… his ham-handed attempt to transform Honduras from a pro-American democracy to a Castro or Chavez style socialist dictatorship.
To review, Manuel Zelaya was elected to a four year term as president of Honduras in November 2005 and, under the one-term limit imposed by the Honduran Constitution, was scheduled to leave office in January 2010. However, seeing himself as the newest member of an exclusive club of Latin American socialist dictators… Raul Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua… Zelaya decided to inflict himself on the people of Honduras for an additional term of office, or more.
Unfortunately, Zelaya was about the only person in Honduras who hungered for four more years of his leadership. When his proposal to remove the one-term limit was presented to the Congress and to the Honduran Supreme Court, it was soundly rejected. But Zelaya was undeterred. He simply ignored the constitutional amendment process and, instead, launched a campaign for reelection by national referendum, an effort that was strongly opposed by every branch of the Honduran government, including the national Congress, the Supreme Court, and the military… even members of his own party.
Nevertheless, Zelaya stubbornly proceeded with the illegal referendum, and just hours before he was to go to the polls to cast a vote for himself he was taken into custody at his home and flown to exile in Costa Rica by members of the Honduran military, acting under orders of the Congress and the Supreme Court. Immediately after his departure, Speaker Roberto Micheletti, a reliable democrat and a friend of the United States, was sworn in as interim president.
The first hemispheric leaders to speak out against Zelaya’s ouster were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Chavez threatened that, if a new Honduran government was sworn in he would “bring them down.” He went on to say that, if the Venezuelan ambassador in Tegucigalpa was harmed in any way, or if the Venezuelan embassy was entered, his country would attack Honduras militarily.
The Organization of American States (OAS), in a sharply-worded ultimatum, condemned the “coup” and Zelaya’s “arbitrary detention and expulsion.” The OAS warned that the Honduran leaders had three days in which to restore Zelaya to power or face expulsion. This was followed by a UN resolution calling on all 192 U.N. member nations not to recognize any government in Honduras other than Zelaya’s.
Finally, after waiting to take his cue from the communist dictators of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, Barack Obama issued a brief statement, saying, “I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of President Mel Zelaya… I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”
According to an Associated Press report, “Obama declared that the United States still considers Manuel Zelaya to be the president of Honduras and assailed the coup that forced him into exile as ‘not legal,’ ”
So the question arises, why would Obama refer to Zelaya’s ouster as an “illegal coup?” As the AP reminds us, “The term ‘coup’ is defined as ‘a sudden, decisive exercise of power whereby the existing government is subverted without the consent of the people.’ When a country’s legally and democratically elected government ‘removes’ an individual, using the processes outlined in its Constitution, it is not a ‘coup,’ but a legally authorized act of State…”
As a Harvard Law graduate, a former Editor of the Harvard Law Review, an instructor of constitutional law, and a practicing attorney, Obama should understand the difference. What happened in Honduras was not a coup, but a constitutionally mandated process to remove an unfit leader. When the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court declared Zelaya’s reelection to be at odds with constitutional principles and he refused to abandon his referendum, it became necessary to remove him by force. The Congress and the Supreme Court made the decision and the military carried out their wishes.
Of course, none of these constitutional legalities had any real meaning in the Obama White House. As the Associated Press explained, the Honduran situation would be analogous to an American president attempting to serve a 3rd term over the objections of Congress and the Supreme Court and in direct violation of our 22nd Amendment. If an American President attempted to retain power as Zelaya had attempted to do, he would be impeached, convicted, and removed from office.
The AP asked, pointedly, “But what about Obama? Why does he relate to these megalomaniacs (Castro, Chavez, Ortega, and Zelaya) who believe they are omnipotent? Why does he side with the ‘repressors’ rather than those who stand for freedom? If Obama can’t distinguish which of the parties in Honduras acted legally and (which) did not, he doesn’t deserve to hold his office.”
Between June 28, 2009, the day of Zelaya’s ouster, and the national elections of November 29, even to the present day, the Obama Administration has consistently sided with the communist dictators of Latin America, insisting that Zelaya’s ouster amounted to a “coup” and demanding the return of the ousted would-be dictator to power.
And now that the Honduran people have spoken once again, electing Porfirio Lobo Sosa of the conservative National Party to succeed interim president Roberto Micheletti, Obama and his leftist advisors give only lukewarm support to the election results.
In the November 29 elections, Lobo Sosa won 55.9% of the vote, followed by Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos with 38.2%. The remaining 5.9% of the vote was divided among three minor candidates. Nevertheless, the far left in the United States finds it difficult to give full credit to the Honduran people. Attempting to minimize the importance of the constitutional processes that resulted in the removal of Zelaya, the New York Times tells us, “The Obama administration started off strong. It resisted the importunings of some Congressional Republicans who considered democracy far less important than Mr. Zelaya’s cozy ties to Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.”
This represents a total misstatement of Republican support for Zelaya’s removal. Their support was based primarily on supporting the democratic processes used to remove Zelaya, and only secondarily on Zelaya’s position as a Castro-Chavez-Ortega wannabe.
Implying that the Honduran people and their democratic institutions have something to atone for or to be ashamed of, the Times goes on to say, “There is little point in ostracizing Honduras — one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere. Rather, the United States, other countries in the region and Europe should take the election as a starting point to try to patch back together a democratic government.”
“Patch back together a democratic government?” It was precisely a “democratic government,” bearing true faith and allegiance to its constitutional principles that resulted in the removal of a Chavez/Castro-style socialist dictator.
What the Obama Administration and other hemispheric socialists demand is the establishment of a “unity government” to rule Honduras from now until the Polo Sosa inauguration on January 27, and the creation of a truth commission to investigate events surrounding what they continue to mischaracterize as “the coup.” The interim government of Roberto Micheletti would be required to step down and be replaced by a unity government that would include a number of top-level Zelaya appointees.
The people of Honduras removed their president because he, like Hugo Chavez, attempted to remain in power beyond his constitutionally prescribed term, a move that was opposed by all four Marxist leaders of the region… Castro, Chavez, Obama, and Ortega. As a replacement, they chose a pro-democracy conservative to lead their country. However, not satisfied with that outcome, Obama and his allies in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have attempted to subvert the democratic processes in Honduras by imposing a so-called “unity” government, heavily infiltrated by communists and socialists from the former Zelaya regime.
With few exceptions, the most significant mentors, advisors, and father-figures in Obama’s life have been dedicated Marxists, so we should not be surprised that he has spent so much political capital trying to establish yet another socialist dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.
For those who remain unconvinced of Obama’s true colors, his thinly-veiled attempt at “nation-building” in Central America should provide proof enough of where his sympathies lie.