Barack Obama tried to explain his position on ousted Honduran president Zelaya in his speech today in Russia. He did so by stating the undisputed obvious fact that Zelaya was Democratically elected. Jake Tapper reports what he said in his speech:
“America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected President of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies,” the president told graduate students at the commencement ceremony of Moscow’s New Economic School. “We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not. “
The president’s remarks came in the midst of a speech in which discussed “America’s interest in democratic governments that protect the rights of their people” and supported Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for judicial reforms in his country.
What if the majority of the people in a democratic country agree with the democratic government that an undemocratic despot has to go? That question wasn’t addressed. Instead we got this:
“We are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president,” President Obama said.
Well, thank you Captain Obvious, but we knew that already, and amazingly, we still support the actions of the Honduran government. Jake Tapper helpfully ran down the recent events that led to Zelaya’s ouster:
The military removal of Zelaya as president – and the appointment of Roberto Micheletti as interim President by the Honduran legislature – came after Zelaya attempted to rewrite his nation’s constitution to end term limits to continue his rule, despite the fact that term limits in the constitution is one of eight “firm articles” that cannot be changed.
After the Honduran Legislature refused to call a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution, Zelaya called for a referendum to do so, which the Honduran Supreme Court and Attorney General declared unconstitutional. Zelaya, allied with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez , fired top military commander Romeo Vásquez Velásquez for refusing to carry out the referendum. Every branch of government sided against Zelaya and Congress began discussing impeachment proceedings. Acting on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court, soldiers arrested Zelaya on June 28 and sent him into exile in Costa Rica.
Here is a video chronology of events that led to the Honduran government’s actions:
Those are the pesky little details Obama left out of his defense of Zelaya.
Rick Moran at The American Thinker blasts Obama’s folly further:
He (Zelaya) has since been impeached which begs the question of why Obama is selectively applying a standard to Zelaya that is no longer relevant?
Instead of being noble and practicing self abnegation when it comes to US interests, why can’t Obama do what we elected him to do and stand up for those interests instead of denying them out of some stupid, naive, notion where he believes we are going to be applauded for shooting ourselves in the foot?
Bragging about acting contrary to your nation’s interests will no doubt be met with approval by the world’s leftists. In the meantime, a perfectly legitimate change of government has occurred that bolsters US interests and Obama is fighting it, putting himself on the same side as the Castros, Danny Ortega, and Hugo Chavez.
Pretty good for a college kid. Disaster for a US president.
Hot Air reports:
An exit strategy for the Honduran crisis?
Honduras’ interim government gave hints Tuesday of a possible solution to a crisis caused by a coup, expressing the first signs of flexibility about the possible return of ousted leader Manuel Zelaya.
Roberto Micheletti, who took over following the June 28 coup, applauded the announcement that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has agreed to mediate efforts to end the standoff.
Arias “is a man with a lot of credibility in the world,” Micheletti told HRN radio. “We are open to dialogue. We want to be heard.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Arias would take part after met privately in Washington with Zelaya.
Micheletti said he would send a delegation soon to Costa Rica — a reversal from past days, when he said he would not negotiate until “things are normal.” Arias won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for efforts to help end Central America’s civil wars.