06/29/09 - Investor's Business Daily - Editorial
We might think that President Obama likes ballot-box stuffing and doesn't like term limits.
[edited] President Obama while campaigning, strongly criticized leaders who are elected democratically but don't govern democratically. He has not applied this to Honduras.
Mel Zelaya is Honduras' now ex-president after defying a Honduras Supreme Court ruling last Thursday. He tried to hold a "survey" to rewrite the constitution for his permanent re-election. It's the same blueprint for a rigged political system that has made the former democracies Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador into shells of free countries.
Zelaya's operatives did their dirt all the way through. First, they used threats to collect signatures to launch their "citizen's power" survey. They warned those who didn't sign that they would be denied medical care, and worse. Zelaya then flew the ballots to Tegucigalpa on Venezuelan planes. This was declared illegal by the Supreme Court, but he did it anyway.
As a result of his brazen disregard for the law, the military escorted Zelaya into exile Sunday morning. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro rushed to blame the U.S., calling it a "yanqui coup".
Zelaya committed the coup, not the U.S. or the Honduran court. Zelaya defied the law, and Hondurans overwhelmingly supported his removal. A pro-Zelaya rally Monday drew a mere 200 acolytes.
The U.S. response has been disgraceful. The administration stands with Chavez and Castro, calling Zelaya's lawful removal "a coup". A State Department official told reporters: "We recognize Zelaya as the duly elected and constitutional president of Honduras. We see no other". Obama called the action "not legal and a terrible precedent", and said Zelaya remains president. The U.S. now contemplates sanctions on the tiny, drug-plagued, dirt-poor country of 7 million.
The U.S. condemns Honduran democrats who acted to save their democracy. Honduras' actions are actually a historic turning of the tide against the false democracies of the region. It's time for a more sophisticated definition of democracy — one that includes the rule of law and the will of the people.
Honduras Under the Bus
06/30/09 - National Review by Jonah Goldberg
A Honduran writes:
[excerpt] The country is bewildered that the world, especially the United States, is not on their side. Zelaya was confident of his plans to convert Honduras into a Venezuelan satellite.
The Honduran people are proud of their constitution and are proud to have a functioning democratic system. Zelaya was replaced by a member of his own party who vows to see that this November's presidential election takes place. What happened was not a "coup" but a bipartisan effort to save the nation.
It seems that the Honduran constitution anticipated and excluded the type of referendum that Zelaya wanted to hold. I find it reasonable to keep a President from declaring himself "popular leader for life".
[edited] Honduran soldiers rousted President Manuel Zelaya from his bed and exiled him at gunpoint Sunday to Costa Rica. This halted his controversial push to redraw the constitution, and raised concerns about democratic rule.
Mr. Zelaya said he was kidnappped and was still president. The U.S. and other countries condemned the coup. President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" and called on all political actors in Honduras to "respect democratic norms."
Venezuela President Hugo Chávez is a close ally of Mr. Zelaya and nemesis of the U.S. He said it would be an "act of war" if there were hostilities against his diplomats, and "I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert".
Mr. Zelaya is a frequent critic of the U.S. He has been locked in a growing confrontation with his country's Congress, courts, and military over his plans for the Sunday referendum. It would have asked voters whether they want to scrap the constitution, which the president says benefits the country's elites.
The Supreme Court had ruled the vote was illegal because it flouted the constitution's own ban on such referendums within six months of elections. The military had refused to take its usual role of distributing ballots. But Mr. Zelaya fired the chief of the army last week and pledged to press ahead.
[edited] The Honduran coup is a reaction to Chávez's rule by mob in Venezuela. As military "coups" go, the one in Honduras was strangely democratic. The military didn't oust President Manuel Zelaya on its own, but followed an order of the Supreme Court. It also quickly turned power over to the president of the Honduran Congress, a man from the same party as Mr. Zelaya. The legislature and legal authorities remain intact.
We mention these not so small details because they are being overlooked as the world, including the U.S. President, denounces tiny Honduras in a way that it never has Iran. President Obama is joining the U.N., Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, and other model democrats (smile) in demanding that Mr. Zelaya be allowed to return from exile and be restored to power. Maybe it's time to sort the real from the phony Latin American democrats.
A 'coup' in Honduras? Nonsense
07/02/09 - Christian Science Monitor by Octavio Sánchez
[edited] Don't believe the myth. The arrest of President Zelaya represents the triumph of the rule of law.
Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published his decree to initiate an "opinion poll" about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term.
His actions showed intent, and our Constitution takes such intent seriously. According to Article 239:No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.
The Chavez Playbook
07/18/09 - Babalu Blog by Alberto de la Cruz
[edited] Honduran authorities have seized computers from the Presidential Palace belonging to deposed president Mel Zelaya. These computers contained the official and certified results of the illegal constitutional referendum that Zelaya wanted to conduct and which never took place.
The results of this fraudulent vote heavily favored Zelaya, ensuring he could illegally change the constitution and remain in power.