Honduras grabbed international headlines when the Honduran Military removed José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from power on June 28, 2009. This paper uses the instability in Honduras as a case study of how the United States should respond to threats to democracy, and approach questions of democratic legitimacy in Latin America. It will first evaluate democratic contentions to put the Honduran crisis into a broader historical context. Next, it will examine the legality of the actions that triggered the democratic crisis because, though legality is not sufficient for legitimacy, it should be an important consideration in determining foreign policy responses. It will discuss the choices that the United States had between the removal of President Zelaya and the election of his successor, and analyze the path that the United States ultimately chose by supporting the reinstatement of President Zelaya, until it was clear that the reinstatement would not occur, at which point it decided to support the November election.
"The Honduran Question: The U.S. Answer to Latin America,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol3/iss1/2