50 Days of Coup Lies blessed by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez, pt. 2

Fifty Days of Coup Lies blessed by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez

Part two of two. Part one available here

by Juan Antonio Mejía Guerra, translated by Doug Zylstra
Movement for Dignity and Justice
National Front of Resistance Against the Coup in Honduras

August 16, 2009

Lie No. 9
Cardinal Rodriguez: "The documents prove that the institutions (which participated in the coup] operated properly and complied with the Constitution."

Again the Cardinal is lying here, perversely so. The text of the Constitution shows conclusively that the charter of the nation of Honduras was violated with premeditation, treachery and advantage by the Judiciary, Congress, Public Ministry, the National Human Rights Commissioner and the tragic Armed Forces that planned and executed the coup. To prove it, it is necessary to first look at the following constitutional articles:

1. Violation of Article 242 of the Constitution. This article concerns the permanent absence of the President of the Republic. It says that "if the absence of the President is absolute, the Vice-President shall take over the reins of the executive branch for the remaining time. But if the absence of the Vice-President is also absolute, the duties of the Executive shall be exercised by the President of Congress, or, failing that, by the President of the Supreme Court, in the time remaining to complete the constitutionally-appointed term."

It is clear that the article refers to a complete absence of the president. But President Zelaya's absence was not in any way absolute. On June 28, he did not leave power, but rather, he was taken out of power by the military that raided his home in the middle of the night, capturing and transporting him out of the country. The letter of resignation with which the vile deputies sought to create the justification for the absolute absence was not believed by anyone and was immediately denied by President Zelaya in exile. But the Cardinal accepts this lie propagated by the coup supporters in order to try to justify the taking over of the Presidency as a 'democratic succession'. The Cardinal must have lied to the bishops and is now lying to the Honduran people and the international community by saying that the coup was carried out under the Constitution. This constitutional article shows otherwise.

2. Violation of Article 99 of the Constitution. "Homes are inviolable. No entry or search may take place without the consent of the person living there or by resolution of the corresponding authority. (...). Except for emergencies, private homes can not be entered from six in the evening to six in the morning.

The house of President Zelaya was violated by the military, who overcame the presidential guard and forcibly penetrated it. The bullet holes are still visible on the walls inside the house. The assault occurred at 5 am, when the law condones entry between 6 am and 6pm. Does this not violate this article of the Constitution? According to Cardinal Rodriguez; no, it does not.

3. Violation of Article 102 of the Constitution. "No Honduran may be expatriated or delivered by the authorities to a foreign state."

President Zelaya was captured and taken away in an aircraft belonging to the Honduran Air Force. He was taken in his pajamas to the city of San Jose, Republic of Costa Rica, where he was abandoned on the tarmac at Juan Santamaria Airport. In the face of such an insult to the law and the dignity of a man chosen by a majority of the Honduran people as its president, Cardinal Rodriguez still has the nerve to say that "the institutions operated properly and complied with the Constitution"?

4. Violation of Article 84 of the Constitution. "No one shall be arrested or detained except by written order of a qualified authority issued within the corresponding legal framework and for reasons previously established in the law (...) The arrested or detained should be informed immediately and clearly of their rights and the facts alleged against him, and moreover, the authority must permit communication concerning his arrest to a family member or person of his choice ".

The military that captured Zelaya did not have any search warrant or arrest warrant issued by a qualified court. In addition, the law mandates that any arrests are to be carried out by the police, not the army. According to President Zelaya's account, the soldiers who captured him did not submit any warrant nor was he even informed as to what was what was happening and was not allowed contact with his family. The court order that the coup supporters have now presented has been created after the fact, and no one believes that President Zelaya had submitted this letter of resignation from the presidency. Only Cardinal Rodriguez believes that this warrant proceeded in a timely manner.

Lie No. 10
Cardinal Rodriguez: "The Constitution says very clearly that if the head of state were to propose a change in order to continue in office, he immediately ceases to hold that office. That means that when Zelaya was captured by the Army, he was no longer President. He had ceased being president.

At no time did President Zelaya say publicly that he wanted to be reelected as President nor is there mention that has ever done so privately. However, if the Cardinal Rodriguez or any other authority were sure of that claim, they should immediately have initiated impeachment hearings leading to the conviction and ouster of President Zelaya. This never happened. President Zelaya called for a non-binding referendum to see if there was support for a fourth ballot box in the upcoming elections for the purposes of organizing a constitutional assembly in 2010, after he would have left office.

Article 89 of the Constitution is clear: "Everyone is innocent until proven guilty by the qualified authority. But Cardinal Rodriguez condemns President Zelaya before he is convicted by any court and, indeed, before it had even brought up formal charges against him.

If there never was a formal accusation against President Zelaya in the courts, there could not have been any convictions, so his arrest and capture are in no way legal. Only Cardinal Rodriguez dares to say in this interview that "when Zelaya was captured by the Army he was no longer President of the Republic," ie, that he had been ousted before he was even charged and convicted in a trial.

Lie No. 11
Cardinal Rodriguez: "In order to bring peace to the country, it would be wiser and more patriotic that Zelaya refrains from returning right away."

Why does it always have to be the poor who always give in and lose? The people, elected by Manuel Zelaya as President, must now give up their rights in order to satisfy the coup whims of the 10 families that own Honduras. In what kind of justice does Cardinal Rodriguez place his faith? While the whole world condemns the coup and demands justice for the Honduran people by returning to power the man that they themselves chose, the Cardinal demands that this man not return to rule and moreover, makes him responsible for any future blood bath. Cardinal Rodriguez forgets that any weapons that kill are in the hands of those whom he supports. If the call of Cardinal Rodriguez had been motivated by a sincere concern for the people, that call should have been made to those that sponsored this coup and his brethren in the Opus Dei.

Lie No. 12
Cardinal Rodriguez: "How can you ask of us that we accept the return of someone who has stolen with such impunity?"

Another big lie of the Cardinal and the oligarchy is the much vaunted 'looting of state coffers'. After robbing the State for the last fifty days, the coffers of the Central Bank of Honduras have provided financial resources to funnel over 300 million Lempiras to municipalities, repairing levees, and to pay salaries on the exact day, July 20, to all government personnel with an estimated sum of fifteen hundred million Lempiras.

If it were true that President Zelaya had bankrupted the country, what the coup makers would have found would be only debts. Despite the withdrawal of aid from multilateral agencies to the coup government, so far it has not needed to devalue the currency or even postpone domestic payments, etc.. We, therefore, are facing a stubborn lie, repeated by the Cardinal, and that reality is now showing itself to be a lie. The state, far from having been looted, was strengthened, yes, strengthened in favor of the people, not the bankers and businessmen and for this, they never forgave President Zelaya.

However, the one who has looted the state coffers is Cardinal Rodriguez himself. According to Executive Order No. 046-2001, signed by coup supporter and also former president Carlos Roberto Flores, Cardinal Rodríguez receives monthly, since 2001, the amount of L100,000 Lempiras monthly, which come straight out the president's budget. Both former President Flores and Cardinal Rodríguez violated the Constitution they now claim to defend because it demands separation between church and state. For this reason, Cardinal Rodriguez has has had charges filed against him in the Public Ministry by the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice to have him return what he looted from the State and face the corresponding civil and criminal charges.

Lie No. 13
Cardinal Rodriguez: "The military was wrong to send him to Costa Rica. But there is an explanation relating to military law. Zelaya and his people stormed the airbase.
Where would Zelaya have been held safely? The Islands are full of tourists. And that would have represented a violation of all human rights ".

You cannot argue that the transfer abroad of President Zelaya in a military aircraft was based upon the legal principle of 'State of Necessity, since the President
was in no danger within his own home, nor did he represent a flight risk, simply because he did not even know that he was about to be taken. Nor is it true that "his people stormed the airbase". The president himself, in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, went to pick up the ballot boxes at the Air Force warehouse. And he brought people along seeing as how the Armed Forces had disobeyed his original order to help distribute the ballot boxes across the country.


The claims of the Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez

What happened in Honduras was a coup and it is foolish to deny it. A basic reading of the Honduran Constitution demonstrates it without a doubt; the majority of Hondurans, and the rest of the international community understand it that way. The coup is only denied by a sector of the Honduran oligarchy, the coup supporters of Opus Dei and the far right in Latin America and the United States of America.

The coup which occurred on June 28 has plunged the country into an unprecedented crisis in which, as always, the most vulnerable sectors are bearing the brunt. The eight people killed in the various manifestations have been people opposed to the coup and were killed by snipers and assassins who kill just as did the death squads in the eighties, one of whose leaders wanted by international justice, Mr Billy Joya, now serves as presidential adviser for the coup government which Cardinal Rodriguez defends. Hundreds of thousands of people who are intermittently engaged in demonstrations across the country do so without receiving anything in return but the satisfaction that comes from being on the side of justice. The wounded and imprisoned, numbering in the hundreds, have been attacked for defending democratic institutions and the right of insurrection that the Constitution provides.

Mr. Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga has brought disrespect to his ecclesiastical position by joining the coup and attacking the Honduran people and their democratic
institutions, taking sides in a situation so critical for Honduran society at a time when the Church elsewhere in the world often plays the role of mediator, comforting and unifying society. But here he is, heretically offending the faith in the God of Life that he says he proclaims in order to allay himself with the forces of Death. And, there they are, our brothers, killed in cold blood by military assassins legitimated by the word, equally assassin, of Cardinal Rodriguez.

Honduras, one of the poorest and humblest countries of our planet, is now in a foxhole where love, truth and justice face the evils of this world blessed by the 'Cardinal Golpista' Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.