Two questions on Honduras:
Zelaya had asked President Barack Obama to revoke U.S. visas for the coup leaders and he quickly welcomed the move.
The ousted president of Honduras reportedly asked President Obama to revoke the diplomatic visas of members of interim President Roberto Micheletti’s de facto government.
Manuel Zelaya, who was removed from office on June 28 and has now retreated to the mountains of Nicaragua to organize a “resistance,” according to the Central American News Agency, reportedly sent a letter to Obama asking him to ramp up the pressure on the interim government and calling for the “revocation of visas” to those involved in his ouster, and the freezing of bank accounts.
The Zelaya letter reportedly names officials against whom the ousted president wanted action taken, including General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, the head of the armed forces who was fired by Zelaya on June 25 for refusing to use the military to press forward with a referendum deemed illegal by the country’s highest court.
The number of individuals named in the letter is unknown. The list also includes Micheletti.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed at Tuesday’s news briefing that four diplomatic visas had been revoked by the U.S. Kelly did not name names, but the deputy foreign minister of Honduras’s de facto government confirmed that one of the visas belonged to Judge Jose Tomas Arita Valle, the chairman of the 16-member supreme court who signed the ruling ordering the detention of President Manuel Zelaya.
Honduras newspaper La Tribuna posted a copy of the letter sent to the judge, dated July 28. Arita Valle is notified in the letter that from the date marked, his diplomatic visa has been “revoked and lacks validity to enter to the United States of America.”
“I believe it is a correct measure, as I understand it, with the aim of sending a message to Honduran society that the State Department and the government of Obama are not supporting this interruption of the democratic order in the country,” Zelaya told Venezuelan network TeleSUR in response to the news that visas had been revoked.
Zelaya urged additional measures by the administration “to give a very clear demonstration of its repudiation of this coup d’etat.”
As Ed asks,
Obviously, this does represent a “turning of the screw,” but Americans have a right to know who ordered it, and why. Is the hand on the screwdriver Barack Obama’s? Or is it the hand of a wanna-be tinpot dictator who tried to seize power illegally in Honduras, and wants the US to seize it for him now?
Ambassador Otto Reich asks,
Foreign Policy and Good Intentions
Is the Obama administration prepared to accept the consequences of returning an undemocratic, corrupt, and anti-American strongman to power in Honduras?
With the best of intentions, the Obama administration put enormous pressure on the de facto Honduran government headed by the former head of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti. The United States insisted on restoring to power the former strongman, Manuel Zelaya because, it said, Zelaya was elected democratically, removed illegally by the military, and thus Micheletti’s government was illegitimate. What the United States said was inaccurate and the resulting policy was naive.
Zelaya was elected democratically, but like so many Latin strongmen, once in power he ruled undemocratically. In his elected autocracy, Zelaya joined a group of famous Latin American presidents: Juan Peron (Argentina), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), Jean Bertrand Aristide (Haiti), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), among others.
Moreover, following Kirkpatrick’s prediction, Zelaya had taken Honduras into an anti-American alliance, the so-called Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas, or ALBA, created by Castro and Chavez. ALBA’s purpose is to oppose U.S. “hegemony” in this hemisphere by creating a cartel of undemocratic “21st Century Socialist” governments in the model of Castro’s Cuba. In addition to Cuba and Venezuela, ALBA includes only Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua, plus three energy-starved Caribbean island nations, which have been coerced into joining by Chavez’s petroleum extortions (“You join, and I’ll subsidize your energy; you don’t and you pay world prices”).
While we’re asking questions, Reps. Bilbray, Mack find answers on Honduras trip:
Two GOP lawmakers returned from a weekend trip to Honduras with a heightened understanding of the presidential crisis there — and a proposal for its resolution.
Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) told The Hill that a presidential candidate from ousted President Manuel Zelaya’s own Liberal Party gave the visiting congressmen the proposal, which Bilbray is going to ask the Obama administration to accept. Under the offer, interim President Roberto Micheletti would voluntarily step down and leadership of the country would go to constitutional succession. However, if Zelaya returned to face charges and was then acquitted, he could return to office.
Is the Obama administration going to wait for Zelaya’s answer in order to make a statement on that proposal?
While we wait, bear in mind that Zelaya’s still demanding that the Obama administration freeze bank accounts belonging to the people who removed him from power (my translation: if you use this please credit me and link to this post, b ut if you can read Spanish please read the entire article in order to catch the full fetid aroma of Zelaya’s words):
From Nicaragua, where he remains and is organizing a “resistance” movement for returning to Honduras, Zelaya acknowledged to the media that Pres. Obama’s decision to revoke the visas of four Micheletti administration’s officials is “a signal that it does not accept the coup d’etat.”
However, he demanded that Obama “continue to squeeze them by seizing their [US bank] accounts, their money”.
Heck, it worked with the visas.
Four Honduran officials banned from US
Washington’s move is meant to prod coup’s architects to resolve the political crisis.
Obama Backs Imperial Presidency
And coming up, the Zelaya speaking tour. I wonder who’s footing the bill?
Yes, obviously the way to stand up for the rule of law is to punish the judge who signed the arrest warrant—before the supposed coup—by revoking his visa. Because, you know, we as a country must think it a terrible thing when judges enforce the law against the executive branch. (If only Jefferson had thought of this!) And punish the members of the country’s congress, too, while you are at it, even though no one could reasonably dispute their democratic credentials. This is the same Congress that was elected before the “coup.” This petty retaliation is as shameful as it is pointless.