Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yay Coups

Chances are, you fall into one of the following camps: (1)You support the coup, (2)you don't support the coup, (3)or you flat out don't care. I'm guessing the latter is already full. REGARDLESS, the stance taken by the United States is sending a message when it comes to Latin American coups.
Initially, when Manuel Zelaya was ousted (in his PJs no less), the U.S. condemned the coup. Shortly thereafter a senior U.S. official said that Washington recognized only Zelaya as president. Months later, a "democratic" election is held and Porfirio Lobo is elected president. Now, the U.S. approves...
Put this another way: I'm a disgruntled movement in a Latin American country and hope to one day come to power. BUT, I'm afraid that the U.S. won't like me anymore. You're telling me that all I have to do is hold an election where my opponent tells its would be voters to stay home because their vote would legitimize the elections. You're kidding right? Sign me up...
This past Wednesday, the Honduran congress upheld the coup with a vote of 111 to 14. Minds were made up before this vote even took place. Honduras has been suffering from crippling sanctions, so politicians were eager to get back some sense of normality, regardless of what message that might be sending. Justifications also included that reinstating Zelaya would be admitting some sort of wrong doing. So now it's a pride issue? Why would the Honduran congress not strike a deal with Zelaya that goes something like this: Zelaya would be allowed to return to power with the premise of fresh elections being held in January. This way, Zelaya returns peacefully to Honduras, new elections are held and the people avoid the wrath of economic sanctions. I'm pretty sure this was on the table at one point. What was wrong with this idea?
I realize that the U.S. supports and represses a plethora of coups. In fact, Chavez has been calling for an investigation of the CIA in its role of the Honduran coup. The fact still remains that the U.S. may be sending unintended messages in its newly found support of Lobo. The funny thing about this is the condemnation of Zelaya for violating the constitution when, weeks after the coup, the de facto government acknowledged that they violated the constitution by deporting Zelaya in the first place. The more I learn about this story, the more I realize that it doesn't add up. The point is that the U.S. should be prudent in its support or ("and" in this case) opposition to would be coups, and the implications that go along with them.

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