Honduras: What You Should Know

Hondurans rally in support of their government's actions.

50,000 Hondurans rally in support of their government’s actions.

Many people have failed to realize the importance of the events of the last few days and only the Wall Street Journal has managed to get it right.  To be clear on the facts (in brief):

  • Manuel Zelaya was elected as a center-right candidate of the Liberal Party of Honduras. He immediately renounced his campaign and aligned himself with Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution.
  • He spent most of the last three years organizing a populist “democratic” uprising among the poor in hopes of using direct action to overcome Constitutional impediments to extending his power.
  • This culminated with calling a referendum vote (direct democracy) to ask if he could rewrite the Constitution (now that he’s organized the underclass) to usher in a socialist utopia with him as president for life.  This is the exact strategy, using democracy to subvert democracy, which was developed by Chavez and used to great effect in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.
  • The Honduran Constitution has eight provisions which are duradero: they cannot be amended, removed or changed in any way.  All are designed to preserve rights and prevent dictators.  One duradera disposición restricts all presidents to a single, four-year term.
  • The Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal.  Zelaya pushed forward and ordered the military to provide logistics for the vote.  They refused and Zelaya fired the chief of the armed forces.  The Supreme Court ordered him re-instated and reaffirmed their earlier decision.  Zelaya decided to run the poll himself with ballots and boxes flown in on Venezuelan military planes.  The Supreme Court ordered the military to confiscate the materials.  Zelaya led a mob to the base and re-acquired them.
  • The Supreme Court then ruled that Zelaya was committing “acts of treason against the Constitution” and, acting with their Constitutional authority, they ordered the military to terminate Zelaya’s presidency with a legal succession to follow.
  • The military complied and the congress, dominated by Zelaya’s party, voted 104-4 to affirm the court’s decision and the Speaker of the Senate, Roberto Micheletti, became, by order of succession, the new president.   

Tomorrow I’ll look at the response of the Obama administration, foreign governments, and the media and ask the question, “Why should I care?” Hint: You should.

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