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Zelaya Opponent Wins Honduran Election by Large Margin

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 am - November 30, 2009.
Filed under: Honduras,Politics abroad

The Central American country’s long national nightmare should now be over.

First, the leftist President Manuel Zelaya tried to rig a referendum in defiance of his nation’s constitution to hold onto power.  Then, when the nation’s judiciary removed him from office, world leaders, including our own President, refused to recognize this constitutional action.

Well, yesterday, Honduras held elections which Zelaya described as a “fraud“; he urged his supporters to boycott the vote.  Well, over 60% of registered voters turned out, delivering a 56% majority to Porfirio Lobo. Defeated by Zelaya “in the last presidential election in 2005,” Lobo “comes from the centre-right opposition National Party.”

Despite recent electoral victories for the allies of Hugo Chavez in Nicaragua and El Salvador, chavismo does not appear to be an unstoppable force in Central America.   Democratic, constitutional governance will prevail, in Honduras at least.

With the Obama Administration saying it would recognize the results, it seems all’s well that ends well.  And shows as well that all its bellyaching over the “coup” these past few months was really just much ado about nothing.

Cautious Optimism In Honduras, No Thanks To Clinton and Obama

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 2:42 pm - November 1, 2009.
Filed under: Honduras

Word from Honduras this weekend that a tentative settlement might have been reached between ousted former president Manuel Zelaya and the interim government in Tegucigalpa might bring the episode so many ignorant members of the Obama Administration, its State Department, and deer-in-the-headlights fawning (get it?) press have insisted on calling a “coup”, which it isn’t and has not ever been. I won’t rehash the whole thing. I’ve written about it here, here, and here. Follow the links in those posts (particularly the ones that point to Wall Street Journal articles) for a brief history of the whole mess.

I’m optimistic because the settlement calls for the Honduran Supreme Court first to issue an opinion on his return. Then Zelaya must face his nation’s Congress who will vote on whether or not to allow him to serve out the remainder of what would have been his term as president. Given (as Otto Reich mentions) that the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against him in June, and the Congress voted 122-6 against him at the time, it’s unlikely he’s going to be taking back his old office.

I’m cautious, however, because why would Zelaya knowingly agree to face such an inevitable shit-storm? He undoubtedly has the support of Venezuela’s Chavez, who will undoubtedly attempt to rouse (through coersion, threats, or out-right bribes) members of that representative body (which, I needn’t remind you is populated by a majority of Zelaya’s own party) into reinstating the would-be dictator. I’m not ready to claim victory for the Honduran people just yet. After all, it is Central America, and it’s not as if there’s a stalwart American voice calling for the defense of law and order (or even respect for the Constitution). I smell a rat. We’ll have to wait and see.

Oh yea, and America. How have our leaders worked to restore law and order in Honduras? Well, if Zelaya is (once again) sent packing and the elections scheduled for later this month go on as planned in an orderly and democratic fashion, it’ll be no thanks to President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Since the beginning of this crisis, the Obama Administration and State Department seems to have been working stridently against fair and lawful resolution to this saga. All along the way, they have offered zero in defense of their non-sensical position of denying Hondurans their right to a solid Constitutional government while supporting this Chavez mini-me. When asked to defend their decisions, they have bobbed and weaved. While the Congressional Research Service (a law branch of the Library of Congress) found the ouster to be legit, State’s top lawyer, Harold Koh continued to stonewall on even the reasoning behind the inconceivable decision of the Secretary and her boss.

The agreement allowing Zelaya to (once again) face his peoples’ representatives to (once again) decide his fate gives Clinton and Obama just what they need: A face-saving out. Nobody, once this is over, is likely to revisit their oulandishly stupid decisions and prevarications on the situation. Indeed, if all is well and over, they should be very grateful for hte short attention-spans of their handmaids in the US press.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Hopeful for Honduras…

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 12:42 am - October 4, 2009.
Filed under: Honduras

I’m no fan of rogue Congressional delegations travelling abroad and undermining our foreign policy a la that dipshit from San Francisco going to Syria, or those useful idiots from Seattle, Michigan, and Napa bankrolled by Saddam Hussein himself. So I’m not jumping up and down celebrating Senator Jim DeMint’s victory over John Kerry’s failed attempt to scuttle his plans to take Congressmen Aaron Schock and Peter Roskam of Illinois and Doug Lamborn from the Greatest State on a “fact-finding” mission to the beleagured Central-American state.

Part of what keeps my feet on the ground here is DeMint’s style. The Twitter message he used to announce the trip read:

Leading delegation to Honduras tomorrow to support Nov 29 elections. Hondurans should be able to choose their own future.

(emphasis added)

As that cow over at State has said, the Honduran elections will not be recognized by America unless the interrim government gives up its Constitutional authority and puts back in place the criminal Zelaya who she’s so happy to sit down with and give succor to. So DeMint’s goal in his trip was pretty specifically contrary to the policy of the US government.

If his mission were indeed (as he said after Kerry gave it the kibosh) “fact-finding”, he’d have a better standing for support in his trip. As wrong-headed and perverse (not to mention continuously bizarre and vexing) as the Administration’s and State Department’s policy is toward Honduras, it is America’s policy, and undermining it while abroad can have unintended consequences and negative ramifications for the US. And believe me, Sen. DeMint, Obama and Clinton need no help effing up our foreign policy. They’ve pretty much proven their capbility on that front without any assitance.

Nevertheless, thanks to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the delegation proceeded and met this weekend with members of the interim government there.

As tainted as the trip is, I do hope that something good can come out of it. Specifically, I hope that Senator DeMint was temperant in his discussions and didn’t lead the leaders of that country to any ill-founded conclusions. More so, I hope that the delegation actually learned some first-hand information to bring back to Clinton and Obama about the absolutely legal and constitutional ousting of Zelaya and installation of an interim government ahead of elections scheduled next month.

And ultimately, here’s hoping Obama and Clinton will shed their arrogance about the matter, admit they’ve been wrong all along, embrace the rule of law (for once), and support the people (and the Constitution!) of Honduras.

Watch this space to find out. I’ll post what I can find out as I have the time.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Obama Worldview Unchanged Since His College Years?

In his latest post at the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone wonders if the President still shares the prevailing attitude in the 1980s of the smart set in the United States that dictatorships thrived in Latin America because they and their corporate backers were “all propped up by the United States.”  That wold certainly help explain his bizarre reaction to events in Honduras where he favors the reinstatement of a president “ousted by the Supreme Court for violating a constitutional provision that forbids any moves to seek a second term.”

Guess he prefers the amorphous ideology of “the people” to the reality of the Honduran constitution.

The president’s worldview,  Barone believes, seems mired in the 1980s: “But some people, including Barack Obama, whose college thesis written in those years has never been made public*, seem stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy“:

But on foreign policy as his record emerges — as he reverses himself on missile defense and perhaps on Afghanistan — his motivating principle seems rooted in an analysis, common in his formative university years, that America has too often been on the side of the bad guys. The response has been to disrespect those who have been our friends and to bow to our enemies.

It’s Barone, so it goes without saying just read the whole thing.

* (more…)

US Goes It Alone In Foreign Policy

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:13 pm - September 8, 2009.
Filed under: Honduras,Liberal Hypocrisy

Great piece today on Investor’s Business Daily‘s editorials site about how even enemies of liberty like Hugo Chavez are finding it inevitable that (to steal a phrase) “democratic, constitutional governance” will probably prevail despite the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to thwart the rule of law in Honduras with their bully tactics toward the interrim (and, by the way, completely constitutional) government there.

From the piece:

[A]s Honduras remains firm, the rest of the world, sees this and has started to restore normal ties. If this continues, the U.S. will be left holding the bag as the world’s bad cop bully….

Meanwhile, the European Union announced it wouldn’t initiate trade sanctions on Honduras as it had threatened earlier. It knew the deal and knew its interests.

Thursday, the International Monetary Fund announced it would extend a $150 million loan to Honduras, a sharp shift from the lending cutoff announced by the World Bank after the June 28 ouster of Zelaya. Again, game over, back to business.

Now we see where all the cowboys have gone, no? I recall eight years of consistent hand-wringing over how America was not cow-towing to the will of the greater world in foreign policy. Along comes The One and his Gal at State, and suddenly it’s fashionable to be left the only ones standing as long as the end result is supporting a would-be dictator with zero respect for the rule of law or voice of his people.

Funny how things change.

Oh, and by the way, I (as many Hondurans were probably doing for a while before they gave up on us) am still waiting for a cogent explanation from the Administration (or even State) that addresses all the facts of the situation there and shows the absolute steel-jaw logic that led to the US position on the issue. Can someone in the press posit such an inquiry, please?

I’ll be over here waiting.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

State STILL Wrong on Honduras

I regret having not blogged more extensively on the topic of Honduras, although I and some commenters have brought it up a few times. The long story short can be read in several places to which I’ve already linked (specifically, here and here), but in sum, the legal and democratic institutions of the tiny Central American country upheld the rule of law earlier this summer by ousting their president when he was in direct and incontrovertible violation of their constitution.

Then the Obama Administration and its State Department, naturally, ‘effed it up by supporting the ousted Zelaya and demanding his return to power without even the slightest hint of irony (having only a week or two earlier claimed the moral high ground for not “meddling” in Iran). Obama went so far as to even suspend military activities with Honduras and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revoked visas for some Honduran officials.

What’s left to do? Why how about a complete termination of all non-emergency aid to the mouse that had the temerity to roar in order to keep its democracy?

Check out this nonsensical passage from the State Department’s statement:

Restoration of the terminated assistance will be predicated upon a return to democratic, constitutional governance in Honduras.

Huh? An exercise of “democratic, constitutional governance” is exactly what the Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras was doing, you morons! How about if Honduras has an election in November (You know, the one that’s scheduled for then, and has been all along…the one Zelaya was trying to hijack?) and we can all move on and wash our hands of all this. No need to do something stupid and amateurish that might diplomatically paint the US into a corner, right?

Oh, wait. From the same press release:

[November's upcoming elections in Honduras] must be undertaken in a free, fair and transparent manner. It must also be free of taint and open to all Hondurans to exercise their democratic franchise. At this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections.

WTF? So the story goes that in order for Honduras to demonstrate to Hillary Clinton and that international wizard Barack Obama that they are committed to “democratic, constitutional governance”, Hondurans will have to restore a criminal to their presidency and allow him to run the nation’s upcoming presidential election.

Would be kinda nice if someone asked the Secretary what the hell she (and her boss) is thinking.

Or at least what are Bill’s thoughts?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)