Thursday, July 02, 2009
I spent some time in Honduras in 1990, mainly in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and a little town on the Gulf of Fonseca called Cedeno (pictured). On the beach at Cedeno there was a constant passing above of UN helicopters flying between listening posts in Nicaragua on one side and El Salvador on the other. But Honduras was stable.
Last week there was a coup after their right of centre president decided to go loopy and declare himself socialist. He then allied himself with Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia. Just like these anti-democratic socialists Zelaya then started to dismantle Honduras's democratic constitution. Last week he was overthrown, an interim government is in place and democracy will imminently be restored.
It is always sad when the military intervene but in Latin America they are essential. The Honduran military were left with no option. There is a history in Latin America of leftist despots blighting and impoverishing the country with the military eventually intervening to restore democracy. Alvaro Vargas Losa, of the Independent Institute takes a slightly less positive view in this article, which is well worth a read. He believes upcoming constitutional votes would have rejected Zelaya's march to dictatorship. I disagree, I believe Zelaya would have made sure he won, one way or the other. Or, like the EU he would have just come back from a slightly different angle, with the result he wanted.
When faced with socialism I'm all for military intervention, with a swift return to democracy.