Obama's continues to weigh in on the side of Chavez ally President Zelaya in the Honduran Constitutional crisis that Zelaya created and that threatened Honduras's democracy. This from the Washington Post:
The Obama administration has signaled its support for democracy in Latin America by condemning the coup in Honduras, reducing military cooperation and joining with other countries in the hemisphere yesterday in a rare suspension of a nation from the Organization of American States.
The problem is that democracy was what Zelaya was attacking. There is always the danger that democracies will elect a person who does not respect democratic rule and will try use his power to end democracy. Hitler did this in Germany. Chavez has followed a similar model in Venezuela. And when the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that Zelaya had no power to fire the chief of the Armed Forces for refusing to distribute ballots and that Zelaya could not hold a referendum on constitutional term limits, it was Chavez who flew referendum ballots and voting equipment into Honduras so that the referendum could go forward.
Further, Obama's continued choice to refer to the removal of Zelaya from power as "illegal," a "terrible precedent" and a "coup" utterly mischaracterizes what happened in Honduras. This from a Bloomberg interview with the head of Honduras's Supreme Court, Justice Rsoalinda Cruz:
Honduras’s military acted under judicial orders in deposing President Manuel Zelaya, Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz said, rejecting the view of President Barack Obama and other leaders that he was toppled in a coup.
“The only thing the armed forces did was carry out an arrest order,” Cruz, 55, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Tegucigalpa. “There’s no doubt he was preparing his own coup by conspiring to shut down the congress and courts.”
Cruz said the court issued a sealed arrest order for Zelaya on June 26, charging him with treason and abuse of power, among other offenses. Zelaya had repeatedly breached the constitution by pushing ahead with a vote about rewriting the nation’s charter that the court ruled illegal, and which opponents contend would have paved the way for a prohibited second term.
She compared Zelaya’s tactics, including his dismissal of the armed forces chief for obeying a court order to impound ballots to be used in the vote, with those of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
“Some say it was not Zelaya but Chavez governing,” she said.
The arrest order she cited, approved unanimously by the court’s 15 justices, was released this afternoon along with documents pertaining to a secret investigation that went on for weeks under the high court’s supervision. . . .
As to the legalities of what Honduras did, as Fausta points out in her post on Honduras today, there is precedent in the U.S. for using the military to enforce court orders and. Further, Fausta quotes from The Corner: "Article 272 of the Honduran Constitution gives the military the power to remove a president even without a court order, if he seeks to violate the term limits prescribed in the Honduran Constitution."
Obama is ignoring all of these facts and attacking Honduras even as it seeks to act legally to protect its democratic system against a united power grab from Zelaya and Chavez. I cannot for the life of me fathom his motivation. Once again Obama is choosing the wrong side on a major foreign policy issue. As Krauthammer pointed out several days ago, if Obama finds himself on the side of Castro and Chavez on a foreign policy issue, then it's time to reevaluate. Unfortunately, whatever Obama's motivation, what we are seeing is that Obama feels comfortable in the company Castro, Chavez and their ilk.