Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Honduran Crisis

The Lighthouse
Volume 11, Issue 27: July 6, 2009

The crisis in Honduras is, in a word, complicated. Although deposed President Manuel Zelaya bears the brunt of the blame for his ouster, the military actions against him were ill advised and play into the hands of Zelaya's anti-democratic allies in the region, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa.

Zelaya acted unconstitutionally by taking steps to seek reelection, and he followed that misdeed with an even more brazen one: breaking into the location of the impounded election ballots in an effort to distribute them. Yet the response from the Organization of American States has been to ignore Zelaya's dictatorial conduct, just as it ignored similar violations by Chavez in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, and Ortega in Nicaragua. Supporters of the military action may come to regret Zelaya's propaganda victory in a conflict that bodes poorly for the rule of law.

As the Honduras imbroglio illustrates, the trick for Latin America is to avoid the extremes of the left and the right. Vargas Llosa concludes: "Honduras' crisis should bring to people's attention this truth about Latin America today: The gravest threat to liberty comes from elected populists who are seeking to subject the institutions of the law to their megalomaniac whims. Given that scenario, the hemisphere's response to Honduras' crisis has undermined those who are trying to prevent populism from taking the region back to the times when it was forced to choose between left-wing revolution and military dictatorships."

"Honduras--Zelaya's Coup," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (7/1/09) Spanish Translation

"The Winner in Honduras: Chávez," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (New York Times, 6/30/09)

Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Lessons from the Poor: The Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, edited by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

No comments: