Not even our own State Department is calling what occurred in Honduras over the weekend a “coup.” What’s more, Hillary Clinton’s refusal to brand the military’s legal ouster of President Zeyala a coup puts her seemingly at odds with the Obama White House.
Once again, our Keystone Kops foreign policy makes us look ridiculous when the president brands the action “illegal” while the State Department rejects that term “coup.”
Mary Beth Sheridan of the Washington Post:
President Obama said yesterday that the military ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was illegal and could set a “terrible precedent,” but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States government was holding off on formally branding it a coup, which would trigger a cutoff of millions of dollars in aid to the impoverished Central American country.
Clinton’s statement appeared to reflect the U.S. government’s caution amid fast-moving events in Honduras, where Zelaya was detained and expelled by the military on Sunday. The United States has joined other countries throughout the hemisphere in condemning the coup. But leaders face a difficult task in trying to restore Zelaya to office in a nation where the National Congress, military and Supreme Court have accused him of attempting a power grab through a special referendum.
Peter Hakim, president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, said the situation presented a dilemma for the United States and other countries. Zelaya is “fighting with all the institutions in the country,” Hakim said. “He’s in no condition really to govern. At the same time, to stand by and allow him to be pushed out by the military reverses a course of 20 years.”
As facts begin to emerge about what Zeyala was up to, it becomes crystal clear why the military, the Congress, and the Supreme Court all felt the necessity to act. Fausta Wertz has been doing a fantastic job of translating Latin American press accounts and brings us information on the reasons for the military action:
Here is more information on Mel Zelaya’s move:
- Zelaya couldn’t get the ballots printed in Honduras since the referendum had been pronounced illegal by the country’s Supreme Court AND the electoral board. Therefore, the government couldn’t print them. No private printer was willing to break the law, either. So Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela and flown in.
- The Supreme Court instructed the military (who would be the ones doing the job) NOT to distribute the ballots to the polling stations.
- Zelaya then
led thousands of supporters to recover the material from an air force warehouse before it could be confiscated.
His supporters broke into the military installation where the ballots were kept.
- Zelaya’s supporters started distributing the ballots at 15,000 voting stations across the country. This act placed him in outright defiance of the law, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court.
- When the armed forces refused to distribute the ballots, Zelaya fired the chief of the armed forces, Gen. Romeo Vásquez, and the defense minister, the head of the army and the air force resigned in protest. The country’s Supreme Court voted unanimously that Vásquez be reinstated.
- Tuesday last week the Honduran Congress, led by members of his own party, passed a law preventing the holding of referendums or plebiscites 180 days before or after general elections.
- The Honduran Congress, led by members of his own party, named a commission to investigate Zelaya. The Commission found (my translation: If you quote it, please credit me and link to this post)
Zelaya acted against the mandates of legal and electoral laws, the Public Ministry, the National Congress, the Attorney General, and other institutions of the State, which had declared the poll illegal
- On Thursday (h/t GoV) the Attorney General requested that Congress impeach Zelaya
- The position of the Honduran Congress, the Supreme Court, and the attorney general is that the Constitution is to be strictly adhered to.
This is the story not being told by the White House, the State Department, most of the mainstream press, and liberal blogs who have their panties in a twist and are close to apoplexy because Obama isn’t sending in the Marines to restore the Chavez stooge to power.
Roberto Lovato at the Huffington Post manages to write almost 1,000 words without once referring to any of the illegal, extra-constitutional actions taken by Zelaya and instead, refers to “street demonstrations” that Fausta reports is being led by Nicarauguan and Venezuelan bully boys. And in a burst of surrealism worthy of Salvadore Dali, Lovato compares these staged street demonstration by foreign thugs with the demonstrators in Iran:
Viewed from a distance, the streets of Honduras look, smell and sound like those of Iran: expressions of popular anger - burning vehicles, large marches and calls for justice in a non-English language - aimed at a constitutional violation of the people’s will (the coup took place on the eve of a poll of voters asking if the President’s term should be extended); protests repressed by a small, but powerful elite backed by military force; those holding power trying to cut off communications in and out of the country.
These and other similarities between the political situation in Iran and the situation in Honduras, where military and economic and political elites ousted democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya in a military coup condemned around the world, are obvious.
But when viewed from the closer physical (Miami is just 800 miles from Honduras) and historical proximity of the United States, the differences between Iran and Honduras are marked and clear in important ways: the M-16’s pointing at this very moment at the thousands of peaceful protesters are paid for with U.S. tax dollars and still carry a “Made in America” label; the military airplane in which they kidnapped and exiled President Zelaya was purchased with the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid the Honduran government has been the benefactor of since the Cold War military build-up that began in 1980’s;
That’s quite an original spin. Zeyala “kidnapped?” Late word is that he resigned and asked for safe passage out of the country. This was granted and he was flown to Costa Rica. Don’t even bother with the laughable comparison with Iran. Those demonstrators in Honduras are not being shot down in cold blood, axed to death, or even beaten within an inch of their lives.
And the dark hints that the US is to blame because we supplied M-16’s to a friendly government is beyond ludicrous. It’s loony. Perhaps if Lovato made even a small attempt to explain Zeyala’s illegal actions, he might have a smidgen of credibility. But in true leftist fashion, he leaves out the facts to spin his anti-American diatribe.
Once more, with feeling: Zeyala was removed by the military who were acting under the orders of the Supreme Court. Zeyala’s own party in Congress has now helped impeach him. Zeyala’s extra-constitutional actions threatened Honduran independence and the rule of law.
What’s so hard to understand about that? What’s “illegal” about it? A leftist stooge of Chavez has been removed. This is an event that should be cheered by an American president. Instead, Obama subsumes American interests to curry favor with leftists in Latin America and Europe.
It won’t work. They despise us anyway, no matter what Obama does. The more he apologizes and sides with them in international disputes, the more they hold him and the US in contempt.
If Obama is seeking to make the world like us, the only way that will happen is if we completely disarm, withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere), and agree to abide by whatever the UN says we should do in any international crisis.
As Dirty Harry said; ‘That’s a high price to pay for being stylish.”