Micheletti held the fortress until help came

Micheletti held the fortress for over half a year, waiting for help. The proverbial cavalry came January 6, when the prosecutor indicted the militaries who sent Zelaya to Costa Rica instead of to jail, as their orders said they should. Through this court case it was finally demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that the deposing of Zelaya was a legal affair, and not a military coup. The prosecutor and Supreme Court thus came to the rescue, bringing heavy guns for the defense of the position. Micheletti held out in a battle against wind and tide so that the prosecutor got the time he needed to mount the case.

For the first time Honduras now has a very strong defense. However, at almost the same time, Micheletti has to hand over the helm to Lobo. His first act he did already before taking over, and it was to open the back door to the fortress. He went to Dominica to sign a unilateral promise to let the coupster Zelaya leave. It remains to be seen if he will close the back door again and continue to defend the position, or if he will abandon all defenses once he takes office, and declare defeat.

In other words, will Lobo continue to defend the democratic institutions of Honduras, or will he throw them to the wolves? Will he say, after his inauguration, that what Micheletti did was wrong?

On another note, the self-labeled Resistencia has decided to keep “resisting” Lobo, since they don’t recognize his election. Nor that of the Congress (that started their session today), nor that of any governor, mayor, or any other elected office-holder of the country for that matter, by extension, since they don’t recognize the November 29 elections at all. They claim that they will “peacefully” resist until a constitutional assembly is created. First, there is a difference between peaceful and legal. Just because it is peaceful does not mean it is legal. Second, a constitutional assembly is illegal, and unconstitutional. Especially since they are receiving money from abroad. Thus, it is equally correct to say that they will continue with their treasonous activities, their attempts at insurrection and revolution, using criminal means. This is how it must be described by any honest reporter. Otherwise, how can we understand why people get arrested?

To the credit of the leftist party UD, they left the Resistencia just before the election, electing to participate in the democratic process. The realized that to accomplish change, one must work within the law, with democratic means. Their reward for this is that they now are in the leadership of the Congress, for the first time today, and that they may have a seat in Lobo’s government, which will be announced no later than tomorrow.

These choices by Cesar Ham, the party leader, are commendable. The decision of Lobo to reach out to him is, too. That is the kind of dialogue across the political and social spectrum that Honduras needs.

However, if Lobo got this cooperation by promising to declare what Congress did last year a coup, then he would be selling out the fortress; then he would be opening the back doors of the castle to let the enemy soldiers in that way, to have their way with the people inside. The one who lives to the end of the week will soon know the answer.

AFP is pro-revolution, anti-democracy

The French news agency AFP, Agence France Press, from whom the Swedish news agency TT, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå, and thus most Swedish media get much of their news from Honduras, is openly biased against democracy, and for a revolutionary overthrowing of the form of government in the Central American country.

This is the only reasonable conclusion from an analysis of their recent reporting. I have previously shown that they are willing to use not just blatant bias, but even lies, to make their case. Today I will present just one example: A report on a meeting in Brazil in which the Honduran revolutionary insurrection movement “Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular” was fishing for international support.

AFP quotes the representative of this movement as saying that they do not recognize the results of the (regular and general) elections in Honduras in November, and that they still insist on overthrowing the form of government in their country. However, unlike me, AFP does this in a positive tone, as if what they are aiming for is legal, democratic, and socially acceptable.

My conclusion of this is that AFP is a branch of Hugo Chávez’s propaganda ministry. You as reader must draw your own conclusions, but with this I hope I have opened your eyes so that you in the future always check where a certain piece of news comes from.

Getting the coupster out of Honduras

According to a report in El Heraldo,* the president of the Supreme Court of Honduras, Jorge Rivera, has said that the “salvoconducto” that the new president, Porfirio Lobo, intends to issue to Zelaya on Wednesday, will allow the former coupster to leave the country. However, it will not relieve him of criminal responsibility for the 18 charges that are pending against him.

The only thing that can eliminate the political and related criminal charges, notably high treason, is an amnesty, which only the National Congress can issue. The previous Congress earlier this month tabled the amnesty bill that Lobo had requested. The new Congress, in which Lobo’s Nationalist party has absolute majority, and which was sworn in today, has scheduled to debate the amnesty tomorrow, Tuesday, the day before Lobo takes office.

The amnesty bill as written does not include the common crimes unrelated to political crimes, e.g. corruption, for which Zelaya is also charged. It would even be unconstitutional in Honduras to give amnesty for such crimes. Incidentally, neither Micheletti’s nor Zelaya’s supporters want any amnesty, they say.

Zelaya attempted to commit a coup d’état on June 28, but was stopped by the other branches of government. Led by the Sandinista revolutionary D’Escoto (a leftist ally of Zelaya, Chávez, and Castro), the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the democratic institutions “coupsters”, and demanded that the real coupster, Zelaya, be reinstated as president.

Also tomorrow, the Supreme Court of Justice will sentence the military leadership for having allowed the coupster Zelaya to leave the country, rather than to throw him in jail as they had been instructed to do. The militaries’ defense is that they acted to protect the nation, and – from what I gather – save lives from expected armed jail-breaking attempts by Venezuelan and Nicaraguan agents who had been arriving the preceding days.

*2010-01-26: This is contradicted in today’s El Heraldo. The justice will not state an opinion because the case may come before him, he says. The previous story was thus in error.

SR ljuger, granskningsnämnden försvarar dem

Den 20 december anmälde jag ett inslag i Dagens Eko, ett nyhetsprogram i svenska statens radio, SR, för osaklighet. Det var en rapport från deras Sydamerikakorrespondent Lars Palmgren som innehöll rena faktafel om Honduras. Granskningsnämnden har idag lämnat anmälan utan åtgärd utan att ens försöka visa att inslaget var sant.

Min huvudkritik gällde att Palmgren påstod att Porfirio Lobo inte hade bjudit in Zelayas anhängare till den nationella dialogen, ett uppenbart lögnaktigt påstående. Granskningsnämnden har emellertid inte med ett ord ens försökt visa att det var sant, utan svarade bara att “Granskningsnämnden anser … att det inte står i strid med kraven på opartiskhet och saklighet … det anmälaren tagit upp i övrigt…” De anser att det är sant – utan någon som helst motivering.

Alla har rätt till sina egna åsikter, men inte till sina egna fakta. Till exempel är det ett faktum att FNs generalförsamling fördömde presidentskiftet i Honduras som en “kupp”, men det är fortfarande bara en åsikt att det var en kupp. Det är nämligen inte FNs generalförsamling som har att avgöra frågan, eftersom det är en juridisk fråga. Som bekant är alla oskyldiga tills funna skyldiga i en kompetent domstol.

De som avsatte Zelaya har inte och kommer inte att bli åtalade för det. Det står nu helt klart efter att militären som bröt mot arresteringsordern åtalats. Detta visar att det juridiskt sett inte var en kupp. Eftersom alla instanser i Honduras utom presidentämbetet förblev oförändrade efter bytet av statsöverhuvud kan ingen med hedern i behåll vägra erkänna de instansernas legitimitet (med mindre det kunde visas att de bröt mot grundlagen, men oberoende juridiska analyser visar att så inte är fallet).

När det gäller anmälans huvudfråga, det uppenbara faktafelet om Lobos inbjudan, så säger alltså Eva Tetzell, efter föredragning av Lottie-Ann Lindström, inte ett pip om det i Granskningsnämndens beslut. Låt mig illustrera med en liknelse hur fullständigt lögnaktigt Palmgrens påstående var, en lögn som nu försvarats av Tetzell.

Tänk er att Gösta Bohman hade ensam majoritet i riksdagen med sådär 55% av rösterna. Tänk er också att KFML(r) hade en dryg procent men trots det fått in en fot i riksdagen. Tänk er nu att Bohman gav en tung ministerpost till KFLM[r):s partiledare. Det är en bra liknelse för hur extremt flexibel Porfirio Lobo Sosa varit och är.

Cesar Ham är partiledare för UD, ett parti på yttersta vänsterkanten som fick en dryg procent i senaste valet. De är det enda parti som stött Zelaya, och de representerar därför den så kallade motståndsrörelsen i politiken. UD är för att kullkasta regeringsformen, vilket naturligtvis är revolutionärt. Ham har nu erbjudits och accepterat en tung ministerpost. Lobo har till och med bjudit in Zelaya som sin personliga rådgivare, för vilket han fått utstå mycket spott och spe i sitt hemland. Detta visar hur Lobo fullföljer sina löften från valkampanjen om en nationell enhetsregering och samling.

Jämför dessa fakta med Plamgrens påstående den 20 december: “…vare sig Manuel Zelaya eller den motståndsrörelse som stödjer honom har bjudits in…”

Jag gjorde anmälan till granskningsnämnden därför att det måste finnas gränser för hur lögnaktiga media får tillåtas bli. Speciellt statliga media. Palmgren och Tetzell måste, för att behålla sin heder, erkänna sakfelet och rätta till det.

Vi får inte låta en demokrati gå under igen genom vår flathet. Vi måste stå upp för vad som är rätt och fel när det håller på att gå helt åt helvete – och det har det gjort när det gäller rapporteringen om Honduras.

De demokratiska institutionerna kallas “kuppmakare” i svenska media, och den som verkligen försökte göra en kupp, Zelaya, porträtteras som någon sorts hjälte. Honduras får inte bli vår tids Tjeckoslovakien (tänk Böhmen och Mähren). Vi får inte offra ett lands frihet, oberoende och demokrati för kortsiktiga politiska vinster. Och vi får absolut inte göra det genom att de som jobbar i media eller övervakar media är lata, okunniga, eller ännu värre, har politiskt färgade glasögon påsatta.

De som gör det när det gäller Honduras går förre militärkuppmakare Hugo Chávez propagandaärenden. Jag skulle uppmuntra den ställföreträdande direktören att skärpa till sig lite, använda insidan av huvudet, kritiskt granska vad som är fakta och vad som är åsikt. Det är ett i media väldokumenterat faktum att Lobo bjöd in Zelaya och UD, men det är bara en (ogrundad) åsikt att det var en kupp. Tetzell förefaller tro att det är precis tvärtom.

Du som läser detta, skriv ut det och stoppa undan det på en plats där du kan hitta det om 10 år. När du då ser tillbaka kan du reflektera över hur sanningen i media ändras över tiden, och hur det är möjligt att se sanningen redan i nutid om man bara gör en intellektuell ansträngning. Vill du inte vänta 10 år så kan du istället gå till ett bibliotek och jämföra tidningsartiklar från 1937 och 1947 som handlar om Tyskland.

Honduran Militaries to be Sentenced Tuesday

In the case against the joint chiefs of staff in Honduras for having flown Zelaya to Costa Rica rather than thrown him in jail, a sentence is expected Tuesday January 26. One day before the inauguration of the new president. It is probably on purpose, since the security risks are considered very high on Wednesday, why it must be clear that those in command have complete authority under the constitution.

This case has been deemed the pivoting point for the entire issue of legality of the deposing of Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009. Not just in the first post on this blog, but also by Freedom House and their annual report on the state of freedom in the world. In the 2009 report they removed Honduras from the list of countries with an elected leader, but with the comment that if the military had been prosecuted, the country would have remained on the list.

Unfortunately the prosecutor did not have his case ready for indictment until January 6, too late for last year’s report. But now that they have been prosecuted, the case has to be declared closed, regardless of what the sentence will be: There was no military coup in Honduras.

With this case it has been proven that the democratic form of government in Honduras is unbroken. The world has punished the poor country for almost seven months without cause. The Micheletti government fought against wind and tide for half a year, opposed by not just the international community, but also by a small but vocal part of the population, which was fooled by the international community into thinking that their head of state was a coupster – although he was the legitimate president all along.

Honduras has made tremendous economical losses, and even losses in human life, due to this mistake on part of the international community. Who will pay for that?

There is no place where to send the invoice. The moral of the story is for the Hondurans that they cannot count on anybody but themselves. The only compensation that they will have, is that they have learned a lesson: If you stand alone any gust of wind can bring you down on your knees, but if you stand arm in arm and support each other, you can face the storm standing tall.

Honduras is a re-born country because of this. “Yes we can!” has replaced “What’s the point?”

From what I hear, the feeling is that the lesson was worth the price, even though it was a very high price. If future governments live by it, the people who died – regardless of political opinion – will not have died in vain, but died for the country. Whether they supported Micheletti or the resistance, if they died in the passion of the struggle, they died for their country.

Chávez’s “Ragnarök” may be approaching

The countdown to the final destiny of Venezuela’s de facto dictator Hugo Chávez may well have begun in the high halls of heaven. His grand plan was interrupted prematurely by the totally unscripted heroic deed of Honduras, where the Attorney General, the Supreme Court, the National Congress, and the Military Forces, in an unexpected feat did their duty to perfection (and a little bit beyond, in the latter case).

In a similar way, Adolf Hitler’s grand plan was interrupted prematurely when Britain honored their promise to Poland, and declared war after Nazi Germany invaded the Slavic nation (that coincidentally had financed much of Germany’s “economical miracle” with loans). Hitler’s armament plans were incomplete. He would not have his high seas navy ready until in 1942. The premature start of the war, from his point of view, may have been what caused him to loose it.

We must never forget how popular Hitler was in the 1930’s. It wasn’t until he took Czechoslovakia by betrayal in 1938 that his superstar status started to fade.

In a similar way, Hugo Chávez has gained a superstar status in European press. The warning signs have been ignored or dismissed. When Chávez tried to take over Honduras through his point man Zelaya, and the democratic institutions stopped it, the world sided with Chávez even though he threatened with military force both before and after the deposing of Zelaya. However, the event did offer an indication to Europe that Chávez was not the person they had thought.

Another warning came a month later, when it was discovered (and first reported in Sweden on this blog) that Swedish-made shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, AT-4, that had been delivered to Venezuela almost 20 years ago had ended up in the hands of the leftist narco-guerilla FARC in Colombia. Within hours, Sweden stopped all weapons exports to Venezuela.

Further alarm was raised when Chávez made a tour to countries such as Syria and Russia, in a bid to acquire tanks, jet fighter planes, medium range missiles, and nuclear technology (from Iran). It became obvious that he was setting the stage for an axis against the usual allies, the U.S., the U.K., and other western democracies; no longer just a Latin American axis from Cuba to Tierra del Fuego, but a global axis that seems to have as only rule that “an enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Hugo Chávez seems to have a propaganda ministry that is more ambitious and effective than that of Josef Göring himself. His talking points can be read in blogs in virtually all western countries, in many languages. He has to his disposal an international TV news network, Telesur, which is now cooperating with Al Jazeera.

This brings me to the last sign of the impending downfall. These news outlets and their appendages in the blogosphere are peddling totally ludicrous accusations against the U.S. in relation to Haiti. When it came to Honduras they accused the U.S. for the “military coup”, even though (1) the U.S. had informed ahead of time that they would not recognize whoever became president if Zelaya was deposed, and (2) it was no coup since the democratic institutions acted within the constitution in deposing Zelaya. Still, at least the accusation was plausible on its face.

But when it comes to Haiti, they accuse the U.S. of occupying the country militarily, and – and this is the tin-foil hat part – of having caused the earthquake in the first place.

If anybody reading this believes that it could be possible, I can assure you, as a geoscientist, that it is not. You might as well accuse them of having taken down the moon. It is as out-of-this-world lunatic as those who suggest the Antarctic was Atlantis “when it was ice free there 13,000 years ago”. Scientific evidence shows that it has been completely ice covered for 5 million years. Get my point?

So why does Chávez’s ministry of propaganda go out with something so outlandish? I can only think of one explanation: Desperation. The opportunity is starting to slip through his fingers, so he becomes desperate, just like Hitler did.

Yesterday’s demonstration against Chávez in Venezuela illustrates that his days may be counted. The danger is though, that he does something dramatic to hold on to it. This is not the time to let down the guard for that golpista.

Honduras at a Cross-Roads

Published 2010-01-24, 12:52, last edited 2010-01-26 10:25 ET: The president-elect of Honduras, Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, stirred up a huge reaction when he last week signed a deal in the Dominican Republic that among other things would let Zelaya leave the country without political asylum. There is criticism from the prosecutor, from the human rights ombudsman, and from the civilian society, among others. The list of objections is long, and includes a number of legal issues, violating both domestic and international law. The bottom line is that Pepe, who was elected with the highest vote count ever in Honduras, may have set a new world record in loosing political capital: All lost before even taking office.

If he wants to be able to do anything at all the next 4 years, he now has to start over trying to win some confidence.

As for Zelaya, his plan is, based on what his associates have said, to continue from Dominica to Mexico, and to eventually take a seat in Parlacen, the Central American Parliament. Every ex-president has a seat there, until his successor’s term is out. While a delegate, and for life say some, he will apparently have immunity. It appears that his plan is to return to Honduras under protection of that immunity.

Of course, Zelaya has never been a good student (a college drop-out, actually). Apparently surrounded by less-than-average intellectually endowed advisors at that, he may not realize the flaws of said plan.

For Honduras it is not Zelaya that is the previous president, but Micheletti, although he has announced that he does not plan to sit in Parlacen. Apart from that, Zelaya is a wanted criminal.

The leadership of Parlacen may want to give a seat to Zelaya in spite of his pending arrest, for purely political reasons, but it will likely lead to a showdown in the parliament. UPDATE: See “Zelaya’s flawed plan for immunity“. If Lobo sides with them, then this might create another constitutional showdown in Honduras. Given how honorably the prosecutor and courts have acted in the past year, and how much the population has backed them up, it is very unlikely that Lobo will win such a showdown.

If Lobo and Parlacen accept Zelaya, then we may have a situation in which (A) Zelaya is not able to return to Honduras regardless, (B) other countries may be willing to recognize Lobo but Lobo has no political clout in his country, and (C) Lobo may – in the worst case – face destitution just like Zelaya if he does not submit to the checks and balances. Although this time Honduras would be better prepared, and depose him in a way that is obviously democratic and constitutional also on the face of it, not just at close scrutiny as the last time around.

Honduras is not the same any more

Over and over I hear this phrase from Hondurans. They have sacrificed so much for getting here, and they are not going to give it all up for nothing. If Pepe believes that, he has another thing coming. If he believes that the lesson from the past 7 months was that the president should not be deposed, and that he therefore can do as he pleases, he is a fool.

The lesson is the exact opposite. If a president misbehaves, he will be stopped, and nothing can stop the democratic institutions from doing their duty to the fatherland. Nothing. Even if the whole world turns against them, they will not fall on their knees. “Pajamas diplomacy” is a last resort, but it is not unthinkable, if that is what it takes to defend democracy.

With this stern warning I would suggest that Pepe – who is planning to have the communist party leader Ham from UD in the government, and who was educated in Moscow – would be well advised to do as he promised in the election campaign and listen to the people. Rather than what he is promising now: To do what he thinks is best because the people are ignorant and not worth listening to.

The fight is not over. It is just a change of act. My prediction is that the next act will start with the judicial system in Honduras trying to prevent the above-mentioned drawn-out conflict by simply insisting on the application of the law as regards the salvoconducto, which will prevent Zelaya from leaving the country, so that he instead can face justice. Once he is tried and sentenced, then if found innocent, he can sit in Parlacen and travel the world.

If there is any grain of honor left in Zelaya, this is what he should do:

Walk out and face his accusers as a man.

Pepe met by protests in Honduras

The president-elect of Honduras, Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, has got an earful after his surprise stunt to sign an agreement with the Dominican president, Leonel Fernandez. The network organization UCD, Union Civica Democratica, issued a statement yesterday listing numerous reasons for its illegality (La Gringa’s Blogicito has an English translation). Even abroad it has been criticized, such as in this Guatemalan editorial. Basically it appears to have no legal value, and the democratic institutions in Honduras are not recognizing it. In fact, the attorney general is threatening to prosecute any person who signs an illegal document giving free passage for Zelaya.

It has also struck a very sore nerve in Honduras. Under Micheletti people had started to relax, to feel safe again after the turmoil under Zelaya. However, this action by Pepe has made everyone I know there very nervous. Once again, they put their faith in the checks and balances, since they don’t trust the president. -And he hasn’t even taken office yet! I don’t think I have ever seen a worse start of a new presidency.

The interim president Roberto Micheletti declared yesterday that he would withdraw to leave the public room entirely for the new president. Not so fast, says the ombudsman for human rights, Ramon Custodio.* As the sitting president, Micheletti has an obligation under the constitution to hand off to the new Congress at their inaugural session on Monday, January 25th, he points out. If some congressmen object they are free to walk out, but the constitution must be followed to the letter, he insists.

Also yesterday, the case started for real against the military leadership (for having allowed Zelaya to leave the country, instead of holding him on the arrest warrant they had been issued). Until late at night the prosecutor and defense were in session with the Supreme Court, but the defendants were not required to appear. The verdict will be given on Tuesday, possibly in an oral and public statement. It may be one of those times when it is worth tuning in to Honduran TV online.

Finally, there are rumbles in the blogosphere about U.S. diplomats being at risk for scrutiny by the Congress, as soon as the Republicans manage to regain control over at least one chamber. The midterm elections are on November 2. It seems inevitable that the Obama administration will be accused of supporting a coup d’état, from both left and right, both Zelaya’s “autogolpe” and Congress’s “antigolpe”. From a politico point of view it would seem a no-brainer that they should come clean now, when all attention is on Haiti; confess the mistakes, take the consequences, side with their friends and not their enemies, and put this behind them before it becomes an election issue.

*The attitude of the ombudsman would be worthy of an honorable Swedish civil servant, and it might be a relevant observation, since his institution has received aid from Sweden in the areas of Democracy and Human Rights the last few years.

Honduras – the World, 1-0

After seven months of hardship, Honduras can today consider itself the victor in the drawn out struggle for the world to recognize its right to depose an omnipotent president.

This is the day the interim president gave his final speech to the nation from that position. He thanked the people, all the people, for the help they had given him, and he expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity destiny had given him to serve his fatherland in these the most arduous of times.

This is also the day that it was revealed that BCIE, Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, on January 18 decided to resume normal operations with Honduras again. Honduras is a partner in the bank and has sued it for breach of contract, since it for purely political reasons stopped making payments.

Also the Central American trade agreement with the European Union is back on track today, with Honduras included. It is expected to be signed in May.

As for the future of the deposed president, Zelaya, he has today decided conditionally to accept the free passage to the Dominican Republic that president-elect Porfirio Lobo has promised to issue on January 27, the day he takes office. There may also be legal problems due to the arrest warrants issued for him – including international ones. Logically, if Zelaya accepts the free passage he recognizes that Lobo was elected president of Honduras in a legitimate election (which he hasn’t done yet), which means that he also has to accept the validity of the arrest warrants from the Republic of Honduras. There are still some knots to untie. The easiest would be if Zelaya just walked out and faced his prosecutors like a man.

However, those are details now. The main thing is that Honduras democratic institutions saved the rule of law, enforced the separation of powers, and – when the entire world turned on them – stood up for what they knew was right, and won.

This is perhaps a first. History is full of countries that have had their democracy destroyed, from ancient tyrants to present-day chavism. Every time one wonders, why didn’t they stop it? Why didn’t they do this, or that? Why not?

Well, Honduras did to this and that. They had the right on their side, and executed it under extreme pressure, against an opponent that was acting fast. They had no time to plan; in fact, they barely had time to act. Most of all, they had no time to spin it for the media.

Their opponent had, though. He was well prepared for virtually all eventualities. Which forced the Hondurans to take some extreme and unexpected measures. Call it “pajamas diplomacy” if you like. Although in reality Zelaya was of course allowed to get dressed before they flew him to Costa Rica.

This left the impression of a military coup. Due to the circumstances, the country was already full of media ready to spread the story. Result: Instant saturation of the global airwaves with the spin that a military coup had taken place, while in reality they had prevented an autogolpe.

So now we know “why not”. It is very, very hard.

But they did it, and for that, the little country on the Central American isthmus, the former “banana republic” of Honduras will for ever be inscribed in the History of Democracy.

And so will president Roberto Micheletti Bain, and his last speech.

As a personal note, it has been an astonishingly interesting time to have had the privilege to be able to follow closely the fight of this government to preserve their nation’s freedom and democracy. I want to sincerely thank all those who have helped me with information, because it is they who have made it possible for me to get beyond the clichés. ¡Viva Honduras!

2010-01-22 11:40, corrected to Dominican Republic as the country accepting Zelaya.

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.