Thursday, 2 July 2009

Restore democracy in Honduras!

For more news on the situation in Honduras, visit

A statement from the Socialist Alliance, Australia, July 2, 2009

The Socialist Alliance strongly condemns the June 28 coup d’etat by the military, members of the oligarchy and their political agents in Honduras. The violent kidnapping and expulsion to Costa Rica of democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is an attempt to deny the people of Honduras their fundamental human rights to determine their own government and political future.

The coup took place as millions of Hondurans were preparing to exercise their right to vote for the first time in a consultative referendum on the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform Honduras’ constitution. The Zelaya government’s proposal to draft a new constitution is the culmination of other measures under his presidency that have come under attack by conservative forces, including a significant raise in the minimum wage, measures to re-nationalise energy generation plants and telecommunications, signing a bill to greatly improve labour conditions for teachers, joining the Venezuelan Petrocaribe program, and delaying recognition of the new United States ambassador after the Bolivian government implicated the US embassy in supporting paramilitary groups destabilising Bolivia.

The Socialist Alliance also condemns the June 28 assassination by the armed forces of Honduran congressperson Cesar Ham, the organiser of the consultative referendum on a new constitution, and the abduction of Honduran foreign minister Patricia Rodas. The assault and attempted kidnapping on the Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan ambassadors in Honduras, who were trying to protect Rodas was a direct attack on the Bolivarian movement for unity and progressive change in Latin America.

The Socialist Alliance is very concerned for the safety of the human rights organisations that have supported the president and the efforts for constitutional reform. Reports of the military pursuing civil society leaders in the street and of leaders of the National Council of Indigenous Peoples being forced into hiding must be responded to be all who support freedom.

We applaud and stand in solidarity with the thousands of brave Hondurans who have mobilised to defend democracy by demonstrating in the streets and attempting to exercise their right to participate in the referendum despite intimidation and assault by the armed forces. We also solidarise with the Honduran trade unions and social movements calling for a general strike in support of their ousted president.

The Socialist Alliance congratulates the nine governments of ALBA, the Organization of American States, and the UN General Assembly president Miguel D’Escoto for their immediate condemnation of the coup and support for Zelaya as the only legitimate president of Honduras. We note that the European Union and numerous governments have condemned the coup, and call on the Australian government to:

  • Refuse to recognise the Congressional appointed ‘de facto’ government of Roberto Michelletti;
  • Demand the immediate, safe return of the President Zelaya and foreign minister Rodas, and the reconstitution of the elected government;
  • Demand the immediate release of all political and social movement organisation leaders who have been detained by the military;
  • Insist on respect for the safety and human rights of all Hondurans; and
  • Support calls from the Honduran people for the coup leaders to be arrested and tried for their crimes.
  • We pledge the Socialist Alliance’s active solidarity with the Honduran people’s fight for democracy and justice, and will continue to protest until the coup is overturned and democratic rights are reinstalled in Honduras.

    For further information: Lisa Macdonald 0413 031 108

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