Saturday, October 31, 2009
In sad news, the United States's pressure on Honduras appears to have finally resulted in the reinstatement of former President Zelaya to office. In my view, and I have never seen anything that argues persuasively to the contrary, Zelaya was legally removed from office by the Supreme Court of Honduras (although he appears to have been illegally, while sensibly, removed from the country). I can only hope that he does not somehow manage to keep power or that his example is not used by other would be dictators to seize power. Unfortunately, it appears that President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua has recently used illegitimate means to displace term limits.
According to the New York Times, Latin American experts portray the development as a breakthrough by President Obama. Yes, this is exactly the kind of breakthrough we can expect from our President.
Update: Various people have said that the arrangement is no big deal and that it is face saving for Obama/Hillary. I certainly consider this to be a significant possibility, but it is by no means certain. Political dynamics and violence are unpredictable. But, more importantly, that Honduras had to agree to this, given the situation, is nonetheless outrageous. When a largely innocent man is treated like a criminal, even if he is ultimately released from jail before trial, it is something to bemoan. The same is true of an innocent country -- especially in a region where the real criminals, like Ortega and Chavez, are getting away with murder.