Sure, Honduran president Zelaya is out of a job, thanks to a military coup. But did you know why? Seems as though he betrayed his big business buddies to become a Chavezite populist. He tried to change the constitution to lengthen his stay in office. That’s when the Honduran Congress moved to impeach him. The army jumped the gun and launched a coup before the impeachment could take hold. Now Honduras is in a real mess, government-wise.
Who does Obama’s administration support? Zelaya. OK, so he was the rightfully elected president… but he was also subverting the constitution… The usual argument in such cases is that the president is “friendly to US interests in the region,” but he wasn’t even that. So if we help restore democracy in Honduras, does that mean we have to find a different guy to be president there, one that won’t try to subvert the constitution or install a military dictatorship?
For the record, the elections for later this year are still on. Congress has appointed an interim president, as it’s supposed to do during an impeachment. Sure, Honduras is riddled with corruption at all levels… Zelaya’s probably no better than anyone else climbing the slippery pole of politics over there. If he’s reinstated, look for another coup to happen again, possibly one that kills him. If he’s not reinstated, look for a populist opposition to gain strength against the monied elites of Honduras. Politics have been polarizing in Central and South America, with the sensible folks in the middle having less and less voice as the radicals on the right and left hijack the political processes.