Exclusive Interview with Manuel Zelaya on the U.S. Role in Honduran Coup, WikiLeaks and Why He Was Ousted
Shortly after Manuel Zelaya returned to his home this weekend for the first time since the 2009 military coup d’état, he sat down with Democracy Now! for an exclusive interview. He talks about why he believes the United States was behind the coup, and what exactly happened on June 28, 2009, when hooded Honduran soldiers kidnapped him at gunpoint and put him on a plane to Costa Rica, stopping to refuel at Palmerola, the U.S. military base in Honduras. “This coup d’état was made by the right wing of the United States,” Zelaya says. “The U.S. State Department has always denied, and they continue to deny, any ties with the coup d’état. Nevertheless, all of the proof incriminates the U.S. government. And all of the actions that were taken by the de facto regime, or the golpista regime, which are those who carried out the coup, favor the industrial policies and the military policies and the financial policies of the United States in Honduras.”
Zelaya’s Daughter Pichu Recalls the Honduran Military’s Brutal Kidnapping of Her Father in 2009
In the early morning hours of June 28, 2009, masked soldiers raided the Zelaya home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. President Zelaya’s daughter Xiomara Hortensia “Pichu” Zelaya hid under the bed as soldiers fired shots into the home. Following the coup she went into exile and hadn’t seen her home until Saturday. “My dad, when he heard the gunshots, he went out of his room, and he went to my room, told me to get dressed up, because the military are coming,” Pichu Zelaya says. “And I heard the gunshots and everything. So he told me to hide, to find somewhere to hide.”
Out of Exile: Part II of Exclusive Report on Ousted Honduran President Zelaya’s Return 2 Years After U.S.-Backed Coup
We continue our coverage of the historic return of ousted Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, who on June 28, 2009, was kidnapped at gunpoint and put on a plane to Costa Rica in a coup orchestrated in part by two generals trained in the United States. Scores of peasants, teachers, journalists, farmers have been assassinated since the coup. This week 87 U.S. Congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for the suspension of aid to the Honduran military and police until steps are taken to hold security forces accountable for human rights abuses. "Defense and security forces have to exist," Zelaya says in an interview with Democracy Now! at his home in Tegucigalpa. "But violence always will be the worst method in order to correct either political or social problems. Poverty and corruption cannot be battled with more arms, but with more democracy."
Xiomara Castro, Wife of Manuel Zelaya, on Returning to Honduras and Her Rumored Bid for the Honduran Presidency
Much of the buzz surrounding Manuel Zelaya’s return to Honduras centered on whether his wife, Xiomara Castro, will run for president. During a press conference on Sunday, Zelaya said, "The one who is engaged in politics is the first lady. I’m just a simple citizen." In an interview with Democracy Now! in Honduras, Castro addresses the prospect of seeking office and her thoughts upon returning from exile.
Former Honduran Minister: U.S. Undoubtedly Played Central Role in Zelaya Coup
After masked soldiers kidnapped the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009, and flew him to a U.S. military base in Honduras and then onto Costa Rica, hundreds of Hondurans, fearing for their lives, went into exile. Zelaya’s former minister of culture, Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, was one of them. After he fled Honduras, Pastor joined Harvard University as a visiting professor where he taught courses on Latin American history. Now back in Honduras, Pastor says he is certain the United States helped engineer the coup. Democracy Now! spoke to him in Tegucigalpa over the weekend while reporting on the return trip of Zelaya to Honduras.
Adrienne Pine -- Zelaya’s Return: Neither Reconciliation nor Democracy in Honduras
Manuel Zelaya’s return has raised hopes of a Honduran reconciliation and a readmission to the Organization of American States. But Adrienne Pine, an American University professor who has worked extensively in Honduras, says the country is no closer to reconciliation than it was in the months following the June 2009 coup. "In order for there to be reconciliation, there needs to be justice," Pine says. "The ongoing state violence needs to end."
Amy Goodman: Hope and Resistance in Honduras (Truthdig)