OCOTAL, Nicaragua (AP) - The U.S. government said Tuesday it has revoked the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials, stepping up pressure on coup-installed leaders who insist they can resist international demands to restore the ousted president.Also:
The U.S. State Department did not name the four, but a Honduran official said they included the Supreme Court magistrate who ordered the arrest of ousted President Manuel Zelda and the president of Honduras' Congress.
The State Department is also reviewing the visas of all officials serving under interim President Roberto Micheletti, department spokesman Ian Kelly said.
Micheletti's Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Lorena Alvarado said Supreme Court Justice Tomas Arita and Congressional President Jose Alfredo Saavedro were among those whose visas removed.
Arita signed the order for Zelaya's arrest several days before soldiers whisked him out of the country on June 28.
Alvarado insisted the decision would not have major consequences for Micheletti's government, which has rejected international demands to restore Zelaya despite the suspension of millions of dollars in U.S. and European development aid and the threat of further sanctions.
"It's part of the international community's incomprehension of what is happening in Honduras," Alvarado told The Associated Press. "It's not definitive and it will not have major consequences for the future of Honduras."
Zelaya, who earlier complained that international efforts to restore him were flagging, said the decision was "correct" and urged even tougher measures.
Mel Zelaya had personally asked Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. to carry out the visa actions
Nefarious "US Ambassador" Hugo Llorens, a repulsive traitor, is at the core of this diabolical effort against a key American ally
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen noted it was "dangerous" to pull visas, as the White House is taking its marching order from Zelaya, Chavez and Castro
President of National Congress now asks US to respect the sovereign decisions undertaken by Honduras
Supreme Court Judge Tomas Arita, who signed the arrest warrant against Mel responds to actions of the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa
Custodio, Arita, Saavedra and Sevilla were the 4 individuals harmed
Addams Family, oops, Zelaya family did not pass to the border area to meet the ex-dictator, although they had been legally authorized to do so
Human Rights Ombudsman, Ramon Custodio, one of the representatives who had his diplomatic visa revoked discusses that his dignity and fealty to the constitution is worth more than any visa
Legal association opposes any amnesty for Zelaya and his corrupt goons
Salomón Escoto, National Police Chief apprises Pres. Micheletti of the security situation in the nation
Víctor Boitano Coleman, ex-Sandinista militant, accuses the Ortega government of being a party to the incessant violations of Zelaya on his homeland, commerce has been affected to the permanent circus maximus on the border
Pepe Lobo, National Party Presidential candidate, says his party opposes a blanket amnesty to Mel Zelaya
Pres. Micheletti's visa could be next?
Zelaya "wife" Xiomara Castro, indicated to Chavez run network TeleSur, or is that CNN?, that the armed forces wants to expel her family and her from the country
Venezuelan diplomats, read spies, remain in country and refuse to leave Honduras after being asked to depart, as of Friday at noon
One of America’s most loyal Latin American allies—Honduras—has been in the midst of a constitutional crisis that threatens its democracy. Sadly, key undisputed facts regarding the crisis have often been ignored by America’s leaders, at least during the earliest days of the crisis.
In recent days, the rhetoric from allies of former President Manuel Zelaya has also dominated media reporting in the U.S. The worst distortion is the repetition of the false statement that Mr. Zelaya was removed from office by the military and for being a “reformer.” The truth is that he was removed by a democratically elected civilian government because the independent judicial and legislative branches of our government found that he had violated our laws and constitution.
Let’s review some fundamental facts that cannot be disputed:
• The Supreme Court, by a 15-0 vote, found that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally by proceeding with an unconstitutional “referendum,” and it ordered the Armed Forces to arrest him. The military executed the arrest order of the Supreme Court because it was the appropriate agency to do so under Honduran law.
• Eight of the 15 votes on the Supreme Court were cast by members of Mr. Zelaya’s own Liberal Party. Strange that the pro-Zelaya propagandists who talk about the rule of law forget to mention the unanimous Supreme Court decision with a majority from Mr. Zelaya’s own party. Thus, Mr. Zelaya’s arrest was at the instigation of Honduran’s constitutional and civilian authorities—not the military.
• The Honduran Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of removing Mr. Zelaya. The vote included a majority of members of Mr. Zelaya’s Liberal Party.
• Independent government and religious leaders and institutions—including the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Administrative Law Tribunal, the independent Human Rights Ombudsman, four-out-of-five political parties, the two major presidential candidates of the Liberal and National Parties, and Honduras’s Catholic Cardinal—all agreed that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally.
• The constitution expressly states in Article 239 that any president who seeks to amend the constitution and extend his term is automatically disqualified and is no longer president. There is no express provision for an impeachment process in the Honduran constitution. But the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision affirmed that Mr. Zelaya was attempting to extend his term with his illegal referendum. Thus, at the time of his arrest he was no longer—as a matter of law, as far as the Supreme Court was concerned—president of Honduras.
• Days before his arrest, Mr. Zelaya had his chief of staff illegally withdraw millions of dollars in cash from the Central Bank of Honduras.
• A day or so before his arrest, Mr. Zelaya led a violent mob to overrun an Air Force base to seize referendum ballots that had been shipped into Honduras by Hugo Chávez’s Venezuelan government.
• I succeeded Mr. Zelaya under the Honduran constitution’s order of succession (our vice president had resigned before all of this began so that he could run for president). This is and has always been an entirely civilian government. The military was ordered by an entirely civilian Supreme Court to arrest Mr. Zelaya. His removal was ordered by an entirely civilian and elected Congress. To suggest that Mr. Zelaya was ousted by means of a military coup is demonstrably false.
Regarding the decision to expel Mr. Zelaya from the country the evening of June 28 without a trial, reasonable people can believe the situation could have been handled differently. But it is also necessary to understand the decision in the context of genuine fear of Mr. Zelaya’s proven willingness to violate the law and to engage in mob-led violence.
The way forward is to work with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. He is proposing ways to ensure that Mr. Zelaya complies with Honduras’s laws and its constitution and allows the people of Honduras to elect a new president in the regularly scheduled Nov. 29 elections (or perhaps earlier, if the date is moved up as President Arias has suggested and as Honduran law allows).
If all parties reach agreement to allow Mr. Zelaya to return to Honduras—a big “if”—we believe that he cannot be trusted to comply with the law and therefore it is our position that he must be prosecuted with full due process.
President Arias’s proposal for a moratorium on prosecution of all parties may be considered, but our Supreme Court has indicated that such a proposal presents serious legal problems under our constitution.
Like America, our constitutional democracy has three co-equal and independent branches of government—a fact that Mr. Zelaya ignored when he openly defied the positions of both the Supreme Court and Congress. But we are ready to continue discussions once the Supreme Court, the attorney general and Congress analyze President Arias’s proposal. That proposal has been turned over to them so that they can review provisions that impact their legal authority. Once we know their legal positions we will proceed accordingly.
The Honduran people must have confidence that their Congress is a co-equal branch of government. They must be assured that the rule of law in Honduras applies to everyone, even their president, and that their Supreme Court’s orders will not be dismissed and swept aside by other nations as inconvenient obstacles.
Meanwhile, the other elements of the Arias proposal, especially the establishment of a Truth Commission to make findings of fact and international enforcement mechanisms to ensure Mr. Zelaya complies with the agreement, are worthy of serious consideration.
Mr. Zelaya’s irresponsible attempt on Friday afternoon to cross the border into Honduras before President Arias has obtained agreement from all parties—an attempt that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appropriately described as “reckless”—was just another example of why Mr. Zelaya cannot be trusted to keep his word.
Regardless of what happens, the worst thing the U.S. can do is to impose economic sanctions that would primarily hurt the poorest people in Honduras. Rather than impose sanctions, the U.S. should continue the wise policies of Mrs. Clinton. She is supporting President Arias’s efforts to mediate the issues. The goal is a peaceful solution that is consistent with Honduran law in a civil society where even the president is not above the law.
Mr. Micheletti, previously the president of the Honduran Congress, became president of Honduras upon the departure of Manuel Zelaya. He is a member of the Liberal Party, the same party as Mr. Zelaya.
US Ambassador Hugo Llorens permitted and was a party to Zelaya's wife utlizing his personal residence to make international calls (on US taxpayer expense), creating a sham as to her whereabouts and personal safety
Tomás Arita Valle, Supreme Court Magistrate who signed the arrest warrant against Mel Zelaya has his US Diplomatic visa revoked
José Alfredo Saavedra, new President of the Honduran national congress also has his US Diplomatic visa revoked
Obama is relying heavily on White House Counsel Gregory Craig for advice on Latin America
FM Lopez Contreras states that after January 27th everything changes politically and nations can have relations with Honduras, independent of OAS, like Cuba had with others
Funds suspended to ambassadors and diplomatic envoys who remain loyal to ex-President Zelaya
$7.5 million USD siphoned illegally from the Central Bank to fund the nefarious 4th Ballot initiative
Diary with payoffs to key labor and union syndicate leaders found in car of Carlos Arturo Reina, Zelaya cohort
Mel to direct guerrilla counter-offensive from the mountains of Nicaragua...are his mom and the transgendered "El Pichu" going to participate too?
US sends the wrong message in supporting a socialist thug like Zelaya
Zelaya not happy that Hillary has stopped using the term “coup” to describe his removal from power by the military last month
Eduardo Montealegre, Nicaraguan opposition leader travels to Tegucigalpa offering support to the Micheletti administration and calling for Mel's ouster from Nicaraguan soil