Leaks from Wikileaks expose U.S. intervention in the Honduras coup d’état
(From Granma International- Cuban newspaper. 01.12.10)
THE 2009 coup d’état in Honduras was "illegal and unconstitutional," as
Cuban-American Hugo Llorens, U.S. ambassador to Tegucigalpa, was forced to
admit. Llorens is also a former collaborator of Otto Reich, whose role in the
events remains to be seen. A report from Llorens to the State Department is
among the U.S. documents leaked on November 28 by Wikileaks, a website on the
Internet dedicated to leaking secret information.
The document, signed by Llorens and sent to the State Department, also
acknowledges that Zelaya’s letter of resignation letter was a "fabrication,"
without giving details of the evidence confirming that. The U.S. ambassador
confirmed that "none of the arguments mentioned" by the coup leaders to justify
the kidnapping and deportation of the constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya,
have any validity under the Honduran Constitution, while some are clearly false
and others are "mere suppositions."
It shows how the accounts of Zelaya’s arrest by the military demonstrate that
he was never legally served with an arrest warrant, "that the soldiers gained
entry by shooting the locks off, and essentially kidnapped the president."
Llorens makes no mention whatsoever of the complicity of the U.S. military
forces present in Honduras in the operation carried out by elite troops from
the Salvadorian army to fly the head of state out of the country. Eva Golinger,
the Venezuelan-American lawyer and researcher, has demonstrated that, in the
weeks following the coup, the Soto Cano Air Base which the United States
maintains in Honduran territory played a fundamental role in overthrowing
President Manuel Zelaya.
The document is one of hundreds of thousands of secret dispatches from the
State Department leaked to the Spanish El País daily, The New York Times, The
Guardian in the United Kingdom, the French Le Monde and the German Der Spiegel
magazine, publications which are not known for criticizing the U.S. government.
In a tragicomic sounding paragraph, Llorens notes that "according to the logic
of argument 239" invoked by the coup leaders, "Micheletti himself should be
forced to step down because, as president of Congress he considered legislation
to have a fourth ballot in the November 2009 elections for voter approval of a
constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution."
Any member of Congress who debated the proposal also should be removed from
office, and the presidential candidate of the National Party, Pepe Lobo, who
made the idea his, should be disqualified from taking public office for 10
years", he adds.
LLORENS, REICH, ROS-LEHTINEN AND CO.
In his report, Llorens takes refuge behind Honduran legal experts whom the
embassy consulted in order to understand the arguments wielded by the coup
supporters and their opponents.
It is a fact that many other documents, which are not "confidential" like this
one, but "Top Secret", were exchanged between Washington and its embassy in
Honduras during the events of 2009.
Hugo Llorens’ close relationship with U.S. foreign policy wolves no doubt
explains far better than his confidential report the rapid turnabout in the
diplomacy of Obama and Hillary Clinton.
In a statement on November 28, the ultra-right wing Cuban-American
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents the Republican Party on
foreign policy issues, described the revelation of these sensitive State
Department documents by the Wikileaks website as "irresponsible."
The Miami congresswoman has reason to be concerned: she flew to the support of
the dictator Roberto Micheletti shortly after the coup d’état that led to
the expulsion of the constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya.
"I am with the president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, because he is the
president of this country," the spokeswoman for the extreme right in the U.S.
Congress affirmed during a press conference together with Micheletti in the
government house in Honduras occupied by the dictatorship.
Llorens had advance notice of the coup. That was revealed a few days before his
death by Roland Valenzuela, a former member of Zelaya’s administration, in an
interview broadcast by a radio station in the city of San Pedro Sula.
Valenzuela recounted in detail how, on June 10, 2009, Roberto Micheletti, at
that time president of the National Congress, before seizing power on the 28th
of that same month, drafted the decree which would remove Zelaya from office.
He explained how a USAID contractor, Jacqueline Foglia Sandoval, was pointed to
as "the person in charge of coordinating and executing the coup d’état."
A few days after his statements, Valenzuela was murdered in a public place by
the businessman Carlos Yacamán, who was arrested on Wednesday, September 8
—not by the FBI, but by immigration authorities—in Miami, where he had
taken refuge. Despite an official application for his extradition by the San
Pedro Sula District Attorney’s Office, Yacamán remains under the protection
of U.S. authorities.
Ambassador Hugo Llorens, who admitted after his report that he had participated
in meetings in which coup plans were discussed before the kidnapping of
President Zelaya, is a Cuban-American "terrorism" specialist. He was director
of Andean Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington when the coup
d’état against President Hugo Chávez took place.
Llorens directly reported to Otto Reich, assistant secretary of state for
Western Hemisphere Affairs and the highly controversial Elliot Abrams.
Otto Reich is one of the most influential characters within the Miami mafia and
in June of 2009, he was personally put in charge of protecting the Micheletti
gang, together with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
(Translated by Granma International)