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Delay, Evade, Obfuscate

12 July 2009

As the talks produced little, much of Honduras was paralyzed by strikes and protests, and cracks were emerging in the group of countries demanding the return of the ousted president.

This highly misleading header highlights Ginger Thompson’s New York Times report on the non-progress of “peace talks” related to the coup against the elected government of Honduras.

— What “cracks”? If you read the article, there is only one country where the non-recognition of the Organization of American States’ decision to suspend Honduran membership is even a question. And only from a few elected officials — from the party that lost the last election, but enjoys support within one state from an exile Cuban constituency. Guess which one that might be.

While Oscar Arias of Costa Rica (who is sponsoring the talks between the legitimate government and the de facto regime) may be hoping to avoid bloodshed, he is (willingly or not) contributing to the success of the coup by stretching out the “negotiations”. The original rationale for the coup — to prevent a non-binding referendum — has already been accomplished. Presidential elections are in November, so the longer the golpistas stay in control, the less chance any opposition to the powers that be have of organizing a democratic alternative. Meaning, there will be no change.

I’m not a fan of Zelaya, and for all I know, he’s the biggest crook in public office since George W. Bush. Not that it matters.   The issue boils down to this.  Do you have a shitty democracy or do you resort ot military force to resolve legal issues?  If the latter, there is no law, but the law of the gun.

Every day a government imposed by a military takeover (whether ordered by a Supreme Court or not… which is dubious. If there was an arrest order for the President, he would have been served papers, not hustled onto an airplane and sent out of the jurisdiction of the court) stays in power only serves to justify “bending the law” to preserve the status quo, and to prevent democratic change in the Americas.

For those of a scholarly bent, the new “emergency blog” (I don’t know what else to call it),  “Honduras Coup: 2009” is an excellent resource.  There is a good analysis of the constitutional issues (the justification for the coup, though it seems to change more often than I change my socks… which now that we’re in the rainy season is likely to be twice or more a day) by Francisco Palacios Romeo, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain.

Alas, the good professor does not explain how Zelaya’s attempted referendum (which would have given political support to a proposal to consider constitutional changes)  differed from that proposed by then-deputy Roberto Micheletti, which would have changed the constitution to allow presidents to run for a second term.  Bina, back from her mysterious vacation in the Great White North dug up this tidbit, which she presents with her usual heapin’ helpin’ of healthy snark.

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