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Professor Julian Ku's Observations on Senator DeMint's Honduras Trip

Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Senator Jim DeMint (R-NC) authored a WSJ Op-Ed highly critical of the Obama Administration’s policy toward Honduras. Honduras is currently governed by de facto President Roberto Micheletti; however, the Obama administration recognizes the ousted Manuel Zelaya as the lawfully elected, de jure President.

DeMint issued this Op-Ed following his trip to Honduras in early October, in which he visited Micheletti, as well as other current Honduran leaders. The opinion piece includes a link to a report by the Law Library for Congress summarizing the Honduran Constitutional basis for Zelaya’s removal. The report cites a number of the Honduran Constitutional provisions that provide authority for Zelaya’s removal, and support for DeMint’s position.

Shortly thereafter, Hofstra Law Professor Julian Ku wrote a piece at OpinioJuris, with the first item dealing with the challenges that the DeMint trip posed for the “one voice” element of US foreign policy. If DeMint waited until his return and the subsequent WSJ Op-Ed to make those criticisms, those statements, as Professor Ku, are fair game. Professor Ku’s next observation raises an interesting point: “On the other hand, suppose he was careful not so say anything whil in Honduras, but then he launches this broadside only when he got home. I suppose there is not a big difference now that everyone is reading it on the Internet anyway.” Is this is a valid argument? Perhaps Senator DeMint was aware that saving his criticisms for the return trip home would not prevent him from reaching a target audience in Micheletti.


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