*sigh* No, Manuel Zelaya is not an "anti-American socialist"

I can’t believe I need to point that out, but that silly meme keeps popping up from conservaDopers – even usually rational ones like Sam Stone – in threads such as this one on the ongoing Honduras constitutional crisis.

Manuel Zelaya is not a “socialist.” He’s a businessman. Nor is he “anti-American.” N.B.: The characterizations “socialist” and “anti-American” do not automatically apply to any leader who , for whatever political or strategic reasons, makes an alliance with Chavez or Castro.

Manuel Zelaya:

Say what you will about his record, but it is not that of an “anti-American socialist.”

Zelaya has also been called “antisemitic,” BTW. FWIW, he responded to the charge in a recent interview from the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa:

Arrant nonsense, of course. The idea that an allegation of actions by Israeli mercenaries can be construed to be some sort of crypto-anti-Semitism is laughable. As is the idea that the ADL represents the interests of Jews, rather than being an instrument of neoconservatism.

How would anyone get the impression that a man who is allying himself with Hugo Chavez and the Castro regime could possibly be an anti-American socialist? And what’s a few ‘periodic criticisms of the United States’ between friends?

Did you even read your own cite?

He also sought to join the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a left-wing organization of countries which has as its core members Cuba and Venezuela. Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega also joined - Veritable Thomas Jeffersons, all.

So… Your evidence that he’s not a socialist includes his alliance with socialists and/or communists, his miserable record for economic development, and his almost complete lack of support at home for his current policies, and confrontations with business leaders and with America. Also, his administration was corrupt.

What was I thinking?

Riiight. *Of course *Zelaya is a socialist, just look at his party:

Yep, classic socialist.

You mean… the party that was in open revolt against him?

Lots of countries’ leaders have criticized the U.S., especially over the last 8 years. Doesn’t make them “anti-American.” Neither does allying with Chavez or Castro. People (and countries) do have the right to make their own friends, for their own reasons.

Your enemy’s enemy might be your friend, but your enemy’s friend is not necessarily your enemy; to the contrary, he might be the mutual friend who can make peace between you – if you give him a chance.

For that matter, Chavez himself is “anti-American” only by America’s choice.

The main point of ALBA is to provide an alternative to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which, like NAFTA, inevitably would be U.S.-dominated. It is not “anti-American” for Latin American countries to want something all their own, it is simply common sense – NAFTA has not been that great a deal for Mexico, after all. It is not the first such attempt, either; there are also Mercosur and the Andean Community, which are in the process of merging into a Union of South American Nations (which I expect ALBA will merge with sooner or later, if only Hugo Chavez and Alvaro Uribe can stand living in the same house). Are they all, all anti-American?

Morales is, certainly. As for Ortega, he might have come to power by revolution in the beginning (which would have been completely anathema to Jefferson :rolleyes:), but he won the presidency fair and square in 1984, and again in in 2006 when the Nicaraguan people had a chance to look back to his government and those before and after it and compare. What more do ya want?!

Which is conspicuously not characterized by trying to do anything in Honduras like Castro did in Cuba, or even Chavez in Venezuela. Oh, wait! I forgot! He tried to open tentative discussions on re-nationalizing Hondutel! Blatant Marxist! :rolleyes:

None of which has anything to do with socialism, and all of which can be said of countless by-no-definition-socialist leaders and governments.

The ADL doesn’t have anything to do with neoconservativism.

Actually, he’s not a socialist. He’s a populist. If he’d thought that painting himself blue would garner him more votes and higher ratings, he would have gone cyan. And he’s a wannabe dictator, which is why his former party wants him out: he’s betrayed their ideology in his search for perpetual presidency.

Well, probably reading beyond ideological sources that you seem to rely on would have helped.

Anti American is a fair cop, but socialist isn’t. As Nava write, populist and nascent dictator is probably fair as well. Of course,

Hard to tell, although it seems up the typical alley as it were. The grab bag above is just plain muddled. I mean, “also his administration was corrupt…” What the bloody hell that has to do with Anti American or Pro American escapes.

That seems like quite the stretch. While the Americans certainly pushed, Chavez wanted to go there.


No party in the Honduran dispute seems covered up in glory one might add. Seems particularly unhelpful though to start seeing communists behind every tree, rather than simply going for “erratic populist with yearning to dictatorship.”

The way I see it is that by their deeds one should see who deserves pragmatic support, and when one sees the deeds of the ones that claim that Zelaya was a “wanna be dictator”, the deeds show that one should actively oppose the current actual dictators.


Funny thing is that as much as the de facto regime claims that they lifted the decree, the fact is that all the equipment seized from the opposition media must be requested back to the government by legal means. In effect, continuing to gag any opposition voices while the de facto government requests to the world that the coming elections be recognized.

One should stop claiming that it is raining when when the real dictators are peeing on the people.

This needs no translation:


Honduras police dismantling the transmission antennas of Channel 36.

Even the alleged “wanna be dictator” acts from Zelaya pale in comparison to that, not to mention the beatings, arrests and murder coming from the actual dictators.

Bear in mind that, if the nonbinding poll Zelaya wanted had gone forward, and if the proposal (one of several) for abolishing the presidential one-term limit had been approved, it still would have had to go through the normal constitutional amending process and would not have taken effect until Zelaya were out of office. IOW, he would not have benefited personally.

The way I see it, neither side is particularly covered in glory, and nothing about Zelaya was particularly encouraging - whatever post-facto excuses are made about him.

A careful, “return to democracy” line seems well warranted, taking neither particular side. That seems to be the general trend of global reaction.

Charming rendition. You left out the part where it was declared unconstitutional. I rather suggest it is pretty bloody naive (or disingenuous) to believe that he was not looking at own interests, packaged with plausible deniability.

I think you have a faulty level of equality, can you point at when Zelaya arrested, beat or killed people, or told the army and police to close opposition media?

Charming, you base that on the ones that laugh at the constitution and produce justifications out of thin air.

When a bigger crime is committed to take care of an accusation, it is ridiculous to take the side of the bigger criminal. Even more so when the crime is ongoing and the accused has no power.

It seems not unreasonable to suggest that he had not arrived at that stage yet.

When a bigger crime is committed to take care of an accusation, it is ridiculous to take the side of the bigger criminal. Even more so when the crime is ongoing and the accused has no power.

I am taking no particular side, I stated several times neither side is covered in glory. I see neither as particularly in the right as such.

Before the coup that was a reasonable point, after the coup that is not reasonable. A bigger ongoing crime is happening, no one that appreciates democracy should remain just on a neutral position. More pressure is needed if only to save lives in Honduras and to restore basic freedoms.

Right, pattern your foreign policy exactly on American interests or you are anti-American. No matter if you are a small latin American country dealing with other countries in your sphere.

People will not recognize that that Cold-War is over until all the Cold-Warriors are dead.

But it does seem unreasonable to assume it.

I know it was, and the provision of the Honduran constitution on which that conclusion was premised, which is itself a very interesting discussion. But how is that relevant?

Then please explain the mechanism, constitutional or unconstitutional, by which Zelaya could have hung on for a second term, with his country’s military and the social elite dead set against that, and his personal approval rating with the general public none too high, as Sam Stone as pointed out. Zelaya probably has more of a power base now than before he was deposed.