Hillary Clinton is crowing. An “historic deal!” Yes, we have successfully bullied the Honduran government into returning to power, albeit temporarily, Hugo Chavez’s stooge Manuel Zelaya to the presidency. He, of course, is the one convinced that Israeli agents were bombarding him with rays while he was holed up in the Brazilian embassy. With a proviso (more in a minute), Zelaya will return to the presidency, and then elections will proceed in November. The Obami are delighted with their handiwork.
But we are not yet done, because that proviso is approval by the Honduran Congress, which in effect means emasculating the very body that sought to remove Zelaya for his unconstitutional power grab in the first place. The New York Times dryly notes, “It was not clear what would happen if the Honduran Congress rejected the deal.”
The lesson should be clear now for small democracies: be prepared to have the Obama administration pressure and cajole you for the sake of … well, of what? It isn’t quite clear what this stunt was all about. Ingratiating ourselves with Chavez? Living down some American liberals’ guilt about past American policy in the region? Or maybe it was pure stubbornness, an unwillingness on the part of the Obama team to admit that it had staked its reputation on a crackpot.
Nevertheless, Honduras can join the list of democracies (Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel) that are finding out how uncomfortable it can be to have America as your “ally.”