Costa Rica President Oscar Arias, the principal negotiator in the “Honduran crisis,” let the cat out of the bag on September 29 by stating that the situation is due at least in part to the Honduran constitution. He called it “the worst in the entire world” and “an invitation to coups”:
It lacks an impeachment process, so I imagine the only way of calling the president to account was to oust him. … This is something that will have to be resolved, and the best way to do this is, if we can’t have a constitutional election, is to have certain reforms so this Honduran constitution ceases to be the worst in the entire world.
This strikes me as very revealing, even more so than Howard Dean’s acknowledgment that ObamaCare can’t include tort reform because the trial lawyers (big supporters of the Democratic Party) would not stand for it.
The Honduran constitution is not “the worst in the world.” There are others far worse, including that of Venezuela — now amended to permit El Presidente Hugo Chávez to remain in office indefinitely. However, even accepting Arias’ statement at face value, his belated observation that it has no impeachment process and “the only way of calling the president to account was to oust him” comes very close to an admission that removing Manuel Zelaya from office was lawful. That is pretty close to what the Congressional Research Service concluded in a report released by Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) on September 24.
The Arias statement is also tantamount to an acknowledgment that he himself went far beyond his proper role as a negotiator when he demanded the reinstatement of Zelaya. The demands of Arias, Chávez, Obama, et al. were demands to violate the Honduran constitution.
Arias also went far beyond his mandate as a negotiator when he asserted that since there can not be a “constitutional election” there must be “certain reforms.” Leaving aside that he offered no analysis as to why there can not be a constitutional election (one is scheduled for November 29), it was not the place of Arias or the representative of any nation other than Honduras to demand that the Honduran constitution be changed.
Nations are expected to adhere to their constitutional processes, and whether the Honduran constitution should be changed is an internal affair — not something to be based on Arias’ absurd perception that it is “the worst in the world.” There are certainly likely to be problems with the November 29 election, due currently to the return of Zelaya to Honduras and the grant of refuge at the Brazilian embassy (which is now causing domestic problems for Brazilian President Lula da Silva). The insistence of the Obama administration and Chávez that Zelaya be reinstated has certainly contributed to those difficulties, but that does not make the scheduled election unconstitutional.