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Political change in Honduras- an immoral coup d'etat Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Renaissance Thespian, Canada Jul 16, 2009
Culture , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions


Political change in Honduras- an immoral coup d'etat June 28th, 2009 was the day that sent Honduras into turmoil; it was the day that the Honduran military broke its own established democracy and overthrew its democratic leader, Manuel Zelaya, who was exiled into Costa Rica. The pretext that his opponents hold is that Zelaya tried to ignore the court’s ruling and change the constitution through a referendum.

What Micheletti tries to say here is that Zelaya is against the ruling of the Supreme Court by trying to hold a referendum to change the constitution about the presidency, and therefore he is against the law. However a country needs, not only law, but also democracy. Without democracy, law can only be a set of restrictions placed on the people. Manuel Zelaya, a democratically elected leader, represents the people’s will in Honduras. Someone may say that that Manuel Zelaya wanting to change the Constitution is because of his despicable desire to stay longer on his office. In other words, he only cares about his own political power despite the court’s ruling. However, Zelaya was holding a referendum, which means he wanted to determine the people’s will.

It doesn’t matter what Zelaya’s intention was as long as the people were in support of him. If Zelaya wants to hold onto his power longer than one term and most importantly, his people want him to stay longer, then why not? Laws are made by the people, and so they can be and should be changed according to the will of the majority of the people. That’s what majority rule means. That’s what democracy means. That’s what popular sovereignty means—the idea that governments serve the people and only act according to the people’s will.

Micheletti and his allies also blamed Zelaya’s socialist policies in which Zelaya gained popularity by giving handouts to the poor. It is incontrovertible that his polices to redistribute the wealth are socialistic or leftist, but so what? There is nothing wrong with being socialist.

What do you have to say against being socialist? That it may end up in a Communist dictatorship like Czechoslovakia and Poland were? That it may cause violence and result in another “Tiananmen Square Massacre”? Come on; don’t hold on to such stereotyping views. Socialism doesn’t always equal Communism or dictatorship. Countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland, and China used the wrong socialistic policies at wrong time. Furthermore, when a country has a widening gap between the rich and the poor, socialism is needed and should be used.

According to http://mapup.com/namerica/honduras.html, “Honduras is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. Industrial development has been limited and, historically, the economy has been dependent on exports of coffee and bananas. The currency has been undergoing a steady and controlled devaluation of roughly 6% per year for the last several years.” In this situation, wealth needs to be redistributed among the people. The poor have to get their voice heard and the country should be led by a leader who can stand on the side of the poor since there are more poor than rich. Manuel Zelaya is the one who can bring them hope and democracy.

Coups d’état are detrimental and should by all means be avoided because they can cause turmoil, uprising, and even violence. A democratic country should try to solve its problems democratically, and if the government is still republican, they should let Manuel Zelaya return to his office, or at least back to his own country.



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nothing wrong in socialism
asma siddiqua sayed | Sep 1st, 2009
i read an article where the author blames the few elite rich of the country who control a vast majority of the honduras's wealth and did not like the reforms that manuel zelaya was pressing for because it would mean that control over this wealth would be wrested from their hands. so the coup was largely due to them. its true, yes, that socialism does not always have to end in a dictatorship. democratic nations bring up really unnecessary arguments against socialist republics. if this system would give equality and justice to all, then we musn't oppose it.

Great article!
Anushka T | Sep 21st, 2009
Latin American countries are a politically fragile and contradictory due to its conflicting historical influences. Therefore the development of democracy in Latin America may never mirror that of North America/Europe. Political leaders in countries like Honduras will inevitably have a difficult time trying to bring together a modern democratic formula with a vastly diverse populus.

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