Nicaragua, Honduras and Hypocrisy

LAST YEAR, leftist Honduran President Manuel Zelaya sought to stage an illegal referendum as part of a bid to overturn a constitutional ban on his reelection. The country’s supreme court ordered his arrest by the army, which then overstepped legal bounds by deporting him. Led by its leftists, the Organization of American States rushed to denounce the “coup” and expel Honduras. Despite subsequently holding a presidential election recognized as constitutional, free and fair, the country has not been readmitted to the regional forum.

OAS members signed a special charter nine years ago committing themselves to defend democracy; in Honduras’s case, they have been — to say the least — hyper-vigilant. But what of neighboring Nicaragua? There, President Daniel Ortega, who, like Mr. Zelaya is a leftist populist, has used blatantly illegal decrees, the manipulation of court rulings and mob violence by his supporters to clear the way for his reelection, even though it is explicitly prohibited by the constitution.

The reaction of the OAS? Utter silence. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza rushed to validate a dubious claim by leftist Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa that a dust-up he had with protesting police on Sept. 30 amounted to a coup attempt. But Mr. Insulza had nothing to say about a ruling the same week by a self-styled supreme court, composed entirely of members of Mr. Ortega’s Sandinista movement, that ordered the electoral authority to accept him as a candidate.

Mr. Ortega’s assault on Nicaragua’s constitution makes both Mr. Zelaya and the Honduran army look timid…continue Washington Post news article here.

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