Incompetence of the Highest Order

August 1st, 2009
by George S. Crimmin

[private] v7-8-Speaking OutIt was mind-boggling to witness the way the Honduran authorities handled the removal from office of Mr. Manuel Zelaya. Here was a president that considered himself above the law, disregarded every legal entity in the country and was almost allowed to get away with it. I am reminded of the famous quote by Mark Twain who wrote: “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except congress.”

There is little doubt that Mr. Zelaya was leading this country toward socialism, especially since his role model and sponsor is Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. I kept asking myself, after repeatedly violating the Honduran constitution why didn’t the supreme court indict him, have the attorney general put him on trial and if convicted sent to prison or at minimum removed from office. It would have been perfectly legal as there was certainly ample evidence of what the president was up to.

Most of the riots here in the Bay Islands had his fingerprints all over them. There are reports that he provided hundreds perhaps thousands of Venezuelan thugs Honduran passports to enter the country for the express purpose of creating chaos and mayhem. If this information proves to be accurate that could be considered treason, and in some countries treason is punishable by a death sentence. We’re talking serious violations of the law. Mr. Manuel Zelaya was able to generate international support after his removal from office only because of the way it was carried out, because of the cowardice and incompetence of the other branches of the Honduran government.

This man has been a pathetic failure as president – he has no respect for the rule of law – in fact he has trampled the constitution at will. Finally, the attorney general has put forth in chronological order the 18 alleged offenses committed by the ex-president. The problem is they should have been presented weeks earlier in a Honduran court. By not doing so it allowed Mr. Zelaya to portray himself as an innocent victim, which he certainly is not. I am very surprised and disappointed by the stance taken by the U.S. I would have expected a more cautious and thoughtful reaction. They must’ve known that Mr. Zelaya’s goal was to follow the example of his role model and mentor Hugo Chavez. There was a rush to judgment before, but the incompetence of the Honduran authorities played a prominent role in this. Nevertheless without their action we would probably be governed today by a dictator.

Mr. Zelaya portrays himself as a patriot who loves his country, yet he is willing to see this country brought to its diplomatic and economic knees just to satisfy his enormous ego. If he indeed loved his country he would put its interest first, resign, end this crisis, and allow us all to get on with our lives. Instead he is an egotistical maniac and despot who thrives on anarchy, controversy, corruption and polarization. But now I guess we’ll find out who our real friends are, and my definition of real friends are those who, when you’ve made a complete fool of yourself, don’t feel you’ve done a permanent job. Hopefully, there are some adult thinkers in the O.A.S. who recognizes the worst thing that could happen in Honduras is a return of Manuel Zelaya.

All of this turmoil just reinforces the need for us Bay Islanders to sever the umbilical chord that attaches us to main – land Honduras. We need autonomy, and we need it now! Oh another thing, if Mr. Zelaya had been successful this column would be considered treason. And yours truly could’ve been subjected to arrest and imprisonment for expressing my opinion.

As of this writing Mr. Zelaya is still seeking reinstatement as president, but how does he expert to govern? Every branch of the central government is in opposition, as are apparently the majority of legitimate Honduran citizens. What a sorry state of affairs we find ourselves steeped in. Frankly, the way this whole situation was handled is a major embarrassment.

There can be no real winners in this unfortunate episode. Mr. Zelaya got what he deserved, but his detractors bungled his removal so badly that they are ending up looking like the bad guys. It would be comical if it weren’t so serious to hear condemnations coming from the likes of Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez. Castro and Chavez are dictators who rule by force, not popular sovereignty. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out. [/private]

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