As President Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, try to arrive on the same page as far as their thoughts on the situation on the ground in Honduras goes, let's look at what happened.
President Mel Zelaya, protege of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, overstepped his authority and the people were not given a voice. Zelaya tried to change the Honduran Constitution, which is allowable if he had bothered to follow the law of the land. He was required to use a national referendum to call a constituent assembly. This has to be approved by Congress. Zelaya declared the vote and asked his mentor, Hugo Chavez, to provide the shipment of ballots from Venezuela.
Hondurans rebelled. The Supreme Court declared the referendum unconstitutional. The military was instructed to not carry out the logistics of the vote, according to an article by Mary Anastasia O'Grady in The Wall Street Journal online. The General who told Zelaya the military had to comply was fired. The Supreme Court ordered that he be reinstated. Zelaya refused the ruling.
Zelaya called together a mob of supporters who distributed the ballots even though the decision that the referendum vote was illegal. Zelaya was arrested by the military Saturday and flown to Costa Rica.
The thugs called this a coup. This term was taken up by the media and even by our own President and Secretary of State. The facts do not bear this out. President Obama is busy calling this "illegal" while, in fact, it was the democratically elected leader of Honduras who was doing the illegal act.
Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama offered statements that were not exactly on the same page. Clinton was far more measured than Obama in stating that this is not an ordinary 'coup' and that the situation is fluid.
The military was carrying out the order from the Supreme Court. The President was defying the rule of law. Roberto Micheletti has been sworn in as President. He was previously in an office equivalent to that of our Speaker of the House.
U.S. diplomats have been quietly working behind the scenes for several weeks to try to discourage a 'coup' and the violence that followed. Unfortunately they were not successful and the military carried out its orders.
Why is it so difficult for President Obama to stand up for freedom and the people demanding it? First, as a presidential candidate, he let down the people of Georgia against Russia; next it was the people in the streets of Tehran and other cities in Iran; and now it is the voter in Hondura. This is disturbing. The leader of the free world is expected to be stronger than that.
It is as though Obama considers his standing - his popularity - with the OAS as the most important consideration. The fact is that OAS is corrupt and has even allowed Cuba into its organization. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza was encouraged by Zelaya to allow Cuba as a member. Insulza does not seem to be concerned about Zelaya's power grab.
Clinton said Honduras should be "condemned by all" Sunday before she took a more measured stance today. Maybe she is realizing the side for which she should champion.
Maybe she can clue in our President. Honduras does not have to go the route of Venezuela.