Dennis Prager

The importance of the summit meeting in Moscow between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pales in comparison to the events taking place in Honduras.

Whether or not the United States and Russia reduce their nuclear arsenals is ultimately meaningless. But whether Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro are victorious in Honduras or whether the movement toward left-wing authoritarianism is finally defeated in a Latin American country is extremely significant.

The courage of the pro-liberty forces in Honduras is almost miraculous. It is almost too good to be true, given Honduras' consequent isolation in the world.

Even if you know little or nothing about the crisis in Honduras, nearly all you need to know in order to ascertain which side is morally right is this: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Cuba's Castro brothers, the United Nations, and the Organization of American States are all lined up against Honduras.

And what troubles these good people? They claim that there was a military coup in Honduras that renders the present government illegal.

Here, in brief, are the facts. You decide.

The president of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya, a protege of Hugo Chavez, decided that he wanted to be able to be president for more than his one term that ends this coming January -- perhaps for life. However, because the histories of Honduras and Latin America are replete with authoritarians and dictators, Honduras's constitution absolutely forbids anyone from governing that country for more than one term.

So, Zelaya decided to follow Chavez's example and find a way to change his country's constitution. He decided to do this on his own through a referendum, without the congressional authorization demanded by Honduras's constitution. He even had the ballots printed in Venezuela.

As Mary Anastasia O'Grady, who writes The Americas column in the Wall Street Journal, explains: "A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress. But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chavez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela."

The Honduras Supreme Court ruled Zelaya's nonbinding referendum unconstitutional, and then instructed the military not to implement the vote as it normally does. When the head of the armed forces obeyed the legal authority, the Honduran Supreme Court, rather than President Zelaya, the president fired him and personally led a mob to storm the military base where the Venezuela-made ballots were being safeguarded.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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