Monday, July 6, 2009

Hondurans Follow Their Constitution To Oust Marxist

I asked an American residing in Tegucigalpa, Honduras if the removal of Manuel "Mel" Zalaya was constitutional. The following was the answer:

"They acted in a legal fashion according to the Constitution. They had a basis for taking him out of office; however, the problem is the way that he was actually “ousted” on Sunday, June 28, leaves some question in the minds of anyone. The military was ONLY involved in removing him from his residence and the country; they were NOT in power here. Power was constitutionally given to the next-in-line after the president. For this reason, the government here insists this was not your old-fashioned military coup. But, since it was the military involved in the ousting (not the police), the appearance has caused problems for the media and everyone else, and rightly so. The basis for removing him, though, was a legal procedure with the courts ordering the military to remove him. The reason they give for removing (rather than arresting) him is because of the chaos that would have ensued. There is not a jail that would have been adequate to keep Mr. Zelaya in; he does have supporters, of course, and they really felt it would be a much more dangerous situation to have him here and one that really was not possible.

Are these reasons good enough to justify the military’s involvement in his removal? I don’t know. How we have wished they could go back and change a few of the ways the did things, but the showdown was coming for awhile. On June 25, Mr. Zelaya, with a group of supporters, went to the Air Force base here to reclaim the ballot boxes/ballots that had been confiscated. It was peaceful because the military simply let him do what he wanted to do, but it was a wild display of defiance and unwillingness to abide by the regulations put on him by the courts, Congress and election officials. None of these things have been explained to the average American although the U.S. government must be aware of his actions. It was on T.V. for all of us to see here, and it was quite the scene. The defiance towards the courts and other institutions here has been going on for awhile. The problem, as well, is the counsel he continually received from Venezuela. He didn’t listen to the counsel given here. The U.S. ambassador here worked hard to help the situation not come to a head on Sunday, but it just seems that Mr. Zelaya finally pushed too many buttons.

It is so difficult, we know, for our government to respond to what looks like an old-fashioned coup, but it was not as the military did not control this country. They followed the orders of the courts, removed the president, and a new president (next in line) was reinstated. We hope & pray that somehow the US can help Honduras work through this in a way that will be best for the present and future of this country … Even better would be that all countries, including Venezuela, leave Honduras to solve their own problems. We realize, though, that Venezuela will not do that while others (including our own country) may … then, there will not be anyone to come to Honduras’ defense when we need it, and we may just be swept up by Mr. Chavez using Mr. Zelaya. This is the danger that looms. We hope that the OAS will see this and begin to condemn the threats that have been made by Mr. Chavez which go directly against the OAS policy of non-intervention. Honduras needs many changes, but they do not need to be included in the list of countries under Mr. Chavez. That would change the very fabric of this country. Although Honduras is poor and struggles with so many things, they have liberties that they don’t realize they have until they are taken away. And, the majority of the population is not in favor of such a change (probably about 80%, although it is impossible to have some kind of official number)."

(This answer is in line with everything I have heard. And yet, with US backing the United Nations and the Organization of American States is backing the Marxist the Hondurans have constitutionally removed.)

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