Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama targets Honduran Supreme Court Justice who signed order for Manuel Zelaya's arrest - UPDATED

"This does seem like Caesar Chavez is running America. You know, if Obama doesn't like you..., you could be destroyed by this guy...."
WLS-Chicago radio host Mancow, in an interview with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter - July 28, 2009

Barack Obama - the bare-knuckle, Chicago-style politician - is now using intimidation tactics to force his political opponents into submission.

As I noted in an earlier post, the Obama administration's decision to revoke the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials linked to the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, came in response to a personal plea from former President Manuel Zelaya who had asked Obama to revoke the coup leaders' U.S. visas.

However, there's another interesting tidbit to this story: U.S. State Dept. spokesman Ian Kelly did not specify the names of the officials whose visas had been revoked ["You know that visa information is confidential", he said at his daily press briefing Tuesday], but according to Rep. Connie Mack, one of them was the Supreme Court justice who signed the order for Manuel Zelaya's arrest:
Representative Connie Mack, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives who visited Honduras over the weekend, told Reuters it was his understanding that two of the people who had their U.S. visas revoked were Tomas Arita Valle, the Supreme Court justice who signed the order for Zelaya's arrest, and Jose Alfredo Saavedra, president of the Honduran Congress.
[This has also been confirmed by the El Heraldo website]

Aside from Manuel Zelaya's personal plea to the president to revoke the visas, there may have been another factor influencing Obama's decision: Hugo Chavez, the president's close confidante.

Recently, the Honduran government issued a communique labeling Venezuelan diplomats in Honduras as undocumented.

Hence, Obama was not only heeding Manuel Zelaya's directive and trying to intimidate the coup leaders, hoping to force them into submission, he was also meting out retribution in defense of his fellow comrade, Hugo Chavez.

Nevertheless, the revocation of the US visas [by the Obama administration] calls for an immediate condemnation and resolution from congress.

Lawmakers must take immediate action to make sure these visas are reinstated and to prevent the president from turning the US government into a repressive, authoritarian and despotic regime.

Unfortunately, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's plate is already full. He is currently taking on the president over his slandering of Cambridge cop James Crowley. But I call on Sen. Jim Demint, Rep. Connie Mack and other Republican lawmakers to do their utmost to make sure that the visas are reinstated.

Chicago-style politics and intimidation tactics have no place in a Democracy, certainly not in the executive branch of the US government.

Congressmen, I beg of you, 'please take immediate action now and make sure these visas are reinstated, promptly'!

Update:

Republicans blasted the Obama administration on Tuesday for revoking visas for members of the de facto government in Honduras, saying Washington was trying to force the restoration of its leftist government...

Conservative Republicans in Congress attacked the move as an overly aggressive tactic aimed at bringing back Zelaya, who is an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and ardent foe of the United States.

Pulling the visas "looks like an attempt to intimidate and kind of manipulate the outcome" in Honduras, said Connie Mack, a Florida Republican in the House of Representatives, who met Micheletti on a fact-finding visit to Honduras last weekend...

Another Florida Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, on Tuesday wrote to the U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, to express her "deep concern" about the decision to rescind the visas.

"Rather than upholding the principles of a true democracy, these actions appear to punish those who are working to preserve the idea of checks and balances in Honduras," the congresswoman wrote.

Explaining the decision to pull the visas, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said "we don't recognize Roberto Micheletti as the president of Honduras, we recognize Manuel Zelaya."...

Conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint... told reporters that revocation of the visas was inexplicable and played into the hands of anti-U.S. governments in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Mild criticism from members of congress is nothing more than political rhetoric. Obama is taking his marching orders from Manuel Zelaya and is also trying to help out his close confidante, Hugo Chavez. As I stated earlier: "Lawmakers must take immediate action to make sure these visas are reinstated and to prevent the president from turning the US government into a repressive, authoritarian and despotic regime.

"Chicago-style politics and intimidation tactics have no place in a Democracy, certainly not in the executive branch of the US government..."

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