The wacky, ten-gallon-hat-wearing, guitar-strumming, Zionist-death-rays-evading Mel Zelaya is back in Honduras, and democracy in the region — and the world, for that matter — is worse for it.
Roger Noriega in InterAmerican Security Watch:
Honduran Leader’s Secret Pact with Hugo Chávez
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez is moving to consolidate his hold on Honduras, after orchestrating the return last Saturday of his puppet, Manuel Zelaya. Officials in Chávez’s inner circle are wondering how their cash-strapped government can finance yet another “revolutionary” government in Central America. What they fail to realize is that Chávez’s backup plan is to sow chaos in Honduras so it is hospitable territory for his partners in the illegal drug trade and a headache for the United States and Mexico.
Sources within the Venezuelan foreign ministry are delighted that Honduran President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo was so quick to pledge his loyalty to Chávez and the same radical reforms that got Zelaya deposed in 2009.
Lobo’s surrender came at a secret meeting in mid-May with Venezuelan envoy Ariel Vargas, held far from the presidential palace at Lobo’s suburban home northeast of the capital. According to sources inside the Venezuelan government, Lobo posed as a fervent revolutionary and begged for Chávez’s patience as he maneuvered around domestic opposition to fundamental constitutional reforms that will allow the people to sweep aside the old order. Lobo suggested to Vargas that he needed help in neutralizing opposition within his own Nationalist Party and the Catholic Church.
The betrayal of Honduras
The Associated Press dispatch from Honduras this past weekend opens thus:
“The return of ousted former President Manuel Zelaya from exile Saturday brings Honduras’ nearly two-year political crisis to an end and hope to one of the poorest nations in the Americas.”
Sure. And if you believed that, you’d believe Fidel Castro is going to call for free and fair elections in Cuba next week.
Only the willfully deluded or the dangerously naïve would believe that the return of the disgraced former president means anything more than increased civic disturbances, more violence, and more chaos in one of Latin America’s poorest countries.
Why? Because that is the way Hugo Chavez wants it.
The Venezuelan autocrat has bankrolled the two-year exile of his puppet Zelaya, as well the international campaign to force the oligarch-turned-populist’s return to Honduras. Chavez has never gotten over the fact that Zelaya’s attempt to replicate the Chavez model in Honduras was cut short by his impeachment by the Honduran Congress and his removal from office by order of the country’s Supreme Court for violating the country’s Constitution and other illegal acts. (Zelaya’s apologists insist on characterizing what transpired as a “military coup.”)
Chavez aims to exact his measure of revenge against Hondurans for their rejection of his radical populist project and, by hook or crook, either reinstall Zelaya as president or prepare the way for a successor who will finish the job.