• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Honduras Case: Does an Election Allow You to Govern Undemocratically?

    In Moscow on July 6, President Obama made the following remarks regarding the situation in Honduras, where Mr. Manuel Zelaya, after being removed from office on June 28, seeks an international consensus to force his return to presidential office. He said, “America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected President of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies. We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not.”

    Few will question the right of people to choose their leaders. But it is prudent to ask some follow-up questions that have yet to be answered by the President or Secretary of State Clinton regarding U.S. policy toward Honduras.

    1. What authority, in a constitutional republic, gives an executive like Mr. Zelaya the right and power to override his nation’s Constitution and its fundamental institutions? Where does one draw the line? And where were the OAS, the UN, and the U.S. as Mr. Zelaya began to act unconstitutionally?

    2. When does rule of law slip toward mob tyranny? Mr. Zelaya’s defiant march onto an air force base on June 25 to recover voting materials, his very public defiance of the Supreme Court, and his efforts to mobilize the street against the elite do not reflect serious respect for the rules of the democratic game.

    3. Why do Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, and Cuba’s Raul Castro believe, like President Obama, that it is very important to restore Mr. Zelaya to the presidency in Honduras?

    As President Obama said, “we know Mr. Zelaya strongly opposed U.S. policy.” Therefore, we will back a president, hostile to the U.S., whose primary objective is to subvert a democratic process, and cement a political and economic alliance with the Chavez-Castro camp.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to The Honduras Case: Does an Election Allow You to Govern Undemocratically?

    1. Dick Hayes, Denver C says:

      Based on reading a lot of information over the last week and a half, it seems to me that Honduras followed its Constitution in sending Zelaya out of the country. There is no provision for impeachment in their Constitution. There are provisions dealing with treasonable acts such as ignoring the Constitution. The Constitution provides for one four year presiedential term. This provision is not subject to amendment. Zelaya wanted to amend it via a referendum.

      The Congress, the attorney general and the Supreme Court said the amendment was illegal and the Supreme Court ruled that it violated the treasonable act provisions and directed the military to exile Zelaya to Costa Rica.

      Honduras installed the next in line as President in accordance with the appropriate provisions in the Constitution. Obviously, this was not a military coup as the military did not assume power and disolve the other branches of government.

      The US should step out and let the Hondurans take care of their internal problems. From my vantage point, they are doing just fine.

    2. D.Mac, NE says:

      President Obama sympathizes with the Mr. Selaya, and why not since they are political soul mates. Obama has little respect for the US Constitution which has elevated him to the Presidency, just as Mr. Selaya has little respect for his countries constitution. Obama has no desire to place limits on his government as evidenced by the nationalization of banks, manufacturing and insurance companies and yet-to-be nationalized healthcare, just like Chavez and Castro who both support Selaya. President Obama and his administration once again find themselves on the wrong side of the issue and standing firm with fascists.

    3. Joshua Bogart, Hondu says:

      Too many people are fixating on the president when the president is one part of a system. A three branch government, we were taught in High school Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. each has it's own role, No one is more powerful than the other two. In Honduras, (as has happened in some other latin American Countries) The president was by ignoring the other two branches putting the presidency above the other two branches.

      Just an example if the President of the United states tried to push a constitutional amendment he would be rightfully slapped down by congress, because the amendment has to come from congress and be ratified by the states. Honduras has a similar process, which the president tried to circumvent.

    4. Claudia, Nicaragua says:

      I share, very strongly, your point of view and questions posed, but who will ask them, conservatives, center right minded individuals don't have a voice in Latin America. We need the support of conservatives in the United States to eco our concerns so we can fight the spread of communism disguised as democracy in the region. PLEASE HELP US

    5. Claudia, Nicaragua says:

      In my humble opinion the OAS and the UN have long since been more worried about the advancement of Left wing Dictators than the consolidation of the young Latin American Democracies. Over and over again we see how these organizations have stood by while the citizens of these Latin America countries have their constitutional rights violated. If you look at every single case, be it Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela on the extreme, but also Argentina, Nicaragua and now Honduras, you get a clear pattern of modus operandi and out come. The leaders of these countries manipulate democratic methods to perpetuate themselves in power by means of social warfare, to divide the population and corruption and racketeering to corrupt the democratic system. They are funded by rouge nations and/or organization such as Libya, Venezuela and FARC in Nicaragua’s case. Their intention is not to govern but to pillage and robe the country blind, they impose mafia like tactics and Acorn style organization. These counties revert decentralize governance to centralize governance and impose capo tactics in their dealings with the country’s industry and private sector. If you don’t like their policies we confiscate your property, freeze your accounts and expel you from their country.

    6. Claudia, Nicaragua says:

      If you ask me why they do it, I would have to say greed, power and a profound hate for Liberty, Equality and Justice for all. I don't think this has anything to do with the US any more, the US is just an excuse and a common enemy. These people are just intrinsically evil and will not stop until stopped. They are ravenous for power and in their children and followers they instill this sickness as well.

    7. E. Munoz says:

      You must first convincingly demonstrate by rational proof what your premises are for stating, as you so erroneously and perhaps dishonestly do, that Mr. Zelaya has acted unconstitutionally.

    8. Spiritof76 says:

      Obama, Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party leftists are pro-dictators. They loathe American ideals. As a matter of fact, Obama will probably do the same thing the Honduran dictator was trying to do, to set himself as a perpetual ruler.

      Just look at how Obama is dealing with Iran, helping to snuff out the freedom movement there. He has no trouble meddling in democratic Israel's affairs. He embraces Chavez and agrees with Ortega about the evils of America.

      A few years ago I would have never believed that America will become a banana republic! But it is now.

    9. Richard, PA says:

      Birds of a feather – it's a very odd stance. Possibly one that indicates the direction and tactics he too would like to attempt.

    10. S J Galletta says:

      I believe President Obama should be impeached. The executive Office is not the place to learn to be a President. I do not agree with his socialist ideas and his destruction of our constitution.

    11. Pingback: The Honduras Case: Does an Election Allow You to Govern Undemocratically? « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    12. Cliffyworld says:

      For the first time in Latin America, the people revolted without bloodshed and violence against a constitutional and democratically elected President for violating laws in their country. For more related to this story please read the post titled "Obama Manifesto" at http://www.cliffyworld.com

    13. Linda Maddox, Carlsb says:

      This shows where our President stands, it couldn't be any clearer. He sides with the dictators of the world. We have a serious problem in this country. We have given power to a radical admin. that protects terrorists and dictators.He also supports them with our money!

    14. Pingback: Latin American Lessons Learned | Jeannie-ology

    15. Pingback: Latin American Lessons Learned - jd11756’s Diary - RedState

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×