Mary Anastasia O’Grady é colunista de “Americas” do Wall Street Jounal. Escreve hoje o artigo “Honduras defende a sua democracia”, reproduzido abaixo e com alguns trechos traduzidos. É uma prova de que nem tudo está totalmente dominado pelas esquerdas... Felizmente!
Hugo Chávez's coalition-building efforts suffered a setback yesterday when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation's constitution.
It seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking.
But Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. Yesterday the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya's abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground.
That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.
But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.
Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order.
The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.
It remains to be seen what Mr. Zelaya's next move will be. It's not surprising that chavistas throughout the region are claiming that he was victim of a military coup. They want to hide the fact that the military was acting on a court order to defend the rule of law and the constitution, and that the Congress asserted itself for that purpose, too.
Mrs. Clinton has piled on as well. Yesterday she accused Honduras of violating "the precepts of the Interamerican Democratic Charter" and said it "should be condemned by all." Fidel Castro did just that. Mr. Chávez pledged to overthrow the new government.
Honduras is fighting back by strictly following the constitution. The Honduran Congress met in emergency session yesterday and designated its president as the interim executive as stipulated in Honduran law. It also said that presidential elections set for November will go forward. The Supreme Court later said that the military acted on its orders. It also said that when Mr. Zelaya realized that he was going to be prosecuted for his illegal behavior, he agreed to an offer to resign in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Mr. Zelaya denies it.
Many Hondurans are going to be celebrating Mr. Zelaya's foreign excursion. Street protests against his heavy-handed tactics had already begun last week. On Friday a large number of military reservists took their turn. "We won't go backwards," one sign said. "We want to live in peace, freedom and development."
Besides opposition from the Congress, the Supreme Court, the electoral tribunal and the attorney general, the president had also become persona non grata with the Catholic Church and numerous evangelical church leaders. On Thursday evening his own party in Congress sponsored a resolution to investigate whether he is mentally unfit to remain in office.
For Hondurans who still remember military dictatorship, Mr. Zelaya also has another strike against him: He keeps rotten company. Earlier this month he hosted an OAS general assembly and led the effort, along side OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, to bring Cuba back into the supposedly democratic organization.
The OAS response is no surprise. Former Argentine Ambassador to the U.N. Emilio Cárdenas told me on Saturday that he was concerned that "the OAS under Insulza has not taken seriously the so-called 'democratic charter.' It seems to believe that only military 'coups' can challenge democracy. The truth is that democracy can be challenged from within, as the experiences of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and now Honduras, prove." A less-kind interpretation of Mr. Insulza's judgment is that he doesn't mind the Chávez-style coup.
The struggle against chavismo has never been about left-right politics. It is about defending the independence of institutions that keep presidents from becoming dictators. This crisis clearly delineates the problem. In failing to come to the aid of checks and balances, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Insulza expose their true colors.
A coalizão liderada por Hugo Chávez sofreu ontem um revés, quando os militares hondurenhos despacharam seu presidente por violar a Constituição do país. Parece que o presidente Zelaya calculou mal quando tentou seguir o exemplo de seu bom amigo Chávez e reformar a Constituição hondurenha segundo o seu gosto.
Mas Honduras ainda não está livre da armação venezuelana. Ontem, o país estava sendo pressionado a reconduzir ao poder o autoritário sr. Zelaya por tipos como Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton e, claro, o próprio Chávez. A OEA, que ignorou os abusos do sr. Zelaya, também quer sua volta ao poder. Se os patriotas hondurenhos conseguirem resistir, será um milagre.
Que o sr. Zelaya agiu como se estivesse acima da lei, não há duvida.
[os chavistas] querem esconder o fato de que os militares agiram segundo a ordem do tribunal para defender a lei e a Constituição e as decisões tomadas pelo próprio Congresso com esse mesmo propósito.
A reação da OEA não é supreendente. Emilio Cádernas, ex-embaixador da Argentina na ONU, disse-me no sábado que ele estava preocupado com o fato de que “a OEA, sob o comando de José Miguel Insulza (…), parece acreditar que só golpes militares podem afrontar a democracia. A verdade é que a democracia pode ser solapada por dentro, como provam a Venezuela, o Equador, a Nicarágua e, agora, Honduras.”