Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras, July 6: Fracture Lines

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 6, 2009

The coup ringleaders are already starting to squabble among themselves. From Globo Radio (via and translated into English at The Field):

“Businessmen Ricardo Maduro, Rafael Ferrari and Carlos Flores Facussé had a meeting this Sunday at dawn with the de facto government and withdrew their support. Ex-president Carlos Flores left Honduras with his family, headed toward Washington.”

Al Giordano explains why this is important:

Hold on. Flores, Honduran president from 1998 to 2002, was a key architect of this coup. Until last night, he was more hands-on directing the steps of the Honduran military than Micheletti himself. If true that he’s deserted the sinking ship – and gone to Washington nonetheless – he must have something in the form of “actionable information” to offer to the US Witness Protection Program (yes, some of my friends on the left are nipping at my heels over this kind of analysis about the US role in all this; I will surely dispatch with them on a later day, when we’re not reporting real-time on a crisis – but they should beware because I’m going to hit back real hard at those whiners of academia, with the facts that they don’t have enough respect for, and events are going to demonstrate this analysis here as more accurate and even more prescient. But time will sort out all of that…)

Meanwhile, the oligarch dailies in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, after today’s events, began to backpedal. For the first time since the coup, tonight, the pro-coup daily La Prensa referred to Micheletti not as “president,” but as “president designate.”
And the daily El Tiempo, from the same pro-coup camp, described President Zelaya as “recognized still by the international community as the Constitutional President of Honduras.”

Of course, the US TradMed, as represented by the AP, depicts the weakening of the anti-democratic and anti-constitutional coup, and the strengthening of those wishing to restore Manuel Zelaya as president, as a Bad Thing:

Honduras slides toward greater instability

Remember the TradMed headlines in the wake of the 2000 elections? Any efforts Al Gore made to pursue justice and democracy were attacked as leading to “chaos”. Oh, that icky chaos! We mustn’t have chaos! Now sit down, shut up like a good German and let that nice man Bush be selected, OK?


12 Responses to “Honduras, July 6: Fracture Lines”

  1. What’s Zelaya’s current popularity in Honduras?

    • Charles II said

      Bzr at DK:

      Update 8:08 – Litho in the comments brings up something I hadn’t seen yet regarding the oft-cited 30% approval rating for Zelaya. According to the AP”latest February CID-Gallup showed it had rebounded to 53 percent, drawing support from farm, labor and student groups.” I’ve only been able to find a survey from June 2008
      that finds a 46-42 favorable number. Having said all this, I don’t think Zelaya’s popularity, or lack thereof, is really germane. Litho explains why.

  2. Mike Wright said

    Maybe if the US hadn’t been so involved in the condemnation of the transfer of power from the beginning, and if the OAS hadn’t cut off funds, Honduras would be in fine shape…

    • Charles II said

      Or not, Mike.

      First, the article you link rests heavily on the idea that Zelaya is unpopular. But that is not correct. His popularity fell earlier in the year, but rose to respectable levels before the coup.

      Second, claims that Chavez is somehow omnipotently controlling the democratic surge in Latin America is simply delusional. We heard the same crap ever since Lula won. Chavez has gotten repeatedly re-elected in elections that outside monitors tell us were fair. Like him or hate him, he is popular in Venezuela. However, if you know anything about Latin America, being popular in one country almost automatically makes you suspect in every other country. Latin America is intensely nationalistic and they HATE outside meddling.

      Third, as I have posted elsewhere, apparently the Congress was nowhere near unanimous on Micheletti.

      Basically, what Kevin Jenkins has posted is opinion, with no supporting facts. It doesn’t really make sense, if you think about it too hard… for example, why did the coupistas PREVENT Zelaya from returning? If things were as straightforward as they were claiming, surely they could convict him in a fair trial?

      What you’re linking is just nonsense. It’s a tragedy that Americans can be so easily duped and turned into tools for thugs like Micheletti.

  3. You might want to take a look at Bryan @ Whynow’s analysis.

    • Charles II said

      Why? There’s no argument that the Honduran Constitution limits the president to one term and forbids opening the issue.

      There’s an argument that convening a Constitutional Convention equals running for a second term. To me this is an incredibly stupid argument, something like arguing that a stack of Indiana limestone and some Portland cement is identical to the Empire State Building. Sure, you need stone and concrete to build a building, but you also need other materials, labor, a building permit, etc– and you could take all the same stuff and build a hockey rink.

      This is why due process is so critical. It limits the degree to which people can use emotional arguments along the lines of “Of course he was planning to run for president again! Are you so stupid that you imagine he would convene a ConCon for any other reason?” and forces them to be presented logically and coherently. I don’t think that the junta’s arguments would survive close scrutiny, which would explain why they refused to let him land, arrest and try him.

      • Even if his concon was to extend the term of the next president, who may be someone other than himself, it appears that this effort violates the constitution. And who interprets the constitutional prohibition if you are going to disregard the supreme court and the congress, and allow the president to make his own determination that his actions are constitutional? How is this different from George Bush except your guy is a friend of Chavez?

      • Charles II said

        Michael, you really aren’t listening.

        First, in no way is proposing a vote to ask the people if they want a Constitutional Convention identical with an attempt of a politician to succeed himself [added: or, for that matter, with a far-fetched hypothetical of abetting a future politician succeed himself], so this does not violate the black letter of the Constitution. The Constitutional Convention could just as easily have been about setting a minimum wage or declaring daisies to be the national flower. One simply cannot leap to conclusions this way.

        Second, a trial allows the other side to present their case [added: which is the proper way to decide who is right and who is wrong, not by court edict or by an illegal and manipulated parliamentary vote. Note that Bush, like the coupistas disdained due process], and the fact that Michelitti’s thugs have systematically avoided using the trial courts is strong evidence that they do NOT have a case.

        If they wanted to resolve the issue, they would have filed for an injunction to block the November vote. And they would have had a decent case, simply because courts generally oppose novelty of any kind. I don’t think there’s a precedent for a non-binding referendum being used to add a referendum to the ballot. It’s irregular, and the courts should have been asked to review it.

        Third, you make assertions as to what happened when it’s becoming increasingly evident that your sense of what happened is based on a questionable timeline of events. Did “the Congress” vote to install Micheletti? That’s what we were told, and it now appears to be false: a substantial number of legislators dissented. Furthermore, they used a forged letter of resignation to do this.

        Did “the Supreme Court” direct that Zelaya be stripped of his powers? Well, maybe, maybe not. Reports on the sequence of events conflict. The Supreme Court as a whole apparently did demand that Zelaya reinstate Gen. Vasquez. But apparently it was the the Supreme ELECTORAL Court that said that the referendum could not go forward. And only ONE Supreme Court Justice, if we are to believe a press accounts cited by Wikipedia and sourced to the NYT, signed an order for arresting Zelaya. Nor is it even clear that the Supreme Court holds that power: this is all in uncharted territory for Honduras. I’m not even sure we should believe this outline of events, given that these people used a forged and misdated resignation letter to trick the Congress into installing Micheletti. They may well have used lies to trick the Supreme Court–or one of its members– into doing something that it would not do had the facts been known.

        If you don’t want to listen to what I have to say, may we just cut out the middle man, I’ll stop responding to your posts (which, because of the way that I approach dialogue, requires that I actually take time to read and consider things), and you can talk to yourself?

      • Charles, you might as well ignore me because you didn’t respond to what I actually said. It will be interesting to see how the situation develops in the days and weeks ahead.

      • Charles II said

        I have edited my comment to make it even clearer and more obviously specifically responsive to what you raised.

      • “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, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”
        — Article 239 of Honduras Constitution, emphasis added.

      • Charles II said

        No one owes obedience to a usurper government or to those who assume office or public employment by force of arms or by using means or procedures that violate or fail to recognize that which this constitution and the laws establish. Acts approved by such authorities are null and void. The people have the right to appeal to insurrection in defense of constitutional order.
        – Section I Article 3 of Honduras constitution

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