In Latin America, Politics on June 30, 2009 by nllsachair

The world has been troubled by recent events in Honduras, where the President has been ousted by a coup d’etat.  The details of the power grab are murky, and it’s anyone’s guess as to the events leading up to the military takeover.

What seems clear is that President Zelaya was personally and politically invested in eliminating term limits, ala President Chavez, which rankled the military, the legislature, the Supreme Court, and just about every other institution with which the President shares power.  Despite heavy opposition, the President flew in ballots from Venezuela and wanted to go ahead with the referendum, in apparent violation of the Honduran Constitution’s proscription against such votes within 6-months of an election.  In fact, the conflicts on both sides run so deep that the WSJ ran an article reframing the coup as Honduras’s struggle against Chavismo and undemocratic power grabs.

The State Department seems to have been working on mediating the conflict, but ultimately could not prevent the military takeover.  The coup has drawn harsh criticism from around the region, most especially from the White House and Foggy Bottom.  Of course, true to form, President Chavez has promised to overthrow the new government.  In response Obama administration officials advised Honduras to increase their Venezuelan threat level to neon-pink.

A standoff is likely to ensue in the next couple days, especially now that the ousted leader has vowed to return.

Meanwhile, a very interesting (and peaceful) election just took place in Argentina.  It appears as if former President Nestor Kirchner lost his race . . . for Congress.  Huh.


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