I have taken more than a casual interest in the Honduras story for several reasons, including fond memories of travel in that country during the Sandinista debacle in the mid-1980s. What is notable about the situation unfolding now is that the relevant international bodies and leading figures have universally condemned the action of the Honduran Congress as a “military coup” that must be corrected. They are wrong. Here is an excellent brief summary of what happened and why.
When one takes into account the political ties of exiled president Zelaya to Venezuela’s Chavez and other leading leftists of Latin America in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, etc., it can be seen what the Honduran Constitution, Congress and Supreme Court are up against. Honduras has made a keen effort to halt the odious practice of leaders devising various means to extend their power indefinitely. Chavez is a prime example of a president who has subverted any such controls as may have existed.
It is hardly surprising that Obama would support Zelaya and call for his return to office, but it is a surprising disappointment that Colombia’s Uribe has joined the chorus of protestation.
This is an interesting case in that Honduras, a relatively weak and forlorn Central American state, has asserted itself according to its own laws; these seem to be quite clear with regard to addressing the questions of conduct at hand. This action, supported by Honduran law makers and much of the citizenry, as well as Cardinal Rodriguez, earned the country the ire of the world’s “leadership” in an instant. This was no right wing military coup. What can account for this simultaneous will to misunderstand, to react blindly? Is Zelaya to be supported no matter what, because he is part of the new Socialist oligarchy of Latin America?
One adventurous American “without any training,” Hunter Smith, is in Honduras and updates a blog dedicated to events as they happen on the ground.
What lessons in sovereignty and international law (and opinion) await us in this drama are anyone’s guess.
What reasons has Obama given for supporting Zelaya against Honduran law?
Also, I forget: was the Nicaraguan conflict affecting Honduras at that time?
Apparently Republicans on the Hill are starting to resist the frenzied and near-universal objections to Zelaya’s ouster. This link has more about the American response and provides a quote from Obama where he clearly states that it is a military coup in his view. Who on earth is on his team of advisors? Could any of them find Honduras on a map?
By the way, “Honduras” translates to “the depths.” Columbus was reported to have remarked with relief that he had found his way out of “The Depths” upon leaving the north coast of present-day Honduras.
As to reasoning, I read somewhere that Obama has perhaps spoken up in the matter so as to quell suspicions that the U.S. was involved. This seems thin to me and I think the heart of the matter is leftists allying with one another in mutual support. In this case, particularly sinister leftists (Chavez et al.) who we should be isolating instead of supporting vicariously.
If the Hondurans—their new government, Congress and Supreme Court—can stay the course and attract a critical mass of support, which seems not at all unreasonable to hope for, Obama may end up leading a parade of fools.
There were accusations that the Sandinistas had infiltrated Honduras from Nicaragua but this seems to be unsubstantiated. Areas of Honduras on the Nicaraguan frontier were used as a staging ground for the Contras and U.S. support missions as was Costa Rica.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 07, 2009 01:07 AM | Send