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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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One Response to “Victory for freedom in Honduras”

  1. David Bryant said

    The Wall Street Journal recently (4 August, 2009) reported that White House counsel Greg Craig may be on his way out of the administration. Mary Anastasia O’Grady (who writes the “Americas” opinion column for the WSJ) had previously reported that Mr. Craig was largely responsible for the Obama administration’s hard line on Honduras.

    If Mr. Craig is in fact forced out of his job, maybe we can look forward to a more rational foreign policy with respect to Honduras. At least, we can hope. dcb

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