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12:34 AM on 07/02/2009
Why such reluctance? Because while american rhetoric about democracy is stuck in the cold war, in the present state of geopolitics American interests are largely post-democratic. In the middle east as in Latin America, the best american allies are the least democratic of their peers.

Things may be different in a couple of years, once the present administration has had more more influence over the turning circle of the ship of state.

For now, though, this should be a chastening realisation for americans really interested in democracy and freedom, especially *other* people's freedom. Despite Bush's rhetoric, that was NOT his cause, and there's a strong case that can be made in support of the view that the interests of the United States no longer align with freedom, either. What the US wants other nations to do is often not in their best interest, and rational citizens will vote accordingly. The United States won't be able to stand wholeheartedly for democracy until the policies the nation pursues have become more benign.
Are you looking at my ears?! (Mo-om!!!)
07:04 AM on 07/02/2009
Well put.
11:44 PM on 07/01/2009
Nice article. The US is going to have a very difficult time with Latin American countries as a majority of them have shifted to the left and I mean real left not the US Democratic Party kind. They are supported by the poor and labor unions. They are standing up to the bully in the hemisphere who's goal is to restore traditional neoliberal, facist type governments which destroyed those countries to begin with. This coup and the doubletalk coming from the Obama admin is normal.
12:27 AM on 07/02/2009
We have replaced one bully, the US, with another bully, Chavez, who is a "democratically elected" leader with a big asterisk - as he has manipulated elections through fraud, intimidation, improper use of state resources, disqualification of candidates, etc. as well as intervention in the affairs of other countries. Chavez does not govern democratically as there are no separation of powers and complete harassment of all opposition. The ALBA countries led by Chavez are run by a bunch of autocratic leaders, who are now defending democracy in Honduras - what about defending democracy in Cuba - it is hypocritical - it is amazing seeing Raul Castro defending democracy in Honduras. Neopopulist policies destroy wealth and will only work as long as Chavez has petrodollars / otherwise they will just distribute poverty to all...I am amazed by all Castro/Chavez sympathizers who hate the military, but seem to forget that Chavez ia a Lt. Col. and Raul Castro is a General - I guess if you declare yourself anti-US and in favor of the poor, you get a blank check from many. I agree that the poor need to be helped and better distribution of wealth is needed, but we need to find a better way than the populist wealth destroying model.
11:20 PM on 07/01/2009
I think the Honduran government and military went about this in the worst way. I understand Zelaya broke the law and insisted in breaking the law. But that means he should gave been given a fair trial, his day in court with a lawyer, not expelled forcibly from his country of birth. Forcibly removing a democratically-elected leader from power by military means is undemocratic, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, the IInter-American Democratic Charter is very clear about this.

This removal by force has created tension in Honduran society and the Honduran streets, and nothing good can come of this tension. It has also created a great deal stress between Honduras and her neighbours as well as other countries in the hemisphere. The Brazilian government has already ordered its ambassador not to return to Tegucigalpa. Honduras is risking expulsion from the OAS and possibly other international organizations it belongs to. This is a risk Honduras cannot afford, it's one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, perhaps the poorest besides Haiti.

The Honduran government should re-institute him and immediately try him, fairly and transparently. If found guilty, he should be punished accordingly. Or the Honduran government could possibly re-institute him and then impeach him. In other words, use legitimate means to oust him.
10:26 PM on 07/01/2009
Clearly Zelaya is not a democratic-minded person since he is trying to illegally pass a referendum to change the constitution and stay in power like his idol Chavez. This is not a military coup, the military was clearly following orders of the Supreme Court and the Congress, and was never in power, the VP immediately took power and is expected to remain there only until the elections in November. I am surprised that Obama would support Zelaya when he so so skeptical about supporting the democracy in Iran. There are a lot of articles pro and against the new government, but the fact that the most successful, law-abiding, moderate countries in Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay) remain almost silent or complain in a low voice, and the extreme left (Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba) are the ones on the US side, clearly rings a bell... Obama remained silent about Iran, and he should have done the same in this case.
Texas Aggie
08:42 PM on 07/01/2009
Part of the problem is that Washington had to have known that the coup was coming because the coup leaders are graduates of the School of the Americas and they are also constant companions with the US forces that are on the permanent base in Honduras. Washington could have stopped it by putting pressure on their clients in the Honduran military, but for some reason they chose not to.

For what it is worth, Honduras comes closer than any other Latin American country to being a vassal of the US. We just about own the whole country in one way or another.
07:27 PM on 07/05/2009
The coup leaders? That's funny; there was no coup; I live here; never happened. Many countries outside of yours use the military for law enforcement; that's all they did on orders from the SC and Congress; they put his butt on a plane. By the way, since you're knowledgeable on Central American affairs, please give me the names of those coup leaders since they are graduates of the School of the Americas. Unless it's "top secret." And what parts of Honduras does the USA own? If that's the case, then I don't need my Honduran Residency and I can just use my Passport. And why doesn't Obama come visit his new land down here; build a palace or something. Shoot, if the USA "just about" owns Honduras, then the coup was issued by Obama, right? You see the ridiculousness of your comments I hope.
In Times Of Sorry Leadership.... Cry or Manage Up?
08:20 PM on 07/01/2009
Thanks for posting another side to the situation. Everywhere in the civilized world, the Elites, people with power, influence, wealth seem to be acting so bizarre, doing whatever the heck they want.... being as brazen as possible, indifferent and dismissive of law & order and other people's rights.
12:20 PM on 07/02/2009
I know what you mean. This seems to be getting worse just about everywhere, including the United States. It is as if we are being ruled by aristocrats who are completely insulated from the common people and do whatever they want. Certainly these regimes in Iran, Zimbabwe, Honduras and many other places act the same way--arrogance, corruption, elitism, contempt for their people. They will come to a very bad end, and they should.
06:14 PM on 07/01/2009
This post is a nice contrast to the real estate developer who defended the coup on HuffPo today.

The neoliberal fixation to dominate Central and South American governments against the wishes of the citizens and for the benefit of the elite remains a bipartisan goal.

It's hard to believe that Obama is soooo cautious as to be anti-democratic so soon after challenging Americans to hope for change.

Hillary's response is fully what I expected from her Presidency... and my motivation for supporting Obama. Here's hoping he snaps out of his streak coddling the powerful and wealthy, and remembers what motivated so many to work for his election.
06:09 PM on 07/01/2009
Why is there no coverage of Honduras on Huffington Post's front page?