As I write this, the ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, is reportedly aboard a plane, trying to return home. The Honduran military has reportedly been ordered to stop him. Zelaya was ejected by his fellow Hondurans after he made a shady play to revise his country’s constitution to keep himself in power. Appropriately, for someone who already belongs to the thuggish club of pals of Venezuela’s would-be president-for-life, Hugo Chavez, Zelaya — according to the AP — is traveling in a Venezuelan jet. And accompanying him is the last thing Honduras, or any other other embattled democracy needs: The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockman.
D’Escoto sums up just about everything wrong with the United Nations. As head of the 192-member-state General Assembly for its 2008-2009 session, he has been empowered to swan around the world, swaddled in the UN flag and purporting to speak for the poor, the oppressed, and the “international community.” In truth, d”Escoto is a Nicaraguan Sandinista retread, oozing hard-left dogma, praising some of the world’s worst despotisms and agitating from his plush UN offices in midtown Manhattan for massive transfers of wealth from the world’s leading democracies to his pals in tyrants’ cockpits of places such as Iran.
I mention Iran in particular because d’Escoto made a five-day visit there in March, with his expenses apparently paid by the Iranian government. He returned to New York to hold a press conference trashing free countries such as the U.S., and praising Iran’s regime as one enjoying “great respect.” For more detail, here’s a link to my column at the time for Forbes.com , covering D’Escoto’s performance on that occasion.
D’Escoto took special pains to denounce the U.S. for having “demonized” his buddy, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — whose rigged “relection” as president on June 12th, as we all know, has inspired massive protests inside Iran itself.
Wielding the credentials of president of the UN General Assembly, D’Escoto enjoys the pernicious position of being a prominent official who is responsible in theory to everyone, but in practice is accountable to almost no one — while serving at the pleasure of a General Assembly which is dominated by unfree states. The GA’s most powerful voting bloc is the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, which overlaps with the so-called Group of 77 — a UN caucus organization which actually includes 130 members, who chose as their chairman for 2009 … wait for it… Sudan. That’s the kind of crowd behind d’Escoto.
Whatever the perils and complexities ahead for Honduras, as its people try to defy the despotic shadows spreading out of places such as Venezuela, Iran, and the UN itself, the last thing any democrat anywhere needs to see, especially in a moment of crisis such as Honduras now faces, is the bulky figure of Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, disembarking from a plane, and offering his own variation on one of the world’s most terrifying sentences: I’m from the UN, and I’m here to help you.