John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Speaking Clearly on Honduras

Posted on July 9, 2009



         If there is any member of the Senate who truly knows about the evils of communism, it is Mel Martinez of Florida.


         Senator Martinez came to Florida from Cuba as a young boy.  His family was forced to stay behind, under the oppressive rule of Fidel Castro.


         Martinez spoke truth to power yesterday on the floor of the Senate when he gave his views on the situation in Honduras.


         Mel Martinez is a fair man.  He looks at the issues, not from ideological sense, but from a practical perspective.  He pushes for what works and opposes things that are unworkable. 


         But he knows deep in his soul about the evil that springs from communist dictators like Fidel Castro, and like Hugo Chavez. 


         And he knows that we must choose wisely when it comes to Honduras. 


         In speaking about the reaction of the Organization of American States to the Zelaya ouster, Martinez rightfully pointed out: 


“Where was the region's outrage at Hugo Chavez's support for Mr. Zelaya's unconstitutional actions in Honduras? Mr. Chavez supported Mr. Zelaya because they are kindred spirits because Mr. Chavez had been able to usurp every bit of democracy within Venezuela and rules as an autocrat.”


Martinez pointed out that this was not a military-led operation.  “The people, as represented by their Congress and their Supreme Court, supported removing Zelaya.  “So the Honduran people decided this was not going to happen in their country and the people of the Honduran congress and the Honduran Supreme Court decided it would not happen on their watch.”


Martinez is especially frustrated by the actions of the United States and the State Department:  “This situation was compounded by the United States' actions, including work behind the scenes to keep the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court from using the clearly legal means of presidential impeachment.  Tragically, the United States and the O.A.S. have put Honduras and the region in a position where democracy is the loser once again. This is what happens when principles are sacrificed for a policy only described as appeasement of authoritarians.”


The region is teeming with corrupt dictators who claim to be for the people, but instead partner with drug lords as they destroy democratic institutions.  And the reaction of the United States, under the Presidency of Mr. Obama, to allies has been less than impressive.  Obama is hostile to President Uribe of Columbia.  He has refused to move a Columbian Free Trade Act that will help Columbia recover from the scourge of an illicit drug-trade.  He is planning on cutting back on the assistance necessary to keep Columbia secure from the drug lords. 


And now, he is showing his cards with the Hondurans.  Those cards do not look good for the cause of democracy and free-market capitalism.  But who am I kidding.  With what President Obama is doing here, the cause of free-market capitalism looks equally bleak.


Mel Martinez knows a thing or two about communism.  He should be listened to when he speaks on the situation in Honduras.



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