Travesty In Honduras
There were so many ways to get this right, and one clear to way to completely blow it. The Obama administration chose to blow it, and to blow it big, by embracing an imbalanced dictator-wannabe whose efforts are supported by the worst offenders of representative democracy and individual freedom in the region:
The interim leader of Honduras says he is ready to sign a pact to end its crisis which could include the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.
Roberto Micheletti said the agreement would create a power-sharing government and require both sides to recognise the result of November’s presidential poll.
Mr Zelaya said the deal, which requires the approval of the Supreme Court and Congress, would be signed on Friday.
The opponents had earlier been told by US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon that they had to reach an accord in order to ensure international support for the election on 29 November.
Afterwards, Mr Micheletti announced that a power-sharing deal had been reached that included a “significant concession”.
“I have authorised my negotiating team to sign a deal that marks the beginning of the end of the country’s political situation,” the interim leader told a news conference.
“With regard to the most contentious subject in the deal, the possible restitution of Zelaya to the presidency” would be included, he said.
Mr Zelaya described the accord as a “triumph for Honduran democracy”, and said he was “optimistic” of returning to power.
Fausta calls the above analysis “tactful” and translates the local press reaction as “Micheletti caves under US pressure and agrees to Zelaya’s return” and lists the following terms of the deal:
Noticias 24 lists the main points of the agreement (my translation: if you use this translation please credit me and link to this post):
1. The creation of a reconciliation government.
2. Rejection of political amnesty.
3. Recognition of the November 29 elections.
4. Transferring control of the Armed Forces from the Executive to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
5. Creating a verification commission to enforce compliance with the agreement.
6. Creating a truth commission to investigate the events before, during and after June 28, the date of Zelaya’s removal.
7. Requesting that the international community end all sanctions against Honduras and that they send in observers to the presidential election.
8. Supporting the proposal for a vote of the National Congress with the approval of the Supreme Court of Justice to reinstate all the Executive Power prior to June 28, that is, restoring Zelaya to power.
Although Zelaya’s restoration is largely symbolic (e.g. while he is returned to his office, the election in a few weeks will still occur, and the Supreme Court Electoral Tribunal [Thanks, La Gringa – ed.] now has power over the military instead of the President), the very fact that he is allowed to re-enter Honduras without being immediately arrested, much less that he will be able to call himself President once again, is perhaps the greatest shame of Barack Obama’s young presidency. Without Washington’s bullying of the duly constituted authorities in Honduras, the country would have been held up as an example of independent democracy done right, making a definable break with the banana republics of the past. Instead, the US entered the fray on the side of a criminal Chavista and used our considerable power to retard Honduras’ institutional growth.
There have been times in America’s past where the decision to throw our lot in with certain regimes was questionable at best. In the world of realpolitik, however, it is sometimes necessary to chose the least bad to defend against the infinitely worse. Much of our assistance and meddling in South and Central America, aimed at rebuffing the spread of communism, can be chalked up to that realpolitik. Yet never have we sided against the rule of law in order to defend the wishes of dictators. That is, until now.
Honduras will emerge from this escapade with its dignity and political institutions intact. Unfortunately, that will be despite our best efforts, not because of them.