In a Miami Herald article, Glenn Garvin points out the obvious: “Here's a question for all these new-found defenders of Honduran democracy: Where were you last week? Perhaps if some of these warnings about sticking to the constitution had been addressed to President Zelaya, the Honduran army would still be in the barracks where it belongs.”
Garvin’s commentary delved the same issues I’ve addressed in earlier columns—the global outcry about Honduras’ legal transition of power, peacefully deposing a president by means of Congressional and Supreme Court actions. Only the global outcry didn’t paint the events in those terms. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s remarks appeared in another MH story: “Hours after Zelaya's vow not to heed the Supreme Court's decision, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez complained that 'there is a coup d'etat under way in Honduras,' led by the `retrograde bourgeoisie.' Sidenote: give me the ‘retrograde bourgeoisie’ over a socialist or totalitarian any day.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacted as expected. They lined up with the unions and the retrograde socialists. Clinton condemned the action that led to Zelaya’s removal. US ambassador to the dictator/thug-loving United Nations, Susan Rice, said in Aspen, “We join the march in being clear about standing up when a democratically elected government, whether we like its policies or not, is removed illegally,” she said.
Thus far, every report coming from Honduras suggests the opposite of what Clinton and the Obama administration are spinning. The Supreme Court and Congress of Honduras enabled the former president’s removal. The capital of Tegucigalpa is calm. Of course if Chavez throws enough oil money in the right directions, calm may be upended. Sidenote: Why is it big oil is a dirty word with neoliberals until they’re talking about a socialist’s big oil?
Garvin’s article is the best I’ve found as far as reality goes. Garvin wrote, “First Zelaya scheduled a national vote on a constitutional convention. 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. (It would be 'non-binding,' he said.) 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.”
Zelaya has a dappled past with the US. He was angered during President George W. Bush’s presidency when the US suspended Honduran visas—applicants could get i.d. documents in Honduras without presenting verifiable information. In May, 2007, President Manuel Zelaya, according to the BBC, “ordered all the country’s TV and radio stations to carry government propaganda for two hours a day.” An article at Inter Press Service (2-22-07) noted Honduras was losing about $2 million a day because of corruption.
Zelaya also hopped into the Chavez queue by leading a push to join ALBA. The former president justified it in remarks to IPS: “…Chavez was willing to supply funds with no conditions or audits.” The same IPS article noted, “[T]he local newspaper El Heraldo published a journalistic investigation revealing receipts for a total of 284,000 dollars allegedly distributed by the government to 38 social and political leaders in exchange for support for ALBA and protests raised in Congress prior to its ratification.”
Like Obama, Zelaya loves unions and community organizations. IPS continued, “The newspaper published a list of people who purportedly received the payments, including Vía Campesina activists, leaders of the Confederation of Honduran Workers (CTH) and other trade unions, members of the leftwing Democratic Union party, and rural leaders.”
Obama should take a page from the Garvin playbook. Honduras is working problems out in keeping with her national sovereignty, her constitution and the branches of her government. Tiny Honduras is in essence standing up against the New World Order. True lovers of freedom should congratulate her.
If our president does choose to jump into the circle with the likes of Chavez, that will simply be one more manifestation that Obama is exactly what he says he is not.
Excellent commentary from The Foundry at The Heritage Foundation:
For more analysis on Honduras, read 'Is Obama siding with Chavez and Castro?" Neoliberals say he's not. Apparently they're asleep at the neoliberal wheel.