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 »
Ever since Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister who died Saturday, fell into a coma after suffering a stroke eight years ago, Israelis and Palestinians had been living in the subjunctive mood. “What if?” they asked themselves.
What if Mr. Sharon had remained at the head of his new and promising centrist party, Kadima? What if he had been able to follow through on his dramatic withdrawal of soldiers and settlers from the Gaza Strip the year before?
This “disengagement” from Gaza in 2005 was Israel’s first practical act of decolonization since Prime Minister Menachem Begin — like Mr. Sharon, from the Likud party — withdrew Israeli troops and settlers from the Sinai Peninsula following a treaty with Egypt.… Seguir leyendo »
How can Egyptians and the world stem the tide of violence and chaos that has engulfed the country since the military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi? The answer depends on the success of Egypt’s new constitutional process.
Critics of the military’s constitutional declaration in July have largely focused on particular features of the proposed text, including the provisions backing sharia or the powers of the presidency. But a well-designed, inclusive process would help heal the wounds of the recent turmoil and play a key role in determining the legitimacy and stability of Egyptian democracy. A poorly thought-out process, like the one Egypt went through in 2012, could inflict a mortal wound to the fledgling democracy.… 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 »
Israel intentionally went after civilians in Gaza — and wrapped its intention in lies.
That chilling — and misguided — accusation is the key conclusion of the United Nations investigation, led by Richard Goldstone, into the three-week war last winter. “While the Israeli government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercises of its right to self-defense,” the report said, “the mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.”
The report has produced a storm of outraged rejection in Israel.… Seguir leyendo »
1.- An End To Extreme Poverty
Our generation’s unique challenge is to live peacefully and sustainably on a crowded planet. I commit America to work with all the world to end extreme poverty in our generation, convert to sustainable energy and ecosystem use, and stabilise the world’s population by 2050, before our numbers and resource demands overwhelm the planet and our fragile capacity to co-operate. Our wars are distractions from these challenges; today’s enemies will become tomorrow’s partners in shared prosperity.
By Jeffrey Sachs, professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is also a special adviser to United Nations secretary-general on the millennium development goals.… Seguir leyendo »