VIDEO Honduras: Micheletti at No Más Chávez demonstration, & reaction to the US State Dept’s action

Micheletti y miles de hondureños marchan contra Chávez en cinco ciudades (Micheletti and thousands of Honduras march against Chávez in five cities).

Reporte especial de Efe TV

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was on the PBS News Hour. Here’s the video:

Mrs Ros-Lehtinen had a near-surreal discussion with Rep. William Delahunt (Dem.), who considers “Honduras and other Central American and Latin American countries” as being “banana republics.” Here’s the transcript:

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: I totally disagree with the way that the Obama administration has been mishandling this situation.

And I find it interesting that one of the statements that the State Department put out, it says that they recognize the complicated set of actions which led to the June 28 coup.

What complicated set of actions? Manuel Zelaya violated the — the Honduran constitution, violated the law that was passed by the Honduran congress, violated the decision, unanimous, 15-0, by the Honduran supreme court, went against every aspect of the rule of law. What’s so complicated about that?

What do you do with a president who wants to maintain himself into power at all costs, no matter if the legislative branch goes against him, if the judicial branch goes against him? And, so, the Honduran government took this action.

And the United States wants to divorce that complicated set of actions as if they didn’t happen. Zelaya was violating the law, violating the constitution. And I think that it’s the wrong-headed approach for the United States to punish the Honduran people and to say that they’re not going to recognize a legitimate election that’s going to take place in late November.

This is a man who won’t take no for an answer, and, yet, we’re supposed to say, let’s restore him to power, nonetheless.

MARGARET WARNER: So, Congressman Delahunt, explain why you think the United States should be supporting Zelaya, who did act certainly extra-legally, or so the supreme court and the congress and Honduras both said?

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, Margaret, I find it somewhat amusing that many of my colleagues on the Republican side must have gone to law school in — in Honduras, because it would appear that they’re constitutional scholars.
But let me be very clear. The — the request or the initiative by Zelaya was not to extend his term. The question that was going to be on the ballot was a nonbinding referendum for the people of Honduras to decide simply this question: Should there be a constituent assembly?
That was it, pure and simple. I think we have to understand the context of Honduran politics. It’s been a country that has been ruled by an economic elite. And, with all due respect to the elections that have been held down there, that economic elite exercises disproportionate influence in that democracy.
In the past — and I dare say at times now — it would be fair to describe Honduras as a banana republic.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Oh, my gosh.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We can’t go backward.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: What an insult. What an insult. That is…

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: We — well, you can…

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Shame on you, Bill.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Ileana, let me — please, don’t say that.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: A banana republic, that’s just great. What an insult to the Honduran people.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well, you don’t think that — well, let me — let me ask you this, OK? You would not, in the past, describe Honduras and other Central American and Latin American countries as banana republics?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: No, absolutely not. And I think that’s an insult to the people of Honduras.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Then I dare say that you don’t — you’re not that familiar with Latin America.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: It’s an insult to everyone in Latin America to…

MARGARET WARNER: All right, let me interrupt.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: … to — to label any country as a banana republic.

REP. BILL DELAHUNT: Well…

MARGARET WARNER: Let me ask you both a question. And I want to begin with the congresswoman.

This is a small, impoverished Latin American country, yet it — this issue has generated quite surprising passion on Capitol Hill. Why? Why is Congress so concerned about this tiny country, Congresswoman?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Well, I think that this is about the rule of law.

I don’t think that this is about economic distribution of wealth, whether it’s a large country or a small country, whether it’s a poor country or a rich country. This is a country that — that said very clearly, the president has violated the constitution. You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar or a graduate of a Honduran law school to know that the article of the constitution is quite clear.

You can call it a poll. You can call it a survey. You can call it a referendum. You can call it anything you want. But it was a violation of the Honduran constitution. And I’m not the one that says that. The supreme court, by a 15-0 unanimous decision, said this president is violating the law.

Now, what are the people of Honduras supposed to do…

Here’s a roundup of reaction to the US State Department cutting foreign aid to the country, and even more importantly, the statement that the State Department,

“at this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections.”

Congressman Connie Mack: Obama, Clinton Should Stop Punishing the People of Honduras
Condemns decision to cut aid; urges Secretary of State to restore aid, visa services to Honduras
.


Former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Elliott Abrams writes, Hillary v. Honduras
The Obama administration declares it won’t recognize the results of a free and fair election.

The argument made around the Organization of American States (which is supporting Zelaya) is that elections conducted under the “de facto regime” cannot be considered fair. Really? Every country in Latin America that made a transition from military to civilian rule held elections with the military still in charge, yet we don’t hear the OAS saying all those elections were phony. Just to take one example, in Chile the dictator Augusto Pinochet was not only president when transition elections were held in 1990, he continued on as head of the armed forces for 8 years after that. Such history is forgotten at the OAS when it is convenient, but facts are stubborn things–even in Latin America.

Monica Showalter’s editorial at IBD: Honduran Headache
The U.S. hit Honduras with harsh new sanctions last Thursday, slashing $30 million in aid. Nothing new, but the timing’s strange, given that the rest of the world is starting to normalize ties with the tiny state.
(emphasis added)

Even Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, by whose influence Zelaya tried to make himself dictator, announced on Sept. 1 that he’d given up hope Zelaya would ever return to office. “Regardless of whether Zelaya returns or not . . . Honduras will keep up the fight,” Chavez said. The Venezuelan strongman can read the obvious: game over.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced it wouldn’t initiate trade sanctions on Honduras as it had threatened earlier. It knew the deal and knew its interests.

Thursday, the International Monetary Fund announced it would extend a $150 million loan to Honduras, a sharp shift from the lending cutoff announced by the World Bank after the June 28 ouster of Zelaya. Again, game over, back to business.

The Organization of American States, which egged on Zelaya’s illegal referendum and helped create the crisis, announced it would now focus on avoiding future “coups” — something that, if they were serious, would mean challenging dictators in democracy’s clothing, an unlikely thing. But they, too, are moving on.

This is a big reversal from the days just after the ouster, when it was commonly thought the new government of Roberto Micheletti would cave in to global pressure and reseat Zelaya. At that time, sanctions came fast — as condemnations flowed from a hypocritical U.N., trade with neighbors was cut, ambassadors pulled and visas yanked.

Now it’s just the U.S., browbeaten by the rabid left for being too soft, that’s toughening sanctions and prolonging the crisis.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly underscored that the U.S. has the toughest sanctions of any nation at a press conference last week. That’s nothing to brag about.

We doubt the U.S. will get anything out of this, least of all gratitude from Zelaya. The U.S., by acting virtually alone, will see its influence shrink.

Honduras – a lone fighter in a wilderness of cowards.

Honduran government responds

Zelaya and the lies you don’t hear in English

Election Time “Not Ripe” Says Insulza

Why Honduras matters more and more.

Visas for Cubans but not Hondurans

Special thanks to Dick, Maggie, and other contributors who sent the links.

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21 Responses to “VIDEO Honduras: Micheletti at No Más Chávez demonstration, & reaction to the US State Dept’s action”

  1. Tweets that mention Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » VIDEO Honduras: Micheletti at No Más Chávez demonstration, & reaction to the US State Dept’s action -- Topsy.com Says:

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  2. DaMav Says:

    It’s good to see Ileana Ros-Lehtinen offer such a spirited and competent defense of Honduras in this matter. I can’t help but wonder at the outrage that would ensue from the Big Liberal Media if a Republican called Honduras a “banana republic”. Just Google “banana republic racist” to get a dose of the ruffled feathers from the left when this ‘white racist’ term is applied. Let alone when it is misapplied.

    I wish only that more Republicans were assailing the Administration on our disgraceful treatment of Honduras. Please join me in writing or calling your Republican Congressmen and asking them to speak out.

    Great job as always, Fausta

  3. ewetender Says:

    This a**hole is just another Chavez supporter. The following says it all, free oil for Honduran and Columbian blood.
    Boston Globe
    Campaign Notebook
    December 27, 2007
    US Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a leading foreign policy voice in the Democratic Party, will endorse Barack Obama for president today, saying he believes the senator will repair the image of the United States overseas.

    “If Barack Obama is elected president, I daresay America will present a new face to the world, will restore, simply by his election, hope – not just within the United States, but from all corners of the world, that America’s claim to moral authority is back on track and that our leadership in world affairs will see a renaissance,” Delahunt told the Globe.

    Obama opposed the Iraq war from the start, Delahunt noted, while veteran lawmakers voted to authorize force. Delahunt said he was also influenced by Obama’s stated willingness – criticized by the Clinton campaign – to meet with rogue world leaders. Delahunt has met with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, negotiating a deal for home heating oil for his constituents from a Latin American leader who once referred to President Bush as “the devil.”

  4. Kathy Says:

    How embarrassing for the people of the United States to have a Congressman so obviously uninformed and so callous to speak to a Honduran the way he did. I am in no way a Constitutional scholar but have read the Honduran Constitution. It is incredibly clear what laws that Mr. Zelaya broke and what the Constitution requires as a punishment for breaking the laws he did. For Mr. Delahunt to insinuate that the entire Honduran Supreme Court as well as U.S. Republican leaders cannot understand the Honduran Constitution is incredibly dense. How hard would it have been for him to read the Honduran Constitution before his interview? It would have taken him but a few minutes. It is that simple and articulate. However, what is even better-articulated by his behavior is that he could not be bothered with facts. He prefers blindly to toe the Democrat party line, which without question dismisses the rule the law. If that is his attitude toward the Honduran Constitution, I must imagine that he has no respect for the U. S. Constitution either – unless of course in the rare occasion it suits his political purposes. His behavior and lack of respect for law should disqualify him from being a law-maker.

    Clearly Mr. Delahunt prefers the socialist dictatorship ambitions of Chavez and Zelaya over the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. I, for one, expect higher standards from U. S. leaders, however his failure to meet ANY standards makes him an embarrassment and a hack. I know he is not, but he should be ashamed of himself.

  5. Pat Patterson Says:

    Especially as the original pejorative was demeaning but it referred to the over reliance many Central American and South American countries had on being commodity nations. Where it was easy for the landed elite to monopolize income but were always at the mercy of the cyclical nature of demand. But by that reasoning then it would only be fair to describe Canada, Australia, Malayasia, and a few dozen more as “banana republics,” because the rely on commodity exports.

  6. boxer Says:

    Pat Petterson (because the rely on commodity exports.) is just one example of where your spelling is just shit once again proves that you are generally wrong. Your example here negates the complexity of the Aussie economy and “the great leap forward” that we have taken since industrialisation. While it is true that Australia has not experienced economic recession due to raw material export, you seem unaware of the fact that we created the worlds 1st viral (flu) vaccine, bionic ear and even done the worlds 1st teleportation.

  7. boxer Says:

    Pat Petterso this is just one example of where you are wrong. Your example here you negate the complexity of the Aussie economy and “the great leap forward” that we have taken since industrialisation. While it is true that Australia has not experienced economic recession due to raw material export, you seem unaware of the fact that we created the worlds 1st viral (flu) vaccine, bionic ear and even done the worlds 1st teleportation. Hence it is most unlikely we will ever be a “Bannana Republic” and any “Latin American” economy that makes such a move could never fall backward either….as Venezuela will not as it’s oil is industrialised??

  8. boxer Says:

    sorry kinda sent similar message twice….we country folk will get it one day

  9. boxer Says:

    It is simply wrong to support the Honduran constitution as it was written under a military dictatorship…….

    put simply just have a 4th ballot.

    Australia had the worlds 1st secret ballot and that did not hurt us one bit!!!

  10. boxer Says:

    we even have teleportation now…..that’s way cool!!!

  11. boxer Says:

    P.S. I’m a huge Chaves supporter and will be till he loses an election!!

  12. radio america honduras | Latest News | Hot News | Recent News Says:

    […] VIDEO Honduras: Micheletti at No Mas Chavez demonstration, &… […]

  13. Pat Patterson Says:

    The Constitution of Honduras was adopted one week after the military junta gave up power as it was designed to usher in a democracy with the army essentially downsized and now strictly subservient to the new Constituion. The very nature of constitutions is to replace one form of government with another but in socialist countries and other totalitarian countries they merely safeguard the perogatives of the existing state and not the people. Should we judge the Constitution of Australia the same way as merely an extension of English rule since Victoria signed it because after it was approved in the body of an act of Parliament?

  14. boxer Says:

    De Ja Vu. Our first encounter was based around this same issue: that while the military was gone/going the parliament was elected in 1980, and lacked any socialist content. A clear political current of the time. Hence it was not a democratic system and I’m looking forward to a fourth ballot box in Honduras. Yes we should judge the constitution of Australia the same way, it should be as flexible as a third, fourth, fifth, sixth or any number of ballots that it takes to get it right (the second ballot being the Senate, which it may interest you to know is not constitutionally guaranteed here but rather exists by grace of the lower house). We are the only Western country to not have a “bill of rights”. We could be a unicameral Parliament with one vote in the Lower House, any day.

    If you think that the Australian system is not simply a continuation of “British” rule then you are very confused. Our head of state is the Governor General and he/she is the queen’s/king’s representative.

    It may also interest you to know that Cuba meets the international requirements for democracy, as does Venezuela.

  15. boxer Says:

    btw your grammar gets a bit sloppy in entry #12 (as mine does all the time). Are you referring to Queen Victoria in this entry or the State of Victoria? If you are referring to Queen Victoria she/this was an horrendous time for democracy. I’d like to draw your attention to the “Charterists” of the Victorian age and the mass murder that ensued. However a finer point may be that of “Why do you think all the housing from the Victorian era in the U.K. looks the same”? As her Majesty declared in 1971 (not verbatim) “We must build this housing in order that the working class does not become revolutionary”…..hmmmmm. A bit scared of Marx I see. Like Obama is now, and like Marx predicted, “The Bourgeois will always make concession to stave off revolution”.

  16. boxer Says:

    Sorry should read “As Her Majesty declared in 1871″ although given the crisis of capital in the early 1970’s (see Fidel Castro’s book “Capitalism in Crisis”) no real difference despite 100yrs of history!!!!

  17. Pat Patterson Says:

    IBD posted an opinion piece that argues that as America engages in even more useless acts towards Honduras the rest of the world has basically adjusted to the status quo. The IMF just announced that they would loan Honduras $150 million which is 5 times more than the US reneged on. Most telling is that Chavez a few days ago stated that Zelaya will probably never return as president. “Even Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, by whose influence Zelaya tried to make himself dictator, announced on Sept. 1 that he’d given up hope Zelaya would ever return to office. “Regardless of whether Zelaya returns or not . . . Honduras will keep up the fight,” Chavez said. The Venezuelan strongman can read the obvious: game over.

    http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=336955160324173

  18. Joche Says:

    Zelaya: “I gave 90 million lempiras of public money to the Armed Forces to finance the Fourth Urn and they haven’t given it back – they are naughty little boys!”

    Audit Office: “And who authorised this 90 million lempiras of public money?”

    Zelaya: “Um…um…um…”

    Zelaya – pathetic liar, pathetic thief, pathetic President.

  19. Pat Patterson Says:

    That’s “…pathetic [ex] president,” if you please!

  20. Joche Says:

    You are correct! :-)

  21. Honduran Jorge Rivera Aviles Micheletti Replacement? Zelaya Misuse of Public Funds « Daily News Says:

    […] also recommend two articles: Fausta at Fausta’s Blog – a post from September 5th and a really interesting discussion between two U.S. […]