Don’t weep for Manuel Zelaya. It is the country he has so irresponsibly thrown into chaos that deserves our sympathy. Via Andrew, a Honduran blogger’s perspective:
I’ve yet to see more than one reporter reporting from INSIDE Honduras. So of course, with Zelaya in Nicaragua, his UN and OAS ambassadors still in place and his people calling out from other countries, of course everyone is making him out to be a martyr. He’s not. Really, people have to remember that this man had rejected the orders of Congress and the SUPREME COURT to stop his survey and had ignored them. The man was outside the law. Again, the coup was bad, but probably the only way out. This man was NOT blameless. Stop making him look like a martyr and a hero.
The same blogger has another post clarifying his original remarks. His view is that the coup was a mistake, but it was Zelaya who took Honduras over the cliff with his confrontational moves. The remarkable thing about Zelaya’s deposition is that he had managed to turn the entire legislative branch against him regardless of party. Heather Berkman of Eurasia Group explains how politically isolated Zelaya was and why:
“His own political party, his former vice president — they were all against the actions he was doing,” Berkman said. “No one knew how much he was spending. He had no coherent budget policy and his government was doing a terrible job on combatting rising poverty, crime, things like that.”
So Zelaya was evidently incompetent, power-hungry and engaged in violations of their constitution. Clearly, he is the ideal democrat. Here is more from a Daily Kos diarist who provides some additional information. So, yes, it appears that Washington and the OAS have jumped to the wrong conclusion and have handled this crisis in Honduras poorly.
Update: Here is an informative post from Juan Carlos Hidalgo at Cato@Liberty. Here is some interesting commentary on the history of the Honduran military. Via Fausta’s Blog, some groups of Hondurans living abroad have endorsed the removal of Zelaya. Tom Palmer has more.