Zelaya at a protest against the US-backed Hernandez government
© Reuters / Jorge Cabrera
Zelaya at a protest against the US-backed Hernandez government.
President Jose Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was deposed from power in a military coup after joining a progressive alliance of Latin American leaders and he has "absolutely no doubts" the US was behind his ouster, he tells RT America.

"The US warned me: If you sign the Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas (ALBA), you're going to have problems with the US. I signed it, and six months later, I had problems," Zelaya told RT America's Rick Sanchez.

"They kicked me out."


Washington "wave[s] their flags of human rights abroad, but they only apply those concepts to those they consider to be adversaries," Zelaya says, pointing to his record of poverty reduction and economic growth - "I had the best indicators of human development in Honduran history!"

Because of the company he kept - working with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, and other progressive US bogeymen to further Honduras' economic development - the US "had an allergic reaction" and moved to take him out, he says.


"I didn't have problems with the US," Zelaya insists. "They simply didn't accept the competition, because these transnational companies live off monopoly, they live off concessions. When you give them competition in the free market, they stop being capitalist. They become retrograde, authoritarian, and they play coups, wars, invasions."

Zelaya was removed from power in 2009, deposed by heavily armed soldiers who came to his home while he was in his pajamas, in a coup Hillary Clinton's State Department refused to call a coup.

Honduras has been sinking into chaos ever since. His progressive reforms such as building schools, adopting a pension system for the elderly and raising the minimum wage have been rolled back, and homicide rates had soared 50 percent by 2011. Trade unionists, journalists, judges, human rights and environmental activists have been targeted for extrajudicial killings.

His efforts to return to power have also been thwarted, once again by the US, he says. After his party won the 2017 election with nearly three quarters of the votes counted, it was the US ambassador who appeared with 5,000 boxes of ballots to declare another candidate the winner. Even the pro-US Organization of American States called for a new round of elections. Instead, the government suspended the constitution and imposed 10 days of martial law, after which the US recognized the rigged results.

"And with that, they impose a dictatorship in Honduras... that's what we're protesting against."

Zelaya says the US sees Honduras "not as a colony or a province. They see us as an empty landscape where they invest and where they impose their rules."

He does not blame only the Americans for the suffering of Honduras, however.

"The Hondurans are guilty, the ones that bow down and kiss the boots of the US, the US military, or kiss up to the capitalist chiefs of Wall Street."