Friday, July 3, 2009

Honduras Coup or No Coup, No Coup

After news broke that the president of Honduras was arrested and deported by the military, most initial thoughts were Coup. That initial thought appears to be wrong. While military intervention in a democratic process should make freedom loving people nervous, it is not necessarily wrong. In this case, military intervention was not wrong, indeed it was legally sanctioned by the nation's highest court within the bounds of their constitution. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya by his own actions removed himself from office. The military did not take control for their own power, they acted within the law to prevent Honduras from becoming another democracy in name only with a pertinently installed president.

I admire Obama's rapid speed and force in his comments on the matter, especially when compared to how he handled the situation in Iran (Berman Post: Iranian Revolution (Day Twenty)). Unfortunately, he picked the wrong side to support.

"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'├ętat.

That is nonsense.

In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule 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.
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.
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.

Hat tip to

1 comment:

  1. Having many friends in Honduras the fear was tha Zelaya had rigged the referendum results and was going to use the "results" to justify a government takeover. Also this was not a coup as the military never took control of the country. The military was always under Judicial and Congressional (Honduran) control. A coup is when the military takes control of the branches of government. This did not take place.
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