Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

07/06/2009 (11:01 am)

Honduran Ouster of Zelaya Constitutionally Proper

hondurasdemonstrationThe Internet consensus in America seems to be that while Honduras had valid, legal grounds to remove President Manuel Zelaya, its military grab-and-deport maneuver was illegal and improper. The consensus appears to me to be incorrect. The President of Honduras was apparently removed by unanimous vote of the Congress, and arrested by order of the nation’s duly constituted courts.

Translations of Spanish-language news sources La Tribuna, Globovision.com Internacionales division, and La Prenza, all agree that the Congress of Honduras met on June 28 and removed President Zelaya by unanimous vote for his repeated failure to uphold the laws of Honduras.

Google translator provides this (unfortunately stilted) translation of the La Tribuna article:

Alfredo Saavedra, as secretary of Congress, presented to the full in the opinion that all violations were established which demonstrated “that the conduct of the President puts in danger the rule of law and governance.”

Therefore, in exercising its powers, full decreed reject the conduct of the President of the Republic, removed from office and appoint in place of Manuel Zelaya Rosales President of the National Congress (NC), Roberto Micheletti Bain.

Fausta’s blog, which has been a consistently reliable source of information about the Honduras situation, adds this transation of La Prenza’s announcement:

An official statement of the Supreme Court of Justice explained that the Armed Forces acted under lawful grounds when detaining the President of the Republic, and by decommissioning the materials to be used on the illegal poll which aimed to bring forth Executive Power against a judicial order.

Other sources verified that the president of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, will assume the presidency of the republic in a few hours.

Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was detained this morning by the military in compliance with an order of the courts of law.

Newly appointed President Micheletti announced that the anticipated national election will proceed as planned on November 29 of this year.

The only questionable point in the process came when the Congress heard a letter of resignation allegedly written by President Zelaya. One might guess, given Zelaya’s subsequent objections, that the letter had been written at gunpoint, or possibly was forged. Since the act of Congress was to accept the resignation, subsequent showing that the resignation was forced might require corrective action; on the other hand, since the Congress acted on the basis of a bill of particulars identifying multiple violations of the President’s oath of office, the removal might stand despite this irregularity. The point is that the Congress and the courts of Honduras apparently followed legal procedure when removing President Zelaya.

On the contrary, their precipitous action, rather than being a coup, could easily be considered due diligence to prevent a coup. Oliver North provides the best, brief summary of President Zelaya’s attempts to subvert the Honduran constitution and stage illegal elections in order to extend his term of office. Fausta provides additional detail explaining how Zelaya attempted to steamroll the Honduran constitution, and Jason Poblete, a Washington attorney with strong international experience, adds his view from the ground (Jason was my starting source for this piece.) We must regard the entire incident as an attempted coup by a neo-Marxist backed by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela; that is how the Honduran people apparently view it.

sickbobThe support of the Obama Administration for this apparent coup would be shameful and incompetent if it were unknowing; I find it a lot more plausible that President Obama actually understands what was attempted, and approves. Based on the unscrupulous nature of much of what progressives have done in recent years — the illegal voting maneuvers, the assaults on free speech, President Obama’s constitutionally improper nationalizing of industries, constitutional irregularities like this one perpetuating the motif of “we are in such a hurry that we don’t have time to follow the rules,” Obama’s hidden but real neo-Marxist background and his Alinskyite training and tactics, and the recurring suspicion that his demolition of American fiscal responsibility might be deliberate — it would not be inconsistent to expect an unconstitutional power grab at some point in the future. Call me paranoid, call me crazy, but I think people who hold responsibility should start talking now about how we should respond if something similar is attempted here in the US.

Legal Insurrection blogs Zelaya’s attempt to return to Honduras (here and here), which apparently resulted in the death of at least one protester. Zelaya was not permitted to land.

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July 6, 2009 @ 3:29 pm #

Historically what has happened in Honduras is what is usually recommended 50 years after a dictator seizes power as what should have happened by historians in their 20/20 hindsight judgement.

Think of it this way, what if someone had managed to prevent Stalin from not only taking the General Secretary position but had also kept him from the slow accumulation of power that led to him being by de facto, the only power in government. What if Germans had investigated the Reichstag fire, and the “voting irregularities” for the position of Chancellor? (and I realize how close I am to skirting Godwin’s, but I think in this case it is a valid argument, even if there is an obvious difference of degree.)

This is not a form of vigilante justice by a small portion of the government acting against the popular will. From what I have seen the Hondurans have acted within the Letter of their Constitution, at least as far as it goes, and have acted with what was intended when it did not.

We always say in the cool light of day that this nation or that nation should have done something different, 50, 100, or 2000 years ago: “Of course the Republic should have realized what a threat Caesar represented, they even had the example of Sulla before. Why did they let this happen? Could they not see how it would end?” It usually comes down to people realizing AT the time what was going on, but also whether or not there is anything to be done.

In this particular case, it looks like the Hondurans have had extraordinary wisdom to see a mistake and correct it before it consumes their nation. Of course, that is if we, and the various socialist nation states that surround them, allow them the right of self determination and do not force the dictator down their throats no matter how much they scream.

It is amazing that we can be so out of touch that we cannot see who is right in this situation.

July 6, 2009 @ 5:59 pm #

Horatius wrote:

In this particular case, it looks like the Hondurans have had extraordinary wisdom to see a mistake and correct it before it consumes their nation.

I think they have plenty of experience with Marxist-Leninist activists from the collective experiences of their neighbors, and know what to expect from them.

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