The Chavez Adventure in Honduras: From Coup d' Etat to Coup d' Grace?

As days go by the truth about the political events in Honduras has become more evident.

The referendum former President Manuel Zelaya attempted to hold in order to keep himself in power was illegal under Honduran law, and his removal was the legal remedy for it.  But just as important is to understand that this Honduran would-be dictator was only following a strategy that had already worked in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

To this end Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez supplied Zelaya with advisors and logistical support. The material to be distributed the day of the referendum was printed on Chavez’s orders and taken to Honduras in Venezuelan government aircraft.

As the day of the referendum approached, the Supreme Court of Honduras warned Zelaya, not once but several times and in writing, that what he was planning to do was illegal and carried severe penalties according to the constitution. Zelaya refused to heed these warnings. Therefore, the Supreme Court ordered the Army to stop the illegal event, while the National Congress met to oust Zelaya, unanimously, from the presidency.

By acting outside of the constitution that  prohibits the presidential re-election and stipulates severe penalties for transgressors, Zelaya automatically ceased to be president. Former President Zelaya had, in fact, attempted a Chavez-inspired coup d’etat when he tried to perpetuate himself in power. An attempt by Zelaya to return to Honduras in a Venezuelan jet (owned by U.S. based company CITGO) and coordinated by Chavez as a “ military” operation ended in failure. As a result Zelaya has lost political ground and has had to accept a U.S. promoted mediation by Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias, which in fact implies recognition of the new government in Honduras.

This tragic episode would have never taken place without the prodding of the club of authoritarian, socialist leaders of Latin America, reunited in ALBA, an organization that claims to be an economic alternative for the Americas but has become a club of conspirators to dismantle democracy in the region, in order to transform it into a hemispheric sized Cuban-type of dictatorship. Honduras was to be the next pawn in this hegemonic project that already counts Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador among its members.

The mastermind of this project is Fidel Castro, physically weakened but still mentally sharp. Its main executing arm is Hugo Chavez, who is illegally appropriating billions of dollars derived from the sale of Venezuelan petroleum and using them to subvert other Latin American governments.

The choreography devised to accomplish its objectives is simple: handout petroleum in advantageous terms to countries, “without” strings attached, and collect the IOU’s in terms of progressive political loyalty, until the country has gone from friend to recruit.

Some leaders, like Nicaragua’s Ortega and Bolivia’s Morales, were already ideologically predisposed, while the seduction of Ecuador’s Correa took a little more time. Zelaya is a classic example of a conservative political leader who was captured by the use of this choreography. Even democratic leaders like Oscar Arias of Costa Rica have felt attracted to the lure of cheap petroleum and have called Chavez “much more generous than the U.S.”, expressing interest in joining the group of countries that receive highly subsidized petroleum “without strings attached.”

In developing their strategy of progressive domination the ALBA countries have found a powerful ally in Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).  Insulza is a leftist Chilean politician who has seen in Chavez a vehicle to advance his personal political agenda. He became Secretary General of the OAS and hopes to be re-elected, both with Chavez’s support. To this end he has been playing in ALBA’s team for some time. He was the promoter of the initiative to cancel the 1962 resolution that expelled Cuba from the OAS,  paving the way for its return.

The tolerance Insulza has exhibited for Cuba’s dictatorship of 50 years contrasts dramatically with the 72-hour ultimatum he gave the new government of Honduras, to reinstate Zelaya in the presidency, without listening to what the other side had to say. Insulza has also closed his eyes to the systematic violation of human rights and democratic procedures carried out by the Chavez regime in Venezuela.

The latest example of Chavez’s abuse of power has been the manner in which his regime is treating the Governors and Mayors of the opposition who were elected last December 2008. Furious at his defeat he went on to harass those officers elected by the people, denying them the funds to which they are constitutionally entitled and, in the case of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, ousting him from his legitimate headquarters to put there a “governor” of his choosing, who has assumed the role of the truly elected mayor. Ledezma has had to resort to a hunger strike in the OAS headquarters in Caracas to call attention to his plight. Insulza, afraid that Ledezma would die, finally promised to meet with the opposition officers in Washington “ to hear them” but added “ when I have the time”, which in diplomatic terms could mean never.   

The timing of the Honduran crisis and the way it has developed could not have been worse for Chavez and his ALBA group. The extent of Chavez intervention in Honduras has now become fully known. Zelaya’s links with drug trafficking in Honduras are being closely examined. The alignment of both Chavez and Correa with the Colombian terrorists and drug traffickers of the FARC is a matter under consideration by the International Courts at The Hague.  

Bolivian President Morales has recently been accused before the OAS of conducting a massacre in the province of Pando, to eliminate his political enemies. The spectacle of Raul Castro, Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez meeting in Nicaragua, claiming for the return of “democracy” to Honduras and threatening an invasion of the country if Zelaya did not return, has been an eye opener for international observers. All of a sudden the unsavory machinations of the Castro-Chavez group have been exposed for all the world to see.

In trying to execute a coup d’etat in Honduras, Chavez might have received, instead, a political coup d’ grace.