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  • Obama's Support for Zelaya is Contradictory

    During the course of his presidency, President Obama has placed little value in encouraging democratic developments abroad, stating the need to focus on the “substance” of a government, rather than its “form.” While the president’s abandonment of democracy is certainly discouraging, he has raised an important point:

    We spend so much time talking about democracy…[b]ut democracy, a well-functioning society that promotes liberty and equality and fraternity, does not just depend on going to the ballot box.

    However, although the president recognizes that democracies in name do not always yield democracies in practice, his unwavering support of ousted president Manuel Zeyala directly contradicts this basic understanding. Elected in 2005, Zelaya has proceeded to trample upon the democratic foundations of Honduras, clashing with every other governing institution, attempting to circumvent the nation’s constitution in an effort everyone understood to be a bid for a second term in office. This Hugo Chavez-like power-grab failed after the legislature voted overwhelmingly for his replacement, and the Supreme Court ordered the military to forcibly relieve Zelaya of his position.

    Perplexingly, Obama resolutely supports the exiled president solely because Zelaya was democratically elected almost four years ago. The Obama Administration has failed to address Zelaya’s recent power ploy, which was clearly a massive affront to Honduras’ constitutional system. Obama should revisit his earlier statement, which warns us not to presume leaders are ruling democratically simply because they were elected, and reassess accordingly his position on demanding the restoration of Zelaya as the constitutional president of Honduras.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Obama's Support for Zelaya is Contradictory

    1. brainfood says:

      Interestingly, the Honduran Constitution of 1982 does provide for loss of citizenship for those who “incite, promote or aid in the continuation or re-election of the President” http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Honduras… (article 42):

      ARTICULO 42.- La calidad de ciudadano se pierde: 5. Por incitar, promover o apoyar el continuismo o la reelección del Presidente de la República.

      Further, Article 239 indicates that anyone who has held the office of chief executive cannot be president or vice president and anyone who proposes reform to that prohibition can be barred from holding public office for ten years: ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Vicepresidente de la República. El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos y quedarán inhabilitados por diez años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.

      My educated guess on that provision is that it is aimed move at banning past military dictators from pursuing the office than it is a stricture contra re-election, per se.

      Additionally, Article 374 bars any amendments regarding the length of the presidential term (amongst other things:

      ARTICULO 374.- No podrán reformarse, en ningún caso, el artículo anterior, el presente artículo, los artículos constitucionales que se refieren a la forma de gobierno, al territorio nacional, al período presidencial, a la prohibición para ser nuevamente Presidente de la República, el ciudadano que lo haya desempeñado bajo cualquier título y el referente a quienes no pueden ser Presidentes de la República por el período subsiguiente.

      As such, it is pretty clear why the Supreme Court of Justice ruled against Zelaya’s plebiscite proposal in the first place. It also means that if the vote had been allowed to happen it would have had no legal standing.

    2. Pingback: Obama’s Support for Zelaya is Contradictory « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    3. Jeff C Canada says:

      Can the author please share the documentary evidence that would establish Zelaya's intentions to serve another term? To describe his actions as "an effort everyone understood to be a bid for a second term in office" falls well short of an acceptable legal standard. I have followed the story and have yet to see a single attributed statement which would back up this assertion. Without that proof, the legal case against him becomes something of a mirage and we see a coup against a democratically elected leader – like him or not.

    4. Keith somewhere in t says:

      JeffCC: Legal standards don't apply to political decisions based on rulings from Honduras duly elected Congress and appointed Supreme Court. Zelaya foolishly ignored directions from both entities and paid for his arrogance by losing his office. What may be an acceptable legal standard to you doesn't necessarily apply to the Honduran government.

    5. Richard says:

      Why do you think Obama's support for Zelaya is contradictory, it's just one socialist's support to another.

    6. Tim AZ says:

      I see no contradiction here for Mao-Bama. You need only understand that Mao-Bama is in a contest with South American dictators to see who can bring their citizenry under total control first. For bragging rights I suppose. The next obvious step would be who will become the dictator of the continent of the America's?

    7. Tim AZ says:

      The contradiction here is to believe that Mao-Bama doe not have the same aspirations as Zelaya's own. Anyhthing less is a demonstration in naivete.

    8. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Why wouldn't Obama support Dictatorship? He believes it works. He is doing his best to establish it here in America. Why is this so shocking?

      Hozro

    9. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Ho-Chi-Obama is well on his way to being the supreme ruler of the "united north america", after all his people stated on national TV that his rule would begin on 1/20/09. A bilnd person can see where this type of rule is headed and the American people fail to see and act.

    10. Dennis Hulse, Palmer says:

      Is there a provision in the Honduras Constitution that allows for impeachment much like what happened to former President Nixon? If the electorate or any part of the Parliment has this power it would serve as a counter-balance to percieved excesses outside the Constitutional powers and obligations to the people. Hanging one's hat (Obama that is) only on election results and ignoring the implicit trust of the people to govern in a holistic way is short sighted to me.

    11. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      The evidence in the first 6 months of this administration suggests that they, along with the dems in congress(so far unless the blue dogs wake up), intend to install a secular progressive government – the antithesis of what America stands for and what the constitution calls for. The Presidents position on Zelaya is contradictory only when viewed in the context of "America" but not when looking at the Obama admin record to date. The fact that he still talks a good talk has become his MO – say what seems like one thing to the listener while actually doing the opposite. As for Zelaya, he clearly violated the honduran constitution and was arrested in accordance with that countries constitution. He tried to circumvent the process with the help of Chavez who printed up the ballets – honduran law would require the legislative body to approve and arrange for ballets).

    12. rdman says:

      Dennis,

      From what I have read and speaking with learnt friends in Honduras, the Honduran Constitution does not contain an impeachment provision similar to what was imposed on former President Nixon.

    13. roy-salem,va. says:

      we need to bring our president to task. apparently they slept on thier watch;much as we are now

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