Honduras sheds light on Obama
Juan Carlos Hidalgo asks the question of the day in a post at Cato@Liberty:
What Principle is Guiding Obama’s Honduras Policy?
The Obama administration is threatening not to recognize the result of Honduras’ presidential election in late November unless Manuel Zelaya returns to the presidency beforehand.
The presidential poll was already scheduled prior to Zelaya’s (constitutional) removal from office last June. The candidates had already been selected by their parties through an open primary process. The current civilian interim president, Roberto Micheletti, is not running for office and plans to step down in January as stipulated by the Constitution. Both major presidential candidates supported the ouster of Zelaya. The political campaign is playing out in an orderly manner, and there’s a significant chance that the candidate from the opposition National Party will win the presidency. The independent Electoral Tribunal is overseeing the process.
And yet the U.S. Department of State is signaling that it won’t recognize the result of the poll in the name of defending Zelaya’s return to power.
The Obama Administration has been going out of its way to be on the wrong side of both the law and morality when it comes to Honduras. Obama has his first chance to rebuke the shameful history of the US being propping up dictators in Latin America and what does he do? He goes out of his way to prop up a would-be dictator who had neither the support of the people nor of the Honduran Constitution. He’s laid sanctions on the Honduran people. He refuses to recognize the legal, constitutional government of a country.
Why would he do this? Zelaya was the elected President of Honduras. He had been given the power, through the vehicle of democratic election, to shape Honduras.
Let’s cast it again: Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. He has been given power, through the vehicle of democratic election, to shape the United States.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Remember this incident from the early days of the Obama administration:
President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning – but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
Obama won. Zelaya won. To the victors go the spoils. There is no higher principle behind the US Government’s abuse of the Honduran people, just that.
Even more worrisome, though, is what the Obama Administration’s treatment of Honduras means for us when we try to hold them to the limits of our Constitution.