From this day forth, Monday is the day we take a step back and ask, "What's up, World?"
Lots of interesting stuff happening around el mundo:
Four years after an extraordinarily close (3%) presidential election and Bush's implementation of CAFTA, the Honduran population is up in arms after the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was detained by the military. Zelaya and his supporters were arrested after he fired the armed forces commander Romeo Vasquez Velasquez. Velasquez's removal followed a failed referendum that would have allowed Zelaya to be re-elected for another four-year term. A Latin American advocacy group believes that Velasquez was trained in the United States.
Honduran presidents can only remain in command for four years in the current constitutional system. Zelaya's referendum would have changed the Honduran constitution, a constitution that was infamously crafted during the Reagan Administration's Latin American interventions. As we know from the United States' federal experience, four years is a surprisingly short period of time to get legislation passed. Honduras is currently the second poorest country in Latin America, and Zelaya had introduced widespread propaganda messaging in May 2007 to help quell what he then called "a campaign of misinformation" regarding his legitimacy.
Since the military detained Zelaya and his supporters, protesters have taken to the streets to denounce the military and judicial branches. The population seems to be divided at best in its support for Zelaya, a reminder that not much has changed since he was elected to office. Although Zelaya had been elected upon a conservative platform, he currently holds the largest amount of support among labor unions and social groups as his policies have continually pushed left on the political spectrum.
Zelaya has enjoyed relative approval in the West and across the world despite his recent dealings with Venezuela's Leftist leader Hugo Chavez. The U.S. and Honduras have continued a strong relationship between armed forces. Chavez currently claims that the U.S. orchestrated the coup. Secretary of State Clinton, the Obama Administration, and the vast majority of the United Nations currently condemn the coup and support a controlled, legal impeachment and election process.
Brazil's Still The Best
The United States international soccer team lost the Confederation Cup final in heartbreaking fashion yesterday, giving up three goals to Brazil in the second half after leading 2-0 at halftime. After coming out strong in Johannesburg to prove that Americans can compete with the world's best clubs, twenty-nine year old Sao Paoloan Luis Fabiano scored two of Brazil's three (including this lightning strike in the first minute of the second half) to capture the game's momentum. Fabiano fulfilled his promise of averaging one goal per game in the tournament on top of lifting his team to win a second straight Confed Cup trophy. Following the match, an ESPN reporter asked USA star Landon Donovan if he thought the USA had earned respect going into the World Cup qualifiers. "We don't want respect," he replied, "We want to win."
In other news, the United States prepares its troops for their first major withdrawal from Iraq (scheduled for tomorrow). The current American death toll stands at 4,317 after a casualty was reported earlier today.