Ad fontes: CONSTITUCIÓN DE LA REPÚBLICA DE HONDURAS
Translation by Google (yeah, I know). Since I was once reasonably fluent in Spanish, I have massaged it a little herein; my glosses are in brackets [ ].
Let's consider the following facts seriatim (italics are mine throughout):
No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.
Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [Sp.: reforma, or amendment], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.Since the constitution strictly prescribes a single term for the president, and since Zelaya was openly campaigning for a second term, the country's supreme court properly ruled, on purely constitutional grounds, that Zelaya must "immediately cease" in his function as president.
The Armed Forces of Honduras are ... established to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic, keep the peace, public order and the rule of the Constitution, the principles of free suffrage and alternation in the presidency of the Republic.Consitutionally, it is the military that is charged, in concert with civilian organs of government, to ensure that the one-term limit of the presidency is enforced. It is the military that is constitutionally charged with ensuring the intregrity of national elections.
Therefore, the removal of Zelaya from office by the army was not merely appropriate, it was constitutionally required that the army do so. Why does the army have such responsibilities? See my post, "The role of the Honduran military," in the country's history.
Yet somehow, the American MSM, the White House and State Department don't do the simple research to see what Honduran law and constitutionality have to say about recent events. Instead, they knee jerked from the beginning and kept on doing it. Their ineptitude is, sadly, no longer surprising. At least I hope it's mere ineptitude, which can be overcome. The alternative is explained by Roger Simon, and it ain't good.
The role of the Honduran military
Reuters and AP - Intentional irony?
"You are wrong about Honduras"
Americans at risk in Honduras?
Update: Carlos Alberto Montaner, writing in the Miami Herald:
Almost by unanimity, the Honduran Congress, supported by the Supreme Court, had removed him for breaking the law and ignoring the rulings of the Electoral Tribunal. But that was a technical excuse. The deep truth is a lot more dramatic: Zelaya, obstinate and rash, intent on being reelected at any cost, heedless of all the warnings of the judiciary and the legislature, intended to drag the nation in the direction of Chávez, something that in Honduras would have been the beginning of a huge economic and social Via Crucis. ...As I have written, what happened last week in Honduras was the salvation of democracy and the sovereignty of the Honduran people (also guaranteed by its constitution). Zelaya was a Chavez protege. What would that have meant for Honduran democracy? Well, here's Chavez's record.
What we're seeing in Honduras is not a clash between uniformed men and civilians, or between putschists and innocent functionaries. Nor is it a return to the lamentable past of military governments. We are witnessing a conflict between two ways of understanding the function of the state and the role of the political leaders. Chávez's way -- an incipient ruling concept that Zelaya irresponsibly assumed in Honduras -- is a variant of state-run collectivism, a political stream that does away with the separation of powers that is part and parcel of republics. It exalts the personalist style, eliminates replacement of the leader, and adopts anti-Western positions that are expressed in dangerous alliances with countries like Iran and North Korea.