Tag Archives: Honduras

On the Honduran Constitution

Michael Dulick, a former teacher of mine, now retired and living in Honduras doing charitable work among the poor, writes to me Sept. 30th:

Then, suddenly, another turn, for the worse. Previously so proud of the freedoms he “preserved” by deposing Mel, Micheletti went a little crazy in the head á la Dr. Strangelove and decreed martial law–no assembling, no dissenting, no talking, no warrants, no warning. Not a lot different, really, from the police-state tactics in the streets of Pittsburgh during the recent G-20 Summit. But even Micheletti’s loyalists think he’s lost his mind. He’s certainly lost his trump card, his vaunted legality (see next paragraph). Panicked, the ‘presidenciables’ abruptly changed their tune from “We Are the World” to Megadeth. They fell all over themselves to condemn this latest threat to “democracy,” that is, to their own slim hope of legitimacy. Micheletti, for his part, said the crackdown was necessary to counter Mel’s continuing calls for “revolution.” Indeed, when Mel sounded the alarm for “the final push,” even his host President Lula of Brazil cautioned Mel to simmer down. And the U.S. State Department advised that Mel’s dramatics were “foolish.” Then, another little miracle: Micheletti quickly repented and promised to reverse the restrictions, begged forgiveness of “the people,” and he sent Lula a “big hug.” Jim Carrey plays more stable characters!

A legal study just published by the U.S. Library of Congress found Mel’s removal from the presidency constitutional, according to Honduran law, though not his removal from the country. You know, some readers have been confused by my reports–the result both of my glancing blows and even more because of the insane situation–but let me summarize. Unlike the U.S. constitution, some articles in the Honduran constitution cannot be amended, especially its strict one-term limit for the president. Furthermore, the constitution declares even the attempt to amend this provision an act of treason that automatically separates an official from their office. Mel forced the issue when he insisted on a sham balloting scheduled for June 28 to extend his term. The Supreme Court judged that Mel had crossed the line and they ordered his arrest, for treason. The army grabbed him and flew him out of the country. So the presidency was vacant, and Roberto Micheletti, president of Congress, next in constitutional succession (Honduras has no Vice-President) was sworn in. So there you are. Easy as pie. Very neat, on paper. Now, back to the real world, where, as the protesters at the G-20 in Pittsburgh would have noted, the poor should have had their say, too. In fact, conditions are so desperate here that maybe all the poor will say, “I’m going to America!” You already have a million Hondurans up there, what’s a few million more? Very inviting, especially with “Obamacare” in view…!

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