NPR Gets It Wrong On Honduras

Listening to this report on NPR's Morning Edition one would get the impression an authoritarian military junta now ruled in Honduras.

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge in Brazil's embassy. Zelaya was ousted in a June coup but slipped back into Honduras on Monday. (emphasis added)

On June 28, soldiers burst into Zelaya's bedroom and forced him at gunpoint onto a plane and then left him on the tarmac in Costa Rica in his pajamas.

Later that day, the Honduran Congress named Roberto Micheletti president.

Micheletti is demanding that Brazil hand over Zelaya to face criminal charges. Micheletti's administration has said for months that Zelaya would be arrested if he set foot on Honduran soil. Honduran soldiers have surrounded the Brazilian embassy.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the defacto administration that Brazil won't tolerate a breach of its embassy, but he also warned Zelaya not to provoke Honduran security forces into invading the building.

The report makes it sound as if Zelaya was removed during a military coup and that he's trying to get reinstated to his rightful office. The media is playing it up as if he was illegally removed from office. But he wasn't.

He was tried and convicted of violating his country's laws, its constitution, by trying to remain in power even though by law he is allowed to serve only one term as president. He tried to force a referendum to illegally alter the Honduran constitution in such a way that he could have potentially become President-for-Life, just like his buddy Hugo Chavez. The other two branches of the government, the judicial and legislative, saw the move for what it was and it's illegality, impeached him, convicted him, and removed him from office.

Let's repeat the lesson:

Then president Manuel Zelaya tried to force referendum that would have illegally amended the Honduran constitution to make it possible for him to become a defacto dictator. The Honduran Constitution was set up to prevent just such a thing. What's worse, he conspired with a foreign nation, Venezuela, to make this happen. In most nations this is called treason. And in most nations treason is punishable by life imprisonment or death. He broke the law.

The Honduran Congress and Supreme Court followed the law and removed Zelaya using the process as laid out in their constitution. They followed the rule of law.

Now Zelaya's socialist backers, including Chavez, Castro, Morales, and the biggest socialist of all - our own President Obama - want Zelaya returned to office so he can usurp Honduran law and install himself as the next Latin American strong man, wiping away years of democratic reform and turning a free representative democracy modeled after our own into a socialist dictatorship.

Some have complained that Zelaya didn't have a fair trial, but under whose law did he have an unfair trial? Too many of his 'supporters' here in the US seem to think US laws and legal traditions apply. They do not. Only Honduran law applies, period. As the saying goes: different country, different laws.

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