When the democratically elected Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, was removed from office by the Honduran military, President Obama immediately denounced it as an illegal military coup. Obama stated "our goal now is on restoring democratic order in Honduras." Obama was joined by a slew of others criticizing Honduras for removing Zelaya. United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon called the Honduran actions "an unconstitutional change of power." The Organization of American States (OAS) issued an ultimatum to Honduras to either restore Zelaya within 72 hours or be suspended from the OAS. Latin Leftist leaders (dictators) are in an uproar and threatening violence. Cuba's Fidel Castro called the Zelaya coup "a suicidal error," and urged a reverse coup. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez pledged that "we will bring them [the new Honduras leaders] down," and said Venezuelan troops are on alert. Chavez, who in addition to being a Leftist strongman, is also a coked up lunatic, also blamed the USA for the coup, by saying the Honduran coup leaders "had Yankee support," though Chavez admits that Obama was against the coup (it must be that other US government that supported it). Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega called on President Obama to stand firm against the Honduran coup (pretty ironic when only a few months ago, Ortega blasted Obama with a 50-minute long diatribe railing AGAINST the USA's interference in Central America).
With all this condemnation taking place, it's easy to forget what actually happened in Honduras. What makes it even easier to forget is that our media doesn't tell us what really happened there. They gloss over the details by saying something like "the military removed Zelaya shortly before a vote about term limits." Well, that doesn't quite cover it. There's more to that story. A lot more.
First, a few words about the government of Honduras. It is a democratic constitutional republic. Honduras holds free elections. It has a Constitution (since 1982), a Congress, and a Supreme Court. A division of power.
The Constitution of Honduras sets strict term limits and bars any changes to those term limits, and that is where the current problem started. President Zelaya would have been term-limited out of office next january, and Zelaya, a Chavez wannabe, wasn't too keen on that idea. He wanted term limits repealed, and moved unilaterally to have a referendum vote on the matter, in violation of the Honduran Constitution, against the Honduran attorney general, and in violation of the Honduran Supreme Court, who ruled against him. Zelaya went ahead with his referendum anyway. When the military refused to pass out the illegal ballots, Zelaya fired the head of the military, then he had (drumroll, please) his buddy HUGO CHAVEZ print up the ballots for the illegal term limits vote. With the illegal vote only hours away, the Supreme Court ordered Zelaya be arrested. At that point, Zelaya was removed from office and kicked out of the country.
Is that a coup, or is it enforcing the constitutional rule of law against Zelaya's illegal power grab ? I think it's far more the latter than the former. It's true that Zelaya didn't get any due process according to our standards, but the Honduran standards are not our standards. Here's article 239 of the Honduran Constitution:
Article 239 — No citizen that 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 Constitution mandated that Zelaya be removed from office IMMEDIATELY, and that's exactly what happened. The rule of law prevailed over Zelaya's selfish interests. So, when you hear the new interim President of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, say "''We are abiding by the Constitution of our country and that's why we have national support," he is correct. That's also why the Congress of Honduras voted to keep Zelaya out of office.
I understand why Leftist leaders around the world are condemning the so-called coup in Honduras, because they are interested in obtaining power through any means necessary, but why did President Obama join in so strongly and immediately in denouncing the removal of Zelaya ? What does Obama stand for, the constitutional rule of law, or the unilateral and illegal bullying tactics of Manuel Zelaya ? There's a question I'd love to hear the press ask our President.
About This Blog