Ten Days That Shook Honduras
A recap of the events in Honduras and the Obama administration's curious response.
July 9, 2009 - 9:46 am
Day one: The coup that wasn’t
On Sunday, June 28, before dawn, more than a dozen Honduran soldiers surrounded the residence of President Manuel Zelaya. They arrested the controversial president and disarmed his security guards. Zelaya was escorted from his home outside the capital, Tegucigalpa, to the airport and expatriated to Costa Rica.
The local news media immediately reported that Zelaya had been sent into exile. Zelaya supporters called it a coup and protested at the presidential palace. The international media called it a coup. Venezuelan Marxist Hugo Chavez released a statement in support of Zelaya saying, “This coup will be defeated and it will be defeated by the people of Honduras and through its will.”
By 11:50 that morning, President Barack Obama released a statement in support of the exiled Leftist Zelaya. The U.S. president called on all sides in Honduras to respect democracy and the rule of law. Obama said, “Any disputes must be settled peacefully through negotiations that are free from outside interference.” This was a strange response considering President Obama initially remained silent during the slaughter of democracy protesters in Iran and refused to denounce the brutal regime. He even announced that he would not meddle in Iran as the “debate” for the future of the country was in progress.
At 3:15 on Sunday Hillary Clinton said the action taken against Honduras’ president should be condemned by everyone.
It wasn’t until later on Sunday that the rest of the story was leaked out on blogs. Piece of Work in Progress deciphered the news:
You won’t really grasp it from the AP article, but the Honduran coup is about President Zelaya’s extra-constitutional attempt to extend his term. He would be out of office in January, but he wanted a referendum to permit him to run again. The Supreme Court stated that would be unconstitutional. The army general who was to have distributed the ballots refused, and was sacked by Zelaya. The military then snatched Zelaya from his villa and shipped him off to Hugo (or Costa Rica).
Retired Honduran general Daniel Lopez Carballo justified the move against the president, telling CNN en Espanol that Mr. Zelaya was a stooge for Mr. Chavez.
Day two: Obama stands with Chavez
President Obama on Monday called the action “not legal,” and announced that Zelaya was still the legitimate president. Latin American expert Monica Showalter at Investor’s Business Daily described the situation:
There was a coup all right, but it wasn’t committed by the U.S. or the Honduran court. It was committed by Zelaya himself. He brazenly defied the law, and Hondurans overwhelmingly supported his removal (a pro-Zelaya rally Monday drew a mere 200 acolytes).
Yet the U.S. administration stood with Chavez and Castro, calling Zelaya’s lawful removal “a coup.” Obama called the action a “terrible precedent,” and said Zelaya remains president.
In doing this, the U.S. condemned democrats who stood up to save their democracy, a move that should have been hailed as a historic turning of the tide against the false democracies of the region.
President Obama had sided with the Marxist leaders Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, Evo Morales, and Daniel Ortega in support of Zelaya. It was a strange day in American foreign policy.
Day three: The right stands for freedom
On Tuesday Newt Gingrich attacked Barack Obama for siding with the regional Marxists in attacking the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress for protecting the nation’s constitution. Gingrich blasted Obama for opposing the “coup” in Honduras, which the former GOP leader insisted would have kept in place a “Leftist dictatorship.” Newt tweeted:
Having Castro call for defending democracy should convince any reasonable person that Honduras was on the edge of a leftist dictatorship.
Later in the day the U.S. co-sponsored legislation with Marxist regimes Venezuela and Bolivia in support of the tin-pot Leftist dictator-wannabe Manuel Zelaya of Honduras.