Looks like ousted Honduras President Zelaya will be holed up in the Brazilian embassy for a while longer. The Congress of Honduras voted not to reinstate the deposed dictator-wannabe.
Honduras has been the object of Obama’s attacks ever since they threw Zeyala out of office. The former President’s disposal was ordered by the Honduras Supreme Court and was in line with the Honduras Constitution. Following the direction of his buddy Chavez, Zeyala illegally attempted to stay in power despite the constitutional ban on running for another term. The military removed him from office, and immediately returned power to the civilian leadership. The interim President, Roberto Micheletti was even from the same party as the deposed president. After months of bashing Honduras in an attempt to become friends with Hugo Chavez, Obama’s state department pushed through a deal where the Honduran Congress would vote on reinstating the ousted Zelaya to complete his term, which ends in January. Today was the vote and the answer was a resounding NO.
With voting still under way, more than two-thirds of lawmakers had voted not to return the deposed president to power for the remainder of his term, which ends Jan. 27, as Washington and many Latin American governments had urged. That was more than the simple majority needed in the 128-member, single-chamber Congress for the vote against restoring Zelaya to succeed. Only 10 lawmakers had voted to reinstate him Wednesday evening.
….Zelaya himself, who listened to the proceedings from his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy, had said he wouldn’t return for a token two months even if asked. He urged other governments not to restore ties with the incoming administration of Porfirio Lobo, who won Sunday’s presidential election.
Honduras’ interim leaders have proven remarkably resistant to diplomatic arm-twisting since the June 28 coup, rejecting near universal demands that Zelaya be restored to his office before the previously scheduled election. Now lawmakers have even snubbed international demands that he be allowed to serve the final two months of his presidency.
Much of that pressure has from the US who went as far as cutting off $16.5 billion dollars of financial aid to Honduras back in July because State Clinton said she was looking “to restore democracy and constitutional order in the Honduras crisis.” Of course when Honduras got rid of Zelaya they were trying to restore democracy and constitutional order, but our naive administration was too busy trying to score points with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to understand the truth.
Lawmaker after Lawmaker insisted Wednesday that they were right the first time when they voted to oust Zelaya for ignoring a Supreme Court order to cancel a referndum on changing the constitution. That vote happened hours after soldiers stormed into Zelaya’s residence and flew him into exile in his pajamas.
“My vote is (a lesson) for anyone who pretends to perpetuate himself in power. My vote is so that my son can look at me and say ‘Dad you defended democracy,” said Antonio Rivera of Lobo’s conservative National Party.
….Congress is dominated by Zelaya’s own Liberal Party, which largely turned against him in the dispute over changing the constitution. Many Liberals voted against him Wednesday.
The Supreme Court and three other institutions submitted opinions to Congress all recommending that Zelaya not be reinstated because he faces charges of abusing power and other infractions.
….Honduras’ interim leaders insist the victory by Lobo, a wealthy rancher, in the regularly scheduled presidential election shows their country’s democracy is intact.
….”A new form of coup d’etat has emerged,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said during a televised speech Wednesday. “Just as the money from drug trafficking is laundered, these elections were similar. It’s laundering a coup d’etat in a shameless way before the world.”
That stance wasn’t unanimous in the region, though.
President Barack Obama’s administration urged Zelaya’s reinstatement but it stopped short of making that a condition for recognizing Lobo’s government. Costa Rica, Peru, Panama and Colombia backed the U.S. view.
Zelaya’s reinstatement was not required by a U.S.-brokered pact that was signed by both the deposed leader and interim President Roberto Micheletti. The pact requires only that a unity government be created for the remainder of Zelaya’s term, leaving the decision on restoring Zelaya to office up to Congress.
Zelaya, who has been holed up at the Brazilian Embassy since he sneaked back into Honduras on Sept. 21, listened to the debate on the radio, said his adviser, Russell Tome. The deposed leader had not said what his next steps would be, although he insisted he had no plans to seek asylum abroad.
Once again, Barack Obama finds himself on the wrong side of History, thank God the Honduras Congress taught him a lesson in democracy.