Cuba Isn’t Worth the Headache. But See Colombia.

When ‘Cuba’ and ‘national security’ are mentioned in the same sentence, they tend to be followed by phrases like ‘refugee wave,’ ‘Marxist revolutionaries’ and ‘missile crisis.’ The steps towards normalization of relations with the old Communist foe have caused reactions as varied as the embargo is old, but the ship has set sail and Americans should start accepting that this country’s future with Cuba is going to look a lot different than it did to their parents. Or grandparents. Or great-grandparents. Continue reading “Cuba Isn’t Worth the Headache. But See Colombia.”

Are Republicans Breaking U.S. Law in Honduras?

In the past week, seven congressional Republican have traveled to Honduras to visit Interim President Roberto Micheletti, who ousted Manuel Zelaya in a coup on June 28. An article in Counterpunch says that it seems these representatives have violated the Logan Act. The Logan Act states that anyone who communicates with foreign governments with the intent of influencing policy, without government authorization , is subject to fine and imprisonment. The Obama Administration does not recognize the Micheletti government.

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.