Hugo Llorens with BFF Zelaya
I thought their long, national nightmare was over, but Mary O’Grady, who has been reporting on the Honduran crisis since the very beginning, says the Obama administration continues to meddle in Honduran affairs, and align itself with the region’s Chavistas.
Last year, the U.S. tried to force the reinstatement of deposed president Manuel Zelaya. When that failed and Team Obama was looking like the Keystone Cops, it sent a delegation to Tegucigalpa to negotiate a compromise.
Participants in those talks say Dan Restrepo, senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, let slip that the U.S. interest had to do with American politics. The Republicans, he said, were using the administration’s support for Mr. Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan Hugo Chávez, against the Democrats. It’s not going to work, Mr. Restrepo is said to have informed the other negotiators, because “we have the power” and would be keeping it for a long time.
Um? Could the Obama administration really be so petty as to punish an entire nation because the Republicans had taken up their cause?
It can’t have been comforting for Hondurans to learn that while their country was living a monumental crisis, fueled by U.S. policy, Mr. Restrepo’s concern was his party’s power. For the record, an NSC spokesman says “Mr. Restrepo didn’t say that.” But my sources are more plausible considering what has transpired since.
Four months after a presidential election, reports from Honduras suggest the Obama administration remains obsessed with repairing its foreign-policy image by regaining the upper hand. The display of raw colonialist hubris is so pronounced that locals now refer to U.S. ambassador Hugo Llorens as “the proconsul.”
Washington’s bullying is two-pronged. First is a maniacal determination to punish those involved in removing Mr. Zelaya. Second is an attempt to force Honduras to allow Mr. Zelaya, who now lives in the Dominican Republic, to return without facing any repercussions for the illegal actions that provoked his removal. Both goals are damaging the bilateral relationship, polarizing the nation and raising the risk of a resurgence of political violence.
I’ve already excerpted too much – Read the entire report at the WSJ. O’Grady concludes:
It’s hard to imagine what the U.S. thinks it achieves with a policy that divides Hondurans while strengthening the hand of a chavista. Revenge and power come to mind. Whatever it is, it can’t be good for U.S. national security interests.
Everything this administration does is mortifying and ruinous. I agree with what Drew said over at AoSHQ:
I was disgusted by Obama’s sting of apologies to foreign nations last year but the fact is the next president is going to have issue quite a few apologies for the behavior of this disgusting administration.
On a related note:
Doug Ross asks:
Can anyone tell me why this administration treats dictators, thugs and tyrants better than our allies?
Via Cold Fury, Michael Barone struggles to answer that question in his latest piece: Friend of the Enemy, where he sums up Obama’s foreign policy, as: attack America’s friends and kowtow to our enemies:
Examples run from Britain to Israel. Early in his administration, Obama returned a bust of Churchill that the British government had loaned the White House after 9/11. Then Obama gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of DVDs that don’t work on British machines and that Brown, who has impaired vision, would have trouble watching anyway.
More recently, Obama summoned Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, permitted no photographs, laid down nonnegotiable demands, and went off to dinner.
Perhaps like Barack Obama Sr., he regards the British as evil colonialists. Or perhaps like his preacher for 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he regards Israel as an evil oppressor.
But the list of American friends Obama has slighted is long. It includes Poland and the Czech Republic (anti-missile program canceled), Honduras (backing the constitutionally ousted president), Georgia (no support against Russia), and Colombia and South Korea (no action on pending free-trade agreements).
In the meantime, Obama sends yearly greetings to (as he puts it) the Islamic Republic of Iran, exchanges friendly greetings with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, caves to Russian demands on arms control, and sends a new ambassador to Syria.
What we’re seeing, I think, is a president who shares a view, long held by some on the American left, that the real danger to America often comes from America’s allies.
Cross posted at Potluck Bloggers
Hat tip: Drew