Honduras Political Crisis – Update #4

The situation here seems to be calm from our very remote perspective in the jungle on the north coast of Honduras. The president of Honduras was arrested this morning and is now in exile in Costa Rica. Most news reports have him flying to Venezuela tonight and then on to Nicaragua tomorrow. The legislature has sworn in his successor, and the new president has issued a two-day curfew from 9pm until 6am. What protests we are aware of seem to be peaceful. Honestly, much of the country seems to be breathing a sigh of relief tonight. Things have been escalating for weeks and it certainly didn’t seem like that was any other alternative than to arrest Zelaya. He simply wouldn’t stop and he wouldn’t recognize the authority of the congress (to pass laws) and the Supreme Court (to declare his actions illegal according to the constitution).

**Warning, the following comments are political in nature and reflect my deeply conservative bias. Please forgive me if they offend you in any way.

The world’s reaction to the events of the day are puzzling at best. All of the news reports and the statements by governments are calling this a coup. If you check your dictionary you’ll see that a coup is an (sudden) overthrow of a government. That did not happen today. Indeed Zelaya has been trying to usurp the authority of the other two branches of government with his actions of the last few weeks. If anyone was trying to overthrow the government, it was him. The Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and the Legislature have all declared his actions illegal, and then all called for his dismissal. The Supreme Court issued an order for his arrest which the military carried out, and then the legislature impeached him and then installed the next in line for the presidency according to the constitution as the president. Tell me, does that sound like someone overthrew the government, or does that sound like the government worked as it should have in a moment of intense crisis when the sitting president decided to willfully violate the constitution in an effort to re-write it for his benefit? Coup? I think not.

I am most dismayed by the reaction of the Obama administration. Indeed, I am embarrassed by their reaction. The Wall Street Journal has been much more well informed and has displayed a response more in keeping with the support of democracy than has the Obama administration. Secretary Clinton has said that the “only legitimate president of Honduras is Zelaya”, and that they are working to restore him to power peacefully. What!? The only stronger statements in support of Zelaya have come from Chavez in Venezuela and Castro in Cuba! Note to Obama: this is not good company to be in. I would like to ask Obama and Secretary Clinton one thing: what should the government of Honduras have done today? Zelaya has wasn’t just trying to buy himself a little bit more power, he was trying to effect enduring change in the constitution in an entirely illegal manner that would benefit himself. Shouldn’t you be supporting the democratic option here in Honduras? If so, then you’re backing the WRONG GUY! The Obama administration was either entirely uninformed and caught flat-footed by this crisis, or worse, has chosen knowingly to support the left-wing socialist to the detriment of democracy.

I suppose I am showing my age and my deeply conservative bias with this next statement, but I sure wish Ronald Reagan were in the White House. I can just hear him issuing a statement in support of democracy here in Honduras and throughout the world and telling Chavez that he would be well advised not to meddle in the affairs of other nations as he has done in this case.