Last Thursday the EU declared that they do not intend to accept the election in Honduras on Nov 29, but it is not a final decision. This has motivated the opposition of redshirt chavistas, who want Zelaya back and the constitution to be rewritten, to intensify their campaign to derail the election using sabotage, street fights, and sheer terror methods.
The election is, however, constitutional, and it has nothing to do with the deposing of Zelaya as president on June 28. The demand from EU, USA and others that Zelaya is reinstated, is incompatible with the Constitution according to the Supreme Court of Justice.
What the world is demanding is thus that politics shall go before law, which violates the principles of a Rechtsstaat and liberal democracy. They probably hope and maybe even believe that Honduras will yield, but it seems a futile hope, perhaps based on ignorance, which in turn may be based on lack of interest.
In the worst case it is instead a cynical game in which the EU and USA try to avoid appearing as the enemy of Chávez. If they appear as his enemy it would serve his purposes, and he is a much greater threat. If so, the leading democracies in the world are deliberately sacrificing the liberal democracy of Honduras on the alter of world politics.
Regardless of which of the two explanations is true, it is wrong. When one is not absolutely sure about what applies (i.e., all the time), this rule applies:
One just has to do what is right,
and the circumstances may change before ones eyes;
things aren’t always what they seem to be.
It means in this case that one has to support law and democracy in Honduras, and preferably help make sure the election is fair, but at any rate not support opposing forces.
The threat of both the US and now the EU not to acknowledge the election results have motivated the anti-democratic forces in Honduras to intensify their campaign to derail the election. These groups, supported by Chávez and dressed in red shirts, want to replace the present liberal democracy in Honduras with something else, not yet specified what, but presumably something similar to the undemocratic system that Chávez has created in Venezuela, where corporations increasingly are taking over government functions. Their main goal is not that Zelaya returns, but that the present democratic constitution is abandoned.
Their methods to sabotage the election are unfortunately not entirely peaceful. The strategy includes a substantial amount of violence intended to spread terror. The methods are not new, as they were widely used by brownshirts in the 1930’s. The only difference now is that the chavistas are using red shirts.
The tragedy is that the actions of the EU and USA motivate these small but determined anti-democratic groups. If the world hadn’t supported them morally, Chávez might not have financed them, and the violence might soon have ebbed out. What is worse, if the EU and USA had declared clearly that they will not recognize the elections, those groups could have rested since they would have won. But by only threatening not to recognize the outcome, the groups feel compelled to increase the level of violence, since they cannot quite yet taste victory.
Thus, the EU and USA are sadly contributing very effectively in pulling Honduras into a multi-year problem with terrorism and guerrillas. The already sky-high common criminality with kidnappings and murders is likely to increase even more. Given the central location of Honduras in Central America, and the key position of the country as regards trade, a destabilization of Honduras can severaly affect the economy of the entire region. Furthermore, the smuggling of cocaine to the US will for sure increase, since that is an important source of income for these guerrilla groups.
I only hope that sanity will prevail, and that the world politicians will find so much wisdom that they cease to act “useful idiots” to Chávez, the commandante of the redshirts.
PS. Here is a sept 13 article on this topic.