Free Markets, Free People

Obama Immediately Slams Honduras

But not Iran.

Hmmm. And even saying anything about Iran could be considered “meddling” in the internal affairs of another country, per the Obama administration, but apparently working actively within Honduras to stop what it characterizes as a “military coup” isn’t meddling.

Confusing foreign policy.

An interesting aspect of the Honduran “coup”, per Fausta is:

-Tuesday last week the Honduran Congress, led by members of his own party, passed a law preventing the holding of referendums or plebiscites 180 days before or after general elections.

– The Honduran Congress, led by members of his own party, named a commission to investigate Zelaya. The Commission found (my translation: If you quote it, please credit me and link to this post)

Zelaya acted against the mandates of legal and electoral laws, the Public Ministry, the National Congress, the Attorney General, and other institutions of the State, which had declared the poll illegal.

Additionally, the court weighed in:

Indeed, Honduras’ La Prensa states that (My translation: If you use this, please credit me and link to this post)

An official statement of the Supreme Court of Justice explained that the Armed Forces acted under lawful grounds when detaining the President of the Republic, and by decommissioning the materials to be used on the illegal poll which aimed to bring forth Executive Power against a judicial order.

Other sources verified that the president of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, will assume the presidency of the republic in a few hours.

Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was detained this morning by the military in compliance with an order of the courts of law.

I’ve also seen a report that the new president, Roberto Micheletti, is of the same party as Zelaya.

As I said this morning I’m not a Honduran Constitutional expert – but our Constitutional expert-in-chief seems to have it all figured out. I think the “why” should be obvious:

Analysts said quick criticism of the coup by Obama and Clinton on Sunday pleased Latin American countries bitter about the long history of U.S. intervention in the region.

Despite Obama’s claim that this would set a “terrible precedent”, the State Department still hasn’t yet made a determination that an actual “military coup” has actually taken place:

Despite Obama’s comments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration was not formally designating the ouster as a military coup for now.

Such a designation could force the U.S. leader to cut off most aid to Honduras. Under U.S. legislation, no aid — other than for the promotion of democracy — may be provided to a country whose elected head of government has been toppled in a military coup.

“We do think that this has evolved into a coup,” Clinton told reporters, adding the administration was “withholding” that determination for now.

The stated reason is they want to leave room for negotiations with “the goal of restoring democratic order in Honduras”.

What isn’t clear, however, is whether or not what happened wasn’t a result of “democratic order” and legal. For instance:

Jason Steck, writing at Real Clear World Blog, explains

what is happening in Honduras may be an example of a coup that is not only legal, but mandatory

because, in Honduras’s case, the military has been endowed with a role in maintaining democratic governance; this time their task was to delivery Zelaya safely out of office and into the airplane to Costa Rica.

If this all ends up being constituitonally legal,  it will be interesting to see how Obama backs off his previous statements or whether, instead, he continues to characterize the arrest of Zelaya as a “coup” to play to the leftist crowd now “pleased” with his initial reaction.

Regardless, I’m less than impressed with Obama’s reaction to world events in Iran, North Korea and now Honduras.


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20 Responses to Obama Immediately Slams Honduras

  • Funny nothing on wikipedia regarding how to conduct a legal or illegal coup.  Also BHO didn’t declare the coup in Madagascar on March 17 2009 as legal or illegal.

  • I realize, sadly, that each passing day The Clown™ is making the US look like a third world banana republic.

    I hope we survive four years of this thug. The clean-up from his single disastrous term will take years, if not decades.

  • Well, the difference is that he wants to protect a Chavez stooge and a potential leftist dictator.
    Funny how spontateous democracy is not very interesting to the big Zero but a leader seizing illegal power, especially if he is a leftist, ooh then that is when he wakes up

  • When and where was the last “legal coup” ???
    Is HRC on vacation ?? .. or is she really this bad  ???

    • Of course the point is, if it was a legal removal (i.e. the military also has a law enforcement function which, in Honduras, it appears it may) then it isn’t a “coup” anymore than impeachment, conviction and removal of the president here would be a “coup”.

  • Excuse me…..where are all the Michael Jackson posts?

  • Zelaya is a member of the Leftist fraternity, therefore of course Obama is incensed at his removal, legal, with popular and governmental mandate, or otherwise. A product of Chicago politics, legality and  mandate are not overriding concerns.

  • 1. Iranian secret police beat college kids protesting rigged election = Remarkable silence;
    2. Leftist banana republic strongman overthrown by military acting at the behest of courts and legislature to protect the nation’s constitution = Vehement rebuking

    A year ago, I would have attributed the above actions to a Soviet premier.

  • soviet premier …
    isn’t that who was elected?

  • James, we are officially a third world nation now, We have a crappy economy and a good soccor team.

  • reply to this still not working.

  • Notice the coverage this is getting from MiniTru: to look at the headlines, one would think that every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe is howling in protest. However, if one reads the full stories, the only countries / leaders mentioned by name are Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and… The Annointed One.

    You are judged by the company that you keep.

    MiniTru has also done a typically horrible job in covering this. To some extent, it’s no surprise: Honduras ain’t exactly A-stan, Iraq, Hollywood, or some similar place of vital importance to the United States, and so we can’t expect MiniTru to have their ace reporters working a regular beat there. However, there do seem to be some pretty elementary questions the MiniTru can’t (or won’t) answer, such as whether or not the Honduran constitution makes this sort of removal by the military a legally justifiable act. Surely MiniTru can get their hands on a copy of that document and find SOMEBODY who can speak Honduran* to read it to them, right? Possibly they could even find (gasp!) a Honduran lawyer or law professor who can explain it to them. Yes, yes, I know: this is a complicated and emotionally-charged subject, and getting an unbiased opinion would be difficult. But it seems to me that MiniTru hasn’t even tried. It’s like the refugees from excellence who comprise the rank and file at MiniTru had a gut reaction to the story and they’re sticking to it: “Men with guns and green clothes in little country south of here threw el presidente out of country! Our messiah not like that! Must be coup! No need ask more questions or get more info– infer– infla– oh, stuff they mentioned once in j-school!”

    As for TAO, The most charitable thing that can be said is that he felt the sting of criticism over his lack of response to the situation in Iran and now has overreacted to a rather dissimilar situation to demonstrate that he CAN do more on foreign policy than give embarrassing, inappropriate gifts and go out for ice cream. The less charitable thing that can be said is that he’s falling in with his fellow commies in Latin America and deploring the ouster of the sort of socialist dictator that they are… and that he aspires to be.


    (*) Honduran – the language spoken in Honduras. You know: like Austrian is spoken in Austria. At least, that is, according to the smartest, most wonderful man in the world. The man who is like god? Yeah, That One.

  • Bruce:

    Confusing foreign policy.

    Not to those of us old enough to remember the Carter years.

  • “If this all ends up being constituitonally legal,  it will be interesting to see how Obama backs off his previous statements or whether, instead, he continues to characterize the arrest of Zelaya as a “coup” to play to the leftist crowd now “pleased” with his initial reaction.

    I don’t think he really cares if it’s constitutionally legal or not becayse he’s been saying just that for a long time now. In Obama’s mind Zelaya was doing it right.

    In Obama’s own words circa 2001: 

  • The Hondurans upset Ospama’s apple cart.  He’ll need at least a week to figure out what he thinks about it (once he thinks he understands the path of least harm to himself) because as has now been demonstrated on several occasions, he sucks at thinking on his feet.  He’s not a leader, he’s a bureaucrat.
    They’re less concerned with democracy in Honduras than they are the complications this is causing for an already overtaxed administration.