Despite Democrats’ attempts to block him from traveling to Honduras, Jim DeMint went anyway and came back with this report detailing how the Obama administration’s refusal to accept the removal of that country’s former leader, Manuel Zelaya, is utterly wrong.
After visiting Tegucigalpa last week and meeting with a cross section of leaders from Honduras’s government, business community, and civil society, I can report there is no chaos there. There is, however, chaos to spare in the Obama administration’s policy toward our poor and loyal allies in Honduras.
While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya’s abuses of presidential power—and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chávez—is not only overwhelming but uncontroverted.
As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on.
It’s revoked the U.S. travel visas of President Micheletti, his government and private citizens, and refuses to talk to the government in Tegucigalpa. It’s frozen desperately needed financial assistance to one of the poorest and friendliest U.S. allies in the region. It won’t release the legal basis for its insistence on Mr. Zelaya’s restoration to power. Nor has it explained why it’s setting aside America’s longstanding policy of supporting free elections to settle these kinds of disputes.
The U.S. has no business attempting to pressure Honduras into reinstating Zelaya. His ouster has nothing to do with America or even our relationship with the country and everything to do with the fact that he was more interested in becoming the next Hugo Chavez than leading his country.
The fact of the matter is that at this point the U.S./Honduras diplomatic battle has everything to do with the Obama administration not having the courage to admit that they bungled their initial response to a non-situation in that country.
When the Democrats swept into office last year we were promised new leadership, by grown-ups, for grown-ups. Promises notwithstanding, the Obama administration is acting like a petulant child toward a friendly country to the south simply because they are too immature to admit they made a mistake in their initial, ill-advised snap judgment.