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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Honduras coup: Was it within ‘the rule of law’?

Coup was not within ‘the rule of law’

The headline on the guest column “Support the rule of law in Honduras” was woefully misleading [Opinion, July 18]. “Rule of law” demands that the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, return to complete his term of office. Make no mistake, this was a coup, denounced by the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Obama administration.

In fact, the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti has not been recognized by a single government.

Let’s look at the facts: Zelaya’s proposed nonbinding resolution, the pretext for the coup, did not even mention re-election. It asked voters for a “yes or no” opinion on forming a constituent assembly to amend the constitution.

If passed, assembly delegates would have been elected in the Nov. 29 election. Democracy is strengthened when rule of law is respected, not when armed troops remove elected presidents from their homes. If Micheletti’s de facto government is allowed to remain in power, the Central American right wing could well find the encouragement it needs to stage further coups against the fragile democracies emerging in the region.

Do we really want to return to decades past where coups were frequent and repressive military regimes ruled the region?

— Carole Antoncich, Seattle

Nazis also called policies ‘the rule of law’

I am astounded state Sen. Pam Roach would have the gall to argue that a military coup against a democratically elected president of any country is a lawful measure.

I will assume Roach is intelligent enough to know the Honduras coup is not lawful. So my question is: How do you sleep at night?

The Nazi’s told these kinds of lies, too. They followed “the rule of law” as well. They had judges and courts, too. But unlike Honduras, they did not have democracy once they were done.

I know this is the type of political system Roach prefers, but I think it is demonic of her to call that the rule of law. She should be ashamed of herself.

— Richard Curtis, Seattle

Coup denouncers aren’t Chavez’s ‘lackeys’

State Sen. Pam Roach’s guest column lacks an understanding of Latin American history and illustrates her superficial knowledge of contemporary Latin American politics.

Her claim that U.S. support of the coup in Honduras would strengthen the rule of law and democracy defies logic.

Why didn’t the military and Honduran supreme court charge President Manuel Zelaya with treason and allow him the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law? This would strengthen Honduran democracy and the rule of law. In the words of Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, “If you want to have democratic rule and improve the quality of democracy, don’t justify its rape.”

The Honduran coup marks a return to Latin America’s troubled past when military-controlled governments deposed leftist presidents, installed conservative presidents and engaged in human-rights abuses.

The United Nations General Assembly called on its members to support the Zelaya government following the coup. Are they lackeys of Hugo Chavez on a “Marxist bandwagon”?

The OAS condemned the coup and unanimously voted to suspend Honduras. Are they lackeys of Hugo Chavez on a “Marxist bandwagon”?

Is Colombia a Chavez lackey for supporting the OAS resolution? I think not.

Roach gave the blustery Chavez too much credit and ignored the failures of neo-liberalism that have moved the region to the political left at the expense of the traditional elite.

— Mark Thomason, Seattle

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