Viewing cable 09RIODEJANEIRO172
Title: Media Reaction Rio de Janeiro, Unacceptable (Coup in

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09RIODEJANEIRO1722009-06-30 13:49:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Rio De Janeiro
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SUBJECT: Media Reaction Rio de Janeiro, Unacceptable (Coup in 
Honduras) 
 
Unacceptable 
On July 30, 2009, center-right daily O Globo writes, "The unanimous 
reaction towards the coup in Honduras shows how much this type of 
action, frequent in the past, is even more unacceptable nowadays in 
Latin America.  There are countries with democratic institutions 
that are more solid than others, but the consensus in the region is 
that these revolutionary adventures are, or should be, out of the 
question. 
 
Meanwhile, within the democratic structures that have become the 
norm for the continent- the last coup was in 2000 in Ecuador- a 
tendency for heads of state to try to stay in power is gaining 
strength. The instrument for doing so is not the coup, but the 
utilization of democratic space to bend institutions for one's own 
benefit. The maneuver's pioneer is Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, with 
his 'Bolivarian revolution,' and his 'socialism of the 21st 
century.' Chavez developed a 'Bolivarian kit', which consists of 
augmenting the power of the State and the executive branch and 
shrinking that of the judiciary and legislative branches. In a way 
that, according to some, democracy still exists in Venezuela. 
 
Another Chavez style initiative was to export the 'Bolivarian kit' 
to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua in an attempt to form an 
anti-American leftist block with Cuba. Chavez's most recent client 
is Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras deposed of on the eve of 
a referendum that would have allowed him to stay in power-a 
principal ingredient in the 'Chavista' kit... the PT did well to 
discard the idea of a third mandate for Lula, something that has yet 
to be decided in Columbia in relation to Uribe. 
 
Zelaya's problem was that his initiative to stay in power was 
blocked by Congress, the electoral court, and the Supreme Court. His 
attempt to change the command of the Army, whose duty was to 
guarantee the realization of the referendum, was also blocked by the 
court. It is up to the leaders of Honduran institutions and Zelaya 
to negotiate, without a democratic rupture. The army should go back 
to the barracks. That is what Latin American leaders, President 
Obama, the OAS, and the European Union all say in unison.  The 
message is clear: the new Honduran government will not be 
recognized. The legitimate president is Zelaya. If he disrespects 
the constitution, this path should lead to impeachment in accordance 
with the law. 
 
Even if the Honduran military's actions can be seen as a 
counter-coup, nothing, not even the Chavez style interference in the 
country's domestic politics, justifies a departure from [adhering 
to] the rule of law. 
 
 
 
MARTINEZ