Why won’t the Obama administration support the upcoming Honduran elections?

Jim DeMint, who, as you may recall traveled to Honduras last week in spite of John Kerry’s political blackmail, writes in today’s Wall Street Journal about his trip to Honduras:

What I Heard in Honduras
Our ambassador is the only person I met there who thinks there was a ‘coup.’ Let’s release the State Department legal analysis.

While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya’s abuses of presidential power—and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chávez—is not only overwhelming but uncontroverted.

As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on.

The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras’s one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya’s removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya’s former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.

Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. Almost.

In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya’s ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.

Llorens bases his opinion on an undisclosed report by Harold Koh,

When I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a “coup,” he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department’s top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh’s report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denied.

Andy McCarthy writes about Koh,

As Ed Whelan and I pointed out when Koh was up for confirmation, the former Yale Law School dean is the nation’s leading transnationalist. He has zero respect for national constitutions (including ours), preferring a post-sovereign order in which international law profs, transnational organizations, and free-lancing judges will be our overlords. What is happening with Honduras is exactly what anyone who familiarized himself with Koh’s record would have predicted. Yet, he was confirmed by a 62-35 margin, with support from the usual GOP suspects: Lugar, Voinovich, Snowe, Collins, and Martinez.

Why isn’t Koh’s report made available to DeMint, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

DeMint continues

On the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya’s ouster. (It’s on the Internet here.)

Unlike the Obama administration’s snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic’s James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama’s hastily decided Honduras policy is now “a mistake in search of a rationale.”

The Obama administration has not explained why it will reject the upcoming election,

So far, the Obama administration has ignored these requests and instead has repeatedly doubled down. It’s revoked the U.S. travel visas of President Micheletti, his government and private citizens, and refuses to talk to the government in Tegucigalpa. It’s frozen desperately needed financial assistance to one of the poorest and friendliest U.S. allies in the region. It won’t release the legal basis for its insistence on Mr. Zelaya’s restoration to power. Nor has it explained why it’s setting aside America’s longstanding policy of supporting free elections to settle these kinds of disputes.

But these elections are the only way out—a fact even the Obama administration must see. The Honduran constitution prohibits Zelaya’s return to power. The election date is set by law for Nov. 29. The elections will be monitored by international observers and overseen by an apolitical body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, whose impartiality and independence has been roundly praised, even by Ambassador Llorens.

Even Bill Clinton’s former White House Counsel has spoken in favor of the elections.

Inexplicably, the Obama administration continues to insist on Zelaya’s reinstatement.


Hat tip: Dan Collins.

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7 Responses to “Why won’t the Obama administration support the upcoming Honduran elections?”

  1. Tweets that mention Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Why won’t the Obama administration support the upcoming Honduran elections? -- Topsy.com Says:

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  2. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » It Helps to Read What one is Citing Says:

    […] same mistake is made  by Fausta and jdamn @The Astute […]

  3. WestWright Says:

    ANother trait of Narccissism is the inability to acknowledge one may be wrong…this is an example just like BO’s refusal to acknowledge the success of the surge in Iraq or the failure of the stimulus billions to create jobs. It well get worse!

  4. Obi's Sister Says:

    What WestWright said above, plus

    1. Zelaya is someone Obama (or the left – they are one and the same) can control
    2. BO is loathe to admit that democracy frees people from tyranny.
    3. Their election is not one he can steal…for now.

  5. ewetender Says:

    Obama is repaying his debit to the international unions. The teachers union in Honduras is on strike until Zelaya is returned to office. If there are any doubts where Obama’s allegiance lies check this link.

  6. Sunday links - Maggie's Farm Says:

    […] Chavez' side? Why won't the O support Hondauran elections? Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:31 | Comments (0) | […]

  7. Pat Patterson Says:

    Maybe we should take seriously the Obama Administration’s oft stated promise of working with international bodies. Even when those bodies are wrong.