If you thought, as I did, that the Obama administration was backing off its threats to punish the tiny nation of Honduras for ousting would be dictator, Manuel Zelaya, you would be wrong. The Obama administration is dead set against taking any actions that don’t shock and demoralize the senses of freedom loving people everywhere.
Hans Bader of The Examiner reports:
The Obama Administration is about to cut off humanitarian aid to Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Earlier, the Obama Administration blocked travel to the United States by the people of Honduras.
Both actions are foolish responses to a recent ruling by the supreme court of Honduras refusing to approve the return to power of the country’s bullying ex-president and would-be dictator, Mel Zelaya. Zelaya was earlier arrested by soldiers acting on orders of the Honduras Supreme Court, replaced by his country’s Congress with a civilian successor, and forced into exile. Zelaya’s removal came after he systematically abused his powers: he sought to circumvent constitutional term limits, used mobs to intimidate his critics, threatened public employees with termination if they refused to help him violate the Constitution, engaged in massive corruption, illegally cut off public funds to local governments whose leaders refused to back his quest for more power, denied basic government services to his critics, refused to enforce dozens of laws passed by Congress, and spent the country into virtual bankruptcy, refusing to submit a budget so that he could illegally spend public funds on his cronies.
State Department lawyers, who are not experts on Honduran law, plan to declare the ex-president’s removal a “military coup” to justify cutting off aid, even though Honduras has a civilian president, and the ex-president was lawfully removed from office (although his subsequent exile may technically have violated Honduran law).
Journalists nonsensically refer to Honduras’s removal of its ex-president as a “coup” even while admitting that it was ordered by the country’s supreme court. But if it was legal, by definition, it cannot be a coup, since a coup is defined as “the unconstitutional overthrow of a legitimate government by a small group.”
The ex-president’s removal was perfectly constitutional, say many lawyers and foreign policy experts, including attorneys Octavio Sanchez, Miguel Estrada, and Dan Miller, former Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes, Stanford’s William Ratliff, and the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady.
Even as Obama’s actions are supported by his ideological brethren, the Cuban communist dictator Castro and the Venezuelan socialist dictator Chavez, they have not shown him any love for throwing Honduras under the bus:
The dictators Castro and Chavez continue to attack and oppose the United States at every turn, and oppose all of its Latin American initiatives, like its plans for bases in Colombia to fight drug trafficking. Obama has received nothing in exchange for his appeasement of Latin America’s left.