Friday, July 3, 2009

International Media Malfeasance

As the isolation of Honduras grows and the Organization of American States continues to demand that ousted president Manuel Zelaya be reinstated, the United States has suspended military cooperation with the country. Whether that means that we will stand by and watch in the event of a Venezuelan invasion remains to be seen, but Hugo Chavez has hinted at the possibility of military intervention without comment from Washington.

Fueling the misguided support for Zelaya are numerous and frequent reports on the matter which consistently refer to the actions of the Honduran Congress as a "military coup". While it is true that the military removed Zelaya from his residence and arrested him, it is also true that they did so on the orders of Congress and the Supreme Court. Of equal importance is the fact that the military then handed the reigns of power over to the Honduran Congress' Speaker, Roberto Micheletti.

Despite the undeniable legality of the actions of Honduras in the ouster of Zelaya, our own administration is demanding that he be returned to the presidency at once, and "news" organizations continue to misrepresent the situation. One such outlet goes a step further.

Cuba's version of ABC News - the Periodico - offers the following headline:

International Isolation of Honduran Military Regime Grows
"Honduran military regime"? Roberto Micheletti wears a suit and tie, not a uniform. He is not a general or a commander, he was the Speaker of the Honduran Congress. He is also a member of the same political party as Zelaya. The removal of Zelaya was not intended to radically alter the direction of the small nation, but rather a move designed to preserve it. It was the alleged "victim" here who was attempting the alteration.

Zelaya, deciding to emulate Hugo Chavez, was attempting to hold a constitutional referendum that would eliminate term limits, thereby allowing him to continue to run for the presidency. He wanted to be "president for life", just like Chavez. His ouster was not the result of a mere policy disagreement, however. In violation of the Constitution, the wishes of Congress and the orders of the Supreme Court, Zelaya was distributing ballots - ironically obtained from Venezuela - stolen at force from a military center where they were being stored. Everything Zelaya was doing was illegal, and the Supreme Court ultimately ordered him arrested.

For most of the last half of the twentieth century, the United States fought the spread of tyrannical regimes, especially those in close proximity to the U.S. Now it seems that our fledgling leader and his administration are actively encouraging that spread. Obama lifted the 60-year-old embargo on Cuba, travelled and apologized to Venezuela and Nicaragua, and now has demanded the return of a criminal president who was removed as required by Honduran law.

And state-run "news" outlets - including our own - continue the campaign of misinformation. Change was promised and delivered in breathtaking fashion. I barely recognize my country anymore.

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5 comments:

ceiba1011 said...

Let me begin by saying I am 100% happy with Zelaya's removal. The man is an ignorant egotistical fool who allowed himself to be manipulated by Col. Chavez and his own ambition. Chavez played "Mel", like a pimp working a 50 peso hooker. The entirely of his proposal for a constitutional convention was produced and directed by Col. Chavez. Even the ballots were printed in Caracas, and delivered to Zelaya by the Venezuelan "assistance" operation here in Honduras. The definition of a "coup" is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. I don't care to argue it here. I'm happy to say sayonara, "Mel". Nonetheless, I beg to differ with some of Mr. Woods's interpretations here

>>Despite the undeniable legality of the actions of Honduras in the ouster of Zelaya,<<

Without a reading of the Honduran constitution, neither Mr. Woods nor myself are are not in a position to speak to the legality of Zelaya's removal. If the powers that effected his removal were secure in the legality of doing this, why did they feel it necessary to produce a supposed letter of resignation from Zelaya, that they have obviously backed away now??

>>Cuba's version of ABC News<<

To my knowledge, ABC News does not have a Cuban version.

>>For most of the last half of the twentieth century, the United States fought the spread of tyrannical regimes, especially those in close proximity to the U.S<<

The Guatemalan military killed at least 150,000 of its own citizens during the seventies and early 80's using US trained military and US supplied weaponry. We also supported homocidal regimes in El Salvador(where the archbishop was murdered in the cathedral in which he was conducting Mass. Please help me understand how this was fighting the spread of tyranny.

As a North American having spent a good part of the last 15 years in Honduras, I see Zelaya's presidency as the very worst. Virtually all my Honduran friends and family feel the same. I have little doubt that the overwhelming portion of the Honduran people are glad to get rid of this fool/wanna be dictator.

I'm posting this because I believe we need to be accurate in what we say for or against this change of leadership.

Viva Honduras!!brudic

Woody said...

While I appreciate the input and perspective of someone on the ground in Honduras, I must say that if you've lived there for the past fifteen years, you really should have read the constitution by now.

I have not, admittedly, but I must assume that even the main stream media inadvertently publishes the truth from time to time. It is for that reason that I choose to believe that the Supreme Court of Honduras acted properly in this instance.

ceiba1011 said...

>>While I appreciate the input and perspective of someone on the ground in Honduras, I must say that if you've lived there for the past fifteen years, you really should have read the constitution by now<<

I bit condescending on your part Woody, but I took it at face value and had a discussion with my attorney on the subject. He *has* read the Honduran constitution chapter and verse and teaches a constitutional law course. He broke out the books and went over the relevant articles with me. It seems that that unlike all of the other nations in the Americas, and probably most in the world, Honduras has *no* means of lawfully removing the President written into its constitution. Pretty stupid, no?? Therefore, there is no other conclusion to draw, but that this *was* a coup. As I said in my initial response, I am quite happy to see this Chavez directed puppet removed from office. However we can't allow ourselves to declare anything we agree with to be legal. If we need to break a few eggs to make an omelet, so be it, but let's not veil it in smoke and mirrors.

-ceiba1011

Woody said...

It was not my intent to be condescending, I was merely expressing simple surprise at your unfamiliarity with your new countries foundings.

I am delighted, however, that my litlle blog caused you to learn it. Kudos to you, and thank you for sharing the knowledge.

The findings do present a bit of a conundrum though, wouldn't you agree? On the one hand, the Honduran constitution does not provide a vehicle for the removal of Zelaya while on the other, he was clearly and physically in violation of the law.

As I pointed out in the article, had it been mere policy disagreements, then it would have been handled politically, through legislative means. In light of the fact that he was actively distributing illegal ballots, I see no other alternative for the Congress and Supreme Court but to remove him by force.

I remain confounded by the collective reactions from the OAS and U.N., not to mention the U.S.

ceiba1011 said...

>>It was not my intent to be condescending, I was merely expressing simple surprise at your unfamiliarity with your new countries foundings.<<

First off, I am, and was fairly familiar with Honduras's 'foundings'. When I said I hadn't *read* the Honduran constitution, I meant just that,I hadn't read it. Secondly, while I spend a good bit my of time here in Honduras, I am, and will always be, a proud citizen of the U.S.A.

>>The findings do present a bit of a conundrum though, wouldn't you agree?<<

Absolutely. We have a very dicey situation here; one which will require a good bit of finesse to resolve without serious bloodshed. Unfortunately, finesse in the political realm is in *very* short supply here,as the events leading to this crisis have demonstrated. Curfew tonight was extended three hours to include dusk until dawn.

I think our best chance to resolve this situation cleanly would be to move up the elections now scheduled for November, to mid-late August. The primaries have already been held, and the candidates chosen. This would allow a continuation of the democratic process here without any great loss of face(a big thing in these parts) on either side. Throw in some outside observers to pre-empt the whining media and maybe we can get out of this mess. Here's hoping.

I do appreciate the venue you've provided here, and hope my take from down on the ground here adds a bit more to the picture.

-Ceiba1011