I frequently torture myself by watching the hours-long videos of the Organization of American States (OAS) meetings about Honduras. While much of it is a bunch of diplospeak with threats and condemnations from a bunch of arrogant Chávez puppets, every now and then, there is something that makes it worthwhile.
One example is the Venezuelan Ambassador Roy Chadderton who reminds me of Darth Vadar and who can be quite humorous. Apparently I am one of the few who can bear to watch more than Insulza's sniff-sniff-sniffing rants as the occasional gems are rarely reported.
To summarize yesterday's OAS emergency session on Honduras (November 10), Secretary General José Insulza informed everyone that the dialogue was going nowhere, that it was all Micheletti's fault, that Zelaya must be restored to office, and that the media was misreporting. (I assume that he was referring to the reports that Zelaya refused to provide nominations for the unity cabinet − one of the few things that the media has gotten right.)
He misreported that Micheletti has unilaterally installed a Unity Government. Not true. Micheletti did not even release the names as he said they must approved by the Verification Commission. Additionally, Micheletti did not 'unilaterally' do anything. He, unlike Zelaya, consulted the political parties, presidential candidates, and civic groups.
For a 'unity government', more than the personal interests of two people need to be considered, a concept which neither Zelaya nor Insulza grasp. If Zelaya's appointment to the Verification Commission is any example, there would neither be unity nor reconciliation in any cabinet which includes his appointees.
Insulza very plainly stated that conditions in Honduras were not right for elections and that the OAS could not even consider sending election observers to bless the elections. (It has been frequently pointed out in the news that the OAS was going to send election observers for the illegal cuarta urna vote on June 28.)
Insulza was followed by excruciating hours of each country lamenting the extended Honduran crisis, pretensions of speaking for the poor oppressed people of Honduras, congratulating Insulza for his incredible work, and reporting falsehoods about the conditions and the election process in Honduras.
Ambassadors from many countries parroted that the "restoration of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales to the presidency was indispensable to the recognition of elections" − proving my point that a "Honduran solution to the Honduran problem" would only be accepted by the 'international community' as long as the solution was the restoration of Zelaya. Some went so far as to say that Honduras would never be recognized, seeming to be perfectly content to punish the candidates as well as the people of Honduras.
God help us all if these parrots are in charge of the world.
However, making my time worthwhile, in the last two minutes of the session, US Ambassador to the OAS, Lewis Amselem, spoke for the second time. Here is a transcript of what he said:
Mr. Chairman, I'm just a simple middle class boy, born to immigrant parents in New York City. I went to public schools. I shop at Costco and Walmart. I watch TV. I fly coach class on American Airlines and I drive an old, very simple Chevy truck. Umm, I'm just not very sophisticated so I want clarification from my betters here.
Uh, we repeatedly heard in this room that some here will not recognize the elections in Honduras. Uh, uh, uh, I'm not trying to be a smart guy or a wise guy or anything else. I just want to know, what does that mean in the real world? Not in the world of words and magical realism, but in the real world? What does that really mean?
Are embassies going to be closed? No trade? No travel? No investment with, to, or from Honduras? And if so, for how long?
Are we going to apply that same standard to each and every country in this room that has experienced a disruption of its constitutional order [pointing his finger at the person next to him who was out of view] and saved itself through elections? [shrug]
If we do, this room is going to be pretty empty!
My faith was somewhat restored in the United States of America. Unfortunately, José Insulza has already left the room, and of course, no answers to his questions were received.
President Micheletti has been called a dictator even though Honduras' institutional democracy is working better than it ever did under Emperor Zelaya who attempted to subvert it many times. A quick look at "successful coup d'etats" in Wikipedia tells me that the "international community" must act immediately to suspend recognition of the following governments:
Bolivia* (listed 14 times!)
Central African Republic
Republic of the Congo
Long list, huh? I only included the last 50 years and omitted some countries that you've probably never heard of. Depending upon how far back you want to go − since according to some OAS ambassadors legitimate elections can never be held unless a coup d'etat is reversed − we may also need to add the following countries to the list of unrecognized countries: Spain*, Czechoslovakia, Costa Rica*, Venezuela*, Colombia, Nicaragua*, Mexico*, Italy, and others. That is, unless we are going to say that there are "good coups" and "bad coups".
The countries marked with an * are strongly against the Honduran government and press relentlessly for the restoration of Zelaya as the only solution to the problem.