl and the OAS?

  5. A while ago I read a response to the foreing minister of Honduras by foreing minister of Costa Rica. The Costa Rican says the international community’s intepretation of the Honduran Constitution is subtantially diffent from that of Honduran authorities, therefore they must let Zelaya back as President. Isn’t that interesting? I wonder what criteria the international community uses to make that decision and oevrride Honduran authorities. Chávez and his Supreme Court have been doing as they please with the Venezuelan Constitution. Are they going to do something about it? Why intervene in some cases and not in others? It’s a naive question, I know.

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