Monday, June 29, 2009

Zelaya returning to Honduras?

According to the Guardian:

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya says he wants to return to Honduras this week accompanied by the head of the Organization of American States.

Zelaya says he will accept an offer by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza to return to the Central America country with him. Zelaya says he wants to make the trip Thursday.

He spoke Monday in Nicaragua during a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Sunday's coup in Honduras.

Insulza had made the offer moments before Zelaya spoke.

Now this would be interesting. Obviously Zelaya would claim to return as president, whereas the powers that be in Honduras claim him as ex-president. Not sure how Insulza would navigate that...


Gabriel 10:47 PM  

Smart move. The longer he waits the more this becomes a done deal, and the world's attention will move to something else, particularly since the new elections are in a few months.

KA 11:34 PM  

If I am understanding things correctly it appears this is all legal according to honduran law. If a person insists on sponsoring the reelection of the presidency they are subject to losing their citizenship. Which I guess happened to Zelaya, hence the arrest and exile.

Article 42.5

On a separate but related note I find it hypocritical for the OAS and members to be outraged when a president is removed but not when the president removes the other branches of government. So in effect the executive branch enjoys a legitimacy and power that other branches do not have in the eyes of the OAS and member states. I personally find this wrong and against the very democratic principles we are trying to uphold.

It would also be nice if the OAS would condemn Chavez for his threats to invade Honduras and for meddling in Honduran internal affairs (ie sending election material and advisors, etc..)

Tambopaxi 12:23 AM  


Not sure what (or to whom) the phrase "smart move" refers to, it definitely would not be smart of the new, interim government to let Zelaya back in country. This guy has clearly shown himself to be trouble, and if he somehow got back in with Insulza, you can bet that he would not do so in a meek and mild manner; he'd go right for the street and the political jugular of the other branches of government. Honduras is much better served to keep Zelaya out on some Nicaraguan or Venezuelan beach for the time being...

KA, I agree with your reading of Constitutional article 42 and there are others, cited over at fausta's blog in interesting back and forth between Steven Taylor and others, in yesterday's posting.

Zelaya clearly and openly violated the Constitution, and repeatedly, refusing to comply with Constitutional, lawful orders given him by other branches of the government. His actions in defiance of the Constitution and institutional checks and balances mandated in that Constitution signalled his intent to stage his own coup against the other branches of government and indeed, the system of government extant in Honduras by marginalizing and ultimately, subordinating democratic institutions and the system government to his own authority.

Zelaya's actions were patterned after those taken by Chavez and lately, more and more, sadly in my country, by Correa. I lived in Honduras for seven years (and knew Zelaya slightly in the late 80's during the contra wars). I always enjoyed the country and one of my sons was born there, but I gotta say that I'd always seen Hondurans as kind of the Polacks of CentroAmerica (I apologize for the politically incorrect slur, but I'm trying to make a point). This time, though, it's clear that the lessons of Chavez and Correa have not been lost on the Hondurans and they clearly aren't having any part of the Bolivarian revolution..

Finally, KA, I agree with your observation regarding the lack of evenhandedness of the OAS and various bloggers regarding the marginalization and/or subordination of other branches of government to the hyper-Presidentes Chavez and Correa. Why this is happening (or hasn't, as the case may be) is puzzling to me. The lack of outrage y mas, the failure to act to control these men, has resulted in a palpable increase in authoritarian government in these countries (and in Bolivia and Nicaragua as well) with concomitant and proportional damage to democracy and democratic systems of government, where true checks and balances exist.

Justin Delacour 3:51 AM  

Open your eyes, Tambopaxi. This is a major strategic blunder on the part of the Honduran right. Even the mainstream Western press is now coming to recognize that the coup is arousing more sympathy for Zelaya than would otherwise have been the case.

My suggestion to the apologists of this coup is that you learn to choose your battles more wisely.

Greg Weeks 7:36 AM  

I am tired of the "it's legal" argument without any reference to the laws governing how it is supposed to work. It is like saying Nixon broke the law, so he should've been grabbed in the wee hours and shipped off to Jamaica.

KA 8:15 AM  

Greg, I certainly don't think it was appropriate or smart to ship Zelaya out of the country.

Greg Weeks 8:19 AM  

My point is just that if anyone wants to claim that Zelaya's removal was legal, I want specific reference to the laws governing exactly how the president is supposed to be removed.

Gabriel 9:00 AM  


Here's some information on the legal aspects:


emd24,  9:41 PM  

Here's another news source worth looking at in this discussion: It's run by the Association for a More Just Society. I learned a little about this organization during a semester of study in Honduras, and they do good work advocating for the marginalized in Honduras. They cover a spectrum of opinions on the current political situation in a way that's easy to understand.

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