If I fashion the family’s mashed potatoes into the shape of Honduras, I couldn’t possibly act more like the Richard Dreyfus character in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” obsessing about ETs; I am fixated with the Honduran non-coup coup story. It means something.
I scour Honduran government websites with the same manic intensity that Roy drew pictures of a rock, and every conversation, on any subject, can lead me to the topic.
How Roy Neary-ish is that?
The story is quite simple really: the elected President of Honduras was removed from office after a unanimous vote by the Honduran Congress. He was arrested by the Honduran military, acting on a warrant issued by the Honduran Supreme Court, after an urgent request by the Honduran Attorney General, for continued violations of the Honduran Constitution. He was reportedly given the choice between incarceration and deportation, and chose the latter.
The charges stem from the attempts by President Manuel Zelaya to overthrow the Honduran Constitution, with the clear intent of eliminating any restrictions on his abiliy to remain in office. The Honduran Constitution is quite clear on the subject of Presidential term limits, and on how the Constitution may be amended:
Title One, Chapter III, Article 42:5, states that anyone who “incites, promotes, or supports” the re-election of the President will forfeit their citizenship. Title Five, Chapter VI, Article 239, states that anyone who has once discharged the duties of President, cannot be elected to the office again, and that anyone who breaks that restriction, or supports the breaking or reforming that proposition will be immediately removed from political office, and restricted for serving in a public office, at any level, for a period of ten years. Title Seven, Chapter I, Article 373, restricts Constitutional reform to acts of Congress, in session, via a two-thirds vote by the totality of membership. Title Seven, Chapter I, Article 374, prohibits the reform of Article 373, any Articles detailing the form of government, Presidential term limits, prohibitions on Presidential re-elections, and the loss of the ability of any citizen who has supported the re-election of a person to the Presidency to run for political office for a period of ten years.
Manuel Zelaya, after being advised of the unconstitutionality of his actions, continued to promote his national referendum, going as far as illegally absconding with millions of lempiras from the central bank in order to finance the illegal referendum. He fired the head of the Honduran military for refusing to help him distribute the ballots provided by the Venezuelan government, in spite of the fact that the Honduran Supreme Court had warned Zelaya that the distribution of the ballots was illegal, and assisted a group of his followers in breaking into a military installation where those ballots were being held.
The Honduran Congress, Supreme Court, and Military executed their Constitutional obligations, and removed him from office.
We can debate whether Zelaya should have been put through a full impeachment trial instead of simply being booted out of the country, but there is very little doubt in my mind that his removal from office was legal, constitutionally mandated, and justified.
Straight up, short, neat and precise.
This is where I start throwing the hedges into the living room.
Within hours of the Honduran military, President Obama was condemning the actions of the Honduran government:
“I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of President Mel Zelaya. As the Organization of American States did on Friday, I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference.”
A deep respect for the rule of law is EXACTLY what drove the Honduran Congress, Attorney General, Supreme Court, and military to action. Zelaya was engaged in the abrogation of the rule of law…primarily, the Honduran Constitution.
Obama later followed his statement with a legal opinion on the removal of Zelaya:
Obama went on:
“President Zelaya remains the democratically elected president. For the sake of the Honduran people, democratic and constitutional order must be restored.”
This demonstrates Obama’s lack of familiarity with the Constitution of two nations: Honduras, and the one he supposedly swore to defend. Being “Democratically elected” does not translate into being given carte blanche to violate the Constitution.
I know what you’re saying…”Froggy, what’s with the obsession? There’s health care to write about, North Korea has nukes and Afghanistan is gonna have them soon, Michael Moore says something other than capitalism put all that money in his bank account, The Obamas poured it on…they even brought Oprah with them, and they couldn’t bring the Olympics to Chicago. Why are you writing about Honduras?”
“That’s so three months ago!”
I’m telling you guys, there’s something here…this means something.
This is where you take the kids and move to Grandma’s house.
There is this chant going on in my head…”Castro…Chavez…Zelaya…ACORN”
It plays all the time, like the image of Devil’s Tower that Roy Neary kept seeing in his mind’s eye.
Fidel Castro used a populist “Revolución” to overthrow Batista and take control of the nation, he promised equality for all, and used class war as a tool to cement himself into power. Once in power, he suspended the Cuban Constitution, and suspended elections. He nationalized all the country’s industries, as well as the media. On July 26th, 1959, just months after seizing the reigns of power in Cuba, Fidel Castro described his ideal for Cuba as a “true Democracy”. To his remaining supporters in the Island, Fidel is the revolución, and the revolución is Fidel.
Hugo Chavez used his Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, later renamed the Fifth Republic Movement to drive home a populist message of class divisions. He then used the same movement to promote a fundamental change of the Venezuelan Constitution via a national referendum, expanding his ability to remain in power. He has nationalized the nation’s major industries, and is systematically shutting down any media critical of his tenure.
In February of this year, another Chavez-sponsored, Fifth Republic Movement-backed referendum passed, eliminating Presidential term limits altogether.
Chavez positioned himself, and his Fifth Republic Movement, as the third alternative to a two-party system that most Venezuelans had grown disillusioned with; his is a populist party with socialist, humanist and nationalist roots that promised “change”, “reform”, and wealth redistribution to the poor, and the working class in Venezuela via the nationalization of the nation’s oil industry.
Speaking in Madrid this September 11th, Chavez addressed the issue of the global economic crisis, and democracy:
“The global capitalism crisis is a great opportunity. This is the moment, it’s not a tale, it’s not madness, the world is changing.”
“They call those of us who are fighting for true democracy tyrants and they call many tyrants democrats.”
Zelaya tried to follow the Castro/Chavez blueprint. His populist movement (the Liberal Hope Movement AKA Movimiento Esperanza Liberal) got him elected, and was set to carry out that national referendum on term limits , which would allow him time to carry out his Socialist agenda in Honduras. He had the backing of Hugo Chavez, but he failed.
He failed because the Congress of Honduras, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military defended the Honduran Constitution.
But as you see above, nearly two months after Manuel Zelaya’s Constitutional removal from office, our President still calls that legal action “illegal”.
This means something…wait, what about that chant playing in my head?
What’s with ACORN being in there?
ACORN is there because the populist organization always leads the charismatic populist leader. Castro’s revolución preceded Castro, Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution preceded his Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, and gave birth to his Fifth Republic Movement, his tools for promoting the national referendums which have solidified his power. Zelaya’s Movimiento Esperanza Liberal got him elected, but failed to keep him in power long enough to carry out the Chavezian plan to fundamentally change the Constitution by using national referendums driven by populist movements.
Is ACORN that organization?
Does it have the substructure and the means to push a national agenda?
Obama rose to power on promises of “hope” (esperanza), change (reform), and wealth redistribution. He has nationalized industries, and is openly waging war against critics such as FOX News, and Rush Limbaugh. He continues to wage class warfare in the form of health care “reform”, and, as evidenced by his words on the removal of Manuel Zelaya, holds the ideals of Democracy above the rule of law as set forth in a nation’s Constitution.
He sides with Castro and Chavez on Honduras.
How far fetched is it to imagine ACORN, and its many tentacles, working on a nation-wide scale to pressure Congress into placing a national referendum on a ballot?
How unimaginable is it for Congress to fold under the weight of a national movement seeking to place a national referendum question on a national ballot?
What if that national referendum is directed at overturning the Twenty-second Amendment?
What if our Congress lacks the backbone to recognize what Obama is, and moves to overturn the 22nd Amendment based on a national vote?
They are cut from the same cloth these men. Some suave, some ruthless, but they are the right individual for their particular situation, and they stood shoulder to shoulder on Honduras. They spoke of defending Democracy, calling the defense of a nation’s Constitution “illegal”.
That chant is a loud in my head as the five note melody blasted by the mothership that flew in over Roy Neary’s once imagined, suddenly very real mountain.
I can’t get it to stop.
I know, I am sounding every bit as batty as Roy Neary…the problem is that Roy Neary was right.