Free Markets, Free People

Honduras – Where Was The World Before The “Coup”?

That’s Glenn Garvin of the Maimi Herald’s question:

For weeks, Zelaya — an erratic leftist who styles himself after his good pal Hugo Chávez of Venezuela — has been engaged in a naked and illegal power grab, trying to rewrite the Honduran constitution to allow him to run for reelection in November.

First Zelaya scheduled a national vote on a constitutional convention. After the Honduran supreme court ruled that only the country’s congress could call such an election, Zelaya ordered the army to help him stage it anyway. (It would be ”non-binding,” he said.) When the head of the armed forces, acting on orders from the supreme court, refused, Zelaya fired him, then led a mob to break into a military base where the ballots were stored.

His actions have been repudiated by the country’s supreme court, its congress, its attorney-general, its chief human-rights advocate, all its major churches, its main business association, his own political party (which recently began debating an inquiry into Zelaya’s sanity) and most Hondurans: Recent polls have shown his approval rating down below 30 percent.

In fact, about the only people who didn’t condemn Zelaya’s political gangsterism were the foreign leaders and diplomats who now primly lecture Hondurans about the importance of constitutional law. They’re also strangely silent about the vicious stream of threats against Honduras spewing from Chávez since Zelaya was deposed.

Warning that he’s already put his military on alert, Chávez on Monday flat-out threatened war against Honduras if Roberto Micheletti, named by the country’s congress as interim president until elections in November, takes office.

I think Garvin’s question is a good one. If you have someone who continues to pursue activities which are clearly not constitutional, and instead is doing everything within his power to subvert said constitution, what do you do?

Well perhaps have the military arrest him and throw him out of the country is not the first action which comes to mind, granted. However, in Honduras, unlike here, the military does have a law enforcement function. That may not be ideal (because of exactly the perception it leaves) but that’s the case. Perhaps, in retrospect, the best thing that could have been done is have civilian law enforcement arrest Zelaya, keep him in the country and put him on trial. Bottom line – it seems his removal was justified based on his actions.

What the world seems to be objecting too most is the method of his removal while ignoring the reasons.

And then, as Garvin points out, we have the thug in Venezuela threatening Honduras while everyone remains silent:

”If they swear him in we’ll overthrow him,” Chávez blustered. “Mark my words. Thugetti — as I’m going to refer to him from now on — you better pack your bags, because you’re either going to jail or you’re going into exile.”

No one denouncing the coup seems to be bothered by Chavez’s threats. In fact, it could be argued that the reaction of the US has green-lighted Chavez and his followers to intervene in some way, to include militarily. Not that Chavez or the Venezuelan military are competent enough to actually do that, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me now if they tried.

Zelaya was trying to follow Chavez’s template and somehow manage a constitutional change to a permanent presidency through bypassing the constitutionally mandated process and claiming a popular mandate instead. Even his own party didn’t support his attempt and the congress, dominated by that party, passed a law making what Zelaya was attempting illegal. Zelaya attempted it anyway, making what Zelaya was doing a criminal offense.  The Supreme Court of Honduras ruled against Zelaya.  The Attorney General apparently enforced the law.

Here, we’d call that the “checks and balances” working.  There, the result is apparently a “coup”.

The point? In reality, this is not at all a cut-and-dried “military coup” as it is being portrayed. It wasn’t a disgruntled group of military officers who decided to take the law into their own hands and to change the government because they don’t like the form or direction in which it was heading. Instead a rather broad based coalition of politicians, to include those in his party, and other institutions such as the congress (legislative branch) and Supreme Court (judicial branch), found his criminal behavior to be unacceptable and decided to take what they considered to be legal action to prevent a rogue politician from any further attempts at violating the law.

They removed him from office.

And, unlike its reaction to the brutality on display in Iran, the world had an immediate knee-jerk fit.

We now have Venezuela threatening Honduras without a peep from the OAS or the US. We have the OAS now giving Honduras 3 days to reinstall Zelaya or else (what the “else” is is anyone’s guess). We have the president of Argentina sticking her nose into the affair. And we have the showdown tomorrow as Zelaya, in the company of the UN, OAS and Argentine president, reentering Honduras in a bid to retake office. Honduras has said Zelaya will be arrested if he reenters.

Why was there such a rush on the part of the US to denounce this? If sitting back for 10 days and assessing the situation in Iran before speaking was such a good idea as the administration claims, why wasn’t the same true in Honduras? As the facts come out, it seems that it isn’t what it is being characterized as.

If all of the world’s concern is focused on the “democratic process”, where was that concern last week as the now ex leader of Honduras tried to subvert the constitution and claim a mandate by means it prohibited?

Nowhere to be heard. The world was quite content, it seems, to let another declared leftist permanently install himself as a virtual dictator in a Latin American country. But let that country try to enforce it’s constitution, and all hell breaks loose.


8 Responses to Honduras – Where Was The World Before The “Coup”?

  • The lesson is obvious. Don’t let them live when you remove them from office. You don’t see any protests calling for the return of Saddam.

  • If you have someone who continues to pursue activities which are clearly not constitutional, and instead is doing everything within his power to subvert said constitution, what do you do?

    If he’s your guy or gal, you re-elect him. That’s the American way.

  • Bullies always rush to pick on those who won’t or can’t fight back.

  • If Zelaya IS as unpopular in Honduras as some accounts (including those on this site) indicate, our backing his return isn’t exactly going to win us friends down there, or throughout Latin America, for that matter.

    As for Chavez… I think he’s probably long on talk, short on real intentions. He’s a commie thug who blackmails his people into keeping him in power; even if his army had the efficiency and morale to stomp on a stringy jackrabbit, I doubt he’d dare turn them lose. O’ course, given the (ahem) eratic nature of TAO’s foreign policy and his undoubted preferences in this matter, it wouldn’t surprise me too much to see him sending AMERICAN troops to Honduras to put Zelaya back into power.

    It will be interesting to watch this story unfold. Is Zelaya really that unpopular? Is his ouster actually legal under Honduran law? Will MiniTru report it if such is the case? If so, then TAO is going to look like a fool: siding with the Castros, Ortega, and Hugo against the legal actions of a democratic government.

  • Why was there such a rush on the part of the US to denounce this? If sitting back for 10 days and assessing the situation in Iran before speaking was such a good idea as the administration claims, why wasn’t the same true in Honduras? As the facts come out, it seems that it isn’t what it is being characterized as.

    Because Zelaya is, like our dear El Presidente and Hugo Chavez, a Shallow Traveller.  And a F*&$ing hypocrite.

  • Obviously, Obama sees a precedent beginning here for the removal of presidents in the American Hemisphere.
    Break the law and you’re gone.  No chance to get a wishy-washy Senate to save your a$$.

  • Why is Obama doing what he’s doing?  Because OUR el Presidente Hussein Obama is a dedicated Marxist who is upset a fellow Marxist is being tossed.  Hillary, the other Alinsky-taught acolyte, rushed right in to this too, just like she has with Israel;  but she was strangely absent with any words of rebuke for the Iranis shooting woman in the streets.
    Any other commentary ignores his socialist economic programs, his Leftist hatred of our allies and praise of our enemies, and his entire program.  It is ALL Marxist all the time, with enough bones thrown here and there to try to distract us (including his ice cream outing while Iran was burning, and his hug with the ‘victim’ of our health care industry at his Potemkin-village “townhall” meeting yesterday. 

    It’s not merely wrong-headed, what Obama and the Dems are doing, it’s not misguided, it’s willful hatred of democracy and contempt of the People, be they Hondurans who want to remove an illegally acting thug president, the Iranis trying to throw off THEIR lying and murderous tyrants, or Americans who don’t want to have everything in their lives, from frickin’ light bulbs to what treatments they can get (and make no mistake, we KNOW that will happen) at their doctors (or if they can get any treatment at all), to forcing them to have “energy efficient houses” certified to heaven-knows-what-kind-of-stupid-standard prior to being sold (anyone see another 1/2 million out of work?  Must be Bush’s fault, of course!  That stimulus is looking great about now)….this is the Dem playbook and Obama is the quarterback.

  • Why was there such a rush on the part of Obama to denounce “the coup” when there was no coup? Because as his parents, relatives, friends and mentors, Obama is Marxist who hates the U.S., just like Castro, Chavez and Zelaya.

    As a U.S. hating Marxist, Obama can’t easily condemn the oppressors in Iran and sides with Marxist dictators and would-be dictators who are working with Islamic terrorists in Latin America to destroy the U.S.

    Obama is doing to the U.S. what Zelaya was doing to Honduras — destroying the economy, multiplying corruption, and enslaving the people through lies, manipulation, intimidation and fraud.

    As a matter of fact, the campaigns and strategies of the Marxist thugs working for Castro and Chavez (Correa, Morales, Ortega, Lugo, etc.) are almost identical to Obama’s.

    They got elected through lies, manipulation, intimidation and fraud, promising to “help the poor” and with the slogans CHANGE and YES WE CAN. Chavez, FARC and possibly Iran paid for overwhelming media propaganda on their behalf.

    Once elected, they proceeded to destroy the country’s economy and institutions, take over the Legislative and Judicial branches, change the constitution, get complete control of the country and do as they please with the country and the people. Just like Castro in Cuba. The people, poorer than ever, manipulated and intimidated, can’t defend themselves.

    Hondurans are giving us an example of courage and patriotism worth following.