Latin America: Democracy, Latino-Style

Brazil reacted negatively to a military coup in Honduras, which is re-assuring to Brazil watchers who would like the Latin American democracy to avoid slipping backwards towards a military dictatorship.

“EARLY in the morning on June 28th 2009 a group of soldiers barged into the official residence of Honduras’s president and bundled its occupant, Manuel Zelaya, onto a plane out of the country. Mr Zelaya’s opponents claimed he had violated the constitution, though their real fear was that he was plotting to hang on to power beyond his term with the help of his ally, Mr Chávez. He was replaced by the head of Congress, who organised an election in November last year won by Porfirio Lobo, a traditional politician not unlike Mr Zelaya. To many in Latin America Mr Zelaya’s ousting recalled the nightmare of past military coups. The region’s presidents, led by Brazil, took a stern line: Honduras was suspended from the Organisation of American States and the new president has still not been recognised by many governments. But what happened in Honduras was an isolated incident. Nearly all Latin American elections now are free and fair. After a period of instability during the economic slowdown of 1998-2003, governments generally run their full term.”

Published by Janar Wasito

Janar Wasito is the manager of Magis Capital in San Diego, CA. He is a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Law School, and a former Marine Officer.

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