Zelaya returned to power

posted at 8:48 am on October 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Now we know why John Kerry demanded that the Law Library of Congress withdraw its report declaring the removal of Manuel Zelaya from the Honduran presidency legal, weeks after the issuance of the report.  Honduras, under new pressure from the US, has agreed to allow Zelaya to return as president to the Central American nation under an agreement announced this morning.  However, there is one piece of good news, assuming Zelaya keeps his word:

The interim government of Honduras has yielded to international pressure and agreed to allow the return to power of Manuel Zelaya, the ousted President who was toppled in a military coup four months ago.

The breakthrough came after renewed pressure from senior US officials who travelled to Honduras this week for a last-ditch effort to end the crisis.

“It is a triumph for Honduran democracy,” said Mr Zelaya after the rival sides agreed to a deal under which he may be reinstated as President within days.

Well, no, it’s actually not a triumph for Honduran democracy.  The parliament in Tegulcigapa had voted unanimously for his removal after Zelaya attempted to violate the nation’s constitution and fake a referendum vote, for which ample evidence existed.  It’s actually a triumph for American interventionalism, which this administration pretended to eschew.  So much for a humble foreign policy.

The problem should be short-lived, however (emphasis mine):

Mr Micheletti said that Mr Zelaya could return to office after a vote in Congress that would be authorised by the country’s Supreme Court. He said that the deal would require both sides to recognise the result of a presidential election due to take place on November 29 and would transfer control of the army to the top electoral court.

The United States, the European Union and Latin American leaders had all demanded that Mr Zelaya be allowed to finish his presidential term, which ends in January. They had said that they might not recognise the winner of the November election unless democracy was first restored.

Zelaya had attempted to use the army to promulgate his illegal referendum on allowing presidents to seek more than one term, with ballots stashed for the purpose.  Now he won’t have any authority over the army at all, which will temporarily take its orders from the court.  Meanwhile, the elections that even Zelaya’s own party wanted will go forward, without Zelaya able to seek a second term (and without Micheletti as well).  In other words, he may be president, but he’s already a lame duck — with a very, very hostile parliament to boot.

Rumor has it that Zelaya initially refused to sign the agreement, and that he had to be prodded to do so.  It’s not hard to see why.  He gets to return home, but essentially gets to sit in an office for a few weeks and do nothing.  Assuming he doesn’t lead some sort of coup d’etat himself on his return to Honduras, which would make the Obama administration look even more inept in this circumstance, Zelaya is out of power for good.

Update: Be sure to read Fausta’s roundup from the region.

Update II: Law Library of Congress to John Kerry: Pound sand.


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There is an election being held, by the way, as part of the agreement.

Bleeds Blue on October 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

An election was always scheduled to be held. It didn’t need interference from Chavez or the US or any other international watchdog to assure that this was so. Micheletti was placed into his role as a temporary president as per the Honduran constitution. He is not running in the election to maintain that power.

The Obamao policy via the State Department was not going to recognize the November election in Honduras unless Zelaya finished out his term. The US decision, besides being punitive to Honduras all along, is not about the rule of law but about the rule of Leftist strongmen.

onlineanalyst on October 31, 2009 at 11:15 AM

***
I seem to remember that the Cuban Batista government caught and exiled Fidel Castro a few years before his return and successful revolution–rather than shooting him when they had the chance. EPIC FAIL–the Cuban people have been paying for this mistake for 50 years. The Bolivian Army did not make this mistake when they shot Che Guevara when they caught him–no second chances!
***
Now Zeyala has his “second chance” to be Jefe por Vida. Possibly Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez will send in AK-47′s and RPG’s to help advance the communist takeover in Honduras.
***
The Honduran police and military are the ultimate guarantors of their people’s liberty. So far the Honduran Constitution and Government have been doing a pretty good job there.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on October 31, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Everybody leaves off the fact that the Honduran legislature AND the Honduran Supreme Court still has to sign off on the deal.

It’s not a done deal yet folks So I wish people would stop saying that Zelaya’s coming back. It’s very likely but hey, they decided to kick him out once because THAT’S THE LAW. So why is anyone so sure they won’t do so again. I hope they say no to this twisted arm twisting by our duly elected Communist and his lackeys/lickspittles (john kerry and hillary clinton, I’m talking about YOU).

They wisely will leave the Army in control of certain aspects of Government (that’ll hopefully keep El Puerco Chavez at home) and the Court will also supervise him. Personally, I don’t see the point to this except to appease some of their citizenry who were hoping for a “BIG MAN” cult of personality to take effect.
The U.S. and the Congress have shown their true colors and their fecklessness in this thing.

jcw46 on October 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM

So what source would you consider believable? Clown Hall perpahs?

Dark-Star on October 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Please cite how a propaganda platform for Noam Chomsky, Cynthia McKinney, and Fidel Castro is authoritative on an any issue let alone one involving a Marxist power grab in Latin America. Normal Americans certainly won’t. If you find the anti American Counterpunch believable then the problem is you not me.

elduende on October 31, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Please cite how a propaganda platform for Michelle Malkin, George Bush, and Rush Limbaugh is authoritative on an any issue let alone one involving a Marxist power grab in Latin America. Normal Americans certainly won’t. If you find the anti American Hotair believable then the problem is you not me.

random liberal person on whenever at whenever PM

Sounds just as silly the other way around, doesn’t it?

Dark-Star on October 31, 2009 at 6:02 PM

elduende on October 31, 2009 at 5:24 AM
Funny, I get a similar reaction on some places when I post links to HA.
So what source would you consider believable?
Dark-Star on October 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

He considers the Honduran media and whoever picks up and post their feeds verbatim, to be believable.

From the Wash Post:>

In Honduras, some of the most popular and influential television stations and radio networks blacked out coverage or adhered to the de facto government’s line that Manuel Zelaya’s overthrow was not a coup but a legal “constitutional substitution,” press freedom advocates and Honduran journalists said.

Soldiers raided the offices of radio and TV stations loyal to Zelaya, shutting down their signals. Alejandro Villatoro, 52, the owner of Radio Globo, said soldiers broke down doors and dismantled video surveillance cameras. “They grabbed me and put me face down and put six rifles on me, with a foot on my back holding me down,” he said. “It was like I was a common criminal.”

In Honduras, though, the country’s new leaders, the security forces and the clergy argue that Zelaya’s removal had legal justification the rest of the world does not understand. Local media largely “slanted coverage” to favor that position, said Carlos Lauría of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

“The de facto government clearly used the security forces to restrict the news,” Lauría said. “Hondurans did not know what was going on. They clearly acted to create an information vacuum to keep people unaware of what was actually happening.”

Most, if not all, of the news media here are unabashedly partisan, Honduran journalists say, with newspapers and broadcast outlets allied with political parties and local power brokers.

Eduardo Maldonado, a popular commentator on radio and television, does not hide his allegiance to Zelaya. He said he openly backed Zelaya’s efforts to hold a nonbinding referendum asking Hondurans to approve a constitutional amendment on presidential term limits, which sparked the crisis.

The morning of the coup, Maldonado said, he was due to appear on his TV show on Channel 66. Instead, soldiers arrived at the station and prevented him from broadcasting.
“It was a well-prepared coup,” he said. “They only allowed the media that were loyal to them to operate.”

Zelaya’s supporters say that their marches receive scant media coverage, unlike the rallies in favor of the coup, which are advertised on several TV channels.
“The ones that transmit what is really happening here are closed, like Channel 36,” said Juan Carlos Valladares, a teacher who was demanding Zelaya’s return on a recent day.
Channel 36 was off the air for a week after soldiers arrived at its headquarters minutes after the coup. Esdras Amado López, the station’s owner, said he is pleased to be back on the air now. But he remains shaken.
“I am frustrated,” he said. “I feel bad because this is my job, this is my dream, and I worked very hard to have this station.”

Bill Blizzard on November 1, 2009 at 8:54 AM

The US founding fathers advocated a free press to be a watchdog over the government. When Counter Punch does just that people accuse them of being anti-American. So they must believe the founders to be anti-American too.

Bill Blizzard on November 1, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Eduardo Maldonado, a popular commentator on radio and television, does not hide his allegiance to Zelaya. He said he openly backed Zelaya’s efforts to hold a nonbinding referendum asking Hondurans to approve a constitutional amendment on presidential term limits, which sparked the crisis.

Bill Blizzard on November 1, 2009 at 8:54 AM

The referendum was declared unconstitutional by the Honduran Supreme Court and the promotion of that illegal referendum is also unconstitutional, per the Honduran Constitution:

Article 42.- The quality of citizen gets lost:

5. To encourage, promote or support the continuity or the reelection of President of the Republic; and,

There was an earlier attempt to amend the Constitution, which was legal, but that was rejected, which is why your dear, leftist wannabe dictator decided to break all constitutional proscriptions and force the referendum. When rejected time and again, the wannabe dictator, Zelaya, tried to order the Honduran military to carry out the referendum in defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

It’s pretty sad how you slimebags are so brazen about your desires to install leftist dictators, violating any and every law in your pursuit of an iron grip on power. You people are absolutely despicable … and incredibly stupid, too.

progressoverpeace on November 1, 2009 at 9:48 AM

The US founding fathers advocated a free press to be a watchdog over the government. When Counter Punch does just that people accuse them of being anti-American. So they must believe the founders to be anti-American too.

Bill Blizzard on November 1, 2009 at 9:14 AM

The Founders were far more concerned with limited government and avoiding the concentration of governmental power. Most of all, they chose a Constitutional Republic over a Democracy, which is why we don’t have national referenda for anything. But, go ahead and keep advocating for the Hondurans to ignore their own Constitution, which was implemented with an eye to avoiding the classic and oft-recurring Latin American problem of dictatorships arising, in order to concentrate and extend power for your leftist thug.

It cannot be repeated enough; you people are despicable.

progressoverpeace on November 1, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Bill Blizzard on November 1, 2009 at 9:14 AM

You are aware that Counterpunch is run by a Holocaust-denier, correct? And that it served as a mouthpiece for Pol Pot’s supporters in academia, denying the killing fields and return to year zero in Cambodia even took place, all while evidence was piling up to the contrary, correct? Hey, if you want to align yourself with Holocaust deniers and Khmer Rouge sympathizers, don’t let me stop you. But people need to know this is where you go for your “news.”

You really are a sub-human piece of filth. Sometimes, I really think you guys are a bigger threat to western civilization than the Islamists. At least they are honest.

PimFortuynsGhost on November 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM

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