Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Constitutions and President(e)s

In the previous maladministration, the constitution was viewed as an annoyance. That made it hard to make a fuss when other presidents in other countries violated their constitutions. In Colombia, President Uribe sought to keep office despite constitutional term limits. While Uribe courted the previous maladministration by participating in its 'drug war', it distinguished itself by building up body count figures to court more U.S. funds by murdering civilians and re-labeling them as the enemy. That was overlooked by the then U.S. maladministration in its big rush to get 'free' market trade going with Colombia despite the atrocities involved.

How embarrassing, now Uribe is visiting the U.S. under Obama while President Zelaya of Honduras is kicked out for seeking to do the same thing Uribe is seeking to do. While we can't officially announce that a coup has happened because then we'd have to cut off all aid to Honduras, our government, along with most of the world, is sternly admonishing the army, Congress, courts and presently installed president of Honduras to take him back.

This would make great comedy material, except that it concerns serious concerns of worldwide emergencies. In June, 2008, riots in Honduras and neighboring countries protested hunger, a problem that is on the increase as the world suffers from the greedy manipulations of deregulated financial industry in the U.S.

Concerned humanitarians of the world still look on the security of a country as the well-being of its people. The Guardian features one expression of those humanitarian aims.

We condemn the military coup and kidnapping of the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. On Sunday 28 June, President Manuel Zelaya Rosales was kidnapped, removed from his home by force, rendered incommunicado for several hours and expelled from his country. Soldiers also seized Honduran foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, and the ambassadors of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The military and coup conspirators are trying to suppress popular demonstrations and news by blanket military presence, curfews and intimidation of reporters.

President Zelaya was working to free his country from decades of hunger and poverty. This military coup is an illegal attempt to use armed force to overturn the course of democracy and social progress chosen by the Honduran people at the polls. We urge every government in the world to demand the restoration of the democratically elected president and to pledge not to recognise the illegal government put in power by a military coup.
Colin Burgon MP, Ken Livingstone, Dr Francisco Dominguez Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Tony Woodley Unite, Gerry Doherty TSSA, Matt Wrack FBU, Brian Caton POA

While the U.S. lost the right to represent itself as an example to follow, in the last maladministration, it has the opportunity now to represent our basic decency and get out of the process of making world affairs purely a business.

The public interest has not lost out to profit motive in much of the world. The U.S. can turn that around now, by cutting out support for tyrants and leaders who violate their constitutions and undercut their people.

The visit of Uribe would make a great opportunity for just that. We overlooked the attempts of Uribe to overthrow the constitution of Colombia, along with his regime's brutality. We have violated our nation's principles in seeking good relations with regimes that violate their own people's rights, and their interests. What a good time to turn that around, by ending our partnership with Uribe and the pretense of a 'war on drugs' that has failed there and throughout the world.

President Obama can depart from the very bad example set by his predecessor by giving our support to people rather than to big business interests. This would be a major advance back into civilization from the atrocities of the previous regime.

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