If a coup is defined as an illegal seizure of power, then the Honduran army didn’t stage a coup this past weekend, it prevented one. Every action taken to stop President Zelaya from proceeding with his illegal referendum was done in accordance with the Honduran constitution.
Read this WSJ article from Monday for some background information.
Zelaya was looking to remove the constitutional limits on his retention of power (following in the footsteps of his buddy Hugo Chavez), but the national Congress refused to call an election to put the constitutional amendment to a vote by the people.
Despite the fact that only the legislature could call such an election, Zelaya determined to move forward anyway. The president even whipped up a mob to storm the military installation where the ballots (printed by Venezuela) were stored.
The Supreme Court and the Attorney General – completely within the boundaries of their constitutional power – ordered Zelaya to stand down, but he refused.
It was because of Zelaya’s criminal actions that he was arrested on Sunday morning by troops acting on the orders of the Supreme Court – again, all within the boundaries of their constitutional power.
In light of the foregoing facts, it would be absurd to accuse the military of staging a coup, but the Obama administration has joined the chorus of those making just such an accusation.
I am not at all surprised that Obama would take the side of those who despise the rule of law. His administration has been doing that very thing in our country over the past 5+ months.
UPDATE: The WaPo opines that the Obama administration should continue to push for Zelaya's reinstatement, but adds that the administration should also be bold enough to confront the antidemocratic forces spreading like a cancer throughout Latin America (in Venezuela and Nicaragua, for example) that emboldened Zelaya in the first place.
WaPo seems to imply that confronting the Marxists would be out of character for Obama, and with that sentiment I heartily agree.
(Map credit: geology.com)