A Victorious Ending For The Honduran People – New President Takes Office – Deposed Zelaya Returns to Exile

New Honduran president takes office; ex-leader goes into exile

As a new Honduran President, Porfirio Lobo, took office, disgraced and deposed former President Manuel Zelaya flew into permanent exile in the Dominican Republic this past Wednesday. An agreement, brokered earlier in the week, allowed Zelaya to return to exile and avoid a criminal trial for some of the charges that led to his ouster by the military last summer.

Zelaya, accompanied by his wife, two children and President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, left Honduras just hours after Porfirio Lobo was sworn in as president.

Under an arrangement brokered by President Fernandez, Zelaya agreed to abandon the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he had hid since this past September, and to leave the country as President Lobo took his oath of office.

“We’ll be back,” Zelaya shouted before boarding the plane. Zeleya’s comments seemed hollow as there is little support for his return in Honduras.  

Lobo, a conservative rancher elected in November, escorted Zelaya to the airport in a long caravan, according to Honduran television. 

“We leave the past behind now and look toward the future,” President Lobo said after being sworn in. “But you cannot advance to the future without healing the wounds of the past.”

Lobo’s first act as president was to sign a decree granting political amnesty for Zelaya. The measure, approved a day earlier by the Honduran Congress, does not grant amnesty for embezzlement charges that the former president may face.

The Honduarn Supreme Court exonerated six top military officers, including the military chief of staff, ruling that they did not act with malice when they rounded up Zelaya on June 28 and flew him to Costa Rica. The ruling had been expected as the military officers had been acting on instructions from the Supreme Court and the Honduarn Congress. The Honduran Supreme Court ruling repudiates the claims made by Zelaya in the international press.

Later Zelaya, under cover of night and with the assistance of the Brazilian Government, snuck back into Honduras and hid in the Brazilian Embassy.  Zelaya’s embarrassing bid to reclaim his office proved fruitless.

This past summer the Honduran Supreme Court ordered Zelaya’s arrest for abuse of power, treason and other charges after he refused to drop plans for a referendum that had been ruled illegal and that the Honduran Congress said was aimed at helping him stay in power beyond the one-term limit mandated by the Honduran Constitution.

At the time the Democratically elected Government of Honduras agreed with the Honduran Supreme Court and refused to reinstate Zelaya to office despite international complaints. 

Inexplicably, the United States cut off aid to Honduras and yanked the visas of some Honduran officials working in the interim government, a government led by interim President Roberto Micheletti. Despite the fact that Micheletti, the second ranking member of Zelaya’s political party, a party that turned against the deposed leader and supported his ouster, was acting in a Constitutionally appropriate manner, the Obama Adminsitration sided with Zelaya and cut off aid to one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Diplomatic pressure against Honduras waned even before President Lobo won election, an election that was scheduled long before Zelaya’s arrest for illegal conduct.

There were signs Wednesday that the some of the world would soon normalize relations with the new government. In the United States, public outrage against the Obama Adminsitration’s stance in support of Zelaya had tied the Administrations hands and prevented any meaningful support for the deposed Dictator.

Obama’s ally, Dictator Hugo Chavez of Venzuella, had threatened an invasion of Honduras to restore Zelaya to power.

The leftist president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, did not attend the inauguration but has said he would restore diplomatic ties once President Lobo took office.

President Lobo said Tuesday that he expected the United States would soon restore millions of dollars in humanitarian aid.

A senior State Department official said although the U.S. government views the first moves of the new Honduran government as “positive,” no decision has been made on aid. 

(CONTACT CONGRESS HERE AND DEMAND THAT HONDURAN AID BE REINSTATED NOW: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml )

 

Deposed Honduran Dictator Zelaya Claims “Israeli’s are attacking me with radiation and poison gases”.

What a nut job – Boy our President can really pick them can’t he. First Chavez and now Zeleya ………

They’re torturing me, Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya claims –

Honduras’ fallen leader told The Miami Herald he is being subjected to mind-altering gas and radiation — and that `Israeli mercenaries’ are planning to assassinate him.

TEGUCIGALPA — It’s been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He’s sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and “Israeli mercenaries” are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.

“We are being threatened with death,” he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.

Zelaya said he is being subjected to toxic gases and radiation that alter his physical and mental state.

Israeli government sources in Miami said they could not confirm the presence of any “Israelis mercenaries” in Honduras.

Micheletti took Zelaya’s place after the military, executing a Supreme Court arrest warrant, burst into Zelaya’s house and forced him into exile. The country’s military, congress, Supreme Court and economic leaders have backed the ouster, arguing that Zelaya was bent on conducting an illegal plebiscite that they feared would ultimately lead to his ceasing power unconstitutionally and naming himself President for life.

“The embassy has been turned into a bunker for Zelaya,” Assistant Foreign Minister Martha Lorena Alvarado de Casco told The Herald. “He’s turned it into his headquarters, and he is using it to call for insurrection.”

(Brazil has severed diplomatic ties with Honduras, so the “former” Brazilan Embassy (you can’t have an Embassy in Country you don’t have diplomatic relations with), has no special protections under international law. The former Brazilian Embassy is just anotherr office building now. As Zeleya was removed from office legally, his calls for insurrection are acts of treason and the Honduran Government would be within the law to arrest Zeleya for treason …… The Honduran Government obviously recognizes the fact that Zelaya is just as “bonkers” as Quadiffi of Libya …… and has todate refrained from taking Zeleya into custody).

New Honduran elections had been scheduled for this November (2009) and are still scheduled to proceed. Zeleya was prohibited by the Honduran Constitution for running for re-election. Zelaya was replaced by his party’s second in command – current President Roberto Micheletti. Presdient Micheletti is also prohibited from running for re-election because the Honduran Constitution prohibits running for a second Presidential term.    

 

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

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