The Honduran Vote
Speaking of thumbing their collective noses, the Honduran people thumbed theirs at Hugo Chavez and the rest of the ALBA (Alternative for the Americas – a Chavez inspired group which includes Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua as well as Venezuela) rabble in the OAS with their vote yesterday:
Provisional results in Honduras indicate that Porfirio Lobo, an opponent of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, has won presidential elections.
The poll was held five months after Mr Zelaya was forced out at gunpoint, with an interim government taking over.
Mr Lobo is seen as a unifying figure. He won 56% of the vote, with over 60% of registered voters taking part.
A clear winner and high turnout were what the interim government were hoping for to give the election legitimacy.
As you might have picked up, the BBC continues with the myth that Zelaya was “forced out”, i.e. the victim of the military coup, when, in fact, he was arrested for violating the constitution.
But the Beeb has to admit, even grudgingly, that the fact that there appears to be a clear winner and that the turnout was high do in fact speak to the legitimacy of the election – even in the face of Zelaya’s call for his supporters to boycott it.
Of course for some countries, even a legitimate and scheduled election is not enough to placate them:
But regional powers Argentina and Brazil have said they will not recognise any government installed after the election, arguing that to do so would legitimise the coup which ousted an elected president, and thus set a dangerous precedent.
However the United States, having apparently finally figured out what was going on in Honduras, has said it will recognize the results of the election. Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, the German parliament and Japan will also recognize the vote (over 400 international monitors were on hand to watch the election) with more to come, I’m sure.
What that means is Honduras has won and the Chavez cabal has lost – hopefully a turning point in the eventual demise of the “Bolivarian revolution” inspired by Venezuela (if how Hugo makes cars is any indication, it won’t be long). Of course for that to be so, Porfirio Lobo must ensure that Honduras remains on the democratic and constitutional track upon which it now rests.
A hearty “well done” to the tiny country that stood up and resisted the bullies from the OAS and the US, stood by its laws and constitution and gave the world a lesson in political courage.