Posts tagged ‘nicaragua’

The Honduran Constitution

I wish I had the exact quote in front of me, but one of the lines from the Honduran Constitution was that President was subject to extreme sanctions for even mentioning in public the possibility of extending his term beyond Constitutional limits.  This is one of the provisions that Manuel Zelaya was ousted for violating.

Now, such a provision sounds very odd to our ears.  Until one considers that any number of other "democratically" elected South American presidents have held suspect "elections" that waived the Constitution and gave them extra terms.  Hugo Chavez is but one example.  Seeing this around them, the authors of the Honduran Constitution  did everything they could think of to prevent such an occurrence.  They wanted real term limits and they did not want them to be waived by any process. They knew that democratically elected Presidents had a way of becoming dictators in Latin America.

Unfortunately, in what I hope was ignorance but others have argued is calculated, Hillary Clinton's state department and Obama are backing Zelaya and arguing that, against any reasonable reading of the Constitution, he was wrongly ousted.

Now, in Nicaragua, we can again see exactly why the Honduran Constitution writers were so paranoid, and why it is so depressing the Administration has taken the position it has:

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega announced Sunday, on the 30th anniversary of the leftist Sandinista revolution he led, that he would seek a referendum to change the constitution to allow him to seek reelection.

Following in the footsteps of elected regional allies, Ortega told thousands of supporters here that he would seek a referendum to let "the people say if they want to reward or punish" their leaders with reelection.

His close leftist allies who have had rules changed enabling them to remain in power include presidents Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.

In the last month President Manuel Zelaya in neighboring Honduras was ousted in a coup by his own military after seeking similar action.

I am sure Jimmy Carter will be available to put his imprimatur on the election.