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“Two months after he was overthrown in a coup, Honduras’s ousted president said Wednesday that he sees little progress in U.S.-backed negotiations aimed at restoring him to power and has started formulating plans to go back to the country and reclaim its highest office,” the Washington Post reported today.
The story continued:
The June 28 coup, which some U.S. diplomats originally thought would be put down after a few days, has instead turned into an increasingly thorny problem for the Obama administration…[T]he administration joined the rest of the hemisphere in denouncing the coup as a violation of democratic order. But the de facto Honduran government has defied international pressure and refused a negotiated solution that would allow Zelaya to finish his term with reduced powers. In recent weeks, human rights groups have reported widespread violations by Honduran authorities, including arbitrary detentions and the shuttering of news media outlets.
Correction. The Obama administration issued a limp denunciation of the coup, but has effectively done nothing to reverse it. The United States cannot tell Brazil or Russia or China (or most countries) what to do. It can tell Honduras what to do because the country is entirely dependent, politically and economically, on American favor. The only reason Zelaya has not been returned to power is because Obama did not tell the coup leaders to step aside.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”