Monday, June 29, 2009

Yellow Journalism About Honduras

Update: Fausta has a new post. She quotes from Mary O’Grady, who says:

Former Argentine Ambassador to the U.N. Emilio Cárdenas told me on Saturday that he was concerned that “the OAS under Insulza has not taken seriously the so-called ‘democratic charter.’ It seems to believe that only military ‘coups’ can challenge democracy. The truth is that democracy can be challenged from within, as the experiences of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and now Honduras, prove.”

Fausta’s blog is still the best place to go for news about Honduras (or anywhere else in Latin America). The latest discussion is available on her podcast, and you can go directly to Blog Talk Radio and listen to this morning’s show.

Keep an eye on her blog this afternoon for breaking news not otherwise available in English.

The crisis in Honduras came about because President Manuel Zelaya attempted to hold an illegal and unconstitutional referendum designed to extend his presidential term indefinitely. It was a classic move in the style of Hugo Chávez, and Mr. Zelaya vowed to go through with it against a unanimous Supreme Court Ruling, a vote by the Honduran Congress, and an official ruling by the country’s supreme electoral commission.

No printer in Honduras would print ballots for the illegal referendum, but Hugo Chávez helped out his Honduran pal by printing the ballots in Venezuela and flying them into the country, where they were impounded at the airport by the Honduran military.

Yesterday Manuel Zelaya was ousted with the help of the army, but the new government is not a military one; the new president, Roberto Micheletti, is from the Honduran Congress.

That’s what happened in Honduras. But it’s not what you would believe if you got your news solely from the rest of the world’s mainstream media. Here’s a selection from this morning’s headlines:

WaPo: Honduran military ousts president ahead of vote
WaPo: Honduran president calls arrest a ‘kidnapping’
WaPo: Clinton urges condemnation of Honduran action
WSJ: Coup Rocks Honduras
BBC: Chavez allies back ousted Zelaya
Grauniad: Protesters demand return of ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya
Grauniad: Brazil’s Lula calls for Zelaya return in Honduras
Christian Science Monitor: Leftist leaders hold emergency meeting over Honduras coup
Granma: ALBA presidents condemn coup and back Zelaya
HuffPo: Obama Has the Power-and Responsibility- to Help Restore Democracy…
ChicagoNow: Honduras coup is a blow to democracy

This morning a commenter named Carlos Echevarria left the following comment on last night’s brief post about Honduras:

Gates of Vienna, thank you for your comments.

My father is a former “company” man who has conducted business in Honduras for over 40 years and was in Tegucigalpa just last week.

You are correct: Mel Zelaya had disavowed various Supreme Court decisions, went against the will of the national congress, violated orders of the election tribunal board and fired the head of the Joint Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister illegally because they would NOT go along with his sham referendum.
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Note that this would alter the constitution so he could perpetuate himself in power, à la Chavez.

Of course Obama denounced this; one of his ideological soulmates was ousted by an Armed Forces which did so via a court order and with the complete backing of the congress (which by the way is majority of the ex President’s party).

Thank God today Roberto Micheletti is leading Honduras and I will leave you with this beautiful quote:

“Nobody, not Barack Obama and much less Hugo Chávez, has any right to threaten this country.”

Viva Honduras Libre!!!

God Bless the glorious armed services of Honduras which upheld the honor and decency of a nation which refused to condemn itself to darkness and tyranny.

A rare example of media accuracy about Honduras was posted last Friday by the Cato Institute:

Unfortunately for Zelaya, he doesn’t have the backing of his own party, much less any other major political group. So he has moved unilaterally to call for a referendum on the need for a new constitution. The vote, which is scheduled for this Sunday, has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court and the Electoral Tribunal, and condemned by the Honduran Congress and attorney general (whose office is not part of the cabinet in Honduras).

Despite the widespread institutional opposition to his plans, Zelaya is pushing for the vote. On Wednesday he ordered the Honduran armed forces to start distributing the ballots and other electoral materials throughout the country. The army chief, complying with the Supreme Court ruling, refused to obey the order. Zelaya sacked him, which prompted the resignation of all other leading army officers and the defense minister.

The attorney general is asking Congress to impeach Zelaya for violating the institutional order and abusing his powers. Last night, the Congress discussed removing Zelaya from his office. The president is defiant and has accused the Congress of attempting a coup.

Well, the Honduran Congress did carry out a “coup”, and now the world media are playing their appointed role as the best friend of socialist dictators all over the world.

If they have their way, Manuel Zelaya will return to Tegucigalpa in triumph and be installed as Honduras’ very own Hugo Chávez.


James Higham said...

Seems like he got his then.

Anonymous said...

Who'd have thought that Honduras had the most legitimate constitutional republic in the world?!?

Afonso Henriques said...


I presume Zelaya has a chance of winning the referendum, otherwise he would not go that way.

So, we have an interesting clash between the people's will and the law.

Baron Bodissey said...

Afonso --

I think the whole point is that the proposed referendum would have been rigged, like Hugo's, and would have been no more real a vote than the recent one in Iran.

Zonka said...

And naturally Obama is supporting Zelaya, and in a conversation with the Colombian president Alvaro Uribe said that the "coup" was "illegal" and would create a "terrible precedent"... Imagine that a head of state should be bound by the Constitution, the Congress and the Supreme Court and other such annoyances to fulfil ones mission of creating Heaven on Earth... Who knows who might be next unless such obstacles to the rightful's mission is removed completely...

The Sentinel said...

Sorry, this is off topic but I thought people may find it of interest as it harks back to a recent debate on the subject of Sharia courts in the UK - and it has been revealed that the Sharia courts are much more widespread then previously known:

"Britain has 85 sharia courts: The astonishing spread of the Islamic justice behind closed doors..."


Arius said...

So this would have been a Chavez type coup in Honduras. Obama and Hillary both know the true story so based on their public statements we can assume that they support Chavez type coups. Ergo, that means they will support it here in the US (where of course it will be done behind a smiling happy day face).

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

".....we can assume that they support Chavez type coups."

Indeed, Arius, it remains to be seen if Obama will leave office if he is defeated in 2012, or if he is re-elected (God help us!) will he leave four years after that (since the Constitution limits a president to two terms?)