July 17, 2009

Can the Honduras crisis be mediated?

Honduran anti-Zelaya protesters"Honduras demands respect from the international community."
To: OEA (Organization of American States), ONU (United Nations)

Can the Honduras crisis be mediated? Does any middle ground exist? Can a 'coalition' or 'reconciliation' government work?

Of course not.

Some say President Zelaya must return unconditionally to finish his term in office; anything short of that will compromise democracy or constitutional integrity.

I agree completely that no compromise should be made but for exactly the opposite reasons. Any return of Mel Zelaya to the presidency compromises democracy and constitutional integrity. It would send a message to all Hondurans that not only will corruption and illegal activities be forgiven, but are supported by world opinion. It also sends a message that Honduras will be accepted as a sovereign nation only as long as the rest of the world approves of their choices. What an upside-down world we live in.

How can the world suggest that Honduras, which has been criticized as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, must accept a corrupt president who has committed illegal acts, violated the constitution, sacked the public funds, publicly ridiculed the other branches of government, and who has worked tirelessly for the past year to divide the country, first with ALBA and then with the cuarta urna, by trying to buy with bribes the loyalty of the poor or unscrupulous with vast amounts public funds and false promises?

How can the rest of world reject the lawful removal of a country's president just because they don't approve of the way it was done? Those unfamiliar with Central American politics may not realize that assassination is not an uncommon method of dealing with political opponents. Several Honduran political candidates were murdered before the May 2009 primary elections. The government of Honduras should be congratulated for the peaceful way in which this was handled. No one was hurt, other than Zelaya's pride.

Another fact that people don't seem to grasp is that Zelaya publicly flaunted the Supreme Court order. On Thursday, June 25, he joked about the order on the government television channel. He called the judges "the Supreme Court of Injustice" and said that they didn't know what they were talking about. He said that they knew where he was if they wanted him and laughed. He declared, "No one but God and the Virgin Suyapa can stop this poll!" Someone must have tapes of that day. He was on television for 14 hours or so that day.

Many suggest returning Zelaya as president but with "limited powers". That would force Honduras to change its constitution. There isn't much point to that since Zelaya disregarded the constitution in the first place. He did not perform official duties required by the constitution and did assume powers that are expressly granted to other segments of the government. No one could stop him, not the Attorney General, not the Election Board, not the Congress, not the lower courts, and not the Supreme Court. When will people understand that the military, acting under an arrest order from the Supreme Court, were the only ones who could stop him?

Moving up the date of the new president assuming office would also require changing the constitution, including the 'articulos petreos', those articles which are expressly forbidden to be changed.

The financial situation of Honduras, which has always been extremely bad, has been decimated during Zelaya's administration with illegal use of hundreds of millions of lempiras and refusal to account for any of it to anyone, including state auditors, state attorneys, and congress.

Should the UN, OAS, USA, or any other world bully be able to force a corrupt president on Honduras or insist that Honduras change its constitution? I don't think so.
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