Coup d’état a thing of the past?

"OUT PINOCHELETTI" (a combination of Pinochet the dictator and Micheletti the interim president) Honduran military maintaining order while country awaits further developments

The elected president of Honduras was physically removed from office by the Honduran military and flown to Costa Rica on Sunday June 30. Apart from no foreign country (outside of Taiwan and Israel) recognising the new illegitimate government, the Organization of American States  (OAS) has demanded that Manuel Zelaya be reinstated or Honduras will be banned from the organization.

No where else have military dictatorships been more successful and more frequent than in Latin America. The latest and more infamous being the one of Chile’s Pinochet. Who made the news in 1998 when he was arrested in London for crimes against humanity. While Pinochet evaded trial for the killings, torture and disappearances of more than 3000 people, the arrest did send a chilling message to all former dictators that their days of immunity could be numbered.

Since that episode, the international community particularly in Latin America thought that the days of police states, military governments and nation-wide boot camps were over. As mentioned in my previous post, democracy was the model Latin America along with the Western countries aspired to uphold. Even Chavez’s Venezuela qualifies as a democracy. Continue reading

Democracy and the right to vote

Polling Booths - Ben Sutherland (Flickr)

We are at an age where democracy is the governance model that leading western countries adopt and attempt to introduce around the world – sometimes by force (Afghanistan, Iraq) and sometimes by political or economic pressure (Cuba). Let’s not forget the amount of interest that the recent Iran election has sparked.


Democracy for me means that individuals (adults) who belong to a country through birth right or citizenship may exercise their consent on who should govern that country for the next four years. Each person is entitled to only one vote and the leader is established by the majority of the people. Continue reading