To understand what happened you have to understand the Honduran Constitution. The current Honduran constitution was adopted in 1982, after more than a dozen previous constitutions. Of its original 379 articles, seven have been completely changed or partially repealed, 18 have been interpreted, and 121 have been reformed. It has endured because it responds and adapts to changing political conditions.
It also contains 7 articles that cannot be repealed or amended because they address critical issues. These 7 articles include the form of the government; the extent of the borders; the number of years of the presidential term; a prohibition with respect to the reelection of presidents, and eligibility for the presidency. There is another article that penalizes the abrogation of the Constitution.
What happened during the “coup” was that a Honduran citizen was arrested and sent out of the country by soldiers obeying the constitution of Honduras. He had stripped himself of the presidency through his own actions.
President Zelaya had issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the “Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly.” In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office. Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. The publishing of the decree to initiate an “opinion poll” contravened the articles of the Constitution that dealt with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term.
No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for 10 years. The poll to convene a national constitutional assembly was in order for Zelaya to extend his term as president, in violation of the Honduran constitution. This is the exact same thing that President Chavez of Venezuela did to illegally extend his term in office.
Continuismo – the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely- is what happened in Venezuela and is what Zelaya was trying to do in Honduras. The instant sanction of Zelaya by the Constitution successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.
The Supreme Court and the attorney general of Honduras ordered Zelaya’s arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution.
Yet the world, led by President Obama, condemned Honduras, calling the proper functioning of the Honduran constitution a “coup”. Obama took sides with tin-horn dictators like Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and the Castro brothers. The United Nations chimed in on the wrong side, as it so often does, along with the Organization of American States.
It is particularly disturbing that the leader of the free world so readily condemned Honduras, ignoring the facts of the matter. Here is a President who was very reluctant to condemn Iran for its obvious sham elections and subsequent brutal suppression of its citizens who peacefully protested the illegal actions of their country. But he was quick to join the chorus of voices condemning Honduras for legally preventing another Latin America dictator.
There are some in the United States government who see the events in Honduras for what they really are and are voicing their opinion on the matter. One of them is US Senator Jim DeMint. The world should be praising Honduras and its brave people who stood up for the rule of law in the face of world condemnation and the threat to their freedom from another wannabe dictator. The world, and President Obama, should be ashamed of themselves for taking the side of tyranny over liberty and freedom.
(source – Christian Science Monitor)