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Posts Tagged ‘honduras’

Victory for freedom in Honduras

Posted by Richard on August 8, 2009

According to Investor's Business Daily, the Obama administration has abandoned its effort to destroy freedom and democracy in Honduras (emphasis added):

In a welcome about-face, the State Department told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in a letter Tuesday that the U.S. would no longer threaten sanctions on Honduras for ousting its president, Mel Zelaya, last June 28.

Nor will it insist on Zelaya's return to power. As it turns out, the U.S. Senate can't find any legal reason why the Honduran Supreme Court's refusal to let Zelaya stay in office beyond the time allowed by Honduran law constitutes a "military coup."

Things could have worked out differently. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez first called for invading Honduras. That threat passed as it became clear Chavez couldn't project his power there.

Next, civil unrest was threatened by Zelaya. But Hondurans astounded the world by standing by their Congress, Supreme Court, attorney general, businesses and the church, all of which declared that Zelaya had violated the constitution and had to go.

Zelaya might have regained power, but only by becoming a dictator and ending Honduras' democracy. The people ended that.

The scariest outcome for Honduras was U.S. sanctions. They would have crushed the tiny country dependent on the U.S. for 80% of its trade. No sanctions, no Zelaya.

This isn't to say U.S. policymakers are happy or that the dispute is over. Honduras is still suspended from the Organization of American States, its trade has been disrupted, Venezuela's oil is still cut off, and its officials still can't get U.S. visas. But the worst is over. Whatever changes that come will be by Honduran consent alone.

So with great reluctance, the Obama administration has decided to stop siding with Venezuela's Chavez and Cuba's Castro in their effort to subvert freedom and democracy in Honduras. Thanks, guys, for small favors. Any chance that you'll support democrats over autocrats in other places and times?

I'm not optimistic, since you just acknowledged Ahm-a-doin-a-jihad as the legitimate elected leader of Iran — or did you

Anyway, hearty congratulations to the brave people of Honduras!

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At least some people are supporting democracy in Honduras

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2009

The Obama administration, which could hardly be bothered to comment on the brutal repression and slaughter in Iran, was quick to interfere in the internal affairs of Honduras. Immediately after would-be President-for-Life Manuel Zelaya was (quite legally) removed from office, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton allied the U.S. with leftist thugs like Castro, Chavez, Ortega, and the dictators who control the United Nations in efforts to overturn the will of the Honduran people and subvert their constitutional democracy.

Seventeen senators have sent a letter to Clinton objecting to the administration's one-sided support of Zelaya and disregard for Honduran law. Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson praised the letter (emphasis added): 

“These 17 Senators deserve the praise of all who believe in the rule of law, and the people of Honduras deserve the support of all Americans who value freedom and democratic, constitutional rule,” Wilson added.

Yesterday, an urgent letter was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to meet with the current government of Honduras, stating [PDF], “While you have already met with Mr. Zelaya, we find it discouraging that you are unwilling to meet with Honduran officials that have simply followed their constitution.”

The letter was sent by Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), John Ensign (R-Nevada), Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Kit Bond (R-Missouri), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

Attached to the letter are the charges that were filed against former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya by the Attorney General of Honduras, Luis Alberto Rubi, to the Supreme Court of Honduras. Also attached is the order by the court to arrest Zelaya for “acting against the established form of government, treason against the country, abuse of authority, and usurpation of power in detriment of the public administration and of the State of Honduras.”

“The official documents of the Honduran Attorney General and Supreme Court, along with the vote of their Congress to impeach and remove Manuel Zelaya from office, prove irrefutably that Zelaya was properly removed from power in accordance with the Honduran Constitution,” said Wilson.

Of the 370-odd articles in Honduras' 27-year-old constitution, seven are protected from amendment or repeal. One of those, Article 239, limits the President to one term and calls for the immediate removal from office of any official who attempts to violate that provision or even proposes that it be changed. Octavio Sánchez explained the reason for this: 

Continuismo – the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely – has been the lifeblood of Latin America's authoritarian tradition. The Constitution's provision of instant sanction might sound draconian, but every Latin American democrat knows how much of a threat to our fragile democracies continuismo presents. In Latin America, chiefs of state have often been above the law. The instant sanction of the supreme law has successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.

The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya's arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. He was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.

The Supreme Court and Congress did not act hastily. They ordered the military to arrest Zelaya only after he personally led a mob that broke into a government warehouse. The mob seized the ballots that were confiscated to prevent Zelaya from holding an illegal "referendum" to abrogate the constitution — ballots, by the way, that were provided to him by Hugo Chavez. (I wonder how many of them had been conveniently pre-marked. I wonder if Jimmy Carter was scheduled to vouch for the outcome of the voting.)

Don't believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.

I am extremely proud of my compatriots. Finally, we have decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men. From now on, here in Honduras, no one will be above the law.

I am extremely disturbed by the behavior of my government in toward Honduras. It's attempting to coerce that sovereign nation into returning to power a leftist thug who tried to overturn the country's constitution and who was legally removed from office in order to preserve democratic government and the rule of law. 

It seems that at every possible opportunity — Israel, Iran, Honduras — the Obama administration has either turned its back on or actively opposed the forces of democracy and freedom.

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