Brian Sheppard

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In April, Honduras’s Supreme Court invalidated the country’s rigid presidential term limit — and drastically undermined its Constitution.

The Honduran Constitution — which limited presidents to a single four-year term — includes an extraordinary provision that makes the term limit unamendable by any process whatsoever and mandated harsh penalties for any politician who tried to change it.

The Constitution’s drafters specifically wrote the text to safeguard the country from military dictators or caudillos who refused to leave power, of which there is a sordid history in Honduras and throughout Latin America.

But what has occurred is precisely what the Constitution’s drafters feared.…  Seguir leyendo »

Is Honduras ready for a return to the community of nations? It has been almost two years since the forced removal of then-President Manuel Zelaya at the hands of the Honduran military. On June 1, the Organization of American States said yes, when it lifted the suspension of Honduras from the organization by a vote of 32 countries in favor and one against. Still, the question on everyone's mind remains: Was there a coup d'état in 2009? Perhaps the better question to ask is: How can similar instability be avoided in the future in Honduras and elsewhere in the region?

Immediately after Zelaya's removal, the United States, the United Nations and the OAS denounced the ouster as illegitimate and demanded Zelaya's restoration, which triggered restrictions on foreign aid and trade.…  Seguir leyendo »