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Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Panic: What happened to the U.S.-brokered political deal in Honduras?


I owe my reader(s) a big apology.

In my Nov. 2 column, I dumped several heaping tablespoons of praise on the Obama administration for brokering a peaceful political compromise to the military coup crisis in Honduras. Even though I included the weasel-y journalistic hedge phrase “assuming the deal is OK’d by Honduras’ Congress,” I still wrote the entire column as if the agreement was a done deal.

I was wrong and apologize. Big-ly.

It turns out I spoke way too soon. Honduras’ Congress didn’t OK the deal. They haven’t even bothered to vote on it. A series of events I characterized as a victory for the Obama administration’s multilateral diplomacy, for democracy, and for improving the U.S.’ standing in Latin America, were in fact cringe-inducing displays of weakness, ineptitude and cynicism.

First, a little background info.

On June 28, Honduran soldiers picked up an hombre named Manuel Zelaya, put him on an airplane, and deposited him approximately 350 miles to the southeast in beautiful Costa Rica.

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? After all, who wouldn’t want a free flight to Costa Rica?

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(Illustration by Andisheh Nouraee)

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