HONDURAS: Raul Castro Speech to the Rio Group, June 29, 2009

Posted on June 30, 2009

June 29, 2009

The fascist coup d’état against President Zelaya
is an insult to all the peoples

Speech by President Raúl Castro Ruz
in the extraordinary session of the
Rio Group Summit, Managua, June 29, 2009.

Distinguished presidents and ministers:

I shall be brief; there are many heads of state and high-ranking representatives of our governments here who also wish to speak.

A serious and extremely significant event for Latin America and the Caribbean has brought us together here. We all know about the mistreatment and abuse to which the president and foreign minister of Honduras, and the ambassadors of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba were subjected. The right of the Honduran people to express themselves politically has been trampled on.

Our first message to the Honduran people is one of solidarity and support.

Cuba strongly condemns the brutal coup d’état against the constitutional government of Honduras and its legitimate president and rejects the criminal attack on that nation’s popular sovereignty.

Aggression against the political constitutionality of any member country must be unanimously rejected by the Rio Group and in the most forceful terms.

As President Chávez rightly said last night, this is the moment to act according to one’s beliefs, wasting no time and unmasking those who condemn the coup, but then applaud under the table, as has happened so many times in our common history.

In Honduras, there is and can only be one president. José Manuel Zelaya must return immediately and unconditionally to the performance of his duties (Applause).

We believe that there can be no negotiations whatsoever with the perpetrators of the coup, nor any condition or demands of any kind for the legitimate government of President Zelaya.

The conflict between the people’s aspirations for a better future and the interests of the oligarchic sectors in perpetuating an unjust and unsustainable order will be decided there. It is a conflict that transcends Honduran borders and is an expression of the danger of a return to the past of military dictatorships which, in the recent past and with the support of the U.S. government, terrorized for decades the Latin American peoples – particularly those of Central American and the Caribbean – but virtually without exclusion.

We recall the most recent attempts: Bolivia, with Evo threatened by separatism. Friendly governments rallied to his defense, undertook their role, halted that variety of aggression against a sovereign government and a president who, for the very first time, represents those born on this continent who have taken on their shoulders most of the burden of exploitation (Applause).

Before that, it was with Chávez, the double coup, the typical coup d’état, and shaking up the whole of the population and restoring President Chávez to his rightful place once again; the oil coup that cost Venezuela millions of dollars.

And now with Zelaya in Honduras. I don’t know if it is just by pure chance that the three individuals mentioned form part of the nascent ALBA which, although they are not saying it, is worrying many persons.

These three examples alone demonstrate that the oligarchy and exterior forces that accompany them still have a lot of influence in terms of holding back history.

I ask myself what they will do with Correa in Ecuador. I fear that he is the next candidate and the next meeting of the Rio Group will be to congratulate Correa for successfully defending his country and revolutionary process (Applause).

I have only mentioned a few countries; I could mention some others that belong to the ALBA. For that reason, the fascist coup d’état against President Zelaya is an affront to all the peoples and governments of Latin America and the Caribbean, and cannot not go unpunished. Its masterminds will have to take responsibility for the crimes and outrages that have taken place in this sister nation.

The mass media will also be responsible as accomplices, for lending themselves to the coup faction’s aims and for confusing the people. At least we were able to find out what was happening through the vital work of Telesur (Applause).

Equally responsible are the oligarchic groups that are trying to legitimize a criminal act of this magnitude, and reactionary sectors in the hemisphere that are backing the transgressors of constitutionality.

The U.S. government must act in line with its declarations and assume them with all seriousness. I believe in the sincerity that President Obama and his secretary of state can demonstrate, but they must demonstrate it with actions, not with words.

Without popular support, with the total rejection of Latin American and Caribbean governments, no coup perpetrators can last. As Fidel said in his reflections of yesterday, those in Honduras can’t even breathe without the support of the United States or some of the forces with power within the government of the United States.

To the Honduran people, campesinos, workers, professionals, teachers, health workers, the business sectors, and to all the sons and daughters of the homeland of Morazán, I reiterate the message of solidarity and support of the Cuban people, and our commitment to accompany you in this battle for justice and dignity.

Thank you very much.

Translated by Granma International