If anything, the hemisphere’s unanimous, outraged reaction to events in Tegucigalpa–which, for once, saw Washington and Caracas in strong agreement against the coup–underlines the region’s pathologically imbalanced veneration of presidential power. After all, in 1999, when Hugo Chávez, with the agreement of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, moved to shut down Venezuela’s democratically elected congress, we heard nary a peep from the OAS. And in 2007, when Ecuador’s own neoauthoritarian president Rafael Correa moved to shut down congress with the Supreme Court’s approval, nobody cried coup. In neither case were those closures allowed by the existing constitution, yet nobody would’ve taken cries of a “coup” seriously.
Somehow, though, when the Honduran Congress, with the support of the Supreme Court, moves against the president, the continent’s foreign affairs ministries fly into deep crisis mode.
And, erm…if that reads to you suspiciously like Juan’s take in the comment thread yesterday…well, there’s a reason for that.