There is tension in the air in Tegucigalpa as it forced holidays in the form of a twenty-four hour national curfew. And to what do we owe the curfew, the tear gas and the near panic conditions? Nothing less than the return of the Messiah. No, I'm not referring to Obama. Honduras has its own messiah: Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
The rumors began yesterday around noon. Zelaya was in the United Nations building. Thousands were pouring into the streets. Caravans of supporters were coming from all over the country to show support. The rumors increased exponentially as each minute passed. Zelaya is in Nicaragua in his hotel suite. Zelaya is on his way to Washington. The United Nations finally confirmed that Zelaya was not there but that he had made contact to inform them that he was coming to Honduras. Finally Manuel's wife told a news agency that her husband was in the Brazilian embassy.
By 1:00 PM the supermarkets were filling with people buying whatever they buy when they have lost their minds, the gasoline stations full of cars, and parents pulling their children out of schools. At 3:30 PM President Micheletti informed the country that a nationwide curfew would be imposed starting at 4:00 PM. Given the fact that the government had strictly enforced previous curfews, detaining lawbreakers and confiscating vehicles, it would have been better to have given the people more time. Imagine roughly 750,000 people simultaneously clearing their desks, grabbing their car keys or climbing onto buses or taxis in the narrow inadequate streets of a major city. Total chaos. Throughout the night hundreds of “demonstrators” battled police, throwing rocks and vandalizing homes adjacent to the Brazilian embassy. Finally, at 4:30 AM the police removed them and the streets became deserted.
So how did we get here, who are the players, and what does Manuel Zelaya hope to gain? When the principle participants are lying, the media is chasing rabbit trails, and multiple agendas are being pursued, getting your mind around the true story, much less presenting it, can be a daunting task indeed.
Let's start with Zelaya. Mel is stating that he returned to Honduras by road; a fifteen hour trip that involved many risks. That's his story and he is sticking to it. Now that he is safely in the Brazilian embassy, he is declaring that his intent is to draw all of the principle parties of Honduras together in order to negotiate a harmonious democratic future for all Hondurans. If you believe that, I have some beach front property I would like to sell you in Olancho. It is impossible for Mel to negotiate this democratic future and, at the same time, uphold the constitution that he swears that he has no intention of changing. He simply has no time under the rules currently being played by. The Honduran Presidential Elections are less than 8 weeks from now. Zelaya says that no elections should be honored unless he is re-instated as president, and the constitution states that Zelaya cannot be re-elected and thus cannot be a candidate. Are we to believe that Jose Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras, at great risk to himself, in order to be re-instated as president only to turn power over to the newly elected president less than eight weeks later? I've still got that beach front property available. Any takers?
No my friends. Mr. Zelaya has returned for one reason and one reason only: to attempt to regain the presidency and stay there until he is good and ready to leave. Given the record of the friends he has chosen to hang out with, that would be until he dies or is again forcefully removed.
The Honduran governments response to Zelaya's call for national reconciliation under his benevolent leadership, has been to petition the Brazilian embassy to turn over Mr. Zelaya to the proper Honduran authorities. There are multiple charges, some political but most criminal, that Mr. Zelaya is facing. That means that the Brazilian Embassy is harboring a Honduran fugitive from justice.
So how did Mr. Zelaya get back into Honduras anyway? And what do the Brazilians have to do with this? Everyone in the international community is acting so happily surprised at this whole affair and treating it as a wonderful opportunity for “reconciliation” and a “return to democratic rule”, as if Honduras was not under democratic rule (I feel like Winston in George Orwell's “1984”, battered under the onslaught of Newspeak: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength). Argentine President Kirchner, Insulza of the OAS, the E.U. and Hillary Clinton all expressed “surprise” at the “sudden developments” in Honduras while at the same time declaring that this was yet another opportunity for dialogue and conflict resolution.
And what would that resolution be, pray tell. The San Jose Accords? Zelaya is never going to go for that for the reason previously stated. It allows him to be in office for a whole two months. Wow. I came back to Honduras for two months in office and then I go to jail for 30 years. No Cuarta Urna. No Constituyente. Just two months to play President. Does anyone in their right mind believe that Zelaya came back for that? That means that the “dialogue” and “conflict resolution” that everyone in the international community is calling for and hoping for is just one thing: return Jose Manuel Zelaya to power. Period.
So how did Manuel Zelaya return to Honduras and who paved the way? I predicted about a month ago that the U.S. would lose interest in Zelaya and this whole nasty ordeal would blow over. I believed that economic and political relationships would slowly, but surely, be restored after the elections, and Honduras would begin to move forward. In fact, there was a time when Zelaya had truly lost momentum. Even Chavez expressed doubts as to Mel's ability to return to power. But, to my surprise, Zelaya continued to be received at the U.S. State Department, and have meetings with high level officials. He remained irritatingly successful at holding the attention of Hillary and company. This was warning sign number one. Warning sign number two was when the U.S. cut even more aid to Honduras.
Warning sign number three was about a week ago when the El Salvador Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugo Martinez, spoke with U.S. Undersecretary of Political Affairs for the Western Hemisphere Bisa Williams about the need to adopt “specific measures in the diplomatic realm to cause the Honduran Government to accept the San Jose Accord.” These measures were to be “surgical” and not effect the Honduran people. It is also worthy to note that Bisa Williams is the head of the U.S. office of Cuban Affairs. Last time I checked, Cuba is not anywhere near El Salvador or Honduras.
Then, on Sunday night, September 20th at ten o'clock, a Venezuelan jet coming from Nicaragua made an unauthorized landing at the international airport in San Salvador. On that aircraft was Jose Manuel Zelaya. There, he held a meeting with Sigfrido Reyes, the head of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN is a Salvadorean Socialist political party similar to the Sandinista Party of Nicaragua, headed by now Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (both were communist guerrilla organizations that later morphed into political parties). After the meeting Zelaya boarded the jet and left El Salvador. Six hours later he appears in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
So, how did Zelaya get to the Brazilian Embassy? In addition to the obvious risks, the time-line simply doesn't work out for him to have traveled by car. The only way Mel could have entered Honduras was by airplane and there are only four (five if you count Roatan) airstrips in the country that the Venezuelan jet could land on: LaCeiba, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Palmerola Air force Base in Comayagua. Although not outside the realm of possibility, it is highly unlikely that the plane landed at any of the International Airports. The only strip in the country that could handle that plane, is close to Tegucigalpa (1 hour driving time), AND provide the secrecy needed to make this late night insertion, is Palmerola. And guess who would have had to have knowledge of, and give permission, for that airplane to land? Well that would the people that both run and control the base of course: The United States of America.
I cant prove Zelaya landed at Palmarola but we do know he was in San Salvador at 10:00 PM and we do know he left in a Venezuelan jet. He landed somewhere and that somewhere was in Honduras. He simply couldn't get to Tegucigalpa any other way and have the time-line work out.
So we have Manuel Zelaya coming from Nicaragua, on a Venezuelan jet, for a late night visit to El Salvador (whose Foreign Affairs Minister is coordinating with a U.S. Undersecretary in charge of Cuban affairs), maybe landing at a U.S. Air force base in Honduras, and staying in a Brazilian Embassy to the amazement and delight of the entire international community. Who needs fiction when real life is this crazy.
I must admit, I underestimated the importance that the U.S., ALBA, the OAS, and others placed on the events that took place in this tiny country. We really ticked off a lot of people when we had the audacity to correctly use the balance of powers in order to maintain a stable democracy and independent rule. I saw the clues but I didn't place them in proper context because I didn't appreciate the resolve and coordination of the international community in supporting socialism and destroying sovereignty and independent determination of individual nations. I knew that the agenda was part of a larger global attack on sovereignty but I thought we had won this round. I was wrong.
No matter how this turns out for Honduras, the will and coordination of the international community in this affair (with the U.S. as the principle coordinator) is beyond what I imagined. Chavez is being used as a powerful pawn in a high level game. In many respects Chavez is like an unruly older boy whose rich daddy has bought him a lot of cool toys. You hate the way he acts but you put up with him so that you can play with the toys. His agenda, to a certain extent, meshes with the plans of the international community but, unlike the other players, he wants to be the biggest leader in the sandbox, crudely wielding oil and rhetoric to achieve regional influence.
This is not where Obama and company are going. They desire a sandbox where all of the players are equal, there is no sovereignty, no self determination of country, and all beholden to the collective opinions and desires of the others. The unpardonable sin of Honduras was not the removal of Zelaya from office in his pajamas. The sin was respecting and enforcing the constitution of their country. The sin was placing the constitution and the sovereignty built thereon above the collective opinion and desires of the international community.
Obama, Hillary, Insulza, Chavez, and the rest of the OAS thought that Honduras would fold to threats of expulsion from this mini United Nations. They were wrong. They thought economic sanctions would work. They were wrong. They thought they would negotiate Zelaya back in. They were wrong. Now, with 8 weeks until the elections, they have surgically implanted their puppet into the country to force the issue before it is too late.