(Kim wrote a great piece on the Honduran political conflict, saying many of the same things I’ve written here. Though hers is a bit more eloquent, I figured, with her approval, I’d throw my own thoughts up here since I had already written this article before seeing hers. So, for what it’s worth, here it is.)
With the hyperventilating coverage of Michael Jackson’s death dominating the news, a development of serious implications has gone underreported.
The Honduran political apparatus has undergone a major upheaval in recent days.
The democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted by an apparent military coup in the early morning hours of Sunday.
On the surface, this sounds ominously illegal: The military of a battered, poor country kicks out a legally elected president, to administer control via its own version of justice.
There is a bit more to it than that.
It is true that Zelaya was elected in a fair, democratic election. He has, however, been accused by many of using heavy-handed tactics during his tenure.
His approval rating, which now hovers around 30%, is evidence of his decreasing popularity. This has prompted him to take some very illegal actions concerning his current and future rule.
Specifically, Zelaya has called for a referendum to bypass his single, four year term limit, allowing him to serve indefinitely.
Under the Honduran constitution, the term limit law happens to be one of only eight which specifically can not be amended.
In addition, only the Honduran congress can call for a referendum. This is also in accordance with the constitution, and has been verified by the Honduran supreme court.
The military, acting on specific legal authority from the supreme court, took Zelaya into custody for violating the Honduran constitution. He has been replaced by Roberto Micheletti, president of the Honduran congress.
This “coup” has, for the most part, been universally condemned by the international community, including President Obama.
The most vocal condemnations have come from some of the worst violators of human rights in the region.
Hugo Chavez, the Castro Brothers, Daniel Ortega, and Rafael Correa have all vociferously condemned this action, feeling a sense of brutish brotherhood, and possibly fearing similar outcomes in the future.
President Obama’s response included the standard “deeply concerned” sound bite. Calling it an “illegal coup” (is there such a thing as a legal coup?), he has called for the prompt reinstatement of Zelaya, saying he is still the recognized democratically elected leader of Honduras.
Something is wrong when you are allied with scum like Hugo Chavez.
As Charles Krauthammer pointed out, Hitler was democratically elected, as well.
Zelaya’s ultimate ambition is to construct an iron-fisted, leftest administration, modeled after the likes of Chavez and Castro.
It is ironic how Obama refused to comment on the Iranian situation for fear of appearing to “meddle” in their internal affairs. Yet, he has no reservations of declaring foul in the tribulations of Honduras.
He seems to have a desire to cozy up with undesirable regimes so as not to exacerbate problems regarding future diplomatic relationships.
His unwillingness to speak out against corrupt ideologues and repressive governments shows either a frightened approach to engage these types of people, or it shows he has a deep affinity for them.
Either way, it bodes ill for the Honduran people.