Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honduras - Communism vs. Democracy


The Honduran Coup And US Involvement
by Roger D. Harris
Global Research, August 31, 2009
From afar, the June 28 coup in Honduras might appear to be one of those perennial power struggles among corrupt strongmen in a distant "Banana Republic." After all, democratically elected and now deposed Pres. Zelaya and coup leader Micheletti came from the same political party. But the picture is quite different for those of us with the opportunity to have contacts with the popular civic groups in Honduras.
I am with the Marin Task Force on the Americas, a 25-year-old human rights organization. Two of our members are now in Honduras on delegations, and we have been in contact with other activists reporting back from what is alarmingly becoming an increasingly violent situation.
Zelaya's "Crime"
Here are the words of our friend Lisa Sullivan, a lay member of the Catholic Maryknoll order working with the poor in Latin America. Lisa had gone to Honduras just a month before the coup at the invitation of a leading human rights group representing families of those disappeared in the previous military dictatorship in the 1980s. They went to a meeting with Honduran President Zelaya.
"It was not just an ordinary meeting, but one in a series of gatherings between the president, some of his ministers, and leaders of most of Honduras' social movements. It was a six-hour, heart-to-heart, head-to-head real dialogue on deep issues such as whether to continue with the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), to keep the Palmerola military base open to U.S. soldiers, how to create a sustainable water system, whether to pull Honduran troops from the School of the Americas. I have been in Latin America for 32 years, but this kind of president-to-the-people consultation was a first. And, it made me realize that something very interesting was happening in Honduras."
A month later Pres. Zelaya was kidnapped out of Honduras and civil liberties suspended. Zelaya's "crime" was that he threatened the privileged position of the elites in his country. With over 65 percent of the Honduran population below the poverty level (U.S. AID), the Zelaya administration was beginning to listen to the social movements and give their needs consideration.
Zelaya had raised the minimum wage, gave out free school lunches, provided milk for the babies and pensions for the elderly, distributed energy-saving light bulbs, decreased the price of public transportation, made more scholarships available for students, and passed legislation to protect forests from logging.
U.S. Involvement
The U.S. State Department freely admitted it had consulted with the perpetrators prior to the coup (Wall Street Journal, 6/29/09). With the U.S. as Honduras' largest trading partner, its army heavily subsidized by the U.S., and some of the coup leaders including the head of the military trained in the U.S. School of the Americas, at least some tacit involvement in the coup by U.S. is evident. The popular saying among Latin Americans is "The Honduran army breathes through the noses of its U.S. advisers."
But the world is a different place than it was in 1954 with the CIA-backed coup in Guatemala or even the Nixon-Kissinger coup in Chile in 1973, which brought the reign of terror under Pinochet to Chile. Attempted coups with U.S. backing against democratically elected and popular leaders failed in Venezuela in 2002 and in Bolivia in 2008 (but succeeded in Haiti in 2004).
Internationally the coup in Honduras has received universal approbation. The United Nations and the Organization of American States have both unanimously condemned the illegal coup and called for the immediate restoration of the constitutional government.
Specter of Repression
If this coup is not overturned, we fear Honduras will return to a period when disappearances and arbitrary arrests of those willing to speak out against injustice were common place. Such fears are not unwarranted as repression by the coup government escalates against the popular movement.
The Huffington Post (7/23/09) reported the coup government has been responsible for the targeted killing of at least four individuals, including two political opposition leaders. The death toll, all of them Zelaya supporters, has since more than doubled. Over a hundred people have been assaulted by the armed forces, and over a thousand of those associated with the social movements have been illegally detained. Press and media outlets have been shut down, while journalists have been arrested and detained.
The U.S. has partially gone along with the international community in opposition to the coup. Pres. Obama has publicly denounced the action, calling it a "coup," and withdrew some U.S. military and economic aid to Honduras. Now is the time for the U.S. to take leadership and suspend all military, diplomatic, and economic relations with the coup government in Honduras, as is mandated by U.S. law when a coup has occurred, until the entire constitutional government in reinstated in Honduras.
The Chavez-Obama U.N. Plot Against HondurasBy Cliff Kincaid
July 25, 2009
The United Nations on Thursday begins a debate over a new U.N. military doctrine called the “Responsibility to Protect,” which would authorize the world organization to be used as cover to intervene in the sovereign affairs of a nation state, supposedly to protect the people of a country against their own government. The first target could be anti-communist Honduras.
The “Responsibility to Protect,” also known as RtoP or R2P, is mostly the work of the World Federalist Movement, a group dedicated to world government by strengthening the United Nations system. It is the major force behind the “International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect.”
R2P was sold as something to be exercised against regimes practicing genocide against their own people. But the new doctrine is so vague and subject to political manipulation that one can speculate it could be used to justify some form of U.N. intervention in Honduras on the pretext that the people there are somehow being victimized by a popular military-backed regime. In fact, some Hondurans are telling this columnist that they are fearful that U.N. “blue helmets” are right now being prepared to invade their country.
It is difficult to dismiss these concerns as baseless rumors, considering what will be happening at the U.N. The key U.N. official orchestrating the debate, General Assembly President and Lenin Peace Prize recipient Miguel D’Escoto, is the same figure who recently managed passage of a U.N. resolution supporting the return to Honduras of Manuel Zelaya, who was removed by the military on the orders of the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress. Zelaya is a lackey of Venezuelan communist ruler Hugo Chavez, who is using his oil money to buy and influence governments throughout Latin America.
In an ominous development, blogger Jason Poblete, an astute observer of Latin American affairs with excellent sources, reports that “The Obama Administration is considering a United Nations Security Council Resolution against the constitutional government of Honduras.” If true, anticipated U.N. sanctions against Honduras could be followed by the world organization being used as cover for outside forces to invade Honduras and reinstate Zelaya.
The new government in Honduras replaced Zalaya because he was trying to set himself up as president-for-life, Chavez-style. All of this was found to be in violation of Honduran law and the Constitution. Despite what officials of the Obama Administration said in trying to orchestrate media coverage of this crisis, it was not a military coup in any sense. The military doesn’t run Honduras today. In fact, the new president, appointed by Congress, is from Zelaya’s own political party. Zelaya was dismissed because of the simple fact that he tried to violate the law and the Constitution.
Zelaya flew from Costa Rica, where he was deported, to U.N. headquarters in New York, where D’Escoto, who is also a Communist Catholic Priest from Nicaragua, greeted him as a comrade. Since the crisis began and the U.N. voted to have him reinstated, the Obama Administration has been trying to figure out a way to get him back into power. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias recently hosted some negotiations to try to resolve the dispute but they appear to be going nowhere.
The U.N. may be the logical next step, if Zelaya’s allies in the region don’t act precipitously on their own and intervene. Chavez has already threatened to invade Honduras to put Zelaya back in power.
Interestingly, according to one report, when Zelaya tried to return to Honduras by plane and was turned away, his supporters began chanting “We want blue helmets!”—a reference to U.N. peacekeepers. This could be the scenario we see developing, using the “Responsibility to Protect” or something similar as justification for U.N. economic and military intervention.
R2P is usually offered as a possible remedy in the case of Darfur, a region of Sudan where people are being massacred by the Islamic regime. But this was never realistic. President Obama promised but has failed to do anything about this. The real source of the problem in Darfur is the communist regime in China, which directly finances the Sudanese regime through oil purchases. Obama won’t confront China because he needs Chinese help to finance his tax, spend and debt policies. With Arab and Muslim governments also unwilling to confront the problem directly, the burden of responding to Darfur falls on the incompetent and corrupt U.N., which is always anxious to expand its scope and power. The “Responsibility to Protect,” which was actually approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 2005, when the Bush Administration was in power, is supposed to be the answer. The debate unfolding in the U.N. is over how to implement this doctrine and under what circumstances. What can be certainly be expected are calls for more money for the U.N. to finance more military power, perhaps even a standing World Army that includes more U.N. “blue helmet” peacekeepers.
Everybody knows, of course, that the doctrine will not be used against China, a member of the U.N. Security Council. Nobody expects a U.N. force to liberate Tibet. Neither will a U.N. force be deployed to protect Georgia from Russia. Instead, it will be used against small countries, possibly Honduras, where there is a U.N. “consensus” and the Obama Administration could vote and work with China and Russia.
D’Escoto, or as he is called, “Father D’Escoto,” will preside over the U.N. debate, which is expected to run into Friday. Pope Benedict XVI endorsed the “Responsibility to Protect” in an April 2008 speech before the U.N. but has been unclear about how it should be implemented. He has called for dialogue in Honduras.
On the ground in Honduras, an overwhelmingly Catholic Central American country, the Catholic Church has backed the ouster of Zelaya because of the realistic fear that he was a front man for Chavez. In a statement, the Catholic bishops of Honduras declared that Zelaya had been removed from office on the basis of a valid court order.
But not all of the Catholic elements in the country are opposing Zalaya’s return. The Jesuit-run Radio Progreso has been acting as a mouthpiece for Zalaya and his supporters and is the source of the recent report that Zelaya intends to invade the country in cahoots with something called the Peaceful Resistance Front. The Catholic Church in Honduras fears that Zelaya could spark a bloodbath. Such a spectacle could provide the cover for U.N. intervention.
With Obama’s plans to seize the health care and energy sectors a focus of public attention, few in Congress are taking a hard look at the prospect of violence in Honduras. However, Senator Jim DeMint and several other senators have protested the Obama policy. DeMint also introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill to require the Director of National Intelligence to present a “full report” on the roles played by Chavez and the leaders of Nicaragua and Cuba in facilitating the crisis in Honduras.
What is also needed is for the Congress—and the media—to start investigating the Obama Administration’s role in all of this. On July 13, the State Department spokesman confirmed that Chavez had called Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon to “discuss the current situation in Honduras and the ongoing negotiations mediated by Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias.” The confirmation followed news of Chavez boasting about the telephone call on Venezuelan state TV.
This tends to confirm what former Marxist SDS radical Tom Hayden, leader of “Progressives for Obama,” has written about the Obama-Chavez relationship. Based on his own inside sources of information, Hayden said that he thinks Obama and Chavez are working together on Honduras and have an “understanding,” which he even describes as “collaboration.” The call Chavez made to Shannon suggests that Chavez is calling the shots.
Ultimately, according to a very detailed report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, part of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, this would benefit Iran, a terrorist state developing nuclear weapons which is developing a vast network throughout Latin America. A recent report from the organization examines the deep Iranian connections to Venezuela as well as Bolivia.
If the Obama Administration is, in effect, acting as an agent of Venezuela (and Iran) in Honduras, such a foreign policy could be described not only as anti-American but potentially treasonous, considering that the outcome could be the loss of another country in Latin America to the Chavez brand of communism.
It is time for some investigative reporting into the nature of the Chavez-Obama axis.
A U.S./U.N. Plot Against Anti-Communist Honduras
By Cliff Kincaid
July 2, 2009
The people of Honduras are pleading for media fairness and understanding of how they saved their democratic system of government from an international conspiracy based in Venezuela and Cuba. In desperate messages to the outside world, Hondurans want America to know they do not want former President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya returned to power through the intervention of the United States and the United Nations. On Tuesday the leftist governments of Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez sponsored a United Nations resolution that condemned the people of Honduras for resisting the spread of communism by evicting a would-be dictator. Many people in Honduras view “Mel” as a puppet of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who is destroying the democratic system and the opposition in that country.
In Honduras, demonstrators have appealed to the media to tell the truth. One sign said in Spanish: “CNN: That the entire world opens its eyes…Honduras wants peace not a dictatorship.” Our media are content to report on the turnout of a couple hundred pro-Zelaya protesters in Honduras, ignoring the many thousands that have demonstrated in support of what their government has done. Some of the demonstrators carried signs saying, “Peace and democracy. Out with Mel and Chavez.” Others said, “Democracy yes; communism no.”
A “Tribute to the Heroes of Honduras” has been posted on the web and captures the true sentiments of the people of Honduras.
In the face of a media blackout, many Hondurans have contacted me through the new media. One said, “I want to warmly thank you for your article supporting the real issue of constitutional impeachment on Manuel Zelaya Rosales.” Later, this person informed me that “There is a march supporting President Micheletti and you don’t see that on the [U.S.] media, the manifestation of the people in favor of what our institutions did is by far bigger than the mobs protesting violently against Zelaya’s ouster.”
“Thanks for your support to the political situation in Honduras,” another said. “Writers like yourself are what Hondurans needs to let the world know that what happened was an act to preserve the constitutional rights of the country.”
Another wrote, “I read your article and it’s exactly what happened. If you could read the blog it contains details of what moved our military and the other two branches of our government to act as they did. I surely hope you could make this public and somehow justice will overcome procedure. What’s important are the facts.”
This blog, which tells “The true story behind the alleged coup,” notes that “Former President Zelaya is sick for power, a true hypocrite, corrupt and the King of Misinformation. His plot to break the constitutional order and the rule of law in our country has led us into a profound social and political crisis, on which he has bet all of his success on the generation of hatred between classes. His actions have been marked by dividing and confusing Honduran people by adopting the style, advice and funding from left-wing leaders such as Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega.”
However, an anti-communist alliance called UnoAmerica, the Union of Democratic Organizations of America, has recognized the new government of Honduras and urges support for it, issuing a statement saying that “in Honduras there has not been a blow to the state, but rather a constitutional succession, perfectly legitimate, after the intent of ex-president Manuel Zelaya to violate the constitution and maintain power, following the mandate of Hugo Chavez.”
Regarding Obama’s ally, Venezuelan ruler Chavez, UnoAmerica said that “He is tied to Colombian narcotics terrorism (FARC) and to the government of [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad. He finances the Cuban dictatorship. He permanently tramples the Constitution and kidnaps the liberties of the people. He commits electoral fraud. He forcibly represses peaceful and disarmed Venezuelans. He closes means of communication. He hates the Catholic Church.”
Rebutting charges of a “military coup,” UnoAmerica noted that “the Armed Forces of Honduras have been limited to obey the judicial mandate, that which obligates a reestablishment of constitutional order, thus showing its subordination to the civil authority.”
Complicating plans by the Obama White House and its U.N. allies for a forced return of the former president, Honduras Foreign Minister Enrique Ortez told CNN en Espanol that Zelaya was implicated in drug trafficking from Venezuela into the U.S.
“Every night, three or four Venezuelan-registered planes land without the permission of appropriate authorities and bring thousands of pounds...and packages of money that are the fruit of drug trafficking,” he said. “We have proof of all of this. Neighboring governments have it. The DEA [U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration] has it,” he added.
At a U.N. meeting on October 13, 2008, Zelaya had openly called for the legalization of drugs—supposedly to reduce violence—just weeks after the George Soros-funded Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy had met to discuss how to pursue such a course of action. The group subsequently released a report calling for a “paradigm shift” on how to handle the illegal drug problem. Billionaire Soros, a long-time funder of campaigns to legalize dangerous drugs, has purchased the services of several former Latin American government officials to push this cause.
Zelaya’s comments were immediately denounced by U.N. Office of Drug Control regional representative José Manuel Martinez Morales, who said such an approach was to “stick our heads under the sand like ostriches and accept the drug trade which is annihilating our youth.”
Last November Zelaya appeared with Soros at a U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean conference in the Dominican Republic.
At the Tuesday news conference at the United Nations, where a resolution was adopted in favor of returning Zelaya to power, the ousted Marxist ruler was asked if the United States had been behind the “coup” that forced him out. No, Zelaya said. “The United States has changed a great deal,” he explained. He went on to say, “I have listened to President Obama. It is not only that he condemns the events, but he has demanded the restoration of the President,” referring to himself.
On this point, Zelaya was correct. The United States has certainly changed under Obama. When Ronald Reagan was president, the United States assisted pro-freedom forces and endeavored to keep the communists out of Central America. Now, the United States intervenes on behalf of the communists and their allies, using the U.N. as cover.
Zelaya held his press conference at the U.N. with the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto, a communist priest who received the Lenin Peace Prize from the old Soviet Union.
D’Escoto is another one of Obama’s allies, having worked with his Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to forge a new international socialist order at the recent United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis. The scheme involves world government financed by global taxes, another cause that is very popular with George Soros.
The Ugly Face Behind the Mask of LiberalismBy Selwyn Duke
July 2, 2009
It has been interesting watching the response to the Honduran military’s recent ousting of its nation’s president, Manuel Zelaya. Barack Obama called the action “not legal” and Hillary Clinton said that the arrest of Zelaya should be condemned. Most interesting, perhaps, is that taking this position places them shoulder to shoulder with Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Venezuelan’s roaring mouse, Hugo Chavez, who is threatening military action against Honduras. Now, some would say this is an eclectic group — others would say, not so much — regardless, what has gotten them so upset?
Let’s start with what they say. They are calling the ouster a “coup” and claim that Zelaya is still Honduras’ rightful president. Some of them say we must support democracy. But they have said little, if anything, about the rule of law. And most of what they have said is wrong.
First, it doesn’t appear that Sunday’s ouster was a military coup but a law enforcement action. It is not a military strongman who sought extra-legal control, but Zelaya himself. Here is the story. Zelaya is a leftist, a less precocious version of Chavez, sort of like the Venezuelan’s Mini-me. And, like Chavez, it’s seems that Zelaya was bent on perpetuating his rule and increasing his power in defiance of the rule of law. That is to say, the Honduran Constitution limits presidents to one four-year term, and this wasn’t quite enough to satisfy Zelaya’s ambitions. So he sought to amend the constitution, which may sound okay, except for one minor detail. Mary Anastasia O’Grady in the Wall Street Journal explains:
While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.
But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.
. . . the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order.
However, like so many apparent megalomaniacs, Zelaya greatly overestimated his popularity. The groundswell of citizen support he had counted on didn’t materialize; thus, his law breaking could not be sanitized by consensus making. The military then arrested him, acting under orders from legitimate civilian authorities and in defense of the rule of law. The good guys won . . . at least for now.
Also note that the military confined itself to its prescribed police action and is not running the country. The new president is 63-year-old Roberto Micheletti, a member of Zelaya’s own Liberal Party. Moreover, elections are still planned for this November.
And Micheletti enjoys wide support, ranging from the rank-and-file to the those breathing rarified air in elite institutions. As for Zelaya, while you may not be able to please all of the people all of the time, he certainly seems to have been able to displease them. He not only alienated the Congress, Supreme Court, the people and the attorney general — who also declared the referendum illegal and vowed to prosecute anyone facilitating it — he is opposed by the Catholic Church and many evangelicals as well. Really, no one seems to like him.
No one, that is, but Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega.
Oh, and let’s not forget Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are, anyone?
In fact, Obama’s position is striking. More than almost anything else — almost anything — this dance with the Devil reveals his true colors. Sure, he was criticized over his handling of Iran, but even I will say there are two sides to that story. After all, you could make the case that overt support for the protesters would provide the clerics and President Ahmadinejad with invaluable propaganda material. And Obama looked foolish when he paraded about the world issuing mea culpas on behalf of big bad America, but, hey, that’s a reflection of the standard liberal America-as-villain narrative. I don’t think it surprised too many people. But, as bad as Obama has been, his position on Honduras occupies a different realm all together. And I think most fail to appreciate the gravity of what I will not even call a policy, but an offense.
Obama has sided with a thug, a man who — for completely self-serving reasons — sought to subvert his nation’s constitution. Obama has sided with a man who — like Pancho Villa on a cross-border raid — led a mob in an effort to execute this illegal scheme. And Obama does this while paying lip service to democracy, even as he imperils it; he claims to stand for freedom, even while supporting those who would extinguish it. It is un-American. It is ugly. It is, in a word, evil.
Yet it doesn’t surprise me. Some may think the issue is simply that, although Obama despises Zelaya’s tactics, he is driven to support a fellow traveler. Others may think that Obama wants to support a fellow traveler and is indifferent about the tactics. Neither analysis is entirely correct. Rather, Zelaya has certain tactics. Obama has certain tactics.
And they are largely the same.
In fact, they are shared by virtually all leftists.
Ignoring the rule of law, manipulating the Constitution, acting as if the end justifies the means . . . . Sound familiar? This is standard liberal doctrine.
Examining this further, let’s look at two comments Obama and H. Clinton made about Honduras. Obama said that the U.S. would “stand on the side of democracy” and Clinton said, “we have a lot of work to do to try to help the Hondurans get back on the democratic path . . . .” These comments reflect a common theme. There is gratuitous emphasis on democracy, but what of the rule of law? What of recognition that, technically, Honduras and the U.S. are not democracies but constitutional republics? We don’t hear much talk about these things from liberals, and I have a theory as to why.
Of course, such comments are often simply rhetoric, but they can reflect something deeper as well. Democracy, in the strict sense of the word, refers to direct rule by the people. Another way to put it is that it’s rule based on the people’s whims. Now, liberals are relativists, which means they don’t believe in Truth, in natural law, in anything beyond man that determines morality. Instead, relativism involves the idea that what people once called morals are merely values, which, in turn, are just a function of a people’s consensus opinion. It then follows that the impositions of values known as civil laws cannot be based on anything outside of man, either; they also are simply a function of opinion, be it the consensus variety or that of those with clout. In other words, liberals believe as the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras did, that “Man is the measure of all things.”
Now let’s say you accept this. When constitutional mandates, or laws, then contradict that “measure of all things,” that democratic body, with which will you likely side? This explains why liberals find it unfathomable that anyone would let “a piece of paper” stand in the way of a popular — or politically correct — social change. “Why, you have to be a simpleton to let a law forestall progress!” is the idea. And from their simplistic, shallow perspective it makes sense. If laws originate with opinion, anyway, why would you let them stand in the way of the dominant opinion when the latter changes?
Yet, in reality, liberals aren’t any more beholden to popular will than to laws, as they scoff at it when it contradicts politically-correct will. And there is a good reason for this. Liberals don’t view democracy as an absolute because there is no such thing in a relativistic world, but they do at least view it. That is to say, they know popular will is real but believe God’s will (Truth) is imaginary. And what exists takes precedence over what does not.
But in a world without absolutes, what takes precedence over all? Well, without any unchanging yardstick for making moral decisions — without Truth to provide answers — liberals have only one thing to refer to: Their mercurial master, feelings. But whose feelings shall hold sway? They may sometimes be those of the majority of people (expressed as “values”), especially insofar as their feelings influence liberals’ feelings. But, then again, the dominant feelings might also be those of most liberals’ favorite people — and the ones they fancy the smartest — themselves. This is what engenders the elitism that justifies trumping popular will; after all, liberals’ own feelings always feel more “right” to them than other people’s feelings.
Put simply, it’s a question of whose will shall prevail, the popular, politically correct or personal? When man is the measure of all things, the man in the mirror usually trumps your fellow man.
Speaking of feelings, one that could be instrumental here is fear. What I mean is, we all understand the power of precedent. And along with Chavez, Obama seems to dislike the idea of a military upholding its nation’s constitution and ousting a would-be tyrant. I wonder why?
Obama Sides with Marxists over HondurasBy Cliff Kincaid
June 30, 2009
The so-called “military coup” in Honduras was a successful effort by Honduran patriots to preserve their constitutional system of government from an international alliance of communists and socialists backed by Iran. Not surprisingly, America’s Marxist President has come down on the anti-American side.
If all of this is news to you, consider yourself a victim of the “state-run media,” as Rush Limbaugh calls it. We are being bombarded with liberal media propaganda that a “military coup” took place in Honduras, and that the U.S. should therefore oppose it.
Fox News, which has been trumpeting news about the “military coup,” should be ashamed of itself for following the liberal media line.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted that the problem was that the deposed president, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, was “moving to re-write the Honduran constitution to extend and expand his power, while retaliating against those who stand in his way.”
The leftist Zelaya was democratically elected in 2005 in a narrow win (with less than a majority of the vote) but he has been attempting to unconstitutionally and illegally undercut the conservative majorities in the Congress. His main purpose has been to circumvent a prohibition on serving more than one term as president.
With his departure, Honduras may have been spared a communist future.
Nevertheless, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly issued statements saying that his removal was somehow a violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. This was a clever ruse designed to disguise the fact that all of the major elements of constitutional power in Honduras, except for the increasingly unpopular and power-hungry president, acted on behalf of the people.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has joined with the U.N. General Assembly President, Communist Priest Miguel D’Escoto, to demand that Zelaya be restored to power.
The new president, Roberto Micheletti, has made it clear that Zelaya was removed because he had behaved in an unconstitutional manner. “I did not reach this position because of a coup,” Micheletti said. “I am here because of an absolutely legal transition process.” Micheletti was a member of Zelaya’s Liberal Party but opposed his illegal and unconstitutional actions.
What happened is that the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government in Honduras, in conjunction with the armed forces, acted to maintain and defend their constitution from a power-mad president who was a puppet of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
Blogger Jason Poblete commented that the Obama Administration “was quick to call the events in Honduras a coup. What has gone underreported, or not reported at all in the media or recognized by the Obama Administration, is that the democratically-elected Congress unanimously approved the change in leadership and impeached the President. If this was a constitutionally correct action why has the Obama Administration been so quick to judge and condemn?”
Claims of a “military coup” have appeared in the press because that is the way far-left officials of the Obama Administration have described it. The Administration has been just as quick to undermine freedom and democracy in Honduras as it was late in supporting the pro-freedom and pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran.
On June 28, a “Teleconference Background Briefing” was held with the major media by “two senior officials” who were guiding coverage of the events in Honduras but whose identities were protected from disclosure by the lapdog press.
The transcript shows a New York Times reporter asking, “Is the U.S. Government calling this and considering this a coup d’état? Can you talk about the use of language? Some other governments have called it that.”
The answer was, “…I would certainly characterize a situation where a president is forcibly detained by the armed forces and expelled from a country an attempt at a coup. We—I mean, we still see him as the constitutional president of Honduras. So it was an attempt at a coup. We don’t think it was successful.”
The official is saying it wasn’t successful because the Obama White House wants to work with the Marxist governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua (backed by Iran) to bring Zelaya back to power.
At the same time, however, the official conceded that the controversy in Honduras stemmed from the effort by Zelaya to maintain himself illegally and unconstitutionally in power through a referendum or “survey” he had no right to initiate. He explained, “The fundamental political divide within Honduras was whether or not this effort by President Zelaya was seen as constitutional and legal, or whether it was seen as illegitimate and unconstitutional. And several institutions, including the public ministry, which is their equivalent of Attorney General, the Supreme Court, and the Congress had declared this survey to be illegitimate and illegal.”
Notice how the U.S. official said that “the public ministry, which is their equivalent of Attorney General, the Supreme Court, and the Congress had declared this survey to be illegitimate and illegal.”
He went on to say, “Obviously, it was the armed forces that detained the president today and expelled him from the country. But as we’re seeing now with the naming of an interim president by the congress, this was an effort that has included other political institutions.”
Indeed, this was not a “military coup” in the traditional sense of the army acting unilaterally to depose a popular president. The Army was acting in accordance with the dictates of the other political institutions.
Not only did the Congress and the Supreme Court act against Zelaya, the Catholic Church of Honduras—which is not under the sway of Marxist-oriented Liberation Theology—had opposed his illegal acts.
One question from a CNN reporter helped illustrate the incoherent nature of the Obama policy: “You said that you felt other institutions felt that it was illegal and unconstitutional, but did you think it was and did you advise the president not to invoke it?” The official replied, “Again, it’s not up to us to determine what’s legal or not within the context of Honduras. It was important for us to leave this to Honduran institutions to try to resolve.”
But that is exactly what happened when those institutions acted to remove the Marxist president, who is an ally of Castro and Chavez.
Asked if what Zelaya was doing “was in line with the constitution,” the official answered in the negative. The official further added that “…from our point of view, what was important was not inserting ourselves and trying to make a determination of what was legal or illegal, but trying to insist that the Hondurans find a way to resolve this in a way that was in accord with their constitution.”
But the Hondurans have resolved it. Why doesn’t the Obama White House stay out of it?
In the New York Times story about the “coup,” the reporter waited until the fifth paragraph to note that “the [Honduran] Supreme Court issued a statement saying that the military had acted to defend the law against ‘those who had publicly spoken out and acted against the Constitution’s provisions.’”
So it wasn’t really a coup.
The headline over the Washington Post story said, “Honduran Military Ousts President,” but the article noted that “the Honduran National Congress defiantly announced that Zelaya was out, and its members named congressional leader Roberto Micheletti the new president on Sunday afternoon. The Honduran Supreme Court also supported the removal of Zelaya, saying that the military was acting in defense of democracy.”
So rather than destroy democracy, this action restored it. This is hardly a “military coup.” There is no military official running Honduras today. And the former president wasn’t shot but given exile. He’s been told he can return but without the outside backing and interference of Chavez.
There is some question about whether Zelaya was impeached before or after the military removed him. But the point is that democratic forces acted together for the sake of their country. The timing is a matter that should be properly left to the people of Honduras and their democratically-elected institutions.
What the Obama Administration should be doing, under the circumstances, is protecting this democratic government from external threats from Chavez and Castro. Instead, it is working with Chavez and Castro to bring back to power a Marxist puppet.
Calls are already being heard from Obama’s far-left base to destabilize Honduras by cutting off U.S. military aid to the government. Human Rights Watch, the George Soros-funded group, has come out with a statement denouncing the “military coup.”
Some of these far-left activists are claiming that Obama was behind the “coup,” but this is obviously propaganda designed to force the Administration to use international bodies, such as the U.N. and the Organization of American States, in an effort to restore Zelaya to power.