Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced a deal to end the political standoff in Honduras. Former President Zelaya, removed in what the Obama administration has called an unlawful coup, will be allowed to return to power until a national election is held next month. U.S. conservatives have been highly critical of both Zelaya and the Obama administration's support of his return. Yet many critics of the American stance, including Honduras' interim president, have also been pushing for U.S. recognition of the November election. Are critics satisfied by the compromise? Not entirely.
Here are some of the early responses to the announcement:
- Disappointing "It is perfectly fitting," writes attorney Scott Johnson at the conservative blog Power Line, "that the signal diplomatic triumph of President Obama's first year in office is the restoration to power of the lawfully deposed Honduran thug and friend of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Hugh Chavez." Calling the deal "inimical to the national interest of the United States," he also says it is "a setback for the supporters of democracy in the beleaguered country of Honduras" and "a defeat for those who believe in the rule of law."
- Obama Administration Bungled from the Beginning Conservative Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is highlighting reports of the so-called coup's actual legality. The crisis in Honduras, he says, is mostly a result of "the wrongheaded stance" of the Obama administration; "They have suspended visas and aid to Honduras, weakening one of the few strong alliances we have in Central America, just to interfere with what is truly an internal matter in Tegulcigapa." Writing before the announcement of the deal, however, Morrissey did endorse the national election as a solution to the current mess.
- 'Major Victory' for Hondurans "The people of Honduras," writes Andy Newman at British blog Socialist Unity, "have never accepted the legitimacy of the coup government." But the fight is not over yet: "The crucial next step is that Zelaya, back in the presidential palace, ensures that the army are taken off the streets, and the independent anti-coup media are allowed to broadcast again. This will ensure that the return to democracy allows a truly fair election next month."
- We'll See ... "The ink isn't dry yet," Latin America-focused blogger Boz reminds readers. "There are a number of actors who still need to weigh in on the agreement and it's possible that either side could back down." He points, also, to a "pending judicial case against Zelaya, which may move forward if the agreement does not include amnesty." Those who have truly been following the situation in Honduras, he says, are "either cautiously optimistic or outright skeptical."
- Brazilian Ambassador Should Be Pleased Noting that Zelaya has been "crashing" at the Brazilian embassy in Honduras "for over a month," Dan Amira at New York Magazine says the Brazilian embassy must be relieved: "Sure, he would have been arrested had he left the grounds, but still, every houseguest has to know his limits."