Micheletti Tried to Change the Honduran Constitution 1985
He Wanted to Extend President Roberto Suazo Córdoba's Term
translated by Kristin Bricker
In the rallies that were held this Friday in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, a fact rarely discussed in national and international press--but well-known throughout the Honduran population--was made public: Roberto Micheletti's attempt to modify this Central American country's Constitution in 1985.
Popular organizations, teachers union members, union leaders, and the general public, in addition to demanding the reinstatement of Honduras' legitimate and constitutional president, Manual Zelaya, vocalized coup leader Roberto Micheletti's public attempt [to change the Constitution].
In 1985, he tried to turn the Honduran National Congress into a National Constitutional Assembly in order to reform the same Magna Carta that the coup leaders are now defending as their transcendental symbol during the current political crisis.
Members of Congress and politicians accuse Manuel Zelaya of trying to extend his term and change the Honduran Constitution, but what he tried to do was hold a non-binding opinion poll. Micheletti, on the other hand, did want to [extend the president's term and change the Constitution] 24 years ago.
Zelaya's proposal is far from what happened in 1985 when then-congressman Roberto Micheletti (who has been a member of Congress for 28 years) called a Constitutional Assembly to extend the mandate of the president of that era, Roberto Suazo Córdoba.
On October 24, 1985, two years after the current Constitution was approved, various members of Congress, lead by Micheletti, tried to introduce a proposal calling for a National Constitutional Assembly.
The legislators requested the suspension of various constitutional articles, the same ones that, ironically, are now used by the coup authorities to legitimize Zelaya's ouster. Those articles are 373, 374, and 375, which refer to the mechanisms for reforming and defending the Constitution.
As the Bolivarian News Agency's special correspondent in Tegucigalpa, Antonio Nuñez Aldazoro, describes, in that era the proposal caused a commotion and was suspended, due to the fact that at that time Micheletti's actions were considered treason, and opposition legislators from the Nationalist Party knew that the Constitutional Assembly's only goal was to extend Liberal President Suazo Cordoba's presidency.
It's worth noting that 24 years ago the effects of the low-intensity war were still being felt, as well as the so-called "Contra" scandal and US President Ronald Reagan's security doctrine. At that time Honduras was still considered to be the United States' base of operations in Central America.