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Mixed Signals on Honduras & Clinton’s position

November 12th, 2009 · 35 Comments

Seneca’s latest blog post where he describes the current situation in Honduras has garnered much attention. Some commenters feel that the situation in Honduras reflects Secretary of State Clinton’s leadership issues and a lack of direction for Latin American foreign policy in the Obama administration.

This morning I heard this clip on YouTube, where a journalist even suggests that Obama should consider replacing Clinton as Secretary of State because of the mixed signals:

Seneca has offered this in response:

Obama is not going to boot Hillary out over the Honduras fiasco. But the cumulative unsettling evidence of this foreign policy team begins to define the Administration: actions (or pratfalls) in Latin America over the recent Colombian-US agreements on military cooperation have become muddled, the contradictions to 40 years of US policy on the Israeli settlements issue resulted in Hillary backtracking to recover, the Cuba policy was not seriously addressed before the President stumbled onto it at the US-Latin Summit last spring nor has the administration (nor the previous two administrations) ever defined Chavez as a national security threat if in fact he is, the Plan Merida to help Mexico appears to have fallen into the doldrums of policy fatigue, the corrosive effects of the Afghanistan war (“where empires go to die…”) are increasing, the Iraq pull-out has been turned over entirely to Secretary Gates. The most intriguing question is: How can an inspirational and uplifting leader on the world stage choose some of the best and the brightest of Americans to handle foreign policy fall so short too often by carelessness or lack of focus?

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Tags: Barack Obama · Cuba · Foreign Policy · Hillary Clinton · Iraq War · Latin American Foreign Policy · Mexico · Seneca

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Nov 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Re: “the Plan Merida to help Mexico appears to have fallen into the doldrums of policy fatigue…”

    Do you really think the point of The Merida Plan is to help Mexico? Come on.

  • 2 stephen // Nov 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    In general, if the commies are concerned, that’s good news for freedom.

    I think Clinton saved Obama’s hide. He had no constitutional reason for supporting Zelaya, only a political one. The legal brief that informed the Obama administration’s actions have yet to be released and it was increasingly clear that his initial reactions to the constitutional ousting of Zelaya were incorrect. Clinton negotiated an agreement that did not involve the reinstatement of Zelaya, only that Congress and the President would consider it. They gave Zelaya their terms and Zelaya refused. Elections will move forward and the Honduran people will win this one out. Its unfortunate that Obama didn’t have the right sense to react correctly, and his inability to lead created a hostile environment in Honduras of which the Micheleti government has some responsibility to bear, but it looks like Honduras will move forward, unlike Ortega’s Nicaragua.

  • 3 Anna // Nov 13, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Restoring Zelaya would have been moving forward. What will happen now is that there will be an “election” and the coup government, or one that shares it’s corporatist values will be elected.

    Any leader in Latin America who wants to give his people a higher standard of living is immediately labeled a “communist,” a “socialist,” or a “terrorist.”

    Why is it OK for Europe and Canada to have a big public sector, but not Latin America? It’s OK for them to live like humans, but Latin Americans are supposed to work for pennies a day without safety standards, and without healthcare or the hope of a decent education for their children.

  • 4 stephen // Nov 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Because unlike the leaders in Western Europe and Canada, the leaders like Zelaya want to use government expansion to stay in power beyond their constitutionally mandated terms. The people of Latin America are free to elect socialist leaders and I would not support the unconstitutional overthrow of any government, but Zelaya’s ouster was constitutional.

    The so-called source above is a communist news program. They are akin to getting reliable news from Fox or on the Dobbs show.

    Zelaya tried to pull a Chavez and he got burned. Good for Honduras. Chavez is destroying his country and is now rattling the sabers against his neighbors because his economic policies have been a disaster.

  • 5 Anna // Nov 13, 2009 at 11:10 am

    A military coup is not constitutional. If I am not mistaken, Zelaya was going to ask people to vote on whether they want the president to remain in office another term. That is not the same as becoming a dictator.

    And wasn’t Chavez elected?

    Sorry, but our government’s interest in Latin America is not in democracy, or what is best for the people there, but what is best for the corporations who want to plunder Latin America’s natural resources and use the people as cheap labor. As I said, any Latin American president who doesn’t go along with that will be removed from office, usually by coup. This is not the first coup the US has supported in Latin America.

    I habve heard Hillary talk about Iran and she always says that they are “old culture” and that the people there deserve better. She obviously doesn’t think that Latin Americans deserve better.

  • 6 stephen // Nov 13, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    The military was serving an arrest warrant that was legal and constitutional and supported by the legitimately elected body of Congress. Zelaya was replaced by a member of his own party and the military holds no power. They serve the president, not the other way around.

    Serving warrants usually entails some police force, guns, etc. to carry out. The military overstepped its bounds by sending him out of the country but that does not mean the warrant is void. Instead, Zelaya should have been in jail instead of being allowed to jet around to his pals drumming support.

    whatever our governments interest and past is with that region, of which it is atrocious, that does not mitigate that Zelaya was rightfully arrested by the legitimate institutions of their government. Regardless of what you think, their supreme court issued a warrant for his continued attempts to extend his ability to be president, itself a violation of the Constitution and subject to immediate removal.

    The future of the Honduran people is far brighter today for what they did than it is for those who succumbed to strong men like Chavez and Ortega. Those countries will wallow in filth for a generation because of them, just as every other country run by a autocrat has.

    Confusing whatever government Chavez and Ortega represent for a Western democracy like Canada is an abomination. I really hope we can move forward and help these countries. We owe it to them, but supporting people like Zelaya, against the will of their government, is not the way to do it.

  • 7 Anna // Nov 13, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091026/grandin

    Micheletti seems increasingly isolated, facing criticism from his own supporters due to his heavy-handed response. Just a few days ago, a poll revealed that a large majority of Hondurans oppose the coup and Micheletti while favoring Zelaya’s restoration.

  • 8 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Yes, his government has been heavy handed in response to Zelaya’s loyalists stirring up dissent. The lack of support by the US for doing what is legal and right isn’t helping. But the article ignores that if Micheletti were in crisis, Congress could always reinstate Zelaya in accordance with the agreement. They have not done so. My hope from the beginning was that Micheletti could hold on until the elections if they could succeed in gaining recognition, which happened last week. Now they have to hang on and not get provoked.

    I am still at a loss for understanding Obama’s reasoning in backing Zelaya. The only administration legal brief I know of that is guiding his policy has not been released. I wonder why not.

  • 9 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Micheletti wasn’t elected to anything. He was installed by an illegal military coup just like Pinochet. I don’t know in what universe you think that’s legal, but it’s not legal in Honduras. Micheletti is on office because of military force. Furthermore, he’s arresting, torturing and killing those who oppose his illegal rule.

    Honduras and the rest of Latin America have every right to move to the Left. It’s their country, their land, their resources, their government. If the corporations don’t like it–too bad.

  • 10 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Anna, stop the histrionics. The legitimate supreme court of Honduras issued an arrest warrant for Zelaya. The legitimately elected Congress of Honduras supported the arrest warrant. The warrant was served by the military at the behest of the government.

    Micheletti has lapsed into violations in response to the thugs running around stirring trouble. He should be held responsible for that, but that doesn’t mean Zelaya is somehow the legitimate leader. The institutions of the Honduran government removed him. The military did not remove him without permission or against the will of the government. They were serving the government. Maybe you think the president is the sole representative of the people, and that’s likely because socialists tend to deify a single person from which power emanates, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Chavez, etc. But according to the Honduran constitution, there are three branches of government. Two of those branches determined that the third was in violation of the constitution and had good reason to believe that Zelaya was pulling a Chavez.

    Honduras will hold an election and a new president will serve, unlike Ortega and Chavez and other leftists who think its their personal right to set their constitutions aside or change them at their whim to implement their policies.

    It is supremely ironic that in this situation its the very people who have concerns about outside influence, American interventionism and colonialism who are the ones calling for the US and other countries to force the Honduran government to bend to their demands. The Micheletti government is legal and legitimate. Get over it. Unless you can provide a legal brief that can convincingly argue that the warrant issued by the Supreme Court was illegitimate, the current government is the legitimate government.

  • 11 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    There are two steps here: 1) removing Zelaya
    2) Installing Micheletti

    Serving a warrant and arresting Zelaya is one thing. It is another to install a unelected president through military force. So even if one can make the argument that Zelaya’s removal was legal (and I don’t think it was), it still does not make Micheletti a legitimate President.

    Do you know what a coup is? It is not a democratic process.

    Hillary Clinton supports the coup because her friend Lanny Davis is a lobbyist for the corporations who sponsored it. There will be a bogus ‘election’ and the new president will be Micheletti, or somebody just like him, who will let the corporations run amok plundering natural resources and exploiting the workers. Of course, there will be military rule, just like what is happening in Mexico.

  • 12 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    1) Zelaya’s arrest was legal. Either provide proof other than how you feel about it, or accept that the warrant was a legitimate legal document.
    2) Micheletti was the president congress and the leader of the ruling party behind Zelaya. He was sworn in as the interim president until the elections this month. He will stop down when a successor is determined by the election.

    Whether Hillary supports the election or not is irrelevant to the legality of Zelaya’s removal and your last statement makes your second point ridiculous, since you apparently won’t accept an elected leader so long it is Zelaya holding the reins of government during the election.

  • 13 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    http://www.counterpunch.org/thorensen07012009.html

    “Recalling these observations, we can once again take a look at the widespread assumption that Zelaya was ousted as president after he tried to carry out a non-binding referendum to extend his term in office.

    The poll was certainly non-binding, and therefore also not subject to prohibition. However it was not a referendum, as such public consultations are generally understood. Even if it had been, the objective was not to extend Zelaya’s term in office. In this sense, it is important to point out that Zelaya’s term concludes in January 2010. In line with article 239 of the Honduran Constitution of 1982, Zelaya is not participating in the presidential elections of November 2009, meaning that he could have not been reelected. Moreover, it is completely uncertain what the probable National Constituent Assembly would have suggested concerning matters of presidential periods and re-elections. These suggestions would have to be approved by all Hondurans and this would have happened at a time when Zelaya would have concluded his term. Likewise, even if the Honduran public had decided that earlier presidents could become presidential candidates again, this disposition would form a part of a completely new constitution. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as an amendment to the 1982 Constitution and it would not be in violation of articles 5, 239 and 374. The National Constituent Assembly, with a mandate from the people, would derogate the previous constitution before approving the new one. The people, not president Zelaya, who by that time would be ex-president Zelaya, would decide.

    It is evident that the opposition had no legal case against President Zelaya. All they had was speculation about perfectly legal scenarios which they strongly disliked. Otherwise, they could have followed a legal procedure sheltered in article 205 nr. 22 of the 1982 Constitution, which states that public officials that are suspected to violate the law are subject to impeachment by the National Congress. As a result they helplessly unleashed a violent and barbaric preemptive strike, which has threatened civility, democracy and stability in the region.”

  • 14 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    They may disagree with the decision of the supreme court of Honduras, but thankfully, counterpunch has no legal authority in that country. The supreme court ruled that Zelaya twice sought to gain a claim on extending his presidency. The first time he tried it through a referendum and then he called it a poll when the Supreme Court said it was illegal. The totality of his actions, along with illegally firing the general of the army because he would not follow Zelaya’s illegal orders, made it quite clear to the supreme court what Zelaya’s intentions were.

    The Honduran constitution does not outline what an impeachment process looks like. This is a common attempt by the left to equate Honduran law to American impeachment proceedings. What the supreme court did and what congress did is consistent with impeachment because it is up to them to determine what that looks like.

    Nobody has yet shown that the warrant was illegal or illegitimate. You and every socialist in Latin American can disagree with the legal reasoning, just as we can disagree with the US Supreme Courts reasoning on many of their decisions. That does not make them illegal.

  • 15 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    What do you personally have invested in Latin America being ruled by right wing military dictatorships?

    Why do you consider democratically elected left wing leaders in Latin America such a threat?

  • 16 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Don’t know how that matters to the validity of the argument at hand.

    My answer to the first question is I am merely calling bullshit on people who continue to misrepresent the events in Honduras simply because they feel a certain way. I am not Honduran. I am a poor professor who is interested in democracy.

    http://theamericano.com/?s=nuno

    Please feel free to read anything I write. I am not an investor, CEO or lobbyist for a right wing ideological group.

    You continue to consider the president of Honduras as the sole possessor of power. Why do you continue to ignore the fact that Honduras is a constitutional government which shares power between three institutions of government? Its amusing, yet sad, that you blindly equate the lefty governments in Latin America to Canada and Europe, without the faintest acknowledgment in the legitimacy of a constitutional government. Canada and Western Europe can have lefty governments without my griping about it because their executive leaders resign themselves to the fact that they are not the entire government.

    All that said, I usually make a bad first impression. My intention is not to berate you. I know you are tied to this government for whatever reason. I know you have legitimate reasons not to trust corporations, the US, etc. in that region. I am a strong believer in free markets and generally consider myself a somewhere between a libertarian and a conservative, but I have no interest or intention in justifying legitimate transgressions against the rights of people anywhere.

  • 17 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Re: “Why do you continue to ignore the fact that Honduras is a constitutional government which shares power between three institutions of government?”

    Because constitutional governments don’t launch military coups that are condemed by almost the whole world. I haven’t seen any evidence to support the legality of arresting and deposing an elected president. There was no trial, and they did not in any way prove the charges against him. They just deposed him and installed a military dictatorship.

    And I actually didn’t blindly equate the leftist governments of Latin America to Europe. I said that we don’t allow Latin America to have the type of governments they have in Canada and Europe because we think that Latin Americans exist to create wealth for other people. Any Latin American president who wants to invest in health care, education, etc like Europe does will be the object of a propaganda campaign that labels him a communist, a terrorist, etc.

    We allow socialism in Europe, but not in Latin America.

  • 18 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    He was arrested Anna. Legitimately arrested. He should be in jail awaiting trial. The legality is in the warrant issued for his arrest. There’s a screenshot of it somewhere.

    Micheletti is not a general or even in the military. He never even served in the military for all I know. He’s an elected official. A leader in the political party. President of Congress. Sworn in by a Congress that supports his position as interim president.

  • 19 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    They deported Zelaya, so obviously they had no inention of giving him a trial. People who launch coups are noty concerned about trials, or justice, or democracy. They want power, so they take it. Couching their actions in the language of constitutional government, doesn’t make it legal, or right. They are thugs.

    Furthermore, nobody elected Micheletti. He was installed by the military, and he is using military force to remain in office.

  • 20 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    More information:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-carlsen/honduran-coup-violates-wo_b_348510.html

  • 21 stephen // Nov 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The military overstepped their authority by exiling Zelaya. He should be in a jail instead. That does not changes the legitimacy of the warrant.

    There is no vice president, so Congress elected its president to take over the temporary position until a president could be elected. Micheletti is an elected official and the highest ranking member of Congress.

    Those are serious accusations in the HP article, but still accusations. If he is resposible for those crimes he should pay. Somehow you assume that I think Micheletti is a saint. I don’t assueme that, but even if he wasn’t it doesn’t change his legitimacy in power. Don’t know why you can’t understand that. Your whole rationale against Micheletti is that you don’t like him.

  • 22 webmaster // Nov 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    “…but Zelaya’s ouster was constitutional.”

    How can you say this when taking him out of the country is illegal? Their constitution says that no Honduran citizen can be exiled.

    Zelaya should have been arrested and kept in his country (due process). This way, evidence of his trying to gain another term as chief executive could have been heard in a court of law. The de facto govt pursued an illegal course of action.

  • 23 Anna // Nov 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Re: ‘ Your whole rationale against Micheletti is that you don’t like him.”

    No, my rationale is that he’s illegitimate. I don’t know how you can justify using the military to remove and deport a democratically elected president. So what if the Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant. That didn’t give anybody the right to deport Zelaya. As one article said, if they felt he did somethng illegal, then he should have been impeached.

    You seem to causally blow of the fact that Micheletti is in office because of military force. Thousands of people have been arrested, tortured, etc. You overlook the long history of military coups in Latin America backed by corporations and the US government. Chile, Guatemala, Peru, etc. What happened in Honduras fits into that pattern.

    Not a single country anywhere has recognized the coup government.

  • 24 Reyfeo // Nov 15, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Stephen, I did this round with these two about 3 weeks ago…What Anna doesn’t get is that Zelaya was breaking the constitution and was ousted for doing so (the Honduran people wanted nothing to do with another Chavez in their country)…if Anna knew the history in that country she would understand why they are intolerant to this kind of Presidential activity…a majority of congress voted to oust him, even members his own party voted in favor to oust him…that congress, unlike ours, put their constitution first and did the right thing. The source Anna and Webby hang their hats on is far left leaning and so they only read what helps them spew irresponsible words of misinformation. I’ve been to Honduras on both Military and Civilian roles. It’s a wonderful US friendly country who has been mis-portrayed by idiots like our POTUS who “shot from the hip”…the Pol/Mil relations we garnered over years of working together have seriously been tarnished by an Obama who had no clue.

    Also, Webby’s point is that he was removed out of the country illegally…in the constitution there is an article that says he wasn’t suppose to be deported like that, this part is true…but that doesn’t make he’s removal from office illegal or defined as a coup as Anna keeps harking about. He’s removal and arrest was constitutional, his being thrown out of the country went too far (and is unconstitutional) but probably the right thing to do.

  • 25 stephen // Nov 16, 2009 at 12:56 am

    sigh

    webmaster- exiling him was unconstitutional. True. How does that invalidate the warrant for his arrest and why should Zelaya be president after being arrested ? I’m trying to understand the connection. The Honduran constitution does not have impeachment provisions, so impeachment looks however Congress wants it to look. Its not the US constitution.

    Anna, why do you care about democratic elections only when it pertains to the president and not congress? The democratically elected Congress voted to install Micheletti. Congress approved of arresting the president. The Supreme Court issued a warrant for the president’s arrest. Micheletti is in office because Zelaya was arrested. Who would you pick to serve the warrant, the local police? Have you ever heard of a warrant for someone’s arrest served without the use or explicit threat of force?

  • 26 webmaster // Nov 16, 2009 at 10:11 am

    stephen: “webmaster- exiling him was unconstitutional. True. How does that invalidate the warrant for his arrest and why should Zelaya be president after being arrested ? I’m trying to understand the connection. The Honduran constitution does not have impeachment provisions, so impeachment looks however Congress wants it to look. Its not the US constitution.”

    I know it’s not the US Constitution, but look at this link with this letter from a professor from UC Berkeley addressed to the Library of Congress:

    http://quotha.net/node/385

    Specifically, look at this:

    “In fact, on May 7, 2003, the Honduran Supreme Court had nullified the claimed power of the Congress to interpret the Constitution. Thus, it is not surprising that the Honduran Congress made no such claim on June 28, since they no longer could assert such authority, which the Supreme Court had rejected.”

    You might also want to read the article by ND Professor Cassel:

    http://www.nd.edu/~ndlaw/news/ASIL.pdf

  • 27 stephen // Nov 16, 2009 at 10:31 am

    both articles are unconvincing. They’ve been passed around for a few months now. The best argument against Micheletti is the Notre Dame piece, which was my question to you. How does the exile invalidate the warrant? It doesn’t. It only gives people like Anna a reason to not “like” it the warrant.

    The answer to the Berkeley piece is that Congress did not issue the warrant. The judicial branch did, ie. the supreme court. Congress swore in the President of Congress, the next ranking elected official since there is no Vice President, when Zelaya was arrested. This is a red herring and avoids the issue of Zelaya’s legitimate arrest, which is what you and Anna want desperately to focus everyone’s attention away from.

    If Obama is so sure of his decision not to support the Micheletti government, why aren’t you posting HIS brief, authored by his legal team? You can’t because he won’t publish it. Why not? It would be interesting to read Obama’s legal justification for supporting Zelaya, but like you and Anna, I can only guess that his reasons have more to do with politics than the law.

  • 28 Ramon // Nov 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Stephen,

    The arrest was not legitimate. There were due process violations, according to reports Zelaya was not read fully informed of the charges against him, and the armed forces came to get him instead of the state police, which is the entity that the Honduran Constitution says should execute these legal decisions.

    You can read more about it here:

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/20/honduras-manuel-zelaya-law-library-opinions-contributors-coup.html

    I don’t know why you keep saying that the Zelaya arrest warrant was valid.

    Frankly, this fiasco would be perfect for an International Court to adjudicate.

    As for the commenters having a political agenda, I see you link to Newt Gingrich’s “Americano.” Your claim to being a “poor professor who is interested in democracy” is tinged with its own baggage.

  • 29 stephen // Nov 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Ramon,

    I fully agree, and have acknowledged that procedural errors were made in Zelaya’s arrest. However, this author as with previous authors do fail to draw a connection between those errors and Zelaya’s return to power. They should rearrest him correctly and he should be in jail. That doesn’t change the current situation.

    While the authors focus on the legislative actions, the judicial ones are being ignored.

    The international court may or may not be a good venue for this. Perhaps they will nullify the democratic elections this month to do so.

    Well, Ramon, as far as your last statement is concerned. My baggage is out in the open. Please feel free to read my articles before casting stones. Also, read my research at

    http://www.stephenanuno.com

    Please post links to your own writings so we may evaluate those as well for objectivity.

  • 30 Anna // Nov 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    re: “How does that invalidate the warrant for his arrest and why should Zelaya be president after being arrested ”

    An arrest in and of itself doesn’t mean that anybody is guilty of anything. They never proved that Zelaya did what they accused him of. Of course, military dictatorships like Micheletti’s regime, don’t play by those rules.

    They deported him and then used their hired Washingtion DC lobbyist, Lanny Davis, to link Zelaya to the boogie man Chavez. This is all propaganda, and there is nothing legal about it.

    Shame on Hillary. What a lying hypocrite she is.

  • 31 Women’s Rights & Reproductive Freedoms Under Attack with Honduran Coup // Nov 16, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    [...] issue that has been brought to my attention regarding the recent posts that Seneca has contributed about the Honduras issue is basic women’s rights. This issue should be particularly appealing to [...]

  • 32 Reyfeo // Nov 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Stephen, quit man, its useless…Anna and Webby are too far left to know, and more importantly admit, when they are wrong.

  • 33 Anna // Nov 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Give up this “right” and “left” thinking. There is only right and wrong. Your head is so scrambled Reyfeo that they have you believing that it’s legal to overthrow a democratically elected president.

  • 34 Reyfeo // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:31 am

    You obviously haven’t been reading any of the proof that Stephen keeps providing…i’ll let it go now.

  • 35 Cockroach People // Nov 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    “both articles are unconvincing. They’ve been passed around for a few months now. The best argument against Micheletti is the Notre Dame piece, which was my question to you. How does the exile invalidate the warrant? It doesn’t. It only gives people like Anna a reason to not “like” it the warrant.”

    Ignoring the self-evident invalidity of the “both articles are unconvincing. They’ve been passed around for a few months now.” attempt at rhetoric, I think stephen completely fails to understand Cassel’s argument. Cassel focuses on the due process of law owed to Zelaya with regard to whether or not he actually violated 239. They do not argue that had it been proven that he violated the law, that the arrest warrant would not be legitimate. They argue that there is no proof that his “opinion-survey” calling for a constituional convention (not a term-extension necessarily) did amount to such a violation in the absence of a legitimate trial. Regardless of the branch issuing the warrant, the claim that he violated 239 has not been proven up, period. In addition, he argues that the idea that the article is self-executing (even in the face of blatant proof) is not enough without a procedural mechanism for implementation (mainly because it is not clear what the procedure is for actual removal in the case where the president does”immediately cease in the exercise of his office.”

    Personally, I think that Zelaya was trying to find a back-door way to sneak in another term which would in fact have violated the Honduran constitution. But as stupid a move as that was, respect for the rule of law AND for basic principles of due process require one to view his removal from power as suspect–again in the absence of an actual adjudication of the matter. The military’s “procedural errors” are quite significant here. The exile is merely the straw that broke the back of public opinion; it’s not the legal reason his removal from power qua “preemptive strike” is unconstitutional.

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