Obama administration is leading undemocratic force in Americas

What’s the Obama administration thinking?

A close ally of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez sits barricaded in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, having been lawfully convicted of attempting a slow-motion coup in the country. Paid bands of his rent-a-thugs are terrorizing and looting the city.

And the Obama administration is effectively cheering them on.

It all began this summer when Honduras President Manuel Zelaya was deposed and deported following his attempt to subvert the country’s constitution.

In a part of the world where strongmen — or caudillos — too often use democratic means to gain power but then refuse to relinquish it, Honduras’ Constitution strictly prohibits changing its presidential term-limit provision.

By all accounts — including a report issued recently by the independent Congressional Research Service — Honduran authorities acted legally and constitutionally in ordering and carrying out the ouster. 

Zelaya ignored repeated rulings by the country’s Supreme Court that his actions were illegal, and he was only arrested and deported after the high court (on which a majority of the justices are from Zelaya’s party) ruled it necessary.

Another reason Honduran officials acted so quickly and decisively against Zelaya is his close relationship with Chavez.  

Under Zelaya, Honduras had entered into an anti-American alliance with Chavez called the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. Its reason for being is to oppose United States “hegemony” and create Latin American authoritarian governments on the model of Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

The Obama administration’s reaction to Honduras’ attempt to stand athwart this anti-democratic tide in Latin America has been shocking and inexplicable.

Perhaps most inexplicable has been the Obama administration’s pronouncement that it will not accept the results of the presidential election scheduled for November as long as Zelaya is denied the presidency.

The Obama administration should reverse itself and announce that it will accept the results of the November elections. If they refuse to do so, the Senate should support Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., effort to block confirmation of Obama’s assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs until the administration changes its mind.

Without the backing of the U.S., Zelaya and his thuggish followers will be less emboldened. The elections can proceed peacefully. The rule of law can prevail in Honduras. And we can stop asking ourselves, what is the Obama administration thinking?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has published 19 books, including 10 fiction and nonfiction best-sellers. He is the founder of the Center for Health Transformation and chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future. For more information, visit www.newt.org. His exclusive column for The Examiner appears Fridays.

 

Obama administrationOp EdsOpinionUS

Just Posted

A man walks past the main entrance to the Hotel Whitcomb at Eighth and Market streets on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Closing hotels could disconnect hundreds from critical health care services

‘That baseline of humanity and dignity goes a long way’

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The remnants of trees burned by the Dixie Fire near Antelope Lake, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. (Christian Monterrosa/The New York Times)
California’s wildfires invisible effect: high carbon dioxide emissions

This summer California fires emitted twice as much CO2 as last year

Latinos are dying at a lower rate than white and Black people in California. However, Latinos have had the sharpest increase in the death rate in the last month, rising from 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people in August to 4 per 100,000 in September. (iStock)
Who’s dying in California from COVID-19?

In recent months, those who are dying are younger

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Most Read