Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,368 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The 'Coup' in Honduras: a Primer

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 30, 2009

 How much do you know about the June coup in Honduras?

Well, the first thing you should know is that it wasn't really a coup. President Manuel Zelaya was removed from office legally, by the country's attorney general, acting on an order from the nation's highest court. The president's arrest was an appropriate legal response to his constitutonal violations.

By the time he was ousted from power, Zelaya's autocratic governing style had lost him the support of nearly every major institution in Honduras. Congress supported his removal, as did the courts. Every major political party supported it. The country's Catholic bishops did not endorse the ouster, but they made a point of noticing that the president's removal was done in accordance with law, and they encouraged the world to notice "all that was happening outside the law in Honduras" before Zelaya's removal. Pope Benedict, when he mentioned the turmoil in Honduras during a public audience, spoke pointedly of the need for "authentic democracy"-- thereby sending the message that Zelaya's high-handed approach was not the real thing.

The Honduran bishops said unequivocally that Zelaya should not be returned to power. The country's interim government agrees. The folks who removed him from office certainly don't want him back. So who does?

The answer to that question is clear: Venezuelan leftist leader Hugo Chavez, who had become Zelaya's strongest ally, wants his friend returned to office. Since Chavez has made a career of attacking the Catholic Church in his own country, it's not too surprising that the Honduran bishops are worried about his influence there.

That's the story in a nutshell. Now ask yourself: Why is the Obama White House pushing for the restoration of Zelaya at the helm of the Honduran government? If the US is committed to advancing democracy-- authentic democracy-- that goal can't be reached by supporting an autocratic rule in Honduras, nor by enhancing the regional power of another autocrat in Venezuela. 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,746 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,253.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 12 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 16 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6