Thursday, July 23, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Zelaya plans to return to Honduras on Friday and dare the Honduran government to harm his family:

"I will go back unarmed, pacifically so that Honduras can return to peace and tranquility," Zelaya said at a news conference late Wednesday in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua. "My wife and kids will accompany me and the military will be responsible for any harm" that befalls them.

Lorena Calix, a spokeswoman for Honduras' national police, said Thursday that officers were ready to detain Zelaya.

"When he comes to Honduras, we have to execute the arrest warrant for Zelaya," she said.

Honduras' Supreme Court ordered Zelaya's arrest before the June 28 coup, ruling his effort to hold a referendum on whether to form a constitutional assembly was illegal. The military decided to send Zelaya into exile instead — a move that military lawyers themselves have called illegal but necessary.

Many Hondurans viewed the proposed referendum as an attempt by Zelaya to push for a socialist-leaning government similar to the one his ally Hugo Chavez has established in Venezuela.

While the press still assume that Zelaya was removed in a coup, reports still provide the facts necessary to understand that the events did not constitute an anti-Zelaya coup but a planned coup by Zelaya against Honduras' constitution.

How reporters can't draw the obvious conclusion from their own reporting in favor of going along with the herd conclusion is beyond me. But there it is.

In the end, Honduras is suffering because they did not carry out a coup and just shoot Zelaya. The interim government thought they were doing a kindness for Zelaya by exiling him contrary to their law instead of arresting and trying him.

If Zelaya returns, the Hondurans need to gently arrest him and try him. The prosecution should really be a lesson to the world community about how Honduras is following rule of law and not violating it. There is still opportunity in this crisis for a happy ending.