Saturday, July 11, 2009

Honduras, Defendiendo nuestra Democracia!!!

Hondurans protest against former President Mel Zelaya, and in favor of maintaining their 27 year old constitutional democracy. La Gringa comments and translates:
Don't let the first part put you off. If you only watch one Honduran video, watch this one.

If you don't read Spanish, the first part says,
"These are not Hondurans....if they are, they are not doing what true Hondurans do......Enough!"

"These are the true Hondurans and we want peace and to live in democracy...."
Near the end, the video states:
"We are a free and pacific country.

Let the world see us and listen to our voice and know the truth.

We are united defending the truth.

We will defend our democracy.

Honduras is free. Tell the whole world."

What is happening in Honduras?

The former President, Mel Zelaya, doesn't much like democracy, and wants to be installed as President for Life. He illegally attempted to garner support for rewriting the Honduran Constitution. The Honduran Supreme Court ordered Zelaya's arrest by the military. The arrest was carried out in the middle of the night. The military deported Zelaya to Costa Rica.

President Obama supports Zelaya's return to power. Is President Obama right? Was Zelaya's arrest illegal?

No. President Obama is wrong. Zelaya's arrest was legal. Here's why:

Zelaya wanted to call for a national vote on the question of whether or not the Honduran Constitution ought be completely rewritten. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled that only the Honduran Congress could call for such a vote.

Zelaya had ballots imported from Venezuela. The ballots were confiscated by Honduran Customs.

Zelaya then declared that he would still conduct the vote, but it would just be a "poll" on the question of whether or not the Honduran Constitution ought be completely rewritten. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled that such a poll would violate the Honduran Constitution.

Zelaya went forth, anyway. He led a mob which broke into a Customs building and confiscated the ballots which were being stored there. He scheduled the "poll" for Monday, June 29.

When Zelaya burglarized the building and stole the ballots, he broke Honduran law. When Zelaya conspired to conduct the illegal "poll", he broke Honduran law. The Honduran Supreme Court thereafter issued a unanimous (15-0) arrest order to the Honduran Military, and the arrest was carried out in the early morning hours of June 29.

President Obama's argument is that the Honduran Supreme Court turned a political disagreement into an illegal usurpation of the Office of the Presidency. In actuality, President Zelaya escalated a political disagreement into criminal action which threatened Honduras' constitutional democracy. The Honduran SC ruled that the Honduran Congress could order a national election about whether or not the Honduran Constitution ought be rewritten. If Zelaya disagreed with the Honduran SC's ruling, he could have pursued his goals via either legal means in the Honduran Courts, or via political/electoral means in the Honduran Congress. Instead, Zelaya pursued his goals via extra-legal means. He deserved arrest.

Why was Zelaya deported?

The Honduran Military made the decision, based on their fear of rioting and property damage. The Honduran Military feared they would have to use deadly force against rioters. The Miami Herald quotes the Honduran Military's top legal advisor, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza:
''What was more beneficial, remove this gentleman from Honduras or present him to prosecutors and have a mob assault and burn and destroy and for us to have to shoot?'' he said. ``If we had left him here, right now we would be burying a pile of people.''
Military officials expect to be legally exonerated under Article 24 of the Honduran Penal Code, which they argue allows them to make such decisions for the safety of the nation and the populace.

If Zelaya had been jailed and arraigned, might he have received bail and returned to his Presidential duties?

Unlikely. Zelaya posed a grave threat: overthrow of the Honduran Democratic Republic. I see almost zero possibility of his being offered bail. He likely would have looked at the inside of a jail cell for many years, with the only variable being whether or not he was hanged for treason.

Besides, the Constitution says any President who even attempts to evade the Presidential Term Limit Provision immediately ceases to be President. In actuality, Zelaya ousted himself from office. Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution:
“No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform[emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”
Via proposing to change this law, Zelaya constitutionally and immediately ousted himself from office.


Miguel Estrada writes an enlightening article in LAT.

Side Notes: Estrada is Honduran, and was nominated to the U.S. Federal Bench by Pres. George W. Bush, before being blocked by Dems who feared his legal acumen and his Latin heritage would make him an unstoppable nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. After 18ish months of his nomination languishing, Estrada withdrew his name from consideration. The racially motivated blocking of Miguel Estrada from the Federal Bench was obscene.

Last note:
Barack's actions, i.e. supporting Zelaya and undermining Honduran democracy, are indistinguishable from what a Manchurian Candidate would do in this situation. It's amazing we can say that a President is acting exactly as an American enemy would act.

The great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, commenting on President Jimmy Carter:
Unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies, he has essentially adopted our enemies' view of the world.

More End Zone: Evidence Mel Zelaya Wanted to Overthrow Honduras Democratic Republic


Jeff said...

Love the sign in the Honduras video: CNN - Chavez News Network

gcotharn said...

heh. that IS funny.

bud mckinney said...

Boy you guys sure relied on the "Zelaya was trying to be president for life" line.....even though it has been repeatedly shown to be a lie.....and it seems its all you have, Michiletti has broken more constitutional law in two weeks than Zelaya did in three and a half years. and yet you continue to support his coup. amazing....what was the big deal in allowing a lawful (it WAS lawful too) vote of the people to express their opinion? Did it require a military takeover (and the military IS in charge now) my goodness.....those Hondurans are scary folks with their ballots and boxes.

bud mckinney said...

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

gcotharn said...

I reply to you in this post:
Evidence Mel Zelaya Wanted to Overthrow the Honduran Government