Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers on Honduras
|Written by Dan Beeton|
|Friday, 27 January 2012 17:01|
Both the New York Times and Washington Post’s fact-checks on the GOP presidential debate Thursday night missed the mark regarding former Senator Rick Santorum’s (R – PA) comments about Honduras.
Responding to the question, “What would each of you do as president to more deeply engage in Latin America and, importantly, to support the governments and the political parties that support democracy and free markets?”, Santorum’s answer included this statement regarding the Obama administration’s response to the 2009 coup in Honduras:
The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker wrote:
The New York Times’ The Caucus responded:
But both “fact-checks” fail to accurately report the Obama administration’s actions following the coup. While Santorum's remarks on Obama and Honduras were certainly absurd, in fact the Obama administration did almost everything it could to make that coup succeed, and alienated most of South America, including Brazil and Argentina, by doing so.
In fact, contrary to The Post’s Fact Checker assertion that the administration worked with the OAS to try “to broker a compromise that would have allowed Zelaya to serve out his term,” the Obama administration blocked an OAS resolution that would have required Zelaya’s return to Honduras as its rightful president before elections could take place. This is why the OAS “effort failed.”
It is also important to remember that coups d’etat have serious consequences for everyday people – not just for government officials and constitutional processes. As Honduras scholar Dana Frank describes in a New York Times op-ed today, “At least 34 members of the opposition have disappeared or been killed, and more than 300 people have been killed by state security forces since the coup, according to the leading human rights organization Cofadeh.”