TEGUCIGALPA – Former Honduran President Mel Zelaya said Monday that the coup that ousted him a year ago was planned by the U.S. Southern Command from the Palmerola military base in Honduras.
“Everything indicates that the coup was planned at the Palmerola military base by the U.S. Southern Command and clumsily executed by incompetent Hondurans,” Zelaya said in an e-mail message sent from the Dominican Republic to the Honduran people to commemorate the first anniversary of the June 28, 2009, putsch.
“Honduran people, I write you these words one year after that fateful morning on which my house, where I lived with my family being president of the republic, was surrounded by special forces of the military,” Zelaya’s missive begins.
It adds that “a year after the military coup d’etat the causes have been cleared up as well as the intellectual authors of the crime, who have kept themselves hidden.”
“The United States was behind the coup d’etat,” he said.
“The intellectual authors of this crime were an illicit association of old Washington hawks and Honduran capitalists with their partners, American affiliates and financial agencies,” the letter said.
The ex-president, who was deposed while promoting a non-binding referendum on convening a constitutional convention, said that the measures he took to free Honduras were “the main reasons why the Americans and their partners went crazy.”
His ouster was the result, the letter said, of adopting measures in 2006 that affected U.S. oil companies, and a plan to convert the U.S.-built Palmerola airbase into a civilian airport.
Another reason for his fall, according to Zelaya, was his rejection of the “recessionary policies of the IMF (International Monetary Fund)” in favor of subsidizing transportation and boosting wages.
Washington also didn’t approve of Honduras’ decision to join Venezuela’s Petrocaribe initiative, under which Caribbean and Central American nations receive Venezuelan oil on generous terms.
“One year after the blow against democracy it has all been confirmed that the exiles are victims of this interference and that the (Porfirio) Lobo government has surrendered to American interests,” Zelaya said, who has been living in the Dominican Republic since Jan. 27.
Lobo became president in January, after winning the election on Nov. 29, 2009, conducted by the de facto regime amid an abstention rate of more than 50 percent.
Zelaya also said that the repression and political persecution in Honduras continues, an accusation echoed by Amnesty International, among others.
To the National Popular Resistance Front that denounced the coup and to his own Liberal Party, Zelaya said “now that you know the truth and know your true adversaries, you must stay united and continue collecting signatures” for a constitutional convention and his return to the country. EFE