Honduras as Obama’s Czechoslovakia

Today, when interim president Micheletti has decided to step aside and leave the public space for the elected president Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, it may be appropriate to consider the historical significance of his time at the helm.

In 1938, the until then free, sovereign, and independent country of Czechoslovakia was sacrificed on the altar of the elusive “Peace for our time,” as British foreign minister Neville Chamberlain infamously put it, in the Munich betrayal. Nazi Germany subsequently pressured the Czech Prime Minster to give up his country’s freedom, and he did, knowing that they stood alone, abandoned by the world.

Where and when Barack Obama promised Hugo Chávez that he could take over Honduras on June 28, 2009, without opposition from the U.S., is not in the history books. Witnesses say, though, that the U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, around June 23 or 24 vowed not to recognize Honduras, if the other branches of government were to stop the coup d’état planned by Chávez’s Quisling, Zelaya (i.e., an autogolpe).

Obama and Chavez.
Obama and Chavez in April 2009.

However, although equally abandoned by the world, Honduras did not follow the example of Czechoslovakia.

They stopped the coup on June 28. The Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for the president for violating the constitution and valid decisions from the other branches of government, and the Congress replaced Zelaya with Micheletti within hours. A virtually united world demanded that the coupster be reinstated, and started punishing the democratic government.

For 7 months Micheletti has faced down virtually the entire world, in defense of his country’s freedom, independence, and democracy. Never before has the population stood so steadfastly around its president.

Except, of course, for the revolutionary clic that aspired to overthrow the government with foreign assistance. In fact, just the other day they reaffirmed their decision to overthrow the government and constitution, according to their webpage. Given the tens of millions of dollars they have got from Chávez, who can blame them? It’s a well-paying gig to be a traitor in Honduras these days.

It is also much less risky than the alternative method of getting rich quick: Smuggling drugs. As a narco-trafficker you are on your own, but as bomb-throwing revolutionaries the entire global human rights-establishment is backing them up, unfortunately. It’s a sad fact that the latter community has allowed themselves to be manipulated to the “wrong side of peace.”

Yesterday Pepe Lobo signed a deal that would allow Zelaya to leave, and not have to face justice. Micheletti held his peace in respect for the vote of the people, but the people is today up in arms over what they feel is a betrayal on part of Pepe. Time will show if he manages to get the people behind him, but Micheletti is a very hard act to follow. He managed to get a hero status among big sectors of the population.

What we see from this is that politics is complicated, and public opinion is a difficult thing to try to please. However, there are still court cases that can bring out the truth and settle the crimes (unless Pepe’s amnesty gets in the way), and then there are the university scholars, who with time will analyze the events from all possible and impossible angles. So my advice to anyone who has to chose between a narrow path or an easy road is this:

You just have to do the right thing,
and circumstances will change before your eyes.
Things aren’t always what they seem to be.

With time, doing the right thing will always be rewarded. Just make very sure that it is the right thing that you do.