READ! What a Honduran says about Obama and his support of a Dictator

July 8, 2009

(Source's name withheld.)

Mr. Ramirez is a Lincoln Fellow and has won several awards during his career, including the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, the UCI Medal from the University of California, Irvine and the Sigma Delta Chi Awards in 1995 and 1997. He has been the editorial cartoonist of the Los Angeles Times, the Commercial Appeal and USA Today, and is nationally syndicated in over 450 newspapers around the world.

Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

I have included the text of an article published in the Washington Post a few days ago which gives insight into what really happened in Honduras relative to the removal from office of (now, and hopefully forever) former President Manuel Zelaya.

The story has been widely reported as a simple coup. I hope you will read the article and understand how this is a distortion that serves to give insight into our own President and to the left coverage of the media in the U.S. and how their coverage is deliberately distorted due to their political beliefs. The article does not make this point, but rather gives insight into the actual events that transpired. I have taken the information to draw what I believe to be inescapable conclusions based upon the facts that are not getting reported widely or acted upon by our, newly elected, President.

As most of you know, my wife, [name withheld], is from Honduras. The information we are getting from Hondurans, in Honduras and elsewhere, as supported by the article, is far different than as reported by the likes of CNN.

The Obama administration is treating this as a capricious, outright, military coup as frequently happened in the days of “revolution as a national pastime” in Latin America. But, this is much, much, different.

This was a long process wherein the Supreme Court of Honduras and other tribunals declared the acts of Zelaya to be unlawful. After that, Zelaya took defiant measures to continue his efforts to change the Constitution so that he could continue in office beyond the one term allowed by the Constitution, a la, his puppet-master, Chávez in Venezuela, . The President of Honduras does not have the authority to initiate the process to change the Constitution of Honduras and was so instructed by the Supreme Court of Honduras. Zelaya’s own political party was overwhelmingly in support of his removal and the new President of Honduras is from that same political party, not a leader of a military junta. Elections scheduled for November will go forward much to the chagrin of Zelaya. The vast majority of Hondurans marching in the streets of Honduras are delighted that this idiot was removed from his position. But you wouldn't know that from our media. Just the opposite would appear to be the case based upon the coverage. Hondurans are appalled at the coverage by CNN. It is an outright fraud. In their protests, thugs supporting Zelaya have painted graffiti over many of the colonial buildings' intricately crafted details. It will be extremely costly for this poor Country to restore those buildings to their original beauty.

To characterize Zelaya's removal from office and expulsion from Honduras as a simple "coup," is disingenuous in the extreme by the Obama administration and our slanted media.

From the [Washington Post] article it is clear that there is more to this than Obama is acknowledging. He is, once again, failing to come down on the side of right. Yes, the Honduran's took liberties in terms of removing Zelaya before the full legal process was completed to accomplish that specific act.

But Zelaya had shown himself to be willing to take a bunch of thugs to commit what was already declared illegal by the Supreme Court. The act to remove him from Honduras, in what I believe to have been an ill-considered kindness as opposed to jailing him, avoided a potential military standoff and, perhaps, bloodshed.

He used his office to attempt to seriously undermine the Constitution and when ordered to stop by the Supreme Court, defied their authority and persisted with his illegal referendum using brute force to regain and distribute the ballot boxes. This was the culmination of many such increasingly brazen acts that he had been taking under the guidance and prodding of the other left-leaning Latin-American Presidents especially Hugo Chávez.

There are rumors that Chávez had sent Venezuelan troops to Honduras, just days before Zelaya was removed, ostensibly to help Zelaya with his illegal referendum. The rumor held that these troops were denied access by the Honduran military. I have heard no accounts to verify the rumor, but I would not put it past Chávez to intervene militarily, and, as stated, we don't get the straight story from our media. Should Chávez choose to send a massive contingent of his forces with their advanced weapons and their far greater troop strength, there would be no contest. The Movie 300 comes to mind, but those scenarios only happen in movies and even those valiant souls would have been obliterated with one artillery shell.

Certainly Obama and Hillary know there is more to this matter than a simple coup. They know of Zelaya's mischief and treachery. Yet, there is no mention of it. Why? The reason that comes to mind is that Obama wants this, self-described, Socialist to succeed in spite of his flagrant lawlessness. By refusing to allow our diplomats to even speak to the new President, Obama is showing himself to be intransigent as well as being on the wrong side of the issue. It is my considered opinion that Obama does not view the act of defying the Constitution of one's Country as, necessarily, a bad thing. Expediency over all else is a clear tendency of this master of manipulation and deception. Obama's position, of course, means that Honduras is on its own should there be an invasion.

If attacked, this United States will not intervene. With Obama in the White House, just as we had expected, there is no right-and-just Country to step into the fray when a bully attacks a smaller Country. In the event that Honduras is attacked from without, help will not be forthcoming from the U.S. And Obama, I believe, gets what he wants; another Socialist government in the Americas. The facts, as I see them, support this conclusion. Obama's past associations were, and are, telling. This "crisis" is just one more "opportunity" for Obama, and one more insight into where Obama is really coming from.

The fact remains that Honduras did the right thing in removing Zelaya. Obama is viewing the form of how it was done (as an excuse to undermine the new Honduran Government) over the substance that the removal, on balance, was overwhelmingly justified. The legal process in Honduras had run its course as to the issue of the referendum, but that did not stop Zelaya. This is not a petty crime where you can make a simple arrest. It was a circumstance wherein the President was defying the Constitution and had a portion of the military loyal to him. Obama should have appreciated the need and urgency for this Honduran expediency in the name of justice, but instead, in this instance, he stands on protocol and against justice.

Honduras, bless its heart, is standing up to all the pressure being brought by Obama, the Organization of American States, Chávez, Ortega and the other lefties of the Americas. May Honduras prevail in this struggle to maintain her sovereignty and to adhere to her Constitution.

But, let’s not forget the additional insight that this matter has brought into focus of the biases and inclinations of our own, let’s not mince words, Socialist leader.


Mr. Ramirez is a Lincoln Fellow and has won several awards during his career, including the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, the UCI Medal from the University of California, Irvine and the Sigma Delta Chi Awards in 1995 and 1997. He has been the editorial cartoonist of the Los Angeles Times, the Commercial Appeal and USA Today, and is nationally syndicated in over 450 newspapers around the world.
Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
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Text to Washington Post Article

Honduras's Coup Is President Zelaya's Fault

By Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 5:49 PM

Any time a bunch of soldiers break into a presidential palace, pick up the president and put him on a flight to exile, as happened in Honduras last Sunday, you have a "coup." But, unlike most coup targets in Latin America's tortuous republican history, Honduras's deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, bears the biggest responsibility for his overthrow. member of the rancid oligarchy he now decries, Zelaya took office in 2006 as the leader of one of the two center-right parties that have dominated Honduran politics for decades. His general platform, his support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and his alliances with business organizations gave no inkling of the fact that halfway into his term he would become a political cross-dresser.

Suddenly, in 2007, he declared himself a socialist and began to establish close ties with Venezuela. In December of that year, he incorporated Honduras into Petrocaribe, a mechanism set up by Hugo Chávez for lavishing oil subsidies on Latin American and Caribbean countries in exchange for political subservience. Then his government joined the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), Venezuela's answer to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, ostensibly a commercial alliance but in practice a political conspiracy that seeks to expand populist dictatorship to the rest of Latin America.

Last year, following the script originally laid out by Chávez in Venezuela and adopted by Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Zelaya announced that he would hold a referendum to set up a constituent assembly that would change the constitution that barred him from reelection. In the next few months, every legal body in Honduras -- the electoral tribunal, the Supreme Court, the attorney general, the human rights ombudsman -- declared the referendum unconstitutional. According to the Honduran constitution (articles 5, 373 and 374), presidential term limits cannot be changed under any circumstance; only Congress can modify the constitution; and political institutions are not subject to referendums. Honduras's Congress, Zelaya's own Liberal Party and a majority of Hondurans (in various polls) expressed their horror at the prospect of having Zelaya perpetuate himself and bring Honduras into the Chávez fold. In defiance of court orders, Zelaya persisted. Surrounded by a friendly mob, he broke into the military installations where the ballots were kept and ordered them distributed. The courts declared that Zelaya had placed himself outside the law, and Congress began an impeachment procedure.

This is the context in which the military, in an ill-advised move that turned a perfectly legal mechanism for stopping Zelaya into a coup, expelled the president. The fact that the constitutional procedure was subsequently followed by having Congress appoint the head of the legislative body, Roberto Micheletti, as interim president, and that the elections scheduled for November have not been canceled, is not enough to dissipate the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over the new government. This factor has disarmed Zelaya's critics in the international community in the face of a well-coordinated campaign led by Chávez to reinstate him and denounce the coup as an oligarchic assault on democracy.

That said, the international response, seeking to reinstate Zelaya without any mention of his illegal acts, has been highly inadequate. The Organization of American States, led by its secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, has acted like Venezuela's poodle. At Chávez's request, Insulza went to Nicaragua, where a summit of the anti-democratic ALBA group became the hemisphere's political center of gravity after the coup. Insulza and other populist presidents said nothing about Zelaya's dictatorial conduct leading up to last Sunday's events and simply echoed Venezuela's self-serving stance. Efforts by other countries, including the United States and many South American governments, to put some nuance into the public statements were neutralized by the spectacle unfolding in Nicaragua, which was widely reported across the Spanish-speaking world. It was sad to see Insulza suddenly remember his organization's Inter-American Democratic Charter in relation to Honduras -- the same rules of democratic conduct that Chávez, Morales, Correa and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega have violated on numerous occasions while the OAS looked the other way.

The crisis in Honduras should bring to people's attention this truth about Latin America today: The gravest threat to liberty comes from elected populists who are seeking to subject the institutions of the law to their megalomaniac whims. Given that scenario, the hemisphere's response to Honduras's crisis has undermined those who are trying to prevent populism from taking the region back to the times when it was forced to choose between left-wing revolution and military dictatorships.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa is the editor of "Lessons From the Poor" and director of the Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute.



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