July 12, 2009
Honduras and Constitutional Democracy
David Fontana, The New Republic
Here in the United States, the removal of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras has prompted disparate reactions from the political right and political left. Conservatives (fearing the influence of Hugo Chavez and his authoritarian brand of politics, with which Zelaya had aligned himself) have tended to side with the coup leaders. Liberals (fearing a return to the era of Latin American military coups) have tended to side with Zelaya.
But both sides are missing a layer of complexity, one that suggests the Honduras crisis isn't an easy case of heroes and villains. What is taking place in Honduras is actually a debate over an old and difficult question: Can a democratically enacted change to a constitution be itself unconstitutional?
The crisis started when Zelaya called for a...
TAGGED: Manuel Zelaya, Honduras