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View Diary: Honduras' Coup Congress Cancels Five Basic Liberties (331 comments)

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  •  A coup is a coup: Weisbrot in Guardian (22+ / 0-)

    Marc Weisbrot says the necessarily obvious:  What appears at the first and second glance to be a military coup is, of course, a military coup, no matter how much those favoring the coup try to deny it.

    There is no excuse for this coup. A constitutional crisis came to a head when Zelaya ordered the military to distribute materials for a non-binding referendum to be held last Sunday.

    The referendum asked citizens to vote on whether they were in favour of including a proposal for a constituent assembly, to redraft the constitution, on the November ballot.

    The head of the military, General Romeo Vasquez, refused to carry out the president's orders. The president, as commander-in-chief of the military, then fired Vasquez, whereupon the defence minister resigned. The supreme court subsequently ruled that the president's firing of Vasquez was illegal, and the majority of the Congress has gone against Zelaya.

    Supporters of the coup argue that the president violated the law by attempting to go ahead with the referendum after the supreme court ruled against it.

    This is a legal question. It may be true, or it may be that the supreme court had no legal basis for its ruling. But it is irrelevant to the what has happened. The military is not the arbiter of a constitutional dispute between the various branches of government.

    This is especially true in this case, in that the proposed referendum was a non-binding and merely consultative plebiscite. It would not have changed any law nor affected the structure of power. It was merely a poll of the electorate.

    Therefore, the military cannot claim that it acted to prevent any irreparable harm. This is a military coup carried out for political purposes.

    And let's not be ridiculous here, either.

    Like Guatemala, Honduras is a clear example where the real governing authority is the death squad military, and civilian authorities serve as fronts at the pleasure of the military.

    This is no mystery, it is not a surprise to observers of Central America, and Honduras suddenly doesn't become free of a putrid oligarchy backed by a death squad military just because one President seems to be too leftist or too challenging to the powers that be or too clumsy or too politically disastrous or too often acting potentially illegally.

    This was the situation and all that has changed is that once again the Honduran military has exerted its controlling authority and has attempted to choose another more acceptable civilian front group under which to continue ruling.

    Both Honduras and Guatemala desperately need to be freed from the clutches of its murderous generals, who always hover down an alley and in the peripheral vision of any civilian leader.

    I can't even find these supposedly astoundingly powerful judicial decisions which reportedly served to justify the military's coup and exile of the President.

    •  The difference between US and Europe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mariachi mama, Johnny Q, minachica

      Notice that no one in Europe is defending the coup, even the conservatives.

      Sounds like a lot of American "liberals" feel that Zelaya's real crime was that he was taking Honduras out of US ownership.  The Europeans can be more objective - as they were about our recent war of aggression.  It's not their investments, and it's not their oil.

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