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It Was Legal And Constitutional

Octavio Sánchez, a lawyer, is a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras wrote an op-ed for the Christian Science Monitor that explains what happened in Honduras: A ‘coup’ in Honduras? Nonsense.

These are the facts: On June 26, President 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.

Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published that decree to initiate an “opinion poll” about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term. His actions showed intent.

Our Constitution takes such intent seriously. 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 [emphasis added], 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.”

Luis Bueso, another Honduran attorney, comes to the same conclusion: Honduras removal of President Legal. Constitution has Vaccine. Mr. Bueso includes links to the constitution and the legal charges against Zelaya, but they are in Spanish as they are on official government sites. He also discusses why the constitution has such strict limits on presidents.

Zelaya willfully ignore the constitution of Honduras on multiple matters and was told to stop, but he ignored all of the warnings and found more constitutional articles to violate. The international community is complicit because no one at the UN, the OAS, or the US State Department has taken the time to review the Honduran constitution. There have been a lot of people in a lot of important positions who have failed to do their homework. Almost all of the international reaction is based on ignorance and assumptions.


1 Twitted by badtux99 { 07.05.09 at 10:13 pm }

[…] This post was Twitted by badtux99 […]

2 Badtux { 07.05.09 at 10:17 pm }

It is hilarious that you see the same lefties who were blasting the Busheviks for their clear violations of the Constitution contort themselves to excuse Zelaya’s violations of the Honduran constitution because, well, because Zelaya was best buds and pals with Hugo Chavez so that must make him a good guy, huh? Makes you wonder if they were just playing partisan politics during the Bush years rather than having any real regard for the US Constitution…

– Badtux the (Amused?) Penguin
.-= ´s last blog ..I leave civilization for three days and… =-.

3 Bryan { 07.05.09 at 11:15 pm }

I have spent enough time with Central Americans in social settings that I have heard all of their complaints about the outsiders views of their countries, when the outsiders don’t make the slightest effort to actually look at the countries.

I have no use for Hugo Chavez, but the Hedgemony was playing games to try to remove him. The games were discovered, and he’ll be around as long as Castro because of them. If the US would stop screwing around and just deal with the facts of individual cases, we might improve our relations down there.

Zelaya is the Honduran equivalent of the Shrubbery – a pampered rich kid living off his family’s money who decided he liked the perqs that went with being president. Saying he’s a leftist makes Che spin in his grave. He has not made one concrete move to help the poor of Honduras, he just hands out gifts to show what a nice rich guy he is. Even with that he has the Shrubbery’s approval ratings.

4 Bryan { 07.06.09 at 12:13 pm }

If you are referring to Obama, be advised I didn’t vote for him in the primary or general election as he is a moderate Republican wearing a Democratic label, and is not a liberal or even progressive. He is continuing the lead of Bush on ignoring the US Constitution using the same excuse – national security.

Zelaya ignored his constitution and removed himself from office, the military got assigned the job of taking out the trash, another wealthy pretend cowboy.

5 Badtux { 07.06.09 at 3:49 pm }

I too did not vote for Obama in the primaries. I reluctantly voted for him in the general because John McCain would have been an utter disaster as President, but I decidedly had to hold my nose to do so. My deal is that I met many Obamas over the years spent teaching in all-black schools, i.e., black professionals, and they were all social conservatives, conservative on national defense, and liberal only when it came to social programs benefitting the poor and minorities. The notion that Obama would significantly change our position on Iraq or significantly change the Shrubbery’s policies regarding shredding the Constitution simply didn’t pass the laugh and giggle test for me. The best I could come up with to defend Obama is that, regardless of anything else, he is at least an intelligent man, he predicted the Iraq mess 100% before it happened. But he is, as Bryan pointed out, fundamentally conservative in his outlook, and better than the alternative only because the alternative was the senile sabre-rattler shouting “you kids get off my lawn!” and the snowbilly from Wasilly.

6 Kryten42 { 07.06.09 at 11:02 pm }

I didn’t vote for Obama either!! Errr… I guess my vote doesn’t actually count there though, does it? 😉 Well… Howard was our Obama, and I didn’t vote for him either! 😛

I’ve been chatting with a friend here (friend of a friend really) who lived in the Honduras for some years when his family moved there, before he came here to study for a PhD in Psychology. He says that many in Honduras don’t understand what happened let alone anywhere else, but if one looks at the constitution and other legal documents and precedents, what happened was the only lawful and correct option. He commented that more people he speaks to in Honduras are realizing that’s the case.

7 Bryan { 07.06.09 at 11:34 pm }

I should note that Obama’s crew made sure my vote wasn’t counted in the primary, which is why I refused to vote for him in the general election.

Actually, I have been pleasantly surprised by the Honduran military. They really do seem to be going the extra mile to avoid bloodshed, which is not exactly a common trait among the military in this hemisphere.

The ex-pats in Miami and New Orleans overwhelmingly are happy to see Zelaya gone, and they are not the wealthy supporters of the status quo, as most are refugees from areas devastated by hurricanes here on special visas.

If Zelaya was really interested in helping the poor, he could have started by breaking up some of his land into farms for the common people. He could have personally sent up a micro-loan bank, or helped get coops going, or any number of other things that don’t require the government.