Venezuela's 2008 GDP: $319,900,000,000
Honduras's 2008 GDP: $14,303,000,000
The economic output of Honduras is only 4.5 % that of Venezuela. I present these numbers as a comparison of the tremendous financial might and leverage Venezuela's tyrant Hugo Chavez has relative to the Honduran government. Chavez can literally "buy" Honduras many times over. That is exactly what he was doing with Manuel Zelaya: he bought our former President out, through both ALBA treats and, one can assume, "personal gifts." It is now being revealed that Zelaya spent US$30 million to promote his "4th Urn" project designed to sack the Honduran Constitution and perpetuate himself in power. $30 million! Where do you think that cash came from?
If Honduran authorities had simply arrested Zelaya and kept him in the country to face the charges against him, Chavez would have left no stoned unturned to ensure that his puppet was released. He would have paid agitators to riot and create chaos in the country without any regard for the consequences on the Honduran population and the country's economy. He and Zelaya would have taken advantage of this artificially created chaos to dismiss the Congress and Supreme Court, install a constituent assembly made up of yes-men and cronies, and, ultimately, install Zelaya as President with indefinite "re-elections." In other words, a socialist dictatorship under the guise of "democracy." Honduras came this||close to going the same route as Venezuela and Ecuador.
In this light, you can see why the military thought it best to plant Zelaya's pajama-bedecked derriere in Costa Rica after he was arrested. The danger is not over. We still have to convince those that matter in the world that the actions taken, while unpleasant, were in the best interest of democracy and the country. In the meantime, there is a rabid megalomaniac tyrant with a bruised ego circling and scheming how to get his puppet back in Honduras's Presidential Palace. If he doesn't succeed this time, he will try again with the new President that takes power January 27, 2010. We Honduran must make sure that, above anything else, we elect a true patriot in November. Someone who won't be seduced by siren call of Chavez's blood-stained oil money.