Washington Babylon — September 3, 2009, 9:36 am

Obama, Coups and Banana Republics

“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.

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