(please scroll down for update. thanks)
With all this excitement going down stateside, we don't want to forget about a neighbor to the south. Previous posts on Honduras, here.
At what point do you think the State Department might have enough egg on its face to call it quits with respect to their embarrassingly political handling of Honduras? They’re calling for another carton.
Honduras will inaugurate president-elect Porfirio Lobo this week, two months after one of the world's most recently famous little countries held a successful democratic election. So we are left to wonder why the United States State Department is still trying to hammer anyone there who dared to participate last summer in the constitutional removal of President Manuel Zelaya from office.
What’s truly amazing is that this fiasco looks to have a happy ending even after the bullying and meddling of super-powers like the U.S. and regional bad actors like Cuba and Venezuela. In a move that for this part of the globe looks damn-near Washingtonian, the interim President and member of the disgraced Zelaya’s own party, Roberto Micheletti, will step down from power so that Lobo can assume the office of president just as Micheletti promised when this whole thing blew up last June.
A smooth transfer of power should be something to be celebrated yet a spiteful State Dept. has refused to re-instate the visas of Micheletti, his cabinet and advisors and the entirety of the Honduran Supreme Court and, last week, the State Dept. continued its spite-fest by yanking even more visas from members of the interim government.
The bullying doesn’t end there as Lobo, under pressure from our government, has agreed to let Zelaya, despite the legal charges against him, go to the Dominican Republic where he will no doubt consort with the likes of Chavez and Brothers Castro to foment discontent towards and within Honduras.
What a tremendous example we have set for burgeoning and struggling deomcracies in the hemishere who will now think twice before turning to the great United States for assistance.
(UPDATE #1):Don’t think for a moment the citizens of Honduras have forgotten about this country’s attempts to interfere with that country’s ouster of Zelaya and the subsequent elections that saw a peaceful transfer of power in the executive branch to a different political party.
Mr. Zelaya's ouster, widely condemned as a coup, plunged Latin America into a diplomatic crisis. No country recognized the new government, the Organization of American States suspended Honduras, and governments and international financial institutions canceled aid. But neither sanctions nor intense diplomatic negotiations were enough to return Mr. Zelaya, a close ally of Venezuela's populist President Hugo Chávez, to power.
The crowd attending Mr. Lobo's inaugural booed mentions of the OAS, U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, and Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, all of whom tried to arrange for Mr. Zelaya's return to power.
The Honduran crisis also created tensions between the U.S. and Brazil, Latin America's emerging heavyweight. Brazil strongly criticized what it said was U.S. reluctance to apply tougher sanctions against Honduras, which depends on U.S. trade and remittances from Hondurans living in the U.S.
Terrific. At the end of the day we wind up pissing off everybody.
The more we think about this, the more we cannot believe that with the deck stacked against Honduras as it was, this potential meltdown is going to have a happy ending. Props to the interim president, Roberto Micheletti, who stayed the course by not giving into overwhelming and near-unanimous pressure from without to re-instate Zelaya and who kept his word by holding elections and stepping down when Lobo won the election. That Washingtonian moment of holding a nation together and graciously and lawfully stepping down when the time came will represent Honduras’ finest hour.
God bless the people and country of Honduras for showing courage and a commitment to the ideals of sovereignty and democracy.
Exit thought: Iran got all the ink with respect to the administration’s handling of the two international crisis but this was far worse as the response to Iran was a sin of omission rather than the sin of commission that was Honduras.
Exit question: For the lefties that write history and love to paint America as the meddling and imperialist bad guy, how will they write the Honduras chapter? Democratic president aligning with the hemisphere’s socialist goons in order to keep another socialist goon in power and ultimately losing out when Honduras elects a conservative to the office of president. That ought to be good read.