For over a week now the news media in the United States has been portraying the interim presidency of Roberto Micheletti, appointed by the Congress of Honduras to replace impeached and ousted President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, as the leadership of a "coup." This is ever since the Honduran armed forces, acting on a warrant issued by the Supreme Court, and supported by Congress, arrested Mel Zelaya and sent him into exile on a Venezuelan airplane.
At this point you should be asking yourself, since when does a coup take place in the process of serving a warrant issued and authorized by a court of law, with the backing of the legislature? Have you ever heard of a coup d'etat that was authorized by a court order? And, why did Mel leave on a Venezuelan plane? Why not an American plane, or a Mexican plane, or a Salvadorean plane? I had to dig a little deeper to discover the truth about this, something the US news media is increasingly loathe to do when it conflicts with their leftist interests.
First I found this leftist writer, a member of the Washington Post group, named Alvaro Vargas Llosa, writing that Zelaya is to blame for this coup against him! Very interesting to see a leftist writer say that about this situation since Zelaya is a leftist himself, in fact, is a disciple of Hugo Chavez and tried to align Honduras completely within the orbit of Chavez's regime in Venezuela. Llosa writes,
"A member of the rancid oligarchy he now decries, Zelaya took office in 2006 as the leader of one of the two center-right parties that have dominated Honduran politics for decades. His general platform, his support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and his alliances with business organizations gave no inkling of the fact that halfway into his term he would become a political cross-dresser.
"Suddenly, in 2007, he declared himself a socialist and began to establish close ties with Venezuela. In December of that year, he incorporated Honduras into Petrocaribe, a mechanism set up by Hugo Chávez for lavishing oil subsidies on Latin American and Caribbean countries in exchange for political subservience. Then his government joined the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), Venezuela's answer to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, ostensibly a commercial alliance but in practice a political conspiracy that seeks to expand populist dictatorship to the rest of Latin America."
Up until this point, other than completely betraying his political party's platform, Zelaya had not broken any laws to my knowledge. That was also to change, as Llosa continues,
"Last year, following the script originally laid out by Chávez in Venezuela and adopted by Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Zelaya announced that he would hold a referendum to set up a constituent assembly that would change the constitution that barred him from reelection. In the next few months, every legal body in Honduras -- the electoral tribunal, the Supreme Court, the attorney general, the human rights ombudsman -- declared the referendum unconstitutional. According to the Honduran constitution (articles 5, 373 and 374), presidential term limits cannot be changed under any circumstance; only Congress can modify the constitution; and political institutions are not subject to referendums. Honduras's Congress, Zelaya's own Liberal Party and a majority of Hondurans (in various polls) expressed their horror at the prospect of having Zelaya perpetuate himself and bring Honduras into the Chávez fold. In defiance of court orders, Zelaya persisted. Surrounded by a friendly mob, he broke into the military installations where the ballots were kept and ordered them distributed. The courts declared that Zelaya had placed himself outside the law, and Congress began an impeachment procedure." -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070103210.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
I'll let Oliver North pick up the thread here, after all it's only fair for these informational sources to be politically balanced. He writes,
"Late last year, as the Honduran economy tanked and unemployment grew to nearly 28 percent, Zelaya forced Elvin Santos, the country's elected vice president, to resign and began holding conversations with Chavez and Ortega on how to hold on to power. In lengthy Chavez-like populist speeches, he denounced the U.S. and wealthy landowners and linked himself with leftists in the Honduran labor movement. On March 23, he issued an executive decree directing a national referendum on a Venezuela-style constituent assembly to rewrite the country's constitution in time for presidential and legislative elections in November. The Obama-Clinton State Department was mute about all of this.
"Unfortunately for Zelaya's aspirations, the Honduran Constitution requires that amendments be passed by a two-thirds vote of the country's unicameral Congress during two consecutive sessions. By late May, the Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, the commissioner for human rights, and the Honduran electoral tribunal all had overwhelmingly declared the referendum unconstitutional. Zelaya ignored the people's representatives, had ballots printed in Venezuela, and announced that the vote would take place June 28. Again, the O-Team was silent.
"In keeping with the rule of law, Honduran Attorney General Luis Alberto Rubi took the case to court. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal and ordered the ballots to be confiscated. Late on June 23, Zelaya countermanded the court order and directed the army to distribute the ballots. Gen. Romeo Vasquez, the chief of staff of the Honduran military, sought legal opinions and decided not to distribute them. The following day, Zelaya accepted the resignation of the minister of defense, Edmundo Orellana, and fired Vasquez.
"The Honduran Supreme Court unanimously ruled the Vasquez firing illegal and reinstated him June 25. That prompted Zelaya and a group of supporters to seize the ballots and issue another executive decree, which directed government officials to set up 15,000 polling stations at schools and community buildings across the country. In response to a request from Attorney General Rubi, the Honduran Congress -- controlled by Zelaya's own Liberal Party -- opened an investigation into the president's mental stability and fitness to govern. Zelaya replied with a two-hour broadcast harangue, in which he claimed: 'Congress cannot investigate me, much less remove me or stage a technical coup against me, because I am honest. I'm a free president, and nobody scares me.'" -- http://townhall.com/columnists/OliverNorth/2009/07/04/wrong_again
Up to this point, you gotta ask yourself, what would the United States Congress... one that isn't bamboozled by a populist and numbed to sleep by infotainment about the death of a famous singer... have done about a man engaged in such naked grabs for power? I can tell you what they did to Presidents Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, and neither one of those Presidents ever went a tenth as far over the wall as Zelaya did in Honduras. You would think the ouster of such a tyrant in embryo, such a power hungry man doing his best imitation of an early Hitler or an early (fictional) Palpatine, would be welcomed by, at least, the Western world of constitutional democratic republics, limited monarchies, and the like. Even if some of those governments inclined toward liberalism, you would think that a constitutionally governed free nation like Honduras would be allowed to take care of its own internal wannabe Saddam Hussein without a chorus of objections from the entire world, after having seen recently what a Saddam Hussein did to the people in his own country.
Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the biggest culprits being the news media, in the worst hoax involving a Latin American government since the Hearst-led yellow journalism that started the Spanish-American War of 1898, headlines in every American newspaper have been blaring "COUP IN HONDURAS" with details in the articles emphasizing sympathetically how Zelaya was pulled out of his house in a gun battle and ushered onto a plane in his pajamas and told not to come back. Subsequent coverage has emphasized violent treatment of riotous protesters at the airport awaiting Zelaya's return. But not a whole lot gets reported about the very long, two year train of growing abuses of power that sickened every other branch of the Honduran government and most of the people to the point where the country's Supreme Court finally launched a legal proceeding to get rid of the scoundrel. I'm sure the military was all too happy to lead the assault, since Zelaya had also abused his authority trying to rearrange its hierarchy, too. But none of that seems to be reaching the halls of power in the rest of the world.
From the news I've been able to hear, the United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the United States have all condemned the impeachment and removal of Manuel Zelaya, and yes, they all call it a "coup" despite the non-factual, banal, and ridiculous application of the term. Honduras for its part has withdrawn from the OAS for the following reasons:
"'Insulza did not come here to negotiate; he came here to impose,' José Danilo Izaguirre, the Supreme Court spokesman stated.
"Honduras withdrew its membership from the OAS, after a visit by Insulza, the General Secretary, of the OAS, for proposing 'undignified and unilateral resolutions' in their case, demanding that Honduras give up its fight for independence by reinstating ex-President Manuel Zelaya.
"Honduran officials agreed it would be best to have 6 months of sanctions while elections are held, than to lose their independence." -- hondurasnews.com
So where does it go from here? At this point, the reactions in the West and in the United States government in particular have only degraded continuously as such luminaries as Secy. of State Hillary Clinton continue to shame themselves parroting the Chavista-OAS party line on Honduras:
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated taht the United States will support an international mediation effort to restore democratic order in Honduras.
"Hillary Clinton says she told President Jose Manuel Zelaya the U.S. supports a restoration of democratic order.
"Zelaya will participate in the talks, which Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will mediate.
"The provisional president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, also has signaled his willingness to participate, Clinton said.
"'We call upon all parties to refrain from acts of violence and to seek a peaceful, constitutional and lasting solution to serious divisions in Honduras through dialogue,' Clinton said. “We hope this process can begin as soon as possible."
I'm sorry Mrs. Clinton, but Honduras already HAD a constitutional solution to this "serious division" and it was the IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL OF MANUEL ZELAYA FROM POWER. NO other solution by any morally consistent, legal standard should apply!!