While he was getting lectured by Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, he took the time to give a speech that totally ignored the Constitution of Honduras.
“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. “
I wonder if the President or anyone at the State Department has ever read the Constitution of Honduras:
The Honduran Constitution may be amended in any way except three. No amendment can ever change (1) the country’s borders, (2) the rules that limit a president to a single four-year term and (3) the requirement that presidential administrations must “succeed one another” in a “republican form of government.”
In addition, Article 239 specifically states that any president who so much as proposes the permissibility of reelection “shall cease forthwith” in his duties, and Article 4 provides that any “infraction” of the succession rules constitutes treason. The rules are so tight because these are terribly serious issues for Honduras, which lived under decades of military rule.
As detailed in the attorney general’s complaint, Zelaya is the type of leader who could cause a country to wish for a Richard Nixon. Earlier this year, with only a few months left in his term, he ordered a referendum on whether a new constitutional convention should convene to write a wholly new constitution. Because the only conceivable motive for such a convention would be to amend the un-amendable parts of the existing constitution, it was easy to conclude — as virtually everyone in Honduras did — that this was nothing but a backdoor effort to change the rules governing presidential succession. Not unlike what Zelaya’s close ally, Hugo Chavez, had done in Venezuela.
It is also worth noting that only referendums approved by a two-thirds vote of the Honduran Congress may be put to the voters. Far from approving Zelaya’s proposal, Congress voted that it was illegal.
The attorney general filed suit and secured a court order halting the referendum. Zelaya then announced that the voting would go forward just the same, but it would be called an “opinion survey.” The courts again ruled this illegal. Undeterred, Zelaya directed the head of the armed forces, Gen. Romeo Vasquez, to proceed with the “survey” — and “fired” him when he declined. The Supreme Court ruled the firing illegal and ordered Vasquez reinstated.
Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela, but these were impounded by customs when they were brought back to Honduras. On June 25 — three days before he was ousted — Zelaya personally gathered a group of “supporters” and led it to seize the ballots, restating his intent to conduct the “survey” on June 28. That was the breaking point for the attorney general, who immediately sought a warrant from the Supreme Court for Zelaya’s arrest on charges of treason, abuse of authority and other crimes. In response, the court ordered Zelaya’s arrest by the country’s army, which under Article 272 must enforce compliance with the Constitution, particularly with respect to presidential succession. The military executed the court’s order on the morning of the proposed survey.Source LA TIMES
Honduras President Manuel Zelaya was trying to use his friend Hugo Chávez’s methods of bullying through the law in order to retain power. According to the Constitution, that precludes him from remaining in office, in fact its treason. Honduras’s military acted under judicial orders in deposing the President according to Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz, who said:
“The only thing the armed forces did was carry out an arrest order,” Cruz, 55, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Tegucigalpa. “There’s no doubt he was preparing his own coup by conspiring to shut down the congress and courts.”
Cruz said the court issued a sealed arrest order for Zelaya on June 26, charging him with treason and abuse of power, among other offenses. Zelaya had repeatedly breached the constitution by pushing ahead with a vote about rewriting the nation’s charter that the court ruled illegal, and which opponents contend would have paved the way for a prohibited second term. source
The military immediately turned power back to the people and the congress replaced Zelaya with someone from the same party as the deposed president, no coup, just the prevention of a coup. This was a unanimous move by the Supreme Court of Honduras to preserve the nations democracy. Regrettably, America’s President is so wrapped up in his desire to make nice to people like Hugo Chavez, that refuses to acknowledge Honduras’ fight to stay free.
The Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras should be praised by the United States, under great international pressure they have followed their constitution and the rule of law. Obama and the State Department are displaying their ignorance.