Kudos to the constitutional government of Honduras. According to various news reports, the Brazilian government has been advised that it has ten days to decide what it intends to do with the ousted Honduran president that has sought shelter in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa or face expulsion of the Brazilian Ambassador from the country.
It is tragic that the Obama Administration’s Latin America team has allowed this matter to devolve to this point. After decades of developing a thriving democracy, Hondurans have been left to fend for themselves against Cuban/Venezuelan designs on their country. A loyal ally and trade partner deserves better.
Rather than serve as the impartial mediator and supporter of rule of law, the Obama Administration’s Latin America team has fumbled this issue to the point where its negligence has allowed the Castro brothers, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and their supporters to politically capitalize on this issue. There are unconfirmed reports that former Zelaya officials are seeking a way to return to the country through other Latin American embassies. Someone needs to put a stop to all of this.
As for the Organization of American States (OAS), its current leaders have further reinforced the long-held view by many in this town that the organization is in need of reform and updating. Its leaders cling to a Cold War-era view of the world that is hurting the institution and, in the process, dragging the U.S. into situations that hurt our national interests. It is also a drain on U.S. taxpayer monies – a forensic audit is long overdue.
The Honduran government should have issued a démarche to the Brazilians as soon as Zelaya was found holed up in the Brazilian Embassy. But, who could blame them for the delay? It is somewhat unbelievable that Zelaya would do such a thing. Zelaya has not only hurt his own position, illegitimate as it was prior to this act. But he has also made it harder for his supporters in the United States – including some in the Obama Administration – to continue to support restoring him to power.
For now, the government of Honduras should be congratulated for standing firm. Zelaya’s bizarre behavior proves that. The Obama Administration’s Latin American team should do the responsible thing, before further losing control of this matter, and urge Brazil to remove Zelaya from Honduras or, if an arrangement can be reached that will not destabilize the country, have him turned over to Honduran authorities so that he can face trial for violating the Honduran constitution.
Onward to the free elections in November.
P.S. … Remember Zelaya is not the issue – he is a tool for supporters of a constituent assembly to destroy Honduran democracy.