Please cut and past to view article as it appears in the Seattle Times today. Or, view the following as I submitted it. Thanks, Pam
(Please cut and paste.)
PS. And, thank you for the Seattle Times for hosting this article and allowing the truth to be published.
Honduras Constitutionally Removes Marxist Leader FINAL 7/14/09
Special to the Seattle Times
Sunday, June 28, the freedom loving people of Honduras did what they were proud to do. They constitutionally removed from office their elected president and Marxist despot in the making, Jose Manuel (Mel) Zalaya Rosalas.
For several months a showdown brewed when Zalaya announced he would hold an illegal election. If passed, the fine print would have allowed an unconstitutional extension of his four-year term ending in January of 2010. The United States, according to Honduran nationals and US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) appeared to unconditionally embrace Mr. Zelaya’s plans.
The Honduran Supreme Court, the Administrative Courts, the Attorney General, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Electoral Tribunal, and the National Congress (a majority of which are members of Zalaya’s own party) all declared the referendum to be illegal.
Working closely with Marxist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Zalaya’s attempt to take control of Honduras was foiled when Honduran officials removed him from office through constitutional process. Other Chavez proteges -- in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua -- have been successful in refusing to accept checks on their power, making use of mobs and seeking to undermine institutions.
Zalaya’s own party controls Congress. They voted him out but not before Zalaya fired the commanding general for following orders of the Supreme Court and refusing to administer the election. When the general was fired other military leaders walked in support of the general. The Supreme Court ordered reinstatement because the firing was without cause.
Hondurans expected the praise of the world for peacefully removing a man who had violated the tenants of the constitution he was sworn to uphold. With the help of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a quick media blitz sent out information that a military coup had occurred. Zalaya was hurriedly flown to the United States where the Obama administration, which did not lack knowledge of the events, gladly received Zalaya and supported his quick endorsements from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
Honduran nationals have gone to email to stem the tide of misinformation. Hondurans, US charity workers, and ex-patriots are blitzing the facts. Only this weekend small segments of the media have picked up the truth.
Yes, the military removed Zalaya from his palace during early morning hours. But, that occurred after his constitutional removal. Zalaya would hardly have gone on his own. The military has not taken control in Honduras. It acted under the legal direction of elected officials who were responding to their duty to protect Honduran freedom and democracy.
While Hondurans fight to save constitutional government, Nicaragua has sent troops to the border and over 800 Venezuelans were placed in Honduras to help Zalaya with his attempted election coup. More have arrived.
I have been to Honduras many times with humanitarian relief. While there last month, my good friend, Teresa, emailed, “Please, we don’t want this to happen to us. Chavez is ruling Latin America!”
Zalaya has been bad for Hondurans. Without a word he ceded traditional fishing grounds in the devastatingly poor Mosquite area to Nicaragua. Honduran fishing boats were seized by Nicaraguan military. Crime is up and drug trafficking has sky-rocketed. Even before the attempted election coup Teresa said, “The people do not support him anymore.”
Hondurans are waging an information battle. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has asked that Zalaya not try to return to Honduras at this time. The president of the Honduran Congress is acting president and will have Zalaya tried for treason if he reenters.
The United States should support strengthening the rule of law and democracy in Latin America rather than joining a Marxist band wagon. Hopefully, Clinton may now see that.
State Senator Pam Roach -R- Auburn, recently returned from Honduras where she heads the humanitarian efforts of La Escuela de Esperanza (School of Hope), a non-profit organization she founded.