It is easy to understand why the Obama administration was trying to isolate Honduras, by closing diplomatic relations, not letting them explain themselves in the UN, and revoking visas for everyone who knew what had transpired last june 28. It is easy to understand when you learn that the Obama administration had given a green light to Chávez-supported Zelaya to commit a coup d’état in Honduras.
Consider that it is not just decision-makers and influential persons in the private sector who have got their visas revoked lately. Also civil servants have now got their visas revoked, according to media reports from the country. These may have worked for the government for years, and their “crime” is not to have resigned, not to have given up their income. That is reason enough for the Obama administration to punish them by revoking their visas, so they can no longer visit friends and family in the U.S. It doesn’t make any sense – unless the true purpose of the revocation is, precisely, to prevent them from visiting friends and family.
It will not in any way, shape, or form alter Honduras’ foreign policy. So why do it? Why antagonize people both in the U.S. and in Honduras?
The simple truth is probably that the U.S. is ashamed of what it did in Honduras. Obama doesn’t want anybody from Honduras who knows what he did to visit the U.S., without first incriminating themselves, by forcing them to admit that they were at fault. Even though they weren’t. It’s like a Dan Rather-case all over again.
Maybe you ask, what stops them from talking to American visitors to their country? Simple, the travel warnings, the un-necessary travel warnings that keep most Americans away for no good reason – except to hide Obama’s shame.
I have written extensively about the events on this blog, but to sum up: The elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was carrying out a coup d’état that would have been completed June 28 last year. He did this with the support of Venezuela’s de facto dictator and former military coupster Hugo Chávez, and with Insulza from the Organization for American States, OAS. All of these approved of the blatant violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, and of ignoring the separation of powers. Obama through his ambassador Llorens also knew, and tried to convince Zelaya not to carry out the coup d’état. However, he made a fundamental diplomatic error, a blunder of the same proportions as Chamberlain with his “peace for our time.”
Obama refused to back up his words with force.
In fact, he went even further – he vowed that if the democratic institutions tried to stop the coup d’état, he would side with the would-be dictator Zelaya, and denounce the democratic institutions as coupsters. Exactly what happened.
Word in Honduras (from someone whose visa has been revoked) is that it was senator Kerry who set this policy. Obama has no foreign policy experience. Why he didn’t consult Hillary Clinton is beyond me, she seems to have a lot more balls than either Obama or Kerry. Regardless of who advised him, Obama is responsible.
So here we are, the Republic of Honduras as the champion of the rule of law and the defense of constitutional democracy, while the U.S. is so ashamed they are hurting innocent persons just to avoid having the facts get out.
What will happen next? The truth always gets out in the end. There are numerous court cases that in one way or another hinge on the legality of what happened June 28, 2009. When courts start making their decisions, the lies will crumble. That is why the U.S. is in such a hurry to get this case off the agenda, into the history books, where the truth can’t hurt them any more.
In case you wonder what the justification was for the U.S. to revoke the visas, such as for the cabinet members in this last round, it is another lie: That Honduras has not adhered to the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord that was signed as a result of the Guaymuras dialog.
Here is my challenge to Obama: You have a person in the verification commission that is overseeing the implementation of the agreement, Solis. Show me the minutes from that commission’s meetings, show me the complaints that it was not being implemented, and show me the decisions of the commission. Until you do that, your words are empty and lack credibility. There is a process established, and if you yourself do not adhere to it, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Show me the minutes or shut up.
Footnote: Given that the verification commission is coordinated by OAS, an organization that supported Zelaya’s coup d’état, I have no illusions that it will be forthcoming with protocols that reveal that the agreement was broken by Zelaya, not Honduras.
Update 21:20 ET: The president elect, Porfirio Lobo, has today signed an agreement in the Dominican Republic that includes creating a unity government, letting Manuel Zelaya leave Honduras as a free man on January 27th immediately after he takes office, and working for amnesty for all. I suppose there are some who are genuinely afraid of what might be revealed in a court hearing. Hondurans have not forgotten that Lobo was for the plan for changing the constitution. It has been suggested that the inauguration gift from the Honduran people should be a pajamas, so that he never forgets who he works for. [See negative reaction in Guatemala]
The outgoing president, through the Minister of Indstria y Comercio, Benjamin Bogran, said, “la posición del Presidente Micheletti, es respetar las decisiones que tomé don Porfirio Lobo como nuevo Presidente, y el pueblo lo eligió como su presidente, por lo que confiamos que sus decisiones tomadas serán las mejores, pero las leyes también se respetan. Esperamos que sea lo mejor para Honduras.”
In translation, “The position of president Micheletti is to respect the decisions taken by Mr Porfirio Lobo as the new president, given that the people elected him as their president, why we have faith that his decisions will be the best, but that the laws also will be respected. We expect that this will be the best for Honduras.”
Addition 21:40: Swedish news agency TT, together with AFP, continues to peddle the lie that the regular presidential election in November, held every 4 years since 1981, was an extra election. See, e.g., SvD, DN. It goes to show how far the propaganda has gone, that it is virtually impossible to get mainstream press to stop spreading a lie once some goon has managed to get it planted. AFP has clearly demonstrated a total lack of journalistic integrity when reporting about Honduras. It is noteworthy that these Swedish newspapers do not correct their text even when they are repeatedly being told that they are wrong.