Philip Giraldi at AntiWar.Com has a good article on the Honduran coup. He lays out, in a very objective fashion, the underlying causes of the coup; as such, his article seems a good place to start for those who know little about it. Writes Giraldi:
Last month a crisis that had been building for nearly a year exploded. President Manuel Zelaya, a wealthy rancher elected as a center leftist in 2006 but turned populist after entering into office, proposed a non-binding referendum that would have supported amending the country’s constitution. Zelaya said that he was interested in changing the constitution to help the poor, though he did not propose any specific remedies. But according to most Hondurans, the particular part of the constitution that he was interested in obtaining a mandate for eventually amending was a non-amendable part that was designed to keep presidents like him from remaining in office beyond their constitutionally permitted terms. Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution reads in translation: “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, 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.” A number of Latin American countries have such clauses in their constitutions to avoid the establishment of presidents-for-life, which have resulted in continuous one party rule [emphasis added].
This, I think, is the crux of the matter. The Wilsonians of the left and right might cry about “democracy” and “the rights of man,” but what we really saw in Honduras was the divided government working as it is supposed to. The other branches of government saw the executive trying to arrogate power and they deposed him. Isn’t it a little embarassing that now Honduras takes the Constitution and the rule of law more seriously than do we, here in democracy’s Shining City on the Hill?
Perhaps most importantly, Giraldi ends with a moral:
[The coup] is a Honduran problem that cries out to be left alone. It is not the business of the United States, its president, and secretary of state.
One would think not. But, in the land of the NSA, we don’t know the meaning of the phrase “mind your own business.”Published in