Sunday, June 28, 2009

Obama administration response to Honduran coup

Short and sweet from Hillary Clinton. I am glad to see this type of response and hope the administration is working from behind the scenes to put pressure on the coup participants. It makes no difference what you think of Zelaya--no freely elected president should be overthrown.

The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.
UPDATE: From the BBC, Zelaya said in an interview that he knew of a plot against him, which was foiled only because the U.S. embassy refused to back it:

In an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper published on Sunday, Mr Zelaya said a plot to topple him had been thwarted after the US refused to back it.

"Everything was in place for the coup and if the US embassy had approved it, it would have happened. But they did not," Mr Zelaya said.





10 comments:

MSS 3:38 PM  

Forgive the off-topic comment, but while I like the overall new look of this blog, I do find the quoted passages hard to read. (A too-light shade of grey on too-grey background,and italics to boot.)

Greg Weeks 3:43 PM  

Readability is key, so I will try to figure out how to make the quotes flow better.

Anonymous,  5:42 PM  

Who arrests a president when a president violates the constitution of his country? That is the question the Supreme Court of the Honduras had to answer - and their answer was - the military. They ordered the military to arrest Zelaya. The next in line in succession - the president of congress was then sworn in - NOT a military officer.

MSS,  7:39 PM  

AH, those quotes are so much more readable!

Thanks.

(Strangely, the post after this one has a quote change from regular to italic type, mid-quote.)

"Anonymous": the constitutional answer would be whoever is legally empowered to impeach the president. That would not be the military. Or the Supreme Court. Although some constitutions make the latter the final arbiter of an impeachment, none make it the initiator--and for good reason.

Clearly there is not a lot of constitutional virtue going around in Honduras these last several days.

Gabriel 7:42 PM  

MSS,

You are right that there's not much constitutional virtue there today. But this began by the actions of just one man, Zelaya. He alone could have avoided this mess, if he had not chosen to break the law. Once you start an avalanche don't be surprised if events get out of control.

Matthew 7:54 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
MSS 7:56 PM  

Gabriel, my comment about absence of virtue was indeed directed against the president as well as other actors. And you are right, things are out of control. My point is that nothing the president did justifies his being removed by the military. Period.

Has there been any explanation of why the VP was bypassed?

ARTICULO 242.- En las ausencias temporales del Presidente de la República lo sustituirá en sus funciones el Vicepresidente. Si la falta del Presidente fuera absoluta, el Vicepresidente ejercerá la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo por el tiempo que le falte para terminar el período constitucional.

(The VP is still in office, right?)

Not that the constitution appears to be respected by anyone these days...

MSS,  8:14 PM  

Apparently the elected VP had resigned to run in the Liberal presidential primary last year!

Gabriel,  8:19 PM  

MSS,

Thanks, I was wondering why no one talked about the VP. That explains why Honduras TV was saying that the next in line was the President of the Congress.

Greg Weeks 8:20 PM  

I had been wondering whether they were operating on the Alexander Haig rules of succession.

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