The Crisis In Honduras – The Timeline March 23, 2009 to July 3, 2009

The following was taken from Real Clear Politics … follow the links to read the full stories.

July 3, 2009

Wrong Again

By Oliver North

WASHINGTON — It took the Obama administration eight days to figure out whether Iranians being gunned down for protesting a fraudulent election and demanding basic civil liberties deserved to be acknowledged by the president of the United States. It took the O-Team less than eight hours to side with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega over the ouster of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.

As we now have come to expect, Mr. Obama got it wrong again, but this time, nobody noticed. The U.S. news media, preoccupied with the sudden demise of Michael Jackson, ignored the event in Central America. For those who care about things more important than the passing of a “pop music legend,” here’s the rest of the story:

Manuel Zelaya, a wealthy rancher and agribusiness executive and a self-described “poor farmer,” won a four-year term as Honduran president in November 2005, with 49.8 percent of the vote. Article 374 of the Honduran Constitution bars the nation’s chief executive from serving consecutive terms. Apparently, one term wasn’t enough for Zelaya, a protégé of Venezuela’s strongman, Hugo Chavez, and Nicaragua’s phobic anti-American leader, Daniel Ortega.

Late last year, as the Honduran economy tanked and unemployment grew to nearly 28 percent, Zelaya forced Elvin Santos, the country’s elected vice president, to resign and began holding conversations with Chavez and Ortega on how to hold on to power. In lengthy Chavez-like populist speeches, he denounced the U.S. and wealthy landowners and linked himself with leftists in the Honduran labor movement. On March 23, he issued an executive decree directing a national referendum on a Venezuela-style constituent assembly to rewrite the country’s constitution in time for presidential and legislative elections in November. The Obama-Clinton State Department was mute about all of this.

Unfortunately for Zelaya’s aspirations, the Honduran Constitution requires that amendments be passed by a two-thirds vote of the country’s unicameral Congress during two consecutive sessions. By late May, the Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, the commissioner for human rights, and the Honduran electoral tribunal all had overwhelmingly declared the referendum unconstitutional. Zelaya ignored the people’s representatives, had ballots printed in Venezuela, and announced that the vote would take place June 28. Again, the O-Team was silent.

In keeping with the rule of law, Honduran Attorney General Luis Alberto Rubi took the case to court. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal and ordered the ballots to be confiscated. Late on June 23, Zelaya countermanded the court order and directed the army to distribute the ballots. Gen. Romeo Vasquez, the chief of staff of the Honduran military, sought legal opinions and decided not to distribute them. The following day, Zelaya accepted the resignation of the minister of defense, Edmundo Orellana, and fired Vasquez.

The Honduran Supreme Court unanimously ruled the Vasquez firing illegal and reinstated him June 25. That prompted Zelaya and a group of supporters to seize the ballots and issue another executive decree, which directed government officials to set up 15,000 polling stations at schools and community buildings across the country. In response to a request from Attorney General Rubi, the Honduran Congress — controlled by Zelaya’s own Liberal Party — opened an investigation into the president’s mental stability and fitness to govern. Zelaya replied with a two-hour broadcast harangue, in which he claimed: “Congress cannot investigate me, much less remove me or stage a technical coup against me, because I am honest. I’m a free president, and nobody scares me.”

On Sunday, just hours before the referendum was to begin, the Honduran army, acting on a warrant issued by the Honduran Supreme Court, arrested Zelaya and sent him, in his pajamas, into exile in Costa Rica. The Honduran Congress affirmed Zelaya’s departure and, in accord with the constitution, named Roberto Micheletti, who had been president of the Congress, as interim president of the country.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/03/wrong_again_97287.html

June 30, 2009

Honduras Fires Its Runaway President

Early on June 28, members of the Honduran military temporarily arrested President Manuel Zelaya. Within minutes he was on a plane bound for Costa Rica. In San Jose, Zelaya denounced the military’s intervention as a “coup d’etat” and a “brutal kidnapping.” The military’s actions, while swift and arbitrary, came after President Zelaya defied virtually every Honduran political and legal institution and propelled his citizens to the verge of polarizing violence. Zelaya’s swift removal from Honduras probably saved many lives.

In less than six hours, Honduras’s congress removed Zelaya as president for repeated violations of Honduras’s laws and constitution, as well as for his failure to observe resolutions of Honduran courts. In short, the congress fired the sitting President for multiple acts of institutional insubordination. The congress then named its speaker, Robert Micheletti, to serve as chief executive until after national elections in November. The military has begun a return back to the barracks.

The events of June 28 mark the culmination in a series of confrontations between Zelaya and virtually all of Honduras’s political and judicial institutions, including the congress, the supreme court, the two major political parties (including his own), and the military. At issue was Zelaya’s effort to convene a non-binding public referendum that, he believed, would open the doors for major constitutional revision. Given that the Honduran constitution does not grant its president the power to convene such referenda, there is no question that, while the response of the Honduran military may have been rash, President Zelaya was fired for a legitimate reason.

Zelaya’s March to the Left

President Zelaya won election by the slenderest of margins in 2005. A series of corruption charges involving state contracts and manipulation of public services–particularly in telecommunications (Hondutel)–hounded the Zelaya government, which began its term with earnest promises of fiscal probity and transparency.

With regard to foreign policy, Zelaya in August 2008 signed on as a member of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), a political and economic bloc controlled by senior members Venezuela and Cuba. Zelaya sought and received assistance from Venezuela via the oil-financing facility Petrocaribe and moved for closer ties with Castro’s communist-revolutionary regime.

The Obama Administration wants to reverse the events of June 28. It believes restoring political order and protecting the fundamentals of the Inter-American Democratic Charter via handing the problem off the Organization of American States (OAS) will work easily and promote the smooth, orderly return of President Zelaya. The facts on the ground, however, do not lend themselves to such a tidy and optimistic scenario. There is a grave danger that by acting against the new constitutional arrangement order established by the Honduran congress, supreme court, and military, bloodshed and political chaos are likely to follow. 

Chávez’s Intervention Portends Bloodshed

There is little doubt that President Zelaya was emboldened to challenge the institutions of Honduras by the support of Hugo Chávez and other ALBA members. On June 25, ALBA members issued a public statement claiming that a coup was already underway, and they backed the June referendum, despite lack of institutional support. In short, they endorsed Zelaya’s defiant and reckless strategy.[3]

On June 28, Chávez stepped up his interventions by directing calls to campesino leaders in Honduras to encourage resistance, putting his military on alert, calling on the Honduran soldiers to disobey their superiors, and vowing to topple the new government. “If they swear in Micheletti [or any other], we will overthrow them!” he proclaimed.[4] Chávez also threatened to give a lesson to the military “gorillas” who do not respect Honduras’s constitution.[5]

The relentless intervention of Chávez will serve only to harden the Honduran opposition, demonstrate that Zelaya is heavily compromised and dependent on foreign backing, and support tactics that can easily lead to potentially dangerous provocations. Demonstrations and resistance encouraged by Chávez and others threaten to make a shamble of institutional order in Honduras.

Recommendations

  • Recognize the new Honduran government. Messy as it is, the Obama Administration should recognize the new interim government, as constitutional order has been preserved.
  • Restore public order. The Obama Administration should work with the OAS and other international missions to promote national reconciliation and an end to polarization.
  • Resist Chávez and ALBA intervention. The Chavistas consistently pushed Zelaya toward confrontational politics; now they threaten intervention. The Obama Administration must move to neutralize this negative and highly dangerous thrust.

Chávez Democracy

The events unfolding in Honduras remain confused. Yet it appears the primary institutions of the nation–congress, the supreme court, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the military as the guardian of public order–have spoken. While these institutions may have acted precipitously, the bottom line is that President Zelaya was fired for cause. The U.S. can ill afford to open the door to a counter-intervention by Hugo Chávez, one that would deliver Honduras into the Chávez brand of “democracy.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/06/30/honduras_fires_its_runaway_president_constitutional_order_is_preserved_97235.html

Voices From Honduras – A People Fight For Democracy

If you are a regular visitor you’ve read my post on the Honduras Crisis and how President Obama has sided with the Communists, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and the impeached, former President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

I wish I had posted all of the responses that I have received from people who claim to be from Honduras, it was my mistake not to do so right from the start. 

I’m making this post in response to the following reply:  

R. Zuniga, on July 3rd, 2009 at 1:32 am Said: 

Excelent analysis! We -the Honduran people- was wondering if nobody in the US could see what was happening here… We were asking ourselves: Why the US goverment dont support our effort to save the democracy in our country?, insted of the US goverment -Pres. Obama are supporting to CHAVEZ and giving him the chance to convert our country to socialism or comunism -what a mistake! WE LOVE FREEDOM THAT DEMOCRACY GIVES THE PEOPLE! WE DONT WANT MANUEL ZELAYA BACK TO OUR COUNTRY!

I’m inviting the pro-democracy Hondurans to post here ……. and for like minded Americans to let the Honduran people know that America supports them …………. 

http://nuestravoice.com/?p=3029

For those who have not read the original post, I’ve re-posted it below.

The quick story is this. Honduras is a democracy, with a form of Government much like the U.S. The Honduran Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, has a term limit for anyone serving as President. The impeached former President Zelaya, attempted to “extend” his term in office, to become “a President for life” – much like his allies the Communist dictators Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. 

When Zelaya announced his intention to extend his term in officethe matter was taken to the Honduran Supreme Court, who ruled Zelaya’s actions unconstitutional and illegal. Zelaya ignored the Supreme Court and pressed on. The matter was then taken to the Honduran Congress, where Zelaya’s own party joined in voting articles of impeachment (referred to in the articles below as “reading contitutional articles”). Still Zelaya pressed on. Zelaya then ordered the Honduran military to assist him in the unconstitutional vote, a vote on a ballot that didn’t even specify the nature of the Constitutional changes Zelaya was trying to make. The Military refused the illegal orders and Zelaya “fired” the Honduran Chief of Staff. The heads of the Honduran Army, Navy and Air Force resigned their offices rather than follow the illegal order. Still Zelaya pressed on.

The Honduran Congress voted articles of impeachment and instructed the Army to take Zelaya into custody when he refused to step down.

These actions cannot be called a “coup”. Zelaya was removed from office Constitutionally. The Army does not now run Honduras. The Honduran Constitution calls for the head of the Honduran Congress to complete any unfullfilled term of the President after an impeachment. The head of the Honduran Congress has been sworn in as President and will complete the remainder of Zelaya’s term. Elections had already been scheduled for this November.

You may ask, who is the new Honduran President? Roberto Micheletti is the current President of Honduras. President Micheletti is a member of the impeached Zelaya’s Liberal Party. Zelaya’s Liberal party voted for his ouster.

THIS POST INVITES RESPONSES FROM THOSE IN HONDURAS WHO QUESTION WHY THE AMERICAN PRESS AND PRESIDENT OBAMA FALSELY CLAIM THAT A COUP HAS TAKEN PLACE AND HAVE TURNED TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNISTS RATHER THAN THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE OF HONDURAS. 

The Original Post:

Obama Sides With Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez – Refuses To Recognize Legality Of Impeachment – Former Honduran President Zelaya

Posted on June 29, 2009 by mcauleysworld | Edit

Have you seen this article ……….

Obama says Honduran ouster was ‘not legal’

AP

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer 20 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday 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,” deepening the chasm between the Central American nation and ……..  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_honduras

Want to know the “rest of the story”?

Why does Obama state the “Coup”, if it was a “Coup”, wasn’t legal.

The term “Coup” has a specific legal meaning. It refers to “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 appropriate mechanisms outlined under it’s Constitution, it is not a “Coup”, but a legally authorized act of State.

What happend in Honduras was not a Coup, but a preservation of the Democracy outlined in the Honduran Constitution.  

Honduras has a Constitution which was last updated and ratified in 1982. “President Zelaya was elected in 2006 to a four-year term. The 1982 constitution bans re-election.” http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/ Presdient Manual Zelaya was attempting to subvert the the Honduran Constitution and stand for re-election, when that is prohibited under Honduran law. Procedures exist in Honduras for “changing” or “amending” the Constitution, however, President Zelaya was attempting to subvert that legal and Constitutional process in Honduras. Zelaya’s attempt to change the Honduran Constitution was declared “illegal” and “unconstitutional” by both the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Congress. Two of the three branches of Honduras’ Democratically elected Government. Those Branches of Governemnt moved against President Zelaya and removed him from power, not the Military. The Military was simply the tool employed by the People’s Government to secure their freedom.    

President Zelaya ordered the Military to illegally help him subvert the Honduran Constitution, the very Constitution that the Military is sworn to uphold. In Honduras, like in the United States, the Military and Polticians take an oath to “uphold” or “protect and defend” the Constitution, not an oath to support any particular party or politician. Not since the days of Adolph Hitler has a military sworn allegiance to a “leader” or “Furher” rather than to the Country they serve.

When President Zelaya ordered the Military to assist in his violation of the Honduran Constitution, the Miliitary, at the direction of the Congress and the Supreme Court, removed the President from office rather than follow the President’s  illegal orders. http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/ 

Two days before President Zelaya was “deposed”, Zelaya “fired” the Honduran Military Chief of Staff, General Romeo Vasquez. The dismissal came, not for failing to follow orders, but for failing to support President Zelaya’s unconstitutional attempt to extend his term in office. http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/  The heads of the Honduran Army, Navy and Air Force then resigned rather than accept Zelaya’s illegal orders.  

You might like to know who President Zelaya’s biggest supporters have been in the past …. Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator who jails and kills opposition candidates in his Country, and Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba. What Chavez and Castro know about “fair elections” wouldn’t fill a thimble. Chavez and Castro head two of the most repressive governments in the world.  

Reports from Honduras state, “ The country now has another president appointed by its Congress, Roberto Micheletti, who insisted that Zelaya was legally removed by the Courts and Congress for violating Honduras’ constitution and attempting to extend his own rule.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_honduras

The Zelaya ouster came hours before polls were to open on a constitutional referendum that Zelaya was pushing ahead even after the Supreme Court and the Attorney General said it was illegal. The constitution bars changes to some of its clauses, such as the ban on a president serving more than one term.                                                                                                  http://www.startribune.com/world/49380887.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiacyKUnciaec8O7EyUr

Congress voted to accept what it said was Zelaya’s letter of resignation, with even Zelaya’s former allies turning against him. Congressional leader Roberto Micheletti was sworn in to serve until Jan. 27 when Zelaya’s term ends. Micheletti belongs to Zelaya’s Liberal Party, but opposed the president in the referendum. “My slogan will be the reconciliation of the grand family of Hondurans … and a grand national dialogue,” Micheletti said after Congress gave the military a long standing ovation. http://www.startribune.com/world/49380887.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiacyKUnciaec8O7EyUr

Funny that President Obama neglects to mention that the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Attorney General “ruled” that the former President’s actions were unconstitutional and illegal. Nor did Obama mention the fact that the new President is the former President’s “Party Deputy” and was the top ranking member of the former President’s Party in Congress. ”Deposed” is not the proper term here, we should be referring to President Zelaya’s impeachment – because with the approval of the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, that is what happened, Zelaya was impeached not deposed.

What happened in Honduras was not a “military takeover”. The Honduran Military is not now in charge. The Honduran Congress and Supreme Court used the Military to prevent a power grab by former President Zeleya. The Honduran Congress, following Honduran Law, has legally appointed a successor to fill the remainder of the former President’s term. The process that was followed is not all that different than the process that would be followed here in the United States.  The Honduran Government, with the exception of Zeleya, remains intact. This was not a “Coup” as the Government did not replace itself, it simply removed an individual who insisted on following a course of unconstitutional and illegal conduct.

International Press reports of the previous week include the following information, “A resolution read on the floor of [Honduran] Congress accuses Zelaya of “manifest irregular conduct” and “putting in present danger the state of law,” for his refusal to obey a Supreme Court ruling against a constitutional referendum he wanted to hold.  Zelaya, a close ally of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was seeking to remove the limits on presidential terms through a referendum, paving the way for his re-election. Later in the day Congress approved the removal of Zelaya, and cited constitutional articles that said the head of congress assumes the presidency in such cases. Honduran congressional leader, Roberto Micheletti, has been designated to replace the ousted president Jose Manuel Zelaya. http://www.presstv.ir/classic/detail.aspx?id=99290&sectionid=351020706 

Zelaya refused to step down. His removal was initiated by the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, not the Military.  

This situation would be analogous to an American President attempting to serve a 3rd term over the objections of Congress, the Supreme Court and in direct violation of the American Constitution. I have to assume an American President attempting to do such a thing would be impeached and jailed, and that if necessary, the U.S. Military would be used by the Congress and the Supreme Court to “protect and defend” the Constitution.    

Why this strange and undemocratic move by Obama. An outright attempt, , by an American President, to prop up an individual who was attempting to subvert his country’s Constitution and violate the very Honduran Election Law he was sworn to uphold.

Why is it that Obama is embracing Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, rather than the democratically elected Government of Honduras. The Honduran Government, in the persons of the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, who were democratically elected  …  those “equal branches of Government” were not attempting to subvert the Honduran Constitution, but were excersing the appropriate “separation of powers”, protecting the people of Honduras from Zelaya’s unlawful attempt to subvert the laws and extend his power.

The shocking thing to me is that Obama has sided with the dictators, Chavez and Castro, again. Chavez and Castro are both megalomanics, they have delusions of omnipotence. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/megalomania . That is why both Castro and Chavez have pursued “life terms” as the Presidents of their respective dictatorships, the same thing that Zelaya was attempting to do in Honduras. Imagine someone really believing that there is no one else qualified to lead the people in their Country, no one else, but themselves. In the entire Country, no one. That is scary. No wonder the Honduran People impeached Zelaya. No wonder the number 2 man in his own Party replaced him with the support of the Honduran Congress.

But what about Obama? Why does he relate to these meglomaniacs who believe they are omnipotent? Why does he side with the “repressors” rather than those who stand for freedom.   

The former Honduran President reminds me of his allies, Chavez and Castro …. the rules only apply to others. The Honduran Constitution only says what he wants it to say. There is no need for a “separation of powers”  …. he wants all the power to himself. We have a very dangerous man in the White House if he agrees with Chavez and Castro rather than with the rule of law or the separation of powers that occurs when you have three ”equal branches” of Government.

If Obama can’t distinguish which of the parties in Honduras acted legally and who did not … he doesn’t deserve to hold his office. One man acting to subvert his Country’s Constitution against his Country’s Congress, Courts and Military, is not “in the right” and once removed from office, is no longer the “democratically elected President”.

What is next for Obama? Will he join Chavez in his threat of a military invasion of Honduras? Will he put our Military on alert? Why is Obama siding with Castro and Chavez against the people of Honduras?  http://article.wn.com/view/2009/06/29/Chavez_threatens_to_invade_as_Honduran_army_stages_coup/

UPDATE : UPDATE : UPDATE

Contrary to the press reports, Honduras has not been “condemned” for its action, in fact those who have spoken out against Honduras are limited in number – Obama, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and the Communist Leader of Nicaragua – Daniel Ortega.

America’s Eurpopean Allies have not spoken out against the Honduran Government – in fact the BBC reports the following:

Interim President Roberto Micheletti has imposed an overnight curfew in Honduras, hours after being sworn in.

The Congress speaker took office after troops ousted elected leader Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica.

The removal of Mr Zelaya came amid a power struggle over his plans for constitutional change.

Mr Zelaya, who had been in office since 2006, wanted to hold a referendum that could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term.

Polls for the referendum had been due to open early on Sunday – but troops instead took him from the presidential palace and flew him out of the country.

The ousting of Manuel Zelaya has been criticised by regional neighbours and the US.

Days of tension

The swearing in of Roberto Micheletti – constitutionally second in line for the presidency – was greeted with applause in Congress.

In a speech, he said that he had not assumed power “under the ignominy of a coup d’etat”.

The army had complied with the constitution, he said, and he had reached the presidency “as the result of an absolutely legal transition process”.

Congress said he would serve until 27 January, when Mr Zelaya’s term was due to expire. Presidential elections are planned for 29 November and Mr Micheletti promised these would go ahead.

Both Congress and the courts had opposed Mr Zelaya’s referendum, which asked Hondurans to endorse a vote on unspecified constitutional changes alongside the November elections.

Tensions over the issue had been escalating for several days, with the army refusing to help with preparations for the referendum.

Just before dawn on Sunday, troops stormed the president’s residence. There was confusion over his whereabouts for several hours before he turned up in Costa Rica. 

Congress said it had voted to remove him because of his “repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions of Government”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8123513.stm

Demint (R-SC) Stands with People of Honduras

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya called it a coup, but the reality is the left-wing leader (who was attempting to unilaterally subvert the Honduran Constitution to consolidate his power and install himself as permanent dictator of the country) was ousted by the other constitutional branches of government which called in the military to help preserve their Constitution.  Honduran citizen Yolanda Campos posted the following comment on ozarkguru’s post the other day:

I’m from Honduras, and this is the first time I read something that tells the truth about what is happening in Honduras. I can’t not believe Obama will support Mel Zelaya knowing, Hugo Chavez is behind all this.

President Obama sided with the UN and his newfound friends, left-wing Latin American radical anti-US zealots Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, in demanding Zelaya’s reinstatement to office.  Imagine, an American President demanding the reinstatement of a wannabe Socialist dictator in a country of the Americas!  Hondurans who cherish democracy and freedom must have been as shocked as Iranian supporters of Mousavi were when the American President slipped out for ice cream without comment on their violent deaths at the hands of Iran’s anti-US theocracy.

Yes, it’s becoming a pattern, seemingly a planned part of Obama’s foreign policy, for the US President to stand against any friend and with any foe to support tyrants, despots, and dictators across the globe.  Fortunately for freedom seekers, the power of our government doesn’t rest solely in the Executive Branch.

Yesterday, Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC) issued a press release in which he recognizes the constitutionality of the events in Honduras. “This is not an ideal transition, but Hondurans are adhering to their constitution. The United States should support the Honduran people and their legitimate leaders in their brave and heroic stand for freedom and the rule of law,” says Demint.

He also admonishes President Obama for his “slap in the face to the people of Honduras.” Demint goes on to add, “I am hopeful that as President Obama grows in office, he will eventually turn away from despots like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, and Zelaya, and give the United States’ full-throated support to the people of any country who are fighting for the same values we cherish and defend in America. The people fighting for freedom around the world, in Iran and Honduras, should never have to wonder which side America will choose between freedom and tyranny.”

I’m glad to see a Republican standing tall on the right side of this issue and condemning our own Socialist President’s defense of Zelaya.

http://americayouaskedforit.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/demint-r-sc-stands-with-people-of-honduras/

July 3, 2009

Hands Off Honduras!

By Patrick Buchanan

Last Saturday, Honduran soldiers marched into the presidential palace, bundled up President Manuel Zelaya and put him on a plane for Costa Rica.

The ouster had been ordered by the Supreme Court and approved by the Congress, as Zelaya was attempting an illegal referendum to change the Honduran constitution so he could run for another term.

Will someone please explain why this bloodless transfer of power to the civilian legislator first in line for the presidency, in a sovereign nation, is any business of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Hugo Chavez, the Castro brothers or Barack Obama? For all have denounced the “coup” and demanded Zelaya’s immediate return.

“We have established a democratic government, and we will not cede to pressure from anyone. We are a sovereign country,” said Roberto Micheletti, who was named caretaker president to serve out Zelaya’s term, which ends this year.

Unlike Tehran, where hundreds of thousands protested the election, the streets of Tegucigalpa have remained calm. No one has been shot, beaten with clubs or run down by thugs on motorcycles.

Just whose side is Barack on in Latin America?

Though elected as a center-right candidate, Zelaya has moved into the orbit of Chavez, whose idea it was to change the Honduran constitution to get Zelaya another term. Hugo even provided the ballots. In Latin America, term limits have been written into constitutions to prevent a return to the time of the dictators and presidents-for-life. The folks who put Zelaya aboard that plane are friends of the United States.

Like Barack’s strange behavior in Trinidad, where he grinned away as Chavez handed him an anti-American tract, then listened for an hour to Daniel Ortega berate us for cruelty to Castro’s Cuba, without protest or retort, Obama is coming off as one who shares the international left’s view of the United States.

There is another issue raised by Obama’s denunciation of our friends in Honduras. Does he put ideology ahead of U.S. national interests?

What comes first with Obama?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/03/hands_off_honduras_97288.html
July 3, 2009

Wrong Again

By Oliver North

WASHINGTON — It took the Obama administration eight days to figure out whether Iranians being gunned down for protesting a fraudulent election and demanding basic civil liberties deserved to be acknowledged by the president of the United States. It took the O-Team less than eight hours to side with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega over the ouster of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.

As we now have come to expect, Mr. Obama got it wrong again, but this time, nobody noticed. The U.S. news media, preoccupied with the sudden demise of Michael Jackson, ignored the event in Central America. For those who care about things more important than the passing of a “pop music legend,” here’s the rest of the story:

Manuel Zelaya, a wealthy rancher and agribusiness executive and a self-described “poor farmer,” won a four-year term as Honduran president in November 2005, with 49.8 percent of the vote. Article 374 of the Honduran Constitution bars the nation’s chief executive from serving consecutive terms. Apparently, one term wasn’t enough for Zelaya, a protégé of Venezuela’s strongman, Hugo Chavez, and Nicaragua’s phobic anti-American leader, Daniel Ortega.

Late last year, as the Honduran economy tanked and unemployment grew to nearly 28 percent, Zelaya forced Elvin Santos, the country’s elected vice president, to resign and began holding conversations with Chavez and Ortega on how to hold on to power. In lengthy Chavez-like populist speeches, he denounced the U.S. and wealthy landowners and linked himself with leftists in the Honduran labor movement. On March 23, he issued an executive decree directing a national referendum on a Venezuela-style constituent assembly to rewrite the country’s constitution in time for presidential and legislative elections in November. The Obama-Clinton State Department was mute about all of this.

Unfortunately for Zelaya’s aspirations, the Honduran Constitution requires that amendments be passed by a two-thirds vote of the country’s unicameral Congress during two consecutive sessions. By late May, the Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, the commissioner for human rights, and the Honduran electoral tribunal all had overwhelmingly declared the referendum unconstitutional. Zelaya ignored the people’s representatives, had ballots printed in Venezuela (by Hugo Chavez’s Government), and announced that the vote would take place June 28. Again, the O-Team was silent.

In keeping with the rule of law, Honduran Attorney General Luis Alberto Rubi took the case to court. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal and ordered the ballots to be confiscated. Late on June 23, Zelaya countermanded the court order and directed the army to distribute the ballots. Gen. Romeo Vasquez, the chief of staff of the Honduran military, sought legal opinions and decided not to distribute them. The following day, Zelaya accepted the resignation of the minister of defense, Edmundo Orellana, and fired Vasquez.   http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/03/wrong_again_97287.html

Honduran Democracy Threatened By Obama In Obama’s Bid To Support Hugo Chavez & Fidel Castro

New Honduran President, Roberto Micheletti, vows  impeached President Zelaya won’t return.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras’ interim President,  Roberto Micheletti, warned that the only way his predecessor will return to office is through a foreign invasion, setting up a dramatic showdown with the ousted or impeached president who is preparing to come home accompanied by world leaders.

The Honduran Congress and Supreme Court, following the Honduran Constitution, appointed Micheletti, to service the remaindser of Zelaya’s term. Under the Honduran Constitution, Micheletti, as the leading memeber of Zelaya’s Party in Congress, was first in the line of succession.  

Zelaya “has already committed crimes against the constitution and the law,” said Micheletti, who belongs to Zelaya’s Liberal Party and was named interim leader by Congress following the coup. “He can no longer return to the presidency of the republic unless a president from another Latin American country comes and imposes him using guns.”

Soldiers stormed Zelaya’s residence and flew him into exile early Sunday, after he insisted on trying to hold a referendum asking Hondurans if they wanted to reform the constitution. The Supreme Court, Congress and the military all deemed his planned ballot illegal.

Zelaya, who is an ally of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, backed down from the referendum Tuesday, saying at the United Nations that he would no longer push for the constitutional changes he wanted. (Sounds like Zelaya is a dollar short and a day late – the Honduran Supreme Court, Attorney General and Congress have already convicted him and following the Honduran Constitution, removed Zelaya from office – why does he expect a “redo” now).

One of several clauses that cannot be legally altered in the Honduran constitution limits presidents to a single, 4-year term, and Congress claims Zelaya, whose term ends in January, modified the ballot question at the last minute to help him eventually try to seek re-election. Chavez has used referendums in Venezuela to win the right to run repeatedly.

“I’m not going to hold a constitutional assembly,” Zelaya said. “And if I’m offered the chance to stay in power, I won’t. I’m going to serve my four years.” (Zelaya had attempted to change the Honduran Constitution with calling a Constitutional Assembly, after refusing to follow the legal decisions of the Honduran Supreme Court and directives of Congress, Zelaya attempted to use the Military to hold his illegal referedum, however, the Military refused to follow his illegal orders and the Honduran Congress then “impeached” Zelaya).

“No one can make me resign if I do not violate the laws of the country,” President Micheletti said. “If there is any invasion against our country, 7.5 million Hondurans will be ready to defend our territory and our laws and our homeland and our government.”

Micheletti said it was too late for Zelaya to avoid arrest.

His foreign minister, Enrique Ortez, threw a wild card onto the table, telling CNN en Espanol that Zelaya had been letting drug traffickers ship U.S.-bound cocaine from Venezuela through Honduras. Ortez said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was aware of Zelaya’s ties to organized crime.

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne could neither confirm nor deny a DEA investigation.

The U.S. government stood firmly by Zelaya, however, with State Department spokesman Ian Kelly saying Washington saw no acceptable solution other than Zelaya’s return to power. He said the United States was considering cutting off aid to Honduras, which includes $215 million over four years from the U.S.-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090701/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_honduras_coup

Just what the hell is Obama doing? Siding with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro in an attempt to keep a drug smuggling dictator in power after he has been legally impeached by his Country’s Government. Was Zelaya running a Chicago based “Import Business” with Obama political cronies? 

See Original Post Here:

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/obama-sides-with-fidel-castro-hugo-chavez-refuses-to-recognize-legality-of-impeachment-former-honduran-president-zelaya/

Honduran Attorney General: Ousted President Faces Possible 20-Year Sentence

 TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras  —  Hondura’s attorney general says ousted President Manuel Zelaya will be arrested “as soon as he puts a foot on Honduran soil.”
 

 

Luis Alberto Rubi tells a news conference on Tuesday that Zelaya faces numerous charges that carry sentences “of at least 20 years in prison.” 

Honduras’ attorney general is independent of the president and had called for the president’s removal before Congress, the Supreme Court and military to overthrow him.

President Barack Obama said Zelaya remains “the democratically elected president.”

The man Honduras’ Congress named as interim president, Roberto Micheletti, said Zelaya risks arrest if he returns because “the courts of my country have issued arrest orders.”

Micheletti, speaking to Colombia’s Caracol Radio on Tuesday, insisted it was Zelaya who had violated the constitution and that his court-ordered removal was legal.

“We have not committed a coup d’etat, but a constitutional succession,” he said.

About 5,000 anti-Zelaya demonstrators gathered at a main plaza in Tegucigalpa on Tuesday to celebrate his ouster.

“Freedom has won, peace has triumphed, Honduras has won,” newly appointed deputy foreign minister Marta Lorena Casco told the crowd. She said Zelaya had planned to make the country a socialist pawn. “Chavez consumed Venezuela, then Bolivia, after that Ecuador and Nicaragua, but in Honduras that didn’t happen,” she said.

The U.S. military, which has close ties with the Honduran military leaders, tried to avoid getting caught up in the dispute.

The more than 800 U.S. military personnel at the Honduran Soto Cano air base were restricted to base except for “mission-essential” tasks such as flying helicopters to the hospital ship Comfort, which is on a humanitarian mission in Nicaragua, said Jose Ruiz, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Southern Command, based in Miami.

The base, 60 miles from the capital, is used for counternarcotics, disaster relief and medical and civil engineering missions.

Asked if Zelaya could one day return to power stronger than ever, Micheletti said that “it’s not about sympathy, it’s not about being a martyr, but simply that we are following the letter of the law which he did not respect.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,529587,00.html

CONTACT CONGRESS NOW AND DEMAND THAT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES  SUPPORT DEMOCRACY IN HONDURAS: http://www.usa.gov/Contact.shtml

Obama Sides With Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez – Refuses To Recognize Legality Of Impeachment – Former Honduran President Zelaya

Have you seen this article ……….

Obama says Honduran ouster was ‘not legal’

AP

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer 20 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday 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,” deepening the chasm between the Central American nation and ……..  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_honduras

Want to know the “rest of the story”?

http://nuestravoice.com/?p=3029

Why does Obama state the “Coup”, if it was a “Coup” wasn’t legal.

The term “Coup” has a specific legal meaning. It refers to “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 appropriate mechanisms outlined under it’s Constitution, it is not a “Coup”, but a legally authorized act of State.

What happend in Honduras was not a Coup, but a preservation of the Democracy outlined in the Honduran Constitution.  

Honduras has a Constitution which was last updated and ratified in 1982. “President Zelaya was elected in 2006 to a four-year term. The 1982 constitution bans re-election.” http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/ Presdient Manual Zelaya was attempting to subvert the the Honduran Constitution and stand for re-election, when that is prohibited under Honduran law. Procedures exist in Honduras for “changing” or “amending” the Constitution, however, President Zelaya was attempting to subvert that legal and Constitutional process in Honduras. Zelaya’s attempt to change the Honduran Constitution was declared “illegal” and “unconstitutional” by both the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Congress. Two of the three branches of Honduras’ Democratically elected Government. Those Branches of Governemnt moved against President Zelaya and removed him from power, not the Military. The Military was simply the tool employed by the People’s Government to secure their freedom.    

President Zelaya ordered the Military to illegally help him subvert the Honduran Constitution, the very Constitution that the Military is sworn to uphold. In Honduras, like in the United States, the Military and Polticians take an oath to “uphold” or “protect and defend” the Constitution, not an oath to support any particular party or politician. Not since the days of Adolph Hitler has a military sworn allegiance to a “leader” or “Furher” rather than to the Country they serve.

When President Zelaya ordered the Military to assist in his violation of the Honduran Constitution, the Miliitary, at the direction of the Congress and the Supreme Court, removed the President from office rather than follow the President’s  illegal orders. http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/ 

Two days before President Zelaya was “deposed”, Zelaya “fired” the Honduran Military Chief of Staff, General Romeo Vasquez. The dismissal came, not for failing to follow orders, but for failing to support President Zelaya’s unconstitutional attempt to extend his term in office. http://beltwayblips.dailyradar.com/story/coup_in_honduras/  The heads of the Honduran Army, Navy and Air Force then resigned rather than accept Zelaya’s illegal orders.  

You might like to know who President Zelaya’s biggest supporters have been in the past …. Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan dictator who jails and kills opposition candidates in his Country, and Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba. What Chavez and Castro know about “fair elections” wouldn’t fill a thimble. Chavez and Castro head two of the most repressive governments in the world.  

Reports from Honduras state, “ The country now has another president appointed by its Congress, Roberto Micheletti, who insisted that Zelaya was legally removed by the Courts and Congress for violating Honduras’ constitution and attempting to extend his own rule.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_honduras

The Zelaya ouster came hours before polls were to open on a constitutional referendum that Zelaya was pushing ahead even after the Supreme Court and the Attorney General said it was illegal. The constitution bars changes to some of its clauses, such as the ban on a president serving more than one term.                                                                                                  http://www.startribune.com/world/49380887.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiacyKUnciaec8O7EyUr

Congress voted to accept what it said was Zelaya’s letter of resignation, with even Zelaya’s former allies turning against him. Congressional leader Roberto Micheletti was sworn in to serve until Jan. 27 when Zelaya’s term ends. Micheletti belongs to Zelaya’s Liberal Party, but opposed the president in the referendum. “My slogan will be the reconciliation of the grand family of Hondurans … and a grand national dialogue,” Micheletti said after Congress gave the military a long standing ovation. http://www.startribune.com/world/49380887.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiacyKUnciaec8O7EyUr

Funny that President Obama neglects to mention that the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Attorney General “ruled” that the former President’s actions were unconstitutional and illegal. Nor did Obama mention the fact that the new President is the former President’s “Party Deputy” and was the top ranking member of the former President’s Party in Congress. ”Deposed” is not the proper term here, we should be referring to President Zelaya’s impeachment – because with the approval of the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, that is what happened, Zelaya was impeached not deposed.

What happened in Honduras was not a “military takeover”. The Honduran Military is not now in charge. The Honduran Congress and Supreme Court used the Military to prevent a power grab by former President Zeleya. The Honduran Congress, following Honduran Law, has legally appointed a successor to fill the remainder of the former President’s term. The process that was followed is not all that different than the process that would be followed here in the United States.  The Honduran Government, with the exception of Zeleya, remains intact. This was not a “Coup” as the Government did not replace itself, it simply removed an individual who insisted on following a course of unconstitutional and illegal conduct.

International Press reports of the previous week include the following information, “A resolution read on the floor of [Honduran] Congress accuses Zelaya of “manifest irregular conduct” and “putting in present danger the state of law,” for his refusal to obey a Supreme Court ruling against a constitutional referendum he wanted to hold.  Zelaya, a close ally of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was seeking to remove the limits on presidential terms through a referendum, paving the way for his re-election. Later in the day Congress approved the removal of Zelaya, and cited constitutional articles that said the head of congress assumes the presidency in such cases. Honduran congressional leader, Roberto Micheletti, has been designated to replace the ousted president Jose Manuel Zelaya. http://www.presstv.ir/classic/detail.aspx?id=99290&sectionid=351020706 

Zelaya refused to step down. His removal was initiated by the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, not the Military.  

This situation would be analogous to an American President attempting to serve a 3rd term over the objections of Congress, the Supreme Court and in direct violation of the American Constitution. I have to assume an American President attempting to do such a thing would be impeached and jailed, and that if necessary, the U.S. Military would be used by the Congress and the Supreme Court to “protect and defend” the Constitution.    

Why this strange and undemocratic move by Obama. An outright attempt, , by an American President, to prop up an individual who was attempting to subvert his country’s Constitution and violate the very Honduran Election Law he was sworn to uphold.

Why is it that Obama is embracing Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, rather than the democratically elected Government of Honduras. The Honduran Government, in the persons of the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, who were democratically elected  …  those “equal branches of Government” were not attempting to subvert the Honduran Constitution, but were excersing the appropriate “separation of powers”, protecting the people of Honduras from Zelaya’s unlawful attempt to subvert the laws and extend his power.

The shocking thing to me is that Obama has sided with the dictators, Chavez and Castro, again. Chavez and Castro are both megalomanics, they have delusions of omnipotence. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/megalomania . That is why both Castro and Chavez have pursued “life terms” as the Presidents of their respective dictatorships, the same thing that Zelaya was attempting to do in Honduras. Imagine someone really believing that there is no one else qualified to lead the people in their Country, no one else, but themselves. In the entire Country, no one. That is scary. No wonder the Honduran People impeached Zelaya. No wonder the number 2 man in his own Party replaced him with the support of the Honduran Congress.

But what about Obama? Why does he relate to these meglomaniacs who believe they are omnipotent? Why does he side with the “repressors” rather than those who stand for freedom.   

The former Honduran President reminds me of his allies, Chavez and Castro …. the rules only apply to others. The Honduran Constitution only says what he wants it to say. There is no need for a “separation of powers”  …. he wants all the power to himself. We have a very dangerous man in the White House if he agrees with Chavez and Castro rather than with the rule of law or the separation of powers that occurs when you have three ”equal branches” of Government.

If Obama can’t distinguish which of the parties in Honduras acted legally and who did not … he doesn’t deserve to hold his office. One man acting to subvert his Country’s Constitution against his Country’s Congress, Courts and Military, is not “in the right” and once removed from office, is no longer the “democratically elected President”.

What is next for Obama? Will he join Chavez in his threat of a military invasion of Honduras? Will he put our Military on alert? Why is Obama siding with Castro and Chavez against the people of Honduras?  http://article.wn.com/view/2009/06/29/Chavez_threatens_to_invade_as_Honduran_army_stages_coup/

UPDATE : UPDATE : UPDATE

Contrary to the press reports, Honduras has not been “condemned” for its action, in fact those who have spoken out against Honduras are limited in number – Obama, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and the Communist Leader of Nicaragua – Daniel Ortega.

America’s Eurpopean Allies have not spoken out against the Honduran Government – in fact the BBC reports the following:

Interim President Roberto Micheletti has imposed an overnight curfew in Honduras, hours after being sworn in.

The Congress speaker took office after troops ousted elected leader Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica.

The removal of Mr Zelaya came amid a power struggle over his plans for constitutional change.

Mr Zelaya, who had been in office since 2006, wanted to hold a referendum that could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term.

Polls for the referendum had been due to open early on Sunday – but troops instead took him from the presidential palace and flew him out of the country.

The ousting of Manuel Zelaya has been criticised by regional neighbours and the US.

Days of tension

The swearing in of Roberto Micheletti – constitutionally second in line for the presidency – was greeted with applause in Congress.

In a speech, he said that he had not assumed power “under the ignominy of a coup d’etat”.

The army had complied with the constitution, he said, and he had reached the presidency “as the result of an absolutely legal transition process”.

Congress said he would serve until 27 January, when Mr Zelaya’s term was due to expire. Presidential elections are planned for 29 November and Mr Micheletti promised these would go ahead.

Both Congress and the courts had opposed Mr Zelaya’s referendum, which asked Hondurans to endorse a vote on unspecified constitutional changes alongside the November elections.

Tensions over the issue had been escalating for several days, with the army refusing to help with preparations for the referendum.

Just before dawn on Sunday, troops stormed the president’s residence. There was confusion over his whereabouts for several hours before he turned up in Costa Rica. 

Congress said it had voted to remove him because of his “repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions of Government”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8123513.stm

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