The three options that Honduras had

This is my translation of an editorial by Joaquín Samayoa published in La Prensa Honduras:

Everyone thought that coups d'etat were gone for good in the political history of Latin America. All of us would have desired that to, in fact, to happen. We trusted that the execution of electoral processes were more or less transparent, the end of the militarism and the submission of the rulers to the democratic institutions would have been completely unnecessary that some country had to consider, much less perform, the compulsory removal of a democratically elected president.  But the history never advances in straight line it has valleys and crests, breaks and backward movements.

The capture and removal of President Zelaya led to an almost unanimous reaction of censorship, but, in reality, everything that has been occurring in Honduras during the last few weeks that should qualify as a setback for democracy. Political events have causes and preceding that should not be ignored. In Honduras, the backward movement of the democracy began with an arrogant contempt for the constitutional and institutional order that was shown by President Zelaya's attempt to remain in power indefinitely.

The agents of the Chavist expansionism are indignant.  Already we know them.  They appeal alone to the democratic principles when it suits them.  But they are not the only ones that have criticized the coup.  Some people think the separation of Zelaya was justified, but should have been carried out without resorting by force military or under the expressed order of an body authorized by the Constitution to remove the president.  This is what I would have preferred; nevertheless, before joining the chorus of censure, I have to ask the question:  Was there really another way to do it?

I think that we need megadoses of naivety to think that Zelaya would have accepted his dismissal. Far from it, he would have dissolved the Congress, would have decreed a state of siege that would have bought loyalties in the army, would have called in his defense the military forces of Boliva, and would have done anything to sustain his power.

All that him would have earned him if anything is a warm and passing international condemnation.  You must understand that the OAS has never served to defend the democracy.  At one time it was dominated by United States and defended the military dictatorships, then had a period of absolute irrelevance and passed, but in recent years, it has been dominated by Chávez to defend to the Bolivarian dictatorships. Once Zelayastrengthened his power after a failed attempt to dismiss him legally, none of the ones criticizing the coup would have done anything to help the Hondurans to be shake off their dictator.

The Honduran institutions had only three options. The first was do nothing and let things follow their course leading to an irreversible situation of an established regime administered in perpetuity by Chavez and Zelaya. The second was to try to get rid of the president for willingly, which would have allowed sufficient time Zelaya to request support for the Venezuelan military, making Honduras the scene of a bloody war. They opted for the third option, an unexpected and bloodless military coup to prevent Zelaya to consummate his plans to remain in power.

As opposed to the military coups of the second half of last century, the compulsory removal of Zelaya included the unanimous endorsement of the Congress and left intact the institutions of the country.  Surely neither the protagonists of the blow nor the ones that have observed outside the events, would have desired to have had to arrive at such an action, but real politics rarely leave margin for actions entirely free of reproach.

Any coup d'etat is regrettable. Nevertheless, the Hondurans who will face the consequences of one or another of the possible courses of action and, consequently, should permit itself to resolve their problem without foreign interference. There are valid reasons to object a coup d'etat. What is wrong is the double standard of those who criticize it which implies of break of the constitutional order, but kept a coward silent on other violations, perhaps most serious, in that order that claim to defend.

The new Honduran government will have to resist strong pressures demanding the restitution of the deposed president.  If they do not they bend their arm, they will have to survive several months, until the elections of November, without recognitions and bearing international sanctions.  That it is the price that the Hondurans would have to pay for its sovereignty and for daring to put the first dam to contain the Chavez expansionism in the Central American region.


3 comments to The three options that Honduras had

  • signs

    Wow what a story. "left intact the institutions of the country", after breaking the constitution, putting an illegitimate president into power and re-inventing most of the story of events, including fake charges that if enacted make a joke out of the justice system's credibility – It's a matter of time before such abused institutions crumble to the ground… We may be of what opinion we might of going leftward, but surely it does not justify destroying the system like this to get one's will through?

    -A grateful visitor from Twitter

  • Honduran Citizen

    Very accurate!! I'm very proud of those who stand for the truth, and the support we honduran people have received, even when international media has become everything but a real source to inform the world on what really is happening to us and our beloved country. Thanks to your blog and others like you, the truth can come to light. You are reflecting the voice of the honduran people. Those who know or have taken time to study our constitution or follow the events closely enough understand the restauration of our Democracy began the day Zelaya was no longer in power. Our Constitution, which can self-defend itself (Art.239) states those who violate it will AUTOMATICALLY cease power, Zelaya violated our constitution multiple times before he was taken out of the country, therefore by law, since the first violation HE WAS NO LONGER PRESIDENT. He isn't considered president by those who respect the law and by those who aren't willing to support a crimnal, with more than a dozen serious crimes. We are proud of our system and of our military who faithfully made a difficult decision in order to protect our democracy. Honduras is willing to fight against dictators! May God bless Honduras! Keep up the good work!

  • Honduran Citizen

    Very accurate!! I'm very proud of those who stand for the truth, and the support we honduran people have received, even when international media has become everything but a real source to inform the world on what really is happening to us and our beloved country. Thanks to your blog and others like you, the truth can come to light. You are reflecting the voice of the honduran people. Those who know or have taken time to study our constitution or follow the events closely enough understand the restauration of our Democracy began the day Zelaya was no longer in power. Our Constitution, which can self-defend itself (Art.239) states those who violate it will AUTOMATICALLY cease power, Zelaya violated our constitution multiple times before he was taken out of the country, therefore by law, since the first violation HE WAS NO LONGER PRESIDENT. He isn't considered president by those who respect the law and by those who aren't willing to support a crimnal, with more than a dozen serious crimes. We are proud of our system and of our military who faithfully made a difficult decision in order to protect our democracy. Honduras is willing to fight against dictators! May God bless Honduras! Keep up the good work!

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