Category Archives: Central America

More commentary on Honduras

On my latest post on the Honduras situation (Honduras on the Brink….), an informed commenter offered some reaction. Turns out he is the author of Marque’s Letters, and has been publishing some insightful commentary of his own on the topic. His most recent Honduras post is entitled And It’s On: Throwdown with Bobby Micheletti.

Marque’s Letters is authored by an attorney, and seems to be a solid site. It’s always so interesting to come across a new site out and explore it a little bit. There are millions of sites out there (including many good ones), but so often I find myself landing on the same dozen or so. It’s good to venture out bey0nd one’s normal terrain.

Now, as to his comment about Brazil being wrong to harbor Zelaya, but still within its prerogative to do so, I guess I’ll have to think about that. It’s a well reasoned argument, because you’re right, once you start to go after embassies for harboring unwanted political figures, you do run a certain risk. I just find it so objectionable, Brazil’s actions…..Anyway. I’ll continue to cover this story as developments warrant.

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Honduras on the brink; Brazil, Reuters do their part to push it over the edge

The small Central American country of Honduras stands at the brink of  a chasm of absolute political chaos. In recent weeks and months, the democratic government has stoically maintained course in the face of international pressure to reinstall a lawfullly deposed leftist authoritarian to the office of the presidency. Now, it faces the most serious challenge yet.

Former president Manuel Zelaya, after at least one failed previous attempt, has secretly entered the country and taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Now, as far as I know Zelaya is not Brazilian, so he would have no regular claim for protection within the embassy. And while I am not intimately familiar with international diplomatic norms in a case such as this, it would seem that Brazil is clearly stepping out of its bounds in harboring a known enemy of the government.

Zelaya has made it clear that he will do what he can to retake power, including the orchestration of mob violence.

Ultimately, regardless of whatever protocol may exist (this instance is so unique I doubt there is much of a protocol) Brazil’s protection of this criminal and volatile political actor is an outrageous affront to the people of Honduras and their democratic government. Honduras has every right to demand that the embassy hand Zelaya over, and if they not, to close down the embassy.

A note on the media coverage: The reporting by Reuters in this story is absolutely shameful. They join a number of media outlets in compounding the incorrect notion that Zelaya’s ouster was a military coup – I even heard Fox News Radio use that term this evening. Additionally, Reuters incorrectly identifies the current president, Roberto Micheletti, as a conservative. In fact, the current president is of the same party as Zelaya.

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Careerists at State push Hillary, Obama to isolate Honduras

According to an anonymous source at Foggy Bottom, staff of the State Department have recommended to Secretary Hillary Clinton that the U.S. declare recent events in Honduras as a “military coup,” according to a Reuters piece today. The move would prevent the Central American nation from receiving $150 million in American aid.

Firstly, this leak is unacceptable. Was it authorized? If so, by whom – the White House? Or by Clinton’s team itself, to make it look in advance as though an impending decision by Clinton was not her personal political judgment, but rather than consensus wisdom of career professionals at State?

Or it was a real leak – someone with an axe to grind, who went to a reporter anonymously, without authorization? Perhaps to pressure the administration to isolate Honduras?

Whatever the identity of the leak, it’s all pretty much the same end game. Whoever was doing it has a problem with the democratic, peaceful preservation of power in Honduras and presumably would rather see a left wing thug like Manuel Zelaya in office. And assuming the source for the story is accurately representing the staff consensus at State, this story is also a disturbing commentary on the mass of career employees at the country’s diplomatic nerve center.

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WSJ: Obama on ‘wrong side of history’ in Honduras

The Wall Street Journal editorializes this morning that in urging the return to power of deposed Honduran president  Manuel Zelaya, President Barack Obama is sending all the wrong signals to anti-democratic heads of government in Latin America (something I discussed on July 12). This issue is becoming clearer by the day. It’s now patently obvious to anyone who cares to see that the removal of Zelaya was necessary and proper.

Obama’s support for a lawless authoritarian like Zelaya has become increasingly indefensible as new facts have continued to emerge. It is time for the administration to back away from its initial position on this matter and to become a friend of peaceful self-governance in the region.

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More truth on Honduras

Dennis Prager pens a piece in Real Clear Politics. He writes from Honduras, where he has ventured as a show of support for the embattled democratic government there. He ends with a call to support the country during its crisis.

I’d love to see more journalism/commentary like this. Good stuff, check it out.

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The problem with supporting Zelaya

What’s the big deal if the United States supports Manuel Zelaya in his bid to return to power in Honduras? The former president was legally removed from power after attempting to violate the constitution and install himself as permanent strongman in the small Central American country. President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats support Zelaya however, and in this they join such enlightened democrats as Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, Fidel Castro and Evo Morales.

The problem is that supporting Zelaya and his actions gives the go ahead to other leaders in the region who might seek to do the same. Just as importantly, it gives tacit approval to those already engaged in authoritarian style governance. Why would Obama and his fellow partisans do this? It seems quite obvious. They ideologically sympathize with the Zelayan cause.

Republicans in Congress are raising their voices (which may be all they can do at this time). As reported by AFP, Forida Rep. Connie Mack of the House Foreign Affairs Committee pointed out the company the administration is keeping on this issue. Fellow committee member Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey blasted Zelaya and refuted any notion that his removal amounted to a “coup.”

By continuing to boldly make the whole set of facts known, perhaps Republicans and other supporters of freedom and democracy can shame the administration into not actively seeking Zelaya’s return to power.

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Estrada weighs in on Zelaya ouster

Native Honduran and American success story Miguel Estrada has weighed in on the removal of the former president of Honduras. Writing in the L.A. Times, Estrada describes exactly why the removal and peaceful transfer of power was proper, democratic and just.

I’m not holding my breath for the leftist dictators in Venezuela or Cuba to suddenly support freedom and the rule of law in Honduras. However, perhaps those who in the initial heat of the moment reflexively weighed in with support for Manuel Zelaya will reconsider their positions as a clear picture emerges of this story.

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