On Monday, June 29, 2009 the nine member states of ALBA met in Nicaragua to discuss immediate actions that could be taken in solidarity with the Honduran people following the unconstitutional ousting of their democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Sadly, this marks the first coup d’état in Central American history in over two decades, constituting a brutal attack on democracy waged against a people who know far too well the atrocious suffering caused by military intervention.
It is unacceptable that on the very day when the Honduran people were preparing to exercise their democratic right at the polls in a non-binding survey this atrocious military attack was carried out. The survey, asking whether or not the citizens of Honduras agree with the possibility of voting on a measure that would enable the creation of a constituent assembly through referendum, is a measure that is rooted in Article 2 of the Honduran Constitution.
In response to the coup, the nine member states of ALBA declared yesterday that all Ambassadors would be immediately recalled, leaving the minimal diplomatic representation until the legitimate President, Manuel Zelaya is restored. Secondly, we vowed to only recognize diplomatic appointees of President Zelaya in our own countries and under no circumstances will we recognize those who have forcibly stolen democracy from the hands of their own people.
It is evident by the international outcry witnessed in neighboring countries, as well as those separated by land and sea, that the people of Latin America will never again allow for a return to the days of military dictatorships and coup d’états. As is demonstrated by the brave citizens of Honduras, who risk their lives daily by protesting these unconstitutional actions, the spirit of the Honduran national hero Francisco Morazán Quezada is alive and well in Central America today. Under international law we support the courageous efforts of those peacefully resisting this coup d’état and appeal to other countries and international bodies to do the same and remove their diplomatic representation from Honduras immediately.
Venezuela, as a founding member of ALBA, demands respect for the sovereignty of the Honduran People and their Constitution, and we urge all nations who believe in the universal principles of peace and democracy to follow suit. For it is not only in our words that we can profess our ideals, but more importantly through our actions that we solidify them. We owe nothing less to the brave people of Honduras.
Bernardo Alvarez Herrera
Ambassador of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela in the United States
June 30, 2009