Explanation of the Situation in Honduras
Hondurassituationblogspot ^ | June 30, 2009
Thought Experiment/Explanation on the Situation in Honduras.
Imagine this scenario. A parallel universe if you will:
It is late 1975. The impeachment Trial of Richard M. Nixon is in full swing. But Mr Nixon has already stated that regardless of the result of the trial he is going to remain president. What is more he is calling for a referendum, to be held next Sunday.
This referendum will call for the establishment of new constitutional convention. This constitutional convention will be elected through a special urn set up at the next presidential election, from candidates hand-picked by the president himself. What’s more president Nixon REFUSES to tell us what amendments to the constitution will be presented by this constitutional convention, though people assume that it will include a lifting of all term limits and a centralization of power in the executive branch.
The SUPREME COURT has ruled definitively against Mr .Nixon, telling him such a referendum is itself unconstitutional . Both Houses of congress including all democrats and All republicans- have unanimously condemned the referendum as unconstitutional. Vice president Gerald Ford has resigned, stating the president no longer has his support. Richard Nixon appoints HIMSELF vice president. He does not care that this is blatantly unconstitutional. after all as he says “if the president does it , that means it is not illegal” The congress cuts off ALL FUNDING to the executive branch. No matter. The executive branch has money to burn... where is all this money coming from? It seems from his new powerful friend ....
-Because what is perhaps most alarming is president Nixon’s close relationship with his new best friend; Mao Zedong of the People’s republic of China. All the ballots for the illegal referendum have been manufactured in China . Planes filled with ballots (and many believe elite Chinese commandos) are landing hourly in airports across the USA. They are all Chinese in origin.
The referendum is set for Sunday. It is Wednesday. The president asks all governors to sent out the national guard to protect the ballots and provide security on the day of the referendum. They all refuse.
Thursday: President Nixon calls in the head of the Joint chiefs of Staff and orders him to use the United states armed forces to provide logistical support and security for the referendum. He refuses pointing out the unconstitutionality of this order. President Nixon fires the Head of the Joint Chiefs of staff. The secretary of defense along with all the top commanders of the army , air force, marines navy etc. all hand in their resignations in an act of solidarity with the Head of the Joint chiefs.
The Supreme Court releases an emergency injunction stating that the dismissal of the Joint Chief was itself unconstitutional. The supreme court also (once again) orders that the referendum not occur.
That evening the US Air Force takes over the Chinese planes with the ballots. the planes and the ballots are impounded and taken to hangars at Air force bases across the USA.
Friday: President Nixon wakes up to the news that his ballots are impounded. He gathers members of the news media and 500 radical Maoist student leaders (think weather underground) . This mob, With president Nixon at its head, Hijacks 8 DC metro transit buses. President Nixon drives the commandeered buses to Andrews Air Force Base, where the mob proceeds to tear down a fence and storm the hangars. To avoid bloodshed the air force gives Nixon and his Maoist mob the ballots.
A new wave of ballot stuffed Chinese planes, guarded by elite Chinese commandos land in airports across the USA. The Chinese commandos state they have orders to fight to the death to make sure the ballots go out and “the peoples will” is obeyed on Sunday. The air force decides not to interfere.
Maoist students drive up to the airports and collect the ballots. They along with, and under supervision of, the Chinese special forces will provide the logistical and security support for the referendum on Sunday.
Saturday: This afternoon President Nixon addresses the nation. In a multi hour screed, he talks about his desire for peace in the country. He talks about the elites and how they crush the American spirit, as well as their personal vendetta against him poor Richard Nixon. He reads from the bible. He states that God “speaks and acts through him”. He bursts into tears on several occasions. He starts singing church hymns. in effect he has a full blown mental breakdown on national T.V. This goes on and on and on FOR HOURS. He concludes by stating that tomorrow the American people will enact the will of god through the referendum.
Sunday 3:30 AM: The supreme court in an emergency meeting writes a warrant for the arrest of Richard m Nixon.
Sunday 3:45 AM: Elite members of the Delta force and navy seals break into the white house and essentially kidnap Richard M Nixon. He is driven to Andrews air force base. He is put on Air force one. Air Force One flies to Dublin Ireland, where Nixon still in his pajamas is rather unceremoniously dumped on the tarmac. He is unharmed. Air force one takes off and returns to USA without him.
That morning the national guard breaks into the headquarters of the Maoist radical student groups and take back the ballots. The ballots are transported to their bases and burned.
That afternoon the Speaker of the House is sworn in as the New president of the United states. In his inaugural address he reiterates time and time again that the presidential elections of 1976 will take place. The new President ends his speech by stating “Long live democracy! Long live the Constitution! Long live the United States of America!”
MAO Zedong goes on live television and states that China is now in a state of war against the USA. He threatens a full blown military invasion of the USA in order to restore Richard Nixon to power and “ defend democracy against military dictatorship.”
Bizarrely; instead of laughing at Mao, the rest of the world joins him and condemns the “military coup- d’etat” The united nations OEA the European union, Japan, United kingdom Canada Mexico etc all condemn” the “ Military take over” of Honduras stating that it is reminiscent of the dark days of WWII.
Nixon, accompanied by the Secretary of foreign Relations of Communist China, addresses the UN general assembly. He vows to return to the USA in the next 48 hours.
World Opinion is firmly in favor of Nixon. Meanwhile in the USA, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators take over the national mall central park etc, protesting in favor of the constitution, against Chinese meddling in US affairs, and against the idea of returning Nixon to the presidency.
Sound far fetched? The names and countries are obviously different, but this is a true and accurate summary of the events of the last week in Honduras, as relayed by me a real live living and breathing Honduran.
PLEASE, SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO “condemns” THE NON-EXISTENT COUP IN HONDURAS. The BLOCKED WORST thing that can happen to that country is for Mel Zelaya to be restored to the presidency.
PASS IT ON.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : HONDURAS
RICHARD M. NIXON: JUAN MANUEL “ MEL “ ZELAYA
PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA : REPUBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA
Publicado: 07-06-2009 12:37 AM
Will Obama blackmail Honduras into installing a bullying would-be dictator?
dc scotus examiner ^ | July 5, 2009 | Hans Bader
Last Sunday, Honduras removed its would-be dictator, Mel Zelaya, who flouted court rulings by using intimidation to try to get Hondurans to change their constitution to allow him to extend his tenure in office. The country’s Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Zelaya, which the military enforced by seizing Zelaya and kicking him out of the country. The country’s legislature then voted almost unanimously to replace him with its legislative speaker, in accord with the country’s constitution.
Now, Obama, who knows nothing about Honduran law, is ignorantly claiming that Zelaya’s removal was “illegal,” and demanding that Zelaya be reinstated as president. His demand is joined in by the Organization of American States, many of whose leaders, like Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, have either violated their own countries’ constitutions, or likewise seek to eliminate term limits contained in their own countries’ constitutions. (”A senior Obama administration official said the United States would probably move to suspend economic development and military assistance” to Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere).
Obama is quite wrong to claim that the removal of Zelaya was “illegal.” The Honduran president forfeited his right to rule under Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, which bans presidents from holding office if they even propose to alter the constitutional term limits for presidents. And the Honduran military, which acted on orders of the Honduran supreme court, expressly had the right to remove the president for seeking to alter the constitutional term limit, under Article 272 of the Honduran Constitution, as even left-leaning commentators have now admitted. The Honduran military’s role in enforcing the court order does not make it a “coup” anymore than federal troops’ role in enforcing the court-ordered integration of the Little Rock public schools in 1957 constituted a military occupation or takeover.
(Zelaya was a corrupt ruler who so mismanaged his country’s finances so badly that it recently failed to pay many of its bills. His violations of his country’s constitution were criticized by human rights groups and the Catholic Church as well as the legislature and judiciary).
What happened in Honduras was not “illegal,” much less a “coup,” agrees the Honduran lawyer and former Minister of Culture Octavio Sanchez in his July 2 column in the Christian Science Monitor. He notes that under Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, the President automatically lost his right to remain in office by seeking to extend his term in office: “According to Article 239: ‘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 [emphasis added], 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.”
If Richard Nixon had been impeached and convicted for Watergate, and then refused to leave office, until being forced out by the military, would that have been a “military coup”? Of course not. But Obama and many in the press are taking essentially that BLOCKED in demanding the reinstatement of Honduras’s would-be dictator.
The fact that the military carried out the Honduran Supreme Court’s orders in removing a would-be dictator, after he flouted the court’s rulings, does not make it a “military coup.” When court orders are defied by powerful government officials, troops are sometimes called out to enforce them, as happened in the U.S. in 1957 when federal troops forced Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus to stop blocking the court-ordered integration of Little Rock’s public schools. Indeed, Article 272 of the Honduran Constitution gives the military the power to remove a president even without a court order, if he seeks to violate the term limits prescribed in the Honduran Constitution. Even a legal commentator, Litho, at the leading liberal blog Daily Kos, which is run by a leftist Latin American immigrant, admits that the military’s action was “legal” in a “technical sense” under the Honduran Constitution.
Publicado: 07-06-2009 01:10 AM
ABC / Paraguay ABC Color, es el diario más importante de Paraguay y éste fue su editorial de ayer, ¡¡publicado en toda su portada!!, nada menos, y con el titular en amarillo....
En estos días actuales las democracias latinoamericanas pasan por una dura prueba, pues con los mismos mecanismos de competencia electoral libre y plural, algunos líderes izquierdistas que ganan elecciones se hacen del poder legítimo y desde el día siguiente de su triunfo comienzan a ejecutar sus proyectos de acabar con el sistema político mediante los cuales accedieron su mando. La eliminación de las normas que limitan el período presidencial es su primera meta a conquistar.
Tienen la intención de eternizarse en el poder y, con ello, reventar la democracia entendida como la rotación permanente de proyectos políticos y de personas. Pretenden excluir para siempre a todo el que no esté adherido a su partido. Construyen dictaduras con fórmulas ‘democráticas’ y, cuando se sienten fuertes y disponen de los medios, inician el segundo plan: la exportación de su ‘revolución’.
Internamente, su primera víctima es la Fuerza Armada, de la cual se excluye a todo militar que no merezca la completa confianza del nuevo único líder. Una purga general despoja a la Fuerza Armada de los jefes y oficiales institucionalistas, dejándola a cargo de “los leales”. Después arremete contra el Poder Judicial, realizando las mismas tareas depuratorias para luego, ya con los principales resortes controlados, iniciar el proceso de desmantelamiento de la prensa no alineada y la supresión progresiva de la libertad de expresión.
El resultado final de este procedimiento es la anulación completa, si no la supresión definitiva, de toda idea, doctrina, orientación partidaria o movimiento contrario a la ideología oficial de la nueva dictadura. Sucumbe la libertad en todas sus formas tradicionales y lo que resta es un pueblo indefenso sometido a sus nuevas cadenas. Se confía en que el transcurso del tiempo borrará pronto el recuerdo de la democracia anterior y el beneficio del goce de sus libertades y, entonces, un pueblo atontado, obligado a trabajar para sobrevivir y para alimentar al Partido, a reprimir sus dudas, inquietudes y oposiciones, acabará convertido en un dócil rebaño de borregos, como bien recordamos los paraguayos que vivimos la era stronista.
Este es el proceso en marcha que vemos actualmente en el panorama político de Venezuela, Bolivia y Ecuador. En particular y más claramente en la primera, donde Hugo Chávez, con ya una década de gobierno, se apresta a dar el golpe final haciéndose coronar gobernante vitalicio e imponiendo en el país una nefasta dictadura de corte marxista al estilo del que triunfara y se impusiera en Rusia en 1917, desconociendo el triste final que esos sangrientos regímenes tuvieron después de seis décadas de explotar y oprimir a sus pueblos, asesinar a sus adversarios y poner en grave riesgo la paz mundial.
Hugo Chávez, un dinosaurio que surgió de las cavernas más oscuras de la historia, está a punto de convertirse en amo y señor definitivo de la suerte de su pueblo y de los cuantiosos recursos económicos de su país, excluyéndose de toda competencia real y suprimiendo todo obstáculo que pueda interponerse entre él y su proyecto de vitaliciado. Tiene, además, el dinero necesario para comprar voluntades y pagar el precio de ‘lealtades’, dentro y fuera de su país.
Chávez es un dictador, pero UN DICTADOR MUY RICO; dispone hoy del poder absoluto de hacer con el dinero producido por el petróleo lo que se le antoje; ya no tiene encima ninguna contraloría, nadie a quien deba rendir cuentas. Con su gruesa petrobilletera recorre ahora América Latina y financia partidos, movimientos, organizaciones sociales y campañas electorales. Lo que no puede comprar, lo alquila o neutraliza. Al gobierno argentino le compra bonos del tesoro de Kirchner que nadie quiere y así puede exhibir sus sonrisas de complicidad, aplausos y abrazos, pasear libremente por ese país pronunciando encendidos discursos llamando a la ‘revolución popular’ y haciendo otros teatros para exportar su dictadura.
Entre los cuales figura en lugar prioritario su desesperada intención de introducirse en el Mercosur para, una vez dentro de él, agilizar su intervencionismo en la política interna de los países miembros, con los cuales ya no tiene ninguna afinidad, porque mal que bien, en Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay continúan rigiendo principios básicos del estado de derecho, del régimen democrático y de libertades públicas. Chávez va a pagar en efectivo por su ingreso y tiene billetes a patadas. Quiere comprarle a Brasil y Argentina, lo más barato posible, la legitimidad internacional que su pertenencia del Mercosur cree le va a proporcionar.
La pregunta que continuaremos formulando una y otra vez es: ¿para qué sirve el Protocolo de Ushuaia, que pretendió establecer un compromiso para todos sus estados miembros de conservar intactas las instituciones democráticas? En este documento, Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay declaran que “La plena vigencia de las instituciones democráticas es esencial para el desarrollo de los procesos de integración entre los Estados Parte del presente Protocolo” (Art. 1), y se comprometen formalmente a que “toda ruptura del orden democrático en uno de los Estados Parte del presente Protocolo dará lugar a la aplicación de los procedimientos previstos en los artículos siguientes” (Art. 3).
¿Van a admitir a Venezuela, cuyo dictador por anticipado ya se excluyó de dichas cláusulas? ¿O lo van a admitir primero para luego aplicarle la ‘Cláusula Democrática’? El absurdo y el ridículo rodean a esta intención de prostituir al Mercosur, pero está en marcha y solamente los parlamentarios brasileños y paraguayos tienen en sus manos la posibilidad de impedir esta vergonzosa deserción de los principios fundamentales declarados en nuestras cartas fundamentales y tratados de integración.
A los gobernantes actuales de nuestros países, que tanto cacarean su apego a la democracia y a las libertades fundamentales, y que ciertamente gracias a ellas alcanzaron el poder, ahora les tiemblan las rodillas y se les afilan los dientes a la vista de la deslumbrante petrobilletera abierta de un rústico dictador inescrupuloso, dispuesto a todo, incluyendo el soborno de los ‘demócratas’.
Si nuestros presidentes del Mercosur, aun sabiendo cuál es su obligación histórica con la defensa de los principios y valores políticos que iluminan nuestros pueblos, son capaces de venderse o de liarse en una relación adúltera con un dictador megalómano surgido de las catacumbas de un pasado siniestro, tendremos que convenir que nuestras democracias se venden como auténticas P.U.T,,AS . No cabe ya una calificación más dura para describirlas.
Publicado: 07-06-2009 06:27 PM
Latin America has had a poor record of democratic government. There have been three competing political traditions: a feeble -- but in recent decades growing stronger -- democratic tradition and two pervasive anti-democratic ones. One of the latter is the too-familiar military coup, in which the armed forces overthrow the government and then a military dictator or a junta rules. But the other one, which is just as important but not as well known, has grown so common in the past two decades that it has its own name in Spanish. It is continuismo, meaning the continuity in power of a caudillo or strong man (not necessarily a military officer) who through demagogic means and repression extends his tenure for years, even decades. Regrettably, this authoritarian, antidemocratic tradition has become stronger in the recent past.
Usually, it begins with a legitimate election. The president is chosen to govern for a usual four or six year fixed term allowed by the constitution. But then -- either when that term runs out or even before -- the president decides that he does not need to be re-elected and decides to ignore or overturn the law (and often the nation’s constitution) and remain in office. The authoritarian culture manifests itself when the president uses all the tools and power of the executive branch to overcome the weak checks and balances that exist in that country, and is able to maintain himself in power long after the time for which he was originally elected.
Having lived that historical experience, most Latin American nations -- as expressed in their constitutions -- have a provision much like the 22nd Amendment to the American Constitution, stipulating that the president can only serve a limited number of terms. In most of those nations, such prohibitions are strict enough to say that a president can only serve one term.
This was the case until very recently in, for example, Argentina. When he was elected, President Menem was limited to serve one six-year term. But Menem, using democratic means, called for a plebiscite which resulted in rewriting the Argentinean constitution so that he could stay for two four year terms. Much the same took place in neighboring Brazil under President Cardoso. In both cases, however, the process followed well prescribed democratic courses, and, after serving the newly defined presidential terms, both presidents yielded their offices to their democratically elected successors.
During the '60s and '70s, the radical, authoritarian, anti-democratic left tried to come to power using violent means, such as urban terrorism and guerrilla warfare. But they were defeated in Uruguay, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Only in Castro’s Cuba did guerrilla tactics succeed, and, as a consequence, the anti-democratic left understood that a change in tactics was necessary.
As a result they began to experiment with alternative ways to reach power. They found a new way in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez, who himself was a military man and had lead a failed military coup in attempting to overthrow a democratically-elected government, served years in prison, was pardoned, and eventually ran and won an election for president. Chavez used his enormous early popularity to gradually begin dismantling the country’s institutional framework until the legislature and the judiciary branches became mere rubber stamps for his authoritarian decisions.
And, ironically, all these profoundly anti-democratic measures were masked by a series of electoral victories. (Even when Chavez loses a plebiscite, he finds another way to continue in power). A nation has a democratic system not just because it has elections. A whole set of other institutions are needed to support and nourish a democratic polity. Such things as an independent judiciary, a legislature with real power, civilian control of the military, a free press and the whole host of checks and balances so familiar to an American audience are also an integral part of a democratic form of government.
Having seen how Chavez’s electoral trappings have worked so well to confuse and misguide international opinion, others have started to emulate his success at continuismo. It is happening right now in Bolivia where Evo Morales has done the same thing and is well on the way to replicating Venezuela. In Ecuador, Mr. Correa is doing exactly the same thing, though it is not as far advanced as Chavez and Morales are in their respective nations.
It is in this context of the anti-democratic, authoritarianlLeft deploying a new way to obtain and maintain power that the recent events in Honduras have to be judged. President Zelaya tried, but so far has failed, to replicate Chavez’s success. And the reason should be obvious to all who have been watching political trends in the region during the past decade. The Hondurans have, in effect, literally seen the movie. They know how it ends and told Zelaya that they would not let him play the movie in their own theater.
To say this is a traditional military coup d’etat is not only to misjudge the actual events in Tegucigalpa (the military are not ruling the country, an elected member of Zelaya’s own political party is acting president and has stated that the constitutionally mandated presidential election scheduled for later this year will take place) but, most importantly, it also ignores the actual provisions of the country’s constitution. Such is the concern to avoid and prevent continuismo that it stipulates that the mere advocacy of changing the presidential term of office is enough to immediately dismiss an office holder and exclude the offender from political life for a period of ten years.
The long and bitter Latin American political experience has shown the danger of presidential powers being used to let demagogic leaders perpetuate themselves in power. The Hondurans are acting on that painfully learnt lesson and have taken measures -- now nearly universally misunderstood -- to preserve and not to overthrow their democratic institutional framework.
It was Zelaya who, by his actions, really threatened the democratic system and who should be condemned by all those who wish to see small and poor Honduras continue to develop as a viable democracy in Central America.
To see Zelaya as a victim, as the OAS, the U.N. and our own State Department do, is to see the situation upside down. One indication of the absurdity of this charade is that the expulsion of Honduras from the OAS will take place just weeks after the same body voted to re-admit Castro’s Cuba to its fold. If Cuba should be a member of the OAS, then, surely, Honduras also belongs in the OAS.
|Ambassador Jose S. Sorzano was the Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1983 to 1985, serving with Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. He is now the chairman of The Austin Group, an Arlington, Virginia, international consulting firm.|
Publicado: 07-07-2009 01:24 PM