Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another Failed Attempt

Mel Zelaya tried to come home again yesterday. In my opinion, yet another move on his part that further shows the mentality of this man. I think the only 2 people he is listening to is Hugo Chavez and the little voice in his head that has given him such bad advice all along. Chavez (again, my opinion) would love for Zelaya to become a martyr. Why else would he send him to the border for a showdown with the police? And yes, I do believe Chavez is pulling his strings...such a Pinocchio. Nearly the entire time he spent standing on the brink of the Honduran border, he was on cell phones that people kept handing him. I wonder who he was talking to? Maybe the girlfriend of the guy who handed him the phone? Hugo, his best bud? Perhaps Insulza, who was screaming at him..."What the hell are you thinking??" I can't think of a single person who would have advised him to do what he did. And I'm curious as to who it was that convinced him to turn around and go back to Nicaragua. I think he was a bit miffed that he didn't have the expected welcoming committee of around 500,000 supporters, better known as the Red team, and instead saw 3-400. Could it have been the strategic roadblocks (dump trucks dumped dirt on the highway, effectively blocking the roads) set up to keep the number of supporters to a minimum? The pro-Zelaya demonstrations have been slowly fizzling out, probably due to the fact that they aren't being paid to attend these fun functions. When you get 3 tortillas and a ziplock bag of water in return for being bused to a get together (and you have no idea why), my guess is you stop attending. And then you have to figure out how to get back home.

Secretary Clinton called this visit "reckless." I call it an opportunity to get worldwide attention. CNN ("Chavez News Network") just now did a 20 second report on it and mentioned he had several hundred supporters there. Several hundred???? Most were reporters. And some of those supporters got a bit rowdy and started throwing rocks at the police. CNN reported that 2 people were injured when shots were fired to quell the crowd. Every gathering of those against the return of Zelaya (known as the White team) have been peaceful and MASSIVE. No one is reporting on the numbers because *gasp* that might show just what the people of Honduras really want. They don't want this man back in power. He stole from this country, he is guilty of misuse of power among other things and this country deserves better. They deserve support in their quest of a decent life. And they are not going to give in to pressures from outside of their country. My heart goes out to those who are standing up for their rights to a president who will be FOR the people, not for what he can get out of the office.

Mel Zelaya, go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect any more of this country's money.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Honduras Coup Analysis - What's Really Happening in Honduras?

As most of you know, I have lived in Tegucigalpa for the past 14 months or so, working at the American Embassy here. This is a wonderful country...the people are terrific, the climate is fabulous and if you can overlook the crime and corruption, it's a great place to live.

That being said, there is some pretty serious political unrest going on here. I've been spending most of my time posting links to articles on my facebook about the current situation here. The links below are excellent sources and covers all the angles. Please take a minute and read them. From what my friends in the U.S. say, there is very little press on this subject in the states. But the crisis here and its issues are so important and will have a direct impact on things in the states (as in the flow of drugs into the U.S. and the protection of Democracy in this small country) and it's important to know what's going on. This is not a time to stick your head in the sand and ignore it. Just be informed is all I ask.

Other great sites that are covering this crisis are , Christian Science Monitor (google it...not sure of the addy) and the Wall Street Journal ( . You may have to create a log on for some of these, but they are great sources of information and worth the trouble, especially if your hometown news isn't covering whats going on here.

Honduras Coup Analysis - What's Really Happening in Honduras? - Esquire

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Time is Running Out

Interesting read...

July 2nd, 2009,

"Within the next 48 hours, the situation in Honduras will reach its most critical point yet. Deposed Marxist dictator Manuel Zelaya has set the stage to try to retake power in direct defiance of that nation's Supreme Court, its legislature, and the vast majority of the Honduran people.

And if Honduras falls, the rest of Latin America -- already at risk -- will not be far behind.
That's why it is more important than ever for us as Liberty Leaders to get out the facts to all we know -- as quickly as possible. The attached commentary from a leading Honduran attorney, Octavio Sánchez, sets the record straight: Manuel Zelaya was seeking a third term through attempting to amend a portion of the Honduran Constitution which is illegal to amend. His removal was legal and constitutional. For more background, also refer to the following legal memorandum further explaining the timeline of events as they occurred and legal complexities.

A 'Coup' in Honduras? Nonsense.
By Octavio Sánchez

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Sometimes, the whole world prefers a lie to the truth. The White House, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and much of the media have condemned the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this past weekend as a coup d'état.
That is nonsense.

In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law.
To understand recent events, you have to know a bit about Honduras's constitutional history. In 1982, my country adopted a new Constitution that enabled our orderly return to democracy after years of military rule. After more than a dozen previous constitutions, the current Constitution, at 27 years old, has endured the longest.

It has endured because it responds and adapts to changing political conditions: Of its original 379 articles, seven have been completely or partially repealed, 18 have been interpreted, and 121 have been reformed.

It also includes seven articles that cannot be repealed or amended because they address issues that are critical for us. Those unchangeable articles include the form of government; the extent of our borders; the number of years of the presidential term; two prohibitions – one with respect to reelection of presidents, the other concerning eligibility for the presidency; and one article that penalizes the abrogation of the Constitution.

During these 27 years, Honduras has dealt with its problems within the rule of law. Every successful democratic country has lived through similar periods of trial and error until they were able to forge legal frameworks that adapt to their reality. France crafted more than a dozen constitutions between 1789 and the adoption of the current one in 1958. The US Constitution has been amended 27 times since 1789. And the British – pragmatic as they are – in 900 years have made so many changes that they have never bothered to compile their Constitution into a single body of law.

Under our Constitution, what happened in Honduras this past Sunday? Soldiers arrested and sent out of the country a Honduran citizen who, the day before, through his own actions had stripped himself of the presidency.

These are the facts: On June 26, President Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the "Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly." In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office.

Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published that decree to initiate an "opinion poll" about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term. His actions showed intent.

Our Constitution takes such intent seriously. 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.
I am extremely proud of my compatriots. Finally, we have decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men. From now on, here in Honduras, no one will be above the law."

Octavio Sánchez, a lawyer, is a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras.