Zelaya’s Useful Idiot – by Jamie Weinstein

Honduras Coup

During the Cold War, Congressional Democrats compiled a long history of being useful idiots for leftist causes and regimes in Latin America. Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois seems to be trying to revive the tradition for the 21st century.

Last week, Schakowsky became the first Congressional Democrat to visit Honduras since Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed from the Honduran presidency in June. Zelaya’s removal was authorized by the country’s Supreme Court and legislature in response to multiple attempts by Zelaya to violate the Honduran Constitution. It is widely suspected that Zelaya was seeking to change the Constitution in order to extend his presidency, which is limited to one term by Honduran law.

In a hastily arranged conference call just hours after she returned from her three-day trip to Honduras last Thursday, Schakowsky claimed to speak for Congressional Democrats and the U.S. government when she stated “the coup against President Zelaya is illegal and, along with every other nation in the region and the world, we don’t recognize the coup regime as the legitimate government of Honduras.”

It is true that the international community condemned Zelaya’s removal as an illegal coup, a position with which the Obama administration has concurred. But Schakowsky’s statement that the coup was illegal is in conflict with an August report by the Law Library of Congress on the situation in Honduras. The report reviewed the relevant Honduran law and ultimately concluded that

“available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system.”

When asked about the report, Schakowsky said she disagreed with it and that it was an “outlier.” Instead, the congresswoman focused on what she saw as human-rights violations taking places under the new government of Honduras and singled out Zelaya himself as “a victim of serious human rights abuses.”

If human rights violations occurred, the perpetrators should certainly be punished. But the congresswoman may have only been getting only half of the story from Zelaya and his supporters. If Zelaya’s removal was an illegal coup d’état, as Congresswoman Schakowsky, the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration maintain, it would be one of the odder coups in recent memory. Most illegal coups take place as a power grab. But Zelaya’s removal was supported not only by the Supreme Court, but by almost the entirety of the Honduran legislature, including by the vast majority of members in Zelaya’s own party. On November 29, Honduras will hold democratic elections in which Honduras’s interim President Roberto Micheletti will not participate. Micheletti has stated that he plans step down in January and turn over power to whomever is elected in the forthcoming elections.

When I asked Congresswoman Schakowsky to explain why nearly the entire leadership of Honduras and the country’s Supreme Court would support the removal of Zelaya, if not for some sort of power grab since Micheletti will be giving up power, Schakowsky didn’t have a particularly compelling answer. “I think there were a number of things,” she said, “including raising the minimum wage. A number of things that the Zelaya administration had done that were offensive to the business class, the elites in Honduras, and so, I know, I think they wanted him out.”

So it was a business conspiracy aimed at preventing Zelaya from raising the minimum wage, according to the congresswoman. But what of the fact that the new president of Honduras will be chosen by democratic elections? Wouldn’t these nefarious business leaders have hand-picked a replacement? If they wanted a puppet in power, why not install someone they could control to rule Honduras instead of allowing the new leader to be chosen by unpredictable democratic elections? It doesn’t make much sense.

Asked by another reporter whether she was concerned about accusations that Zelaya was moving toward the orbit of Venezuela’s anti-American president Hugo Chavez, Schakowsky brushed off the concern as unfounded, citing an unimpeachable source. “I talked to President Zelaya about that and he felt those fears were way overstated,” she declared. Well, that settles that.

On second thought, perhaps Schakowsky shouldn’t be taking Zelaya at his word on such matters. After all, this is a man who reportedly told the Miami Herald with a straight face that “Israeli mercenaries” were torturing him by pumping toxic gases and high-frequency radiation into the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras, where he is currently holed up.

Schakowsky said these comments by Zelaya were “completely inappropriate.” But the comments were not so much inappropriate as they were insane. Does this sound like a person who is capable of leading a country? Or, for that matter, a man from whom Schakowsky can be confident she is getting the truth?

Schakowsky’s trip raises many questions. While the Congresswoman says “democratic order needs to be restored in Honduras,” by which she means “President Zelaya needs to be restored” to power, one may wonder why she is so eager to rush to the defense of a leader who is of such questionable reputation. Why not just allow the elections to go forward at the end of the month and allow the Honduran people to decide their new leader? More broadly, why were so many of those on the Left so hesitant to criticize the fraudulent elections that occurred in Iran over the summer, but so quick to criticize Honduran internal matters that the Library of Congress says were legitimate?

These questions deserve answers. As for Congresswoman Schakowsky, perhaps the explanation is as simple as her longing to return to the good old days, when trips to exotic Latin American locales simply entailed stumping for some leftist leader.

  • Tommyd

    Is it any wonder why the U.S. is so messed up. Morons like this lady getting elected to office?
    The report by the Law Library of Congress she calls an outlier?

    She is an idiot.

    Anyone that can read the Honduran constitution knows Zelayas removal was the correct action.

  • antifascist18

    Jan Schakowsky is a despicable self-hating Jewess who went goosestepping on her boy Obama's orders to the Judenrat Strasse aka J Street Conference and all but endorsed Hamas. After all, she helped provide them with 900 mil of our money,

    Any Jew in Chicago who votes for this Islamoroach slut's re-election deserves a pre-frontal lobotomy because they will clearly show they lack the brains that they were born with. Schakowsky deserves a boot out of the Congress, and remember, 2010 is right around the corner.

    Time we gave the JINO Democrats who collaborate right alongside the coward and lying BonZo Obama a clear-cut message – and this whore is one that needs to go.

  • Steve Goth

    Mr. (Ms.) Weinstein, why do you pull your punch in this article? Your paragraph three begins with, “Shakowsky is apparently unaware of this background.” I think it is nonsense to excuse her by saying she is “unaware.” I think that as a committed lefty she is completely aware of the situation in Honduras and wants to see an authoritian socialist government established there.

    Otherwise, I thought it was a purty dang good article.


  • LindaRivera

    Nations BETRAY ANTI-COMMUNIST Honduras & Jewish Israel

    US turns up pressure on Honduras coup government
    By MARK STEVENSON (AP) – July 20, 2009

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called interim President Roberto Micheletti to say there would be serious consequences if his government ignores international mediation for Zelaya's return.

    Honduran business leaders, meanwhile, say U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens has called them into meetings to warn that Honduras — impoverished and highly dependent on exports to the United States — could face tough sanctions if the interim government continues to refuse Arias' compromise proposal for Zelaya to return as head of a coalition government.

    The European Union added to the pressure on Monday by announcing it was suspending $93.1 million (65.5 million euros) in aid to Honduras.

    The United Nations and Organization of American States have called for the return of Zelaya, who was arrested and hustled out of the country by the army on June 28.

    But Micheletti vowed not to stand down — and implied that the United States is betraying one of its staunchest allies. Honduras allowed its territory to be used as a staging area for U.S.-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua during the 1980s, and more recently it sent troops to Iraq.

    One learns in life that people who seem to be friends are not really friends.

    Zelaya has aligned himself with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    Adolfo Facusse, the head of Honduras' National Association of Industries, was defiant:
    “We prefer sanctions to Zelaya's return,” which he said would bring the “loss of liberty, dictatorship, communism.”

  • LindaRivera

    Honduras PUNISHED for Being ANTI-COMMUNIST. Israel PUNISHED for Being JEWISH

    It is ominous that the U.S. and the nations, condemn and punish the freedom-loving people of Honduras for refusing to accept communism. Honduras, NEVER give up the fight for freedom!

    Is this hostile act against tiny, courageous Honduras a prelude of what is planned for America and the nations? Is it planned that America and the nations will become communist?

    GLOBAL JIHAD'S BIGGEST VICTORY – US/EU teamed up with Islamic nations – demand vulnerable little Israel surrender half her Holy Land to Muslims bent on Jewish genocide-70% of PA Muslims support savage suicide bombings of Jewish innocents.

    The Free World is in a fight for her survival! Israel, stand strong! NEVER give up the fight for freedom! NEVER surrender to the global jihad onslaught! Not one inch of Land to barbaric, implacable enemies!

    NEVER agree to vicious and evil ethnic Jew cleansing!

    Obama's Civilian National Security Force
    Obama promised change. The End of America as we know it:

    Obama: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    PRAVDA: America's Descent into Marxism: Brief video http://www.solutionsfromscience.com/

  • cjkcjk

    She is part of the freak far left and does indeed have a lot of Jewish voters in her district. I can only conclude that they love their own little insulated society more that Israel or true justice!
    Her district comprises alot of wealthy leftists who disguise themselves as defenders of the poor when the truth is that all they care about is maintaining their elite status even if they have to murder someone.
    Her husband did time for a felony conviction for check-kiting.
    She is probably going to run for the Man-Childs old senate seat currently held by the perjurer Roland Burris.

  • therealend

    I can't remember which book Mr Horowitz wrote in which (then Representative, now Senator) Tom Harkin on a visit to Nicaragua, tried to persuade the editor of the opposition newspaper (I believe her name was Villaletta Chammorro of the paper La Prensa) to submit to Sandinista censorship. I see they're still at it. Ms Schakowsky's statement about Honduras being moved into Venezuela's orbit: “I talked to President Zelaya about that and he felt those fears were way overstated,” isn't reassuring. " … he felt those fears were way overstated"? What the Hell does that mean? Does that mean those fears were not enitrely overstated? There is some basis for those fears? or was she just handing a line to the reporter because that matter really never came up when she talked with Zelaya and she didn't know what else to say and cooked this up on the spot?

  • BigElk

    Clearly, Schakowsky was paid off by the communist Zelaya's Move-On suporters or some other communist gaggle. what is it about Illinois that it elects crooks, like the Daleys and the Obamas to office. Is the mafia still in control of Illinois, or what?