Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Honduras is caught in an unenviable situation. Despite at least arguably replacing its president in accord with its own laws, its actions were labelled as a "coup" by the rest of the world. The new government is completely isolated and under tremendous pressure. Even though it did the U.S. a favor by removing a Chavez ally, the incompetent Obama administration turned on Honduras, removing the one source of support that the country probably thought it could count on.

After the ex-president snuck back into Honduras, the Brazilian government committed an open act of aggression by hosting him in its embassy, and allowing him to incite insurrection -- a situation that is still ongoing. Yesterday the Honduran president overreacted by declaring a state of emergency, and suspending civil liberties. Although his actions were understandable, taking those measures just lent credence to those who want to pretend that his assumption of power was the equivalent of a military coup. But late yesterday, those measures were reversed.

In an extraordinary televised news conference Monday evening, Mr. Micheletti asked for “forgiveness from the Honduran people” and said he would ask the Supreme Court to lift the decree “as quickly as possible.”
This is yet more evidence that the Micheletti government presides over a functioning democracy that the U.S. should be supporting, not undermining. Honduras is planning to hold elections, but the U.S. and others are threatening to reject the results in advance. It's unclear how the situation will play out. The Honduran government has very few options. 

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