Friday, July 3, 2009

Honduras and the US: what I think is going on.

I recently read that the US is the only American country that is still having open diplomatic relations with Honduras. A lot of people are condemning that stand, both inside and outside the US. But I think these people are largely unaware of the relationship that exists between these two countries. I've noticed that Zelaya, unlike Hugo Chavez, has wisely kept quiet on the Americans' position. He isn't calling for the removal of the ambassador (who, by the way, is keeping Zelaya's wife and youngest son in his home in the meantine) like he is calling for the removal of others.

I think all sides are doing the wise thing. Honduras, like it or not, largely depends on the United States for its survival. The US is our main trading partner and military relations have been peaceful since the 80s (though MILITARY relations are cutoff at the moment). I read somewhere that Llorens (the US embassador here) even tried to broker a peaceful solution to the matter of the vote on Sunday, but I'll need to find that article. So really, I think that all three parties here (the new government, Zelaya and the US government) know that for the US to take a decisive, unbreakable stand in this matter would be a death toll for Honduras. As much as Zelaya is calling for insurrection and halfheartedly embracing Chavism, he knows that Honduras can't survive without the help of the US. I've noticed that the more Zelaya has been seen with the members of the ALBA community, the more the tide is beginning to turn against him. The simple truth is that as eager as world leaders were to condemn the ousting of Zelaya, no one seems very keen on standing on the side of Venezuela and Cuba these days. And if Zelaya keeps entrenching himself on that side of the line, he's going to start losing more and more support throughout the world. Particularly from the Americans, who have borne the brunt of Chavez' insults and mad ravings for the past few years. And as much as Zelaya claims that he wants a revolution and is seen embracing Chavism, and as much help as Chavez claims he is willing to give us, the truth is that Venezuela will NEVER be as big and important an ally to have as the US. Venezuela can afford to reject the US and its aid: we simply cannot. And EVERYONE here knows that. No matter what side people are on, the one consensus seems to be that no one wants Chavez to intervene here. And that is a big check against Zelaya.

And now Zelaya is saying that if the November elections go forth as the new government has said they would, that whoever was chosen would not be a legitimate President. That, it seems to me, is digging your own grave a little deeper. You spend the last week ranting and raving about how all you wanted to do was to let the people voice their opinion, and now you want to deny us the one chance we have to make this right? He is setting himself up against the ONE THING that has let the international media not see this as a full-blown military coup? Really?

I don't know what Zelaya wants at this point. I think he's starting to see that returning at the head of a bunch of supporters and trying to reinstall himself as President is looking like a more and more distant possibility. I hear that he's postponing his return date for the third time this week. I think that finally, we're starting to see some dialogue and the international community is looking (critically and fairly) at both sides of the question. As much as the OAS is saying "Bring him back or else!" I highly doubt that the meeting that is supposed to take place between the new government and the OAS President today is going to come down to that one simple issue. A lot depends on that meeting today, We'll see what happens.

I wonder what Zelaya is aiming for now. As marches against him get bigger and bigger and as his group of supporters here gets smaller and smaller (and more and more violent), I think he's seeing that he can't be the big winner here. The bad thing is that he might get more desperate, and that could lead to more of the stupid and rash decisions that led him to where he is now. And that would be good for no one.

I'll update when I know more of the OAS meeting.

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