The Honduran Question

I write a weekly newspaper column in Middle Georgia that typically deals with local issues. This week, however, I thought it necessary to write about Honduras.

Ignoring the constitution, President Manuel Zelaya, a man less popular in Honduras than George Bush was when he left office in this country, ordered a “non-binding” referendum be put to the voters on extending his stay in office.

Glenn Garvin wrote in the 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. … 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.”

The Honduran Supreme Court, congress, attorney general and members of Zelaya’s cabinet opposed his move as unconstitutional. The supreme court ordered the military to remove Zelaya from office. Honduras has no impeachment process as we know it.

. . . .

Now Roberto Micheletti, a member of Zelaya’s own political party, is president of Honduras. Despite protests from Zelaya’s supporters, the nation’s trade unions, business groups, Catholic Church, and most citizens supported Zelaya’s ouster — no one wanted a tyrant, let alone one propped up by drug lords and marxist thugs like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

Nonetheless, Barack Obama declared the Honduran government’s actions a coup — never mind the government was preserving its democracy instead of overthrowing it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all.” She called on Hondurans to uphold their constitutional processes, the very thing they were doing by ousting Zelaya.

On June 4, Barack Obama said from Egypt, “No system of government can or should be imposed on one nation by any other.” Two weeks ago, regarding the popular uprising in Iran, he said, “How that plays out over the next several days and several weeks is something ultimately for the Iranian people to decide.” As with his campaign promises, our president quickly forgets his own words.

For perspective, Obama more quickly condemned President Zelaya’s ouster by a democratic government than he condemned Iran for gunning down its citizens who had taken to the streets to demand freedom. Obama needed public pressure to even discuss Iran. Sadly, our president needs public pressure to align his moral compass toward freedom.

You can read the whole thing here.

The only sad thing is that the paper took out my Jimmy Carter crack. One of the sentences in the column is:

Presidents in Latin American countries, like herpes, have a habit of never going away.

Originally, it noted that “like herpes and Jimmy Carter” Latin American presidents have a habit of not going away.