Saturday, July 4, 2009

OAS Unaminously Suspends Honduras

The Organization of American States (OAS) has voted unanimously to suspend Honduras as a member due to Manuel Zelaya's removal from office last weekend.

Honduras' new President Roberto Micheletti had previously announced Honduras was withdrawing from the OAS. Micheletti has also vowed to have Zelaya arrested should he return to Honduras.

I can't say I blame Micheletti. The Hondurans have done everything by the book. But when Barack Obama says jump, the OAS and UN say how high.

Then again why would any country worth their salt belong to the OAS when it suspends democratic Honduras while welcoming totalitarian Cuba back with open arms last month?

Take a look at whom Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sharing a smile.


Lee Vanden Brink said...


Put Pictures in the big white boxes with the little red X in the corner, it will REALLY help your visuals.

Vigilante said...

I'm an Obama supporter (totally!). But He's certainly on the wrong side of the Honduras question.

Siggy said...

The saddest part is that conservatives are so intellectually drained that they can do nothing but assume that since Zelaya isn't as pro-USA as his opponents, then his opponents must be more democratic than he is.

Would it be justified for Nancy Pelosi and the Chairman of the JCS to arrest and remove President Obama by flying him to Mexico simply to avoid testing the idea of health care reform in a non-binding referendum?

Zelaya has not only been elected by the people of Honduras, but he is a citizen of the country with a right to be in the country. If he is guilty of any crime in Honduras, he surely has the right to expect, and indeed to demand that the issue of his crime be dealt with by the country he has acted within and been a citizen and leader of.

Democratic institutions are not just tools to be used when convenient. If people are tired of Zelaya then they can oust him through the practice of democracy in the upcoming elections. If the majority of the country still favors Zelaya, then that national decision must be respected. If he acts illegaly beyond the limitations of his position, he should be processed by his own nation and the judicial system within, he should not be removed like an inconvenient mole cut from the face.

Finally, I think many of those conservatives haphazardly throwing their support behind the coup leaders are missing an opportunity. In this situation exists a chance to dispell the notion that so many conservatives have lost touch with the idea that government should exist for the benefit of the majority of the people. American Conservatism is probably the single biggest influence on the development of democratic institutions in Honduras and the region. Resources, Dollars and thousands of American lives have gone into the strategic establishment of stability-enhancing democratic institutions in Latin America. To turn and disparage the practice of democratically selecting the leader of a country by refusing to condemn the coup leaders is a disrespect to one of the greatest tenets of US history and culture.

Vigilante said...

Above is a well written statement, with which I disagree.

I frequently quote from the following which was published in the Christian Science Monitor by Octavio Sánchez, a lawyer, and a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras:

..... On June 26, President Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the "Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly." In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office ..... His actions showed intent.....

According to Article 239 [of the Honduras Constitution]: "No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform , as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years."

Notice that the article speaks about intent and that it also says "immediately" – as in "instant," as in "no trial required," as in "no impeachment needed."

Continuismo – the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely – has been the lifeblood of Latin America's authoritarian tradition. The Constitution's provision of instant sanction might sound draconian, but every Latin American democrat knows how much of a threat to our fragile democracies continuismo presents. In Latin America, chiefs of state have often been above the law. The instant sanction of the supreme law has successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.

The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya's arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. He was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.

Don't believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions .....

This so-called coup was constitutional - dura lex, sed lex.

Anderson said...

Vigilante's linked article pretty much has everything covered. Zelaya voided his presidency when he tried to push a referendum on the people. End of story. He is no longer the legal president of Honduras by HIS own doing.

If elected leaders cannot follow the laws they are sworn to protect and enforce, then what becomes of the state?

Though let this be clear: Hondurans are currently fighting the world for their sovereignty. They are being told their own laws are illegal. They are fighting to keep a would-be dictator (because removing term limits is open season for election fraud). And not just any dictator, they're fighting to keep Chavez from running their country through proxy.

Vigilante said...

Yeah, Anderson. You're totally right.