September 4, 2009

US Congressman Bill Delahunt's position on the Banana Republic of Honduras

US Congressman Bill Delahunt,
D. Massachusetts

Hey, you Latino voters! Remember this PBS interview the next time you go to the polls:

MARGARET WARNER: So, Congressman Delahunt, explain why you think the United States should be supporting Zelaya, who did act certainly extra-legally, or so the supreme court and the congress and Honduras both said?

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, Margaret, I find it somewhat amusing that many of my colleagues on the Republican side must have gone to law school in -- in Honduras, because it would appear that they're constitutional scholars. [LG: but the Honduran congress and Honduran Supreme Court Justices are not experts on the Honduran constitution?]

But let me be very clear. The -- the request or the initiative by Zelaya was not to extend his term. The question that was going to be on the ballot was a nonbinding referendum for the people of Honduras to decide simply this question: Should there be a constituent assembly?

That was it, pure and simple. I think we have to understand the context of Honduran politics. It's been a country that has been ruled by an economic elite. And, with all due respect to the elections that have been held down there, that economic elite exercises disproportionate influence in that democracy. [LG: yet the Honduran elections are blessed by the OAS every time.]

In the past -- and I dare say at times now -- it would be fair to describe Honduras as a banana republic.


REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We can't go backward.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: What an insult. What an insult. That is...

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We -- well, you can...

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Shame on you, Bill.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Ileana, let me -- please, don't say that.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: A banana republic, that's just great. What an insult to the Honduran people.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, you don't think that -- well, let me -- let me ask you this, OK? You would not, in the past, describe Honduras and other Central American and Latin American countries as banana republics?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: No, absolutely not. And I think that's an insult to the people of Honduras.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Then I dare say that you don't -- you're not that familiar with Latin America. [LG: because if you were, you would know that all Latin American countries are Banana Republics?]

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: It's an insult to everyone in Latin America to...

MARGARET WARNER: All right, let me interrupt.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: ... to -- to label any country as a banana republic.


There you have it. US Congressman Bill Delahunt, makes you proud, doesn't he?

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, on the other hand, is our hero!

Hat tip to J. Mayne.
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