DEMOCRACY-NO COUP- why won’t Obama listen? July 29, 2009Posted by ramosy in Law.
Tags: Constitution, Democracy, No Coup, Obama
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Diplomacy: The U.S. revoked visas of four Honduran officials, claiming that a coup occurred there. But if they could travel, the Hondurans could educate Americans otherwise. So why are we trying to silence them?
Nobody pushes “dialogue” or “citizen diplomacy” more than the U.S. Department of State. So how can it justify revoking the visas on these Hondurans in what a department spokesman confirmed Tuesday as “a turning of the screw.”
The Hondurans targeted are the very ones whose presence would be valuable to the U.S. if it means to understand the constitutional action that necessitated the removal of President Mel Zelaya on June 28. It followed the Honduran constitution to the letter, yet led to the crisis now in mediation talks.
Hondurans targeted include the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the speaker of Congress plus two other officials.
Visas would let them come to the U.S. to explain precisely what happened, getting the word out to the public. This is important. So far, the media and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez have crudely defined what occurred as a “coup” and claimed Zelaya’s removal was all about his left-wing orientation and revenge by the “ruling class.”
In reality, Zelaya broke 17 Honduran laws classified as “high crimes.” They included holding an unconstitutional referendum, defying the high court, whipping up mobs, taking Chavista cash, robbing the Central Bank and preloading computers with referendum “results” before the illegal referendum was even held.
Like the Stasi revelations in the wake of the Berlin Wall’s fall, the information that’s come out in the wake of the ouster must be aired, discussed, investigated and resolved.
Instead, the U.S. embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa insists that Zelaya be reseated as president before any other action can take place and granted immunity for his ever more baroque chain of crimes without any dialogue whatsoever.
Sadly, it’s Hondurans who tried to save their democracy that are now blacklisted. Revoking their visas is to treat them as the sort of Latin Americans who get visas yanked for very good reasons.
Among them are members of Zelaya’s own inner circle in 2006, such as Zelaya’s Interior Minister Jorge Arturo Reina who got his visa yanked for terrorist activities, and chief tax collector Marco Aurelio Clara, who lost his for links to drug trafficking. Venezuelan money launderers linked to Chavez in recent years have gotten their visas pulled too, ending their junkets to Disney World, Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, and their South Beach condos in Miami. Chavez knows this, which is why it was originally his idea.
But cutting visas amounts to a gag on Honduran democrats who aren’t interested in going shopping.
“These visa shenanigans are an attempt to silence people who don’t agree with the U.S. position,” Rep. Connie Mack, D-Fla., told IBD on his return Tuesday from a fact-finding trip to Honduras.
Why is State doing this? “I don’t think you will get a clear answer from them,” said Mack, “because they are on wrong side.”
It points to a diplomacy at odds with transparency and freedom.