“Don’t believe the coup myth”

A former presidential adviser in Honduras says Zelaya’s removal was a good thing

According to a former top official in Honduras, the expulsion of the country’s president, Manuel Zelaya, wasn’t a coup d’état but rather a sign the Honduran people have collectively “decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men.” Octavio Sánchez, a former presidential adviser and minister of culture in Honduras, argues Zelaya’s attempt to re-write the country’s constitution triggered a provision that immediately stripped him of his authority, leaving the military no choice but to ship him off to Costa Rica. To Sánchez, the widespread interpretation of Zelaya’s removal as undemocratic ignores the underlying fact that “continuismo—the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely—has been the lifeblood of Latin America’s authoritarian tradition.” That the Supreme Court acted as swiftly as it did to prevent Zelaya from strong-arming his way to an indefinite presidency should be celebrated, Sánchez writes. “Don’t believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.”
The Christian Science Monitor

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.