Really? A "Coalition Government" for Honduras? Really?

We’ve written before about the ridiculousness of demanding that a legally elected government form a “coalition” with the opponents who are trying to take/keep power by force. Usually, this silliness is limited to the Land of Rape and Lions, but apparently the Obama Administration’s open-mindedness is now bringing it to our Central American friends as well:

“The United States and Europe stepped up pressure on Honduras’ de facto government on Tuesday as deposed President Manuel Zelaya and his supporters called on Washington to pave the way for his return. […]

The U.S. government threw its weight behind Arias’ proposal that Zelaya, who was toppled in a June 28 coup, be reinstated to set up a coalition government.”

Yeah, that’ll teach them a lesson.

(The lesson in question being: “Kids, don’t feel sad if you can’t get into power through legitimate means. Just threaten to destabilize your country, and the international community will give you some for free!”)

Amanda Taub


  1. Forgive my ignorance, I have only briefly read up on this issue, but didn't they remove Zelaya from power (albeit illegally) because he was trying to change the constitution (illegally) in a way that would allow him to essentially be in power for as long as he lives…which I believe (forgive me if i'm wrong again, and I would honestly welcome any corrections) is what Chavez did to Venezuela's constitutionn? So if we're following on that logic, assuming that what I've just said is indeed correct, then it's not a matter of the current de facto government just trying to seize power because they couldn't do it "legally" but rather they were trying to stop the actions of a man who was heading down a dangerous path of absolute power?

  2. my understanding was that, yes, he had done some unconstitutional things, i think (i've not read about this in a few weeks, so i might just be making stuff up) including removing a justice, who he was then forced to reinstate. he (zelaya) was then trying to "change the constitution", essentially by holding a referendum, but i couldn't really tell if anyone took that too seriously as anything other than a general poll, since that was clearly NOT the way to do an amendment, according to their constitution.

    but the point is not whether he was being a bad boy–there's no legal definition of that. the point is that if he did something unconstitutional, that is for the courts to decide, and for whichever body (courts or legislature, i don't know the specifics of honduras) to start on impeachment proceedings. legally, it would probably be best to put him back in power, and then remove him as soon as possible (if it was deemed necessary by the competent authority). politically, there's obviously more to it than that.

    and please be careful with the "he's sorta like chavez in this way and chavez is the antichrist and therefore this guy is beelzebub" analogy. a) the politics of the countries i know well in the region (those on the south american continent) are much more complicated than that; b) evil-ness is not one of the reasons for impeachment in any country that im aware of; and c) chavez has easily one of the most entertaining tv shows i've ever seen, and i'm just not ready to give up on that just yet.

  3. Hi Patrick,

    Not sure if your comment was in response to mine, but I'll respond in any event to clear up some things.

    Thanks for your response, I really was just trying to seek some clarifications on some questions that I had. However, I don't think that I ever said that he's "evil" or that Chavez is the "antichrist"…my feelings on Chavez are mixed as well, and this is coming from a person who lives in a region which has close ties with South America (the Caribbean). Politics are very rarely easily classified as either right or wrong, evil or good, so please don't think that I was a) saying that Zelaya is just like Chavez and as such an evil person to be be impeached, or that b) I was attacking Chavez. My main issue lies within the last line of my first comment "then it's not a matter of the current de facto government just trying to seize power because they couldn't do it "legally"…" – that's where I was mainly seeking clarification.

    As for Chavez and his TV show, I haven't seen it, but I'll take your word that it is entertaining, I would expect no less from him from what I've observed.

  4. "Africa: Land of Rape and Lions"
    I've never noticed that that is one of your commonly used tags before. Oh god, I love you guys. You make me laugh till I cry.

    That's all. I have absolutely nothing substantial to add to A's and Patrick's discussion, sorry. I appreciate your questions, though, A — as I am pretty ignorant about this situation & have lots of questions myself!

  5. Patrick, wasn't the 'root cause' that the Constitution didn't actually provide for impeachment?

    I think that despite the region's bad precedents and all that there is little point in re-instating him. He should be allowed to run in the next elections but that is it.

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