The Obama Administration yesterday 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 subsequent impeachment of the former Honduran President. If this was a constitutionally correct action, why has the Obama Administration been so quick to judge and condemn?
According to senior Congressional officials, this was not a coup, but a “constitutional succession” based on the Honduran Constitution and the laws. The new leaders stated that there will be scheduled elections in January 2010 and that they have no intent to stay in power “one minute more” than the constitutionally required time. The former President, Manuel Zelaya, says he has done nothing wrong. Yet the Congressional resolution impeaching him makes some rather serious allegations including violating the rule of law.
As if things were not complicated enough, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, an ally of the impeached president, is threatening to attack the current government of Honduras with military force if the former President is not restored to power. If Chavez were to do that, in theory, he would be violating several Organization of American States (OAS) Charter tenets including Article 28, “Every act of aggression by a State against the territorial integrity or the inviolability of the territory or against the sovereignty or political independence of an American State shall be considered an act of aggression against the other American States”. It would put the U.S. and the Obama Administration in an interesting geopolitical predicament.
Rather than rush to judgment, U.S. and OAS officials should take a close and hard look at all of the events that have transpired in the past few days and ascertain whether the Honduran Congress was acting consistent with its power and mandate. Honduras is a democratic state with an elected Congress and a Supreme Court.
No doubt this is a complicated diplomatic matter, but folks should not lose sight that the Honduran people understand first-hand the many hardships foisted on the country by the socialists and Cubans during the Cold War. They do not want a repeat performance. As long as the Congress and Attorney General are following the laws, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. And, for the moment, a majority of the citizens of the country seem to support their leaders in Congress.
The Honduran people need to work this out, on their own, without outside interference from any power. The OAS should, frankly, butt out. It does not seem as if it were invited to meddle. It is this outside interference from the likes of the OAS, Venezuela and other Bolivarian Axis countries, that may have been a major contributing factor to these events. Maybe the U.S. and the OAS, in addition to insisting on rule of law and peaceful actions by Honduran officials, should also focus that same passion on Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia; and advise them to stop interfering in Honduran affairs.
For a somewhat related piece on recent events in Latin America, and how issues in other regions of the world many impact in the Western Hemisphere, be sure to read the following item: Iran Will Use Latin America to Attack US & Israel – IICC. This study was prepared by the The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel.
Mary O’Grady’s piece at the Wall Street Joural, also worth a read: Honduras Defends Its Democracy: Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton Object.