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Senate Proceeding 07-07-09 on Jul 7th, 2009 :: 1:07:20 to 1:20:30
Total video length: 4 hours 50 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mel Martinez

1:07:16 to 1:07:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: this time. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: mr. president, i yield the f a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. martinez: mr. president, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that i be permitted to speak as if in morning business for a period of about ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. martinez: thank you, mr. president.

Mel Martinez

1:07:20 to 1:20:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mel Martinez

Mel Martinez

1:07:37 to 1:07:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: let me begin by thanking my dear friend from the state of arizona for again and reminding us of this regious practice of earma spending tha only grow, but who continues to be really, i think, a dark mark on our record here as members of

Mel Martinez

1:07:58 to 1:08:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: the united states and i think, as he rightly pointed out, at a time of serious economic distress in places like certainly can say as in florida, that it is a bit out of sync for us to be continuing the spending as usual just by the mere fact that there is a member of the

Mel Martinez

1:08:19 to 1:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: appropriations committee that can in fact comma be done only because it will benefit a narrow interest within their state, within their district, which in tpafbgt may not -- in fact may not have been requested and may not be needed. mr. president, i rise to speak about the events in honduras.

Mel Martinez

1:08:40 to 1:09:03( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: honduras are the -- the events that are taking place in honduras right now are the unfortunate result of a from both the united states and the inter the assault of the honduras democric institutions. it is difficult for hondurans and other democracies within the region to understand the full

Mel Martinez

1:09:04 to 1:09:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: significance of president zolia -- zolia's expulsion from honduras. up until this point there has not been significant dismantling of free societies in venezuela, bolivia and as honduras was going down the path, you might add nicarauga to that. it is also hard to explain why

Mel Martinez

1:09:27 to 1:09:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: there was silence in the president zolia's earlier actions, especially the events that have appeared to precipitated his ousting, the story of a military base to receive referendums previously declared unconstitutional by the honduras supreme

Mel Martinez

1:09:50 to 1:10:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: a fundamental tenet of democracy. you've got a president in the executive branch and a judicial branch of government, and that anch of government told the president that the referendum he was seeking to have to extend his rule beyond the constitutional term was illegal, should not be done.

Mel Martinez

1:10:11 to 1:10:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: he was undeterred and he was completely unrepentant as he sought to continue with his plan to have a referendum, even though the congress, even the judiciary had already told him that that was in contravention of the constitution of their country. where was the region's outrage or hugo chavez's support for mr. zolia's unconstitutional

Mel Martinez

1:10:34 to 1:10:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: actions in honduras? mr. chavez supported mr. zolia because they because mr. chavez had been able to usurp every bit of democracy within venezuela and rules as an auto crat. he wand that same play book to

Mel Martinez

1:10:55 to 1:11:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: be applied in honduras as he coached in bolivia a to some degree in nicarauga as well. so the honduran people decided this was tphoft going to happen in their -- not going to happen in their country and the people of the honduran congress and the honduran supreme cou decided it would not happen on their watch. but the silence followed a

Mel Martinez

1:11:18 to 1:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: pattern of acquiescence of chavez's dismantling of democratic institutions in venezuela. for instance, the o.e.s. has said absolutely nothing about chavez's closing of independent media, his manipulation of elections, his erosion of independent branches of government and his usurping of

Mel Martinez

1:11:39 to 1:12:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: the authority of local elected officials. leaders like chavez, ortega and zolia have cloaked themselves in the language of democracy when it's convenient for them. yet, their actions ignore it when it doesn't further their personal ambitions. this situation was compounded by the united states' actions, including work behind the scenes to keep the honduran congress

Mel Martinez

1:12:01 to 1:12:23( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: and supreme court from using the clearly legal means of presidential impeachment. some of us have wondered why wasn't he impeached? why didn't the congress impeach president zolia? the fact of the matter is that our embassy in tegucigalpa counseled that we should not do that -- that they should not do that, that the hondurans should

Mel Martinez

1:12:24 to 1:12:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: not use the tools of impeachment. having stood on the sidelines while mr. zolia overstepped the nation's constitution, the united states and the international community only speak now. protecting a sitting president regardless of their illegal act sets a dangerous precedent. instead u.s. policy should be focused on supporting efforts that uphold the integrity of constitutional order and

Mel Martinez

1:12:46 to 1:13:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: democratic institutions. in fairness with the obama administration, this distorted policy is not new. they're advised from the state department, former president george w. bush was talked out of having the united states stand visibly in latin america. the advice was based on the belief by not making the united

Mel Martinez

1:13:07 to 1:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: states an issue this would allow the united states to stand up for democratic activists. unfortunately, no country or leader did so. most importantly, the secretary general of the organization of american states passed that idly by year after year, democracy after democracy being dismantled one piece at a time, one

Mel Martinez

1:13:28 to 1:13:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: institution at a time, saying absolutely nothing. e o.a.s. has a responsibility to condemn and sanction presidential abuses, not just abuses against presidents. because the o.a.s. failure to uphold the checks and balces within democracies, it has become an enableer of authoritarian leaders throughout the region.

Mel Martinez

1:13:50 to 1:14:11( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: the result of this has been a signal of acceptance to antidemocratic actions and abandonment of those fighting for democracy in venezuela, bolivia, nicarauga, ecuador and elsewhere. this silence was compounded by recent repudiation of the application of the inter american charter, democratic charter to the cuban dictatorship.

Mel Martinez

1:14:12 to 1:14:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: it was in honduras with mr. zolia taking the leading role where the o.a.s. general assembly decided against any clear democratic standards for cuba retaking his seat in that organization. so here's what occurred. therganization of american states filled with the desire to reincorporate cuba into the family of ignoring that for 50 years cuba

Mel Martinez

1:14:34 to 1:14:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: has been a military without even the vestiges of a free and fair election, and they invited cuba to be readmitted without setting up a standard by which they would have to live. president zelaya, with his partner, hugo chavez, was leading the charge saying cuba should be welcomed back and

Mel Martinez

1:14:55 to 1:15:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: there should be no conditions. the conditions of democratic rule upon to try to get his presidency back. it was mr. zelaya seeking the protection of the democratic charter of the o.a.s. which he thinks important to apply to him but which he felt was unimportant to apply to the rights and opportunities of the

Mel Martinez

1:15:16 to 1:15:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: cuba democratic future for themselves. the cris in honduras stems from the failure of its leaders to live within constitutional boundaries and the early silence of the united states and the international community regarding the abuse of power by the honduran executive. tragically, the united states and the o.a.s. have put honduras and the region in a position

Mel Martinez

1:15:39 to 1:15:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: where democracy is the looser once again. the return of the approval of the unconstitutional act. if he is not allowed to return the unacceptable bear of forcibly exiling a leader is given tass the approval. this is what happens when principles are sacrificed for a

Mel Martinez

1:16:00 to 1:16:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: policy only described as appeasement of authoritarians. in the crent crisis neither the united states nor other countries in the region or the international community should be taking sides in a constitutional dispute but rather encouraging a resolution through dialogue among hondurans. to this end, efforts should be focused on helping hondurans form a reconciliation government

Mel Martinez

1:16:22 to 1:16:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: that includes representatives not associated with either government. the objective to keep honduras on track to hold currently scheduled presidential elections in november with the inauguration of a new president in january as mandated by the honduran constitution. the newly elected president with

Mel Martinez

1:16:45 to 1:17:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: anlectoral mandate then can decide how to deal with mr. zoo lay and those involved in -- zelaya and those involved in the out of ther. as president obama takes up key state department positions in the united states it is time to question the acceptance of the uniteunited states of the sustained

Mel Martinez

1:17:07 to 1:17:28( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: dismantling of democratic parties by those seeking to consolidate personal power. this is the larger challenge in latin america and honduras is the latest symptom. the united states must no longer remain silent. any disruption of the constitutional order is unacceptable regardless of who commits it.

Mel Martinez

1:17:29 to 1:17:50( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: it would be well for us to remember that as we look forward to what may come next, the presidential be honored, institutions of democracy, also, ought to be equally honored. secretary of state clinton met

Mel Martinez

1:17:51 to 1:18:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: today at 1:00 with deposed president zelaya and it appears that she is seeking the, to align the united states with the mediation that is about to be undertaken by a nobel prize winning well regarded man from costa rica and that president arias might take the opportunity

Mel Martinez

1:18:13 to 1:18:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: to see how we can bring this process back together again. it seems to me the elections in honduras ought to take place as scheduled and a new democratically elected government ought to go forward. the real question is, will mr. zelaya be allowed to return to the office of president? it seems to be unanimous that

Mel Martinez

1:18:34 to 1:18:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: all monday occurrence institutions oppose such an outcome. they do not want him back. they have seen the dark movie o what life can be like in cuban-type situation. they have seen the erosion of democracy with the complete erosion of freedoms so much made part of what we believe in, in

Mel Martinez

1:18:55 to 1:19:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: this country, that has taken place in venezuela and seen the erosion of democratic values in nicaragua and they don't want to see it happen in their country. and one can't blame them. it would only be fitting they should find comfort by those of us in this country who not only value democracy for us but believe it should be shared by others around the world no

Mel Martinez

1:19:16 to 1:19:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: matter their circumstances. it isn't good enough to be elected democratically but then rule as a dictator process of being an elected president, move to erode all the institutions of democracy -- the courts, the congresses, even the military as an institution; they ought to be respected.

Mel Martinez

1:19:37 to 1:19:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: valued. what the play book of mr. chavez, which is to dismantle the military leadership and bring i cronies of his like, the efforts to then discredit the courts and bring in judges that he would also approve of has been the play book by which chavez has

Mel Martinez

1:19:58 to 1:20:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: operated and the one that mr. zelaya was attempting to put into play so let's hope president arias of costa rica can bring together the groups and there can be a free and fair election with a resolution to this crisis of democracy but let it be a wake-up call tore the

Mel Martinez

1:20:19 to 1:20:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: rest of us -- call to the rest of us who have sat silently by. we ought to say "enough is enough," let's stand for the rule of law and democracy not only on less day but each andive

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