Thursday, December 3, 2009

Honduras to Obama: Pound Sand

Today the Honduran Parliament voted overwhelmingly not to reinstate Manuel Zelaya to serve the remainder of his term which expires January 27.  In so doing, the legitimate Honduran government sends a resounding rebuke to the Obama administration which supported Zelaya until just last week.

Ed Morrissey has, as usual, the most interesting coverage in his post, Honduran Parliament to Obama: Pound sand at HotAir:

The vote is a slap in the face to the Obama administration, which has insisted that the parliament conducted a coup by removing Zelaya from office. After getting slapped by Congress and its Law Library for misstating the facts of Zelaya’s removal, the State Department reluctantly agreed to recognize the regularly-scheduled Honduran presidential election and let Honduras’ parliament determine Zelaya’s status. The White House publicly expected Honduras to restore Zelaya in some capacity for a short transition period.

However, as statements by MPs on the floor show, Obama and his team miscalculated the depth of the insult felt by Hondurans over the US intervention:

Politician after politician insisted that they were right the first time when they voted to oust Mr Zelaya for ignoring a Supreme Court order to cancel a referendum on changing the constitution. …

“My vote is [a lesson] for anyone who pretends to perpetuate himself in power. My vote is so that my son can look at me and say ‘Dad, you defended democracy,” said Antonio Rivera of Mr Lobo’s conservative National Party.

Now what? The US position had been that Zelaya had to be reinstated, but their shift makes that unclear. Brazil, Venezuela, and Nicaragua won’t recognize the election results. Costa Rica, which tried to reach a negotiated solution that would have put Zelaya back in office but almost powerless, has already announced that they will accept the election results. The US decision will likely signal the rest of the OAS states as to whether a free election should be recognized, or whether the US wants to ignore the will of the people just to score some political points and foist Zelaya onto an unwilling populace.

That’s about as lose-lose as one will see in diplomacy, and it was utterly, utterly avoidable. The best thing that Obama can do is to swallow his medicine and learn to shut up. (via Fausta)
When George Bush was our President, the left was constantly critical of his "cowboy diplomacy."  Barack Obama has traveled the globe condemning the arrogance of American foreign policy.  What could possibly be more arrogant that telling one of the poorest democratic republics on earth that they have no right to defend their own constitution against a megalomaniacal leader?  And while we're at it, who truly looks like a phony cowboy?

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

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