Saturday, December 5, 2009


The Wall Street Journal has a good article on the Honduran election. For those that forgot. President Zelaya proposed a referendum that would have overturned the Honduran constitution's ban on re-election and scraped much of the existing constitution. A Chavez ally, Zelaya was locked in a growing confrontation with the Honduran Congress and Court.

The Honduran Supreme Court ruled the vote to be illegal because the Honuran Constitution banned Constitutional referendums within six months of elections. The military, backing the Supreme Court, refused to distribute ballots (a normal function of the Honduran military). President Zelaya fired the chief of the army and continued his course. The Supreme Court ordered him to stop his action and the military ousted Zelaya.

According to The Wall Street Journal in an article In Elections, Honduras Defeats Chávez authored by MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY

... militants inside Honduras took to exploding small bombs around the country in the weeks leading to the vote. They hoped that terror might damp turnout and delegitimize the process. They failed. Yesterday's civic participation appeared to be at least as good as it was in the last presidential election. Some polling stations reportedly even ran short, for a time, of the indelible ink used to mark voter pinkies.

Latin socialists tried to discredit Honduran democracy as part of their effort to force the reinstatement of deposed President Manuel Zelaya. Both sides knew that if that happened the electoral process would be in jeopardy.

The rule of law and popular representation pushing back statism. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Ms. O'Grady continues that the election was
If not Hugo Chávez's Waterloo ... [it] marks a major setback for the Venezuelan strongman's expansionist agenda.

The losers in this drama also include Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Spain, which all did their level best to block the election.

I would add that the Obama White House is among the "losers in this drama."

Later in the piece she writes that:

At least the Obama administration figured out, after four months, that it had blundered. It deserves credit for realizing that elections were the best way forward, and for promising to recognize the outcome despite enormous pressure from Brazil and Venezuela. President Obama came to office intent on a foreign policy of multilateralism. Perhaps this experience will teach him that freedom does indeed have enemies.

I wish I was as optimistic as she is. I think that Obama has a lot more in common with Chavez than most people think. I judge the man by his associations and his deeds, more than his rhetoric.

From the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, said the US was "disappointed" as it had hoped Honduran lawmakers would reinstate Mr Zelaya.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY VALENZUELA: Yes. Thanks very much. As you know, the Honduran congress voted yesterday not to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya to the Honduran presidency. We’re disappointed by this decision since the United States had hoped the Congress would have approved his return. And our policy since June 28 has been consistently principled, and we’ve condemned the coup d’état and have continued to accept President Zelaya as the democratically elected and legitimate leader of Honduras throughout this political crisis.


Post a Comment