Obama Sanctions Hondurans, Consoles Zelaya, and Props Up Chavez


Meanwhile, Zelaya has once again promised to return to Honduras:

"I can guarantee that my return to Honduras is inevitable ... I do not abandon the idea of returning to my home country and I will not terminate my [presidential] mandate. I'm set to return to Honduras in the next few days," he told Venezuela's Telesur TV channel.

Telesur is, of course, controlled by Chávez.

Why is the United States behaving this way? Why is it being so helpful to Venezuela's el Presidente Chávez? Why is the United States even considering non-recognition of the results of the Honduran November election unless Zelaya is reinstated?

It has been suggested that Zelaya "won" at the September 3 meeting with Secretary Clinton because the Obama Administration is more interested in buttering up its "allies" in Latin America than in refusing to interfere with the constitutional processes of the countries there. That may be the explanation, but to behave in that fashion is not only pernicious, it is silly. As pointed out elsewhere, Chávez and his Bolivarian socialism are on the ropes, not only domestically but internationally, in many Latin American countries.

For one small example, the Chávez media crackdown has been so severe that the Brazilian Senate on September 2 went to the extreme of passing a vote of no confidence against Chávez. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Brazilian Senate backed the move:

The vote acknowledges that the sovereignty of countries must be respected, but it also warns against "a dangerous dictatorial rise taking place in a brother country."

No criticism of the disgusting situation in Chávez's Venezuela even remotely similar to that directed at Honduras has come from Washington, which continues to cultivate friendship with Chávez. To throw Chávez a badly needed lifeline while throwing Honduras to the wolves makes no sense. And it will probably fail in both respects.

Echoing President John F. Kennedy, Honduras's Interior Minister Oscar Raul Matute said, "We will pay any price, support any friend, oppose any enemy to assure the survival and the success of the liberties of our people and of our democracy."

If Honduras remains steadfast, as she has done thus far and as I very much hope she will continue to do, the Obama administration's missteps will harm rather than fortify the Obama administration's folly in Latin America and Chávez's desire for perpetual domination over the region.

The best I can think of to say is that there is substantial consistency in President Obama's support of dictatorship and contravention of constitutional processes. That is far from high praise.