El Pais, Sunday June 28, 2009 (Coup Day)
Excerpts from a 1,300-word Q&A of President Zelaya by special correspondent Pablo Ordaz, conducted in Spanish on June 27, one day after Zelaya fired the top general in the armed forces:
Ordaz: The opposition says that what is really behind the vote on Sunday is your intention to remain in power.
Zelaya: Look…Honestly. I don’t have any option for staying in power. The only way would be to break the constitutional order, and I’m not going to do that.
Ordaz: Is that your word?
Zelaya: Yes, I’m going to end my government on January 27, 2010. That’s what I am going to do. But I’m going to leave behind a process to open democracy, open the possibility for a president to be re-elected in the future. Although I don’t know if by then I’m going to be available.
Ordaz: What’s your model?
Zelaya: Look. I’ve positioned myself in the center-left as a government because I practice liberal ideas, but with a socialist, social, tendency, very closely tied to integrating the citizen with his rights.
Ordaz: But you aren’t a man who came from the left…
Zelaya: That is so. In fact, I come from very conservative sectors.
Ordaz: And at what point did you fall off the horse?
Zelaya: Ha, ha. No, rather, at what point did I get on the horse…Look, I had planned to make changes from within the neo-liberal framework. But the rich won’t cede a penny. They won’t cede any of their money. They want it all for themselves. So, logically, to make changes one has to incorporate the people.
Ordaz: Why have you been left so isolated, president?
Zelaya: It’s because we’re talking about the bourgeois State. The economic elites comprise the bourgeois State. They are at the top of the armies, parties, judges, and that bourgeois State feels vulnerable when I start to propose that the people have a voice and a vote.
Ordaz: How are the moments of crisis that you’ve lived through in these latest hours going to change you politically, but also personally?
Zelaya: [He stays quiet.] What am I going to change? If I emerge strengthened [from the vote] this Sunday. …Perhaps I’ll have to create closer ties with the groups with power. I’ll have to create closer ties with them and convince them. Tell them that I’m not against them, that this is a historic process, that they have to cooperate. …They have to understand that poverty won’t be eliminated until the poor people make the laws.