“They could kill me for this”.
Tegucigalpa. 20 June 2010. The murdered ex-minister of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya, Roland Valenzuela announced in the program “San Pedro Sula by Night” that the coup in Honduras was planned by a group of six Honduran businessmen who got together to go to a business fair in Dubai, one of the seven Arab Emirates.
They met in the bar of a hotel and decided that Zelaya had to go, “now we can’t tolerate him any longer” just as he was beginning to promote the Fourth Option (plebiscite) which was a threat to them, as Zelaya was seeking a Constituent Assembly to make the economic and social measures of his government into law, with the aim of protecting them.
The ‘manageress’, the coordinator of the Coup, Jacqueline Sandoval, an honours graduate from West Point, further educated in The Rangers of the US, left a folder of documents in the Hotel Plaza San Martin, that contained various drafts with precise details of how the coup should be carried out.
The folder was handed over by “a humble citizen who is a hero, to me”, said Valenzuela, in a two hour long copied recording of the radio program that circulated on the internet.
They payed four million dollars to a ‘powerful lobbyist”, one who promotes political proposals, called Smith, to create disinformation about Zelaya with accusations in the Pentagon, the CIA, and the FBI to prejudice him in the eyes of the US. Smith and his associates contacted the coordinator of the Coup.
Valenzuela remarked that these groups who had sworn to kill Zelaya would be listening to him, and would say, “how does this corn munching son of a bitch know so much. I don’t know if they are going kill me the moment I step outside the radio station” he said, laughing.
The Ambassador Hugo Llorens and the United States.
Among other documents is the draft of the decree for the removal of Zelaya from office, including the number of the Act, dated 28th of June 2009, signed by Ricardo Rodriguez, Jose Toribio Aguilera, Rolando Dubon Bueso, Rigoberto Chang Castillo and Gabo Alfredo Jalil Mejia; addressed to Hugo Llorens, telling him that it needed a few corrections but that they ‘needed his opinion’.
“What is Ambassador Llorens doing meddling in these matters … adding his opinions to a draft that is no less than a draft for the removal of President Zelaya from power. I’ve always found it curious, this great affection that Llorens had for Zelaya, whom subsequently he ‘didn’t want’ Valenzuela speculated.
He accused the United State: “The coup wasn’t overturned because they betrayed us. Zelaya was never restored because the United States assured Micheletti “hang in, hang it, stay there, because we aren’t going to get rid of you” he stated.
“Hillary Clinton swore to Zelaya that they were going to restore him”, but at the same time they handed over control of the situation to Oscar Arias, whom Valenzuela called “ a servant to the gringos”.
There is also a message to the International Community saying that “the rule of law was persistently broken” by Zelaya “who assumed, de facto, supremacy over all the powers of the State”.
Valenzuela said that in the paper there was ‘a little list’ of the people who were at this meeting, and a collection of ‘unproven accusations’ against Zelaya, with observations and corrections that were viewed as necessary for the anticipated plan. Jacqueline Sandoval set up the exercise and what each person involved should say or do.
“Call Marcia Villeda to get these documents” was one of the annotations read by Valenzuela. She ‘faked the signature’ of an alleged resignation by Zelaya, and afterwards ‘would declare her innocence’ in a trial he declared.
When Zelaya decides to implement the Fourth Option the businessmen have the meeting in Dubai and argued that he wanted a Constituent Assembly to make lowering the price of fuel a law. This, to Valenzuela would have been the main motive.
Convincing the Armed Forces of Honduras (FAH).
The conspirators approached the FAH, that was the last thing shielding President Zelaya, as hitherto they had ‘remained loyal to the President’, he explained.
Romeo Vasquez Velasquez at this time was in the Christopher Columbus Hotel in Trujillo “looking like a little boy running from one side to another showing the plans for the Fourth Option to the President” Valenzuela observed. “Suddenly he changed his position radically”, he added.
The order that appears in the documents on May 20 advises the Public Minister that he must appear to request a demand and record that President Zelaya be put on trial.
The coup plotters act divisively.
The only ‘lying excuse’ they had for kidnapping the President was the Fourth Option. One group of coup plotters said that ‘there was no reason to touch the President – they still didn’t have due process, they hadn’t done everything that needed to be done, things hadn’t been done as planned, we’re going to go back to a coup”, one group demanded from the other.
Micheletti persisted and “convinced the FAH with a wicked manoeuvre”. Those involved “are the ones who give the orders here”. Rafael Ferrari, an influential landowner became ill and left for the US, but left instructions to Renato Alvarez and Edgardo Melgar [journalists], to do a hatchet job on Mel, and follow the instructions of Billy Joya”.
He said that “the coup plotters didn’t follow the plot that the hawks advocated, the procedure that the US Ambassador accepted.” Carlos Flores, another coup plotter, following the suggestion of the US, was the first to take the side of President Zelaya and his wife Xiomara and tell him that he “didn’t have anything to do with the coup”.
According to Valenzuela those who were putting the screws on to make the coup were a “garbage faction, a bunch coming up from the bottom desperate to get its share of power”
“They’ll probably have me killed for this”, Roland Valenzuela said then.
He asserted that there is a group of assassins hired to murder Zelaya. The object of the coup “was to kill him, to pretend that the Presidential guard resisted, that there be a shoot out and one of the shots would kill him. But one guy objected”; when the elite group came to take the President he sent 500 soldiers so that there would be 600 witnesses on hand to see what happened”.
Valenzuela mentioned in the interview that he didn’t come out and march with the Resistance because he was afraid that he could be killed in the street because he had “personal reasons” to support the return and reinstatement of Zelaya.
With the Constituent Assembly Zelaya was trying to make achievements in social progress, law.
Valenzuela mentions seven measures of the Zelaya government that created the discontent and would cause various powerful groups to unite against him.
Among others, there was the order to lower the index of the price of basic necessities, regulation by the DEI (Taxation Office) of fast food franchises that bought produce wholesale and retailed them in other outlets.
The measures to adjust fuel prices with Petro-Caribe are what provoked the rebellion of the transnationals. He [Valenzuela] divulged that one of the importers said to the President: “If I stopped fuel imports, President, you wouldn’t last 24 hours in your job”. Valenzuela said that the businessman gave him a shove, and insulted them.
Zelaya had come to the decision that the achievements of his government would only be safe if they were made law, and to that a Constituent Assembly was necessary. This is what led him to call a plebiscite, known as the Fourth Option, since he claimed “We don’t have any power in the Congress. The Court, the National Audit Office ‘are owned”.
The role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The ‘Commission of Lies” tries to say that Zelaya provoked the coup, Valenzuela concluded.
Roland Valenzuela, close confidant and friend of Zelaya, was shot and killed by a bullet in the back by another businessman, Carlos Yacaman Meza in the bar of a hotel on July 16 2010. The Police initial hid the name of the killer so as “not to muddy the investigation”.
Thursday, June 20
Translated by Fry Warwick