Monday, July 13, 2009

Honduras dust starting to settle

This is basically a not very useful post where in a hurry I will limit myself in pointing out articles that basically confirm some of what was written in this blog for the last two weeks. Not that I am any brighter, mind you!!!! Just that certain things can be said bluntly by a blog but cannot be articulated in the press for quite a while. The good news here is that when the press starts articulating things that are not necessarily very PC, it means that politicians are either already managing such scenarios or getting ready to do so. Without much ado, as a way to remove Honduras from our pressing agenda and go back to more pressing issues in Venezuela:

The Washington Post Editorial of last Thursday was titled, "A Chance for Honduras". In it Chavez was not surprisingly pointed out as the main culprit of the Honduran mess. The editorial starts as expected bemoaning yet another attack on democracy but wastes no time in making its condemnation of Chavez. "Fortunately, Mr. Chavez wasted his advantage: His foolish attempt to fly Mr. Zelaya back into Tegucigalpa on Sunday flopped, producing a ludicrous televised circus in the air and deadly violence on the ground." Apparently what I was already writing one Sunday ago was also what was thought in DC though they waited until Thursday.

But it gets better: "Now, with some help from the Obama administration, what could have been a catastrophe has become an opportunity to deal a defeat to the populist authoritarianism that Mr. Chavez and Mr. Zelaya represent."

And yet much better at the end: "Mr. Chavez dreams of a putsch in Tegucigalpa that would produce another lawless autocracy like his own; instead, he could watch as a peaceful solution is brokered by the United States and moderate Latin allies that would reinforce the Organization of American States' democracy charter." Woah!!! Now Honduras is a potential example on how to deal with a post Chavez transition....

The New York Times Friday also echoes some of the stuff I wrote in that Chavez and Insulza had ruled themselves out of mediation and thus real diplomacy could start taking place. The end of the editorial is another blow, softer maybe, but equally telling: "That left Washington available to help as an honest broker — a refreshing role given its history in the region.

There must be no going back to Latin America’s all-too-recent era of serial coups and big-power meddling. If the negotiations resolve the crisis, the whole hemisphere will benefit. It may be too much to hope for, but perhaps Mr. Zelaya — and his biggest backers, Mr. Chavez and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua — will also come out of this with a greater respect for democracy, the rule of law and even the United States. "

I have news for the NYT, the very last part ain't gonna happen.

What is a little worrisome is that the interest of the West for threatened democracies in Latin America might not last long. The Washington Post has this Sunday about the recent ethnic clashes in China: "The United States and other Western countries have tried for years, in vain, to persuade Chinese leaders to change policy in Tibet. Unlike the Dalai Lama, Uighurs get little love in Paris or Hollywood; mostly they are known for the alleged militants held at the Guantanamo Bay prison, who have been found to pose no threat but who (with four recent exceptions) have not been released, for lack of a place to send them. But this minority, too, deserves support. The brutal suppression of the Uighurs' legitimate demands for justice will not make them go away; it will only weaken China's ability to hold on to the territory in the long term."

Ignoring the people that oppose Chavez and his hired help will only create future problems for the US, and the West. Chavez, like the Chinese leadership, is on a trip of racial/cultural superiority and those things end up in disaster. If in China such claims are clear, in Venezuela it is politically clear and soon enough will acquire additional cultural and racial action, as we can see in Peru or Bolivia.

Finally my prediction of the end of Insulza is getting close to be fulfilled: El Mercurio of Chile writes (in Spanish, sorry) that the US has announced to President Bachelet, as a courtesy I suppose, that they will not support the reelection of Insulza for the OAS secretary position. In short, Honduras was a double jeopardy for Insulza who was seen as personally invested in the return of Cuba to the OAS at the San Pedro Sula conference a few weeks ago. If to this you add his dismal intromission in Honduras where his role was closer to the one of the executioner than to the negotiator, it is clear that not only the US is going to withdraw its support, but many other countries, including Venezuela where Chavez has shown often enough that he is grateful for nothing.

-The end-

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