Sunday, November 01, 2009

The people of Honduras will decide their president

Honduras has overcome pressure to reinstate its ex-president who was legally removed. There appears to be wide acceptance of having an election rather than forcing Honduras to violate their constitution and reinstate him. Maybe I am assuming that the election follows their constitution. Key to the agreement is senior US Congressman Eliot Engel. This is very good news. It really hurt to see our government taking the questionable approach. Besides, Castro and President-for-life Hugo Chavez were big on it. That alone causes pause. The American, A Magazine of Ideas
After months of bickering among self-interested politicians and self-important foreign meddlers about the June 28 ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, late last night Zelaya accepted a proposal by the interim government under which the supreme court will decide whether the congress can review his removal from office. Although it is quite doubtful that the court and congress—which approved of Zelaya’s removal in the first place—will return him to power, this formula clears away international sanctions and ensures recognition of November 29 elections in which 4.7 million voters will choose a new president and congress. This solution represents a triumph for the Honduran people and their constitution, and it recognizes that Honduras’ future is much more important than Zelaya’s fate. The U.S. State Department and the Organization of American States (OAS) had painted themselves into a corner by suggesting that the international community would not observe or respect these elections unless Zelaya were restored to power. However, a key Democratic congressman—Representative Eliot Engel (D–New York), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere—recently stepped up to state the obvious: the international community should support these elections as a logical solution to the political impasse. Representative Engel noted in an October 21 statement that all of the presidential candidates (including a representative of Zelaya’s own party) had asked OAS to observe the elections. “I urge OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza to grant this request,” Engel said, “so that an effective election monitoring effort can be put into place.” Engel’s leadership forced U.S. and OAS diplomats to back away from their absolutist position and recognize that the upcoming elections were more important than Zelaya’s return to power.

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