With US support, the Organization of American States has threatened to expel Honduras. The Pentagon has cut off military ties. Our Secretary of State wants the actions of the Honduran government to be “condemned by all”.
Kathy describes this situation as one of regional democracy at work. Personally, I am more inclined to James Kirchick’s view that it is extremely strange for real democratic governments to be lining up so passionately behind Manuel Zelaya, a disciple of Hugo Chavez and friend of Fidel Castro — all in the name of democracy.
As I noted earlier this week, I think that the real democrats in Honduras could’ve dealt with Zelaya in a less confrontational and destabilizing manner. Regardless, it wouldn’t have been hard for the US and the OAS to take a more balanced approach to the crisis in Tegucigalpa.
But there may be a silver lining to this cloud. With US support, the OAS is setting the bar very high for democracy. It is demonstrating that it will enforce the rules relentlessly even when pro-American, pro-democracy governments break them. So the next time that one of Chavez’s disciples tries to establish a dictatorship in democratic clothing, the same high standard will apply.
Of course, this all assumes that diplomacy at the OAS is driven by a good measure of high principle…