Mary Anastasia O’Grady cuts through the understandable confusion surrounding recent events in Honduras to provide what looks to be a cogent analysis of the state of play following last week’s agreement:
Finally the U.S. and the Organization of American States (OAS) have agreed to step aside and allow Honduran institutions to decide if Mr. Zelaya is to be reinstated. Without international meddling, it is quite likely that Mr. Zelaya will be refused the presidency once more.
O’Grady also highlights the deplorable role played in this drama by our ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, and by his boss, President Obama:
The moment the Honduran Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Mr. Zelaya in June for organizing mob violence and attempting to overthrow the constitution Mr. Llorens anointed himself colonial viceroy in charge of imposing U.S. will. Plenty of Molotov-hurling leftists also took Mr. Zelaya’s side. But Mr. Llorens staked out a position for the U.S., defending the legitimacy of the erratic former president. The U.S. ambassador used every weapon he could lay his hands on to try to force the country to restore Mr. Zelaya to power.
This violated Honduran sovereignty. But Mr. Llorens’s boss back home, Barack Obama, seemed more interested in appeasing U.S. enemies than standing by friends, or even sticking to his pledge not to meddle in other countries’ affairs. Mr. Chávez and Fidel Castro were supporting Mr. Zelaya, and Mr. Obama apparently wanted to be part of the gang.
But Honduras resisted U.S. pressure and, by doing so, secured a deal that O’Grady believes will probably prevent a return to power by President Zelaya:
Yet it is likely that the interim government decided to take the gamble because it believes that the high court and Congress, which both voted overwhelmingly to strip Mr. Zelaya of the office, will stand strong. In return for this risk, it gets U.S. and OAS recognition of the Nov. 29 presidential elections.
What is more, there will be no amnesty for Mr. Zelaya. He already has more than a dozen outstanding arrest warrants against him, and when he steps out of the Brazilian Embassy it is fully expected that he will be detained. The agreement also says that there will be no constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution so as to end presidential term limits.
In any event, the final resolution is back in the hands of the Hondurans, as it should be.