Coup in Honduras
Fausta Wertz writing in RealClear World has some details but a lot is unclear at this hour.
What we know is that about 200 Honduran troops surrounded the presidential palace and, according to an aide to President Manuel Zelaya, arrested him and have taken him to a military base where it is rumored he will be flown to Venezuala where he can cry on the shoulder of his buddy Hugo Chavez.
Zelaya was trying to amend the constitution to give him another term. When the Army chief refused to distribute the ballots, he was fired and the other armed forces chiefs resigned in protest. The legislature passed a law making it illegal to hold such a referendum 180 days before or after a an election and the Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal.
Fausta says that didn't stop Zelaya:
Zelaya insists on holding the referendum and refers to these actions as "a technical coup". UN General Assembly president Miguel D'Escoto - the same guy who declared Fidel Castro "the closest thing we have to a saint" - denounced Zelaya's opposition as staging a coup d'etat against Zelaya, a sentiment voiced also by Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega. Hugo Chavez declared that "we are not going to watch with our arms crossed the goings-on in Honduras," and insisted "we will do what we will have to do so the sovereignty of the Honduran people will be respected."
Now the Honduran Congress requested that the Organization of American States withdraw its election observers sent for the Sunday referendum, since their presence would legitimize a vote declared illegal by the Supreme Court.
All the same, Zelaya insists, "Sunday's referendum will not be stopped."
With friends like Castro, Ortega, and Chavez, this coup is a very good turn of events for Honduras and other countries in the region. It might help halt the momentum toward these far left socialist regimes that are ruining economies in central and South America.
However, it might give us pause that the military felt it was necessary to overthrow the civilian government. Hopefully, the army will hand power back to civilians as quickly as possible.