Roberto Micheletti Baín (born 13 August 1941) is a Honduran politician who served as the interim president of Honduras from 28 June 2009 to 27 January 2010 as a result of the 2009 Honduran coup d'état.[2] The Honduran military ousted the President, and the National Congress read a letter of resignation, which was refuted two minutes later by Manuel Zelaya in conversation with CNN en Español;[3] days later, the coup-plotters claimed that the Supreme Court had ordered to forcefully detain President Manuel Zelaya because "he was violating the Honduran constitution"; Zelaya was exiled rather than arrested. Micheletti, constitutionally next in line for the presidency, was sworn in as president by the National Congress a few hours after Zelaya was sent into exile by the Honduran military.[4] He was not acknowledged as de jure president by any government or international organization.[5] The 2009 general election took place as planned in November and elected Porfirio Lobo Sosa to succeed Micheletti.

Roberto Micheletti
Interim President of Honduras[1]
In office
28 June 2009 – 27 January 2010
Preceded byManuel Zelaya
Succeeded byPorfirio Lobo Sosa
President of the National Congress
In office
25 January 2006 – 28 June 2009
Preceded byPorfirio Lobo Sosa
Succeeded byJosé Alfredo Saavedra (Acting)
Deputy of the Yoro Department
In office
25 January 1982 – 25 January 2006
Personal details
Roberto Micheletti Baín

(1941-08-13) 13 August 1941 (age 82)
El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras
Political partyLiberal Party
SpouseSiomara Girón

Before serving as president, Micheletti was the president of Honduras' National Congress. A deputy in Congress since 1982, Micheletti is currently a member of the Liberal Party of Honduras.

Family background edit

Born in El Progreso, Yoro Department, Micheletti was the eighth of nine siblings (6 boys, 3 girls).[6] Micheletti's father was Umberto Micheletti, who immigrated from the Bergamo province of Lombardy, Italy.[7] His mother was Donatella Bain Moya, also born in El Progreso.

He is married to Siomara Girón and they have 3 children.

Political career edit

In 1963, Micheletti was a member of the honor guard of President Ramón Villeda, who was toppled by the military; Micheletti was arrested and jailed on 3 October[7] and jailed for 27 days.[6] In 1973 he moved to the United States, living in Tampa, Florida, then in New Orleans, Louisiana, for two years before returning to Honduras in 1976.[8] While living in the USA he finished high school and started his own business.[7]

Deputy edit

Micheletti won a Congressional seat in 1982 which he has held till June 2009, except for a brief period when he ran Hondutel, Honduras' state-owned national telephone company.[6]

In 1985 Micheletti was part of a group of deputies who signed a motion calling for the National Congress to reseat itself as a National Constituent Assembly. A Venezuelan government webpage claims that the proposal was aimed at enabling then-President Roberto Suazo to run for re-election in the 1985 Honduras presidential election.[9] Ultimately the proposal was dropped when most congressmen refused to support the motion.[10]

He has twice sought his party's nomination to run for president, both times failing to win the internal election for the nomination of his party, the latter occasion in 2008 to former Vice President Elvin Santos, who won the Liberal nomination for the November 2009 presidential election.[6]

President of the National Congress edit

Micheletti presided over the National Congress of Honduras from 25 January 2006[11] until 28 June 2009. Although he was a member of the same party as Manuel Zelaya, there had been conflict between the two politicians before the constitutional crisis.

Presidency (2009-2010) edit

The Ministerio Publico's office charged Manuel Zelaya with violations of the constitution, laws and court orders. The Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant. On the morning of June 28, 2009, the military arrested President Zelaya and deported him to Costa Rica.[12][13][14][15][16]

After a resignation letter from President Manuel Zelaya was read to the National Congress of Honduras, which Zelaya later denied writing, Zelaya was dismissed as president, by a show of hands in the National Congress, on 28 June. Congress, under Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 205, 220, subsections 20, 218, 242, 321, 322 and 323 of the Constitution of the Republic, unanimously agreed to:[17]

  • disapprove Zelaya's repeated violations of the constitution, laws and court orders,
  • remove Zelaya from the post, and,
  • name the current President of Congress Roberto Micheletti to complete the constitutional term ending January 27, 2010.
A demonstrator enthusiastically supports Micheletti.

The Honduran constitution mandated that the head of Congress, Roberto Micheletti, act as the provisional head of state since Vice President Elvin Ernesto Santos had resigned in December 2008 to run for president.

Micheletti's term in office saw demonstrations for and against him, although the demonstrations for him encountered none of the violent repression from the police.[18]

Domestically his government was supported by organizations such as Unión Cívica Democrática and opposed by the "Resistance".

International support for the Micheletti government was scant. Official reactions from many international leaders condemned the ousting of President Zelaya, many of them calling for his reinstatement. The Organization of American States (OAS) said it would not recognize any government other than that of Manuel Zelaya.[19]

The United States rejected the overthrow of Zelaya in statements by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens.[20] The European Union also condemned the ousting of Zelaya. Cuban president Raúl Castro asked for the return of democracy in Honduras.[21] Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez stated that he had put his nation's armed forces on alert,[22] and vowed to take military action if Venezuela's embassy or envoy to Honduras were harmed.[23][24][unreliable source?]

Micheletti's 25-year-old nephew Enzo Micheletti was abducted and found murdered in late October 2009 though no evidence linking this crime to the political events going on was discovered.[25][26]

Deaths that have been allegedly linked to the violence in the aftermath of the coup include 19-year-old Isis Obed Murillo Mencías, shot in the head on 5 July when Zelaya's plane was trying to land at Toncontin Airport;[27][28] 40-year-old campesino leader and Democratic Unification Party member Ramón García on 12 July, after he was forced by unknown people to get off a bus;[27] 23-year-old Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador, allegedly detained by police during anti-coup protests and taken to an El Paraíso police station on 24 July, allegedly found at 6:30 am the following morning with 42 stab wounds[29][30][31] and 38-year-old high school teacher Roger Abraham Vallejo Soriano, shot in the head allegedly by security forces during protests on 31 July, dying on 1 August.[32][33][34]

Costa Rican President Óscar Arias acted as a mediator in the talks between the Honduran government and Manuel Zelaya to try to find a political solution. He presented a seven-point agreement, which called for a unity government. Zelaya wanted to become president again and the Supreme Court warned that only Congress could grant amnesty to Zelaya.[35] Zelaya's representatives accepted the Arias proposal "in principle" but Micheletti's representatives balked at the key point of Zelaya returning to power in Honduras.[35]

In an open letter to the Wall Street Journal published on 27 July 2009, Roberto Micheletti listed the Honduran government's reasons and justification for ousting Zelaya. In it, Micheletti claimed Zelaya's removal from office was supported by the Supreme Court (15-0), an overwhelming majority of Congress, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Administrative Law Tribunal, the independent Human Rights Ombudsman, the two major presidential candidates of the Liberal and National Parties and Honduras’ Catholic Cardinal. Micheletti also stated that it was not a "military coup" since the military was following orders given by a civilian Supreme Court and Zelaya was replaced with a civilian from the line of succession prescribed in the Constitution.[36]

On 21 August 2009, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights dispatched a six-member delegation which reported accusations it received. The delegation was told of alleged violent confrontations and arbitrary arrests. Someone even accused the police of rape. Some alleged that judges were threatened "at gunpoint". Based on the statements it received, the delegation concluded that there was "an atmosphere of intimidation that inhibits the free exercise of freedom of expression".[37]

On March 11, 2010, the US Department of State released their annual report on Human Rights, in which they stated "On June 28, the military forcibly removed and sent into exile President Jose Manuel Zelaya, and Congress President Roberto Micheletti Bain became the leader of a de facto regime. Until the June 28 coup d'état (June coup), the country was a constitutional, multiparty democracy with a population of approximately eight million..." and "Although the coup was bloodless, subsequent related events resulted in the loss of life as well as limitations by the de facto regime on freedom of movement, association, expression, and assembly".[38] In an official press release published in their website, the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa stated that "Before the June 28, 2009 coup d'état, Honduras faced substantial challenges in the protection of human rights, had one of the Western Hemisphere's highest homicide rates, and some killings appearing to be politically motivated. The human rights climate deteriorated significantly following the coup, especially with regard to respect for the rights of women, members of ethnic communities and sexual minorities and other vulnerable groups. While the de facto regime was in power, there were incidents resulting in loss of life, disproportionate use of force, including beatings by security forces of protestors, sexual assaults, as well as other serious human rights abuses. The de facto regime engaged in substantial interference with freedom of movement, association, expression, and assembly."[39] According to the US Embassy's website, they "expressed to the Honduran Attorney General, members of the security forces, and the Human Rights Ombudsman, among others, their serious concerns about reported human rights abuses".[40]

According to the latest Greenberg Quinlar Rosler Research opinion poll during October 9–13, 48% of Hondurans regarded Micheletti's performance as good or excellent. 50% regarded his performance as bad or poor.[41]

The 2009 general election took place, as planned, on 29 November. The National Party candidate, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, was victorious over Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos, winning the election with 56.56% of the vote. Lobo Sosa was inaugurated as president on January 27, 2010.[42]

Legislator for life edit

In January 2010 the Honduran Congress granted Micheletti the status of "legislator for life". The appointment did not make him immune from prosecution, as some international media sources stated.[43]

Attack on his daughter edit

On 5 November 2013 a daughter of Micheletti was shot at, but not seriously injured, while driving with her chauffeur and armed guards.[44]

See also edit

  • Adolfo Facussé, prominent Honduran businessman, supporter of Roberto Micheletti

References edit

  1. ^ Thompson, Ginger (8 August 2009). "A Cold War Ghost Reappears in Honduras". New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  2. ^ Malkin, Elisabeth, New York Times, 28 June 2009, interim ruler Roberto Micheletti gestures during a news conference in Tegucigalpa Monday.Honduran authorities on Sunday lifted a curfew. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  3. ^ "Zelaya niega que haya firmado renuncia" [Zelaya denies signing a resignation] (in Spanish). El Universal. 28 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Honduran president sent into exile". Yahoo News/AFP. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Congreso elige a Roberto Micheletti como nuevo presidente de Honduras tras la expulsión de Manuel Zelaya" [Congress elects Roberto Micheletti as the new president of Honduras after the expulsion of Manuel Zelaya]. Caracol Radio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d "Honduras' Micheletti is both admired and reviled". Miami Herald. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b c "La fuga negli Usa e poi il "Partido Liberal"". 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  8. ^ Altman, Howard (30 June 2009). "Interim Leader Has Tampa Ties". Tampa Bay Online. Archived from the original on 4 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Micheletti tried to change the Constitution of Honduras in 1985". Radio Nacional de Venezuela. 12 July 2009. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Micheletti.jpg (image)". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Junta Directiva del Congreso Nacional" [Directive of the National Congress of Honduras]. National Congress of Honduras (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  12. ^ ""Mel" Zelaya enfrenta 18 delitos en tribunales". El Heraldo. 1 July 2009. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009.
  13. ^ "20 años de cárcel le caerían a Mel si vuelve". La Prensa. 30 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Micheletti podría asumir en Honduras" [Micheletti could assume power in Honduras] (in Spanish). 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Micheletti sería el nuevo presidente de Honduras" (in Spanish). Diario digital de noticias de El Salvador. 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 December 2009.
  16. ^ "Honduran Congress names provisional president". 28 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Congreso destituye a Manuel Zelaya". La Tribuna. 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  18. ^ "Military Using 'Brutal' Force Against Anti-Coup Protests in Honduras". Bloomberg. 30 June 2009.
  19. ^ Malkin, Elisabeth (29 June 2009). "Honduran President Is Ousted in Coup". New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  20. ^ "Situation in Honduras". US Department of State. 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009.
  21. ^ "Cuba condemns coup d'état in Honduras". 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011.
  22. ^ "FACTBOX: Reaction to coup in Honduras". Reuters. 28 June 2009.
  23. ^ "PENPIX-Main players in Honduras coup". Reuters. 1 July 2009.
  24. ^ "Chávez promete "derrocar" a quien ocupe el lugar de Zelaya" [Chávez promises to "overthrow" whoever takes Zelaya's place] (in Spanish). Hoy Bolivia. 29 June 2009.
  25. ^ "Honduras: Asesinan a sobrino de Micheletti". La Prensa. 25 October 2009.
  26. ^ "Investigan muerte de sobrino de Micheletti". El Heraldo. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  27. ^ a b Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH) (15 July 2009). "Informe Preliminar de COFADEH sobre la situación de DD.HH. en el marco del golpe de Estado en Honduras" (in Spanish). Derechos Human Rights. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  28. ^ Figueroa, Laura (13 July 2009). "Honduran teen's slaying propels youth movement". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  29. ^ "Exiled Honduran leader makes 2nd trip to border". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009.
  30. ^ Emanuelsson, Dick (28 July 2009). "Atentado con bomba en sede de sindicato hondureño" (in Spanish). Tercera Informacion. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  31. ^ COFADEH (26 July 2009). "Communiqué on the murder of Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador". Derechos Human Rights. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  32. ^ "International Mission denounces the brutal repression of pacific demonstrations". Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. 30 July 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  33. ^ "Hieren a manifestante en Tegucigalpa" (in Spanish). Diario El Tiempo. 30 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  34. ^ "Fallece maestro seguidor de Zelaya herido durante marcha en Honduras" (in Spanish). El Tiempo. 1 August 2009. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  35. ^ a b "Honduras negotiations snag over unity government". CTV (Canada). 28 July 2009. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013.
  36. ^ Micheletti Bain, Roberto (27 July 2009). "The Path Forward for Honduras". Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ "Preliminary Observations on the IACHR Visit to Honduras". Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  38. ^ US State Department, 11 March 2010, 2009 Human Rights Report: Honduras. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  39. ^ U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras, State Department Releases 2009 Report on Human Rights (March 11, 2010) Archived 2010-04-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-04-26.
  40. ^ "PRESS RELEASES 2010, State Department Releases 2009 Report on Human Rights". US Embassy to Tegucigalpa. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  41. ^ "Honduras Frequency Questionnaire, October 9–13, 2009" (PDF). Greenberg Quinlar Rosler Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2009.
  42. ^ "Son cuatro años. Ni un día más, ni un día menos" [It's been four years. Not one day more nor one day less]. El Heraldo (in Spanish). 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  43. ^ "Presidente Micheletti no tendrá inmunidad". El Heraldo. 15 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  44. ^ “Si lo hacen conmigo no importa, no con mi hija”: Micheletti
Political offices
Preceded by President of the National Congress
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Honduras

Succeeded by