« Coup in Honduras, updated | Main | More on the Honduran constitution »

June 29, 2009

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I will start with the assumption that the Administration doesn't really much care whether a given outcome is more or less small-d "democratic" but is quite concerned with legitimacy and what follows from it, stability. Call me a cynic, but that's what _I'd_ be thinking. The former and the latter might often be linked, but you've explained institutional reasons why they need not be in this case.

So, while the admin might have a slight distaste for Zelaya as a sort of "Chavista-lite", they'd likely take a cue from the Honduran street. If the average Hondureño is out throwing rocks tomorrow morning, they'll press for a return. If the average Hondureño can't be bothered to show up at the planned spontaneous riot, then they'd ultimately be ok with the result (if a little squeemish about the precedent.)

In a way it's a good sign that the coup has gotten a fair amount of attention in the United States. A generation or two ago, most Americans would have dismissed it as yet another banana republic power struggle. Today, however, there's at least a tacit acknowledgment that Latin Americans are capable of democracy, and can be held to higher standards.

Article 272: Military protects the constitution
Article 306: courts can ask the military for help. (I think. No good Spanish translation ability around here.)
Article 239: proposing removing the term limit disqualifies one from public office.

That translation of article 306 is spot on. It goes on to state that if the military won't provide it, the courts can ask the citizenry for assistance.

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