Carlos Alberto Montaner at PostGlobal

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Madrid, Spain

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a Cuban-born writer, journalist, and former professor. He is one of the most influential and widely-read columnists in the Spanish-language media, syndicated in dozens of publications in Latin America, Spain and the United States. He is also vice president of the Liberal International, a London-based federation devoted to the defense of democratic values and the promotion of the market economy. He has written more than twenty books, including Journey to the Heart of Cuba; How and Why Communism Disappeared; Liberty, the Key to Prosperity; and the novels A Dog's World and 1898: The Plot. He is now based in Madrid, Spain. Close.

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Madrid, Spain

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a Cuban-born writer, journalist, and former professor. He is one of the most influential and widely-read columnists in the Spanish-language media, syndicated in dozens of publications in Latin America, Spain and the United States. more »

Main Page | Carlos Alberto Montaner Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Preventing a Honduran Bloodbath

Stop Chavez's relentless push to influence Honduras: hold November's planned election now.

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All Comments (92)

eliabarahona Author Profile Page:

I am a Honduran living in Madrid, and I want to THANK YOU for telling the world what is really going on. I have read some of the comments here and yes, THEY NEED NOT BE HONDURANS... they are not to blame, most of the people here have not lived the last three years of EX President Manuel Zelaya, nor do they know they found 2.2euros cash in his office, or the new properties he bought from a known drug-dealer in jail in the US (I can mention many more horrible things). A word to the wise, before posting your opinion, please investigate a bit more.
Tks.

rarroyo_mercado Author Profile Page:

We do not have to be Honduran, live there, be in favor or against the "left" or the "right". We do have to be aware that political movements are diverse and political "principles" are in continous evolution within a legal mainframe, national and global. Furthermore, sometimes these actions serve as example to their political wing in the global scene.
To ignore the rule of law, the constitutional mainframe and the legitimacy of acces to power in order to subvert it for such ambiguos foundation as to be against an action of the president, would mean something like if the Republicans won the majority in the Senate and tried to jail OBAMA because he got through reforming the medical system in USA to a "socialist" option of universal medical care (currently the case of all major first world powers except for USA).
You would call him a "socialist" "friend of Castro and foe of free trade", "it was needed in order to avoid a bloodbath", "why wait three years when he is wrong and a terrorist and the american people do not support him according to the polls", etc etc.
We are not in the 1960's, the world order is different, peace is not just a moral value anymore. No matter how strong the small, unelected oligarchy seems to be, their actions against democracy will bury them further in ostracism and political isolation. They may prevail on the force of arms for some brief time, but they will perish in the long run; along with those who close their eyes to the making of modern history.
May peace, tolerance and justice prevail.

rconcep11 Author Profile Page:

The social justice teachings of the Popes from 1892 to 2009 encourages Catholics and other men and women of goodwill who are not necessarily catholics but committed to the same goal to confront and resolve the curse of poverty, income inequality, unjust wages, illiteracy, hunger, sickness, disease,inhuman living conditions especially in latin america such as Honduras. THIS IS NOT LIBERATION THEOLOGY,MR. MONTANER, THIS IS THE SOCIAL JUSTICE TRADITION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. MR. MONTANER, IF THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM CAN ELIMINATE HUNGER, DISEASE, UNJUST WAGES, ILLITERACY, INHUMAN LIVING CONDITIONS, THE POOR OF LATIN AMERICA WILL WORSHIP YOU AS THEIR HERO AND SAVIOR- YOU BEING AN DEVOUT FREE MARKET ADVOCATE AND PROBABLY CANONIZE YOU AS A SAINT- DEMOCRACY FROM A CATHOLIC POINT OF VIEW WHICH IS THE RELIGION OF MOST LATIN AMERICANS, IS NOT ONLY
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND FREE ELECTIONS BUT PROTECTING THE WEAKEST MEMBER OF SOCIETY FROM ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION AND PROVIDING THEM ACCESS TO DECENT EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, NUTRITION, HOUSING,ETC. IF ADAM SMITH'S FREE MARKET CAPITALISM CAN DELIVER THESE, AS I SAID, THEN FREE MARKET CAPITALISM HAS A FUTURE IN LATIN AMERICA....IF NOT, THE POOR OF HONDURAS WILL LOOK FOR ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SALVATION ELSEWHERE....

llpadgett Author Profile Page:

I am grateful that someone is clarifying the situation of my native country. During the last three years I have heard my family complain about the lack of vision, management and honesty of the ex- president's government. It is one thing to make one sided opinion known to the world and other is to get the information from family members and the local newspapers. It has been dificult to hear the international commnunity condeming the situation in Honduras. As a child, I lived through military coupes. The military went to govern the country, at this time we have the government three branches working to solve the many situation that Zelaya left to solve. For example Honduras has been without a budget for six months, Zelaya was the head of the electrical company for some time as well as the president. Zelaya without enough resources work to increase the minimun wage, but he did not forsee the consequences. Honduran industries and businesses are under the same economic situation that most of the countries at this time. How many of you know that in Honduras the payroll has to be able to afford 14months a year. I still do not understand this economic measurements. I would like to see the salaries increase and the jobs multiply to help hondurans to have a better life. Thank you for posting news that give a chance to our new government to be presented as the abiding law goverment that hondurans need.

elznavarro Author Profile Page:

To ROB11465:
The “something similar” you mention happened to be a military coup. I sincerely hope that if we were to impeach any US president, the entire country would KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING and he wouldn’t be taken out of his residence at 4 am in his pajamas at gunpoint. We had no information here in Honduras on Sunday morning, nothing on television or radio, and by 11 am, Roberto Micheletti had been sworn in as president. Manuel Zelaya is not my favorite person, but regardless of whether you support him or not, a coup is not acceptable, ever. Impeachment would’ve been much preferable, and legal.
Happy 4th of July to all enjoying liberty today.

avesaabrasil Author Profile Page:

Yes, my friends, to be or no t to be, the eternal question. Democracy means people’s power through parliament decisions and this definition is for everybody in any county.
If exercise the Honduran does what has done, then, we being able to do the same thing, anywhere of the world and every time we summit to referendum whatever we want to modifier. True or untrue? So, is the meaning of democracy’s word the same or not the same for every people and for every country all around the world? To be or not to be, the eternal question.

jgmadrid Author Profile Page:

This is a well-written column that has been by Carlos Alberto Montaner!

As a Honduran citizen now living this crisis in San Pedro Sula, I must add that Carlos resumes the current situation rather accurately.

I have been extremely disappointed at how the international media has been handling and covering this story. It seems as though they are for left-wing governments and dictatorships such as the ones that are now been seen in Latin America.

It's also disappointing to see how the OAS has been handling this situation with great irresponsibility as has been shown by it's president Insulza. It is clear to see that he has NO regards to examine both sides of the story and his unilateral resolution has failed and has been condemned by our new government.

As opposed to how the world media has been covering this story about 70 to 80 percent of the population here is extremely happy that this ex-president has been removed from power. Why does such diplomatic organization as the OAS fail to see this side and recent actions makes me question their true agenda as an international "diplomatic" organization?

They have done nothing but failed in the handling of this situation. Their integrity is highly questionable since they seem to be leaning towards those governments that we are now seeing in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia? If they are for democratic nations, how do they justify what has been occurring in the countries I just mentioned?

Us Hondurans, DO NOT want to follow suit that is why the majority of us are now supporting the new government as dictated by our Constitution!!!

Thank goodness for our armed forces and standing strong in defending our national integrity and defending our democratic republic from self-fulfilling dictatorships!! Maybe the world should step back and let us handle our situation here since we have been the ones that have been seeing how it has been evolving over time! It is very easy to be highly critical when you are not the ones going through this situation and how dare anyone condemn our laws and Constitution. This is a highly reputable stand the entire international community has taken. There are ways this can be solved if a true open dialogue would be held and everyone stop being so judgemental at what has been occurring! All we want is our democracy and freedom from otherwise oppressive govermnments. We are truly afraid of becoming like Venezuela and much the less like CUBA with decades of oppression. This is our time to stand up and show the world this!!!

VIVA HONDURAS!!

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

New bumper stickers are available at Orwellian Voice Inc.:

“National referendums are anti-democratic!”

“Democracy = national referendums are unconstitutional!”

“Democracy now! Bring in the army!”

“Preserve democracy: join a military coup!”

“Democracy means business: support the military coup!”

“Constitutions are eternal --- well … ours is!”

“We support the military coup: we’re democrats!”


rob11465 Author Profile Page:

If President Obama decided to ignore the Constitution and run a referendum to get the approval of "the people" in seeking re-elections indefinitely, Congress would surely impeach him. But if something similar happens in a small Latin American country the rest of the world calls it a "coup". How condescending of the left to ignore the rule of law when it doesn't suit them.

techsavvy777 Author Profile Page:

The more I research this story, I find Obama's actions unbelievable, not to mention, much of the Western world's leaders and writers. Zelaya was trying to become a socialist dictator by overriding their democratic constitution enabling him to have multiple terms in office. The Honduran supreme court and military was simply preventing this from happening by obeyeing their democratic constitution. Thug man dictator Chavez siding with Zelaya says it all. Obama holding hands with Chavez on this issue shows us the type of man Obama is: a sham. The Hondurans siding with Zelaya are like our welfare ACORN blacks in the USA siding with Obama regardless of ideology or policies since they get more free socialist handouts regardless of their willingness or unwillingness to work or unhealthy lifestyle. We are definitely living in the last days as described in the Bible and our only hope is dispensationalism where a new dispensation occurs with the true Jesus' physical return to fix up our world mess. But first the world will get the anti-christ and great tribulations as a final loving judgment. A good gardener will remove his crop and then till the soil.

maxim678504 Author Profile Page:

"How could he be "reelected against the will of the Honduran people"?"

How? Because those who are promoting the coup d'etat believe only that the "right" people matter. That they happen to be a slim minority of Hondurans matters little to a country where the staggering poor are the "unpeople."

rocknrollmd Author Profile Page:

I am so surprised and disappointed by Mr. Montaner. Even if you think it was the right (or "right-wing") thing to do, this was, of course, a coup. Even if the supreme court orders it, even if the congress approves it, it is a coup. From my point of view as a Cuban American, the most surreal aspect of this coup is not Hugo Chavez claiming that Obama is to blame for it. It is Montaner alleging that "The ousted president seemed intent on getting reelected, even if it meant violating the Constitution, and on dragging the nation into Hugo Chávez's "21st century socialism" camp against the will of the Honduran people." Does that make sense? Taking a survey of whether Honduran voters want him to be able to appear on the ballot is violating the will of the Honduran people? If you are so sure that they do not want him, isn't there a more appropriate response to his wanting to do a survey and firing an armed forces official? This is the type of "illegal" action in a president that might prompt, I don't know: an outraged letter to an editor? Impeachment proceedings? Or just (how about this?) letting him do his survey, and even appear on the ballot. It is the widespread belief of every supporter of the coup that he is not a popular president. Why is the military, the congress, the supreme court, so scared of his running for a second term, if they are so sure that he is so unpopular? This looks like a pretext to just take a legally-elected official out in a coup. To be frank, it is actually less credible than the coup against Prio by Batista in 1952. And the main concern that I have, as a Cuban, is that people who are against Fidel seem to forget that Batista's 1952 coup months before the election that was going to surely oust Prio transformed Fidel from a little-known candidate for congress from the Ortodoxo Party into a charismatic revolutionary and eventually into the longest-lived dictator in modern memory. This coup is the best opportunity that the left has had to take over a Latin American country since 1959.

Geezle Author Profile Page:

@uwalker

I too have been to Honduras, though as a teacher and not a businessman. I have contacted some of my former coworkers there and they report that Zelaya is not as unpopular as this article and your post would suggest. Perhaps businessmen have different friends than teachers? Perhaps someone would tell a real friend something that they wouldn't tell a boss? In any case, your experience and mine on this matter are quite different.

Further, if Zelaya is so unpopular, why be afraid of his referendum? Referenda are one of the purest expressions of democracy. If those behind the coup believe that they have the will of the population behind them, then why stop the referendum? What are they afraid of?

uwalker said "And how can a democratic country and Obama side with a communist country." Hate to break the news to you, uwalker, but practically every country in the world has voiced opposition to the coup.

Finally, the coup has been (so far) bloodless and the junta quickly put forward a civilian figurehead. How much of the cause for that lies in the fact that the United States didn't automatically support the coup just because the junta labeled Zelaya a "communist"? It may have been common practice in the past for Washington to send in the Marines and provide military and economic support to any right wing junta in any banana republic that deposes a democratically elected leader who might have seemed a little 'left'. I think it is safe to say, however, that thugs and right wing dictators won't be getting the warm reception in the White House that they are accustomed to. Does this mean President Obama is a communist? No, it just means that he isn't a jerk.

lorenza_200 Author Profile Page:

Es buena idea llevar a cabo las elecciones cuanto antes. Ayer en una enorme celebracion de soberania y apoyo al Presidente Micheletti muchos expresaron que si tanto quieren a Zelaya en el exterior, que se lo queden, pues no les ha tocado vivir lo que en Honduras hemos soportado desde que asumio la presidencia. A la mayoria no le importa si de afuera se condena al gobierno de Honduras por haber detenido las aspiraciones de continuismo de Zelaya, prefiriendo dicha condena temporal que la falta de libertad y democracia. Digan lo que digan esto dice la Constitucion:
ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Designado.- El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos, y quedarán inhabilitados por diez años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5_WKUDTzeM

krismas17 Author Profile Page:

It is not fair to say that ALL Hondurans are for Zelaya or ALL are for his ouster. I have many friends and family in Honduras and just like in the US, there is a wide range of opinion. Many can see both sides to the issue. Who will swallow their pride and compromise so that the Honduran people do not have to suffer? All of these posts seem so matter of fact and so polarizing. Just because you disagree does not mean that the other side does not have some truth to it.

uwalker Author Profile Page:

I have been going to Laceiba Honduras for the past 10 years and have traveled all over Honduras. I have a home, friends and a busines in Honduras. It was not a coup. No one wants Zelaya back.

And how can a democratic country and Obama side with a communist country.

How can anyone that have never been to Honduras give an opinion from the outside? I agree totally with this article.

ORNOT Author Profile Page:

If he was corrupt they should of arrested him and impeached him. I do not herar an explanation for why the opposition contends he would get this refrerendom passed if he is that unpopular.

This has a smell to it, sounds like the oligarchy is holding on to power by what ever means.

benhazin Author Profile Page:

This is a truthful well reasoned article. There was no coup. The military was following legal orders to expel Zelaya.

One good thing coming from this event is the exposure of President Obama as a leftist sympathizer.

superiorovo Author Profile Page:

Mr Montaner: A few hours have passed since I first posted here. Since then we now have knews that the OAS efforts to bring Honduras back to the Third Millenium have been rejected by the few that - by the force of the guns - control the Government of Honduras now and only follow the dictates of the their greed and still pretend to treat the rest of the people of their own contry like slaves. But, for those exploiters of the poor, Honduras is NOT a country, it is their farm, a large farm owned entirely by some Eight Families since Honduras inception. That rejection I was expecting so it doesn´t surprise me. So now the international community will have to resort to sanction but others will not even wait for those sanctions to work: it is open WAR now. Those who paid you to write this article will see their houses burned, their fat accounts drained by the ramsons they will have to pay, etc, etc. Your employers greed, Mr Montaner, caused all that. AND DON´T FORGET TO CASH YOUR CHECK FROM STANDARD FRUIT VERY RAPIDLY MR MONTANER.

elznavarro Author Profile Page:

For those who are following events in Honduras, our state-imposed curfew has just been extended until July 5th. The de facto government cites "lowered crime rates" as the motive. The restriction of liberty continues...

Figaro1 Author Profile Page:

This article is full of contradictions and i cannot believe that it is published here. Here are two of the many contradictions. "The ousted president seemed intent on getting reelected, even if it meant violating the Constitution, and on dragging the nation into Hugo Chávez's "21st century socialism" camp against the will of the Honduran people." How could he be "reelected against the will of the Honduran people"? The author of the article made no claim on whether or not the election would be fair. The second contradiction is that the ousted president is very unpopular in Honduras, then why is the author worrying that he would get reelected?

Geezle Author Profile Page:

Says Mr. Montaner: "the Americans have sided with the enemies of democracy and the rule of law"

With comments like this, Montaner defends a coup in which the deposed President is criticized for calling for a referendum? Is Montaner out of his rabid, anti-Left, Castro-hating mind?

Oxford calls a referendum a "general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision".

Yeah, anyone who calls for a referendum, that is; calls for the populace to decide on a "single political question" and relies upon the public's "direct decision"... right, that is the classic definition of someone who is "collectivist and anti-Western"... well, perhaps you have a point here. Anti-democracy? Here is where Montaner slips into psychosis.

The WaPo will let ANYONE publish whatever bat-guano tripe that they want and use what little credibility the WaPo has left to push their fruitcake agendas. Sad.

robin1231hotmailcom Author Profile Page:

democratic election process is vitually jungle democratic around world. Powerfuls control electioneering & their agents for elected leaders virtually win electio. we have to redevelop "PEOPLE"in democracies to demand equitable rights for leadership in ruling apparatus of democracies as those are now.see below if u like. some ideas were borrowed from dr kamal k roy of USA :
web search for pages with search words viz "kakmal karna roy " et al

Dajida Author Profile Page:

Was this a military coup? Maybe.

Is the military in power now, less than a week later? No.

That makes this one of the most exceptional coup's in Central & South American history.

Much easier to throw the 'coup' word around without examining intentions and history.

Was Zelaya more interested in achieving reform through a new constitution, or in keeping himself in power?

What reform(s) was Zelaya interested in achieving that could not be done through constitutional reform/amendments, but rather had to be done by writing a new constitution?

Exactly what constitutional blocks has Zelaya come up against, that only a re-writing of the constitution would overcome?

Why has Zelaya been so ineffective in achieving any of his reforms?


JohnGalt9 Author Profile Page:

Americans are not siding with the dictators: Obama is. Obama sided with the Mullahs that stole an election, and is being as soft and nice as he possibly can to Putin, Chavez, Castro, and Kim Jong. Obama's foreign policy of appeasement is naive and is putting America and the free world in danger. Obama's statements on Honduras reflect the ignorance and naivety he is under.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Correction (as this is a scientific contribution, however modest):

"6. Finally, it is praised as the call it what you will military coup (a.k.a. the naming of it is unimportant military coup)."

Sorry about that.

jarob Author Profile Page:

Montaner, WaPo: "This is most grave. Hugo Chávez and Daniel Ortega are already talking about invasions and resorting to force. That could unleash a bloodbath and would certainly destroy the weak political institutions that Honduras labored to achieve three decades ago, when the era of military dictatorships mercifully ended. Peter Hakim, president of Inter-American Dialogue, put it this way: "Zelaya is fighting with all the institutions in the country. He is in no condition really to govern."

Note the definition of Imperialism: Imperialists hold a view of sovereignty where power rightfully exists with those states that hold the greatest ability to impose the will of said state, by force or threat of force, over the populace or other states with weaker military or political will. They effectively deny the sovereignty of the constitutional individual in deference to either the 'good' of the whole, or to divine right. Does imperialism mean supporting a head of state who engages in practices designed to destroy the institutions of a country because they aren't socialist enough?

It doesn't matter if a political cult is ‘constitutionally’ empowered; they lose their political legitimacy just for advocating personal permanent ownership of State power and extorted wealth. The totalitarianists in the SOPS 'caudillismo' (Socialist One Party States) are making it very plain that legitimate government is whatever they say it is. They are making it clear that once a totalitarian party is in power; its members are entitled to live off the working people or siervo de la gleba of a country from then on. Socialist legitimacy of a 'government' is defined by how long the Supreme Leader or Fuhrer and Chancellor for life or Permanent Chairman or El Supremo can have the 'laws' keep his party in their lucrative positions. All Ortega and Zelaya are demonstrating is that political power is owned by the armed possessors, not the working people who create the wealth they live off of. The only proof that power is not an addiction is to voluntarily go cold turkey and give it up by term limits. The Honduran people are absolutely legitimate in usurping a power addict who by his very nature as an addict is NOT legitimate. Only tree climbing silverbacks think they are entitled to power for life. Remember that corollary for Karl Marx: "if religion is the opiate of the masses, power is the cocaine of the rulers."

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Modest contribution to the theory of evolution:

1. First comes the military coup.

2. It transforms itself into the constitutional military coup.

3. Soon, it becomes the humanitarian military coup.

4. It then develops into the democratic military coup.

5. Later, it appears as the military coup that was not a coup -- i.e. the non-coup military coup.

6. Finally, it is praised as the call it what you will military coup (a.k.a. known as the naming of it is unimportant military coup).

History will no doubt remember it as the famous Honduran chameleon military coup.

gifaraj Author Profile Page:

@apater

> First, you are correct, the word November does
> not occur in the original Spanish. When are the
> 2009 general elections?

Every word is important. Legally, you can change the meaning of a law by interpreting it differently. Careful.

> Second, it does not seem important where the
> printing press is located. What is important is
> the question.

My point is, Chavez -an autoritarian and communist- is providing the material for a "democratic poll" that could allow Zelaya to be re-elected. Does that not seem fishy to you?

> Third, I understand the military usually has
> some responsibility to prevent fraud during
> polls like this. I understand Zelaya asked the
> military to do just that.

Zelaya needed someone to enforce the execution of the poll. For this, the military would have worked for him. If he wanted to prevent fraud, he would have asked the TSE (Tribunal Supremo Electoral), which openly called the poll illegal.

> Forth, every politician in a democratic system
> markets their ideas. That is a normal part of
> the discussion.

Yes, but you just said that:

> Mel was not "intent on getting reelected".

If he wasn't then why did he market it so much? He used money from the people to do it too. if "every politician....markets their ideas" they would normally do it through privately financed means or a publicly available and limited budget. He hadn't approved the government's budget for this year yet, that's strange, since it's July!

> Fifth, what evidence is there to support the
> idea that the military, congress and judicial
> systems are any less or more corrupt then Mel
> is accused of being?

Oh please. In a republic there are three powers, and these powers keep checks and balances on each other. The fact is that Mel broke the law by going against a Supreme Court ruling that stated that the "poll" was illegal. He even fired the military head, Gnl. Vasquez, because Vazquez didn't want to break the law.

AntonioSosa Author Profile Page:

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Carlos Alberto Montaner for continuing to defend freedom and democracy in spite of the constant and calumnious attacks orchestrated by Castro to demonize and defame him.

You can see the attacks in this blog. However, now that we understand how Castro and his operatives work, the more they attack Montaner, the more we admire and thank Montaner.

Please, keep up your good work, Mr. Montaner! All honest and patriotic Hondurans, as well as Americans and Latin Americans in general, thank you.

AntonioSosa Author Profile Page:

“Don't believe the ‘coup’ myth,” says Octavio Sánchez, a renowned Honduran lawyer. “In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law.”
Sanchez explains that the Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya's arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution.
Zelaya was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.
“The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution,” says Octavio Sánchez. “The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions. I am extremely proud of my compatriots. Finally, we have decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men. From now on, here in Honduras, no one will be above the law.”
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0702/p09s03-coop.html

Dajida Author Profile Page:

Here's the argument for Zelaya: his actions were legal because instead of wanting to change or amend the constitution, he wanted to write a new one.

And we're supposed to believe that Zelaya had no intention of putting himself at the helm after the new constitution was enacted.

You see, it's better that Hondurans get a new constitution than just change their current one.

I suppose some people would believe this...

elznavarro Author Profile Page:

Part 2

Of course, everything is "normal" according to the new government. They want to portray the situation that way since they insist that the take-over was democratic. Stores are still open, and at the moment, still have provisions. Offices are open except for around sites of protest, and the military and police are mostly stationed around protests and government offices. Since there isn't a general military presence as of yet, things appear to be normal in Tegucigalpa. The airports are still operating. Actually, we've had more action at the airport here than I've ever seen!

It really feels as if we're living in two different realities, the one on TV full of propaganda and the one we see on the streets and on the internet with all the anti-coup international support. The TV version tries to convince people that there really wasn't a coup, that Chavez is the cause of the current situation, that Zelaya is a narco-trafficker, that his government is more corrupt than Haiti's, that as soon as the international community understands how horrible Mel is, support will come pouring in, etc. As for the allegations against Zelaya, if they are true, then the only course of action in a democracy lies in congressional powers of impeachment and in the judicial system via a fair trial, not by a coup d'etat! It is my understanding that 3 days before the coup, the congress held an emergency session to vote for impeachment. They were unable to achieve the required votes. It appears that actions were then taken to remove the president at any cost. In addition, the de facto government claims to have a resignation letter from President Zelaya dated June 25, 2009. If this were true, why wait for 3 days to take action? Also, if such a letter did exist, why did Congress feel it necessary on Sunday morning after the coup to formally impeach Zelaya before swearing in Micheletti?

No one here or anywhere wants a bloodbath. Early elections could be a solution, but what precedent is set when a coup provokes them?

One brief point about the article: I would like to know how the poll cited in this article was conducted. If it was completed by land-line telephone, then I seriously question its accuracy. The majority of rural poor and working class people in Honduras do not have land lines, nor do their counterparts in the major cities. (Cell phones are the cheapest way to communicate and are widely-used throughout the country by all.) Zelaya finds his biggest support in the poor and working class. If the poll was conducted on the ground in person, I trust the sampling method included rural and poor areas as well as cities. If the contrary be true, the results are skewed.

elznavarro Author Profile Page:

Part 1

I also am a US citizen living in Honduras, in Tegucigalpa. Here are some examples of our so-called democracy at the moment:
Check out YouTube (search Golpe de Estado Honduras Bus). The video in question shows the military shooting out the tires of a bus ready to take demonstrators in favor of President Manuel Zelaya into Tegucigalpa from another state. People around the country are trying to come to the capital, but military checkpoints only let them through if they say that they support Micheletti. We still have restrictions on media coverage on TV and radio, and the few programs that attempt to tell the full story are cut off in mid-stream. It's incredibly frustrating to hear the constant propaganda on TV supporting the anti-Zelaya demonstrators, while the pro-Zelaya/anti-coup faction is painted as a bunch of delinquents. There are some present, to be sure, but the majority of marchers are doing so peacefully and without vandalism. Pro-Zelaya demonstration turn-outs are also vastly under-reported, if reported at all. Union leaders have been detained and who knows how many other citizens. We’ve had a state-imposed curfew from 10 pm to 5 am, at least until today. Schools and universities are closed. We suspect that cell phones are being monitored, and electricity and land line phone service are frequently cut in various sectors of the city. As I'm writing this, my telephone service has been cut and restored twice. Some citizens in legal possession of firearms have been forced to hand over their guns.

This is democracy?

I am not alone in feeling very indignant by the smearing of the word "democracy", which is continually quoted and supposedly "defended" by the de facto government while simultaneously being violated by all the repressive actions they are propagating.

superiorovo Author Profile Page:

We need to know no more: A Cuban-born writing from outside Cuba. That already tells us who this writer is working for: The Elite Eight Families of each Latin-American country that have enslaved and exploited savagely their own (less fortunate) countrymen and contrywomen and counterychildren for more than two Centuries. Stop the bull Mr Montaner! Military coups are wrong no matter what and should be a thing of the past regardless of the political orientation of the President the Military bast@rds go against. So... now military coups ARE OK if they are staged against someone that thinks differently than us (and tries to help the very poor of his country by the way) and military coups ARE NOT OK if the President the coup is staged against is aligned with the US? Don´t forget to collect your check from Chiquita Banana and Exxon Mr Montaner.

apater Author Profile Page:

@gifaraj

First, you are correct, the word November does not occur in the original Spanish. When are the 2009 general elections?

Second, it does not seem important where the printing press is located. What is important is the question.

Third, I understand the military usually has some responsibility to prevent fraud during polls like this. I understand Zelaya asked the military to do just that.

Forth, every politician in a democratic system markets their ideas. That is a normal part of the discussion.

Fifth, what evidence is there to support the idea that the military, congress and judicial systems are any less or more corrupt then Mel is accused of being?

elznavarro Author Profile Page:

Why won't you publish my comment?

eanderson3 Author Profile Page:

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY! Thank you Mr. Montaner for giving some balanced press on the crisis in Honduras. It is truly alarming to see how quickly international press and organizations marched ahead in lock-step to define this a a military coup, and demand that the deposed president must be re-instated - PERIOD. Wow! What has happened to investigating the facts before jumping to conclusions. I am an American ex-pat, with 40 years living in Honduras, and I can tell you that it's sad to see so many good people down here with a long history of friendship and trust with the USA, feeling confused, abandoned, and even betrayed by America and other traditional allies who are not supporting their brave fight to preserve democracy, and won't even listen to their side of the story. We have had such high hopes for Obama and his administration, and what about a fair hearing with the U.N., OAS, and international community in general. It's a very sad state affairs.

A noteworthy quote from Herbert Spencer: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguements and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is: Contempt, prior to investigation."

ehrbar Author Profile Page:

homunq -

The difference is, no provision of the U.S. Constitution provides for automatic, immediate removal of the President for violating it. But Article 239 of the Honduran constitution does. There is no requirement that he be convicted in any court, or impeached, or anything else. It's automatic.

Per that article, Zelaya is no longer President, he is barred from holding any political office for the next ten years, and he is permanently barred from the offices of President and Vice-President.

If the various actions of other authorities in Honduras were also unconstitutional or even merely illegal in this case, they should be punished. But crimes on the part of others do not magically restore Zelaya to office. He is not, and cannot be, President.

dewitt2 -

There's nothing non-democratic about Zelaya wanting to change the term limit, no. But this, and any question of other undemocratic tendencies or popularity or outside influence or the rest is all irrelevant, whichever side mentions them.

The Honduran constitution specifically provides that merely proposing to eliminate the limit immediately removes any public official from office. Accordingly, Zelaya was no longer the legal, constitutional president of Honduras, having removed himself by office by proposing the change. He cannot hold any other political office for ten years, and he can never be President or Vice-President.

Dajida Author Profile Page:

Don't believe the coup myth.

Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the "Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly." In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office.

According to Article 239: "No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years."

Notice that the article speaks about intent and that it also says "immediately" – as in "instant," as in "no trial required," as in "no impeachment needed."

The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya's arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution.

Don't believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.

What happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law against a presidential power grab.

gifaraj Author Profile Page:

@apater

First of all, it doesn't mention November anywhere, as you have mistranslated to English.

Second, you forgot to mention that the electoral material for this "poll" came directly from Venezuela and Chavez.

You forgot to mention that this "poll" would be controlled, counted, and announced solely by Zelaya's government.

You also forgot to mention that Zelaya's government has been marketing this "poll" and inducing people through campaigns (paid for by the Honduran people) to vote "YES."

You forgot to mention that not only Congress and the military were against it, but the Supreme Court, the political parties, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (in charge of overseeing political elections in Honduras), among others were also against it.

tampalawyer Author Profile Page:

The continued inaccurate use of the term "coup" regarding the events in Honduras only identifies those with an agenda or the anti-intellectual. It is unfathomable to me that Obama sides with the Chavez continuismistos. Let's apply logic here: what if Nixon defied the almost-certain order of impeachment from Congress and refused to physically vacate the White House in 1974? Some military or police force would have had to remove him from the building. Would the use of military or police force to implement the order of Congress emanating from Congress' authority under the Constitution have been a "coup"? Of course not and the situation in Honduras is no different. Our government's position on Honduras is the very kind of interventionalism that the leftist governments in Central and South America and our own political left have decried for years. The use of the term "coup" is intended to inflame public opinion and to discredit the legitimate govenrment of Honduras. The irony is that during the campaign, Obama was lauded as a constitutional law scholar. Right now I'd give him a big fat F in Honduran constitutional law.

AntonioSosa Author Profile Page:

What do YOU have to hide, APATER?

Hondurans have nothing to hide! They would like the world to know the truth about how Castro, Chavez and Zelaya were about to enslave them through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion and FRAUD.

Zelaya was implementing the same strategy designed by Castro that Chavez, Morales, Correa have used. It's a strategy to PRETEND democracy while trampling on people's rights and enslaving them.

Many of us have suffered from the megalomaniacs working for Chavez and Castro to destroy their countries and the U.S. These megalomaniacs get elected through lies, manipulation, intimidation and fraud, promising to “help the poor” and with the slogans CHANGE and YES WE CAN. Chavez, FARC and possibly Iran pay for overwhelming media propaganda on their behalf.

Once elected, they proceed to destroy the country’s economy and institutions, take over the Legislative and Judicial branches, change the constitution, get complete control of the country and do as they please with the country and the people, just like Castro in Cuba. The people, poorer than ever, manipulated and intimidated, can’t defend themselves.

Zelaya was about to take over the Legislative and Judicial branches, just like Chavez and his other clones have done, when the Supreme Court, considering Zelaya’s crimes and ties with Chavez, ordered that he be removed.

Hondurans and Latin Americans deserve to be FREE from Castro and Chavez, the world's most destructive and revolting monsters!

apater Author Profile Page:

Mel was not "intent on getting reelected".

The disputed poll question reads something like this: "Do you agree that, during the general elections of November 2009 there should be a fourth ballot to decide whether to hold a Constituent National Assembly that will approve a new political constitution?"

The original Spanish: "Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales de 2009 se instale una cuarta urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria a una asamblea nacional constituyente?"

If the people had answered "Si" to this question, Zelaya would not have been able to run for re-election. As the question says, the people would then be given the option to answer the 4th ballot. If the people had replied with a "Si", then the new government, not Zelaya, would have looked at rewriting the Constitution. There is nothing illegal or dictatorial about that process.

Me thinks the military and congress protests too much. What have they got to hide?

homunq Author Profile Page:

This contorted logic merits no response. A coup is a coup. Bush violated more articles in of the US constitution (amendments 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10, off the top of my head - that's already one more than all the "articulos petrios" in Honduras), and had comparable approval numbers, yet even those who opposed him would have been the first in the streets to protest a coup (as opposed to a legal impeachment). And the coup government violated 8 articles (twice as many as Zelaya) even before they got arround to suspending them.

If the "court order" (signed by just 1 supreme court judge and dated June 26th) to arrest Zelaya really existed at the time of the coup, why did it not appear until late on June 30th? The benefit of the doubt does not apply here, since the golpistas have already been caught trying to forge Zelaya's resignation (also strangely back-dated to the 26th).

AntonioSosa Author Profile Page:

I agree with you, momnme. It's shameful that, rather than defending the human rights of Hondurans and Latin Americans, Obama is siding with the Marxist thugs who are trampling on those human rights and working with drug cartels and Islamic terrorist to destroy the U.S.!

I guess it was to be expected from Obama. As his parents, relatives, friends and mentors, Obama is a Marxist who hates the U.S. As such, he sides with the Marxist dictators and would-be dictators working with Islamic terrorists in Latin America to destroy the U.S.

Zelaya behaved illegally and the Honduras military acted under the orders of the country's Supreme Court to remove that president, and to elevate the person next in line under the Honduras Constitution. This is Constitutional Democracy in action combating illegal behavior by a sitting President. Is that why Obama does not like it?

Zelaya was implementing in Honduras the strategy devised by Castro and implemented by Chavez and the rest of the Marxist thugs to gain absolute power. That’s why all of them are complaining about it. They would like Zelaya to be reinstated so he can continue with his plans to enslave Honduras while pretending to act democratically. Is that why Obama wants Zelaya reinstated?

robert17 Author Profile Page:

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

I love this new notion of a so-called "post factum legitimized humanitarian military coup", only meant to prevent a bloodbath, of course!

Those outstanding humanitarians who thought that concept out must consider themselves extremely clever...

It is undoubtedly outstandingly hypocritical, hence made to suit anyone who cannot walk the talk.

New words, more new words, and more words still, plenty of fig leaves to hide the old, hideous instrument for abusing power.

Evidently, there are some who underestimate us.

==============

Underestimate you? Is that even possible?

robert17 Author Profile Page:

forestflyer
This writer is so off the charts right-wing whacko that he's living in his own revisionist parallel universe, omitting swaths of history.

He's spewing so many half-truths and lies in every paragraph.

He's tiring.

Zelaya is a loudmouthed ineffectual power-monger. His opponents are even worse.

He was elected. Period. A coup is a coup, no matter how much you try to pretty up the pig, this was a coup.

And coups are anathema. Period.

I hate ideologue writers who constantly spin and never honestly add to the discussion.

==============

Hitler was elected too. Would you have been cheering on the SS when they were rounding up those who tried to overthrow Hitler? I mean, a coup and coups are anathema. Period.

momnme Author Profile Page:

Sr Montaner,
Yours is a voice of reason in the midst of great chaos regarding this issue. As a USA citizen, living in Honduras, I am embarrassed by the response of the Obama administration. Whenever you find yourself on the same side as Messrs Chavez and Castro, Mr. Obama, step back and take a long hard look in the mirror. The cause of freedom and democracy demand better of you sir.
Gracias por sus palabras.

AntonioSosa Author Profile Page:

Informed and patriotic Americans congratulate and thank Hondurans. Many of us, coming from countries enslaved by Zelaya-like Marxist thugs working for Castro and Chavez, wish we could have done what Hondurans are doing.

What happened in Hondurans is an opening for all Latin Americans to free themselves from Castro, Chavez and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America – Ortega, Morales, Correa, etc.

Many of us have suffered under those Marxist thugs, who get elected through lies, manipulation, intimidation and fraud, promising to “help the poor” and with CHANGE and YES WE CAN slogans. Chavez, FARC and possibly Iran pay for overwhelming media propaganda on their behalf.

Once elected, they proceed to destroy the country’s economy and institutions, take over the Legislative and Judicial branches, change the constitution, get complete control of the country and do as they please with the country and the people. Just like Castro in Cuba. The people, poorer than ever, manipulated and intimidated, can’t defend themselves.

Zelaya was about to take over the Legislative and Judicial branches, when the Supreme Court, considering Zelaya’s crimes and ties with Chavez, ordered that he be removed.

As the U.S. Independence Day is approaching, it's time to defend Honduran's right to freedom from Castro/Chavez. It's time to demand that the rest of the continent be also freed from the world's most revolting and destructive monsters, Castro and Chavez.

rtatlow Author Profile Page:

Pay close attention. The same scenario may be playing in the USA six years from now!

jdcarmine Author Profile Page:

Excellent analysis. Now doesn't the Big O understand this? Why does O want so badly to cozy up with Chavez???

drwilly Author Profile Page:

Excellent article.

It does not take a genius to figure out when Castro, Chavez, and Ortega are screaming about an outrage against democratic and constitutional process, the truth is in opposition. But somehow this fact escapes Obama.

DS1815 Author Profile Page:

Thank you for posting this article.

Mel Zelaya was kicked out according to a Supreme Court ruling. The only way the world can reimpose him is to demand that Honduras ignore its own laws and the legal rulings of its highest court. That is not a step towards democracy or the rule of law, it is the opposite.
Also, trying to impose a president against the law of Honduras will only worsen the internal situation. What is Mel going to do to the congress, military, and supreme court when he is back in power, bloated with a mandate for the "world"? Are the law-abiding military officers and court officials going to be exiled or worse? Will the OAS and the world scream as loud in support for those patriots, whom they intend to feed to the wolves, as they have for Mr. Zelaya?

ExpatHonduras Author Profile Page:

A few points not being reported.

1. On Saturday June 27, day before the vote, Mel published an official notice that the vote would be BINDING calling for immediate National Assembly to remove the Honduras Constitution.

2. Ballots were printed outside of Honduras. Conflicting reports of either Cuba or Venezuela printed them.

3.Voters in favor were being paid between $1 up to $27.

4. The vote boxes already contained yes votes before taken to voting locations. But they didn't have enough Voter ID's to cover the number of votes in the boxes.

5. Massive spontaneous rallys have been taking place across Honduras in support of the interim government. NO MAS MEL

6. The only violent demonstrations have been by Mel supporters who are covering their faces, throwing rocks, spray painting walls, breaking windows, intimidating people, attempting to shut down news media both print and tv. These people are 100-200 people in various places, many from Nicaragua and Venezuela who are being detained.

7. Expats living here in Honduras support the new government and are VERY proud of the people of Honduras!

Tessssa Author Profile Page:

There is much contradiction in this article.

If Zelaya is not a popular president then no matter what he regarding Honduras's constitution, he wouldn't get elected so the fear should have been unfounded so the analysis sounds questionable. Although term limits are justified, a coup can not be justified but it can still be reversed rather than destroying the frail democracy in Honduras.

The author justifies the interference of Christian churches, branches of government and the armed forces in selecting a president and this is where the author fails to recognize is anti-democratic and corrupt. The author is also consumed with fear of communism which is pretty much the influence of USA's anti-communist fervor in that continent. It should also be noted that Zelya's government had been ally of USA against the Marxist rebels and the article avoids that topic.

Zelaya's party must have other candidates to run and obviously if they are popular as a party they can win. If the coup decides to select the future government in Honduras, then democracy will fail to take root yet again.

huermo Author Profile Page:

I find this discussion on constitutions to be
interesting. Most Americans are ignorant of what's
in there own constitution. They don't know there rights or responsibilities. I'm conflicted about
the Honduran Presidential ouster. If this was a function of there constitution, so be it. If you
are interested in our constitution, check out
National Center for Constitutional Studies at
www.nccs.net

politicjock Author Profile Page:

Carlos Alberto Montaner, do you have no shame, with your Orwellian contortions?

Getting elected. Organizing referendums. Proposing constitutional amendments. These are the sorts of things that happen in a country that is experiencing democracy.

Kidnapping the president. Installing an unelected strongman. Suspending civil liberties. These are the sorts of things that happen in a country that is experiencing a coup.

mommybug Author Profile Page:

My personal experience as a gringa visiting Honduras over the past five years . . . About three years ago, when Mel took office, there began to be seen infrastructure improvements, presumably both government and corporate funded, and slightly less poverty. At the same time, crime escalated hugely. Gangs are a big, big problem, and Honduras has become a transshipment site for drugs on their way north from South America (four narcoplanes crashed just during the week of the OAS meetings in Honduras).

No one that I know living in Honduras supports Mel. Opinions have been against him for a long time. When Mel determined that he would proceed with the referendum using ballots flown in from Venezuela and distributed by his people and the cost of a vote was low as 20 lempira, people probably realized that they were on the edge of losing their democracy. Hondurans want to have their sovereignty respected and want Obama and Chavez out of the discussion. I have huge respect for the restraint and principles of the Honduran people in this crisis.

pihto999 Author Profile Page:

Tell me how this is possible! The illogical contention that a politician would be elected by a majority voting against him is the point on which the golpe de estado itself fails the credibility test.
================

Using voter fraud and controlling the counting process. Just how commie dictators always did starting with Stalin. That's how. I bet you will tell me how honest and law abiding commie dictators are with Chavez being a perfect example of it.

If anything, what happened in Honduras is a huge compliment to the maturity of Honduran Democracy. An attempt by a wannabe dictator to grab the power, something that happened in Latin America so many time, was nipped in the bud by 100% legal means without a single drop of blood shed.

BarrySchatz Author Profile Page:

"The ousted president seemed intent on getting reelected ... against the will of the Honduran people."

Tell me how this is possible! The illogical contention that a politician would be elected by a majority voting against him is the point on which the golpe de estado itself fails the credibility test.

As we know, Zelaya was attempting to extend his presidency via a voter referendum. And, clearly, the powers that removed Zelaya believe that he would obtain voter approval. Thus the conclusion must be that "will of the Honduran people" is not against Zelaya.

This article's premise, like that of the coup perpetrators, is propaganda.

pihto999 Author Profile Page:

There is a military coup ordered by an "invisible force" whereas called Michelleti, Supreme Court or supreme oligarchy.
===========

LOL!!! Supreme Court is an invisible force?! What a perfect example of Leftist insanity. If you want to talk about Invisible force, talk about drug funded communist usurping of power, a la Chavez.

dbhill1982 Author Profile Page:

Listen up all you naysayers.

The Honduran Constitution is the Honduran Constitution. Zelaya violated it. Having been to Honduras (and not on a cruise stop on Roatan) and working alongside the tough Katrachos I have garnered a tremendous love and respect for them. The international community should respect them enough to take care of their own housekeeping. Isn't it nice that Obama has the courage to stand up to literally the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere but he won't stand up to Iran? I was wondering why the US & Venezuela were both in agreement on the situation in Honduras until I realized both countries are run by socialists.

To the folks who say, "Come on it was a non-binding referundum..." That's what Hugo Chavez did. He's also now taken over the government to the extent that anyone who disagrees with him is no longer a member of government...sounds a lot like a variety of socialism called National Socialism...and that was HITLER!

This was not a coup - just like in the US, the Honduran military is sworn to uphold and defend the Honduran Constitution - and that's exactly what they did after Zelaya trampled on it and the Supreme Court issued the order for his removal. It just so happens that the Honduran military takes upholding their constitution very seriously.

As if the UN will do anything...the UN is obsolete.

The entire international community is wrong. Let Honduras choose what is right for Honduras. Clearly Zelaya was not.

HondCit Author Profile Page:

Well Done Mr. Montaner, great article!! Thanks for bringing to the world the whole perspective of the Honduras crisis. I which the international community would do something as BASIC as listening to both sides of the story before condemning the people of Honduras for their actions against a tyrant. All we want as Hondurans is to live in peace

pihto999 Author Profile Page:

Very solid piece. So US ambassador was "meddling" in Honduran internal affairs like crazy. And Obama immediately labeled the ousting of commie wannabe dictator as an "illegal coup". In the same time he welcomed robust debate in Iran and refused to be meddling into their internal affairs.
Tells you all you need to know about Obama. he is too wannabe Chavez.

sunkistnthekz Author Profile Page:

To: rarroyo_mercado,mglesne : ARE YOU THERE, IN HONDURAS ? HAVE YOU LIVED there to HEAR what the PEOPLE REALLY want ?
Kudos to : juandiegozelaya, excellent comment, interesting last name BTW.....GO HONDURAS
Kudos to: 4thwatch, Renehn, ehrbar : AMEN !
THIS WAS NO MILITARY COOP.....WAKE UP PEOPLE !



Paul_FL_134 Author Profile Page:

Thank you for posting this important story from a the well respected reporter Carlos Montaner. The more I read about Zelaya and his power hungry struggle to bring down democracy in Honduras the more I see our own struggle and attempts by Obama to bring down the USA. O should be ashamed of himself for supporting such a ruthless dictator. He should be supporting the people of the country for doing the right thing. Apparently we can't count on O for doing the right thing either. But that's what we get for electing a "wet-behind_the_ears" inexperienced person to play "OJT" in the white house. Way to go democrats, I hope you're waking up to the huge mistake you've made and come to your senses. Otherwise you'll be looking at another Chavez in the white house.

sunkistnthekz Author Profile Page:

THANK YOU FOR THIS "CIVIL" POST.
I wish EVERYONE would come to their senses, and see what is BEST for the Honduran people.
'Mel' brought this upon himself through an ILLEGAL act. The elections ARE soon, either move them up a few months, OR just keep the temp. President UNTIL the election. What's a few months "in charge" gonna do for 'Mel', he needs to let it go, he made a HUGE mistake, and now he needs to 'live with it'. Let this be an example, as it SHOULD BE; that YOU CANNOT break the LAW, even IF you think you are ABOVE APPROACH !
God bless HONDURAS !!

thebink Author Profile Page:

So, 67% of Hondurans wouldn't vote for Zelaya again. I wonder what percentage of Americans wouldn't vote for Obama again.

mmixon27 Author Profile Page:

The naming of this event is unimportant. Call it a coup, call it what you will....

The point that we Americans need to understand and appreciate is that the people of Honduras upheld their Constitution. They removed a tyrant who was bent on his own ambitions, not serving the people who freely elected him.

The US Constitution includes the same duty of the people to uphold our Constitution and replace any government or tyrant that seeks to destroy our country.

The current US Executive and Legislative branches are perfect examples of why our founding fathers framed the Constitution as written.

Good for Honduras, good for her people. They rose up and took a stand for their futures.

rarroyo_mercado Author Profile Page:

I find Mr Montaner's logic preposterous. There is a military coup ordered by an "invisible force" whereas called Michelleti, Supreme Court or supreme oligarchy. They oust an elected president who is about to finish his term, they arrest every leader identified with the government and free press, they allege the foundation for the coup is "an illegal referendum", and they threaten to arrest him if he tries to return on "criminal charges" they still can't articulate after a unanimous worldwide condemnation of the coup. The Cold War rethoric of a "Chavez-Ortega" conspiracy and the "polls" so called which Mr Montaner alleges makes the ousted president so unpopular are questionable. What is so urgent to the military than to wait till November to obtain the same results? Is Mr Zelaya so unpopular? I doubt it. I find this article sheer propaganda based on a lost in time Cold War rethoric based on the demonition of politicians whom are less radical than the right wing bullies whom imposed governments and dispair through force but cannot trust the will of the people at the polls. The only bloodbath and menace against peace and innocent lives comes from the arrogant, deaf and merciless assasins of democracy disguised as "free enterprise enemies of the red" whom would not think it for more than a second to jail Mr Montaner if by a chance he would say anything against their undemocratic rule.

forestflyer Author Profile Page:

This writer is so off the charts right-wing whacko that he's living in his own revisionist parallel universe, omitting swaths of history.

He's spewing so many half-truths and lies in every paragraph.

He's tiring.

Zelaya is a loudmouthed ineffectual power-monger. His opponents are even worse.

He was elected. Period. A coup is a coup, no matter how much you try to pretty up the pig, this was a coup.

And coups are anathema. Period.

I hate ideologue writers who constantly spin and never honestly add to the discussion.

chorpophone Author Profile Page:

"Could that be the reason why we have such high unemployment now that the socialist are in power in the U.S.?"

Wow, Republican presidents for 20 out of the last 28 years, and after a whopping 6 months in office Obama has ruined America? He must be a super-human. Doesn't reality have any impact on your "brain"?

chorpophone Author Profile Page:

"It's because Obama is a socialist thug. Americans who matter are watching this and taking notes on Obama's words and actions. That and buying more guns and ammo."

Washington Post, please stop letting these Fox News bots posts these comments. Check their IP addresses if you can, you'll find most come from the same computers.

I am so sick of reading the word 'leftist' in front of every democratically elected South American leaders' name. When was the last time anyone in the major news media has written, "George Bush, the Right-wing president of the conservative United States." How about "George Bush and his right-wing cronies, the Saudi government..." How about, "The Republican coup"? Or "The Right-wing Australian President Howard is obviously a puppet of capitalist George Bush and his tactics of hacking into voting machines..." Or "Anti-Eastern rightist president George Bush, elected under dubious conditions..." How many times do you read about Chavez's "crimes", Evo's "crimes" Ortega's "crimes", without any evidence at all, not even an example! That is a crime. "Chavez bullies his neighbors..." What could be more true than the fact that the United States has bullied its neighbors to the extreme for hundreds of years? That is conveniently left out of all commentary by the major media, including the 'liberal' NYT and WP, and it is certainly not mentioned every time the president of the US is mentioned, like it is with the "enemies of business" Chavez et al. Personally, I am not a fan of Chavez and I hope he's out of office sooner than later. But when every major news outlet writes these comments, people with less time or desire to vet their news sources are coming to conclusions based on false information. If the major news media want to stay in business in the world of internet use, stop providing such worthless commentary, provide facts with sources cited, and leave the opining to your readers.

abbarick Author Profile Page:

"Only 25 percent of the nation supported him. Another survey found that 67 percent of Hondurans would never vote for him again. Why?"

If that is true why then the coup to prevent a referendum? Why not allow the people to show their contempt of him and reject him in a referendum that he has arranged? If he had come to power democratically through a free election and his term has not ended yet, why must he be ousted unconstitutionally at gun point?

'"Zelaya is fighting with all the institutions in the country. He is in no condition really to govern."'

If the above is true, then there is no reason for forcing Zelaya out of power since the people will use any opportunity they have to vote him out of power and those institutions will be ready to enforce the will of the people which could be monitored by international observers, and it would be a no-win situation for Zelaya. So, there is no justification for the the military coup or whatever name those responsible for it call it.

el200735 Author Profile Page:

If the international community is against Hondoras then be comforted by the fact that Hondorans are on the right track! When has the international community been right about anything in the last 20 years! Where was their outrage when millions were slaughtered on the African continent? The list is too long; what hypocrisy!

It took Obama 11 days to comment on the murderous regime in Iran, yet it took him only one day to voice his outrage about the ouster of a socialist who disregarded the country's constitution in order to further his ambition of becoming a dictator, as Chavez. What does that tell you of Mr. Obama? It's clear that all who oppose Hondoras, side with those who have little regard for the law, freedom or liberty.

Socialists have brought nothing but poverty to countries; high unemployment,poor health care, etc. The middle class is destroyed and the poor become poorer. Europe is falling apart and the U.S. is right behind them; the left is obliverating this great country and our future. We no longer have a war on poverty as in the past, we now have a war on wealth. Let's not raise the poor out of poverty, let's make everyone poor. When was the last time a poor person hired employees? Could that be the reason why we have such high unemployment now that the socialist are in power in the U.S.? This is no longer the land of opportunity, all the illegals might as well stay home.

Hondurans are courageous. Do not let anyone steal your country as our country has been stolen from us. How refreshing that someone is standing up to the hypocrisy of the international community.

dewitt2 Author Profile Page:

Will someone tell me why a non-binding survey of the people is so meglamaniacal or anti-democratic? For that matter since when is no term limits equivalent to some sort of mad power-grab? Australia, the UK and Germany have exactly that! The concept of one four year term is ridiculous. I don't think there's a lower term limit in any other country's government. What kind of lasting change do people expect after four years? It seems like the Constitution, drawn up in the early 80s when the US was paranoid about any rebel Marxist Latin American governments, was designed specifically to safeguard America and prevent any serious change from being accomplished. And even if there was a re-election, if Zelaya was as unpopular as you portray, what are the conservatives so afraid of?

If Zelaya was so corrupt this should have been handled in the courts. If he was unpopular that's still no excuse for a military coup. Instead the conservative right wing elements are using this illegal non-binding survey as an excuse to take power. Unable to use democratic means to take power, they have taken it in the most arbitrary way possible, and then proceeded to call it true democracy. This is not about the law. This is about politics. Anyone who doesn't think so is naive at best.

vpocv Author Profile Page:

With the reasoning in Montaner's article, above, the US Military could have and should have removed Bush et al from power certainly immediately after the mass murder of 911 and most certainly after the war crimes of preemptive invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, who did not attack the US. Even the FBI said two years ago there was "NO HARD EVIDENCE that Osama bin Laden was involved in the events of 911". This begs the question why are we (the US) in Afghanistan? We hanged folks for such crimes after WWII.

President Truman appointed Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson to be the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal and his opening remarks to the jury included: "The standards by which we judge these defendants (Nazi's) today are the standards by which we shall be judged tomorrow." Tomorrow is today!

The war on terror is the war on truth.

In today's ongoing coup in Honduras, the secret team is at work. See the following!
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/STappendix3.html

100,000 copies of this book, now free on the Internet, were removed from the bookstore shelves across America, the Land of The Free!

Nothing like this coup happens in Central America
without the fingerprints of the CIA...

John McCarthy
http://johnmccarthy90066.tripod.com

marxdout Author Profile Page:

I Always understood a military coup was the soldiers deposed a sitting President and a general installed himself in place of the president, formed a junta with the rest of his military cronies and disolved all the other institutions of government by suspending the constitution.

What we have here is the Army obeying an order from the highest legal authority in the land, the Supreme Court, and removing a President from office who had declared himself above the law. Mr. Zelaya was obviously coordinating with Hugo Chavez, the George Bush of South America. He had just received a Venezuelan plane full of election material. Stuffed ballot boxes?. Iranian Style? Hugo Chavez style? How long were they planning this? It takes a while to print election material for a whole country. It is obvious that it is Chavez pulling Zelaya's strings. Chavez who warns against interfering in the affairs of Venezuela while he interferes in the affairs of Bolivia,(he threatened to send in his army if anything happened to Evo) Ecuador, Peru, Argentina (El Maletin).

I suggest this situation be analized carefully before some hasty decisions are made. The armies of Nicaragua and Venezuela should have the cojones that the Honduran boys have. A free Nicaragua, a free Venezuela, a free and united South America. May the rule of law prevail. Down with the dictators. Remember Cuba, remember Iran, look at North Korea. If there is to be a hub of unity in South America, let if be Brazil. The vision. levelheadedness and pragmatism of Lula is what we need. Hugo Chavez is an embarrasment to all Hispanics in the world. He is no Castro, although he wished he was. Castro was a statesman and a diplomat. Chavez is Barinas.

ehrbar Author Profile Page:

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld:

Per article 239 of the Honduran constitution, Zelaya ceased to be President of Honduras the very moment he proposed amending the one-term limit. Further, he is prohibited by the same article from any political office whatsoever for the next ten years.

So, Zelaya was already not President before the military acted on the order of the Supreme Court. There was accordingly no coup and no possibility of one; you can't have a coup against someone who holds no office and is, indeed, ineligible to hold any.

All that happened was that an ex-president was evicted from the Presidential Palace . . . and then allowed to go in exile rather than face trial for various crimes. If he really wants to go back to Honduras to face trial and imprisonment for crimes he committed (for example, for personally leading a mob to steal court-impounded items from a military base), that's fine. But if he goes back to Honduras, it should be as an accused criminal facing his day in court, not holder of an office he is constitutionally barred from holding.

juneauwhy Author Profile Page:

Montaner, lets see,,, Montaner,

Wasn't that one of the famalies forced out of Cuba when Castro finally defeated Batista's bloody dictatorship?

juneauwhy Author Profile Page:

Curious how some haters can justify any violence by aserting that its victims somehow deserved it. The reason given for the coup was that he was going forward with a vote on a nonbinding resolution, an opinion pol. . . .

Great Idea, returning to the era when a band of gunmen can take totalitarian control of a people and justify it with any absurdity. More efficient. Curious that EVERY responsible world leader has condemned it and EVERY significant multinational organization has rejected this band of extortionists from the international community, isn't it?

Politics75 Author Profile Page:

The writer of this article seems to be very influenced by the right wing school of thought of honduras. His perception of what is happening in honduras is beyond naive but understandable as he concocts his opinion in some villa in madrid, spain. The writer should watch the news and see how the people of honduras are manifesting on the streets and putting their lives in danger to protect their presidency and make sure that the old latinfundistas with their school of america soldiers do not try to steal democracy.

mglesne Author Profile Page:

Shameful. Montaner has the nerve to say that it is worse for Zelaya to return to his country than it was to take him out at gunpoint. He plays every low Hugo Chavez card in the book, acting like 1) the two were best buddies and 2) it even matters one bit to the question at hand.

This was clearly a military coup that would take Central America back 20 years. Every nation and newspaper in the world has said demanded Zelaya's return. If he has to face BS charges, he said he would. He was saying before the vote that this was all part of a conspiracy to overthrown his Government. He was proven right.

The Court's actions have shown themselves to be tainted. Their whole case rests on a fallacy - or at the very least an unsubstantiated theory about Zelaya's actual intent (to end term limits). Despite Zelaya denying this on TV all the time, and despite the (non-binding) poll saying absolutely nothing about that, this is the Court's basis.

Zelaya tried to conform with the Court's decisions til the end. He made the referendum non-binding and then got ballots from elsewhere (gratis) because the Court said State monies could not be used. But when the Court started making up other things and actively intervening in something that is the Executive's perogative, it was clear something else was going on. When the Court told the Commander in Chief he could not fire his General, it should have been clear to everyone.

Zelaya was acting in conformance with the 2006 Law of Citizen Participation. 800,000 Hondurans had signed a petition asking for this referendum. The Law says "ANY State power" can consult or convene the public.

The military has admitted taking Zelaya out of the country had no legal justification. So why should be be kept out?

It is sad but the main people people supporting this coup are those who also speak out for Cuban democracy. It is clear they do not understand the what the term means, if asking the people their opinion (in a non-binding) way is a crime that merits armed kidnapping.

alessabs Author Profile Page:

If there is NO food when you are hungry, if there are no medicines when you are sick, if there is ignorance and disrespect for the basic rights of the people, democracy is an empty shell, even if the public vote and have Parliament. Nelson Mandela 1998
Has the world forgotten this?

Beaverton Author Profile Page:

New election will be the best way to clean this mess. Honduras needs a new President. Que muera el Chavismo.

alessabs Author Profile Page:

If there is food when you are hungry, if there are no medicines when you are sick, if there is ignorance and disrespect for the basic rights of the people, democracy is an empty shell, even if the public vote and have Parliament. Nelson Mandela 1998
Has the world forgotten this?

Renehn Author Profile Page:

Well said!

We, the people of Honduras feel abandoned by the international community! We have just acted to defend our laws, our freedom, our democracy. No coup has taken place here, but a lawful destitution of a corrupt megalomaniac who used socialism as a crutch to support his ultimate goal of staying in power indefinitely under strict compliance of Chavez's so-called socialist franchise!

Long Live Dmocracy, Long Live our Freedom, long Live the Rule of Law.... Long Live The Republic of Honduras!

4thwatch Author Profile Page:

When Zelaya requested the opportunity to bypass the Honduran Constitution to become an eligible candidate the fix was already in, in other words if permitted to run again … he would not loose.

Los Castros, Ortega, Correa, Chavez all pretend offence over Zelayas treatment, pointing out how badly Democracy is suffering in Honduras.

The truth is they detest democracy. These dictators, tyrants, cloak themselves in democracy for the sole purpose of ascending to the presidency. Once in office socialism or worse is the order of the day and anyone who questions their policies is framed as doubting democracy.

It’s a simple ruse whose time is up. Honduras saw through it and protected its people and their constitution. That is true Democracy defending itself from deceiving rulers. I agree with them.

As for the US position on Honduras … Obama’s rank amateurism is now clearly in view.


capinedap Author Profile Page:

I suppose the rest of the world has forgoten that freedom needs to be proteceted by any means and that doing so is legitimate. I wonder if any of the so called critics have taken the trouble of reading the honduran constitution.

juandiegozelaya Author Profile Page:

What constitutes a democracy? Free and fair elections are central to the exercise of democracy, but alone are not enough. The Inter-American Democratic Charter cites a number of “essential elements” of representative democracy, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law; the pluralistic system of political parties; and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government. Transparency, probity and responsible administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, freedom of expression and citizen participation are among other elements that define democracy. – Taken from the OAS webpage, Key OAS issues (http://www.oas.org/key_issues/eng/KeyIssue_Detail.asp?kis_sec=5)


Mel Zelaya, was elected democratically, but that alone was not enough to guarantee democracy in Honduras. His government had to comply with the other “essentials elements” of democracy. Zelaya did not respect at all the separation of powers and the independence of the branches of government. He did not govern in accordance with the rule of law and openly threatened our democratic guarantees.

The UN and the OAS must look into their hearts remembering why they exist and put principles first and interests second.

Instead of feeding the crisis and tension, they should help in bringing about solutions. The solution is not to close trade barriers, impose embargoes and cut off all Financing in alliance with the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. The solution is not suspending Honduras from the organization of OAS. These are not Solutions.

Honduras has a clear path set out:

We cannot support the return of an expresident who threatened our democracy and openly violated our laws and our constitution.

We cannot accept intervention from countries with proposals that go against the defense of our democracy and our constitution.

We are willing to wait until we have free elections. We are willing to hold until the people have elected a new President and new authorities even if the World gives their back to us in the process.

The return of Zelaya is NOT the solution to our problems. On the contrary, it would mean MORE problems.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

I love this new notion of a so-called "post factum legitimized humanitarian military coup", only meant to prevent a bloodbath, of course!

Those outstanding humanitarians who thought that concept out must consider themselves extremely clever...

It is undoubtedly outstandingly hypocritical, hence made to suit anyone who cannot walk the talk.

New words, more new words, and more words still, plenty of fig leaves to hide the old, hideous instrument for abusing power.

Evidently, there are some who underestimate us.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.