Brave little Honduras has become the modern David, teaching the Goliath nations of our time an inspiring message about the power of freedom, and the endurance of democratic capitalism when faced with formidable obstacles. The recent free elections in the Central American nation have ended a prolonged crisis when its elected president decided to defy the Honduran constitution and stay in power beyond the time legitimately allowed.
When he did this, he not only violated a specific constitutional law, he automatically defaulted on his claim to office. To their credit, the Honduran congress and supreme court acted promptly to remove him, per the constitutional mandate, and replace him with an interim government headed by someone from his own party.
They did make one mistake, however. Instead of jailing the deposed president and trying him for his crime, the interim government acted wisely and humanely by sending him out of the country. They did this to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, and to ease the transition to a new government following an immediately-scheduled free election.
Apparently, acting wisely and humanely is not a good course in today’s world. Sr. Zelaya, the deposed president, is a neo-Marxist, anti-democratic politician who sought to establish a totalitarian regime in Honduras, imitating the regimes of his friends and allies in Cuba, Venzeuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. He took advantage of the generosity of the Honduran interim government to try to bully his way back to power, using misinformation and other propaganda to assist him. There was no surprise when his totalitarian friends backed him, alleging wrongly that a military coup had removed him, but there was a surprise when U.S. President Obama joined this unholy cabal to call for his reinstatement. The financial influence of the U.S. over Honduras is immense, and many observers in the U.S. and world media expected the interim government (and the majority of the Honduran people who backed it) to cave in.
But brave little Honduras did not cave in. The interim government acted impeccably and kept their promise to hold the immediate election. Sr. Zelaya called on his supporters to boycott the election, but the voter turnout was apparently greater than the previous election in which Zelaya had won! The candidate from Zelaya’s party lost, but he acted graciously and patriotically in embracing the victor, a conservative farmer/businessman who won with more than 50% of the large turnout. The various international organizations and leaders which had supported Zelaya were faced by an undisputedly fair and free election, and many of them have now rallied to the president-elect.
The usual totalitarian suspects, of course, still make laughable claims for Sr. Zelaya. President Lula of Brazil, an emerging and successful new economic power in South America, unfortunately has continued his support of Zelaya, disappointing many of his own Brazilian supporters, as well as his admirers in the rest of the world. As long as he continues to do so, and to shelter Sr. Zelaya in its embassy in Tegucigalpa, Brazil is wasting a superb opportunity to show that its recent economic success (as a capitalist democracy) merits leadership in the political life of the Western Hemisphere.
The free world owes the congress, supreme court and interim government of Honduras a very large debt for its courageous leadership, and the Honduran people for their indomitable resistance to threatening tyranny.
Meanwhile, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have wisely accepted the reality of Honduran politics, and finally broken with their totalitarian co-conspirators. They have endorsed the election results, and say they will resume normal relations with Honduras.
The U.S. radical left, of course, is disappointed. But even the Old Media, which had apologized and rationalized the original U.S. policy, is rapidly reversing itself. Perhaps most notable of this phenomenon is the current and embarrassing attempt by that lame duck of American journalism, The Washington Post, to fill its op ed columns and editorials with absurd “Animal Farm” revisionism that claims the Obama policy was right all along. Since I am a long-time admirer of the outstanding Post media critic Howard Kurtz, I hope he is allowed to write about this latest lapse of journalistic integrity and credibility at his newspaper.