Memo To Obama, Chavez, Castro, UN: Keep Your Hands Off Honduras!

Last Saturday, Honduran soldiers
marched into the presidential palace, bundled up
President Manuel

Zelaya and put him on a plane for Costa Rica.

The ouster had been ordered by the
Supreme Court and approved by the Congress, as Zelaya
was attempting an illegal referendum to change the
Honduran constitution so he could run for another term.

Will someone please explain why
this bloodless transfer of power to the civilian
legislator first in line for the presidency, in a
sovereign nation, is any business of the United Nations,
the Organization of American States, Hugo Chavez, the
Castro brothers or Barack Obama? For all have denounced
the "coup"
and demanded Zelaya`s immediate return.

The hypocrisy here is astounding.

Chavez was imprisoned for his

bloody coup attempt in Venezuela in 1992.
And to
have Fidel Castro`s dictatorship of half a century
denouncing a glitch in the democratic process of a
Western Hemisphere republic is beyond parody.

What percentage of the 200 member
nations of that septic tank of anti-Americanism, the
United Nations, are democracies?

How many leaders of its member
states came to power through free and fair elections?

And what happened to the idea of
non-intervention in the internal affairs of Western
Hemisphere republics?

At this writing, Honduras is not

"We have
established a democratic government, and we will not
cede to pressure from anyone. We are a sovereign
said Roberto Micheletti, who was named
caretaker president to serve out Zelaya`s term, which
ends this year.

Unlike Tehran, where hundreds of
thousands protested the election, the streets of
Tegucigalpa have remained calm. No one has been shot,
beaten with clubs or run down by thugs on motorcycles.

Just whose side is Barack on in
Latin America?

Though elected as a center-right
candidate, Zelaya has moved into the orbit of Chavez,
whose idea it was to change the Honduran constitution to
get Zelaya another term. Hugo even provided the ballots.
In Latin America, term limits have been written into
constitutions to prevent a return to the time of the
dictators and presidents-for-life. The folks who put
Zelaya aboard that plane are friends of the United

Why are

Obama and Hillary Clinton
meddling in the affairs of
a friendly country, to dump over a friendly government,
to reinstate a friend of Hugo`s, whose goal is to bring
Honduras into his

"Bolivarian Revolution

Like Barack`s strange behavior in
Trinidad, where he grinned away as Chavez handed him an
anti-American tract, then listened for an hour to Daniel
Ortega berate us for cruelty to Castro`s Cuba without
protest or retort, Obama is coming off as one who shares
the international left`s view of the United States.

There is another issue raised by
Obama`s denunciation of our friends in Honduras. Does he
put ideology ahead of U.S. national interests? Does he
prefer hostile democracies to friendly autocrats?

What comes first with Obama?

"He may be an
SOB, but he`s our SOB,"
FDR said of one Latin
dictator. What FDR meant was that, in those grave times
when Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and
Japanese militarists ruled most of Eurasia, America must
take her friends where she could find them.

In World War II, we welcomed the
alliance with Generalissimo

Chiang Kai-shek,
and the neutrality of the


. We partnered with Stalin. Gen. Eisenhower
cut a deal with

Vichy`s Adm. Darlan
to get GIs safely ashore in
North Africa.

From 1961 to 1979,

Park Chung-hee
was an authoritarian ruler of South
Korea who sent

50,000 troops

fight beside ours

. Was he not a better friend than Olof Palme
of Sweden,
Pierre Trudeau
of Canada and Willy Brandt of
Germany, who burnished their democratic credentials by
scoring points off the United States?

For most Cold War presidents, U.S.
national interests always trumped democratist ideology.
Ike preferred the Shah to the democratically elected

Mohammad Mossadegh
. Richard Nixon preferred

Gen. Pinochet
to the elected Salvador Allende.

Even George Bush, who had pushed
for Palestinian elections and insisted on Hamas`
inclusion, perhaps because he thought they would lose,
did a somersault when Hamas won.

How to explain the universality of
the attacks on Honduras—when few United Nations members
outside the West condemned Tehran and Hugo Chavez
to congratulate

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
—other than the fact that this
removed an adversary of the United States?

Anti-Americans stand by their own,
no matter how they came to power, or retain power. Only
in the West do we seem always prepared to abandon our
flawed friends who do not measure up.

This is a formula for eventually
not having any friends.

That Obama finds himself in camp
with Castro`s Cuba, Ortega`s Nicaragua and Chavez, who
is openly threatening Honduras, should tell him
something about where his ideology is taking him, and

One day, Obama is going to have to
decide whether he wishes to be the darling of the
international left or the unapologetic leader of the
nation that is most resented and reviled by the
international left.



Patrick J. Buchanan


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