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Honduran Pres, Chavez Pal ‘Arrested’

From an outraged Associated Press:

Secretary: Soldiers arrest Honduran president

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — More than a dozen soldiers arrested President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn Sunday, his private secretary said. Protesters called it a coup and flocked to the presidential palace as local news media reported that Zelaya was sent into exile.

The chief executive was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding even though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it.

Zelaya was taken into military custody at his house outside the capital, Tegucigalpa, and whisked away to an air force base on the outskirts of the city, his private secretary, Carlos Enrique Reina told The Associated Press.

Tanks rolled through the streets and Army trucks carrying hundreds of soldiers equipped with metal riot shields surrounded the presidential palace in the capital’s center. About 100 Zelaya supporters, many wearing "Yes," T-shirts for the referendum, blocked the main street outside the gates to the palace, throwing rocks and insults at soldiers and shouting "Traitors! Traitors!"

It was not immediately clear who was running the government. Soldiers appeared to be in control, but the constitution mandates that the head of Congress is next in line to the presidency, followed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Neither military nor presidential officials have said who’s in charge.

Honduras has a history of military coups: Soldiers overthrew elected presidents in 1963 and again in 1972. The military did not turn the government over to civilians until 1981, under U.S. pressure.

"We’re talking about a coup d’etat," labor leader and Zelaya ally Rafael Alegria told Honduran radio Cadena de Noticias. "This is regrettable."

Alegria said that shots were fired during the president’s arrest "but we really don’t know much about what happened."

Outside Zelaya’s residence, a police officer who would not identify himself by name told the AP that soldiers had disarmed Zelaya’s security guards but there was no violence or injuries.

Honduran radio station HRN reported that Zelaya had been sent into exile, citing unidentified "trustworthy sources."

The radio announcer said it was not known to what country he had been taken but "apparently he flew on the presidential plane to Venezuela."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro have both expressed support for Zelaya.

Zelaya’s constitutional successor, Congressional President Roberto Micheletti, has been one of the president’s main opponents in the dispute over whether to hold the referendum. The head of the Supreme Court was also opposed to Sunday’s election. The nonbinding referendum was to ask voters if they want to hold a vote during the November presidential election on whether to convoke an assembly to rewrite the constitution.

It appeared pretty certain that the vote would no longer take place.

Zelaya supporters who would have cast their ballots in favor of the referendum instead stood outside the gates to the presidential palace to protest his arrest.

"They kidnapped him like cowards," screamed Melissa Gaitan, 21, an employee of the official government television station, as tears streamed down her face. "We have to rally the people to defend our president."

Alegria added, "We demand respect for the president’s life. And we will go out into the streets to defend what this has cost us: living in peace and tranquility."

In typical fashion, the Associated Press has artfully omitted vital information about Mr. Zelaya’s political leanings, and the purpose of this referendum.

The AP neglected to mention that Mr. Zelaya called this referendum in an effort to change Honduras’ constitution in order to allow himself to be re-elected. The current constitution prohibits a president from serving more than a single term.

The referendum was ruled un-constitutional by Honduras’s highest court. But Mr. Zelaya rejected the ruling and fired Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, the head of Honduras’s armed forces when he refused to help with the referendum.

Does this not sound strangely familiar? It is more or less what Mr. Chavez did in Venezuela just a few short months ago.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Zelaya is a big fan of Mr. Chavez.  He has aped his hero in many ways, including aligning Honduras with the Marxist ‘Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.’

He has also imitated Mr. Chavez in his rhetorical attacks on the United States, and his efforts to control Honduras’ private businesses.

Indeed, like Mr. Chavez, Mr. Zelaya has even sought to take over all the Honduran television and radio stations "to carry government information for two hours a day." A project that quickly failed.

Funny how the AP left out these minor details.

Never the less, let’s hope that this coup is a sign of a re-awakening in South America.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, June 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Honduran Pres, Chavez Pal ‘Arrested’”

  1. bronzeprofessor says:

    From what I have seen, the US (quasi)intelligentsia has fallen in love with Latin America’s Left. They treat the Latin American Left the way they would treat a bright 10-year-old prodigy, failing to see anything wrong with what they do, and excusing every sin they commit as part of their brilliance.

    This is why I have always believed that American liberals were wrong to say Bush was like a cowboy — leftists are actually playing cowboy with other countries all the time, and they see Latin America as a playground. While I do think some socialist policies that would not make sense in the United States might occasionally be necessary in Latin America given the latter’s social conditions, I do not want temperamental leaders who throw tantrums, and I would be grateful if sources like the AP stopped patting such leaders’ head as if we were all children.

    Thanks for the post. :)

  2. Helena says:

    “He has also imitated Mr. Chavez in his rhetorical attacks on the United States, and his efforts to control Honduras’ private businesses.”

    I wish it were only Hugo he imitated.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    It sure the hell didn’t take long for o-blah-blah to weigh in on this little gem!

    “President Barack Obama said he was “deeply concerned” by Zelaya’s expulsion and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the arrest should be condemned.
    “I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” Obama’s statement read.” (from AP & AOL)

    This guy (o-blah-blah) is just too much. “.. respect democratic norms, the rule of law ..”

    Ya gotta be kidding me!!! Like he does?!?!? Whatta joke!!! Whatta phony!!!

  4. retire05 says:

    Read this crap:


    While Iranians died in the streets of Tehran demanding their right to a free and fair election, Obama did want to “meddle”,. yet he had no problem trying to keep a Chevez-styled dictator in office.

  5. canary says:

    I’m stunned Obama and Hillary meddled in this, and defended the tyrant. It’s obvious now they have the most in common with power no matter what. Makes that feeling Obama will never cease, a reality. You can judge a someone by their friends is a long on-going process for Obama who will never change his spots.

  6. Steve says:

    From Reuters:

    Chavez threatens military action over Honduras coup

    Sun Jun 28, 2009

    By Frank Jack Daniel and Enrique Andres Pretel

    CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on Sunday put his troops on alert over a coup in Honduras and said he would respond militarily if his envoy to the Central American country was killed or kidnapped.

    Chavez said Honduran soldiers took away the Cuban ambassador and left the Venezuelan ambassador on the side of a road after beating him during the army’s coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

    The Honduran army ousted Zelaya and exiled him on Sunday in Central America’s first military coup since the Cold War, after he upset the army by trying to win re-election.

    Chavez, on state television, said if the Venezuela ambassador was killed, or troops entered the Venezuela embassy, “that military junta would be entering a defacto state of war, we would have to act militarily.” He said,”I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert.”

    The socialist Chavez leads a group of leftist countries that includes the government of Honduras and he has in the past threatened military action in the region but never followed through.

    Chavez said that if a new government is sworn in after the coup it would be defeated.

    “We will bring them down, we will bring them down, I tell you,” he said…


  7. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    If our founding fathers were alive today, Obama, Hillary, and their similarly minded idiots would harshly condemn them and state that Ol’ King George wasn’t such a bad guy. They would see no wrong in the oppressive tax acts or quartering troops in a private residence against the wishes of the homeowner. The left always seems to back the wrong horse. Chavez is nothing but a tin pot dictator who in his expansionist dreams is unaware of how he’s spreading his influence and money dangerously thin.

  8. texaspsue says:

    Seems as though this “Freedom” thing might be catching on after all. Interesting!

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Uh-oh, looks like El Guapo is sore now. “You WILL die like dogs!”

  10. Steve says:

    From the UK’s Times:

    Honduras supreme court ‘ordered army coup’

    Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras, was arrested by the army in a coup ordered by the country’s supreme court.

    By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent
    28 Jun 2009

    Some 200 soldiers surrounded the president’s residence in the east of the capital Tegucigalpa, disarming 10 members of the president’s personal bodyguard.

    “Today’s events originate from a court order by a competent judge. The armed forces, in charge of supporting the constitution, acted to defend the state of law and have been forced to apply legal dispositions against those who have expressed themselves publicly and acted against the dispositions of the basic law,” the country’s highest court said…


    Meanwhile, our brilliant Secretary Of State, is saying Honduras must re-instate Zelaya and abide by the constitution.

    From the Associated Press:

    Hillary Clinton urges condemnation of Honduran action

    June 28, 2009

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the action taken against Honduras’ president should be condemned by everyone.

    She says Honduras must embrace the principles of democracy and respect constitutional order.

    The president, Manuel Zelaya, was flown to Costa Rica after being taken into military custody at his house outside the Honduran capital.

    He was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding. The Supreme Court had ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it…


    What a dangerous buffoon.

    Of course she has never met a communist thug dictator she didn’t like.

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