Morning Bell: A Victory for Democracy in Honduras

Conn Carroll /

After casting her ballot for former Vice President Elvin Santos of the ruling Liberal Party in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, Erika Rodriguez told the Miami Herald: “I don’t even care who wins. This is the first time you are going to see all Hondurans celebrating — anybody’s victory.” So despite the fact that her candidate lost to cattle rancher and former congressman Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, Rodriguez joined millions of other Hondurans last night to celebrate a peaceful and successful democratic election.

The turmoil in Honduras began this summer when then-President Manuel Zelaya attempted to hold a referendum to gauge public interest in changing the constitution. As a leftist known for his ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, many democracy advocates in Honduras alleged Zelaya was following in Mr. Chávez’s footsteps and attempting to change the law to stay past term limits. Deeming this was a violation of Honduran law, the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress ousted Zelaya before his term was up. Rather than side with the democratic institutions of the land, the Obama administration surprisingly backed Zelaya’s demand for a return to power. For four months, U.S. diplomats bullied and hectored the interim government of Robert Micheletti to return Zelaya to power — despite an August report from the Law Library of Congress that concluded that the Honduran government had every right to depose him. (more…)