Sunday, July 12, 2009

Evidence Mel Zelaya Wanted to Overthrow Honduras Democratic Republic

Saturday's post: Honduras, Defendiendo nuestra Democracia!!!, inspired some bull in the comments, from "Bud". I'm replying here, and citing data which indicates that Mel Zelaya represented a serious threat against the freedom of the Honduran people.

Bud says:
"Boy you guys sure relied on the 'Zelaya was trying to be president for life' line"

Bull. It's such bull that I wonder if you are a sock puppet doing damage control for David Axelrod. If you are not being paid to comment here, then your reading comprehension could not overcome the movie which was already playing in your head. Read again. Or, possibly: read the blogpost for the first time. I did not focus on "President for Life", but instead focused on legal justifications for the actions of the Honduran Government.

I pointed to Zelaya's burglary of the ballots. I pointed to Zelaya's flouting of the rulings of the Honduran Supreme Court - including Zelaya's conspiring to hold an illegal "poll". I pointed to Zelaya's escalation of a political disagreement into lawlessness and treason. I pointed to Zelaya's legally ousting himself from office, according to Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution. I pointed to Zelaya's available political/electoral means for achieving his goal: he could have led the Honduran Congress in ordering a national referendum on rewriting the Constitution. Instead, Zelaya chose extra-legal action. He deserved arrest.

Bud says:
"[that Zelaya wants to be President for Life] has been repeatedly shown to be a lie"

Also bull.

First, name a Zelaya action which indicates he doesn't want to be President for an additional term. To my knowledge, no such Zelaya action has occurred. His only two stated justifications for rewriting the Constitution are not barred by the current Constitution. Honduras News, from May 25:
He has stated several times that the constitution has been repeatedly violated by politicians and that it needs to be adapted to the new “national reality.” Zelaya has not precisely spelled out what changes would be necessary to make in order to adapt the country’s social contract to that new national reality. Zelaya announced on May 22 that the new constitution would include direct democracy initiatives such as popular referendums and recall elections. However, the current constitution already contains provisions for popular referendums and does not expressly prohibit recall elections. Zelaya’s recent legal oversteps have led some to worry about what a new constitution would signify for the country and Zelaya’s fidelity to the concept of constitutionalism.

Second, data/evidence exist which show Zelaya wants to be President for at least one additional term.

Consider: Zelaya could have led the Honduran Congress in changing or eliminating 368 articles of the Honduran Constitution. The 27 year old Honduran Constitution has already had 121 of it’s articles lawfully changed or amended. There are only 7 articles of the Honduran Constitution which cannot be changed without rewriting the entire Constitution. One of those 7 unalterable articles is about Presidential term limit of only 1 term. Miguel Estrada explicates in this excellent L.A. Times piece.

Zelaya has not specified which of the 7 unalterable provisions he wanted changed, and why. If Zelaya wants to rewrite the entire Constitution for virtuous and just purposes, you'd think he would specify what those virtuous and just purposes are. All we get from Zelaya is: vagueness, misleading claims (as in excerpt from Honduras News), and trust me.

More info which points to Zelaya's guilt:

"The arrest order she [Honduran Supreme Court Justice Cruz] cited, approved unanimously by the court’s 15 justices, was released this afternoon along with documents pertaining to a secret investigation that went on for weeks under the high court’s supervision.
David Matamoros, a member of Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal, also defended the military’s action. He said Zelaya originally called the vote a plebiscite, then, when that was barred [the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that only the Honduran Congress could call such an election], shifted to describing it as a poll, creating uncertainty as to its legal standing and his intent. No government agency was willing to conduct the vote, he said. All the ballots and equipment for the illegal poll were flown in on a Venezuelan plane, he said. The court ordered the materials confiscated."
Miami Herald:
After the Honduran supreme court ruled that only the country’s congress could call such an election, Zelaya ordered the army to help him stage it anyway. (It would be ”non-binding,” he said.) When the head of the armed forces, acting on orders from the supreme court, refused, Zelaya fired him, then led a mob to break into a military base where the ballots were stored. His actions have been repudiated by the country’s supreme court, its congress, its attorney-general, its chief human-rights advocate, all its major churches, its main business association, his own political party (which recently began debating an inquiry into Zelaya’s sanity)
Honduras News(in an informative 5/25/09 article about Zelaya's history):
Honduran political analyst Juan Ramon Martinez [says] we are witnessing a concerted effort on Zelaya’s part to discredit some of the country’s key democratic institutions in order to possibly extend his rule. “There appears to be a set of tactics aimed at discrediting institutions…he has repeated on several occasions that democratic institutions are worthless and that democracy has not helped at all,” said Martinez.
Update: In WSJOnline, Mary Anastasia O'Grady details some of Zelaya's anti-democratic shenanigans.

Update 2: neo-neocon:
Honduras is facing something that has happened before, in many times and many places. But to recognize what’s been occurring there and what it signifies, one must know something about history, most particularly about how such power grabs occur. Then the patterns become clear.
The way is clear: tyrants very often use “democracy” as an excuse to get the people to override a constitution and grant them what turns out to be dictatorial, or near-dictatorial, powers, as well as the ability to extend or abolish term limits and stay in power longer than the constitution says (and in many cases indefinitely). Once the rules are changed about term limits, and power is consolidated and the voting apparatus compromised, staying in power is a relatively easy matter, really a trifle.
Barack doesn't know history. Worse, Barack "knows" a leftist view of history which doesn't jibe with reality.* Samuel Clemens:
It ain’t what he don’t know, but what he does know that ain’t so.

Bud says:
"Michiletti has broken more constitutional law in two weeks than Zelaya did in three and a half years"

A flat out lie. If you have evidence, show it. Sans evidence, your claim is a waste of cyberspace.

Bud says:
"and yet you continue to support his coup"

"coup": is misguided terminology.

Merriam Webster Online definition:
coup de’ etat: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics ; especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group
Was this truly: “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics”? Or, was this justified policing?

The sudden, decisive exercise of force occurred when Zelaya’s mob broke into the building and stole the ballots.

A decisive exercise of force was scheduled to occur if Zelaya and compatriots forcibly conducted his "poll" on June 29.

Does maintaining civil order in a volatile environment - i.e. rumors of imported Chavez-thugs from Venezuela plotting to vandalize - constitute “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics”? I think not. The sudden decisive exercise of force in politics would be generated by the Chavez-thugs, and not by the police attempting to maintain civil order.

The entire characterization, “coup”, skews reality. The only change of power concerned exchanging Presidents. Honduras Democratic Republic continues forward, exactly as before. No group seized power. The Honduran people maintain the right of self-determination. The current President has announced he will not run for office in the November elections.

Bud says:
"what was the big deal in allowing a lawful (it WAS lawful too) vote of the people to express their opinion?"

It was unlawful according to: the Honduran Attorney-General, the Honduran Supreme Court, the Honduran Congress (in a 123-5 vote).

It was only lawful according to Zelaya, his socialist friends (Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega), and certain misguided dupes and useful fools (including Barack Obama, and including you: "Bud McKinney").

Bud says:
"Did it require a military takeover (and the military IS in charge now)"

Evidence, please. I see no evidence to support your assertion that the military is in charge. The new President and the old Congress continue governing the nation.

Ferdsblog makes in interesting argument about the strategic necessity for Honduras to deport Zelaya: had Zelaya remained in Honduras, Chavez would have had excuse to take military action inside Honduras, in order to rescue Zelaya, to rescue the Honduran people, and to rescue law and order. With Zelaya deported, with constitutional democracy continuing as before, Chavez has little justification for military action (unless he can import thugs to create "civil unrest").

Ferdsblog has argued that Chavez wants Honduras as a satellite of Venezuela, and that Chavez wants an American Air Force Base to be moved out of Honduras. Ferdsblog argues that the American base is focused on implementing the American war on drugs, and interferes with flights of illegal narcotics which Chavez benefits from.

Yet, irregardless of strategic necessity: Zelaya deserved arrest. Regarding deportation, the Honduran Military argues that Penal Code 24 covers imprisonment in event of possible civil unrest, and justifies their decision to deport him.

Bud says:
"oh and by the way.....its was CNN that helped the coup leaders in the 2002 coup against Chavez....Chavez has his own network now, and it ain't CNN"

Can't imagine why those Hondurans believe CNN is Chavez News Network. Can't imagine why Jeff and I immediately laughed at the quip.

You are welcome to comment in future, IF you are not on Axelrod's payroll, and IF you read the blogpost before commenting.

*Update 3: continuing the "Barack doesn't know history" angle, Liz Cheney in today's WSJ:
There are two different versions of the story of the end of the Cold War: the Russian version, and the truth. President Barack Obama endorsed the Russian version in Moscow last week.
One wonders whether this was just an attempt to push "reset" -- or maybe to curry favor. Perhaps, most concerning of all, Mr. Obama believes what he said.
Perhaps Mr. Obama thinks he is making America inoffensive to our enemies. In reality, he is emboldening them and weakening us. America can be disarmed literally -- by cutting our weapons systems and our defensive capabilities -- as Mr. Obama has agreed to do. We can also be disarmed morally by a president who spreads false narratives about our history or who accepts, even if by his silence, our enemies' lies about us.

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