Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama's policy on Honduras threatens freedom and democracy in Latin America

Why doesn't the mainstream media take on Obama for his stance on Honduras? Is it because the reporters are ignorant of the situation? Or because they think the American people don't care about a small country that happens to be our near neighbor and ally? Or do they simply avoid criticizing Obama at all costs?

The Honduran crisis is almost a month old. That means Obama has had plenty of time to read the Constitution of Honduras and realize that what he has called a "coup" is really the legitimate government of Honduras defending the rule of law. Their Constitution explicitly demands that anyone who attempts what Zelaya did be removed from office and deported:
Article 239: No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.
Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, 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.
ARTICLE 42: Citizenship is forfeited by those who:
5. Incite, encourage or support the continuity or re-election of President of the Republic
Article 374: It cannot be reformed, under any circumstances, the previous article, this article, the Constitutional articles related to the form of government, the national territory, Presidential term-limits, the prohibition of a President to be re-elected, and the requirement and prohibitions on who can and cannot be President.
Zelaya attempted to do each of the things prohibited by Articles 239, 42, and 374:
  • The term for President of Honduras is 4 years. Article 239 prohibits anyone who has served as President from running again. Zelaya attempted to remain President beyond his 4-year term. By this action, the Constitution says he must immediately resign the Presidency and be barred from any public office for 10 years.
  • Zelaya desired to remain President beyond his 4-year term. He made this known publicly, which explictly violates Article 42, and by doing so Zelaya has forfeited his Honduran citizenship.
  • Zelaya tried to hold a referrendum to extend the Presidential term limits so that he could hold the Presidency beyond the Constitutional 4-year term. The referrendum was barred by the Supreme Court, so he enlisted the help of Hugo Chavez, who printed the ballots in Venezuela and shipped them to Honduras. Zelaya's illegal referrendum violates Article 374, which explicitly prohibits reforming Presidential term limits.
So there you have it. The Constitution of Honduras demands that, for his actions, Zelaya be removed as President and stripped of his Honduran citizenship. That's exactly what happened: Zelaya was removed from office and exiled.
Yet the AP is still supporting Obama's assertion that this carrying-out of Constitutional law was a "coup". In addition, so-called Latin America expert Vicki Gass says "Constitutional order and rule of law have to be restored", meaning reinstating Zelaya as President. How the AP could cite an "expert" who hasn't even read the Honduran Constitution is beyond me.
Obama's decision to support a man who attempted to usurp his country's Constitution and instill himself as a perpetual dictator is the most outrageous and shameful American foreign policy I have ever witnessed. I would expect this from the U.N. and Europe, but I'd hoped that even under Obama America was still a nation that stood for freedom in the world. It's sad to be proven wrong in such spectacular fashion.


  1. I have a friend whose family is from Latin America and they are outraged over Obama's support of Zelaya. Too bad there isn't a bigger Honduran community in the U.S., which could stand up and protest this policy. Or maybe there is and I've just missed it?