“Zelaya should agree to return to Honduras and be duly adjudicated for his alleged crimes. Only then can his guilt or innocence be legally established and Honduras’ Constitutional crisis be properly resolved. Zelaya continues to reject that.” Dear Secretary of State Clinton, The above quote is the essence of my enclosed “RESOLUTION.” In 1953 and 1954 I served on Air Force bases that supported the CIA’s “Operation PBSuccess” that overthrew the democratically elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman and created the worst torture-terror regime in the modern history of the Western Hemisphere. Since then restoring the “rule of law” to U.S. foreign affairs in general and Latin American affairs in particular has been a primary goal of my “peace and justice” activism. Therefore, as you and your department determine whether or not President Zelaya was deposed by a “military coup,” please carefully consider my “RESOLUTION.” Respectfully, Richard Lee Dechert 1855 Furness St. N., #310 Maplewood, MN 55109 USAF 1952-1960 ====== HONDURAS’ CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: A PROPER RESOLUTION [Please note that the text preceded by an *asterisk was added after I sent this to Secretary of State Clinton on 9/1/09. It is now based on over 800 reports and comments.] As a longtime activist in Latin American affairs, I’ve reviewed over 700 reports and comments on Honduras’ Constitutional crisis from a wide range of perspectives. In my judgment the Supreme Court–supported by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Attorney General and democratically elected National Congress–had strong “probable cause” to arrest and detain President Manuel Zelaya for treason, abuses of office and other crimes. As prescribed by the Constitution, President of Congress Roberto Micheletti (a leader of Zelaya’s Liberal Party) was appointed to replace him as interim President (by a 122-6 vote) until the November 29, 2009 national elections are held and his term ends in January 2010. Zelaya’s right to defend himself in a due-process proceeding was abruptly circumvented when military officers responsible for executing the Supreme Court’s order to arrest and detain him violated the order (and a Constitution that prohibits expatriation of Honduran citizens) by forcibly expelling him to Costa Rica. However, the Court recently ruled that its 15-0 order must still be enforced and Micheletti’s interim appointment was Constitutional. Unfortunately if not tragically, the officers’ illegal expulsion has been erroneously conflated with the Court’s legal order, and both have been treated by the U.S., OAS, UN and other parties as a “military coup,” even though the U.S. Department of State has correctly not decreed that. Therefore, instead of circumventing the Court’s order by being arbitrarily restored to the Presidency as the U.S.-supported OAS Resolution demands and Oscar Arias’ San Jose Accord proposes, Zelaya should agree to return to Honduras and be duly adjudicated for his alleged crimes. Only then can his guilt or innocence be legally established and Honduras’ Constitutional crisis be properly resolved. Zelaya continues to reject that. The officers who expelled him should also be duly adjudicated along with the pro-Micheletti and pro-Zelaya forces who have violated the civil and human rights of Honduran citizens and foreign nationals. If Micheletti’s interim government does not curtail violations by army, police and other pro-Micheletti forces, even stronger economic and diplomatic sanctions should be applied by the U.S., OAS, UN and other international actors. Pro-Zelaya forces must also curtail their violations. Moreover, Venezuela (supported by Cuba, Nicaragua and other cohorts) must end the blatant intervention in Honduras’ internal affairs that has exacerbated the crisis and violated the OAS and UN Charters. *Zelaya’s encampment at Ocotal in northern Nicaragua has triggered political conflict and physical violence between Nicaraguans who support or oppose Zelaya, with the latter claiming his calls for insurrection in Honduras have violated Nicaragua’s constitutional neutrality. As for the national elections, they will not be “free and fair” unless all candidates and their supporters can freely access the media, hold meetings and rallies, and otherwise conduct their campaigns without coercion or disruption. *Since Zelaya was illegally expelled, those conditions have often not prevailed. In short, ALL parties to the crisis must resolve it by honoring the rule of law, not just the ones we may politically or ideologically favor.